Digitalis lutea – Small Yellow Foxglove

A warm but dreary start to the day and working in the resultant fug was like swimming through treacle. Later it brightened up, blue wisp free skies, but by that point any excess energy had already been sapped.

This photo of the fabulous small yellow foxglove, Digitalis lutea, is also rather dark and definitely out of focus, but I thought if we called it “atmospheric” I might get away with it.

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.

Happy Birthday Peggy!

Once, when I was a little, little, girl I was skipping down a London thoroughfare with my family.  On reflection, my family were probably not skipping, they were more than likely either being dragged or dragging curious children towards their destination.   Shall we say it was Tottenham Court Road, that is close enough and has a certain ring to it.  As my innocent wide eyes scanned the hubbub a hand thrust a bunch of flowers my way.  I gratefully accepted this gift from the generous benefactor.  A second passed.  My mother grabbed the flowers out of my hand, sent them straight back to the gipsy woman who had delivered them with a “no thanks” and yanked me on my way.  I remember being rather puzzled by these proceeding.   Only years later did I realise that you rarely get something for nothing, one of the many lesson my Mum has taught me.  Today is her birthday.  It would be rude not to say something.

To MBM from YBD

Sorry I won’t be there, I’ll make it up to you, hope this suffices and you haven’t changed the will yet. x

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 ….

 

 

More Marwood

Another favourite from yesterday’s visit to Marwood Hill Gardens is this bizarrely beautiful Kalanchoe beharensis, or the Elephant’s ear kalanchoe.  How can you possibly go wrong with a plant/pachyderm hybrid?

Friendship

You can strike up friendships in the strangest of places.   Well I can anyway.   A packed polytunnel at the both marvellous and cruelly irresistible Sampford Shrubs, was one such place.  The person in question, who I befriended, or perhaps befriended me, was a visitor from Cornwall.  I was on my way to Somerset.  On reflection making a friend surrounding by plants is not strange at all.   For me anyway.  We met, we bonded over row upon row of salvias, dahlias and other delectables, and we went our separate ways.   After a few years of house moves and life changes we met once more today, reunited by the would-be demon “social media”.  And where better to have this reconnection than Marwood Hill Gardens?

This Meconopsis napaulensis was for me one of the outstanding plants of our visit, although there were many to coo over.  A fabulous day.

 

Love in a Meadow

The soil is parched, despite regular watering.  In spite of this hostile environment many of the plants on Button Moon are continuing on a trajectory so upward I am scared where it all might end.   No more so than the wildflower meadow.   Last year it was a mixed meadow, this season a little less diverse.  But not diminished in any way.  Dominated by candytuft in sugared almond shades, nigella intersperses from white to Marianas Trench blue.  It is a joy to behold, diverting.  What is more, it is a moving picture, with flitting butterflies and bees and all host of pollinators that I really should learn the name of, skimming and feasting.  This love in a mist, denim blue with spiny green ruff, was the winner in a very tough competition.  Until next time, when its crown will most certainly fall.