Six on Saturday – Hanging On

Everyone still attached? Hope so. A great point of contact, something to keep us grounded and in touch with the rest of the world, is Six on Saturday. And the glue that binds SoS together is our very own Mr Bostick. Have I gone too far with my analogies? Perhaps. If you’ve got a minute, pop on over and check out what everyone else is up to, you won’t regret it.

As you might have guessed, my theme today is Hanging On, although I may well run out of steam by the end. Shall we proceed, as always, with caution.

First we have Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ which has continued to pop open the odd bloom as it sees fit. I’m not complaining, keep on keeping on, my lovely!

Next we have Fuchsia hatchbachii which lives in the front garden, AKA The Frozen North. It is planted in a half barrel which is being held together with a forcefield of intent. Every leaf has been blown from its body. Still it holds on to a few flowers.

Most of the potted acers have now lost most of their leaves. This mummified acer leaf clings on tight, denying the onset of winter.

Now an unknown fuchsia, gifted by Steve and Dawn, again sited in the Frozen North. Again it has been stripped of all but a few blooms. In comparison, fuchsias in the back garden are quite lush still. I am slightly embarrassed at its naked state and I promise to treat it far better next year. In fact this very day I shall move it to a more sheltered position. Probably.

Onto the disappointing Cosmos, a little nibbled but still the pink eyed bloom is most welcome. I’m not sure what went wrong with them this year, but a few other SoSers have also complained. It is nice not to suffer alone.

Lastly, eventually this dahlia has bloomed. Although I am pleased to see it, I can’t help but think that the margin between first flower and first frost will be very narrow. The flower didn’t look familiar to me and I wondered which of my many under-performing dahlias it was. Luckily the pot had a label in it; unluckily it read “Mystery”.

Keep the SoS faith my friends, til next time.

Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’

I’ve had camera problems for several weeks. My Canon work companion had been abused too many times and was, quite understandably, complaining. Close encounters with mud, rain, dust, compost heaps and concrete is not good for any camera’s health. The lens had been scratched and the internal and external workings had become a little sluggish. It is possible that I am on a list concerning camera treatment. I seem to make a habit of this kind of cruelty; some of you might remember the Lord Mantle in the Pond and the Nasty Nettles incidents.

No time for sentimentality here. Mr Defunct was cast aside; a new model ordered. It arrived last week, with a little controversy in tow, being left outside the front door by the courier during a four hour torrential downpour. At the wrong house. Perhaps he thought he would do it a favour by getting it used to the life it was to expect with its new owner. Luckily it seems to be none the worse for this stormy arrival. Starting how it means to go on.

Six on Saturday – Forlorn

Well Mr Prop you’ve really done it this time.  It has been my first day off for a while.  We have been away, dodging showers in Cornwall, and before that we had visitors to entertain, with more due next weekend.  How have I spent this glorious nugget of a free day?  Enjoying an aromatherapy massage, or perhaps brunching on avocado smashed onto spelt toast whilst perusing the weekend papers?  No, I have been wandering around my gardening in the pouring rain and howling gale trying to take photos for my Six on Saturday.  I am seriously annoyed.  And wet.  I will never forgive you.

I’m over it now.  All in the past.  I still admire you from afar.  Shall we get on?

First is a view out onto the courtyard from the relative dry and warm of my home.  I was contemplating.  I was revving myself up to venture forth.  No doubt I sighed a little.  You can see the green watering can that is too heavy for me to lug up the steps when it is full.  An anemic tomato plant, a stoically unflowering nerine and a few equally unfloriferous dahlias huddle on the step.  My pathetic greenhouse is flapping about like a demented seagull.   The ‘mind your own business’ is doing its utmost to treacherously smother the brick steps up to the main garden.  All is sog and forlorn.

I will try and cheer up as we proceed, but I can’t promise anything.  It might be a good idea to brace yourself for all eventualities.

Next is Solonum atropurpureum which is one of this year’s tranche of seed grown plants.  The decision to attempt to propagate this monster must have been made during a “what on earth was I thinking of” moment.  Alternative names are purple devil and malevolence so it is indeed surprising that I thought it would be a cuddly addition to the throng.  It is spiky and ugly and it is doing exceedingly well.

Now we have a bedraggled Dahlia australis and resident nibbler.  This plant was also grown from seed and turned out not to be the true species, a random bee must have snuck in with outsider pollen to the parent plant.  Still it is both pretty and reliable, two fine traits.  My dahlias have been dreadful this year, partly due to weather conditions and partly due to neglect.  Possibly in a ratio of 1:99.

