Six on Saturday – The Long Goodbye

It has been a week of fare-thee-wells and packing; a few tears, plenty of reminising and a fair amount of box action. And we are not over quite yet, another week and a bit to go ’til M Day. I’m sure I will be lost for words when we are eventually settled into Nouveau Chez Nous (Fred?). Still all this turmoil is little excuse not to participate in the meme of champions, presided over by The Wizard of Prop and ably supported by multinational team of Munchkins. Time waits for no Munchie so let us proceed or we will never reach the Emerald City in time. Wagons Roll!

First we have Phlomis fruticosa, just coming into flower. I can’t praise this shrub highly enough for its resilience in the face of much torment and torture from wind and rain. It rocks and rolls all winter and then calmly produces a myriad of sunshine blooms. Top marks, my friend.

I am pretty certain that there used to be hyacinths where these flowers are blooming.  They seems a little loose to be hyacinths, but a little full flowered to be the evil Mata Hari known as the Spanish Bluebell.  Can these two related plants hybridise?  Are they Bluecyinths or Hybells?  Should I have a lie down?

There are undeniable signs that the Colquhounia coccinea has survived the winter. I gave a cutting to Jim last year which I believe flowered. This one has never flowered. Bitter? Moi?

Rain sodden strawberry flowers, escapees from the orginal pot, which are thriving jammed between wall stones. Read into that what you may.

If anyone is paying attention they might at this moment be sighing and thinking “what another aquilegia?”. However this one is featured as it is raising its head uncharacteristically in a “come on photograph me” kind of way. It was futile to resist. Either that or it was raining and I was in a hurry and looking for an easy option. You choose.

Lastly, you will have to indulge me once again. The above photo is not from my garden, but from Nancy Nightingale’s. This week was my last visit to her and her crazy garden. We dashed around in the rain, doing what we could whilst I gabbled instruction for the future. Things like “be gentle” and “I’ll be watching”. Digging a hole to plant out one of her many dahlias was enhanced/disrupted by puppy giant Snoop Dog, who admirably assisted me with my excavations. From my prone position, I noticed how he had carefully/fortuitously avoided the marigold with his great big delicious paws.

That is your lot, my friends. Have a good one and stay safe and well.

Six on Saturday – Ennui

Allium triquetral

Six on Saturday here we go again, all good friends and jolly good company.  Although I’m not feeling “jolly good company” this week.  On the contrary, I am rather uninspired.  Dull.  Boring.  Bored.  Perhaps a little bit grumpy.  But only a little.  Maybe I should ring in sick, but then again I’m away next weekend and it might look suspicious.  I can’t even think of anything cheeky to say about our leader The Propagator, other than he is our leader and of course that he is gorgeous (believe me flattery works every time).  I’d better just get on with, sitting here at the dining table, typing away within one hand whilst making a chilli for tea with the other, neither with much conviction.  OH is watching the rugby and shouting at the ref/touch judges/players/anyone who looks vaguely in his direction, his conviction never waivers.

On to the first photo.  This is no exotic bloom, but our very own, introduced invasive weed, the three-cornered leek, Allium triquetral.  I have no idea how it got into the garden, and although he denies it, I have my suspicions who smuggled this ferocious monster onto my patch. *follow my eyes to the hollering mad man on the sofa*.  It was looking rather lovely in the sunshine yesterday.

Papaver

Thank you to everyone who enquired as to the well-being of Simon the poppy, who had the misfortune to grow smack bang in the middle of the builder’s M4 motorway.  “Everyone” amounted to the grand total of “no one”.  As you can see, he is looking healthy and happy.  For all you lot care.

Sophora

Now we have Sophora microphylla which suffered terribly at the teeth of various beasts of 2018.  It has limped along ever since, like a horticultural Tiny Tim.  I am very pleased that it has gathered the strength to attempt a little flowering.  God bless us every one.

Exchorda macrantha

My relationship with Exchorda x macrantha ‘The Bride’ is turbulent.  Most of the year I am not enamoured with this tumblesome, unruly shrub, but as soon as the blooms begin I fall back in love.  A little bit of die-back there needs sorting, anyone know a good gardener?

hyacinth

I spotted this hyacinth skulking amongst the foliage of the libertia.   These loose panicled blooms are stunning, the iridescent blue of the bells perfectly set off by the midnight stems.

Salvia gesneriifolia

Lastly the Salvia gesneriiflora has just begun flowering.  Bang on cue, “late winter, early spring”.   But it was worth waiting for.  Furry.  Red.  Giant.  This was the one of the plants that I was unable to resist when I attended the Hardy Plant Society AGM last March.   I’m so pleased that my willpower is so weak.

I made it!  Now I’d better join in the shouting …….