Six on Saturday – Pot Wars

Reporting from Limboland. Still no news on the house, which I suppose would negate our citizenship of Limboland, but I wanted to make it quite clear. Quite clear as to the mood. Tettering. Possibly the best word. There might be other words more appropriate. Still, I am but a single grain of sand in the dune that is SoS, check out the others at Chez Prop, you will love it. I’m late already so we had better shake a leg.

First, we have Fuchsia ‘Thalia’ which is just beginning to come into its own. I especially love the dangly fuchsias, or the triphylla for the more botanically minded of you. In the past few weeks I have struggled to keep my pots watered sufficiently, many need transplanting into either larger pots or the ground and are bursting to get out. Still, I persist, but they complain however hard I try.

Even the ginger mint is moaning, frazzled and weary. The flower is pretty though and the pollinators love it.

Onto Mandevilla laxa which should be climbing but has, quite wisely, decided to stay closer to the ground until all this uncertainty is resolved.

I am pleased that this Hedychium ‘Tara’ seedling is flowering, I thought it might sulk for a while. I waited as long as I could before I dug a piece up from our old garden as, on excellent authority, I believe it is best to wait until they just come into growth to move them. The flowers are not as big and juicy as usual, but I can forgive her that.

Next Pteris umbrosa, Jungle Brake, a tender fern from SE Australia. This one was actually from mid Devon, as I bought it at a Hardy Plant Society AGM. I chuck a piece of horti fleece over it during the worst of the weather and it has so far served me well. I’m very fond of it.

Finally we have the lax and lazy Impatiens puberula that is only bothering to pop out the odd bloom and that in a half hearted way. Earlier in the season I repotted this and cut it back hard, which might explain the reticence. Perhaps more than any, the impatiens have hated the dry and are top of the list when I’m watering.

Next year will be different. This time next year, Rodney, we’ll be millionaires!

That is your lot. Hope you are keeping well and happy. ‘Til next time.

Six on Saturday – Wise Words

Buddleja 'Black Knight'

Another day, another Six on Saturday.  As I am on a jolly holiday trip today I have risen very, very, very early* to contribute to this popular meme, for fear of the wrath of The Emperor Prop if I should miss another week**.  Due to my extreme rushdom these photos could have done with a retake/delete, but as these pictures where snapped at the crack of dawn*** this was not possible.  In an attempt to justify excuse disguise my bad craftmanship explain, I decided to use the noble medium of metaphor to get me out of a sticky situation enlighten you.

Lesson One.  Do not judge a flower by its lazy photographer.
Let us begin with the moody tones of Buddleja ‘Black Knight’.  From this, carefully selected, angle the blooms are mostly in the shade.  We have been robbed of an accurate representation of its beauty.  This requires the viewer to exercise their imagination to complete the picture.  It is important to keep the brain muscle active.  Basically I am doing you a favour.

Roscoea purpurea

Lesson Two.  Out of sight is out of a scatty mind.
Earlier in the year I dug up this Roscoea purpurea and potted it up for safe keeping.  This spring, although I was patient, nothing came up in the pot.  This poked up its cheeky head last week.  In the ground.  At the exact spot that I had dug it up.  The question is what did I cosset through the harsh spell?  A figment of my imagination perhaps.

Meconopsis napaulensis

Lesson Three:  All that glistens is not gold platform boots.
Even when it is out of focus.  The flower heads of Miscanthus nepalensis are sprinkled with pure sunlight.  These gilded strands carry the seeds which will make more of these stunning plants. Once into their stride, this is but a baby, they produce spectacular, polished metallic, rasta dreads.  A very special sight.

sidalcea

Lesson Four:  Ignorance is sometimes bliss
Or, don’t believe anything you are told.  Except of course that you are lovely.  This white sidalcea was sold to me as an unknown geranium.  Unknown, yes, geranium, no.  The result is quite blissful.  To represent the hazy nature of my knowledge off this plant, I have employed this vaseline smeared effect.

