Back to my usual Six on Saturday timing, which I like to think of as fashionable late but some might call tardy. This is not due to lack of enthusiasm for the task at hand, quite the contrary. As the year ripens there are more and more lovelies which beg to be featured. On a downward trajectory however is the time I have to share them with you, because, well, I am out there with them! But if our very own Compulsive Propagator has time to look after his ever expanding menagerie of SoSer as well as his dealing with his even more expandinger family of plants, I can take the time to chuck half a dozen pictures of my garden residents your way. Phew, that was a rather long sentence! Today I have decided to feature members of my garden crew that for some reason or other have survived despite the odds.
First we have a pelargonium looking splendid in its shady hideaway. It has spent the winter snuggled beneath a Phlomis fruticosa which will have protected it from the worst of the northerly gales, but not all. A tender sun lover that has survived a winter exposed to the cold winds and thriving in heavy shade. No one ever said it would make sense.
Next a diddy unnamed hosta which was a gift from a friend. We keep our hostas in pots in the vain hope that they will be protected from the munching molluscs. This safe haven usually lasts a couple of weeks before the cunning plan is discovered and the nibbling begins. Not this little one though, it has avoided any unwelcome attention. As you can see by the “mulch” of licheny mossy stuff, it hasn’t been particularly well cared for. I do water it though. Sometimes.
On to Eschscholztia californica ‘Red Chief’ that has come through the winter similarly unscathed. It is the wet that is more likely to toll the death knell for the california poppies, rather than the cold. This one is planted on the edge of a wall and has fared well in its well-drained position. This is the first flower of the year and although it looks a little dishevelled is the same rich colour that I remember from last year.
A couple of years ago I rescued a pre-planted tufa container of alpines from the Death Row area of a garden centre. Although I was full of good intentions, I am sorry to say it was out of the frying pan into the fire as it has been ignored ever since. Today there are both a Lilliputian erodium and this bluest of blue lithodora flowering. Seriously, I don’t deserve this forgiveness. After I took this photo I half-heartedly pulled out some weeds and then forgot it again.
Now we have a wonderful fern that I bought last year called Pteris umbrosa. I was well aware at the time that it was tender, like many of my plants, and would need some extra winter protection, also like many of my plants. Unfortunately my ability to protect all these Softy Walters is lacking. A huddle together of pots, a drape of horticultural fleece, and for those small enough and special enough, room in the plastic greenhouse. When I eventually remembered to remove the fern from the frozen front of the house, this was placed in the “huddle and drape” category. It subsequently became a little singed (read “crispy”). A few weeks ago I repotted it and cut off all the fronds, whispered a few platitudes and for this pampering it has kindly rewarded me with some fabulous new fronds. Next winter I will do better. Possibly.
Lastly we have Geum ‘Blazing Sunset’ which I was surprised to find poking its head up above the surrounding vegetation. I was sure this had copped it last year, flowered itself to death, which I am sure is a fine way to go if you happen to be a geum. But I was wrong, and it has reappeared in all its glory, much to my joy, as I do love a geum.
There we have it, another six, another week. You have got to love a survivor!