Six on Saturday – AWOL

I am not actually here. In fact at this very moment I am probably jet washing Lord and Lady Mantle’s silverware or polishing the throughbreds. Yes, we have left Welsh Wales for the weekend and are visiting the grand abode of the aforementioned dignitaries. In normal circumstances, this would make it tricky to post my offering, but I have been able to complete my Six on Saturday mission with the help of a secret accomplice. Many thanks to him. I may well pay later. Find out what is happening on planet SoS by visiting The Grand Vizier of Propolopolis where his royalness and his faithful acolytes can be found Sixing all over the world. Shall we proceed, the chinchillas won’t walk themselves.

First we have an unnamed hibiscus in Peggy’s garden. I suspect it is H. syriacus and I also suspect that I planted it, along with another which is just about to bloom. Something of the exotic is always welcome.

Next a lacecap hydrangea which is being bullied out by its neighbours but has managed to sneak a couple of flowers through the foliage of the offending shrubs. It is very pretty, I might take a cutting. Hydrangea-love is something that sneaks up on you unawares. Not that I’m complaining, the more love the better.

Now we have a cutting of Abelia floribunda which at 10cm tall is getting a little ahead of itself. Not yet, my lovely, concentrate of growing strong before you start showing off! I nipped off the bloom just after the photo was taken. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

One of the very few plants (leave me to my delusions) that I have purchased since moving here is this white agapanthus. It sang the Song of the Sirens to me when we were visiting an open garden in the village. Do not fear, this is not a confession of another felony, it was in the plant sales.

A couple of weeks ago I got a top tip that some hanging baskets were going cheap and these hanging baskets were stuffed full of apricot tuberous begonias. The rest is history.

Finally, when ordering some radish seed a couple of weeks ago, somehow a packet of Aloe polyphylla fell into my virtual basket. I have been mesmerised by this Fibonacci succulent for a while now, but I have never been able to justify the cost of a plant. The little five seeds have been soaking in water for a few weeks and, thrillingly, one of them has germinated. This week I potted it up into a small terracotta pot and am hoping for the best. I have a feeling it might end in tears. It is tiny and vulnerable, the horicultural grit looks like landscape of boulders. Still, faint heart never grew fair aloe.

That is your lot for today. Hope all is well with the gang. ‘Til next time.

Stone Washed

Today Lord and Lady Mantle were called away on top secret business, possibly something to do with road testing custard slices, but I can’t be certain.  I was left to my own devices.  Dangerous you might think.  And I wouldn’t blame you.

By nature I am a flitter, jumping from one task to another and back again.  This doesn’t work well when you are working with other more methodical folk.  Being home alone meant I could dance around to my heart’s delight.  Two days of dry weather gave perfect seed collecting weather, if you discount the gale force wind.  I trimmed back the black elder and tree peony, allowing plenty of space for the soon to be on site Men with Machines who are going to trim/butcher the leylandii.  Pots of pelargoniums and dahlias were moved to the greenhouse, I dug up the black zantedeschia and chocolate cosmos to keep them company.  Weeds were ousted and prize winning compost incorporated.

They returned just in time for His Lordship to make me a quail toastie and pour me a pint of claret for lunch.  No one mentioned custard slices.  Mum’s the word.

Although there is still much colour in the garden, gazanias, alonsoa and osteospermums, I loved the muted, stone-washed tones of this lace-cap hydrangea.