Onto a depressed Rosa ‘Symphony in Blue’.  The first flush earlier in the summer was glorious.  Seems a little sad to see this battered shadow of its former self.   Time for it to have a sleep now and rest up until next year.

I have a confession, I have not one but two tibouchinas.  I say this tentatively as I’m a little worried that the Redistribution of the Tibouchina Party will come and liberate one of them.  But I need both, really, I do.  This is Tibouchina ‘Groovy Baby’, a diddy little shrub, but with flowers as large as its full-sized friend.  I would like a dress in this colour if anyone is feeling creative.

Lastly the delightful, Fuchsia ‘Bornemann’s Beste’.  This determined soul has thrived in the Bed of Anarchy, elbowing its way through the expanse of agapanthus and over exuberant salvias.  Sturdy and full of flower, it is a winner.

All done, until the next time, over and out.

 

 

Six on Saturday – Regime

Saturday is flying away and I can’t keep up.  Unfortunately my usual weekend regime: dawntide 10k run followed by toasted quinoa breakfast with a quick scan of Plato’s Symposium, then a brisk hike up the Matterhorn, fitting in a visit to the local nursery on the descent and some hands on gardening when reaching home base, has meant that I have only just got around to writing my Six on Saturday.  Oh, hang on a minute, I think I might be getting myself mixed up with our guru The Dalai Propa.  My truth is that we went to Lidl and then on to ‘Spoons for a large glass of red and some chunky chips.  Never mind, I am here now.  It is Saturday and I have Six.  Which, if I have interpreted the rules correctly, is all that is required.

Strawberries is a great place to start.  Some have been munched already, which is fine.  But not by me, which is not.  I have picked a few to ripen fully indoors to foil the little slimy blighters.

Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is flowering well, and not yet complaining for her pot restraints.  Obviously not blue in even the widest sense of the word, but I do love this colour, a mauvish grey perhaps?  The white stripes are also nice, but possibly indicate impending doom or nunglewurzles or even Serengeti fever.

Our shopping list today included beer, limes and donut peaches.  We came home with all of the above plus Aloysia citrodora, Lemon Verbena, and an Arts and Crafts sideboard.  These things happen.

Continuing in the herbalistic vein, is a beautifully variegated mint snuggling up to Viola ‘Molly Sanderson’.  The mint came from Mrs Bun.  It was very late on parade and we wondered if it had died “but you can’t kill mint!” we said.  Then, giggling I believe, it popped up everywhere. This is a little that was destined for the green bin.  Needless to say, it is corseted in a pot.  Its name is out there somewhere.

Now we have Glumicalyx nutans bought last year at RHS Rosemoor’s garden show.  I must hold my hand up and admit it was partly bought for its name, although I am very pleased that I did.  It is now planted by the side of the steps, so we can look up into the wonderful pendulous rusty orange flowers.

And lastly the lily that wasn’t the lily that I wanted.  It is forgiven.

All done, all dusted.  Until next time!

 

 

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 – Angels and Demons

rose

Hip hip hooray, it’s another Saturday!  I’ve had a haircut and a bowl of chips with mayonnaise and now I am ready for anything.  Even a Six on Saturday.  No idea what I am talking about?  Where have you been?  Lost in the Bornean jungle, or Ikea’s soft furnishing department? Don’t worry, Sir Propalot will update you on proceedings.

First we have a splendid rose.  It was in the garden when we moved here, so I have a valid reason for not knowing which one it is.  I suppose I could do a little research, but to be honest I’m not that bothered.  All I know is that it is beautiful and fragrant.  Which is adequate.

Parahebe 'Snow Clouds'

Next we have Parahebe ‘Snow Cloud’ which has weathered the hard winter admirably. The other parahebe in the garden, although alive, has not fared so well.  It is looking decidedly ropey and is on the “pull yourself together or you are out” list.  Swotty Snow Cloud is definitely not on that list.  Straight to the top of the class you go!

pyracantha

Spikey plants are not encouraged in the gardens that I work in, let alone in my own.  OH bought this pyracantha, even though when he suggested it I said through gritted teeth “if you want it, feel free”.   I concede that it is great for the wildlife and the flowers are rather lovely.  This does not detract from the fact it is a vicious monster to the gardener.

primula

A little late to the spring party, but none the less very welcome, this primula is strutting its stuff this weekend.

Geranium nodosum

Earlier this week I said to Ms Button, whilst attacking the forest of mint that someone decided was a good idea to plant directly into the ground, “Do you ever wish you had a time machine and you could go back to the moment the offending plant was being planted and say “stop, in the name of humanity, do not put that thug in what is to become my garden!””  I would say just that to whoever planted this pink geranium in my garden.  It is a thug and pops up in, under and over everything.  I believe it to be Geranium nodosum.  Ruthless.

