Six on Saturday – Newbies

This week my Six on Saturday is going to feature New Kids on the Block.  I hope you won’t too disappointed to discover I am not talking about the 1980’s boy band but newbies in my garden.  Some are very recent acquisitions, fresh out of their wrappings, some have been in town a little longer but are just getting around to flowering.  All are giving me great joy at the moment.  Sorry?  You don’t know what Six on Saturday is all about?  Well you better pop straight on over to our leader The Propagator’s site and all will be revealed.  If you can’t be bothered, just try to keep up.  Mind you, I would recommend a visit to El Prop, you can see what others are up to and the rules of the game and other such frippery.  I will leave it up to you and your conscience.  Shall we proceed.

First Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Marvel’ rescued from a bargain bin during a convenient garden centre stop off on the way to visit my Mum last week.  He did not come alone.   It was a bumper harvest, and although some of my crammed car of rescuees were destined for clients this was always going to be mine, mine, mine.  It is indeed blue and marvellous.

Now for the beautiful Dahlia ‘Bishop of York’.  This was purchased earlier in the season in a “grab all you can bulb and tuber sale”.  Well that is how I read it anyway.  Initially destined for another garden, it didn’t quite make it, clinging on here by its roots crying “please keep me, I will flower well for you and you will grow to love me”.  How could I resist.  Although there are full blooms, I rather liked the way this one is partially open.  And I do love it.

Next my garlic harvest, much better than I thought it would be, laid out totally randomly to dry on our courtyard bench.  The breed is Dario, which I haven’t tried before, and I’m very happy with it.  Mine you, the proof is in the eating/vampire repelling.

I have had Dierama ‘Kilmurry White’ in the garden since sometime last year and I can’t even remember buying it.  All I do know is that again it was a bargain.  It is a wonderful pure white, and backed by the deep purple penstemon, looks a picture.

This Begonia fuchsioides was a travelling companion with the blue salvia and, considering how brittle it is, came home remarkably unscathed.  It is a plant I have read about, and might even be on one of my many Lust Lists dotted around the kingdom.  The only downside is that it is another Tender Trevor when I should really be buying Robust Roberts.  Hey ho!

Lastly, and off the scale of loveliness, is Roscoea purpurea ‘Wisley Amethyst’.   Grown in a pot, safe from the rough and tumble of the border, it is just as beautiful as I was hoping it would be.  Long may it live.

That is it, all done.  Until next time ….

 

 

Six on Saturday – Regime

Saturday is flying away and I can’t keep up.  Unfortunately my usual weekend regime: dawntide 10k run followed by toasted quinoa breakfast with a quick scan of Plato’s Symposium, then a brisk hike up the Matterhorn, fitting in a visit to the local nursery on the descent and some hands on gardening when reaching home base, has meant that I have only just got around to writing my Six on Saturday.  Oh, hang on a minute, I think I might be getting myself mixed up with our guru The Dalai Propa.  My truth is that we went to Lidl and then on to ‘Spoons for a large glass of red and some chunky chips.  Never mind, I am here now.  It is Saturday and I have Six.  Which, if I have interpreted the rules correctly, is all that is required.

Strawberries is a great place to start.  Some have been munched already, which is fine.  But not by me, which is not.  I have picked a few to ripen fully indoors to foil the little slimy blighters.

Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is flowering well, and not yet complaining for her pot restraints.  Obviously not blue in even the widest sense of the word, but I do love this colour, a mauvish grey perhaps?  The white stripes are also nice, but possibly indicate impending doom or nunglewurzles or even Serengeti fever.

Our shopping list today included beer, limes and donut peaches.  We came home with all of the above plus Aloysia citrodora, Lemon Verbena, and an Arts and Crafts sideboard.  These things happen.

Continuing in the herbalistic vein, is a beautifully variegated mint snuggling up to Viola ‘Molly Sanderson’.  The mint came from Mrs Bun.  It was very late on parade and we wondered if it had died “but you can’t kill mint!” we said.  Then, giggling I believe, it popped up everywhere. This is a little that was destined for the green bin.  Needless to say, it is corseted in a pot.  Its name is out there somewhere.

