Six on Saturday – Mind Control

Until about an hour ago I was definitely not going to partake in Six on Saturday today.  I was strong.  I was recalcitrant.  I would not be bowed.  Exactly who does that Propagator chappy think he is anyway?  Controlling my Saturdays, forcing me to go outside into the big outdoors, rummaging around in my garden for worthy subjects, ruminating for hours to pick just the perfect words for a blog when I would much rather be lying on the chaise longue eating Monster Munch and watching reruns of The Dukes of Hazard.  Then I was reminded why.  The chip, which had been implanted when I was initiated into this strange cult, started tingling ominously.  And I knew just what this meant.  It was a warning from the Main Man that any further defiance would warrant a turn of the switch with my name on to Teach Her a Lesson.  For that reason I am very pleased to present my Six on Saturday, with a song in my heart and a skip in my step.

First of all we have a pretty pink aquilegia.  Yes, the march of the granny’s bonnets has begun.  Each year I vow to rid myself of them before they re-seed in every nook and cranny, pot and planter.  Each year I fail.  Until now of course.  This year will be the year that I tame the onslaught.

Now we have the flower buds of Libertia grandiflora.  With a following wind these should be in full bloom by next week, but I rather like the honeyed casing, looking more like a plump grain spike than a member of the lily family.

Earlier in the week I did a little shopping, of the horticultural variety.  Some things were for others, some for us.   One of the new addition is this purple sage, a replacement for the bog standard green variety that perished over the winter.  It is now planted up in a special terracotta pot, purchased from Fish Pye Pottery in St Ives, and is situated just outside the back door for easy access whenever I need some sage.  Which to be honest has, so far in my life, been a rare event.  Of course this might change now I have this lovely specimen.

Another purchase was a few lobelia and a tray of petunias.  The only problem is that I have nowhere to put them yet.   Those pesky primroses keep flowering and flowering and flowering and flowering.   What a fabulous problem to have.

Now an emerging rodgersia leaf.  This plant is in a pot and although I try my hardest to keep it well watered it isn’t very happy.  On days when it looks particularly sad I whisper “when we move to my fantasy garden you will have all the damp shade your heart could desire and you can relax into a humus rich soil on the banks of a cool stream and spread your leaves in joy.”  I did notice that for the first time a flower spike is forming.

And finally the Pelargonium cordifolium var. rubrocinctum is completely forgiven for its pretentious name.   Anyone with a heart ……

All done.  Back to the Monster Munch.

Just a thought.  If anyone from Monster Munch Inc is reading this, I will happily take a large box of pickle onion flavour in lieu of any sponsorship money.  I mean if Mr K has his Haribo ……….

Six on Saturday – Sun God

Anemone 'Bordeaux'

I am expecting great things from our band of SoSers this week.  Specifically the UK department.  Unfortunately we must exclude residents of the subgroup The Western Isles.   Something very strange has happened.  IT HASN’T RAINED FOR A WHOLE WEEK, NOT AT ALL, NOT ONE DROP!   If you find this hard to believe, and I wouldn’t blame you, pop over to our very own Sun God Prop’s site and read all about it yourself.  And at the same time you can console any contributors from Stornoway where there is aways a rain cloud lurking.  I possibly exaggerate.

To begin with we have Anemone coronaria ‘Bordeaux’.   I planted these in the same pot as Hedychium ‘Pradhani’ once it had died down for the season.   Succession planting, extremely grown up.  Little did I know quite how wonderful the blooms would be.  The first blue bossed, deepest burgundy flower literally stopped me in my tracks when I spotted it earlier in the week.

Next we have a crocus with its violet veins on the palest lilac background.   It has a name.  It is a secret.

bud

Now the new foliage of one of our apple trees.   Look at the vibrant lime green leafettes with the softest indumentum, everything at this time of year begs close examination and praise.  Come on apple tree do your best or I will chop you down!

On to Pelargonium cordifolium var. rubrocinctum which has spent the winter outside tucked in a corner, with the barest wisp of a covering when absolutely undeniable.   Flowers are on the way, along with some new leaves.   Much tougher (apparently) than you would imagine.

