Six on Saturday – Nearly

I must admit I have struggled with this week’s Six on Saturday. Everything seems to be nearly photo-ready or past caring, having being munched by slugs and snails. Still, I’ve done the best I can for you and our illustrious leader, who is never nearly but is ever always, See You Later Propagator.

First we have what I imagine to be the common monbretia, Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora . Perhaps it is or perhaps it is something more exotic, no matter. It was in residence when we arrived and is not keen to give up its patch, stealthily marching on. I have dug up a lot of crocosmia in my time. It is in my top ten of irritating plants. Then you look again, back-lit on a sunny evening, and you don’t even have to be desperate to want to include it on your SoS.

Next our Venus Fly Trap. In this instance I say “our” as it was a gift to OH a couple of years ago. He has ignored it ever since. Immediately after purchase it flowered and the given wisdom was that it was doomed. It wasn’t. Although pale, it is still interesting, and catching the odd insect.

Next we have Amaranthus caudatus, which quite frankly is just silly.

This Lantana camara, was brought a few weeks ago. It is still not planted out, but is showing willing. Perhaps this weekend.

Next we have a newby to me, Glebionis segetum, the corn marigold. I grew this from RHS seed, which I chose specially because I hadn’t heard of it before. I am underwhelmed. Although very nice, nice is not what I am after, I want wonderful.

Lastly, it is Peggy’s birthday on Tuesday, so it is only right to include a giraffe as my last contribution. This Sauromatum venosum leaf stalk is perfect.

That is it, another week! Stay safe and well my friends. Na noo na noo!

Six on Saturday – No Name

Sometimes you can get caught up in your own little world of misery. Which is what has happened to me this week, or perhaps a fortnight. It is tooth related, a design fault to my mind. In the scheme of things, it is small beer, but still, the mire of my mood persists. Weakness is sometimes hard to acknowledge, which is unfortunate as troubles are seldom unique.

Less of my self-pity. Let us get on with proceedings, that is, my Six on Saturday. Please pop over to our magnificent Prop’s to find out what else has been going on in the world this week. Gardenwise and perhaps other-wise.

First we have a glorious, unnamed, hydrangea which we inherited with the house. The spider came too. The flowers are such a wonderful colour, the photo only a meagre reflection of reality. Flowering perhaps a little bit early?

Next Penstemon ‘Gurt Big Purple’, grown from a cutting from an ex-client’s garden. Lush. I made up the name, just in case you wondered.

Now a fragrant-leaved pelargonium. I haven’t a clue what it is called; I can’t even remember where it came from. Although you can’t appreciate the scented foliage, you can admire the very pretty blushing flower.

Onto a scabious that, before it flowered, I thought might be ‘Blue Jeans’. It appears not. It is possibly a self seeder from the original that has now popped its clogs. Twice the height of its parent, this cuckoo is rather lovely with its pink brushed flower.

Now a flowering sempervivum which is a combination of obscene and wonderful. It came in a job lot from Lidl and, with its assorted mates, sailed through winter protected from the worse of the wet. I have grown rather fond of them.

Lastly a geranium, pilfered from a client’s garden, which has made itself at home on top of the cut-and-come-again lettuce. They look quite happy together.

That is yer lot, my friends. Have a good week. I’ll try to jolly up by next time.

Six on Saturday – Hot, Not Bothered

Well that was a hot one, wasn’t it?! First time this year I’ve said those immortal words “It’s too hot!”. They definitely weren’t ideal working conditions, there was a lot of skulking in the shadows. Someone who throughout our mini-heat wave was undoubtably as cool as a cucumber frozen into an iceberg, was our leader The Prop. Pop on over to his blog and all SoS secrets will be revealed. Most of them anyway. Pop over to Mr K to get the uncensored version. Of course, the warm weather seldom lasts for long and we are now back to a brisk breeze and showers. What the poor plants are thinking, I can only guess. Let us proceed with my Six on Saturday.

First, we have Lycianthes rantonnetii, AKA Solanum rantonnetti, AKA a posh shrubby spud. During my annual (at least) shuffle this was moved and quite frankly my dear didn’t give a damn.

