Six on Saturday – Pressure

Anemone nemorosa 'Robinsoniana'

As the weeks proceed this Six on Saturday malarkey is getting a little easier.  This is in part due to the season, but it also because I have begun to pay more attention to my own garden.  Without wanting to get all slushy and sentimental about it, I must thank the King of Prop for making apparent my wicked and neglectful ways and setting me on the road to enlightenment.  Enough of that balderdash, if you want to know more, pop on over and see what the rest of the fan club have been up to. Shall we get this show on the road?  I think we should, it will be Sunday soon.

First of all we have an ethereal wood anemone,  Anemone nemorosa ‘Robinsoniana.  This was a gift from the lovely Robin and Edwina Hill at the wonderful  Andrew’s Corner garden on the edge of Dartmoor, which coincidentally is open tomorrow under the National Garden Scheme.  Get there if you can!  Gift is a slight exaggeration.  In truth they had little chance of escape when I instigated my Lovely Plant Acquisition spell.  This is how it works: you stand over a plant and say in a very loud and pleading voice “I really, really, really, really, really love that plant”.  If you wish you can make a “woo woo” sound at the same time.  Of course, like many gardeners, they are generous folk and pretended to fall for my enchantment.  If you visit you might well see this ones mama.

Next we have the emerging shoot of a rodgersia.  Hairy, unlike my legs.

tulips

These little species tulips, live in the Belfast sink in the front garden.  Which was a bit of a surprise.  I had forgotten that I had planted them and as the pixies seem to have stolen the label I have no idea what they are.  Yes, I know, again, after all I drone on and on about the importance of labelling, blah, blah, blah….. Well tough luck, its my party and I will cry if I want to.  Or indeed, not label my plants.  Note to any client that might be reading this.  This blatant flaunting of procedure is only allowed by me.  Full, accurate and comprehensive marking of all plants (in bestest handwriting and indelible pen) must be maintained at all times.  Hypocrisy, moi?

You may recognise this one.  It is the osteospermum that never sleeps. Through hell, high water, and a Devon winter.  Today I chopped off all its blooms, took cuttings, repotted it and wished it well.  Same for its dusky sister.  Harsh but fair.

Mukdenia rossiiNow we have the shiny little hands of Mukdenia rossii, a treasure in the saxifrage family.

Zaluzianskya ovataLastly we have Zaluzianskya ovata, also known as Star Balsam.  I know which name I will be using.  Beautiful in bud as well as in flower and, as its other common name Night Phlox suggests, night scented being pollinated by moths.  A little stunner.

Thanks King of Prop, see you next week, that is if I’m not too busy gardening trying to keep up to standard.  Now that cheeky Mr K has got fancy peonies in bloom, I’m going to have to up my game.  The pressure is on.  Adios!

Anti-climax

Erythronium Pagoda

Like most households we have designated jobs.  OH looks after bins and recycling, I am in charge of duvet changing and jokes.  Until today.  OH made a joke and it was rather good.  Although this is not to be encouraged, the relevant union has been informed, it did make me chuckle.  It went something like this:

Me:  Got to get up and shave my legs, today will be the first shorts day of the year.

He:  Don’t know why you bother, I thought you were a gorilla gardener.

It turned out to be a bit of chilly squib.  All started OK.  I slathered myself with factor 30, dressed in shorts and vest top, took a baggy shirt to wear for when it got too hot and found my summer hat.  The sun was shining, bees were buzzing, come on heatwave, do your worse.  And it did.  It was a shamefully disastrous scorcher.  At approximately 10am the sea mist enveloped the garden and stayed put until home time.  All that effort for nothing.  The joke was good though.

This Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ cared neither if my legs were hirsute or if the sun shone.  It was too busy being beautiful in the dappled shade.

‘Orrible Orchid

orchid

It is a good job there isn’t an equivalent to the Hippocratic oath in horticulture.  But surely I am not alone, on occasion, to hoping that a plant will just give up the ghost and die?  That by ignoring and neglecting it, with perhaps the odd withering look, the victim will simply pop its clogs.  This orchid was a gift, from who and for why is lost in the mists of time.  We have had it for years and it has been in dire need of repotting for most of those, but I have chosen to turn a blind eye.  My heart is cold to this poor unfortunate.  It flowered once and has never bothered again.  Who could blame it?  Until now. Just to spite me.