What lies beneath?  When I tipped Potentilla ‘Brohna’ out of her pot to settle into the garden, I found that the base was being used as doss house for all manner and size of slugs.  They hadn’t nibbled this plant but I imagine they nipped out at night for general rabble rousing and munching away from their own doorstep.  Do not fear, they will nibble no more.

Lastly Tulipa ‘Blue Diamond’.  How the mighty have fallen!  It wasn’t long ago that I was coo-cooing over this tulip, it had prime position outside the back door, and its every wish was catered for.  Now it is languishing up by the barely standing shed, the pot overtaken by oregano and residence of the horse’s head.  It is still not blue, but it was forgiven for this misdemeanour a long time ago. Exile was harsh punishment.

All done for another week, may the sun continue to warm our hearts.

 

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 – Keeping Focused

hydrangea

It is incredible that I can manage to write anything at the moment.  The reason for my distraction is that seed from the Hardy Plant Society has arrived and I am very excited.   Possibly unnaturally so.  More of that tomorrow, today I must try to stay focused because it is of course Six on Saturday.   I missed last week and I am afraid I will be named and shamed or even worse, no one notices, if I don’t contribute.  For those of you who wish to join this not-so-secret sect pop over to the blog of our guru The Propagator and you will find out all about it.  Don’t send him any money though, he has all mine already.

Firstly we have some hydrangea flowers, well the battered husks anyway.  There are a few remnants left and I have begun thinking about pruning them.  Don’t cry out in fear my friends, the “thinking” is only stage one, the “actually doing” could be a few weeks down the line, by then hopefully the cold winds will have abated and the buds will be safe.

crocosmia

Next is a crocosmia shoot.  Anyone who has been listening will know that I am often cursing this sneaky cormous individual.  Many hours have been spent digging up montbretia, only for them to return the next year, if not sooner.  This one is however a little different.  It is Crocosmia ‘Coleton Fishacre’, syn. C. ‘Gerbe d’Or’, a wonderful (and well behaved) creature.  Rich olive green leaves set off the warmest of apricot flowers perfectly.  A gift from the lovely Hero, I am very happy to grow it again.

bug

Number three is a new garden resident, he is standing guard at the base of a Japanese acer, hopefully scaring away predators.

rosemary

Now onto Rosmarinus officinalis, just a bog standard Rosemary.  But it is very special to us.  Our beautiful Charlie cat, who features in the header of this blog, is buried beneath it.  She loved to sit underneath the large, gnarled and woody, specimen we have in the garden.  I often wondered if the fragrant oils soothed her as she slept, as now her place is taken by other visiting felines.  Charlie was left behind when our neighbours moved house and we took her in.  Before coming to us she lived outside for years, ever since they bored of her and got a puppy instead and the two could not live in tandem.  I like to think her final years with us were happy.  She soon became accustomed to laps and fires and cuddles and sofas.  Bless her.

Pelargonium cordifolium

Outside the back door I have a huddle of plants, that in a perfect world would be in a greenhouse, but as we all know it is far from that.  So I have herded them together for warmth.  One of these is Pelargonium cordifolium var. rubrocinctum (apologies).  It is statuesque, standing proudly in spite of its circumstances, and so far has not faltered in the winter weather.

horseshoe

Finally a horseshoe.  We bought this, and a couple of others, from a cardboard box of assorted sizes at National Trust property Arlington Court.  Here they have an amazing carriage collection and some magnificent horses to pull them.  Some say the shoes should be displayed prongs up in order to catch the luck, some say the prongs should be pointing downward to stop luck escaping.  Who knows?  Perhaps I will try turning them around and wait for the lottery win.  Or perhaps this life I have is considered lucky enough to be counted as lucky and I will be doomed if I move them.  I think I will leave well alone.

That, is that, my Six on Saturday.  Thanks Mr P.  Hopefully, if the horseshoes allow, I will be back same time next week.  If not, the puzzle may well have been solved.