Next, we have ginger mint. So pretty, but still confined in a pot to restrict its garden domination. I have the standard, not sure exactly what it is, mint as well, which is used for the new potatoes. I might give this a go, it could have interesting results. Or maybe tea?

Sciadopitys verticillata, the Japanese umbrella pine, again in a pot. Mistreated but loved. I often give it a sideways glance as I pass, wondering what it could be if allowed to spread its roots. At the moment it is heading for bonsai territory. As I have said before, I am not a great lover of conifers, except this one, and pines, and all the redwoods, and wollemi of course, and cryptomeria, and …..

Iris ensata ‘Moonlight Waves’ struggled with the dry and then the wind and rain. This slightly battered flower, one of only two on my new plant, is still magnificent. Next year Rodney.

This feather had fallen onto the leaf of a Japanese anemone that has worked its way through our garden wall from next door. I thought it looked like an exotic insect. Until it rained, then it looked like a wet feather.

Lastly, we have Callistemon masotti, scarlet and golden tipped. The terracotta pot it is living in disintegrated a few weeks ago. We hadn’t another one to replace it and as we were in meltdown lockdown, we couldn’t buy another. So my handy man about the house glued it back together again. It doesn’t seem to have minded a bit of gorilla glue about the roots.

That is your lot, take care of yourselves. Same time next week, hopefully.

Six on Saturday – Excitement

Welcome to another Six on Saturday, I hope it finds you well and happy. If you would like to know more about this worldwide phenomena then pop on over to meet our host The Propagator (a little bit like The Terminator but marginally less violent). Shall we proceed? We don’t want to give that Welsh chap anything to moan about.

First, we have the ever faithful Osteospermum ‘Double Berry Purple’. It struggles through each winter cruelly exposed to the elements, whether wet or cold or windy or all three, with little more than a shrug. A trouper and one to have on your side.

Onto another stalwart of the garden. However much I mistreat this gallant soldier it fights on regardless. It is dragged it out of shrubs, the roots are wrenched from the ground and shrivelling spells are cast. Still it displays its virginal flowers to prove my ineptitude. Never one to let you down, I give you, drum roll please, the indestructible (through fair means not foul) bindweed!

Next, we have Erysimum linifolium ‘Variegatum’, probably. It grows in a narrow gravel border that edges the slabbed area. Although it is flowering well at the moment, contrarily, I chose to present the foliage which I think is equally as lovely. I notice that someone has taken a cartoonish nibble out of one of its leaves. Now who could that have been? Hands up please, or should I say tentacle up?

Now we have Bletilla stricta ‘Alba’ which although growing healthily has been a great disappointment. This year, as well as last, it pretended to flower, causing great excitement, but the bud disintegrated into nothingness. Any ideas folks? I have fed with tomato food, which as you know isn’t as daft as it sounds. Oh yes, and there this little chap who I thought was quite beautiful. Unless he is called The Emerald Bud Chewer. I might go off him then.

I don’t have much in the way of bedding plants, but these little trailing verbena turned my eye whilst shopping for essentials. Surely no one could argue that this little darling is not essential!

And finally, more excitement in the garden. After five years languishing in pot showing no inclination to do anything of merit, my Agapanthus inapertus ‘Midnight Cascade’ had got not one, but two flower spikes. I have changed my name to Thrilled of North Devon. That is unless the dreaded Emerald Bud Chewer comes its way. I have installed 24 hour security.

Another week over, take care my friends, and stay safe.

Six on Saturday – Linkful

Another Six on Saturday and, with a little help from my friends, specifically my blogging mate Jude, I have discovered the link button in this “oh, so moderne” block editor. It seems fair to have used this newly discovered facility to direct you to Jude’s site where no doubt she has also, or is about to, produce a Six on Saturday. To catch up with the rest of the gang, pop over to The Venerable Prop’s site where you can feast on sixes from across the globe. Top tip: don’t try to eat them all at once, a few nibbles then return later for more goodies is how I avoid indigestion. I would recommend being especially cautious when approaching any contribution from a certain Mr K, he can be rather spicy.

