Six on Saturday – Celebration

On the face of it there hasn’t been much to celebrate recently.  For quite a while now.  Most of the reasons, and there have been a fair few, have been, and are continuing to be, well documented.   Too many commas?  Perhaps.  In our little corner, just to add some spice to the mix, we have a new leak at the back of the house and our boiler threw a hissy fit on Tuesday and will not be fixed (at the earliest) until Monday.  Good job it isn’t cold and wet and miserable, that would be truly horrendous.  Wait a minute ……..  Still, where there is life and a multi-pack of kettle crisps there is hope and there is generally something to smile about in the garden.  My Six on Saturday will therefore be a celebration.  I will not be thwarted.  Not this week anyway.  If you would like to read the rest of the gangs’ contributions, a lovely optimistic lot they are too, pop on over to The Maestro Prop’s site to find out what is going on across the globe and beyond.

First we have a primula, and a rather lovely one at that.  It has been left to its own devices and, as things do, it has bulked up in a pleasing way over the last few years.  I don’t remember planting it, but this means little.

Now the seed head of Micanthus nepalensis, its contents jettisoned.  The skeleton a reminder of what was and what is to come.

A large piece of this rosemary snapped off a few weeks ago.  “Helpfully”, and yes the inverted commas are significant, my OH tidied up the broken piece that was sheltering a friendly snail.  Although a little battered, the flowers are defiant.

Well hello Muscari latifolium, please feel free to grow and become the beauty you are destined to become.  No need to be shy, we are all friends here.

I love the fiery red that some of the Pelargonium cordifolium var. rubrocinctum leaves have turned this winter.  Although this could possibly indicate stress, unhappiness or indeed despair, I dismiss this negativity and just enjoy the show.  Harsh, and not in the slightest bit fair.

And to conclude I will share something that is not lurking in my garden.  I hope I am forgiven.  Let me take you to the romantic setting of an industrial estate on the edge of Bideford, not far from the recycling centre and around the corner from the furniture warehouse.  It was here, after 34 years of unwedded bliss, myself and OH had a civil partnership.  It was very low key, just ourselves and our witnesses, the glorious Lord and Lady Mantle.  We then scooted off to the Burton Art Gallery for lunch.  As would befit the ocassion, myself and OH had chips and beer whilst the Mantles enjoyed galettes and fizz.  The sun shone.  It was lovely.  Although to be honest Lady M. could have looked a little jollier.  I am also slightly concerned that it was the registry office we visited and not Screwfix …..

Stay well friends, keep your chins pointed towards the sky and don’t lose the faith.  ‘Til next time.

Six on Saturday – Time Flies

anemone

Six on Saturday time again.  The weeks are passing quickly and soon I will be back at work.  I am half looking forward and to half dreading this.  I will be very unfit, I am little nervous I will hurt my foot, and it is bloomin’ cold out there!  But on the plus side I will see all my lovely clients again, watch spring arrive in their gardens and have the joy of helping them plan for the future.  I spent  one lovely day in my own garden this week, and I picked a good ‘un.  It was sunny and warm and the ground was easy.   Not a great deal was achieved, except a lot of pottering and pondering.  Perfect.  Now on to what I found during my rumagings.

Our first picture is of the emerging foliage of Anemone coronaria ‘Bordeaux’.  As I am “on the wagon” at the moment, this is the closest I am going to get to a bottle of red.  I planted them in  the pot where the Hedychium ‘Pradhani’ lurks, they will be long over by the time that exotic creature wakes.

euphorbia

Next we have a blushing Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae, the wood spurge, looking like it is contemplating flowering.  This plant had a severe chop back last year after it was decimated by some strong winds.  Now it is a sturdy and strong specimen.  Rather like myself.  Admittedly I have never needed a chop back.  Next to it you can just about see the browning foliage of Salvia corrugata, which although a little tatty around the edges is still flowering.  Rather like …. you get the picture.

Miscanthus nepalensis

Now for Miscanthus nepalensis, whose golden tresses are now turning to silver.  It has done very well this year, for a young ‘un, and I am hopeful that next year it will be even better.

pyracantha

There is not a single fruit left on the pyracatha, stripped bare but for a couple of manky looking specimens.   As far as I am concerned this has negated its reason for existence, to me it just represents pain.  However, I am sure whoever has feasted on the succulent orange baubles will be looking forward to next year in anticipation.  It will therefore stay.

This was a hooray moment, pulling back the mat of dead monbretia foliage and finding these ruddy shoots below.  They belong to Paeonia mlokosewitschii, known to her friends as Molly the Witch.  She was a gift a few years ago and has yet to flower.  This year, it surely will be this year.  Someone has been having a bit of a nibble, hopefully I have now deterred them.

Lastly we have Pelargonium cordifolium var. rubrocinctum with friend and associated poo.   The caterpillar is so perfect in its Kawasaki greenness, and the matching heart-shaped leaves with tiny scarlet pin heads at the end of each tooth equally as wonderful.   We could do without the poo in the picture, but that is nature for you.  And yes, I let the caterpillar alone.  And yes, I realise that soon all will not be perfect.

Thanks for hosting this shindig to the caller of the dance The Propagator, long may he rule!

 

 

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

Pockets

Grass seed

There is something very special about a gardener’s pockets, more specifically the contents.  As the week progresses, the pouches are crammed, culminating in a weekly unloading ceremony.  I know I will not be alone in this custom, when the jettisoning of the weeks detritus is undertaken.  The mishmash of items extracted consists of things to be thrown away when a suitable bin was found then forgotten, and items to saved or reused.  The stalwarts are plant labels, string, seeds and tissues.  Other favourites are teabags, pens, sweet wrappers and keys.  And there is always mud.

But what of the less frequent wear, the seasonal coats, raincoat number 6 or the emergency ill fitting fleece?  These are the pockets that don’t get checked on a regular basis.  It is here we find the mysterious objects, the strange pods, the scribbled notes, the folds of paper containing dust. Once treasures, worth saving, now reduced to disappointment.

Yesterday I plucked a wisteria bean from Max’s tree and popped it in my pocket.  Today, just as I was leaving The Bakehouse, I slipped my hand into my pocket and found it. So I donated it to Mrs Bun. Redistribution of the harvest.

These are the flower heads of Miscanthus nepalensis, the glorious bronze plumed grass.  As this was also harvested yesterday I can still remember what it is.  Otherwise it would be another one for the miscellaneous pile!