Six on Saturday – November Cheer

I am determined to remain upbeat for this week’s Six on Saturday.   Apparently, according to a memo I received this week from our mentor The Prop, it is important that we keep our happy faces on, given all that is going on at the moment.  And, as we all know, what The Prop wants, The Prop gets.  This morning’s result didn’t help.  Then I heard the story of the South African captain, Siya Kolisi, and my disappointment turned to love and respect.  There is always something there, something to turn things round.  We just have to look a little closer.

Shall we kick off with the psychedelic partnership of Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ and Fuchsia hatschbachii.  Both were distinctly underwhelming earlier in the season.  The same can not be said for them now.  Planted in a collapsing half barrel in the frozen north, they get absolutely no direct sun now.  Do they care?  Not likely!

Next we have Jacaranda mimosifolia grown from Mallorcan seed.  It has had a good summer outside, growing well all things considered.  Last week I moved it to the waiting room, just outside the back door.  Soon it will be moved inside for a winter sojourn away from the elements, attempting to inflict a little class on the spider plants.

Onto nasturtium and friend.  I have reached the time of the year when I say “oh, bless its little cotton socks” rather than reaching for a brick.  This of course is very short sighted of me, they will return in droves to haunt me, punishing my soft heartedness.  You may have noticed by the attractive drops on the leaf that it is raining still.  On a day off I really don’t care.

Now an unknown penstemon, a cutting from a former client’s garden.  It has flowered all summer and is showing no sign of retiring from active duty.

The Lavandula pinnata has thrived this summer.  I really should have taken some cuttings but I didn’t so there is no point worrying now.  It is in a sunny, well drained spot, so the odds are stacked in its favour.  I may have just jinxed myself.

Finally, the exotic glamour of Impatiens flanaganae.  After a dramatic pause it has come into flower just in time to make number six.  Definitely worth the wait.

Not sure that was particularly cheery, but one does what one can, until the 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!