Six on Saturday – PS Peggy

Shall we get the obvious out of the way before we get going? It has been hot. Hot for us Brits. We are ill-equipped for such things. We are sleep deprived and smelly. We are pink and dehydrated and grumpy. This week I have mainly been watering pots, talking about how hot it is, sweating and trying to sleep. I have woken to find the weather has broken; it is windy and wet and warm, a generous gift from the alliteration gods. It is too early to say whether this is a preferred option, it is undoubtedly one I am more accustomed to. Crikes, a garden chair just flew past the window! Wait a moment while I rescue it. Well, that was exhilarating and a little bit scary.

I’m trying to think of someone who would have stayed chilled this week and calm in a storm…… just a minute it is on the tip of my tongue ……. oh yes, our Six on Saturday leader, The Prop. Let us shake a leg, this SoS won’t write itself.

First, we have a plant that I took without the owner’s permissions. I nicked it. At the earliest opportunity I confessed, which makes it alright. I think. He didn’t call the police. But I have moved house since. Perhaps I am on the run and don’t even know it. It was however a crime of passion, so there is absolutely no way I would be charged in a Disney court of law. It is a rather beautiful geranium that I don’t know the name of, I didn’t go so far as to steal the label, but I call it Paul’s geranium.

My cucumber ‘Marketmore’ has taken off and there are more flowers and baby cucs on the way. I have been removing the male flowers, for no other reason that I thought the bad boys might make the fruit bitter. Or is that courgettes? The plant has decided that my cane support was not adventurous enough and headed in a tomato-ey direction. As the saying goes, “You can lead a cucumber to bamboo but you can’t make it climb it”. Unless you tie it on and cut off all the tendrils of course.

Last week it was Peggy’s birthday. As we skated to my brother’s house for a celebratory meal, mum on her rolator, me and OH on rollerblades, we bumped into a local gardener. “It is my mum’s birthday” I said, just like a three year old would. The generous woman disappeared into her greenhouse and came out with this little beauty, Salvia ‘Senorita Leah’. “Happy birthday” she said, and then to me “You can easily take cuttings”. I was already on it.

You might well hang your head in shame Dahlia coccinea! One day you have red flowers, the next you decide to start blooming orange. A mystery indeed. I blame Brexit/heatwave/alien invasion.

This is the first time that my Hydrangea aspera ‘Hot Chocolate’ has flowered. To be honest it hasn’t been a long wait, a little over a year, and you have to let a chap settle in. The lovely peachy blooms are a pleasant surprise. I bought the plant for its foliage (and name) and hadn’t considered flower colour. Very nice.

The watsonia seedling has also flowered for the first time. It was a gift from Steve and Dawn at Devon Subtropical. Here it is growing in association with a more reliable orange dahlia, Bishop of York. When I say “in assocation” I mean, I stuck the pot next to it.

And here is an extra. However I have got an exemplary excuse for this misdemenour. Are you sitting comfortably? Since we have been living with my mum, I’ve enjoyed sharing my plants with her. I bring the pots in that are small enough, or help her outside for the larger ones, and tell her a little bit about them. Yesterday afternoon we were looking at this Fuchsia procumbens ‘Variegata’ and she was smitten. “Shame, I’ve already got my Six on Saturday photos sorted” I told her. “Can’t you have it as a PS?” Of course I can. So here it is: the adorable variegated creeping fuchsia.

That is your lot. Rain this weekend, which is much needed. Hopefully not floods, which are seldom welcome. Take care, my friends. ‘Til next time.

Six on Saturday – Sighing

I have been a little slack on the blogging front recently. There are reasons of course, none of which I will bore you with at the moment. Rest assured, nothing bad. Hopefully anyway. I felt I should make a special effort this week. In missing a couple of Six on Saturdays, I’ve discovered that there is only so far you can push the patience of Akela. I had a note from my Mum (and it wasn’t even forged) and even Mr K said it would be OK ( on reflection it was a mistake to give him that money in recompense) but still there were repercussions. Believe me, a Propagator tantrum is something to behold. I would suggest that no one attempts to have even one week off, let alone two, it just isn’t worth it. There are sighs, there are mega-sighs and there are Propo-sighs. Less of the excuses, let us get on with it, Sunday is chomping at the bit.