The other day a neighbour gave me another orchid, again a gift, because it was “looking at her in a funny way”.  For some masochistic reason I accepted it.  Now I have another orchid to mistreat.  Happy days.

Blissful

anemone

I’m sure someone can tell me what I am doing wrong, but I can never keep anemones for long.  They flower beautifully, then disappear to the great herbaceous border in the sky.  If I am particularly lucky they might reappear a few feet away from where they were planted, usually in a totally inappropriate place.  The next year I try again, full of false hope.  Some people never learn.

Once they flower I excuse any heartache they may have caused.  The ethereal violet-blue blooms are especially forgiven.

Blissful.

Six on Saturday – Sunshine and Shouting

Japanese acer

First of all I must thank our glorious Six on Saturday leader, The Propagator of Lurve, for arranging this beautiful sunny day.  Take a look at his blog and all will be made clear about the SoS sect.  You may well come away more puzzled than before.  One or the other.   Anyway, this clement weather, subsection 3b “on a Saturday”, has been a long time coming.  I suppose our guru needed a little practice before he got it right.  There is no need for me to whine on about the depressing rain or snow or gales or drizzle or anything actually. People might begin to believe I am a happy, carefree kind of gal.  Here I was, proud recipient of the double whammy, inclination and opportunity, what could possibly go wrong?  But I had forgotten about external influences.  More specifically, a neighbour firing a nail gun intermittently all day, irregularly enough to make you jump a meter in the air at each shot.  In between times he was hammering, or shouting at his son, or they were both hammering or shouting, all on top of an enormous shed/store for artillery at the bottom of his garden.  Cheers mate.  Happy sunny day to you too.  Due to said suspect weapon stash I decided not to complain.  Not to him anyway.  Thanks for being a shoulder.

Let us get on with the job in hand, or it will be Sunday before we know it and I will be on the naughty step again and that Mr K will be pointing and giggling.  First of all we have a Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum, one of several we have in the garden.  All in pots.  Mainly brought from the greatly missed Woolworth’s for three shillings and thrupence.  The new foliage is a joy.

Secondly is a little alpine sink, which I replanted his last week with Sisyrinchium ‘E K Balls’, Scabiosa ‘Blue Jeans’ and Polygala chamaebuxus.  It had become overgrown and rebellious.  Now it is tamed and under my control.  I almost believed that when I typed it.  We all know different.

Virburnum x burkwoodiiNext is Viburnum x burkwoodii, an inherited shrub which battles on in the front garden, abused by weather and ignored by gardeners.  Until today.  Earlier in the week I visited some friends at The Round House in Ilfracombe.  One friend told me that, along with Daphne ‘Jaqueline Postil’, this hybrid was their favourite winter into spring scent.   Today, working in the front garden, the fragrance was incredible, both near and far.  How did I miss this?

On to the obligatory tulip, this time Tulipa ‘Blue Diamond’.  Not blue, no diamonds.  Pretty though.

Fritillaria meleagris 'Alba'

Now for a trio of white fritillaries, Fritillaria meleagris ‘Alba’.  This is a strange time of year, my gaze is intent on summer and I sometimes forget to appreciate the spring flowers that have struggled through such horrendous weather.  Although not as dramatic as its checkerboard brother, this albino sibling, with just a little blush on the shoulders, is a lovely light in the border.

And finally we have Fat Ol posing by a primrose.  Such a handsome lad and a great “help” to me in the garden.  Cat Help, that is.   This entails throwing himself in front of my feet causing me to do a cha cha cha in order to avoid standing on him, scratching posts in a virile manner, meowing at a pitch just above high C, insisting on attention when he wants it but ignoring me when I want it.  The usual.

Thanks to El Prop for another week of Six on Saturday and of course the good weather.  Same time, same place?