One problem solved, another found. This seems to be my mantra. Now I am experiencing “the infuriatingly disappearing tags”, any ideas anyone? Don’t pass this off as fluff. It is an emergency. My frustration resulted in a bad word or six and a reversion to Classic Editor in order to sort it. Mind you, I have always been a classic gal. I have no remorse.

Shall we proceed? I think we should, it’s nearly Sunday.

First, we have another newbie to my gang, Fuchsia ‘Eruption’, seen here getting acquainted with the rhodohypoxis. I’m very fond of this form of fuchsia, which I like to call The Dangly Group, although I have suspicions there may be something more official.

Now Calendula ‘Neon’. This photo is possibly over-exposed, as it was taken during a full-on sunny abberation. But I liked the way it turned out, radiating solar energy with a patient bud waiting in the wings.

Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ was a gift from Lady Mantle. Is it still called a gift when you ask for it? Not sure. I am pretty certain she was thinking of giving it to me anyway. We shall never know. For those of you with wicked minds, you know who I am talking about, I did not steal it.

Rose of no name. Fragrant, beautiful and a pain in the posterior.

On to Primula capitata ‘Noverna Deep Blue’, with a wonderful dusting of farina on indigo flowers. This is kept in a pot and circulated with the other seasonal favourites. When its glory time is over, it will be hidden around a corner with the other has-beens. Until next year, when it will hopefully shine again. If only life was like that. Glory then rest, repeat. I could live with that.

And finally, Aquilegia canadensis with its delicious St Clements bloom. I love it.

That’s me done, another week all sixed out. Stay safe my friends, its not over yet.

Six on Saturday – Linkless

This is my first attempt at a Six on Saturday from scratch, using the new-fangled WordPress block editor. At the moment I haven’t located the link oojamaflip (I’ve never had to spell that word before, might need checking, I did, it was wrong, I corrected it, no-one will ever know) so you will have to find your own way to The Propagator and his blog of wonders. I have faith in your navigation skills. You know you can’t always have it handed to you on a plate, it is about time you did a little work for yourself. Having skilfully offended both the members of my audience, I will continue.

First, we have Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, a Six on Saturday favourite. And quite rightly so; although not blue, it is a rhapsody. The contemplation of this rose has taken me straight back to Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and the dolly bird pilots Harmony, Melody, Rhapsody, and Symphony Angel. How I wanted to be in their gang. It turns out I never even got close.

Next, we have a pelargonium proving to the world just how wrong they can be. Over-wintered outside, sited in the shadiest spot of the garden, and happy as a pellie can be.

A wanderer in the garden, Gladiolus byzantinus, is always welcome wherever it pokes it head up. And always a relief that is not another bloomin’ crocosmia.

The tough as old boots Phlomis fruticosa is in full flower at the moment. It may be that I just haven’t noticed it before, but the blooms seem to be held on particularly long stalks this year.

I have become partial to a begonia. It might be an age thing, along with cardigans. Whilst doing some essential shopping I spotted these trailing variety and they became more important than the toilet rolls. Surely no-one could argue that point? I was tempted to draw two eyes on this flower. But that would have been very silly, and we can’t be having any of that nonsense.

The big red poppy, archetypal, is holding its flower heads to the side this year. Another strange phenomena (along with the long stalked phlomis, in case you skimmed over that bit). Lucky catch of a visitor to the busby centre.

That’s it for another week my friends. Next week, flaming June. Stay safe and well.

Six on Saturday – A Catalogue of Errors

Another Six on Saturday, which for me has been the most discombobulating week since lockdown.  I can feel tension in the air.  Not in this house, luckily.  Not often anyway.  Strife is almost unheard of in the Six on Saturday Brotherhood, have a look at Our Guru The Most Properly Master of all Thing Prop’s post to find out what is going on in the rest of the world.  Hopefully all will be as well as can be expected.

Before we continue, I’ve heard a rumour, it is just a rumour so keep it to yourselves.  I wouldn’t want to get anyone excited just for their hopes to be dashed on the rocks of disappointment.  But still, there is a chance that someone is coming back.  But we must remain calm.  Let’s get on.  This week I am concentrating on my errors.  So good for the soul.

