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.

Six on Saturday – Chocolates

Salvia leucantha 'Midnight'

Even though it was singularly uninviting, it being damp and windy and the weekend, I had to go out into the garden this morning.  Not just because of the pressing urgency of The Propagator‘s Six on Saturday, but because if I didn’t do certain jobs a visit from the local RSPCP officer was inevitable.  So I did, with dragging teenaged feet and hunched shoulders.  Not fair.  No one cares.  Not working?  OK.

Without further ado, or attention seeking behaviour, I will get back to the task in hand.  My Six on Saturday.  The first chocolate in the box today is the amazing Salvia leucantha ‘Midnight’.   It is tender, in spite of its furry coat, and takes a while to get up the energy to flower after the winter.  Hence it has only just begun to bloom here.  In my top ten of salvias.  For some reason marzipan springs to mind.  Purple marzipan, if it doesn’t exist it should be invented forthwith!

cyclamen

Now for the second morsel.  The aforementioned urgent job was to replant the containers outside the front door.  They were looking, let me chose my words carefully here, shameful.  I had bought replacements, including this cyclamen, a couple of weeks ago and they had been languishing patiently for me to uphold my part of the bargain.  Cyclamen are favourites of mine and even here, in the teeth of the wind, they will continue to flower until next spring.   What do you think, raspberry parfait?

viola

The next treat for you is a little viola, one of a mixed bunch also bought to jolly up the front of the house.  Although they have a tendency to stop flowering for a while, they always begin again just as I am thinking about chucking them out.   Somewhere beneath, I am hoping, are last year’s bulbs and corms.  Quite what these are will be as much of a surprise to me as it is to you.  I vaguely remember some crocus and perhaps Iris reticulata, oh and maybe some Jetfire.  You can’t beat a good surprise.  As for this one, I reckon it might be a mint chocolate.

apple

Now onto a definite hard centre, apple flavoured of course.  This tree was here when we moved in. Although it is undoubtedly on dwarf rooting stock, it is still too big for our little plot.  Each year the jackdaws find the fruit before they are ripe, pecking large holes in them, knocking many to the ground in the process.  When we do get to taste one they are delicious.  As it is unlikely that those clever corvids will forget where their late summer feast is, our share in the future is likely to be minimal.

fuchsia

Another of our inheritances is this fuchsia.  I am fond of fuchsias, and this is a rather pleasant one.  It is not however jaw-dropping, or stunning, or incredible, or magical.  Quite pretty, that is all.   If this was one of my chocolates it would be one of the last to be eaten, perhaps a toffee, or orange cream.   However I am well aware that there are plenty of people who would be picking this one first.  You are very welcome to my orange cream, I’ll have your praline.

Lastly we have some of the plants that have been replaced by the bright young things.  They are cuphea, argyranthemum and eccremocarpus.  These would be the misshapes, the ones that failed to meet the stringent standards.  After last week’s public outcry (OK, just John) I have potted them up to over-winter somewhere more clement, perhaps the Caribbean, most likely crammed into my tiny plastic greenhouse with a zillion others.

More thanks to Mr P for making me get out of bed early on a Saturday morning, stumbling around the garden taking photos, much to the amusement of my neighbours.  Mr P has the power.

 

 

 

Six on Saturday – If I must

argyranthemum

I had decided that I wasn’t going to SoS this week.  Lots to do, miserable outside, lacking motivation, Madagascar 2 on the TV, crisps in the cupboard.  However, such is the hold that The Propagator has on me, I have relented.  I am hoping that eventually he will return the incriminating photos.  Until then, let’s go!

My first picture is of an argyranthemum, rescued as a plug from local garden centre.  It has flowered all summer, even though the gardener failed to dead head regularly.  Hopefully it will survive until the spring and be even bigger and better next year.   I will have a word with the staff.

pelargonium

I have had this pelargonium for several years, found on a table of assorted plants at an open garden.  Although it has never thrived in our damp Devon air, it is doing a sterling effort of hanging on in there.

phormium

This phormium was given to me as a seedling by one of my old clients in Bristol.   She had a wonderful garden, was ambitious and imaginative.  Looking at this plant reminds me of her.  This is one of the many wonders of gardening.  The sharing and the receiving and the memories.

cherry

This is a peach tree grown from a kernel.  It hasn’t flowered yet, it is growing like a cuckoo, but the autumn colour is fabulous.  Thanks Storm Brian for leaving us a couple of leaves to admire.  So kind of you.

