Six on Saturday – Hot, Not Bothered

Well that was a hot one, wasn’t it?! First time this year I’ve said those immortal words “It’s too hot!”. They definitely weren’t ideal working conditions, there was a lot of skulking in the shadows. Someone who throughout our mini-heat wave was undoubtably as cool as a cucumber frozen into an iceberg, was our leader The Prop. Pop on over to his blog and all SoS secrets will be revealed. Most of them anyway. Pop over to Mr K to get the uncensored version. Of course, the warm weather seldom lasts for long and we are now back to a brisk breeze and showers. What the poor plants are thinking, I can only guess. Let us proceed with my Six on Saturday.

First, we have Lycianthes rantonnetii, AKA Solanum rantonnetti, AKA a posh shrubby spud. During my annual (at least) shuffle this was moved and quite frankly my dear didn’t give a damn.

Next, we have ginger mint. So pretty, but still confined in a pot to restrict its garden domination. I have the standard, not sure exactly what it is, mint as well, which is used for the new potatoes. I might give this a go, it could have interesting results. Or maybe tea?

Sciadopitys verticillata, the Japanese umbrella pine, again in a pot. Mistreated but loved. I often give it a sideways glance as I pass, wondering what it could be if allowed to spread its roots. At the moment it is heading for bonsai territory. As I have said before, I am not a great lover of conifers, except this one, and pines, and all the redwoods, and wollemi of course, and cryptomeria, and …..

Iris ensata ‘Moonlight Waves’ struggled with the dry and then the wind and rain. This slightly battered flower, one of only two on my new plant, is still magnificent. Next year Rodney.

This feather had fallen onto the leaf of a Japanese anemone that has worked its way through our garden wall from next door. I thought it looked like an exotic insect. Until it rained, then it looked like a wet feather.

Lastly, we have Callistemon masotti, scarlet and golden tipped. The terracotta pot it is living in disintegrated a few weeks ago. We hadn’t another one to replace it and as we were in meltdown lockdown, we couldn’t buy another. So my handy man about the house glued it back together again. It doesn’t seem to have minded a bit of gorilla glue about the roots.

That is your lot, take care of yourselves. Same time next week, hopefully.

Six on Saturday – Right Place/Wrong Place

After my week’s respite from Sixing I am feeling energised and inspired.  Not really.  I thought that if I typed that it would become the truth, but no, it didn’t work.  The week has been draining, but on the whole great fun.  No doubt some of you will also have had to endure/enjoy above average temperatures that inevitably wilts us Brits and suffer the relentless horseflies that pursue gardeners for sport.   Still I will do my best for you and most especially for The Most Worshipful and Esteemed Propagator who never shirks his responsibilities and is relentless in his pursuit of the perfect Six on Saturday.  Let us begin.

First, we have Leucanthemum ‘Engelina’, a shasta daisy.  Unfortunately, the Head Gardener (me) thought it would grow a little taller than it has and its beauty is hidden by a more vigorous salvia in front.  It doesn’t seem to have done it any harm, we can live with a little leaf nibblage.   For the meantime I will excuse this error by considering it a lovely surprise to come across when rummaging around in the border.

Next a eucomis, full name unknown.  It was a bit of a surprise when it appeared.   I don’t remember ever acquiring one, by fair or foul means.  It seems to have made itself at home all by itself.  No complaints though, I am always open to those kind of unexpected events.

Onto Nemesia ‘Myrtille’, bought during my bargain bin extravaganza a few weeks ago.  It, and its scarlet mate, are filling spaces in my Belfast sink planter in the front garden.   Someone (yes, I’m looking at you Mr Mollusc) decimated my gorgeous red bedding verbena, which I believe are now called glandularia.  I know, sounds like a tropical disease.  The culprit has never been found although the case is not yet closed.  The ver… glandularia are now in a safe place, we are keeping their exact location secret for security reasons.

Last year I bought Lycianthes rantonnetii as a mere stripling, but before the season was out it had shot up to 2m.  In the spring it was moved to a more appropriate place.  It didn’t turn a hair and is now flowering beautifully and growing splendidly.   Result.  If only life was always so simple.

Earlier in the week Mrs Bun asked me to chop the lavender outside the Garden Room.  As it was headed for the compost heap I offered to take it off her hands.  At the moment it is drying outside in the sunshine.   Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time.

