Six on Saturday – Happy Holidays

osteospermum

After a week or more away, I have come home to builders, scaffolding, inaccessible plants and a really vicious cold.  For this reason (and I will continue to blame everything on the builders including my poor health, who in reality are rather nice chaps, until further notice) my Six on Saturday will dwell on holiday snaps.  Of course these consist, on the whole, pictures of plants.  This is probably just as well you wouldn’t want to see myself and OH in our “kiss me quick” hats, trousers rolled up daringly above the ankle, having a paddle.  If you would like to share in the experience of other SOSers, with or without builder input, pop on over to our Site Foreman to find out more.

First we have an osteospermum, growing in the recess of a wall overlooking St Ives.  Always a joy to visit, come torrential monsoon and high winds or shine.

bamboo

Next is a golden bamboo, possibly Phyllostachys aurea, but I’m not absolutely sure as I wandered off to admire it and I was reined back in.  Which happens unsurprisingly often. This photo was taken at The Leach Pottery, also in St Ives.  It is located about 100m from my childhood home and we always visit when we are down.  Incredible pots and wonderful memories.  Not that we were aware of it as kids, we were just kids.  In those days we were just interested in playing on the beach/woods/moors and eating Mr Kipling’s produce.  And yes we did buy more pots.  Very beautiful they are too.

Bidens

Then on to Penzance to catch up with old friends and continue our hedonistic adventures.  Our guest house had a rather amazing garden, which not only had sea views but was packed with colour.  These bidens were a treat, as was the Hummingbird Hawk Moth feasting on the Verbena bonariensis, which unfortunately avoided my lens.  You will have to trust me on that one.  On our last morning we were waiting for our taxi to take us to the train station, when a gentleman in a rather flamboyant shirt left the house.   He started a conversation, asking us where we going and the like.  He then dropped into the conversation, like a feather into a vat of oil, that he was returning from Kew Gardens to Tresco where he is the curator of Abbey Gardens.   I may have fainted.

Colquhounia coccinea

During our stay we visited the small-but-perfectly-formed Penlee Art Gallery and Museum, which is situated in Penlee Gardens.  I almost didn’t get in the door.  Waylaid variously by swathes of Tulbaghia violacea, a largeTrochodendron aralioides full of Sputnik fruit, white crinum and night scented Cestrum parqui.  The treasure which made me squeal with glee was this Colquhounia coccinea, unlike my own specimen, a strong and flower-full example.  When I got home I rushed to see if a miracle had happened.  No.

Fascicularia bicolor

I had a hunch when I saw the expanses of swordfish foliage that it might be something special.  A little poke about and I found what I was looking for, the outlandish flower head of Fascicularia bicolor .   Planted in a tiny garden, come seating area, just opposite the Jubilee Pool, this is another example of the exotic as ordinary.  Wonderful.

Peggy Pearlers

On our last day we had an itinerary.  We were having a day out with my good friend and jeweller to the stars (and me) Duibhne Gough, known to her pals as Div.  She would take us to The National Dahlia Collection, then lunch, then to a nursery, then to see her new workshop before home, tired but happy.  I have long wished to visit the dahlias at Varfell Farm, even more so since I named a dahlia after my Mum, read all about it here It Is All In The Name.  It was a fabulously sunny day with bloom after bloom after beautiful bloom.  But none were the special one.  Soon I was beginning to doubt myself and that it was in fact a cruel hoax.  Then a point and smile from the lovely Div and there she was in all her glory.  I can quite honestly say, in a totally biased manner, that Peggy Pearlers was the most beautiful specimen in the field.

After a delicious lunch our itinerary was scrapped, as £20 worth of unleaded had found its way into the diesel Citroen.  It turned out for the best, a balmy afternoon of laughter and lager (and the odd house white but that didn’t scan as well), and I didn’t buy a single plant!

Thank Mr P for being the host with the most.  Until next time!

Six on Saturday – Another One

rhodohypoxis

Another Six on Saturday.  Another introduction to main man, The Prop.  Another invitation to join us.  Another attempt to take photographs that conceal the slug ravaged, garden mayhem that is my reality.  Here we go ….

Firstly we have Rhodohypoxis baurii.  With minimum (read no) effort, these little charmers come up every spring and flower their little flower socks off.  Even the ones that mysteriously “fell” out of the greenhouse when OH walked by and were stuffed back in the pot, have done their very best.  Lovely.

Geum 'Blazing Sunset'

Next we have Geum ‘Blazing Sunset’, enjoying this morning’s early sunshine.  Enormous, great gallumping flowers, but definitely not as vigorous as it was last year.  Perhaps it is dwindling.  I will try to remember to collect some seed.

Sisyrinchium 'E K Balls'

Sisyrinchium ‘E K Balls’ has decided that he is quite happy in his new planter and will therefore show his pleasure the only way he can.  By blooming.  And being blooming lovely.

allium

This lone allium, planted in the garden before we were dropped off by the mother ship, is just beginning to reveal its violet stars.

Brachyscome 'Magenta Delight'

A few days ago I succumbed to temptation of the worse kind.  Yes, I am talking about The Half Price Offer.  I was putty in their hands.  When I returned from work yesterday, a large box was waiting for me.  Balm indeed.  Along with this gorgeous little Brachyscome ‘Magenta Delight’ came pentemon, gaura and bidens.  All I can say is “welcome”, and don’t expect any special attention after the honeymoon period is over.  Which most probably will be tomorrow.