Fuchsia hatchbachii

Lesson Five:  Behind every great fuchsia is an great one.
Could be construed as, “don’t always look at the ones that push themselves to the front, the ones just behind are sometimes much clearer”.  Fuchsia hatchbachii, a favourite of mine, is proving this point.

Hedychium 'Tara' seedling

Lesson Six:  Honesty is the best policy.
Usually anyway.  Sometimes, in order to avoid misunderstanding or misrepresentation, words are not necessary.  Here Hedychium ‘Tara’ is speaking for herself using her beauty alone.

That is your lot.  Now you can nip on over to The Propagator’s site and find a cornucopia of SoSers, that should keep you out of mischief for a little while.  As for myself, I must bid you adieu, off to RHS Rosemoor Flower Show ……

*If you believe this, you would believe anything
** I’m just kidding myself, he doesn’t even notice, he has so many loyal subjects, I am just another acolyte.
*** See * above

Six on Saturday – It’s a Miracle

Parahebe catarractae

It is Saturday.  Outside it is blowing a hoolie and periodically horizontal rain joins in the fun.  My ‘to do’ list makes War and Peace look like a novella.   I have writing to finish and don’t need any diversions thank you very much.  All great excuses not to participate in The Propagator‘s Six on Saturday.  But as I can be contrary even to myself, I thought, “why not, the rest can wait, I will brave the storm”.  And so I did.

First a stalwart of this little garden, Parahebe catarractae, which I believe might be now called Veronica catarractae, feel free to take your pick.  It was here when we arrived and flowers almost non-stop.  It was tempting to save this icy blue maiden for another day, for when I am desperate for blooms, but it deserved better than to be a fill-in.  Delicate, reliable, undemanding, all worthy attributes.

Liquidambar styraciflua

Liquidambar styraciflua

Next is our Liquidambar styraciflua, the American Sweetgum, which grows in pot in the small courtyard outside the kitchen door.  Totally inappropriate, but like a small child who wanted it now, I wanted it NOW.  Asking an assistant at a reputable plant centre (very very very reputable) if they sold liquidambars he said he had never heard of it and did I know the Latin name.  Um.  We found one in the end at “I can’t remember where” and it will have to stay in its temporary accommodation until we move to a mansion in the countryside with a couple of acres of land. Um again.

Argyranthemum

Argyranthemum

Right, who’s next?  Oh yes, this little argyranthemum, rescued in the spring from the bargain bin at a garden centre. It has battled, as everything out the front has, with prolonged and vicious mollusc attack.  Still, it has struggled through and hopefully will last the winter.  The Great Hedge of Ilfracombe next door has been cut down to a couple of feet, which has been wonderful for us and our sea views.  This might however be to the detriment of some of the more vulnerable over the winter months when the wicked winds pick up.  We will see.

Hedychium 'Tara'

Hedychium ‘Tara’

Now we have another of my beloved ginger lilies the exotic beauty, Hedychium ‘Tara’.  I think she speaks quite nicely for herself.

Pelargonium 'Calliope Hot Pink'

Pelargonium ‘Calliope Hot Pink’

On to a relatively new arrival to the fold, Pelargonium ‘Calliope Hot Pink’.  We are lucky hereabouts that pelargoniums often over-winter in our benign climate.  Cue the worst winter in living memory. Favourites do get protected from the worst of the rain and I think this may be one of the cossetted ones.  Just in case.

Fuchsia microphylla

Fuchsia microphylla

It wouldn’t be a Six on Saturday without a fuchsia.  So to conclude, the final contestant in today’s beauty contest is the diminutive and most charming Fuchsia microphylla.   When I was a child I loved visiting model villages, where everything was in miniature perfection.   This fuchsia evokes the same Lilliputian love in me.

There we have it Mr P.  Four weeks on the trot.  It’s a miracle.  It can’t possibly last.