When I visited Marwood Hill Gardens a couple of weeks ago, the wonderful Malcolm gifted me this Impatiens arguta ‘Alba’.  Yesterday I noticed that it had started to flower.  Fabulous.  A wonderful present.

That is it, all done.  Until next time!

Six on Saturday – Brrrrrr!

Galanthus 'S. Arnott'

Happy Six on Saturday to you all!  It has been a week of weather; from the unimaginable cold in the North of America to the searing heat in parts of Australia.  We had some of the white stuff in the UK too, which has been followed by the inevitable chaos on the roads and the panic buying of Mother’s Pride and Chardonnay.  In Ilfracombe we had a pathetic smattering, but you didn’t have to venture far to see the real McCoy.  But I didn’t bother venturing anywhere.  I decided to just imagine it instead.  This morning I asked OH if it was too late to indulge in a little panic buying.  We bought a multi-bag of snacktastic crisps and a pack of blood oranges just in case.   If you are tempted to join the not-so-secret society of SoSers or would like to be shown how it is supposed to work by more sensible folk, pop over to King Prop’s blog and all will be revealed.  Let’s get on with it, too cold to hang about.

First we have a snowdrop.  A distinct feeling of déjà vu?  This is in fact my other snowdrop Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’, also bought at Helen’s Little Ash Garden open day.  Don’t worry, this is the extent of my snowdrop collection.  I’ve got a long way to go before I can be classed as a true galanthophile.

Although we had but a mere smidgen of snow, it has been both very cold and exceptionally windy.  So windy that in the early hours of Sunday morning, after lying awake listening to the roaring and scaffolding boards dancing, we got up and listened to the World Service until light.  We then called the builder who came to tie down the boards again.  He was grumpy to have been roused from his weekend slumber, I hadn’t slept a wink all night, he didn’t stand a chance.  This Lycianthes rantonnetii is paying for its vigour, the leaves are withered and lifeless after the desiccating gales.  I am hoping that beneath all is well.

papaver

On to my oriental poppy.  It is in the middle of the superhighway that the builders macheted through the Bed of Anarchy.  By some quirk of fate it escaped a size ten steel toecap.  They were back yesterday, the Velux in the office roof has sprung a rather impressive leak.  Before they started I pointed it out to them  “That is a poppy” I said “It is called Simon and I would like you to do your utmost to avoid standing on it.”  They did their best.  Quite sensibly they were concerned about the potential for retribution by someone who names their herbaceous perennials.

hedychium It appears that one of my hedychiums has set seed.  This is good.  I have grown a ginger lily from seed before and it only took a few years to get to flowering size.  These will stay on the plant for as long as possible.  Perhaps Mr P would like some?  What do you mean “creep”?

Rose

Lastly we have an example of the importance of being in the right place at the right time.  The crimson tinged foliage of this rose, which could be ‘Peace’, has not suffered in the slightest in the recent inclement weather.   It is as fresh and pristine as the moment it unfurled from the bud.   I hope I haven’t summoned the demons of fate tempting.

gazania

And second lastly is a gazania that was in hiding, possibly due to the fact it doesn’t want to be spotted by the evil north wind.  Did I get away with it?  Maybe not.

Another SoS completed, always a triumph.  Until next time!

 

 

Six on Saturday – Autumn Antics

It has been a rather discombobulating week, with midweek shenanigans and not much work.  The little work I did proved to be rather beneficial, it seems that I am no longer in denial about the onset of autumn.  It appears that I have caught up with everyone else, just in time for winter to rear its, potentially, ugly head.   This week I have enjoyed being wrapped up against the elements, the drizzle didn’t bother me, the urge to tidy was strong and truly enjoyable.  So much so, I worked in my own garden yesterday, before the “weather” arrived and I was reluctant to come in when it did.  Today I will be celebrating the autumn garden. Well my autumn garden anyway.  Six things in fact, which is just as well as this is Six on Saturday time again.  Swan on over to The Propagator’s site to discover what it is all about Alfie, where to send your blank cheques and read contributions from other mugs like myself SoSers.

