Six on Saturday – Time Travel

This week I have had to enlist the assistance of the time machine again, on loan from our very own Six on Saturday Time Lord, Dr Prop.  At this very moment in time I am not only here with you I am also up to high jinx on another planet, possibly indulging in age inappropriate dance moves and eating too many vol au vents.  Something like that anyway.

First we have an argyranthemum.  A new purchase and a lovely one too.   It is very likely that I have said this before, but I will tell you again just in case you have forgotten.  A few years ago, when I asked his esteened opinion, a very knowledgeable, finger on the pulse, RHS type of person said that argyranthemums were the way forward.  I quite agree.

On to the demon hybrid bluebell.  They are here.  They look very pretty.  We cannot blame them for that.

Next we have a hellebore stuck in Groundhog Day.  I don’t mind in the slightest, although I do hope it doesn’t exhaust itself.  I don’t want to be hearing excuses next year.

Next another new purchase, an osteospermum.   It wasn’t in flower when I bought it, but I took a chance.  I am a wild child.  Perhaps more accurately a wild woman a little past the first flush of youth.  No matter.  You know what they say, “faint heart never won fair Whirlygig”  (possibly).

Last weekend we had some visitors from the Big City.   As the planters at the front of the house were very “Winter into Spring shabby and not in the slightest bit chic” I decided to install “Summer into Autumn fresh and unsullied by neither time nor mollusc”.  I think they were fooled into thinking I keep a tidy garden.  One of the newbies is this Bidens ferulifolia.  This lovely is everything a bedding plant should be, bright, floriferous with the possibility of surviving the winter to give us more joy next year.

And bringing up the rear is a mini cheat.  This tulip is not in my garden, nor was it ever.  However over the last few weeks I have greatly enjoyed the glorious rise and fall of the blooms.  Slowly transforming from tender young buds to silken brazen hussies.  Just wonderful.

There we have it, another six.  And don’t forget, if you need to borrow the time machine, just contact Dr Prop and he will put you on the waiting list.  It comes in extremely useful sometimes.

Six on Saturday – Mind Control

Until about an hour ago I was definitely not going to partake in Six on Saturday today.  I was strong.  I was recalcitrant.  I would not be bowed.  Exactly who does that Propagator chappy think he is anyway?  Controlling my Saturdays, forcing me to go outside into the big outdoors, rummaging around in my garden for worthy subjects, ruminating for hours to pick just the perfect words for a blog when I would much rather be lying on the chaise longue eating Monster Munch and watching reruns of The Dukes of Hazard.  Then I was reminded why.  The chip, which had been implanted when I was initiated into this strange cult, started tingling ominously.  And I knew just what this meant.  It was a warning from the Main Man that any further defiance would warrant a turn of the switch with my name on to Teach Her a Lesson.  For that reason I am very pleased to present my Six on Saturday, with a song in my heart and a skip in my step.

First of all we have a pretty pink aquilegia.  Yes, the march of the granny’s bonnets has begun.  Each year I vow to rid myself of them before they re-seed in every nook and cranny, pot and planter.  Each year I fail.  Until now of course.  This year will be the year that I tame the onslaught.

Now we have the flower buds of Libertia grandiflora.  With a following wind these should be in full bloom by next week, but I rather like the honeyed casing, looking more like a plump grain spike than a member of the lily family.

Earlier in the week I did a little shopping, of the horticultural variety.  Some things were for others, some for us.   One of the new addition is this purple sage, a replacement for the bog standard green variety that perished over the winter.  It is now planted up in a special terracotta pot, purchased from Fish Pye Pottery in St Ives, and is situated just outside the back door for easy access whenever I need some sage.  Which to be honest has, so far in my life, been a rare event.  Of course this might change now I have this lovely specimen.

Another purchase was a few lobelia and a tray of petunias.  The only problem is that I have nowhere to put them yet.   Those pesky primroses keep flowering and flowering and flowering and flowering.   What a fabulous problem to have.

