Summer 2013 in the Fossil Garden

Firstly I have a huge apology to make for not having blogged in what seems like an age! Amazingly, a great deal of our time in Israel was spent botanising in this floristically diverse country … really must get around to collecting seed of some of the hardier species there. We came back to all systems go for the RHS Chelsea flower show. Crug Farm Plants won a GOLD and I really havn’t stopped since. What seems like a million softwood cuttings later I now have a chance to breath before being flung into another very busy period of my work. So I have taken this chance to wander around our garden with a camera and spend some time just enjoying it instead of getting on with the usual constant flow of garden jobs, research and identification work that seems to get in the way of pleasure. I sincerely hope you enjoy these photos from the garden, summer 2013, and promise the rest of the fossil plant alphabet and the blog on Ephedra are on their way!

Acer Heptaphlebium - Summer 2013
Though not a ‘fossil plant’, Acer Heptaphlebium, in the order Sapindales and family Aceraceae, is a new tree to cultivation in the UK. Found on the Vietnamese-Chinese border, it is classified as data deficient in the IUCN red data list and is one of the trees I am researching as part of my work. We use it in the fossil garden as a shade tree for our many species of ferns. Summer 2013 has been hot and sunny here in North Wales and apart from providing much needed respite for the ferns, amazingally it has also flowered and fruited. This is the first time we are aware of this happening in cultivation in the UK. Seeds have been sown, so fingers crossed.
The heat of summer 2013 has also prompted our Ginkgo to put on at least 2 foot (60cm) of new growth. See more about this wondrous plant here.