Nature Wins Gold

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Joanna Savage

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Nature Wins Gold
« on: August 09, 2012, 11:11:47 AM »
The following six plants are worth their weight in gold in this garden. We are said to be experiencing one in fifty year, if not seventy year, heat and drought in Toscana. These plants are all locals, having been collected by seed or slip from within a radius of two kms of the garden, or having introduced themselves. I don't know their accurate scientific names and have used Fitter and Blamey,'Fiori Selvatici' to try to work out what they are. Any comments would be most welcome.

It is a good lesson for me, the local plants are doing so much better than the imports and are a lot less work. They have received no applied water.

Joanna Savage

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Nature Wins Gold 2
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2012, 11:22:59 AM »
The plant I have labelled 'Grass' is most useful. I find it in a dilapidated state in the wild here but it makes a beautiful tussock, probably if grazing is kept away. It hates full sun. I call it a 'grass' from that well known scientific ditty, 'sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses have nodes all the way to the ground.
The Betonica is looking very stressed but I am sure it will flourish again next year.
With regard to Strigoli, in my previous Post, my Italian neighbours prize the young leaves as a green vegetable to eat with lamb at Easter.

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: Nature Wins Gold
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2012, 09:38:25 AM »
Joanna, I've merged your two posts so that we can see the six plants all together. I envy your skill in propagating little native plants. I've had a singular lack of success - even if cuttings or seeds do take, they fail to survive the regime of daily watering that I have in the nursery. I'm afraid I can't help with identification - if you could post slightly larger photos it would help the experts. Here is Greece the summer has also been relentlessly hot by the way.
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

Joanna Savage

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Re: Nature Wins Gold
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2012, 03:51:38 PM »
Thanks for your interest Fleur. I'll wait until next season to post photos of the grass about which I know nothing except that it grows so well and holds soil on these steep banks. Next season I'll be able to include photos or drawings of the flowers.
As it has been too hot to do much outside I have been working on the identifications of the others and am fairly happy with the results, I am opting for Dianthus deltoides.
While insidebound I am also making a catalogue of the plants in the garden this month, their provenance and other comments. I have  so many scattered bits of information that it is impossible to find a name which I have forgotten. The awful thing is how many plants I have acquired which are no longer here. I am embarassed by so many failures.

Alice

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Re: Nature Wins Gold
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 12:44:05 AM »
If it makes you feel any better, Joanna, we have lost about 25% of the plants acquired in the last 12 years. The two main causes of failure have been lack of rain/water (rather obviously) and the quality of plants obtained from nurseries (almost invariably pot-bound and often stressed). A terrible waste but one can only do one's best.
Amateur gardener who has gardened in north London and now gardens part of the year on the Cycladic island of Paros. Conditions: coastal, windy, annual rainfall 350mm, temp 0-35 degrees C.

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John J

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Re: Nature Wins Gold
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 07:11:11 AM »
Don't be embarrassed by failures, Joanna. During a recent interview I was watching on TV of a successful businessman he admitted to having had failures but he considered that failure was one of the best ways to learn. I'm sure that we all learn a lot from our failures, just as much as our successes.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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Alisdair

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Re: Nature Wins Gold
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 08:59:30 AM »
We can easily beat Alice's record, Joanna; we lose well over 25%, and as we raise most of these ourselves from cuttings or seed we can't even blame the nurseryman!
The great waterwise plantsman Olivier Filippi puts John's point slightly differently, saying that every plant that dies is an opportunity - to try that plant somewhere else, and to try a different plant in the "failed" spot.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Alice

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Re: Nature Wins Gold
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 10:28:06 AM »
I had not even included plants raised from seed or cuttings, Alisdair!
Amateur gardener who has gardened in north London and now gardens part of the year on the Cycladic island of Paros. Conditions: coastal, windy, annual rainfall 350mm, temp 0-35 degrees C.

Joanna Savage

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Re: Nature Wins Gold
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2012, 11:53:38 AM »
You are all very encouraging. I am only now waking up to the fact that it is not necessarily my bad plantsmanship that causes all my failures! Joanna