Six on Saturday – November Cheer

I am determined to remain upbeat for this week’s Six on Saturday.   Apparently, according to a memo I received this week from our mentor The Prop, it is important that we keep our happy faces on, given all that is going on at the moment.  And, as we all know, what The Prop wants, The Prop gets.  This morning’s result didn’t help.  Then I heard the story of the South African captain, Siya Kolisi, and my disappointment turned to love and respect.  There is always something there, something to turn things round.  We just have to look a little closer.

Shall we kick off with the psychedelic partnership of Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ and Fuchsia hatschbachii.  Both were distinctly underwhelming earlier in the season.  The same can not be said for them now.  Planted in a collapsing half barrel in the frozen north, they get absolutely no direct sun now.  Do they care?  Not likely!

Next we have Jacaranda mimosifolia grown from Mallorcan seed.  It has had a good summer outside, growing well all things considered.  Last week I moved it to the waiting room, just outside the back door.  Soon it will be moved inside for a winter sojourn away from the elements, attempting to inflict a little class on the spider plants.

Onto nasturtium and friend.  I have reached the time of the year when I say “oh, bless its little cotton socks” rather than reaching for a brick.  This of course is very short sighted of me, they will return in droves to haunt me, punishing my soft heartedness.  You may have noticed by the attractive drops on the leaf that it is raining still.  On a day off I really don’t care.

Now an unknown penstemon, a cutting from a former client’s garden.  It has flowered all summer and is showing no sign of retiring from active duty.

The Lavandula pinnata has thrived this summer.  I really should have taken some cuttings but I didn’t so there is no point worrying now.  It is in a sunny, well drained spot, so the odds are stacked in its favour.  I may have just jinxed myself.

Finally, the exotic glamour of Impatiens flanaganae.  After a dramatic pause it has come into flower just in time to make number six.  Definitely worth the wait.

Not sure that was particularly cheery, but one does what one can, until the next time ….

 

 

Six on Saturday – Forlorn

Well Mr Prop you’ve really done it this time.  It has been my first day off for a while.  We have been away, dodging showers in Cornwall, and before that we had visitors to entertain, with more due next weekend.  How have I spent this glorious nugget of a free day?  Enjoying an aromatherapy massage, or perhaps brunching on avocado smashed onto spelt toast whilst perusing the weekend papers?  No, I have been wandering around my gardening in the pouring rain and howling gale trying to take photos for my Six on Saturday.  I am seriously annoyed.  And wet.  I will never forgive you.

I’m over it now.  All in the past.  I still admire you from afar.  Shall we get on?

First is a view out onto the courtyard from the relative dry and warm of my home.  I was contemplating.  I was revving myself up to venture forth.  No doubt I sighed a little.  You can see the green watering can that is too heavy for me to lug up the steps when it is full.  An anemic tomato plant, a stoically unflowering nerine and a few equally unfloriferous dahlias huddle on the step.  My pathetic greenhouse is flapping about like a demented seagull.   The ‘mind your own business’ is doing its utmost to treacherously smother the brick steps up to the main garden.  All is sog and forlorn.

I will try and cheer up as we proceed, but I can’t promise anything.  It might be a good idea to brace yourself for all eventualities.

Next is Solonum atropurpureum which is one of this year’s tranche of seed grown plants.  The decision to attempt to propagate this monster must have been made during a “what on earth was I thinking of” moment.  Alternative names are purple devil and malevolence so it is indeed surprising that I thought it would be a cuddly addition to the throng.  It is spiky and ugly and it is doing exceedingly well.

Now we have a bedraggled Dahlia australis and resident nibbler.  This plant was also grown from seed and turned out not to be the true species, a random bee must have snuck in with outsider pollen to the parent plant.  Still it is both pretty and reliable, two fine traits.  My dahlias have been dreadful this year, partly due to weather conditions and partly due to neglect.  Possibly in a ratio of 1:99.

Onto a depressed Rosa ‘Symphony in Blue’.  The first flush earlier in the summer was glorious.  Seems a little sad to see this battered shadow of its former self.   Time for it to have a sleep now and rest up until next year.

I have a confession, I have not one but two tibouchinas.  I say this tentatively as I’m a little worried that the Redistribution of the Tibouchina Party will come and liberate one of them.  But I need both, really, I do.  This is Tibouchina ‘Groovy Baby’, a diddy little shrub, but with flowers as large as its full-sized friend.  I would like a dress in this colour if anyone is feeling creative.

