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 – Not Going Out

We made it to another Six on Saturday, hurrah!   If you are curious, pop on over to The Prop’s and find out what the rest of the gang are up to.  For some it will be spring, for some it will be autumn, but we are all united by one thing.   Things have slowed down, there is no need to rush as tomorrow will be soon enough, there is time to consider and immerse ourselves in the moment.  I find that very comforting in these strange times.  Let us meander to over to my chosen ones.

Firstly, we have a sublime double purple tulip.  I’ve looked for the label, but nothing.  I’ve looked for the packaging, but nothing.  Someone needs a firm talking to.  It is not the first time this has happened.  The worse thing is that it is a dreadful example to my esteemed clients, whom I mercilessly nag about keeping everything labelled.  It is a bit like telling everyone to stay home and then travelling to your holiday home 150 miles away.

Next we have the knicker elastic radishes, looking rather dandy.  I have been watering and cooing words of encouragement.  Their neighbours in the pot, some spring onions, have also begun to emerge.  Always a miracle.

Onto the red Woolies acer looking resplendent against the white-washed wall.  I think I might have used a similar photograph before, but I reckoned that nobody would remember or if they did, they wouldn’t care.

Now we have a jolly osteospermum.  The foliage is quite frankly rather ropey, as would befit any decent osteo at this time of year.  The flower is wonderful.  My head says “trim it back”, my heart says “not on your Nellie”.  Another battle to be waged.

Then one of my favourites in the garden, Anemone nemorosa ‘Robinsoniana’.  Every year I chop back the fuchsia in the front garden to allow this ethereal beauty to shine.  By the time the fuchsia has grown back, her moment in the spotlight is over and she is happy to play second fiddle.

Lastly the bronze fennel, Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’, that I dug up and disposed of a couple of years ago.  I may have left an iddy biddy bit behind.  Talking of behind.  Fat Ol’s sister Daisy thought my photo would be greatly enhanced by the addition of a sunbathing pussycat.  I agree.

That’s yer lot for another week, my friends.  Stay safe and well and home!

Six on Saturday – Resilience

It has been an eventful couple of weeks for the world; fire and flood, plague, false prophets, the whole shebang!  In my own small and insignificant world we have soldiered on, protected from all but a smidgeon of the evil portents, although not always with our smiley faces on.  There have casualties and but many more survivors.  This weekend is set to bring more challenges, which we have no option but to endure.  But there is nothing like nature to demonstrate resilience, the urge to survive is paramount.  To see how the rest of the Six on Saturday world is faring, check out what is going on over at The Prop’s where I am sure positivity will abound.  Let us get on.

First we have a hellebore which, with a little help from its lovely assistant, is showing its hidden beauty.  With its head hung low it has escaped the worst of winds.  Each year I promise to move it to a more accessible position.  Each year I forget/lose my bottle.

The bully boy in yellow pants, Narcissus ‘Tête-à-Tête’, was ravaged by our recent weather.  These flowering spikes were ripped from their planter several feet away and dumped unceremoniously on the ground.  I have no doubt they will return next year, despite their rough treatment.  I am very pleased to see the Aquilegia canadensis showing a leg in the background.

Next the glossy bronzed leaves of Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’ which is snuggled between a hydrangea and buddleia.  No sign of trauma here.  God bless hardy evergreens.

One of the branches of a large and very woody rosemary toppled during the reign of Ms Ciara.  I have decided to leave it be until the weather moderates.  A snail is very pleased that I have chosen a non-interventionist approach.

The Solanum rantonnetii is looking a little worse for wear.  Fried to a crisp and, bearing in mind the toxicity of the plant, not as tasty.  The plant is vigorous and I have every faith it will come back fighting in the spring.

Lastly an osteospermum providing breakfast, lunch and dinner for a small green caterpillar.  I wondered if it was an inch worm of some sort.  Perhaps.  It has had a good munch, which even the most hard hearted could not deny.

Stay safe, keep your chins up and dream of happy days.

 

Six on Saturday – Older and Wiser

Here we go again, the world is another year older, another year wiser.  One out of two aint bad.   And of course, the first Six on Saturday of the year.  Check out what is happening in the rest of the world, SoS-wise, over at The Prop’s.  If you have a New Year’s resolution going spare you could join the slightly-dysfunctional-but-ever-so-charming gang of reprobates.  It’s not that bad.

It was a tricky SoS this week.  Outside was cold and windy, all was uninspiring and there was no chocolate whatsoever, believe me I searched really, really hard until I had to rush inside for an After Eight.  Repeats are inevitable.  I am hoping that you can forgive or have forgotten.

