Six on Saturday – Two Little Ducks

Usually I feel a little miffed after we pass midsummer. “Was that it?” I sulk “Surely not!” This year is different. This year we have a new devil-may-care, let’s-get-on-with-it, stop-your-bloomin’-moaning kinda vibe. We maybe on the path back down the mountain, but there is no need to feel sad, plenty of time yet to enjoy the bounty of our gardens. If you are not convinced, our Six on Saturday leader, The Prop, and all his acolytes will cheer your spirits. Shall we get jiggy with it?

First, we have last week’s dahlia, all grown up and in its prime. I think it might be Dahlia ‘ Bishop of York’, not because I have studied form and colour charts but because I remember that I bought it once.

Now a golden leaved spiraea growing strongly in Peggy’s garden. I am not sure I would ever chose one for my own patch, but this is looking rather lovely at the moment, seconded by the local bee population.

Next, a new kid on the block, purchased at last week’s open gardens. This blue beauty was picked out by OH. It was however labeless, a campanula of some persuasion, I’m sure one of you clever folk can tell me which. It is looking rather lovely. OH has very good taste.

Onto one of Chambercombe Bob’s hostas, which like its companions is doing very well. Bob does know that we have them. Before you start gasping, the munched leaves are out of shot.

Now Callistemon masotti which is as reliable as the number 124 bus to Cardiff, if not more so.

Well looky here, who has turned up in a pot of impatiens? None other than the infamous rampant nasturtiums of North Devon. I must say I am rather pleased. Although these two little ducks were covered in black fly, recently squashed of this parish, I rejoice in their arrival.

Next week will be July, it is crazy world that is for sure. Stay safe and well. Until next time.

Six on Saturday – Waiting

My photos for this Six on Saturday were restrained by the fact I had to be within hearing distance of the phone. OH was out doing the weekly shop, God bless him, and I was on high alert, loitering within ear-shot. Therefore, all pictures had to be taken within two leaps of the back door. As it happens, I could have wandered further. I was waiting for the call that never came, like some love sick teenager. Please pop on over to The Prop’s site and check out the other SoS who I am sure were more adventurous. Let us proceed.

First, we have a peek-a-boo Fuchsia ‘Eruption’ screaming “why are you denying my time to shine!”. Fleeced up for protection, it has managed to poke a couple of flowers out of a weak point in the defences. You will be pleased to hear, it is all tucked back in and cosy again.

Next, a Cornus ‘Porlock’ seedling, which is supposed to be deciduous but hasn’t been caught on yet. Perhaps cornus are like beech trees and hold onto their leaves whilst young. Yet another plant in waiting, we are all waiting.

Now, a ravaged leaf, ripped from the nearby brugmansia by the wicked wind, dumped on the steps and subsequently chewed.

Onto Callistemon masotti, presenting fat buds to aid our dreaming.

Whilst lurking I opened up my little plastic greenhouse for a breath of fresh air and at the same time had a poke about to see what had been happening. All the while listening out for a ring, of course. The sempervivum were looking quite fine and most dandy.

Lastly, hidden beneath the shifted fuchsia fleece, a lone Iris reticulata bud. This is the lolly-labelled pot, whose identification had biodegraded rather prematurely, so I’m afraid I can’t tell you the cultivar. Made me smile though.

Six on Saturday completed for another week, I hope you lot are all doing well and staying safe. All fine here. Like Vladimir and Estragon, I’ll must be getting on with my waiting.

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 – Aforethought

Sophora microphylla

The weather forecast for today was dreadful; torrential rain, howling north easterlies, possibly frogs.  So, as a dedicated disciple of Six on Saturday, and a most sensible and organised person, I took my photos yesterday.  Today, so far, has been quite dry.  This is not the point, which is that I was prepared for all eventualities.  I doubt it will happen again.  It is however bitterly cold, so I am pleased that for once I thought ahead.  Some might say that the “Saturday” part of the title is an itsy bit fraudulent, but rest assured that little has changed since yesterday.  Can I depend on you not to tell The Propagator, our meme leader, whose name rhymes with “alligator” for good reason.  Please do pop over to his site to see what he has been up to, and also to check on the increasingly large number of SoSers.

First of all we have the wonderful Sophora microphylla, now in full flower.  I used to work with a mature gentleman (lovely old git) who had spent several decades travelling the world.  This included an extended stay in New Zealand, which is where this potentially small tree comes from.  He taught me several Maori names for plants including this member of the pea family, kowhai.  Imagine you are saying hello to a Jersey milker.  That’s it, you’ve got it!

Callistemon 'Masotti'

Next another Antipodean, Callistemon ‘Masotti’, a (hopefully) dwarf, red flowered bottlebrush.  It looks as if it is thinking about flowering.  It may be reconsidering this decision after the outrageous hail storm that just battered everything.  Now I feel vindicated.

crocus

A crocus, just about to unfurl, perhaps the perfect moment.

seedlings

Germination!  In order to fool myself into thinking that I am doing something right, I generally sow something very easy along with the trickier customers.  This year it was Tagetes ‘Red Cherry’ and it didn’t let me down.  Nothing yet from any of the others, but it is early days.  I have had my little thrill fix, it will keep me going for a while.

rose

Number five is tender new orange/red rose foliage.  Any aphids that are reading this will be salivating.  Bit too cold to venture out yet, ha!

Vinca 'Jenny Pym'

Lastly is Vinca ‘Jenny Pym’.  I was trying to take a picture of a hellebore, ill positioned for the photographer, I was struggling to hold the head, camera and focus at the same time.  In the background my eye was caught by this charming lady, a little pinker than usual, due to the chill perhaps.  Soon the hellebore was forgotten, for the moment anyway, perhaps next week I will get a little help from a friend.

Thanks Mr P, I think this might be becoming a habit.  There are worse things to become addicted to.