A few weeks ago, my Canadian friend Gabby asked if I grew any sisyrinchium in my garden.  I told her I didn’t.  Oops!  This is Sisyrinchium ‘E.K. Balls’, can you hear it sniggering at my ineptitude?  Quite how I forgot this little beauty is a mystery.

Onto Lilium ‘Forever Linda’, the one I mixed up with the stunning ‘Forever Susan’.  I’ve warmed to this lily.  I’m often inspire to hum the Luther Vandross song “Love the one you’re with” as I pass.

Yes, the boys are back in town.  The Bed of Anarchy is peppered with nasturtium seedlings, and they have now spread to the further reaches of the garden.  I was supposed to be vigilant.  I must have drifted off again.

Now for the heinous crime of  the “lost label”.  These are possibly a Rhodohypoxis baurii cultivar, or one of its mates.

Next a totally inappropriate purchase.  Yes another one.  May I introduce you to the magnificent Hydrangea aspera ‘Hot Chocolate’.  Fabulous foliage, and this shrub can reach 3m in height to show off all that beauty.  Never mind, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Finally, Geranium sylvaticum ‘Mayflower’.   Hard as I try, I can’t find fault with this one.  Ethereal blue, fine form, unfussy and very pleasing on the eye.

That’s it done for another week.  Keep safe and well my lovelies.

Six on Saturday – Hearts and Flowers

This is a special Six on Saturday.   Today was to have been the wedding day of my nephew Adam and his fiancée Jess.  Instead of white gown and morning suit they will be donning PPE’s, both at present working on Coronavirus isolation wards in The University Hospital of Wales.  I am immensely proud of them both.  I am sure they will be feeling a little sad today, so in a feeble attempt to sooth, I thought I would dedicate this post to them.  Be warned, there will be tenuous links, but they are all made with love.

It is only fitting that we start with a heart, the newly emerged leaf of Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’.  This small tree staggers on year on year, confined by a pinching pot.  Each spring, new growth is both a joy and a surprise that it has made it through another winter.

Now, as tradition would have it, Something Old.  Here we have the Helen Mirren of tulips, growing old beautifully.   Conveniently for the theme, photobombing from behind are a handful of violas, which are sometimes known as heartsease.

Something New is a double first.  A new frond for my new fern Cyathea australis.  Again, this plant is Jim’s fault.  I am definitely not buying any more plants.  However, I have just seen a very tempting protea.  One doesn’t count.

Something Borrowed, is a magnificent peony from The Buns’ garden.  The Chinese name for the peony means “beautiful”, which I cannot deny.  More appropriately to our cause, according to the language of flowers, it represents a happy marriage and good fortune.  Both of which I wish our heroes in the future.

Now for something blue.  Bluebell, obvs.

To symbolise our celebrations after the ceremony, I searched the garden for hanging vines or laden pomegranate trees.  I delved deep for sweet strawberries and lush ripe apples.  There were no fresh quinces or passion fruit.  Unfortunately, all I could come up with was a beer trap.  Needs must.

But everywhere there were hearts.  These are the new leaves of a dwarf green bean, Tendergreen.

And more hearts, this time Cercidiphyllum japonicum.

And even more hearts.  This is a young Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’, the name of which is most fitting.

For those of you out there clicking away on your abacuses, I agree, this is not strictly six.  It was the hearts that done it.  But surely you can never have too many hearts on your substitute wedding day?  If anyone has a problem they can contact my minder/legal advisor/fashion consultant/confessor The Prop and he will undoubtedly ignore you.

Finally, a message to the wonderful Jess and Adam.  Keep on keeping on, my heart swells when I think of you, but not in a bad medical way.  Shall we try again next year?

There is a plus side though, I have a while longer to get into my dress which appears to have shrunk on the hanger.

Stay safe and well everyone, ’til next time.