Rosa 'Rhapsody in Blue'

Last, but definitely not least, we have Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.   Not blue, but a rhapsody indeed.  Fragrant and floriferous.  Wonderful.

That is your lot, another week passes, another six to savour.  Some demons, some angels, some demonic angels, some …. you know where I’m going.  Thanks to The Prop, onwards and upwards!

 

Six on Saturday

Scabiosa drakensbergensis

Scabiosa drakensbergensis

I’m not much of a joiner-in.  Its not that I don’t want to, but I lack focus and commitment. However I have decided to have a go at The Propagator’s meme, Six on Saturday.  For those of you who don’t know The Propagator he is best described as The Terminator in reverse.  His remit is simple: post six photos of plants from your garden on a Saturday.  That can’t be too arduous can it?  Apart from the small fact that most of my pictures are taken in my esteemed client’s gardens and I never work at the weekend.  Um.  Could be tricky.

I have asked Mine Host if I can use photos from other places and he most kindly agreed.  I haven’t mentioned the “not taken on a Saturday” bit yet as I don’t want to push my luck.  I will promise to stick to six if that helps.

So in an uncharacteristic willingness to conform, I have on this occasion battled through the chaos and managed to find the magic six in my own garden.  As I have mentioned before my own garden is full of good intentions and neglect.  This was therefore not an easy task.  But I was brave.

The opening photo is Scabiosa drakenbergenis, which is a cutting from a plant at Cliffe.  That plant was grown from seed.  It is loyal and undemanding, winding its way through and around others in the border, popping its head up in unexpected but welcome places.  It comes from the Drakenberg Mountains in South Africa, reaches 1m tall and is tough and beautiful, a perfect combination.

Fuchsia hatschbachii

Fuchsia hatschbachii

Next comes Fuchsia hatschbachii.  This fuchsia came into my possession whilst on a trip with Torrington Tina.  That is all you need to know, except no criminal activities were involved.  None that might result in a prison sentence anyway.  I like to think we liberated it.  Compact in form, dark green foliage, masses of slim red and mauve flowers.  No wonder both myself and TT had independently admired it from afar.  Sometimes you do get what you wish for.

Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis and friend

Now for the ubiquitous Verbena bonariensis.  Self-seeder and butterfly magnet extraordinaire, it was doing its job well this morning.  This little chap was hanging on for dear life as the stems almost doubled in the brisk breeze.  Others might have called it a raging wind.  Hopefully his persistence paid off.

Rosa 'Rhapsody in Blue'

Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’

Oh yes, the rose.  The Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ that I bought earlier this year from Cannington Walled Garden has just begun its second flush of flowers.  The scent is delicious, the flowers a treat. It is doing very well in its pot, has avoided any blackspot and is growing just a little too vigorously!

Dahlia australis

Dahlia australis-ish

We must have a dahlia.  This is one that I grew from seed and is purported to be Dahlia australis.  I have an inkling there may have been some shenanigans with an interloper.  Although this has the slightly nodding habit of the species, it is supposed to be single flowered.  Oh well, you win some you lose some, and it is very pretty.  It shall be known as Dahlia australis-ish, which is quite hard to say after a couple of babychams (or equivalent).

Teasel

Terrific Teasel

And lastly the magnificent teasel.  These self seed in the front garden and are direct descendants of The Giant One.   TGO lived in our garden in Bristol and hitchhiked a lift on one of plants we brought with us.  For the past 10 years they have appeared without fail, to the great joy of local bees and finches.  When the winds come from the North, they dance a merry dance.

So there we have it, Six on Saturday.  Thank you Mr P for hosting this meme.  I hope I have passed the test.

What Happened Next?

Rosa 'Rhapsody in Blue'

On Wednesday myself and the posse went on a Plant Heritage trip to Cannington Walled Garden and The Bishop’s Palace garden in Wells.  Although a little soggy a good time was had by all.

One of my highlight was this rose named Rhapsody in Blue.  As you can see, if we were to get picky about it, it isn’t strictly blue, more of a mauvey colour.  However we can forgive it for this small misdemeanour.  It was full of bud, fragrant and, as I later found out, a repeat flower.  It is not however, contrary to a vicious rumour that was circulating to the detriment of one Maggie Maynt, thornless.  We live and learn.  She managed to staunch the bleeding eventually.

This was just one of many highlights.  I wonder how many highlight you are allowed?  If there were too many it would just be classed as, “a great day all around” which of course it was.  But there were things that were extra special.  Like this rose.

Anyway, as luck would have it they had one for sale in the plant centre.  What you have to guess is, what happened next?