Six on Saturday – Sun God

Anemone 'Bordeaux'

I am expecting great things from our band of SoSers this week.  Specifically the UK department.  Unfortunately we must exclude residents of the subgroup The Western Isles.   Something very strange has happened.  IT HASN’T RAINED FOR A WHOLE WEEK, NOT AT ALL, NOT ONE DROP!   If you find this hard to believe, and I wouldn’t blame you, pop over to our very own Sun God Prop’s site and read all about it yourself.  And at the same time you can console any contributors from Stornoway where there is aways a rain cloud lurking.  I possibly exaggerate.

To begin with we have Anemone coronaria ‘Bordeaux’.   I planted these in the same pot as Hedychium ‘Pradhani’ once it had died down for the season.   Succession planting, extremely grown up.  Little did I know quite how wonderful the blooms would be.  The first blue bossed, deepest burgundy flower literally stopped me in my tracks when I spotted it earlier in the week.

Next we have a crocus with its violet veins on the palest lilac background.   It has a name.  It is a secret.

bud

Now the new foliage of one of our apple trees.   Look at the vibrant lime green leafettes with the softest indumentum, everything at this time of year begs close examination and praise.  Come on apple tree do your best or I will chop you down!

On to Pelargonium cordifolium var. rubrocinctum which has spent the winter outside tucked in a corner, with the barest wisp of a covering when absolutely undeniable.   Flowers are on the way, along with some new leaves.   Much tougher (apparently) than you would imagine.

What lies beneath?  When I tipped Potentilla ‘Brohna’ out of her pot to settle into the garden, I found that the base was being used as doss house for all manner and size of slugs.  They hadn’t nibbled this plant but I imagine they nipped out at night for general rabble rousing and munching away from their own doorstep.  Do not fear, they will nibble no more.

Lastly Tulipa ‘Blue Diamond’.  How the mighty have fallen!  It wasn’t long ago that I was coo-cooing over this tulip, it had prime position outside the back door, and its every wish was catered for.  Now it is languishing up by the barely standing shed, the pot overtaken by oregano and residence of the horse’s head.  It is still not blue, but it was forgiven for this misdemeanour a long time ago. Exile was harsh punishment.

All done for another week, may the sun continue to warm our hearts.

 

Six on Saturday – Conform to Type

primula

For this Six on Saturday I have resolved to conform to type.   I will be featuring stereotypically seasonal issues only.  Possibly.  We shall see how that goes.  “What is this Six on Saturday?” I hear you ask.  “Have you just returned from trekking in the Amazon rainforest where you set up home with an indigenous tribe and lived isolated from western society for the past five years until you ran out of teabags and had to pop home to get some more?” I enquire.  No matter, I will explain.  It is quite simple: six, on Saturday.  For more details check out our very own tribal chief, The Propamaster, and he will get you up to speed on the fine print.

First we have a primula, primrose, first rose.  You might have noticed that it is blue, which is not totally traditional, but let us not get bogged down with the minutae.   I have a penchant for blue flowers so I was very happy to find this little lovely in the front garden.  I pointed it out to OH earlier and we agreed that neither of us had planted it there.  Or perhaps more accurately, “remembered” that we had planted it.

narcissus

Next the quintessential spring flower, all hail the daff!  No one can complain about any poetic licence with this choice, a classic yellow narcissus.  I was in Welsh Wales last weekend and was rather surprised to see they had seemingly shot up and budded in my absence.  Perhaps I was away longer than I imagined.

crocus

Now a crocus, bang on!  I imagine this little beauty was shifted out-of-place whilst I was rooting around removing summer bedding and planting out the violas.   A small joy, hugging the edge of the butler’s sink.

hellebore

Come on folks, I am surpassing myself here, now we have a hellebore!  This possibly has a name but I can’t be bothered to go out and look at the label.  Let us call it Purple Blotch.

slug

Not so welcome, but definitely a feature of the season, are the emerging slugs and snails.  This blatant destroyer was feasting on a pot of purple alstromeria that I am planning to pass on to Max.  Again, it definitely has a name.  Please see above for excuses.

Salvia corrugata

And here is the exception to prove my rule.  This Salvia corrugata has been flowering since time begun, and possibly a little before.  Unprotected, except by my love, it has weathered storms and a few degrees of frost.  Not classic winter/spring fare, but definitely worth a mention.

Now just a moment, we wouldn’t want a repeat of last week’s rather embarrassing faux pas …………… yep, we are definitely up to six, I checked twice.  That is it, another SoS completed.   Until the next time.  I will keep practicing my counting.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

A Slight Breeze

img_6222

When I told a certain Devonian gentleman which road our new house was on he said “gawd, its rough up there!”.  Or I think that was what he said.  We had some initial communication problems. He refused to talk to me for the first 6 months of our acquaintance, examining the floor and muttering when I attempted dialogue, trying his hardest not to acknowledge my existence.  My heinous crimes were being a blow-in, a female and having the cheek to be a head gardener.  After this silent initiation, in which I refused to participate “Beautiful morning!” “How are you today?” “Nice to see you again”, and he realised I was not a monster/idiot/wimp, he rarely stopped talking. Very fast and very broad.  I used to watch his lips move in the vain hope I would get more clues as it what he was talking about.  As the weeks went on it began to make some sense, either he stopped laying it on thick or my translate-ometer kicked in.  Generally his diatribes were concerning the private lives of local folk and their septic tanks.  My lips are sealed.  When pressed as to exactly what he meant by “rough”, he explained (again this is an estimate of meaning) that when the wind blew we would know it.  How right he was.  At this very moment the wind is howling outside like a low budget horror film; whistling, rattling, moaning.  This morning as I forced my way out of the front door, shoulder to the fore, and spilled out into the fray like a champagne cork, I noticed one of my crocuses had a well developed flower bud.  Needless to say I was very excited and, as is my habit, needed to share.  Trying to take a photo in this weather is like trying to drink a dry martini whilst on a bouncy castle with the Samoan rugby team, very messy.  This is my best attempt.  I am tempted to call it art.