Friday, June 3, 2011

A fine June evening

It's been hot all day.  At least 25 C in the shelter of my south facing rear garden.  And at 20:55 it's still very pleasant.  Warm still air, a wireless network and a laptop means I can blog directly from the garden.  Add  a cool beer close at hand and I'm happy.

One thing I always feel at this time of year is anticipation.  I can see buds forming on my hemerocallis and agapanthus, the annuals and tender perennials I use for later summer interest are bulking up well and starting to show a little colour and my white macrophylla hydrangea - I think it's Mme Emile Mouillere - is beginning it's long period of summer flowering.  I'm glad it's survived the rigours of the last two winters - and a period of neglect when I've had not time to tend the garden.

I'm equally glad to see the survival of another old favourite.  The abutilons with pendant, bell like flowers are far more tender than hydrangeas.  I bought this one as 'Hinton Seedling' many years ago and it's survived in the garden ever since.  Even the latest harsh winter only defoliated the plant and caused some die back of the stems but it's recovered well enough to produce its first 4 cm long flower of the season.  Once it starts flowering it doesn't stop till late autumn.  I've even had flowers at Christmas.  I took this specific photograph a few years back but every year the display is equally as good. 

Abutilon 'Hinton Seedling' ? or is it 'Patrick Synge'
The problem is, it may not be 'Hinton Seedling' but another variety, 'Patrick Synge'.  The last few years have seen an explosion of flower pictures on the Internet and, through Google Images, the ability to quickly flick between search results for comparison.  Great for identifying unknown plants and varieties - even if the the naming is not always accurate.  Which has confirmed the suspicions I developed a few years back in a National Trust garden when I saw my plant labelled 'Patrick Synge'  However, to add to the complications there is another very similar - to judge by the photos - variety called 'Wisley Red'.  The problem is I've never seen all three together to be able to accurately name my plant, so for the moment, I tell anyone who asks that it's 'Patrick Synge'.  Maybe.  Perhaps I should have bought 'Kentish Belle' which does have the the merit of being pretty distinctive.

Abutilon 'Kentish Belle'
One day I'll solve the conundrum.  In the meantime the plant doesn't care.  It's busily extending it's thin stems upwards ready for another extended season of colour.

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