Six on Saturday

I was all revved up for a Six a couple of weeks ago, in fact I had the photos lined up and scripts imagined. Then disaster struck and I had fisticuffs with my computer, which didn’t end well for me. We have since made friends (tentatively) and I am determined to join the throng this week. I considered using the same pre-trauma photos, but they were rather dull and I thought, perhaps that crotchety old computer knew best after all. Here are six brand-spanking new ones, which although not earth-shatteringly exciting, are hopefully not mind-numbingly boring. “What is she on about?” I hear the uninitiated wail. Well my lovelies, I’m talking about Six on Saturday, the “free to enter impossible to leave” meme hosted by our very own Games Master. Follow the link and all will be revealed, along with the exploits of many other participants, mostly wearing lycra. Shall we proceed?

First, we have a primrose, one that has featured in a previous blog. My thinking is that if I can’t remember what I said about it, you won’t either. This primula is growing between the stones of a wall in the back garden beds. It is not a colour that I would generally warm to. What would you call it? Anaemic pink with the saving grace of a butter yellow centre, perhaps? Still, in spite of myself, I love it.

Next, is the emerging leaf of a tortured hellebore. Last year I bought three Harvington hellebores and duly potted them up for planting out later. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the compost that I used for this and many other things last year. Some of you will know which one I am referring to. The poor plants struggled and gallantly held onto life. Last week I emptied each pot, carefully removing as much of the evil concoction from the roots as possible, and repotted using new compost. And look! This one is Double Lilac Speckled. I have great hopes.

This is more my kind of colour; no holds barred, in your face orange. Quite how this little viola has escaped the ravages of storm and snail is a mystery. Not that I’m complaining. Now is your time little violet!

Onto the challengingly named Pseudopanax lessonii ‘Moa’s Toes’ looking fabulous in the small sunny respite this afternoon. The new foliage is charmingly crimson (was that too horridly alliterative?). The cultivar name refers to the leaf’s similarity to the foot of the New Zealand Moa. Never having met such a bird (yet), I cannot confirm whether this is indeed true. But I think a couple of my SoS pals might know the answer.

It is tricky to explain why certain plants make your heart skip a beat, and I certainly don’t have the words, but this is one that gets my pulse racing to unnecessary rates. Here we have the almost open flower of Fritallaria meleagris, the snakes head fritillary. This is not a rare plant, easy enough to grow and widely available, but for me has an element of mystique and intrigue that is beguiling. It is also vulnerable to mollusc munching, so appreciate it whilst you can.

“Tarquin!” I exclaimed in horror “there seems to be an olive languishing in the front garden, do you have any idea how it might have got there?”. Without raising his head from the joys of Cave Diving for Beginners he said “Probably dropped by a passing seagull”. To be honest, your guess is as good as mine.

Take care my friends, until the next time!

41 thoughts on “Six on Saturday

  1. So glad you knocked sense I to that old computer. I was missing your six. I’d wonder about the charningly crimson cultivar…. Can’t help with the Moa mystery nor the olive. I suspect they are unconnected.

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  2. Snakes Head Fritillary does the same for me, particularly when growing in the wild. You’ve reminded me that I have yet to plant new clumps in this garden. A clump or two of the ferns may need to be put up for adoption. They have actually been spoken for and waiting for a couple more weeks, when we are able to move about, to be delivered to it new garden. As for the Olive, it may well be yours, just how much did you have to drink?

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  3. Fritillaria already !Mine are still into the ground… Concerning the olive, are you sure that it isn’t your husband who wanted a cocktail like James Bond and who got rid of the olive? (A vodka martini with olives) 😂

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  4. The fritillaria is indeed very lovely. Well done for reviving the hellebore. I also purchased a lilac speckled and a couple of others which just went from bad to worse. I don’t recall the compost I used, but it is possible the same one was to blame. Since it still has one (diseased) leaf in evidence I might try digging it up and replanting it. I don’t think it could do any worse.

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  5. The compost incident was before my SOS initiation, but I feel quite proud to have worked out which one it is with the help of One Man’s cryptic clue. What did they put in it? Poison? I have new hellebores, so am anxious for them, but anyway we don’t have that compost here. Love that vibrant orange viola too btw.

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  6. I am so pleased that my snakes head fritillary are re-appearing, though goodness knows how they feel about this appalling weather. Hopefully there will still be some left after the weekend. Your olive and Jim’s response made me LOL 🤣

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  7. I quite like the primrose. I know what you mean about the colour of it, but it’s still rather cheery!

    On the subject of the olive, I once saw a crow fly past our house with an entire sandwich in it’s mouth. They get up to all sorts, those crows; I wouldn’t put a spot of olive-based shenanigans past them.

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  8. Poor old moas have been a long time extinct, but there’s a reconstruction of one in Auckland museum, and your plant does resemble the toe, albeit it somewhat flatter.
    Loved the olive and Jim’s reply. And loved the fritillary as well.

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  9. Is an olive so bad? Well, it is strange that it seems to be a cured olive. Those do not exactly grow on trees. There were only a few olive orchards in the western part of the Santa Clara Valley. (Almost all orchards were of stone fruits, with a few of walnuts.) Most olives were Spanish olives grown for oil. However, there were a few Greek olives that were some of the oldest orchard trees around, and some are still there, even after the whole region became urban.


  10. I was going to say what upmarket hooligans you have, I just get crisp packets and dog poo as presents in my front garden. I love that Pseudopanax, I think I am going to have to look out for that. Is is it quite hardy? I have Pseudopanax ‘Sabre’ and I dig it up and put it in the greenhouse each winter but it is getting a bit big for that treatment.


  11. Ah ha! I’ve not used that compost. All power to the new compost for continued impetus for the hellebores. And like Fred, I am saying ‘what fritillaries already in flower!’ They are just in bud here, and yes they are gorgeous. I dug up a shipman’s fish/meat paste pot last week! Not quite so stylish as the olive 🙂

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  12. I hope the Hellebores respond well to all your efforts. I have also had bad luck with some potting mixes, and I only use the one type I know will work. The viola is vibrant, and the Mao toes is unusual. I like the colour of those leaves too. Love the Fritillaria bud!

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