Six on Saturday – The Cupboard Isn’t Bare

Earlier this week, my old man said follow the van and don’t dilly dally on the way. Never one to miss the opportunity for a little van following, off we scooted to South Wales, hot-tailing a Luton full of plants from our garden. These cherished ones are now residing in my brother’s garden, where I am sure they are being tended and cherished as if they were his own. Or perhaps his lovely wife is in charge of the T & C. I am confident they will be quite safe for the scant four weeks we have before we leave here. I mean what could go wrong in 4 weeks? Perhaps it is best not to dwell on the subject. Do not fear, my friends, there is plenty left in the garden to share in this week’s Six on Saturday and lots more to come. More spring/autumn madness, hemisphere dependent, can be found with The Prop and the gang, pop over and take a look. Shall we proceed?

First, we have my mini-greenhouse, emptied of its precious cargo, now holding a pair of my wellies and a pair of ousted trainers. Oh, and a couple of pots of late/early cuttings: big purple penstemon and a double purple osteo. These need a keener eye than the transported ones.

Next is the bronze fennel, yes, the one that I spent many happy hours removing every single piece of from The Bed of Anarchy. The moral of this story is that when you name a border you have to accept the consequences. And this glorious thug will follow us. Many of the pots that have been stored below are already blooming a purple skirt of seedlings.

Onto Lavandula pinnata which has strolled through winter, flowering intermittently whilst cocking a snook to the season. I forgot to take any cuttings, and it is too late now I suppose, still it might come my way again.

Now an osteospermum which had been in a pot, but has now been transferred into the garden. The flower is looking a little cold nipped; still a beauty though. I have had to make painful decisions as to which to abandon and which to take with me. It is happy here, so best left to its Devon destiny.

Next, a wild strawberry, which I am quite sure will continue to delightfully pop up around the garden. I have potted up some cultivated strawberries for the new owner, hopefully they will give her fruit this year.

Finally, Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Valentine’, nestled between the phlomis and hydrangea in The Frozen North. A little beauty and happy as Larry.

That is your lot. Same time, same place? Possibly different time, but same place. Take care my friends.

Six on Saturday – From a Safe Distance

Harold Wilson once said that a week in politics is a long time.  Over this past week so much has been happening worldwide that it feels like an eternity.  Still spring skips along and stuff is happening; good things both in the garden and out.  If you want to see how alike we are around the world, in our gardens but also in our woes and joys, pop over to The Prop’s site where all will be revealed.  Here you can find out what our fellow humans have been getting up to and how many extra hours they have been in the garden when they should have been “working from home”.

First we have the same Muscari latifolium that I featured a couple of weeks ago, now all grown up.  Fabulous.

Last year my little brother and his family went to Tanzania on holiday.   As they are what we affectionately know as “The Cloggies”, ie they are mostly Dutch and live in the Netherlands, they very kindly posted me some African coffee instead of a postcard.  Unfortunately, possibly due to my extensive criminal record, the Customs and Exise people intercepted it.  They then proceed to break the seal, rootle around inside for a bit, before sending it on to me.  I decided not to drink the coffee.  The empty tin makes a rather nice container for a couple of baby sempervivum.  Thanks bruv, it was a nice thought.

Now we have a pot of radish and spring onions, well the potential for them anyway.  This is a feeble grow-your-own attempt.  I made a bit of a boo-boo and bought seed tape for the radishes.  It is weird stuff.  A bit like knicker elastic.  Nothing has germinated yet.  Perhaps it was knicker elastic after all.  Like the true professional I am, I have been checking for action several times a day.  Nowt yet.  Do you like my “no poo-ing in this pot” defence system?  For the cats you understand.

A couple of days ago OH decided to dead-head the hydrangea.  “Don’t stand on the bleeding heart that is growing underneath” I pleaded.  He gave a look, and it wasn’t the look of love.  He didn’t.   Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Valentine’ is quite safe.

I am trying to get my Jacaranda mimosifolia re-accustomed to life in the big bad world by moving it outside during the daytime and bringing it back into the relative comfort of our dining room at night.  It has been “in, out, in, out” but as yet there has been no “shaking it all about”.

Lastly we have the unfolding fresh foliage, red-edged and vulnerable, of one of our many Woolies acers.  Every one a winner baby.