Osteospermum

Lastly we have an osteospermum.  Not just any pretty pink daisy.  This is the sole survivor of cuttings donated by the Notorious Mr K.  Not dead, just accustoming herself to a new life across the channel.

Thanks to the The Duke of Prop – shimmy over to his blog to find out what has been going on this week across the universe and beyond.   Adieu!

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Hope

caterpillar

Not today’s photo, in fact it is ancient history, taken at the beginning of last week.  I spotted this little monster happily scoffing the flowers of one of my ever-flowering osteospermums.  Potential for Six on Saturday, I thought, if I ever get around to taking any more pictures.  Which I didn’t.

Since then all has changed.  You may have heard about it.  It has turned a little nippy again.  In an attempt to rescue at least some of my plants, the osteo and its neighbours have been wrapped in horticultural fleece.  This time I actually managed to protect them before the weather turned for the worse.  Earlier today I removed the snow that was weighing down their cosy blanket.  But it was too soon to release them from their corsets, another threat had emerged.  At irregular intervals globs of thawing snow were falling from the roof above.  These were unceremoniously splatting atop the already irritated plants below.  I believe it is called, adding insult to injury.

I wonder if Katrina the Caterpillar has hunkered down, snuggling up between the various pelargonium, tibouchina and salvias.  If there is hope for her, then there is hope for the poor unfortunate plants.  And I do tend to live in hope.

Soggy Six on Saturday

Another wet Saturday.  Another soggy Six on Saturday, SSoS.  If you would like to see how wet or dry my compadres are then pop over to the captain of our ship The Propagator and find out for yourself.

So let us splodge on.  Shall we talk about the rain? In order to accurately convey my feelings on the subject I have composed my own little ditty, based on an ancient English nursery rhyme, here we go: “It’s raining it’s pouring, good Lord it is so boring”.  I know, so many talents, it really isn’t fair on the rest. Across the road the local team are preparing to play a game endemic to these parts, swamp rugby with visibility of approximately 3m.  If it didn’t mean getting soaked myself, I think it would be a very amusing match to watch.  But I digress.  I had considered taking all my photos from indoors, where it isn’t quite as damp.  My first picture is an attempt at inside/out SoSing.  I am not sure it works.  Further fearing the ridicule of my peers I gathered courage and waterproofs and stepped out into the mire.

primulas

Earlier today, whilst shopping for provision for the ark (hay, spare wildebeests, ants and gin mainly) I spotted this tray of jolly primulas.  It would have been rude not to.  They will be ideal for one of my new pots.  As you can see I have already carefully positioned them.  At least they will be getting watered there, unlike in the place from whence they came.

Yesterday I spotted this germinated seed on top of the soil in the front garden.   I am hoping it is a Rhodotypos scandens, as it is not far from the shrub and looks vaguely familiar.  When it stops raining I will pot it up, unless someone eats it in the meantime.  What I should have done is push it gently into the ground and mark its position.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

cyclamen

Next this blushing cyclamen. No words needed. Except perhaps “yum”.

Now some good news.  The tulips I planted in the autumn have eventually begun to poke their noses through the compost.  I was beginning to doubt that I had actually planted them.

osteospermum

And lastly, the valiant osteospermum, native of South Africa, lover of hot, dry conditions, continuing to bud and flower in monsoon condition.   A repeat I know.  But I don’t care.  Respect.

There we have it, another Six on Saturday completed.  Thanks Mr P.  Another gold star on the chart for me?

 

 

 

 

 

Six on Saturday – Still Waiting

Honeysuckle

Once more unto the Six on Saturday, the global meme hosted by superhero The Propagator.  Following last week’s “Nearly’s” I am sorry to report that out of the six potential stars we only have one performer, and that is rather a half-hearted attempt.

So we will start with something that is at least trying, a honeysuckle, holding its flower head high above the griselinia hedge below.  No idea where it starts, or indeed where it ends, but I claim it as our own.

Pelargonium 'Pink Capricorn'

Pelargonium ‘Pink Capricorn’

Next we have Pelargonium ‘Pink Capricorn’ and friend.  I  featured this little beauty a couple of years ago in Pastel Power.  This means it has survived the onslaught of two wet and windy North Devon winters.  Fingers crossed for the next one!  And of course for the for the spider.

Salvia corrugata

Salvia corrugata

Here we have the sole member of last week’s bud group that could be bothered to flower in time for today. Salvia corrugata is making a feeble effort to bloom.  Don’t you realise that people are waiting!?

Acer palmatum

Acer palmatum

Having just tallied them up for the first time, I can report that we have five Japanese maples in pots.  They are various unnamed Acer palmatum cultivars, bought as tiny sticks many years ago. Several were from Woolworths, ah the wonder of woolies, we miss you.

osteospermum

Osteospermum

Another anonymous osteospermum, I love this copper colour, and like its golden counterpart included a couple of weeks ago, it has enjoyed a summer snuggled on a sunny step outside the kitchen door.

hedychium

Hedychium forgottenum

Lastly we have another ginger lily, unfortunately not the one I was hoping for.  Hedychium greenii has not moved one iota.  Still this first reserve hedychium has a stunning flower, a worthy understudy.  It was gift from Steve and Dawn at Devon Subtropical Garden.  To my great shame I have lost the label and don’t know which ginger it is.  I thought it was Devon Cream, but looking at it now I don’t think so. Rubbish gardener.  Steve and Dawn’s garden is open for the National Garden Scheme tomorrow, if you are in the area I highly recommend a visit.

That’s the lot, thanks Mr P!  I have a note from my mum for next week, so hopefully in a fortnight, like Arnie, I’ll be back.