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.

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 – Platinum

This might take some time.  I’m writing this week’s Six on Saturday on my Mum’s gas powered laptop.  It has languished forgotten in the cupboard since 1836 when she upgraded to a solar paneled tablet.  Once we had located the cranking handle (filed under archaic miscellany) and turned it over a few times it started up surprisingly easily.  And it is working very well.  As long as you are of the opinion that speed is an over-rated phenomenum.  The point, that I will hopefully reach before you all nod off,  is that I think this devotion to duty deserves a gold star on Mister Prop’s progress chart.  The reason being as follows:  a) location, b) content c) inclination.  At the moment I am in a different country to the one that my garden is located.  I have once again left OH home alone to the horror that ensues when I leave, that is peace and quiet and no backchat.  b)  Necessity has led me to utilize Clause 567, Subsection 34a in the Six on Saturday Constitution.  All the following plants were in my garden at some point but are are now in Max’s.  All were grown from seed.  c)  Driving on the M4 westward on a Friday afternoon to spend the weekend doing Peggy’s garden has left me a gibbering wreck.   However I have summoned all my inner strength and, aided by some thinly veiled threats by my mother, I have managed to complete my task.  On reflection this might warrant the platinum award.  What do you think?  After all that gibbering I best be brief.

First we have Lobelia bridgesii and heavily laden friend.  Gorgeous and gorgeous.

Now onto Campanula persicifolia, the peach leaved bellflower.  A great, and I mean that most sincerely folks, self-seeder.  I have an inkling that at least one of his siblings will be white.

Next Cephalaria gigantea,  the giant scabious,  this is a couple of years old now but still not up to its full fighting height.  It has made a rather serendipitous stand with some linaria interlopers.

It is no secret that I am an avid salvia fan and this one is no exception.  Salvia forsskaolii, indigo woodland sage, is a boisterous beauty.

There are two of my Iochroma australe seedlings in Max’s garden and they have both flowered for the first time this year.  As luck would have it, one is white with a hint of pink, and one is dusky blue.  The blue has my vote, but they are both lovely.

When we were kids we jokingly nominated each other football teams, I had Gillingham, my brothers Peterborough and Crystal Palace.  In the same vein I always think of Gillenia trifoliata as my signature plant.  It is thriving in a spot the text books called unsuitable after the removal of a nearby large tree.  Very adaptable us Gill’s.

Right, better get on, got gardening to do!

 

 

 

 

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!