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.

 

 

So Much More

hesperantha and sedum

Gardening is so much more than being able to identify a tree or know which way a plant goes in the ground.   Stating the bleeding obvious?  Perhaps.

After lunch today Lady Mantle whisked me off to visit a local garden, ostensively to admire some autumn colour.  Which is exactly what we did.  The on-cue afternoon sunshine highlighted the burning leaves of Cornus kousa, ivory fruit of Sorbus cashmiriana, and the fragrant Cercidiphyllum japonicum amongst many fine specimens.  Late flowers of hesperantha, Hylotelephium spectabile and verbena graced the borders.   Brash dahlias, potentillas and caryopteris are a few others that warrant a mention.  Except there was so much more.  People.  Yes, I’m talking about those often dastardly human creatures who seem to mess most things up in the world.  Not in this case though.  The aim of this group of rural friends is to create a mutually beneficial gardening society.  For novices, tinkerers, the encyclopedic, the easily distracted and those who just want to get out of the house.  To share and encourage and support and laugh and enjoy their gardens.  To gain all the benefits of exercise and learning and good companionship.  To grow.  To help others to do the same.

So much more than learning Latin names and which way is up.