Now an emerging rodgersia leaf.  This plant is in a pot and although I try my hardest to keep it well watered it isn’t very happy.  On days when it looks particularly sad I whisper “when we move to my fantasy garden you will have all the damp shade your heart could desire and you can relax into a humus rich soil on the banks of a cool stream and spread your leaves in joy.”  I did notice that for the first time a flower spike is forming.

And finally the Pelargonium cordifolium var. rubrocinctum is completely forgiven for its pretentious name.   Anyone with a heart ……

All done.  Back to the Monster Munch.

Just a thought.  If anyone from Monster Munch Inc is reading this, I will happily take a large box of pickle onion flavour in lieu of any sponsorship money.  I mean if Mr K has his Haribo ……….

Six on Saturday – Stormzy and Soggzy

Of course it was too good to be true.  Last week was the intruder, the uninvited guest who agitated the party, whipping up the mob, charming us into believing we could have better.  But we can’t.  This is the south-west of the UK.  It rains.  It blows.  We have residual webbed feet.   I should have known better than to raise my hopes.  But I did.  Now everything is back to type and I feel disappointed.  Which is why I am here, far too early for a Saturday morning, on the set of Carry on Screaming.  The wind outside is making ridiculously clichéd sound effects, sleep is impossible.

But let us not descend into melancholia, this blip is nothing that a bit of Six on Saturday can’t sort out.  This cure-all is distributed by Dr Prop, medicine man and snake oil supplier to the stars.  If you dare, pop over and see what it’s all about.

To begin we have apple blossom, of which there is an embarrassment this year.  Or should I say was?  I am wondering how much will remain after these gales.   Still, we rarely eat the fruit these tiny twisted trees produce.  The jackdaws will be remiss, they love their autumn apples.

Next we have a surprise, to me anyway.  As the label had been stolen by the fairies/broken/never existed I was under the illusion that in this pot lurked a bizarre root vegetable I had bought from Lidl a couple of years ago.  Apparently not.  I believe I can say without contradiction that it is a fuchsia.  Then it all came flooding back.  It is Fuchsia jantasensis and it has been languishing for a few years not doing anything of merit, definitely not flowering.   I can quite honestly say that it was not worth the wait.  Apparently it is quite variable in form.  Not sure this is its best incarnation.  The pollen looks like broken biscuits which is rather sad.

Now for a something with a little more potential. Osteospermum ‘JK’ is just about to come into flower.  Dependable, weed smothering, bright and beautiful.  Sound like anyone we know?

What now?  Oh yes, strawberry flowers.  Shall we take a moment?  I think we need it.  Imagine a sun-warmed plump strawberry, plucked straight from the plant in all its virgin glory, at best wiped on the leg of your shorts to remove any slug slime, sweet and fragrant.  Better have another one.   Fabulous.  That feels much better.

The photo is a bit blurry because it was raining when I took the photo, and the wind had already begun its torment.  The things I do for you!

This little tulip, Tulipa batalinii, was bought at Marwood Hill Gardens a couple of weeks ago.  One pot for me, one pot for my friend.  For some reason we thought they would be bright red, possibly because this is what we wanted and somehow by wanting them to be that colour it would materialise.  Wrong again.  This flower has been wide open and has now quite sensibly decided that the better part of valour is discretion.    It is rather pretty, with its green tinged edge.  But definitely not red.

A few years ago I saw a truly gob smackingly amazing lily on the television which went straight to the top of the Lust List, Lilium ‘Forever Susan’.   Deepest mahogany petals, the tips of which are orange, as if someone has held onto the ends as each were individually dipped.   When I spotted a pack in a garden centre I was very excited.  When I came to plant them I realised that they were Forever Linda and not Forever Susan.  Close, but not close enough.  Nice, but not nice enough.  I mustn’t muddy my love.

