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!

Six on Saturday – Right Place/Wrong Place

After my week’s respite from Sixing I am feeling energised and inspired.  Not really.  I thought that if I typed that it would become the truth, but no, it didn’t work.  The week has been draining, but on the whole great fun.  No doubt some of you will also have had to endure/enjoy above average temperatures that inevitably wilts us Brits and suffer the relentless horseflies that pursue gardeners for sport.   Still I will do my best for you and most especially for The Most Worshipful and Esteemed Propagator who never shirks his responsibilities and is relentless in his pursuit of the perfect Six on Saturday.  Let us begin.

First, we have Leucanthemum ‘Engelina’, a shasta daisy.  Unfortunately, the Head Gardener (me) thought it would grow a little taller than it has and its beauty is hidden by a more vigorous salvia in front.  It doesn’t seem to have done it any harm, we can live with a little leaf nibblage.   For the meantime I will excuse this error by considering it a lovely surprise to come across when rummaging around in the border.

Next a eucomis, full name unknown.  It was a bit of a surprise when it appeared.   I don’t remember ever acquiring one, by fair or foul means.  It seems to have made itself at home all by itself.  No complaints though, I am always open to those kind of unexpected events.

Onto Nemesia ‘Myrtille’, bought during my bargain bin extravaganza a few weeks ago.  It, and its scarlet mate, are filling spaces in my Belfast sink planter in the front garden.   Someone (yes, I’m looking at you Mr Mollusc) decimated my gorgeous red bedding verbena, which I believe are now called glandularia.  I know, sounds like a tropical disease.  The culprit has never been found although the case is not yet closed.  The ver… glandularia are now in a safe place, we are keeping their exact location secret for security reasons.

Last year I bought Lycianthes rantonnetii as a mere stripling, but before the season was out it had shot up to 2m.  In the spring it was moved to a more appropriate place.  It didn’t turn a hair and is now flowering beautifully and growing splendidly.   Result.  If only life was always so simple.

Earlier in the week Mrs Bun asked me to chop the lavender outside the Garden Room.  As it was headed for the compost heap I offered to take it off her hands.  At the moment it is drying outside in the sunshine.   Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time.

When I visited Marwood Hill Gardens a couple of weeks ago, the wonderful Malcolm gifted me this Impatiens arguta ‘Alba’.  Yesterday I noticed that it had started to flower.  Fabulous.  A wonderful present.

That is it, all done.  Until next time!

Not The Six on Saturday

Today I am severely pushed for time, unable to spend the hours of careful consideration and agonising heartache I would normal suffer for a Six on Saturday.   I did however want to share just one photo with you.  The moment will have passed by next week and although I could pretend the omniscient Prop would undoubtedly find me out.

Here we have it, Gladiolus papilio ‘Ruby’ snuggling up to an agapanthus.