Backed by a west facing wall, Tomato plants set in grow bags in the lean to glasshouse of the Fletcher Building are continuing to yield edible fruit. For this time of year a highly unusual trait.
Usually during November a severe frost causes growth to blacken and the fruit, which is mainly composed of water, turn to mush.
Further evidence of this unseasonal mild weather is provided by the bright and unblemished flowers on Calendula officinalis cultivars. These, planted in late spring 2013 in the demonstration garden and placed in the open with no protection from the elements look as though they will keep up the pretence of summer the winter long. Calendula derives from the Latin calendae meaning little calendar. Best not to set our clocks by this one.
This year the lowest recorded temperature has been -1.7°C on the 12th January. Rising to a maximum recorded on 7th January of 10.6°C.
Words and text by Tony Garn
A touch of breeze and the brown wafer thin seed pods of this Dipelta yunnanensis are set quivering on the leafless shoots.
The twin wing like bracts give momentum to the achene as they disperse from the parent plant in the wind.
A native to mixed forests of SW China where seed was collected in Yunnan Province at the altitudinal extremity of 2995m. The entry in the Flora of China gives an altitudinal range from 800 – 2400m.
Text and photos by Tony Garn.