We begin with one of my bedding primulas.  The recent milder weather and kind winds have meant that there is a relatively unblemished flower to show you.  I am rather fond of its pale notched rim and sunny eye.

Next we have Fuchsia “Bornemann’s Beste” which was rocking and rolling in the wind giving me good excuse for a blurry photo.  It was a late starter and has flowered continually since September.  For this I thank it.

Now a pot of deceased New Guinea Impatiens which on closer inspection appear to have been planted on top of tulips.  I think they might be ‘Blue Diamond’.  There are also some mysterious monocot seedlings. As it is located beneath the Libertia grandiflora, it could well be them.  But I have been known to be wrong about such things.

Onto the bulls eye berries of Rhodotypos scandens, stark in the gloom of the front garden.  I’ve never seen a bird dining on this shrub, I wonder if they are less than delicious.  I’m not going to try them out.

And then onto the valiant Osteospermum ‘JK’, spilling over the potted yew.

Finally a nestling fern, wedged between the rocks of our boundary wall.  I think it is a maidenhead spleenwort, a name that starts off Barbara Cartland and ends up Harry Potter.  It is a lovely little green octopus.

That is me done.  Until next time.

 

 

 

Six on Saturday – Time Travel

This week I have had to enlist the assistance of the time machine again, on loan from our very own Six on Saturday Time Lord, Dr Prop.  At this very moment in time I am not only here with you I am also up to high jinx on another planet, possibly indulging in age inappropriate dance moves and eating too many vol au vents.  Something like that anyway.

First we have an argyranthemum.  A new purchase and a lovely one too.   It is very likely that I have said this before, but I will tell you again just in case you have forgotten.  A few years ago, when I asked his esteened opinion, a very knowledgeable, finger on the pulse, RHS type of person said that argyranthemums were the way forward.  I quite agree.

On to the demon hybrid bluebell.  They are here.  They look very pretty.  We cannot blame them for that.

Next we have a hellebore stuck in Groundhog Day.  I don’t mind in the slightest, although I do hope it doesn’t exhaust itself.  I don’t want to be hearing excuses next year.

Next another new purchase, an osteospermum.   It wasn’t in flower when I bought it, but I took a chance.  I am a wild child.  Perhaps more accurately a wild woman a little past the first flush of youth.  No matter.  You know what they say, “faint heart never won fair Whirlygig”  (possibly).

Last weekend we had some visitors from the Big City.   As the planters at the front of the house were very “Winter into Spring shabby and not in the slightest bit chic” I decided to install “Summer into Autumn fresh and unsullied by neither time nor mollusc”.  I think they were fooled into thinking I keep a tidy garden.  One of the newbies is this Bidens ferulifolia.  This lovely is everything a bedding plant should be, bright, floriferous with the possibility of surviving the winter to give us more joy next year.

And bringing up the rear is a mini cheat.  This tulip is not in my garden, nor was it ever.  However over the last few weeks I have greatly enjoyed the glorious rise and fall of the blooms.  Slowly transforming from tender young buds to silken brazen hussies.  Just wonderful.

There we have it, another six.  And don’t forget, if you need to borrow the time machine, just contact Dr Prop and he will put you on the waiting list.  It comes in extremely useful sometimes.

Holes

Osteospermum

Today at Button Moon was a day of digging holes.  Big holes, little holes, medium sized holes.   Some awkward roots and slates, some easy passages.  Luckily I was armed with a golden spade, it made life much easier.  Everyone should have a golden spade, even if you haven’t got golden boots.  Into these holes I planted a pot bound camellia, three Heuchera ‘Marmalade’, a Viburnum tinus and Rhododendron ‘Horizon Monarch’.  Grow, grow, grow!

This osteospermum needs no encouragement.  Some might say it needs to calm down a little.  Not me.  I say “grow, grow, grow!”

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 – Dreary

Osteospermum

It always takes me a few weeks to accustom myself to the shortening days and falling temperatures.  All week I have struggled to get up in the morning and when I drag myself out of bed I am more belligerent teenager than disco diva.   Today was no exception.  There is one word that concisely sums it up.  Dreary.  The weather is dreary, I feel dreary, all is bloomin’ dreary.  Still, I suppose it is all part of life’s rich tapestry, complaining will get me nowhere, least of all with you lot, so I will proceed with the always spectacularly undreary The Propagator’s meme, Six on Saturday.  I can’t be bothered to explain what it’s all about, if you haven’t a clue what I am talking about (which to be honest is a regular occurrence for some) pop over to his pad and he can tell you all about it.  Let’s get started.

We begin with a reluctant osteospermum.   Petals held tight, closed until at the very least a single ray of sunshine warms it’s aching heart.  I feel its pain.  Hyperbole, moi?