First, we have Ageratum corymbosum, looking a little like a soggy muppet after our storms. Still I love it; the colour, the form, the everything.

Next is Tomato ‘Harzfeuer’; my first but hopefully not my last. I haven’t done well with my toms this year; I was late to the party. There is time enough to regain a little ground. A miracle however would be handy.

Now a potted cutting of Fuchsia procumbens ‘Variegata’, the mother plant is playing hard to get on the flowering front. I cannot get over the other-worldliness of these little psychedelic blooms.

Like many, I thought I would try my hand at a few more vegetables this year. My report card would say “easily distracted”. Here are some mixed oriental salad leaves that I sowed and forgot.

Now another fuchsia, I didn’t realise I was such a fuchsia fan. Perhaps it is time to stand up and be counted. This is F. ‘Thalia’. Lovely.

A self-inflicted rule is “you must always save the bee shot for the finale”. Here is our star, supping on a weather-ravaged Salvia involucrata ‘Hadspen’, a bit worn around the edges but still full of the good stuff. A lesson for us all perhaps.

That is your lot my friends. I hope all is well on your planets. Keep safe, happy and full of fun.

Six on Saturday (again)

Impatiens stenantha

So here we are again.  It seems that in the correct order of things it is indeed Saturday again.  And we all know what that means.  You don’t?  It means Six on Saturday, the meme that The Propagator curates.  This is the second week in a row.  A small miracle. So let’s get going.

Firstly we have Impatiens stenantha which was a gift from the Cornish Kid.  This busy lizzy relative is from the Himalayas where it grows in woodlands.  Not quite the North Devon coast, but it seems to be doing well and over-winters without too much trouble.

Next we have Hibiscus trionum.  Not the exotic hibiscus of the Arabian Nights and but an annual with its own charms.  The seed was kindly given to me by Phlomis Phlo and I will make sure I save some from this plant for next year.  Understated and elegant, a real beauty.  Remind you of anyone?  No I thought not.

Hibiscus trionum

Hibiscus trionum

I do love a scabious and this Scabiosa ‘Blue Jeans’ is getting on with life, feeding the bees, looking pretty, minding its own business.  Just as well as it gets little attention from the gardener.

Scabiosa 'Blue Jeans'

Scabiosa ‘Blue Jeans’

After the trug of potatoes were harvested earlier in the year I decided to sow a mix of cut-and-come again lettuce and rocket.  All started positively, it germinated well, then thing went swiftly downhill. All but a few rocket plants were scoffed overnight by slugs.  These survivors have now gone to flower.  But I quite like them.  After all a flower is a flower.

Rocket Flower

Rocket Flower

This is Fuchsia glazioviana, and no I wasn’t having a nap when I took this photo.  One of its charms is the way it holds its elegant flowers out at an angle, as opposed the usual dingly dangly blooms. A low growing and, once established, trouble free plant.  I am a big fan.

Fuchsia glazioviana

Fuchsia glazioviana

And lastly another fuchsia, although quite different to our friend above.  Earlier this year I wrote how I had rescued the diminutive Fuchsia procumbens ‘Variegata’ from being swamped by the big guys.  It is now safely ensconced in a pot and much, much happier.  I do love a happy ending.

Fuchsia procumbens 'Variegata'

Fuchsia procumbens ‘Variegata’

So there we have it, another six for your delectation.  Next week is a world away, who knows what it will bring?  If we are very lucky, it will be another half dozen.  Thanks Mr Prop for hosting this meme.

 

Negligence

Fuchsia procumbens 'Variegata'

I am sure I am not alone, but when I have been away from home, even for a short time,  I need time to reconnect.  As I by necessity I leapt straight from the frying pan into the fire, back to work with barely time to remove my sombrero, it has been a disconcerting week.   However today was a home day.  Time to re-accustom myself to real life.  Well my version anyway.  The morning was spent writing, the afternoon in the garden.  Aquilegias seem to have taken over.  When they were in bloom they were a blessing, now they are an irritation.  I cut off the flower heads, carefully avoiding seed spill, to attempt to stymie their progression. Gladiolus byzantinus, previously admired for their profusion, had forced their magenta heads through many, crushing and stifling.  Under one pushy group was this Fuchsia procumbens ‘Variegata’, barely surviving the thug’s presence.   I cleared and replanted, gave my apologies and hope that I will be forgiven for my negligence.