Sunday, 13 January 2019

Gloriosa superba 

Hello all,

I've been growing gloriosa superba lilies for many years now. I bought my first 2 rhizomes at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden show and they have been multiplying ever since. I grow them against a North facing wall, where they are well protected as they don't like frosts. I gave away dozens of rhizomes to students and friends, all of whom have been delighted with this exotic flower. My friend, Bo, who lives in NSW has just sent me a photo of her plant thanking me for it. However, she pointed out that in NSW it is considered a noxious weed. This is very concerning and I will have to be extra careful not to allow any parts of it to leave my property.

I have a pot of horse tail (Equisetum Hyemale), which is, also considered an aggressively spreading weed. I've had no trouble with it spreading so far because I'm very careful with how I dispose of any cuttings. I have an old casserole in the storeroom into which I put my cuttings and pour boiling water to kill them before putting them in the compost. I will be doing the same with the gloriosas.

As I have them in abundance at the moment, I've made several arrangements with them. The only down side is that the stem of each individual flower is quite short (12 - 18 cm). If I were to cut a long stem, I'd have to sacrifice many buds and I'm loathe to do that.

Gloriosas submerged in glass vases plus kiwi vine
Small arrangement in glass vase with squiggly grass

With garlic flower

With umbrella grass stems
The garden has been quite prolific this year. We enjoyed the loquats first, then came the strawberries and raspberries. (I have to say here, that there's nothing more pleasing for a gardener than to see the grandchildren run to the back of the garden to pick raspberries and eat them directly from the canes.) Now the nectarines are almost ready to pick, their red colours looking very enticing on the tree. The birds and possums have not been too much of a problem so far. However, our persimmon tree has not fared as well. A little before Christmas it was laden with fruit, still very small. One morning I discovered a great many leaves fallen on the ground, a sure sign that something had been in the tree and, upon inspection, I noticed that most of the fruit was gone. I had to do something to protect what was left because I would hate to disappoint my grandson, who is constantly asking when will the persimmons be ready. So, I covered them with plastic bags, as per the photo below, and am keeping fingers crossed that some will survive.

In my previous post I wrote about my summer calla lilies, which produce, apart from the normal flowers and leaves, some distortions. The photograph, below, is of an arrangement that I made using distorted leaves and a flower. Next to it I put a normal leaf for comparison and the photo after that is of a close up of the distorted flower.

I leave you with this next arrangement of one of my favourite materials (agapanthus) in one of my favourite containers.

Bye for now,

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my goodness, I had no idea that the lovely gloriosa lily was considered a noxious weed. I have never seen it growing but can understand how its tendrils would climb and cling to anything in its path. Up in New York state it is very expensive to order it from the whole sale florist so I can count on one hand how many times I have ever worked with it.