Lastly the delightful, Fuchsia ‘Bornemann’s Beste’.  This determined soul has thrived in the Bed of Anarchy, elbowing its way through the expanse of agapanthus and over exuberant salvias.  Sturdy and full of flower, it is a winner.

All done, until the next time, over and out.

 

 

Six on Saturday – Wet and Dry

My week panned out as follows: wet, dry, wet, slightly soggy, sunny.  It could have been worse.  I might have had a leak in both my boots and my waterproof trousers.   Luckily it was only one of the two.  Gardening has been done, but unfortunately none in my own garden.  Which possibly will not come as a surprise.  Still, it soldiers on.   And we have arrived, as is inevitable as all roads lead here, to Six on Saturday.   Undoubtedly other Six on Saturdayers are more in control of their own destiny.  To confirm this fact, The Propping Maestro’s site will reveal what a zillion other participants (fair and true without exception) have been up to.

Shall we begin with a humble beauty?  Humble is far from a bad thing.  We would benefit from much more.  I describe it as such as it is neither a rare exotic or challenging to grow.  It is a cosmos.  I was expecting another Seashell Mix but someone else turned up.  I don’t care.  I love it.

Next are a couple of canoodling New Guinea Impatiens.  These are favourites of mine, and although the flowers are prone to disfigurement, they make fine summer bedding for tricky places.

We have been battling a mystery climber, ensconced long before our arrival.  Its wicked tendrils swamping and strangling in a manner not conducive to friendly play.  Today, it revealed its true self.  Hops.  Strangely, I am now warming to it.

Now a single flower from the spike of Hedychium ‘Pradhanii’.  I will tell you it is an artistic shot.  The truth is the spike is rather haphazard and unimpressive.  This is its most photogenic side.  A diva must be placated.

Now Tithonia rotundiflora ‘Torch’ that has managed to push through the mob to show its lovely head.  Thank goodness for that.  I had wondered what had become of it.  Only in a slightly detached way, I never sent out a search party.

Finally Alyogyne huegelli.  Anyone got a clue how to say that?  Not me.  Grown from seed this year, it is rather lovely.

’til next time, my friends!

 

Six on Saturday – I’m Back

After a couple of weeks absent from Six on Saturday-ing (what do you mean you didn’t notice?), I am back in the loving arms of the SoS family.   You might imagine that whilst away I was undertaking exciting and adventurous exploits, about which you would be only half right.  Half of the time, not half of me.   For the uninitiated pop over to The Propagator’s blog where you will be able to find out exactly what you are missing.  You can then choose to either run for the hills or join in.   ps escape while you still are in control of your own destiny.  Let’s get on, there is fish curry to prepare!

First we have a marigold, Calendula ‘Neon’.   The garden has taken on a life of its own and I am just letting it get on with it.  I have relaxed into the anarchy.  This was planted at the base of the Forest Pansy and was nibbled and struggled through drought.  Still it give pleasures.  Respect.

Next we have Cosmos ‘Seashells Mix’, that has eventually got a move on and bothered to flower.  The seeds were either a freebie or in the bargain bin, as I wouldn’t normally have chosen this make and model.  However, I must admit I rather like its flounces.  Another plant is yet to open, but the buds suggest that it will be a dark pink – watch this space for the outcome!

The pack of assorted sempervivum’s I bought a few weeks ago, have eventually been potted up and just to prove that I didn’t copy Jim completely, I put them in a square seed pan.  Oh yes, and a round one which admittedly is the same …….  Never mind, as they say, immitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Now the glorious Salvia involucrata ‘Hadspen’.  And friend.   The flower looks rather random in its form, which is in part due to the angle of photography but also because it is a curiously beautiful creature.

Next a little tomato, hiding so a big gardener doesn’t eat it.  Failed!

Finally we have Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ which has rampaged through the border, terrorising all the other occupants.  It is forgiven because it has furry flowers.

That is it, all done, I’ll see you in the gloamin’!

 

Six on Saturday – Anarchy

I’m not very happy with my garden at the moment, and I’m sure the garden would say exactly the same about me.  I have once again slipped into a cycle of neglect – no dead heading, no slug watch, no bother.  And it shows.  Anarchy has ensued.  My Six on Saturday this week is a reflection on that state, some have overcome, some have suffered.  If you still haven’t caught on about the cause for world peace that is SoS, then check out The Propagator’s blog and he will tell you all about it and you can also indulge in stories from across the world.