As I live by the sea, it is compulsory (a local bye-law) to grow at least one armeria in your garden.  This variegated form is looking quite healthy but hasn’t flowered since I bought it last year.  Good job it has such pretty foliage or I would be whispering “compost bin” in its direction.

cuphea

Lastly we have a little cuphea, which lives in a planter at the front of the house.  Soon he will be jettisoned as I have recently bought some cyclamen and violas to replace him and his straggly lobelia companions.  I’m tough, take no prisoners.  When a plant is finished, out with it.  No qualms.  Stop looking at me like that.  Is that a small tear rolling down his face?  Come on, it is the right thing to do!  OK, I might pot him up and try and over-winter him.

Once again, thanks Mr P for hosting this meme (a word I never though I would type).  Check out all the other SoSers on his website.  Another link here , if you dare ………..

Six on Saturday – It’s a Miracle

Parahebe catarractae

It is Saturday.  Outside it is blowing a hoolie and periodically horizontal rain joins in the fun.  My ‘to do’ list makes War and Peace look like a novella.   I have writing to finish and don’t need any diversions thank you very much.  All great excuses not to participate in The Propagator‘s Six on Saturday.  But as I can be contrary even to myself, I thought, “why not, the rest can wait, I will brave the storm”.  And so I did.

First a stalwart of this little garden, Parahebe catarractae, which I believe might be now called Veronica catarractae, feel free to take your pick.  It was here when we arrived and flowers almost non-stop.  It was tempting to save this icy blue maiden for another day, for when I am desperate for blooms, but it deserved better than to be a fill-in.  Delicate, reliable, undemanding, all worthy attributes.

Liquidambar styraciflua

Liquidambar styraciflua

Next is our Liquidambar styraciflua, the American Sweetgum, which grows in pot in the small courtyard outside the kitchen door.  Totally inappropriate, but like a small child who wanted it now, I wanted it NOW.  Asking an assistant at a reputable plant centre (very very very reputable) if they sold liquidambars he said he had never heard of it and did I know the Latin name.  Um.  We found one in the end at “I can’t remember where” and it will have to stay in its temporary accommodation until we move to a mansion in the countryside with a couple of acres of land. Um again.

Argyranthemum

Argyranthemum

Right, who’s next?  Oh yes, this little argyranthemum, rescued in the spring from the bargain bin at a garden centre. It has battled, as everything out the front has, with prolonged and vicious mollusc attack.  Still, it has struggled through and hopefully will last the winter.  The Great Hedge of Ilfracombe next door has been cut down to a couple of feet, which has been wonderful for us and our sea views.  This might however be to the detriment of some of the more vulnerable over the winter months when the wicked winds pick up.  We will see.

Hedychium 'Tara'

Hedychium ‘Tara’

Now we have another of my beloved ginger lilies the exotic beauty, Hedychium ‘Tara’.  I think she speaks quite nicely for herself.

Pelargonium 'Calliope Hot Pink'

Pelargonium ‘Calliope Hot Pink’

On to a relatively new arrival to the fold, Pelargonium ‘Calliope Hot Pink’.  We are lucky hereabouts that pelargoniums often over-winter in our benign climate.  Cue the worst winter in living memory. Favourites do get protected from the worst of the rain and I think this may be one of the cossetted ones.  Just in case.

Fuchsia microphylla

Fuchsia microphylla

It wouldn’t be a Six on Saturday without a fuchsia.  So to conclude, the final contestant in today’s beauty contest is the diminutive and most charming Fuchsia microphylla.   When I was a child I loved visiting model villages, where everything was in miniature perfection.   This fuchsia evokes the same Lilliputian love in me.

There we have it Mr P.  Four weeks on the trot.  It’s a miracle.  It can’t possibly last.