Geranium 'Blue Orchid'

Next an out of focus Geranium ‘Blue Orchid’.  This is at present lodging at the far end of the alley to nowhere, out of harm’s (read builders and scaffolders, but of course I am just kidding myself nothing is totally safe from their tentacles of destruction) way.  No I haven’t got over their recent little oops but I am working on it.   This lovely little geranium was a gift from Julie, my friend from horti college.  I could see a glimpse of blue out of the window so I went on a trek to find out who it belonged to.   Shimmying through and around I could just about, at arm’s length, with a sophora getting a little fresh, snap a photo.  It was a miracle of perseverance.

Liquidamber and nasturtiumOne of the reasons that it is becoming increasingly difficult to venture down plant alley is the relentless march of the nasturtiums.  Here they are shown avalanching over a liquidambar, whilst a cosmos admires their exuberance.  I keep pulling at it, it keeps on keeping on, laughing at me all the while.

Cosmos budsAnother plant which is showing no signs of slowing down is the cerise pink cosmos.  After a very slow, snoozing sloth-like start, buds are popping up like chickenpox.  This is a good thing.  And not in the least dreary.  I’m bored with dreary now, it is so, well dreary!

Rosa 'Rhapsody in Blue'It was a tough year to be a rose in a pot, even more so in a garden full of container grown plants where you have to jostle for attention.  Even so, it flowered well at the beginning of the year and has in the last few weeks gifted us some stragglers, this being one.

perlargonium

Lastly we have this diamond of a pelargonium and a confession.  This was given to me last year by Mrs Bun and I was supposed to be donating it to Nancy Nightingale for her garden.  For some reason it never ever made it there.  In fact it didn’t get much further than outside my back door.  My soul feels much better now.  It is very beautiful.

Another Six on Saturday week completed, and yes it definitely is getting trickier each week.  It is good to have a challenge.  Which is no doubt just what I will be saying next time.

 

 

 

Six on Saturday – Sunny

Cosmos 'Purity'

The weeks are shepherding us towards winter, a time when finding suitable subjects for Six on Saturday becomes increasingly difficult.  The Lord of the Prop, whose mighty hand rules us SoSers, has followers from all corners of the earth and beyond.  For some of us spring is just getting into its stride, whilst for others the cold has already set in.  In this neck of the woods we are experience some deliciously clement weather, the sun is shining and although the mornings have a rousing chill, there is enough midday warmth to warrant a partial striptease.  Let us enjoy it whilst we can and get going on this week’s contribution.

After the hiatus in flowering, that I can only assume was caused by such heat and dry that nonplussed both plant and gardener, we are now making up for time.  There are many first time bloomers this week, including this Cosmos ‘Purity’ which although short in stature is forgiven for its perfect flowers.

Garlic 'Dario'

Top of the list for yesterday in the garden was getting my garlic planted.  This is a cultivar called Dario which is new to me, but I liked the name and felt like trying something new.  It is supposed to be strong-tasting and the word “excellent” was in the description.  Yes, I do believe everything I read.  We will have to wait until next summer to find out.   For the literatii amongst you, yes Mr K I’m taking about you, this photo is pre-planting.  It is posed.  If I posted a picture of a pot of planted garlic (tongue twister, give it a go) it would look like, well, a pot full of compost.   Rest assured that moments later the tubby cloves were pushed down to just cover their pointy heads.  Now we wait.

Salvia atrocyanea

Another later flowerer is Salvia atrocyanea, the Bolivian Sage.  Blue flowers have a special place in my heart and this is no exception.  Tall and vigorous once it gets going, this tuberous perennial is relatively hardy given a well-drained soil to snuggle up in.

osteospermum

The parent of this osteospermum didn’t make it through the various beasts of last winter/spring.  Luckily I had a back up which flowered earlier in the year and now is having another go.  Which has reminded me that I haven’t taken any cuttings.  Hopefully it isn’t too late, I am living rather dangerously.

Fuchsia 'Börnemann's Beste'

Now another plant that I have featured before, Fuchsia “Bornemann’s Beste”, which is also coming into its own at the moment.  It was glistening bewitchingly in the sun today, closer inspection (with specs on) revealed that it is covered with tiny silver hairs.  The gift that just keeps giving.

Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'

Lastly we have a tatty old leaf of Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’.  It is featured for its pure resilience.  I was certain there would be not a leaf left in the whole Shire after Storm Callum bullied his way through last week.  A round of applause for FP please.  You can let go now.

That’s it my lovelies, another SoS completed.  Don’t forget to see what the rest of his disciples have been up to over at The Prop’s.  Until next time …….