There we have it, another week completed.  Stay safe.  Remember the strawberries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six on Saturday – Bunnies

Happy Six on Saturday Easter!  Or should that be Happy Easter Six on Saturday?  Whichever, I hope your Easter is a good one, whether or not you partake in this weekly rite.  Not sure what I am on about?  Nothing new there then.  It may all become a little clearer if you visit The Easter Bunny of Propdom’s site.  He will explain, and while you are there you can find out what all the other bunnies have been up to.

Shall we begin with a fat green caterpillar looking splendid in the magnificent blue bowl of Anemone coronaria ‘Bordeaux’, featured previously.   If we don’t allow caterpillars then there will be no butterflies or moths.  As I have discovered this week, the human species inflict more damage on my plants and aren’t half as pretty.   It is good to share sometimes.

Next we have the Cappadocian navelwort, Omphalodes cappadocica.  Such a pretty plant, a blue of the angels.  I half-inched this piece from Lady Mantle’s estate when she otherwise engaged (on her gin break).  As I was already nailed for the theft of one plant I thought I might as well go for broke and take another.  Although the wanted poster is rather fetching likeness, I consider 30 bob and half a corned beef sandwich a rather insulting reward for my apprehension.

On to Dodecatheon meadia, the shooting star.  It is just coming into bloom and each year charms me with its downward pointing dart-like flowers.   At the moment it is growing in a pot, which is not ideal but means I can bring it in and out of the spotlight as warranted.  Now it is in prime place, as it deserves.

Next another emerging Woolies acer.  In the last few weeks I have been systematically ….. hang on a minute who I am trying to kid, that is absolutely nonsense, I have never been systematic in my entire life……. I have been randomly potting up and on, renewing compost and feeding all the permanent pot residents.   They thank me for this spring clean and renourishment.

Bleeding heart, bleeding wonderful.

Finally my cunning tulip plan of the autumn, to pack Tulipa ‘Orange Emperor’ and Tulipa ‘Purple Prince’ into the Belfast sink, has finally come to fruition.  Admittedly there are more earth shattering innovations, but on a cold November weekend it seemed pretty avant garde.   The crowd were on the edge of their seat for a while when the purples flowered and the oranges were a no-show, but eventually everyone caught up and it is now looking splendid.  A happy ending.  Just as it should be.

Happy hopping everyone!

 

Carnage

Another day, another company, another courier.

Today I will try to salvage the poor lupins that were crushed into an undersized box and left to their fate.   Replacements are apparently now on their way, but still I despair.

Is it me?

Six on Saturday – Watches

Snake's head fritillery

This may be rushed.  Again.  I’ll tell you why.

The strap on one of my watches came apart so I asked OH, AKA Glue Monitor, to fix it for me.  I don’t have many watches, just three.  You may think that is a lot.  I suppose you only really need one.  My three perform different roles in my life, apart from telling the time, that is.  One is a work watch, it has a large dial so I know when it is coffee time without putting my specs on and I can press my nose to my client’s window and dribble as way of a hint.  It was also embarrassingly cheap so it doesn’t matter too much if I compost it by mistake.  My second watch is my goth watch, a black-faced, black strapped Swatch, for my moody moments which are few but intense.  My third is a Fossil watch, bought in an outlet store for a fraction of the retail price and is my favourite.  It is my favourite because it has embroidered flowers on the strap.  It was this very strap that needed mending.  Anyone still awake?  The fact is this watch was still resident at the in-house menders meaning that it didn’t spring forward last weekend with the rest of the timepieces in the house.  And today I have been wearing that very same, now fixed, watch.  Which means that all day I have been running on Greenwich Mean Time instead of British Summer Time.  This in turn means I have one less hour than I thought to cram all the things I had earmarked to do this afternoon before cocktail hour.   I know another excuse.  At least I have turned up.  And our very own Time Lord, The Propmaster,  won’t need a lie down as he does on the rare occasions that I’m early.

Less wittering more plants!  Firstly we have a not quite open snake’s head fritillary, Fritillaria meleagris.  These play “will they, won’t they” each year and then seemingly over night, and usually a little nibbled, they appear.  When I say “they” I mean three.  They never seem to multiple like you hear in fairytales.

Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’

Next is a great joy to me, the strong and healthy roots of the most wonderful and doomy Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’ or the black willow .  These cuttings were sent to me by my friend Chloris after I admired the puma paws of one in her garden.  They have been sitting in a cup of water for a couple of weeks and voilà.   Read more about it here: The Blooming Garden – Six on Saturday 2nd March.   When admiring this willow I shall be wearing my black Swatch.

Now it is time for a fat and hairy potato sprout.  You may well remember, as I am prone to over-sharing about my personal life, that every year I buy OH some chitting potatoes for either his birthday or Valentine’s Day.   I usually buy Rocket, but for a change I thought this time he could try Charlotte.  I’m wild like that.  Each year he plants them and tends to them in a completely different way as to how I would do it.  But they are his.  I will not interfere.  I will not even give my opinion, I have tried before and it has fallen on stony ground.  But it is wrong.   Unfortunately it works.

acer

What next?  Oh yes, the fresh young leaves of one of our acers.   A little burnt by the wind, but all the same a beautiful sight.   All our Japanese maples are named Woolworth, as it is here that we bought them, many moon ago, and very well they have served us too.  I still miss Woolworths.

blueberry

On to blueberry flowers, blushing bells all primed to provide a handful of fruit for a summer treat.

Dahlia 'Peggy's Pearler'

Lastly, I am pleased to announce that Peggy is back!  Has she arrived in South Wales yet Mr K? For any of you who don’t know who Peggy is and why I should be so excited at her return, then you can find out all about it here: It Is All In The Name.

All done, double checked my numbers, and I’m all linked out.  I cannot linger, that Moscow Mule won’t drink itself!

 

 

 

 

Six on Saturday – Sun God

Anemone 'Bordeaux'

I am expecting great things from our band of SoSers this week.  Specifically the UK department.  Unfortunately we must exclude residents of the subgroup The Western Isles.   Something very strange has happened.  IT HASN’T RAINED FOR A WHOLE WEEK, NOT AT ALL, NOT ONE DROP!   If you find this hard to believe, and I wouldn’t blame you, pop over to our very own Sun God Prop’s site and read all about it yourself.  And at the same time you can console any contributors from Stornoway where there is aways a rain cloud lurking.  I possibly exaggerate.

To begin with we have Anemone coronaria ‘Bordeaux’.   I planted these in the same pot as Hedychium ‘Pradhani’ once it had died down for the season.   Succession planting, extremely grown up.  Little did I know quite how wonderful the blooms would be.  The first blue bossed, deepest burgundy flower literally stopped me in my tracks when I spotted it earlier in the week.

Next we have a crocus with its violet veins on the palest lilac background.   It has a name.  It is a secret.

bud

Now the new foliage of one of our apple trees.   Look at the vibrant lime green leafettes with the softest indumentum, everything at this time of year begs close examination and praise.  Come on apple tree do your best or I will chop you down!

On to Pelargonium cordifolium var. rubrocinctum which has spent the winter outside tucked in a corner, with the barest wisp of a covering when absolutely undeniable.   Flowers are on the way, along with some new leaves.   Much tougher (apparently) than you would imagine.

What lies beneath?  When I tipped Potentilla ‘Brohna’ out of her pot to settle into the garden, I found that the base was being used as doss house for all manner and size of slugs.  They hadn’t nibbled this plant but I imagine they nipped out at night for general rabble rousing and munching away from their own doorstep.  Do not fear, they will nibble no more.

Lastly Tulipa ‘Blue Diamond’.  How the mighty have fallen!  It wasn’t long ago that I was coo-cooing over this tulip, it had prime position outside the back door, and its every wish was catered for.  Now it is languishing up by the barely standing shed, the pot overtaken by oregano and residence of the horse’s head.  It is still not blue, but it was forgiven for this misdemeanour a long time ago. Exile was harsh punishment.

All done for another week, may the sun continue to warm our hearts.