Strobilanthes dierianus
Plants I love

Plant collectors’ fare

The Collectors’ Plant Fair (or is it the Plant Collectors Fair? No, it’s the former) lured hoards of plant and garden lovers to Clarendon Race Course near Richmond on the weekend. There were 58 nurseries selling many of  the plants I wish I could find at Bunnings  or my local garden centre when the whim for something new takes me. Still, I was trying to avoid all whims on Saturday when I went to the fair, as my garden is looking a bit like an over-stocked closet – there are odd socks and  the arms of jumpers hanging out all over the place, favourite treasures engulfed by chaos. So with restraint in mind, green bags left at home and limited cash in the wallet, I set out on what I assured myself was a fact-finding mission.

Here’s what I couldn’t resist:

Kalanchoe orygalis ‘Copper Spoons’,  because how gorgeous are those scoops of copper, backed by pale grey felt. It will be happy in a pot, so no dramas with the overstocked garden.

Kalanchoe copper spoons

Strobilanthes dierianus, otherwise known as Persian shield, because even though I have grown and killed one of these before, I am a sucker for that metallic silver and purple foliage. Something less desirable can abdicate to make room for this.

Strobilanthes dierianus

and then there was this vase of aloes from Aloe Aloe.

Aloe aloe

My restraint was challenged sorely, but I restricted myself to just one pot specimen to replace a slightly burnt bromeliad which will be happier elsewhere. I spent way too long considering my options then went with ‘Sparkler’ for the bright orange anthers that leap out of the green-streaked white and yellow flowers and which will catch the sun – if it ever shines in Sydney again. As you can see it was pouring when I potted it up, but those buds will burst with just a few days of sunshine.

Aloe Sparkler



2 thoughts on “Plant collectors’ fare

  1. Linda brown says:

    For the life of me I’ve never been able to find the Persian Shield as long as I’ve looked. I know they grow from cuttings but finding someone with them in Sydney is nigh on impossible. Wondering Robin if you have details for the nursery representative you bought it from?
    Would appreciate any information you have (I’m in Wollongong).

    • Robin Powell says:

      Like you Linda I’ve never seen it at a commercial garden centre. I think I picked mine up from the Wildwood Flora stall at Collectors, which is no help to you as they don’t have an online shop. If you feel like an excursion, the Plant Lovers Fair at Kariong on the Central Coast, 26-27 September might offer the opportunity to pick some up (and some other treasures!), otherwise, try e-bay. That might sound silly, but I know a grower called Lou’s Blooming Garden sells it through e-bay.

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