Now we have Glumicalyx nutans bought last year at RHS Rosemoor’s garden show.  I must hold my hand up and admit it was partly bought for its name, although I am very pleased that I did.  It is now planted by the side of the steps, so we can look up into the wonderful pendulous rusty orange flowers.

And lastly the lily that wasn’t the lily that I wanted.  It is forgiven.

All done, all dusted.  Until next time!

 

 

Six on Saturday – Downhill

Well it seems that is it.  The solstice has passed and we are now on the slippery slope to winter.   Passed in a jiffy didn’t it?   Here is my midsummer Six on Saturday.  And perversely it actually looks like a summer’s day out there.   It is where I should be, not here at my desk.   As my heart is elsewhere, to be on the safe side, we should proceed with great haste.  I’m sure our mentor The Prop is not sitting at his computer wasting sunlight hours thinking of things to say to his flock.  He will be prepared and have done all this silly writing stuff ages ago and at this very moment be hard at work in his garden.  Not me.  Not organised at all.  If we get on I might be able to steal a few moments of pottering later.

Here we are, my first photo, Simon the poppy.   Simon was trampled on by steel toe-capped builders and scaffolders until I pointed him out in the nicest possible way and asked them to try their very bestest to avoid stomping on his head again.  They did their best and here he is blooming well to tell the tale.  I do love a good red poppy and Simon is one of the best.

In my little garden I don’t have the benefit of potting shed or proper greenhouse.  When I do any potting up, pricking out or some such fiddlings, I sit on the bottom step of the set towards the top of the garden with my compost, pots and the “to be sorted” arranged about me.  I then settle down with a nice cup of coffee, which in matter of moments has compost floating on the top, and enter my own little world.   It was then that I noticed this chap on a Salvia elegans, possibly the diddiest grasshopper in the world.  Splendid antennae though.

Next Allium aflatunense ‘Purple Sensation’ which isn’t in the slightest bit sensational.    Perhaps it has a good excuse in failing to reach more than 20cm high.   They were planted late, they have been stood on (see above) and dug up by mistake (hangs head in shame).   Next year they will be wonderful, I can feel it in my bones.

A lovely surprise yesterday was to find that Peggy was flowering, albeit in a rather dishevelled way.  Like pancakes, the first dahlia flower is always a little bit dubious.

Next we have a horrid invasive geranium, it annoys me constantly by its continual march across the garden, swamping and strangling all that it passes.  Then the sun catches the veined indigo flowers and I am once more smitten.

Lastly the disgraceful sight of Big Ted after a night out on the tiles.   He has been severely reprimanded and is on house arrest for the foreseeable future.

All done, now let me out into the garden ……….

 

Six on Saturday – After the Rain

Flaming June was flaming wet yesterday.   It made Tuesday, when Rain Stopped Play if you recall, seem like a jaunt in the Gobi.  Today it has cleared, pushed onwards for the moment by bullying winds.   This has meant that although taking photos for my Six on Saturday has been a dry affair, it has not been without jeopardy.   In order to impress my Svengali, The Propmeister, I have battled through the gale to bring this Six to you.  And I only fell over once.  Which to be honest is good going on a non-windy day.  Shall we get this show on the road?

It could be the year of the geum, they seem to be very popular at the moment.  And for very good reason, to my mind they are invaluable in the garden.  This one is Geum ‘Prinses Juliana’ which is more delicate in form and fiery in hue than ‘Totally Tangerine’.  I bought ‘TT’ as a gift for Mrs Bun. She had expressed an interest in it so I treated her.  A couple of weeks ago she declared that she no longer wanted it.  “You mean the plant that I so kindly bought you as a present last year?” “Oh, did you?”  *sigh* “but it has grown too big for that position and I haven’t anywhere for it to go” *a lone tear trickled down my cheek* “are you sure that is the one you bought me?” *falls on the floor in a swoon*.  It is now planted in my garden.  Once we have recovered from the disappointment/rejection I will share a photo with you.

