Sixish on Saturday

It has been a very good week. Highlights included: wheeless barrows, gin kits, a static Elvis, celeriac, a plethora of books, downward dogs in the rain and most importantly an adorable cat. I had tales to tell and pictures to share but not the time, or possibly the inclination, to write a blog about them. Hopefully I will catch up soon. Six on Saturday is a milestone in the week; even if I am not contributing I am thinking about whether I am going to or what excuse I can give myself not to. As you will have already deduced, this time I am. Before we get going, I must confess that I have strayed from the path, somehow an extra photo has snuck in. However, as one is for illustrative purposes only and should therefore not be counted, I believe I have staying within the perimeters and rigid guidelines as laid down in the three hefty volumes of SoS rules. In a futile attempt to conceal my rebeliousness from you top mathematicians I will use a) and b). I hope this is OK. Again, any complaints should be directed to my agent, Mr A Non, Refuse Lane, Bin Town, Rubbish County, Trashtopia. I doubt the Lord High Commander will give a fig, so neither should you. Shall we shake a leg?

First, residing at the opposite end of the tufa plant to the lithodora featured last week, is a fabulous little erodium. It is looking particularly lovely, bejewelled (a very Nigella word, don’t you think?) with raindrops. I must get more erodium, such great plants.

Recently I have getting in touch with my veggie side. When packing up to move I decided to send to storage all my flower seed but I brought my vegetables with me. This week, after a compost-buying visit to the local garden centre, I had a mini sowing spree. In this planter there is salad leaf, cut and come again, Mesclun Mix. In redundant terracotta window boxes I also sowed knicker elastic radishes and a mix of purple and orange carrots. In order to make quite clear to the local feline population that “this is not a cat litter box” I have placed twigs around the outside. I would be upset if my seedlings were disturbed. Even if it was Buster.

Whilst at the garden centre I was tempted (surprise, surprise) by the young tomato plants. Sungold is a long time favourite, Shirley the name of Peggy’s best friend. I bought an extra Shirley for my brother and his wife. I thought we could have a competition. Old habits die hard.

Onto a glorious yellow rose, unpruned and leggy, but still quite beautiful.

Aeonium ‘Zwartzop’ is a prime candidate for artistic raindrop shots. It would have been rude not to.

Lastly, a happy discovery in Peggy’s garden. I think this might be Jasminum beesianum but, as always, I am happy to be corrected. Whatever its name, the bees weren’t bothered, especially the diddy ones who are as zippy as they are petite. Five hundred and seventy six photos later, in the rain I might add, and I barely caught one of these allusive flitters. Still, after all that effort, you must see the bee in action, which somehow detracts from the beauty of the jasmine. So here we have it: a) bee and peripheral jasmine and b) bee-less jasmine in all its glory.

That is your lot, my friends. Have a good week!

Six on Saturday – Compass Point

It is Six on Saturday time again, which is serving as a welcome compass point. Although hard to believe, the days this week have seemed more confused than ever. Cancellations, rearrangements and future plans, when the future was previously barely credible, have all served to muddy my already murky waters. For that reason it is nice to know that this is Saturday and only Saturday, for that is all it could be. If you wish to discover further benefits to SoS participation, then pop over to The Propagator to find out more, or perhaps even less, my compadres are also often muddled. Let us get on or I will be getting in trouble with the Strict Task Master across the Channel, no Fred, not you, the other Channel.

First, a leaf of Brugmansia ‘Grand Marnier’ and friend. You must forgive for the blurry photograph, it was early morning, before my 100% proof flagon of coffee. During my garden meanderings I spotted this critter and ran (wobbled) back to the house to get my camera. All that exertion was too much for me, hence shake. And no, it was nothing to do with gin. This brugmansia has not thrived, possibly due to being in too small a pot. Last weekend this was rectified, so now has absolutely no excuse not to do something fabulous.

Next, a dear little erodium, nestled in an alpine planter bought lock, stock and barrel from a bargain bin, far, far away. It has subsequently been ignored. Everyone loves a trouper.

Now the absolutely gorgeous Diascia personata, a gift from my friend Chloris. She is not only generous, she also has impeccable taste. Its common name is masked twinspur. After absolutely no research on this matter at all, I can only surmise this is due to its twin spurs which are masked. I wouldn’t quote me on it.

On to a teasel water reservoir. This is son of, son of, son of etc the teasel that hitched a ride from our previous home in Bristol. We love teasels in our house. Although none of the current generations have reached the dizzying heights of their predecessor, all are loved. Next door has a new bird feeder which has attracted a family of goldfinches, hopefully they will still be about to enjoy our offering. Yesterday I was watching a fledgling on the telephone wire outside our bedroom window, gloriously twittering for some grub. A joy.

Now for Impatiens puberala, just coming into flower. A great favourite of mine, although I am sure it would be happier in the ground or living with someone with a better watering ethic.

Lastly Dichelostemma ida-maia, which I featured as a mere shoot in an earlier SoS. It has suffered badly from the onslaught of molluscs. The attack has been relentless. Although the flower is not fully out, I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to share. It might be in the belly of a snail tomorrow.

That’s it, all done for another week. Take care my friends.

Spotlight

erodium

Basking under the sunny spotlight is the heronsbill, Erodium manescavii.  This Pyrenean native is enjoying the recent cold snap, reminiscing about its chilly homeland.  There are no Mountain Dogs here though, just Max who is half kangeroo and not interested in snow peaked mountains. Perhaps we could train him.  He will need a wig.

Heronsbill

IMG_6597

As anyone who is self employed will tell you, it is very difficult to turn down work for fear of not being asked again.  There comes a time though, when you have to say “today is for me” and that is what happened yesterday.  And what did I do?  Well I gardened of course.

Sometimes I think that plants survive in my garden in spite of me.   Althaea cannibina struggling behind an over-exuberant euryops, barely protected Hedychium greenii already with shoots of 20cm, ignored dahlias showing their wares.  My lovely daylily ‘Pollies Dark Seedling’, once feared lost, was ably tackling the molluscs unassisted.  Talking of the enemy; there were biblical amount of slugs and snails.  Every pot I lifted, every leaf I turned, every plant I knocked out, there they were, in all colours, shapes and sizes, lurking belligerently and stuffed full of fresh foliage.  Bindweed was the herbaceous equivalent; strangling, sneaky, cleverly wrapped around itself to make a taut stem with which to climb to even higher heights.  A whole day spent in intensive care went some way to bring the garden back from the brink.  Must try much harder, it really is a very bad example.

This little Erodium manescavii wasn’t bothered by my neglect.   I have a soft spot for the diminutive heronsbill.  Very uncomplaining, very beautiful, perfect for my garden.