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Jo looks into the glass houses in June

Hello Everyone

As I regularly mention the Glasshouses in my newsletter and they are looking so lovely, I thought a special edition was called for!

I have been a volunteer in the garden since May 2010 and over the years have followed the progress of the restoration and have a vast collection of photos so I'm able to dip into my records and bring you before and after selections. So in the beginning there was a path, photo 1, this was taken in October 2010. This is the original path and I always think of Mr Bowles when I walk along it. Photo 2 was taken in May 2011 and shows the blue door to the potting shed and the old glasshouse behind it. There followed a wonderful collection of 4 glasshouses, built on the site of the originals and close to the original design too, photo 3. Photo 4 shows how they look today.

The Glasshouses are called A, B, C and D so guess where we're starting ?? Yes, Glasshouse A, photo 5. This one is looked after by Bryan and the conditions here are arid and it is full of succulents of all shapes and sizes. Here are a couple that stood out to me. The Euphorbia pentagona, photo 6, a native to South Africa. The spines are bright red when young and fade as they grow. This one has the most delightful yellow flowers. Photo 7 is a Senecio articulatus, known as the Candle Plant or Hot Dog Cactus, another native of South Africa. This one has little leaflets sprouting out from everywhere. The next one is a favourite of mine and is a Rebutia, photo 8. This is a small cactus native to Bolivia and Argentina. I particularly like the way there is a separate little white flower appearing in the middle of every red flower it bears.

Moving on to Glasshouse B, photo 9. This glasshouse is looked after by Eliza and has temperate conditions. It has recently been cleaned and replanted so looks a little empty at the moment but will soon catch the others up. The Ledebouria socialis 'Violacea, a native of the Eastern Cape of South Africa, has been covered with flowers for months now, photo 10. But the star of this glasshouse is the Hoya carnosa, native to Eastern Asia and Australia. This plant has waxy leaves and flowers and has been very busy spreading across the roof of the glasshouse, photo 11. It will continue to flower all summer and the sweet smell of its flowers will fill the air.

Next we move through to Glasshouse C, photo 12. This one is looked after by Gary and has humid conditions. I have featured many of the begonias that live here but today I want to bring you something different so first up is the Brachychiton rupestris, known as the Australian Bottle Tree and native to Queensland, photo 13. It is playing host to the Tillandsia usneoides, common name Spanish Moss, which is flowering at the moment but you'd be forgiven if you miss it as the flowers are tiny, photo 14. The next photo is an overview, looking back, photo 15. In the far right hand corner is a Justica carnea, a Brazilian Plume Flower, native to ...... yes, Brazil! The flowers are amazing, photo 16. Along the bench are many interesting plants. This one is Neoregelia spectabilis, native to Brazil and know as the Painted Fingernail Plant for obvious reasons, photo 17. This has tiny blue flowers appearing and will continue to flower through the summer. Next is Vriesea glutinosa Lindl and native to Bolivia, photo 18. This one is not in flower but does have new plants growing from the base which Gary will be able to separate and plant up. Photo 19 is looking back through the glasshouse. Hanging from the roof is the beautiful display of Aristolochia, known as Dutchman's Pipe, photo 20. I have featured the hanging baskets previously so I will just mention that left to right there are in the first one Aeschnanthus 'Twister', in the middle one Hoya carnosa 'Compacta' and Tradescantia 'Pink Panther' and on the right is Hoya 'Linearis'. Below the baskets are Clivia miniata, native to South Africa, photo 21 and Aechmea caudata, native to Brazil, photo 22.

Finally we have Glasshouse D. This one is used for propagation and displays. At the moment there are 9 different varieties of Chilli Peppers coming along, photo 23 and there are 3 different types of Melon, photo 24. Cucamelon melothria scabra, this looks like a tiny watermelon but tastes like cucumber with a hint of lime. Cucumis melo, an heirloom muskmelon and Pepino dulce, a tree melon. I think I will have to watch their progress and bring you photos of the fruit later in the summer.

I hope you have enjoy this tour of the glasshouses with me.

Best wishes

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