First we have a success, Tibouchina urvilleana, which hasn’t turned a hair through assault by wind, rain and scorch.  The downy buds are almost as beautiful as the deep purple flowers, yet to come.

Next we have Dahlia ‘Candy Eyes’, another plant ear-marked for a client which never managed to escape my clutches.  Situated just outside the back door, it has still been victim of the dreaded molluscs and is fit to bust out of its pot.  Still I think we can look past a few nibbles and appreciate your pretty pink face, no need to hang your head.  I’ll repot you soon, promise.

In the world of mollusc gastronomy, gazanias appear to be the latest trend, the sought out delicacy.  All the cool snails in town are raving about it.  Not just any old part of the plant however, the petals are the most sought after, leaving unattractive stumps in their wake.  No wonder these two new blooms are staying firm shut, too dangerous to go out there!

This is part of the bronze fennel forest that is engulfing the back of one of my borders, squishing and squashing as it expands.  Strange, as the year before last I dug up every last piece.

Now for a plant that gets ten out of ten for fortitude.  This Dahlia coccinea was sheared off at the ground earlier in the year, before rising like a phoenix out of the ashes.  Just coming into bloom, a agapanthus fell on its head.  Some years are like that.

Lastly a fuchsia.  This lives in the front garden and has been subject to the most rigorous of storms over the last few weeks.  Who would have guessed it?

All done, until next time!

Six on Saturday – The Moment

August: ready or not here we come!  Soon there will talk of cool nights and shortening days, but let us not wish our lives away.  There is plenty of time left to fret about watering and dead heading and whether we have fed our tomatoes enough or are the slugs and snails attacking whilst I take five minutes to read The Garden magazine, was that an aphid I saw, should I have staked the delphiniums, and such like.  As the Six on Saturday rules stipulate, and you know me I like to follow any rules to the letter, the following photos represent what is happening in my garden right now, unless you are watching on demand when the moment may well have passed, or on crystal ball when it is possibly yet to happen.  Pop on over to our very own Grand Magician to catch up with other SoSers from across the known universe, enchanted by his evil spell, trapped in his web of deceit.  Sorry, I may have got a little carried away.  I love him really.

First we have what I like to call The Giant Mutant Orange Tomato.  It is the spawn of The Giant Mutant Fasciated Tomato Flower.   Soon we will dissect it to reveal its alien innards.

Already inspired by Jim’s post last week and further prompted by trays of sempervivum appearing at our local Lidl awaiting to be mistreated by uncaring employees, any resistance on my part was futile.   There was no doubt that it was a sign from the horticultural gods, and who am I, a mere mortal, to defy them. In order to doubly placate them, I bought two packs, just in case someone else I know would like some.  Spread the love and all that nonsense.  However I have decided that I am not going to tell anyone that I have them so I can keep them all.   Perhaps inspired by the horticultural demons.  But I have grit, I have compost, now all I have to do is plant them artistically.  Which is where it might all go astray.

I discovered something new today, and it is another name change.  This time it is our beloved hedge bindweed.  I may be late to the party, but apparently Convolvulus sepium is now Calystegia sepium.  Who would have thought it?  I was trying to photograph a bee feasting on the honeysuckle and as my camera swung in an attempt to capture it, horror of horrors it nipped into a bindweed flower.  A weed in my garden.  Unthinkable!

Kniphofia ‘Tawny King’ is planted in a position possibly a little too shady for optimum flowering, but in spite of that it is making a sterling effort.  Not terribly “tawny” at the moment, perhaps it will darken as it matures.

I bought plugs of this Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ months ago, the idea being that I grew them on and then passed them on to one of my clients.  They staggered along, one foot in the compost bin, for weeks, not good enough for anyone else.  I planted them in the barrel in the front garden and left them to it.  “Sink or swim” I told them, and they have eventually decided upon breast stroke.  I would have preferred front crawl.

Finally we have Grewia occidentalis, the African Starbush.  This beauty is not frost tolerant so will join the queue for preferential treatment come winter.  As we are not thinking about that just yet, living in the moment, we can just enjoy the fabulous flowers, of which there are many to come.

All done, until next time!