Friday, October 02, 2009

I've got a triffid

I've been given a triffid.

It's about 9ft tall and it's rather scarily making a bid to burst out of its (14" or so) pot.

So, it's a Hedychium gardnerianum, aka ginger lily or Kahlili ginger. Now, not to brag or anything but I've seen these in the wild in the Caribbean, but never attempted to look after one myself. Luckily, after much internet research I've discovered that they're quite robust even in a British climate: in fact they have been described as 'quite invasive' when given good drainage and a southerly bit of the UK. You can even leave them outside all winter with a thick mulch and a cover over to keep the rain off (as with so many things, it's the winter wet that gets 'em, not the cold).

I'm quite hopeful of success in my free-draining sand, but just in case I'm splitting it in three (it desperately needs it, after all) and putting one bit in the (frost-free) greenhouse and another bit in my dining room, much to poor non-gardening husband's despair.

Only question now is, how to split it. Whaddya reckon - breadknife? Bandsaw? Chainsaw?!

(PS: you are seeing far more of my garden than I usually allow onto these pages in the above photos, mainly because this is a plant that resolutely defies my usual refuge in the macro lens. The reason there is straw all over my lawn, in case you were wondering, is because that's where the guineapigs live).


James A-S said...

A splitting axe is the best way but it must be sharp and you have to be a good shot - unless there is anybody who trusts you enough to hold it steady while you swing!

emmat said...

that is the biggest one of those I've ever seen. What a completely wonderful gift!

The Constant Gardener said...

James - nobody, and I mean nobody is that brave.

Emma - yes it is a bit of a monster... but it's more of a loan than a gift. Equally wonderful, of course, and I am in awe of the responsibility, in fact I think they may well have been under the mistaken misapprehension that I've had a go at this before. Oops.

Gail said...

Goodness, you've brought back memories of watching the horror movie~~'Day Of The Triffids" when I was a kid! It's huge! Now I am going to have to read about this fascinating plant! gail

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