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 – Pressure

Anemone nemorosa 'Robinsoniana'

As the weeks proceed this Six on Saturday malarkey is getting a little easier.  This is in part due to the season, but it is also because I have begun to pay more attention to my own garden.  Without wanting to get all slushy and sentimental about it, I must thank the King of Prop for making apparent my wicked and neglectful ways and setting me on the road to enlightenment.  Enough of that balderdash, if you want to know more, pop on over and see what the rest of the fan club have been up to. Shall we get this show on the road?  I think we should, it will be Sunday soon.

First of all we have an ethereal wood anemone,  Anemone nemorosa ‘Robinsoniana’.  This was a gift from the lovely Robin and Edwina Hill at the wonderful  Andrew’s Corner garden on the edge of Dartmoor, which coincidentally is open tomorrow under the National Garden Scheme.  Get there if you can!  Gift is a slight exaggeration.  In truth they had little chance of escape when I instigated my Lovely Plant Acquisition spell.  This is how it works: you stand over a plant and say in a very loud and pleading voice “I really, really, really, really, really love that plant”.  If you wish you can make a “woo woo” sound at the same time.  Of course, like many gardeners, they are generous folk and pretended to fall for my enchantment.  If you visit you might well see this one’s mama.

Next we have the emerging shoot of a rodgersia.  Hairy, unlike my legs.

tulips

These little species tulips, live in the Belfast sink in the front garden.  Which was a bit of a surprise.  I had forgotten that I had planted them and as the pixies seem to have stolen the label I have no idea what they are.  Yes, I know, again, after all I drone on and on about the importance of labelling, blah, blah, blah….. Well tough luck, its my party and I will cry if I want to.  Or indeed, not label my plants.  Note to any client that might be reading this.  This blatant flaunting of procedure is only allowed by me.  Full, accurate and comprehensive marking of all plants (in bestest handwriting and indelible pen) must be maintained at all times.  Hypocrisy, moi?

You may recognise this one.  It is the osteospermum that never sleeps. Through hell, high water, and a Devon winter.  Today I chopped off all its blooms, took cuttings, repotted it and wished it well.  Same for its dusky sister.  Harsh but fair.

Mukdenia rossiiNow we have the shiny little hands of Mukdenia rossii, a treasure in the saxifrage family.

Zaluzianskya ovataLastly we have Zaluzianskya ovata, also known as Star Balsam.  I know which name I will be using.  Beautiful in bud as well as in flower and, as its other common name Night Phlox suggests, night scented being pollinated by moths.  A little stunner.

Thanks King of Prop, see you next week, that is if I’m not too busy gardening trying to keep up to standard.  Now that cheeky Mr K has got fancy peonies in bloom, I’m going to have to up my game.  The pressure is on.  Adios!

Mukdenia rossii

Mukdenia (5)This lovely little member of the saxifrage family enticed me with its rosy autumnal foliage.  Little did I know quite how delightful the flower spikes of Mukdenia rossii  would be, standing tall above the barely emerging bronze/green palmate leaves.  If you have a sliver of woodlandesque garden, not too dry, I would recommend this Chinese native for a long season of splendid interest.  It certainly brightened a misty spring morning for me.