Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Beyond the Usual

My long-term email friend, Leo, lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. Not only is it a long way from Australia, it is also a long way from most of the rest of Canada. I sense that Leo is happy enough with this last part of the story.

Recently, I had cause to warn Leo of the imminent arrival in Canada of our Leader. You see, since the recent election in that Country, rabid-right wing "Leaders" have been lining up to recognise the new Leader over there - Mr Stephen Harper, the recently elected (minority) Prime Minister in Canada. A Head of State visit to Canada has not been on Mr Howard's agenda in the last 10 years.

I have warned Leo to not drink the water in the next few days, if Howard's flight path from Ottawa to Ireland should take him anywhere close to Nova Scotia. Best of luck, Leo, surviving the media onslaught which might (possibly) be associatied with our Leader's "FuhrerFest" in Ottawa. I am sure he will be bringing a special message from The Shrub to Mr Harper, and the oil-based consortium who are his cronies in Government. It is intriguing that this particular "cronie" has offered to work for only Ca$1:00 per year - supposedly to demonstrate how "honest" he is. To me, it almost self-evident proof of the contrary.

If you think this is a laughing matter, have a look at Miss Eagle's post of 17 May: Incorrect labelling? Not a Product of Australia? It is a perfect example of how the Oleo-Political Cartel view smaller, complacent, compliant members of the "Co-alition of the Willing".


My pal, Leo, runs a small(ish) and very individual nursery in far, far, away Nova Scotia, Canada. It is known as el Summit Perennials, and his slogan is "Beyond the Usual". Leo has recently sent me several photos of rare plants which he has recently flowered, and of which he is justifiably proud. I hope he does not mind me sharing them with my small but dedicated band of Australian-based bloggers (and Leo himself).

The first is a bluish/mauve coloured Glaucidium. (Glaucidium palmatum). It is vaguely related to the Paeonia genus, but has distinctive leaves, and flowers with four petals (whereas species Peonies generally have five or six petals). Leo describes it as a , a woodlander from Japan with peony-like flowers and maple-like leaves". Leo, living in Nova Scotia, can grow such delicate plants as "woodlanders from Japan", whereas in our climate, (even the normally wet and soggy Robertson), it is most-likely these delicate leaves would shrivel-up in a single day of hot north-westerly winds. Still, I can enjoy the delicate flowers in digital format.

I also take this opportunity to share this beauty with you (Paeonia tomentosa). Leo says he mistook it (at first) for another nearly-unpronounceable Russian species (P. mlokosewitschii) (synonym P. wittmaniana ssp wittmaniana). Leaves fuzzy on back, but pointy and greener than mloko. Both these plants (or all three, if you like to collect "names" are woodland plants, as I understand it, but P. tomentosa comes from the Causcasus Mountains (but without my reference books here, please don't quote me).

Leo has done well to get this plant to flower after four years of waiting from seed. Leo is more patient and careful of his seedlings than I am, I confess. Mine tend to get buried in weeds. I promise to be more careful in future. Especially when one sees such rewards.


Anni said...

You can tell the spring has come in North America - there are several google visitors from the USA and Canada to your 2005 peony diary daily, Denis.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks for the tip off, Anni.

Yes, depending on location (and hence the advance of the season)they will be in full flower somewhere, over there. Leo is along way north, so he is getting early species now. But the others will come on with a rush.

Maybe Jaska will get more photos of his pale pink P. ostii soon.