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The longer one has to wait for something (apart from death, visits from the mother-in-law and tax return forms) the more exciting it is when it finally happens. This certainly applies to gardening. Happily, several plants at The Watch House have chosen 2014 for their floral debut, and there has been much anticipation as the unfamiliar buds emerge and then start to unfurl. As they do, I spare a thought for the great plant collectors of yesteryear who had to wait 10, 20, 30 years for their precious discoveries to produce flowers, sometimes not knowing quite what they’d get. Few gardeners these days are quite so patient – we all expect immediate results from our nursery-grown plants. However, even with modern growing techniques, not all species are happy to be rushed.
The longest I have waited is seven summers to enjoy the foamy-white flowers of Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. asplenifolius, or the Santa Cruz ironwood tree. This species is…
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