First we have more from the Bed of Anarchy, which on reflection does sound like a death metal band.  The late flowering cerise cosmos are supporting themselves on the now monstrous Lycianthes rantonnetii.  This Paraguayan nightshade is also commonly known as the blue potato bush, neither of which are particularly decorative names, and has grown to its predicted 2m in one bizarre growing season.   Whether or not it will be allowed to stay is the subject of heated debate (with myself and therefore could run for weeks).  It may be located to someone with a more appropriately sized garden.

pyracantha

Next we have some pyracantha fruit, admittedly looking quite beautiful.  I may have mentioned it before (perhaps one hundred times) but I am not a fan of prickly plants.  And they know it.  This one, purchased by OH, is in a pot and has viciously stabbed me on numerous occasions.  Intentionally.   It knows it is quite safe.

Salvia 'Phyllis' Fancy'

Now for a newbie to the Heavenly Horti Family.  This is Salvia ‘Phyllis’ Fancy’ gifted to me by my old friend Hero.  I have long loved this salvia; hardy and long flowering and of course dreamily delicious with its violet calyx and tinged white flowers.   It was necessary to prop her up against the scaffolding for a spot of industrial chic and the fact that she is rather floppy.  At present she is banished to the naughty corner, as she brought a cargo of unwelcome whitefly with her.  All the same, a lovely present.

Honeysuckle berries

Onto more fruit, this time of the honeysuckle.  These strawberry jelly orbs are tasty morsels for hungry birds, fresh flowers are opening on a daily basis and it is quite thornless.  Am I making myself clear?

osteospermum

Now we have a slightly battered flower of the osteospermum that never sleeps.   A slight exaggeration perhaps (moi?).  The Beasts stopped it in its tracks, but after a rather harsh chop back earlier in the year and some encouraging words it has come back fighting.  Always a joy.

Salvia leucantha

Lastly we have Salvia leucantha, doing a fine impersonation of a purple wet dog.  It has been featured before, but realistically this is going to happen more often as the year progresses.  I am hoping that rather like myself, your memories are more patchy than photographic.

That’s it!  Another SoS completed!  Thanks Mr P for your leadership.  Same time, same place?

 

 

Six on Saturday – Eye of the Storm

Salvia 'Blue Angel'

As we have been spared, well I have anyway, Six on Saturday will go ahead as planned.  Please do us all a favour and take a look at the The Prop’s site, he gets in a terrible sulk if you don’t.   And a Propogator sulk is a magnificently terrifying event.

We begin with Salvia patens ‘Blue Angel’.  It is not a secret that I am salvia fiend.  I am also partial to blue flowers.  Cuddly is good too.  Tick, tick, tick and voilà, my idea of heaven.

After yesterday’s crazy squalls and anticipating tomorrow’s predicted storm, today was an eye in the storm of the traditional bank holiday weather.  Unfortunately this window of opportunity did not coincide with a peak in my enthusiasm, rather a surfeit of ennui.  My heels scraped the ground as I dragged outside and did a few bits of potting on and took some late cuttings.  I also planted these, bought last weekend at Rosemoor Garden Show.  They are the corms of Crocus sativus , otherwise known as the saffron crocus.  Apparently it takes between 50,000 and 75,000 plants to produce a pound of this golden spice.  I have thirteen.  Start small, think big.

Nicotiana 'Lime Green'This Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’ has proved to be a little belter.  It over wintered (yes, THAT winter) and has gone on to flower through drought and deluge.  Big round of applause please.  It is supposed to be a half-hardy annual.  Someone is confused but I am not complaining.  It would be asking too much to expect it to keep going for another year, so I will try to collect some seed just in case.

Lycianthes rantonnetiiThis was sold to me as Solanum rantonnetii, but apparently it is now known as Lycianthes rantonnetii or the Paraguayan Nightshade.  Top Tip: don’t eat it.  But then I doubt whether you were thinking about it anyway, not with the word “nightshade” in its common name.  A bit of a monster, growing to 2m x 2m, it is at the moment just getting into its stride.

Rhodotypos scandens

Now the fruit of Rhodotypos scandens, common name black jet bead.  It was taking a real battering yesterday, being bent almost double in the thrashing wind and rain.  This morning, it is none the worse for a good shake, rattle and roll.

Glumicalyx nutans

Lastly we have another of my new purchases, the wonderfully monikered South African Glumicalyx nutans.   This plant was bought purely on name and bizarreness value.  You can imagine how thrilled I was to learn that it is commonly known as the nodding chocolate flower.   And yes apparently it does have chocolate scent.  We were meant to be.

All done.  That is your lot.  Thanks Your Royal Propness for hosting another week of SoS.  Na Noo Na Noo.