Next we have a crazy tomato plant.  This variety is called Big Orange from Martin at Sampford Shrubs, a pithy name if ever there was one.   It has lost its leader, which I vehemently deny removing by accident, but will be replaced by a shoot coming from the base.  It has also produced, alongside some very sensible if not rather buxom flowers, a giant possibly fasciated monster bloom.  I am blaming an incident involving radiation and Br…., oops almost said it!

Now a candelabra primula in a pot.   It seems to be coping quite well with this arrangement and I am sure enjoyed the dousing it had yesterday.  This is a “one day when I have a large garden I will find the perfect place for it” plant.  I am ever hopeful.

This is the first flower on the double osteo, which is possibly called ‘Double Berry Purple’.    Probably featured in a SoS before, but definitely worthy of a repeat.  The idea did spring into my devious head that I could just repost from the same time last year and see if anyone noticed.    But where would be the fun in that?!  Mind you, in an emergency SoSituation …….

You can’t beat a bit of fine foliage, which is just as well as this is the principle reason for growing Persicaria filiformis.   The pale green leaves have blood-red heart monitor lines chevroning across the width.   The delicate red flowers which are held on wiry stems, need to be observed close up and definitely with your specs on to be fully appreciated.

Lastly we have Phlomis fruticosa, which has been (and continues to be) beaten severely by the worst of the weather.  Apart from the odd frazzled leaf, it takes it on the chin, often bending into full blown Matrix positions and bouncing back just as well as Keanu Reeves ever did.   A trooper, and an important member of our horticultural family.

All done for another week, now that wasn’t too painful was it?  Don’t forget to take a look at what the rest of the SoSers are up to over on The Prop’s site.  Until we meet again!

Six on Saturday – I’m a Survivor

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!

 

Six on Saturday – Small but Pefectly Formed, Mainly

We are fair motoring through May.  I have an inkling we may be surpassing the speed limit.  It is hard to believe that already this is the last Six on Saturday for the month.  Whoever is in charge of time monitoring could they please slow it down a little?  There is an awful lot to do before summer begins.   Someone who is never to busy to herd us SoSers into some kind of order is The Propmiester, pop over to his site and you will find out what, where and how from across the known universe.

Shall we begin with a newcomer to the fold, Viola ‘Molly Sanderson’.  She arrived at Chez Nous with last week’s osteospermum and argyranthemum.  My plan was to trickle in these purchases so you wouldn’t judge me as someone with a minusule garden who keeps sowing seeds and taking cuttings and can’t be trusted to leave the house for a loaf of bread without coming home with a new plant.  This viola is an irresistible wonder.  A black hole of a flower, with a smidgeon of indigo ringed yellow at the epi-centre, drawing you ever inwards to your doom.  Perhaps not doom, more likely some delicious nectar and a truck load of pollen, if that is your tipple.

Unlike its hirsute cousins (and to be honest who doesn’t have one lurking somewhere in the family) this Iris sibirica is tall and elegant and understated.  The Salvia gesneriiflora photobombing the shot hasn’t stopped flowering since February and is getting bigger and flowerier (yes that is a word) by the day.  We won’t let its exuberance overshadow the restrained beauty of the iris.  Keep your eyes central everyone!

It is rhodohypoxis time again.  This might sound a little like an embarrassing medical condition but in reality refers to these alpine iced gems.  Somehow three varieties got mixed up and the garden demons stole their labels.  Therefore they are known as an assortment of loveliness.  It is my party.

On to Viola sororia ‘Freckles’ which found its way into my shopping bag last year.  It is the first time it has flowered for me and although very attractive I have a feeling it has yet to get into its stride.   Perhaps the dry weather is upsetting it (I am loathe to say drought just yet).

I grew this adorable Aquilegia canadensis from seed and the first flower is just beginning to unfurl.  Compared to the other self-seeding thugs that dominate our garden, albeit beautifully, at the moment, it is a breath of delicately fresh air.

Unlike Aquilegia ‘Egg’ which was also grown from seed.  This brassy number is bold and brash and shouts a whole lot louder than any other columbines in the vicinity.  I expect you can hear it from where you are.  It is called Egg because the seed was harvested at the farm where we get our eggs.  I suppose it was lucky it wasn’t called Chicken.

There we have it, another six done and dusted.  Next stop June!

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.