‘Til next time my friends, stay safe and well.

 

Six on Saturday – Bunnies

Happy Six on Saturday Easter!  Or should that be Happy Easter Six on Saturday?  Whichever, I hope your Easter is a good one, whether or not you partake in this weekly rite.  Not sure what I am on about?  Nothing new there then.  It may all become a little clearer if you visit The Easter Bunny of Propdom’s site.  He will explain, and while you are there you can find out what all the other bunnies have been up to.

Shall we begin with a fat green caterpillar looking splendid in the magnificent blue bowl of Anemone coronaria ‘Bordeaux’, featured previously.   If we don’t allow caterpillars then there will be no butterflies or moths.  As I have discovered this week, the human species inflict more damage on my plants and aren’t half as pretty.   It is good to share sometimes.

Next we have the Cappadocian navelwort, Omphalodes cappadocica.  Such a pretty plant, a blue of the angels.  I half-inched this piece from Lady Mantle’s estate when she otherwise engaged (on her gin break).  As I was already nailed for the theft of one plant I thought I might as well go for broke and take another.  Although the wanted poster is rather fetching likeness, I consider 30 bob and half a corned beef sandwich a rather insulting reward for my apprehension.

On to Dodecatheon meadia, the shooting star.  It is just coming into bloom and each year charms me with its downward pointing dart-like flowers.   At the moment it is growing in a pot, which is not ideal but means I can bring it in and out of the spotlight as warranted.  Now it is in prime place, as it deserves.

Next another emerging Woolies acer.  In the last few weeks I have been systematically ….. hang on a minute who I am trying to kid, that is absolutely nonsense, I have never been systematic in my entire life……. I have been randomly potting up and on, renewing compost and feeding all the permanent pot residents.   They thank me for this spring clean and renourishment.

Bleeding heart, bleeding wonderful.

Finally my cunning tulip plan of the autumn, to pack Tulipa ‘Orange Emperor’ and Tulipa ‘Purple Prince’ into the Belfast sink, has finally come to fruition.  Admittedly there are more earth shattering innovations, but on a cold November weekend it seemed pretty avant garde.   The crowd were on the edge of their seat for a while when the purples flowered and the oranges were a no-show, but eventually everyone caught up and it is now looking splendid.  A happy ending.  Just as it should be.

Happy hopping everyone!

 

Six on Saturday – Dyb, Dyb, Dyb

viola

I’m prepared this week.  No last-minute rush, all is calm and in control, just like a girl guide.  In real life I didn’t make it to the heady heights of girl guidom, but I was in the brownies, who quite frankly take anyone.  I can’t remember much of our exploits except there was a curiously large plastic mushroom placed in the middle of the room at all our gatherings.   Like many of my fellow gang members, my arm was bedecked with various badges.  Unfortunately they weren’t cool and sophisticated subjects in those days, no Inventing, or Aviation or Zero Waste.   Possibly there was Crocheting Toilet Roll Covers and Defrosting Arctic Rolls, although I can’t be certain.  The only one I remember for certain was the music badge.  Perhaps too well.  “What is this instrument?” the examiner asked pointing at a picture, “A bass” I replied.  “Can you be more specific?”.  I was puzzled, very puzzled, what could this highly technical terminology be.   I had studied my Ladybird book The Story of Music from back to front and front to back, I had been confident I had all subjects covered.  But I was flummoxed  No light bulb moments.  Eventually after much furrowed browing (which I blame for my present wrinkle predicament), some uming and a far amount of ahing, I conceded I didn’t know.  She made a terse note on her clipboard.  Now a little uncertain of myself, I went on to play my recorder solo, possibly a rendition of Handel’s Water Music, more likely Frère Jacques, as I say my memory is hazy.  It turns out this mystery instrument is called a “double bass”.  Give the gal a break!  And yes, I am still bitter.  And yes, I did get my badge.  And yes, it is time I moved on.

Seems I have wandered off the track once more.  I will lose my trekking award.  Back to the task in hand, which is Six on Saturday.  An event where billions of people from across the galaxy feature six items from their gardens, or an approximation on this theme, in a humongous horticultural jamboree.  If you wish to get your SoS arm badge then pop on over to our Akela’s site and you can discover much more, including the words to She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain which you will need for a sing-song later.

