New Member from West Sussex

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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:15 pm
Location: Maidenbower, West Sussex

New Member from West Sussex

Post by markharrison » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:29 pm

I'm Mark Harrison from roughly Junction 10A of the M23.

We've been "tropical gardening" in Sussex for a bit over 20 years, of which the last 18 have been in this house.

The front garden faces due south... we grow figs (planted a couple of years ago), and musa basjoo (for about 15 years.) The musa basjoo reliably flower now - big hands of little bananas. We leave them in the ground, but wrap them in fleece if the weather's going to be lower than about -5.

The back garden, therefore, faces due north. We have a couple of musa basjoo there too, but wrap them for the winter, and they've never come close to flowers.

We have lots of trachycarpus, mostly T. Fortunuii, but a few T. Wagnerianus. The tallest T. Fortuneii is about 20', and we must have a male somewhere, because we get a few dozen baby palms up most years.

Other than that, lots of cannas (now lifted and in a greenhouse at +5c), dahlias (lifted, washed, drained, and in pots along the back of the garage), plus yuccas, beschoneria, fatsia, kniphofia, lilium, hedychium and the like.

Until 2 years ago, we had about 25 phyllostachys (25 different varieties / cultivars), but after about 15 years of good behaviour, some of them turned rogue and started running across the neighbours lawns... so they all came out. (OK, one, not near a fence, got a reprieve.)

As a result of the extra light in the back we're now growing cannas - mostly C. musafolia and C. Indica 'Russian Red', but have a few others coming up from seed, as we do Hedychiums.

And bizarrely, we have got a couple of Echiums growing again - I thought they'd died a few years ago, but this year, a long-dormant seed or two has clearly sprung into life.

The thing I can't grow, it seems, is Tibouchina Urvilleana - I try every 3-4 years, but the secret seems to elude me.

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New Member from West Sussex

Post by tatter » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:16 pm

Welcome to the forum Mark. You seem to have a good collection of plants and experience. As for the Tibochina as im sure you know it is native to Brazil and cannot stand the winter cold. Have you tried keeping it under glass during the winter ?(assuming this is available for you).
Not much activity on the forum at this time of year though will probably pick up in new year/spring.
I'm older than yesterday but younger than tomorrow

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New Member from West Sussex

Post by Chez2 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:06 pm

Hello. Yes, as tatter says, very quiet at this time of year.

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New Member from West Sussex

Post by otorongo » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:39 pm

Hello and welcome!

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New Member from West Sussex

Post by GREVILLEAJ » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:37 pm

Welcome to HTUK, Mark icon_cheers

Apologies for saying this but I'm encouraged by your failure with Tibouchina. :shock: I bought my fourth plant in nearly twenty years this summer. I wonder if I will be enjoying it next year. Good to know I'm not alone :lol:

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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:15 pm
Location: Maidenbower, West Sussex

New Member from West Sussex

Post by markharrison » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:54 pm

Thanks all.

When I tried growing Tibouchina before, I didn't have a greenhouse to overwinter... Perhaps time to try again... Though I can't get into the greenhouse at the moment on account of it being stuffed to the gills with cannas :-)

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