Six on Saturday – Happy Holidays


After a week or more away, I have come home to builders, scaffolding, inaccessible plants and a really vicious cold.  For this reason (and I will continue to blame everything on the builders including my poor health, who in reality are rather nice chaps, until further notice) my Six on Saturday will dwell on holiday snaps.  Of course these consist, on the whole, pictures of plants.  This is probably just as well you wouldn’t want to see myself and OH in our “kiss me quick” hats, trousers rolled up daringly above the ankle, having a paddle.  If you would like to share in the experience of other SOSers, with or without builder input, pop on over to our Site Foreman to find out more.

First we have an osteospermum, growing in the recess of a wall overlooking St Ives.  Always a joy to visit, come torrential monsoon and high winds or shine.


Next is a golden bamboo, possibly Phyllostachys aurea, but I’m not absolutely sure as I wandered off to admire it and I was reined back in.  Which happens unsurprisingly often. This photo was taken at The Leach Pottery, also in St Ives.  It is located about 100m from my childhood home and we always visit when we are down.  Incredible pots and wonderful memories.  Not that we were aware of it as kids, we were just kids.  In those days we were just interested in playing on the beach/woods/moors and eating Mr Kipling’s produce.  And yes we did buy more pots.  Very beautiful they are too.


Then on to Penzance to catch up with old friends and continue our hedonistic adventures.  Our guest house had a rather amazing garden, which not only had sea views but was packed with colour.  These bidens were a treat, as was the Hummingbird Hawk Moth feasting on the Verbena bonariensis, which unfortunately avoided my lens.  You will have to trust me on that one.  On our last morning we were waiting for our taxi to take us to the train station, when a gentleman in a rather flamboyant shirt left the house.   He started a conversation, asking us where we going and the like.  He then dropped into the conversation, like a feather into a vat of oil, that he was returning from Kew Gardens to Tresco where he is the curator of Abbey Gardens.   I may have fainted.

Colquhounia coccinea

During our stay we visited the small-but-perfectly-formed Penlee Art Gallery and Museum, which is situated in Penlee Gardens.  I almost didn’t get in the door.  Waylaid variously by swathes of Tulbaghia violacea, a largeTrochodendron aralioides full of Sputnik fruit, white crinum and night scented Cestrum parqui.  The treasure which made me squeal with glee was this Colquhounia coccinea, unlike my own specimen, a strong and flower-full example.  When I got home I rushed to see if a miracle had happened.  No.

Fascicularia bicolor

I had a hunch when I saw the expanses of swordfish foliage that it might be something special.  A little poke about and I found what I was looking for, the outlandish flower head of Fascicularia bicolor .   Planted in a tiny garden, come seating area, just opposite the Jubilee Pool, this is another example of the exotic as ordinary.  Wonderful.

Peggy Pearlers

On our last day we had an itinerary.  We were having a day out with my good friend and jeweller to the stars (and me) Duibhne Gough, known to her pals as Div.  She would take us to The National Dahlia Collection, then lunch, then to a nursery, then to see her new workshop before home, tired but happy.  I have long wished to visit the dahlias at Varfell Farm, even more so since I named a dahlia after my Mum, read all about it here It Is All In The Name.  It was a fabulously sunny day with bloom after bloom after beautiful bloom.  But none were the special one.  Soon I was beginning to doubt myself and that it was in fact a cruel hoax.  Then a point and smile from the lovely Div and there she was in all her glory.  I can quite honestly say, in a totally biased manner, that Peggy Pearlers was the most beautiful specimen in the field.

After a delicious lunch our itinerary was scrapped, as £20 worth of unleaded had found its way into the diesel Citroen.  It turned out for the best, a balmy afternoon of laughter and lager (and the odd house white but that didn’t scan as well), and I didn’t buy a single plant!

Thank Mr P for being the host with the most.  Until next time!

29 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – Happy Holidays

  1. A very beautiful selection. I feel gleeful to see the Colquhounia coccinea too – I haven’t seen it flowering so far as I remember and didn’t know the name either. It looked like an interesting perennial at first sight.

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  2. So pretty holidays photos … I didn’t know St Ives and I searched Google to find out where this city was. I was surprised to see that it was at the very end of England. The weather must be nice there
    Otherwise I love your Fascicularia bicolor : so unusual and colorful!

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  3. I recognised that view in your first shot instantly. Even though I have ignored St Ives for months it might be safe to return now. I was in Penzance last month and disappointed in the lack of flowers in the gardens, especially the Penlee Memorial Garden, though I do recollect photographing some pretties outside the cafe. The Bidens are lovely, but I am unfamiliar with the name, does it have another one? And I have to ask, are the pots at the Leach pottery very expensive, or reasonable? I quite fancy some new ones for my courtyard area.

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    1. St Ives was still pretty busy when we were there, but it was the end of the festival. The Leach pots are lovely but for inside rather than plants, bowls and jugs and cups and the like. Do you think that the lack of flowers was the that lull inbetween the drought and the rain? Here it seems everything stopped for a while, I have come home and it has gone crazy! Bidens are also called tickseed, often grown as annuals, good value and gorgeous.

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      1. I shall go and have a look at the pots for my ‘new’ orangery. Be nice to have some local pottery. I think the cold weather had quite an affect on the more tender plants that are grown down here, which explains the gaps. Ah, tickseed I have heard of, and yes they are lovely.


  4. That’s a terrific story Gill, about naming the dahlia after your Mum, and what a lovely thing it is- your Mum also, I’m quite sure. I looked at the Leach Pottery website and liked what they have: sort of chunky, but asking to be held. I like your Biden which is bright and colourful and also the Fascicularia which looks like a fantastically sculptural plant.


    1. Thanks Jane, the Leach has a wonderful history, if you are ever in the area it is worth a visit. I am a great fan of bidens, such easy and jolly plants. Would the fascicularia (very hard to spell) do with you?


      1. I did have a look online after you posted, but I think our winter would be too frosty. I don’t have a green house and already own a few pot plants that I brought from warmer climes and which have to be inside in the colder months.


  5. I’m glad that your break wasn’t cut short and that you clearly had such a nice time (though sorry you brought back a Cornish cold). As your car isn’t a Citroen, I guess you’re not overly worried about the fuel mix up. Nice six and you left the best till last. Here Peggy has put on lots of growth but hasn’t flowered. I’m going to lift her this week and see if a tuber has formed and go from there. Life got in the way of my six this week so I have to delay my big reveal until next week. It will be quite an emotional reveal too (and also involving a parent and progeny). Meanwhile remember to put the jam and cream the other way up!

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    1. She hasn’t flowered here either! Now she has been squashed by the weather/scaffolders/builders/life in general I have given up for this year. A nice big plant though and my plans are for next year are, early into growth, cuttings, sharing with my friends and family (not my mum who can’t be horticulturally trusted). Looking forward to your big reveal next week, sounds very intriguing!


  6. We had one of those Fascicularia in our old garden – not planted by us. I hated it for spiking me every time I went anywhere near it then just the once in the five and a half years we lived in the house it flowered just like this and made up for everything!

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  7. So lovely to see such a colourful and sunny six. All amazing plants beautifully entwined with the reminder that there is so much to enjoy in Cornwall. So now its not only plants that go on the wish list, but also holiday destinations. Hope the cold goes away soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So many beautiful flowers to choose from here, I’m w/Tony in amazement that you didn’t buy something. There’s always mail order, you know. In case you change your mind.

    Liked by 1 person

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