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 – Santa’s Selection

Salvia leucantha 'Midnight'

Welcome to my festive Six on Saturday, a meme nurtured by our own horticultural elf, Mr P.

Actually, using the word “festive” is about as seasonal as this blog is going to get.  There will be no mistletoe or holly, carols or mince pies, in fact it is singularly unfestive.  Don’t get me wrong, I love love love Christmas.  I am saving all my glitter and magic for tomorrow (she boldly says) (you may  be disappointed, don’t expect The Sound of Music).

Anyway, here goes.  My first is a rather soggy Salvia leucantha ‘Midnight’ which is cosied up close to the kitchen door, along with a few others of the chosen few.  Not at its best, but who can complain about a December bloom?

alpines

Next we have a pathetic example of alpine gardening.  The intent was good, but the neglect surpassed it. The pebbles are rather attractive though, so if I were you I would concentrate on them.

Brugmansia

Now the brugmansia bud from last week, fully unfurled.  Silly, but in a good way.

Salvia confertifolia

Another battered salvia is next, this time Salvia confertifolia, bravely soldiering on.

Wallflower

An apricot wallflower, practising for the spring.

euphorbia

Lastly a waxy euphorbia, clutching at raindrops.

Thanks Mr P, and many happy seasons greeting to you and the SoS gang.

Six on Saturday – Chocolates

Salvia leucantha 'Midnight'

Even though it was singularly uninviting, it being damp and windy and the weekend, I had to go out into the garden this morning.  Not just because of the pressing urgency of The Propagator‘s Six on Saturday, but because if I didn’t do certain jobs a visit from the local RSPCP officer was inevitable.  So I did, with dragging teenaged feet and hunched shoulders.  Not fair.  No one cares.  Not working?  OK.

Without further ado, or attention seeking behaviour, I will get back to the task in hand.  My Six on Saturday.  The first chocolate in the box today is the amazing Salvia leucantha ‘Midnight’.   It is tender, in spite of its furry coat, and takes a while to get up the energy to flower after the winter.  Hence it has only just begun to bloom here.  In my top ten of salvias.  For some reason marzipan springs to mind.  Purple marzipan, if it doesn’t exist it should be invented forthwith!

cyclamen

Now for the second morsel.  The aforementioned urgent job was to replant the containers outside the front door.  They were looking, let me chose my words carefully here, shameful.  I had bought replacements, including this cyclamen, a couple of weeks ago and they had been languishing patiently for me to uphold my part of the bargain.  Cyclamen are favourites of mine and even here, in the teeth of the wind, they will continue to flower until next spring.   What do you think, raspberry parfait?

viola

The next treat for you is a little viola, one of a mixed bunch also bought to jolly up the front of the house.  Although they have a tendency to stop flowering for a while, they always begin again just as I am thinking about chucking them out.   Somewhere beneath, I am hoping, are last year’s bulbs and corms.  Quite what these are will be as much of a surprise to me as it is to you.  I vaguely remember some crocus and perhaps Iris reticulata, oh and maybe some Jetfire.  You can’t beat a good surprise.  As for this one, I reckon it might be a mint chocolate.

apple

Now onto a definite hard centre, apple flavoured of course.  This tree was here when we moved in. Although it is undoubtedly on dwarf rooting stock, it is still too big for our little plot.  Each year the jackdaws find the fruit before they are ripe, pecking large holes in them, knocking many to the ground in the process.  When we do get to taste one they are delicious.  As it is unlikely that those clever corvids will forget where their late summer feast is, our share in the future is likely to be minimal.

fuchsia

Another of our inheritances is this fuchsia.  I am fond of fuchsias, and this is a rather pleasant one.  It is not however jaw-dropping, or stunning, or incredible, or magical.  Quite pretty, that is all.   If this was one of my chocolates it would be one of the last to be eaten, perhaps a toffee, or orange cream.   However I am well aware that there are plenty of people who would be picking this one first.  You are very welcome to my orange cream, I’ll have your praline.

Lastly we have some of the plants that have been replaced by the bright young things.  They are cuphea, argyranthemum and eccremocarpus.  These would be the misshapes, the ones that failed to meet the stringent standards.  After last week’s public outcry (OK, just John) I have potted them up to over-winter somewhere more clement, perhaps the Caribbean, most likely crammed into my tiny plastic greenhouse with a zillion others.

More thanks to Mr P for making me get out of bed early on a Saturday morning, stumbling around the garden taking photos, much to the amusement of my neighbours.  Mr P has the power.