Bambi
Slowly Learning Gardener
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Kent, England

Pittosporum and Zygocactus

3 Nov '07 3:07 am
Well, I think we may have it! I've had a look on the net for the one you suggested Faith and I think you're right, so well done for finding that, and well done to Mark for suggesting Pittosporum in the first place! I don't think it's a holly - the leaves aren't as scratchy as that - maybe I've just been a bit of a wimp whilst working around it :roll:, but I think it's just the pointy ends of the leaves which have hurt a bit as the leaves are quite tough (well that's my excuse anyway! :wink:). I'd still be interested to know what the 'O' plant is that's similar to holly as you never know... Thanks everyone :D

And Jacqueline, thanks for your comments. I'm not sure why your zygocactus would have stopped flowering, but I do know that they're possibly one of the easiest plants to propagate as you just have to bung one of the leaflets into well drained compost - that's how I got mine, as they were bits that had broken off one (or more, don't know yet) of my Dad's plants which themselves are fairly old, so it might be worth trying.
"If you'd have a mind at peace
A heart that cannot harden
Go find a door that opens wide
Upon a beautiful garden."
Author Unknown

jack two
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The new improved Jack Holloway v.2

OSMANTHUS!

3 Nov '07 4:43 am
that is what it is called!

Liza
gardening consultant
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Waterloo, Belgium

I lost a lot here again!

3 Nov '07 7:47 am
What lovely garden news and photos I can see here , Bambi! They are also lovely garden compositions! The Violas and Zygocactus captures are really lovely!!

After planting so many new lovely bulb-delights, your borders will have SUCH a splendid colour in Spring! A pure enchantment!

Concerning the non-blooming Zygocactus, Jacqueline, I think the secret is to leave its compost dry a little during the Summer season or the warmest season... Let the plant relax from humidity for certain weeks, by watering much less often. In this way, it will react to bloom regularly from late Autumn to Christmas.
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Bambi
Slowly Learning Gardener
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Kent, England

Oh no! Now I'm undecided!

4 Nov '07 3:22 am
Jack, you've swung me back the other way! Look at the photo I found for Osmanthus - it's remarkably similar (particularly the flowers) and there is a variegated form, although I'm still a little unsure whether mine is all that spiky! Hee hee, the mystery continues... :D

Hi Liza, thanks for your kind words - I certainly am longing for spring so I can see whether my bulb-plans have worked or if it'll just look a mess!! :roll: :D
Osmanthus_heterophyllus1.jpg
"If you'd have a mind at peace
A heart that cannot harden
Go find a door that opens wide
Upon a beautiful garden."
Author Unknown

Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
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Berkeley, California, USA

I thing Jack is correct.

4 Nov '07 3:38 am
Osmanthus looks like a good match. The flowers look very similar and grow from similar spots on the twigs. The leaf shape of yours is slightly different but closer to osmanthus than to pittosporum photos I'm seeing in my Sunset book.

I knew the actual pictures would get in the way of my wild guessing. How wise I was guess before too many facts were known!
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

jack two
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The new improved Jack Holloway v.2

More about Osmanthus

4 Nov '07 4:46 am
THe funny thing is that it can look just like a spiky holly, and on the next branch there won't be a spike in sight. But the leaves are quite hard, almost as though they are cast in plastic. I will photograph mine tomorrow. I don't know pittosporums too well, but I can't imagine their leaves being described as scratchy. Not by a snake handler, anyway! :wink:

jacqueline
Thankful Gardener
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Zygocactus

4 Nov '07 5:04 am
Yes, Bambi! Isn't it wonderful that they can be easily propagated. That was the first thing I did 3 years ago when I brought home two lovely pots of zygo, one with pink/white flowers and the other with orangy-red. To date, I have 5 pots (3 of the former shade and 2 the latter) having discarded the same number as I got disillusioned with them not producing flowers. Anyway, I still hoping! Will probably try out Liza's tip, plus replanting them in new soil. Thanks to you both for trying to help. :)

jack two
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The new improved Jack Holloway v.2

Promised osmanthus pics

4 Nov '07 9:41 pm
Although there are only a few flowers - a final flush, because mostly the berries are full sized if not yet turning - the scent is heavenly. It was the scent that first made me do research and realise this was NOT a holly!

Leaves are 30-40mm long.
Osmanthus delavayi - the young growth is pale and soft, but older leaves are quite hard.JPG
A few clusters are still more flower than berry.JPG
Next to it the mixed-leaf shrub I was thinking of - but is it a holly or an osmanthus.JPG

Bambi
Slowly Learning Gardener
User avatar
Kent, England

5 Nov '07 10:23 am
Hi everyone,

You know, Jack, I'm definitely leaning towards the Osmanthus theory now. I had a really good look at the leaves earlier today and there were definitely some, albeit very few, which had those holly-like spikes which are sharp and strong, plus they look exactly how you describe - as if they were cast from plastic. I also noted the gorgeous smell of the flowers - I think one site describing osmanthus said it was like jasmine and, although I don't have a jasmine in the garden, I'm sure it's similar!

I must confess that I had thought of this tree as a bit of a white elephant in my garden, but now I know more about it, I'm really beginning to appreciate its value! Thanks for your help everyone :D

And Jacqueline, you obviously have much more experience with zygocacti (is that the right plural? :?) than I do so forgive me if I seemed patronising :oops: :wink:.

Anyway, things are really starting to slow down now in the garden: there's a definite chill in the air and I've now got a whole bin bag full of leaves which I've collected and I'm trying to make leaf mould with them. I haven't really done much of note this weekend garden-wise, but I did finally get around to making the fat cakes for the birds which I've been meaning to do for ages (melted fat, lots of seeds, sunflower hearts, dried fruit and crushed peanuts all mixed together and spooned into yoghurt pots with string threaded through the middle to hang them from). It's the first time I've made them so I hope the birds like them! :D

PS Jack, your remark about snake handlers made me giggle! Actually, I'm a total wimp with a pain threshold that's lower than the roots of said tree! :wink: Oh, and I've never been bitten by one of our snakes anyway!! :lol:
"If you'd have a mind at peace
A heart that cannot harden
Go find a door that opens wide
Upon a beautiful garden."
Author Unknown

jack two
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The new improved Jack Holloway v.2

Osmanthus and old slides

12 Nov '07 8:02 am
Bambi, I'm pleased I could help. I picture you as a very refined and sophisticated home counties girl who just happens to have a prediliction for reptiles... and gardening :P

You comment on Mark's page about my plans to photograph old slides. I will keep the forum informed of what I learn... bottom line is it seems one needs a rather sophisticated rig with minimal margins for error. I will set up a trial run early in the holiday with makeshift equipment and take it from there.

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