Friday, April 20, 2012

What is more beautiful the flower or the plant?

When I  first came to work at Scotsburn we had just sold the Scotsburn Avenue nursery to Sunshine seedlings and my first job was essentially moving all our stuff out and down to Keysborough.  Cyclamen was an important crop. To clear the old site as agreed, Uncle Robert arranged with his cousin Fred, F.G. Wood Nurseryman to house the Cycs at his nursery until we were established and had space to hold them at Keysborough. My wife, Kerry clearly remembers travelling back and forward from Keysborough to Fred's nusery in Heatherton with Uncle Robert to collect the sadly mouldering Cyclamen. It was Kerry's job to climb into the old shelved truck and collect the pots tucked up in the hard to get at corners while Robert told stories and made jokes. They have a strong bond to this day my wife and my uncle.

Anyway as you can imagine the Cyclamen did not appreciate the lack of attention and I was put off growing them for many years.  We had several abortive attempts at Cycs over the intervening 25 years, but they need love, care and attention that we just didn't offer.  Until last year. Mark has done a great job of coaxing Minh our Scobles alumni to show us the skills that he has kept to himself.  A small but successful batch of mini Cyclamen, grown under shade not in the hotter poly house environment encouraged us to expand production this year.  We have grown a significantly bigger batch of mini Cycs and trialled some larger flowering plants in 140mm and 200mm pots.  The minis have been selling well and the mid and large flowering varieties are on the cusp of release.

This is where perception comes in. I'm in love with these plants because the foliage head is so compact and Minh hasn't allowed them to grow into each other spoiling the balance with one side or the other all streatched.  They are also loaded with bud.  Of course there is an essential element missing for a classic Cyclamen pot, the flowers haven't opened yet. Pah, who need's 'em anyway? Well there are plenty of Cyclamen available right now so I'll find out very soon who needs them, but I'm pretty confident quality plants like these will move steadily even after Mother's Day.  I expect we will release these around 1st May when we have a few more flowers showing on each plant.

To get it just right, that loose flower on the right side of this pot has to go! 


  1. Hello Peter these are stunning so beautiful and a real pleasure.

  2. Any tips on how to get the short dense foliage? Mine are all stems and not very attractive when I bring them inside.

    1. Hi Leah,
      Your Cyclamen actually need to grow in a sunny spot from this time of year until we get consistently hot weather in say mid-late December when they will need protection from strong sun. Once shaped and flowering (April-September is the ideal) they can come inside for up to 3 months, understanding that they will have to go back outside for another 9 months to recover.


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