 

 

Six on Saturday – Befuddled

Not only am I confused about what day it is, I am a little befuddled as to which week of the year it is.  Hence, I spent a fair amount of time on a blog which is appropriate to next week.   No matter, it is money in the bank I suppose.  We are getting paid for this right?

“Paid for what?”, you might ask, for Six on Saturdaying of course! That universal weekendly past-time of the great and the good.  To join our blissfully happy, mind-controlled crew, just pop on over to Propfessor X to find out what is going on.  There are definitely no subliminal messages hidden in this blog, definitely not.  Just don’t blink.  Shall we proceed?

First, we have Allium aflatunense ‘Purple Sensation’, one of many this week I should imagine.  In a slow crawl towards extending the season in The Bed of Anarchy, I planted these bulbs last year.  Or was it the year before?  Whichever, there aren’t enough of them to make a good show.  They move around the border all on their own, as if looking for more of their own kind.  I may well have to rectify that.

Now we have a lone lithodora flower.  Blue.  That is all that needs to be said.

Onto my arty-farty shot of the week and the interpretation therein.

The raindrops, suspended on the waxy surface of a hosta leaf, illustrate how we are living in our individual bubbles at the moment, where we have little choice but to reflect on inner demons and angels. There is no escape, we can see our loved ones in their respective bubbles, but can’t reach them.  If we did, we would destroy them.

A moment after this shot was taken next door’s cat knocked the leaf with her tail and the drops fell to the ground and disbursed.  I like to think this symbolises the futility of me trying to be serious.  The End.

Next strawberry flowers.  So white, such promise.  And if you are listening out there; Mr Slug, Mrs Snail, The Blackbird Clan; I am not sharing!

Then we have Aquilegia ‘Egg’, a flower I have featured before.  It is called Egg because OH nicked the seed from the farm where we used to get our eggs.  Later I asked the farmer’s wife what had happened to the mother plant, she said it had died.  My noble plan is to grow another and, at the dead of night, possibly wearing a balaclava, anonymously leave it on her doorstep.  Otherwise she might arrest me for seed theft, although it wasn’t me, honest guv.  She is rather scary, and looks very strong.  The farmer’s wife that is, not the aquilegia, which isn’t scary at all.

And finally, the biggest and most beautiful of our Woolies Acers.  The young leaves are at their best at the moment.  The stresses of grown-up life, the sporadic watering and summer winds that go with maturity, have yet to distress them.

That is my lot for this week.  Hope you enjoyed them.  Keep on keeping on, my friends.

 

Six on Saturday – Thankful

Another week of lockdown passed; another Six on Saturday completed.  A few months ago I would never have dreamt that I would type those words.  Still, I consider myself most fortunate, I have many reasons to be thankful.   One of which, and a blessing indeed, is being a member of the wonderful Six on Saturday community.  For those of you still ignorant about this Meme of Memes, pop on over to Meme Master and he will enlighten you.  Don’t stand too close though.  It is very infectious.  Shall we proceed?

First we have Libertia grandiflora.  Actually I am a little miffed with this plant.  Not only did I get all excited due to a label misfunction and thought it was going to be a dietes, then it spread its seedlings across most of Christendom and I have been pulling them out of pots since February.  But the flower is nice.  It might get a big split when it has done showing off.

You now that feeling when something doesn’t come up and you are beginning to wonder if you actually planted it, then a nose pokes up and you are jubilant?  Well here is a prime example, the emerging Dichelostema ida-maia.  I have grown these strange creatures before and am very fond of them.  Hopefully they will make it through to flowering and I will share with you all.

Onto the most serene and worshipful Pulmonaria ‘Opal’.  A yogic amongst the chaos.

Now we have Rhodotypos scandens, an old SoS favourite, and quite rightly so.  Buffeted and blown all winter long, and again these last few days, it has been a-buzzing for weeks.

The violas have right-on-cue redeemed themselves, springing into glorious action just when I was thinking about replacing them with summer bedding.  Except I have no summer bedding, which is just as well really.

Lastly the exotic and most previous Impatiens stenantha.  Now living in an enclave with its other impatiens mates.  It seems quite happy.

That is your lot my friends, see you next week, take care and be well.