First we have a viola which is still in its reticent stage.  Each year is the same.  I plant them with great verve and expectation, praising and naming them with great aplomb No. 1 in my top ten of winter bedding.  Then they sit there. *time passes* Any flowers that deign to show their cutsie faces are nibbled by slugs in their overcoats, they grow lank and dishevelled.  *time passes*  Then eventually they wake up, read the contract and get into giving us a great display just when we are thinking about changing the display.  We are still at stage 2, although this little chap has avoided mollusc attack so deserves a show and tell.

Lamprocapnos spectabile 'Valentine'

Next we have the emerging foliage of Lamprocapnos spectabile ‘Valentine’,  or Dicentra specabilis ‘Valentine’ to those who knew it in its previous incarnation.  They are perfect in their infancy.  Scattered around are leaves from the large shrubby phlomis that shades it, torn off in the recent high winds.

Lillium 'Casa Blanca'

Now we have the first showing of the diva Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’.  This majestic lily was a gift from my favourite heckler.    I don’t wish to ruin his reputation so he will remain anonymous.

bindweed

Who invited you to the party?

potentilla

Onto the emerging leaves of Potentilla ‘Lady Mantle’.  This name has yet to be officially accepted by the Royal Horticultural Society.   Which is mainly because I dug a piece out of her ladyship’s garden and ran home with the hounds snapping at my ankles.  Without label naturellement.

camellia

Lastly a flower which is not in my garden, but it will be soon.  This beautiful camellia bloom belongs to our neighbour.  Soon, when it has bored of being splendid, it will drop over the wall onto the path that leads to our front door.   I think it is quite fair that I can share in its loveliness, the fee being that I will clear up the deceased.

There we go, six done and dusted.  Dyb, dyb, dyb, dob, dob, dob.

Six on Saturday – Time Travel

Euryops chrysanthemoides

Today, Saturday 24 March 2018, I am on a secret mission with several other SoS-ers.  It is thanks to the magic of time travel and WordPress scheduling I am able to bring you my contribution this week.  Take a look at our leader The Propmeister‘s blog and all will be revealed about what Six on Saturday is all about.  When you find out will you please let me know.  I must get on, I have to polish my boots.

My first photo is entitled “How the Mighty Have Fallen”.  Now I regret my cursing and chopping back of this exuberant Euryops chrysanthemoides  wishing it was a little less vigourous.  I also rue my cockiness about its safety.  As the Beast from the East seems to be a pack of wolves rather than a lone traveller, with another attack due next weekend, I am feeling rather nervous about its fate.

A parcel arriving is always an exciting thing.  When it comes from de Jager and has bulbs inside it, even more so.  Rest assured, no lessons about growing tender plants have been learnt.

Fritillaria uva vulpis

A stop off on the way home from Cardiff as couple of weeks ago resulted in a few purchases.  Some went to a client, some came home with me.  This Fritillaria uva vulpis, Fox’s Grape Fritillary, was one that has now joined the happy throng at my house.  Or perhaps the cold and slightly miserable throng.  Looks jolly enough though.

Another purchase on the same expedition (it is illegal to buy just one plant and equally unlawful not to have a bleeding heart in your garden) was Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Valentine’.  Although unplanted as yet, it is looking surprisingly chipper, even after languishing under several inches of snow for a few days.

Primula sieboldii 'Essie'

In all the slush and rotting vegetation we have more positivity in the emerging furry shoots of  Primula sieboldii  ‘Essie’.  This was purchased from Penny’s Primulas as couple of years ago, whose spectacular cultivars are named after their beloved cats.  You will have to wait and see what this moggy looks like.  Liking the dramatic build up?

spider

Lastly we have a little chap who was basking in the sunshine this morning.  He must have hunkered down in the Osteo that Refuses to Die with his new caterpillar best friend, now known as H R Puffin Stuff thanks to Tony.  Seems like he has a leg in the wrong place, who knows what was going on underneath that horticultural fleece.  Perhaps it is an optical illusion.

That’s all folks!  Thanks again to The Propagator for hosting this meme.   I am loving this time travel lark.  Have they appointed a new Doctor yet? I’ve got a brilliant idea, they could have a woman as the next Doctor and it could be me.  What do you think?  Sorry, what was that?  I’ve missed the boat?  It was worth a crack.