Eye Candy is the theme of Blooming Friday over on Katarina’s Blog this week, so how fortunate am I to have become the very proud owner of an apricot coloured Vireya Rhododendron, just in time to take part and be able to show off my new blooms? So here are my fabulous new flowers about which I am immensely excited – For the first time, I present to you …

My newly acquired, rare, apricot coloured Vireya Rhododendron

Vireya Rhododendron

 

My very special, pink coloured Vireya Rhododendron

Vireya RhododendronI got these two beautiful plants for my shade garden from the award-winning horticulturist and specialist plant grower Jim Holmes (whom you might remember I met at the Rare Plant Fair two weeks ago). Jim specialises in unusual and rare plants and has a collection of plants that simply amazes! I’ll have to save up now if I want anymore plants from him – they are not cheap.

Clivias, for example, take three to four years to flower. They cannot be propagated from tissue so all Clivias need to be hand pollinated when breeding your own. So when a specialist grower pollinates to produce an unusual colour (eg. the near whites and yellow Clivia’s Jim is well known for), they have to produce up to 100 plants of which very few will be the rare colour types – and it takes 3-4 years before they know which of the 100 plants they have grown will have produced a rare colour as it takes that long for them to flower for the first time. (I hope I’ve explained this correctly – I have written it the way I understood it). It was very interesting learning about this today.

I would love to have one of those dark yellow ‘Butterball’ or near white ‘Snowball’ Clivias one day. See Jim’s website for his Clivias here: http://www.capeseedandbulb.com/. Jim does export Clivia seeds – he arranges the required paperwork so you can order seed from him if you are interested in growing your own rare coloured Clivias from seed. Me, I’m an “instant gratification” kinda girl – no waiting four years for a plant to flower – I’ll save up and buy a flowering Clivia from Jim one of these days…

If you are interested in Vireya Rhododendrons see the website at http://www.vireya.net and while you are surfing around, stop over to admire more eye-candilicious blooms at “Blooming Friday – Eye Candy“!

Happy Gardening
xxx