Six on Saturday – The Moment

August: ready or not here we come!  Soon there will talk of cool nights and shortening days, but let us not wish our lives away.  There is plenty of time left to fret about watering and dead heading and whether we have fed our tomatoes enough or are the slugs and snails attacking whilst I take five minutes to read The Garden magazine, was that an aphid I saw, should I have staked the delphiniums, and such like.  As the Six on Saturday rules stipulate, and you know me I like to follow any rules to the letter, the following photos represent what is happening in my garden right now, unless you are watching on demand when the moment may well have passed, or on crystal ball when it is possibly yet to happen.  Pop on over to our very own Grand Magician to catch up with other SoSers from across the known universe, enchanted by his evil spell, trapped in his web of deceit.  Sorry, I may have got a little carried away.  I love him really.

First we have what I like to call The Giant Mutant Orange Tomato.  It is the spawn of The Giant Mutant Fasciated Tomato Flower.   Soon we will dissect it to reveal its alien innards.

Already inspired by Jim’s post last week and further prompted by trays of sempervivum appearing at our local Lidl awaiting to be mistreated by uncaring employees, any resistance on my part was futile.   There was no doubt that it was a sign from the horticultural gods, and who am I, a mere mortal, to defy them. In order to doubly placate them, I bought two packs, just in case someone else I know would like some.  Spread the love and all that nonsense.  However I have decided that I am not going to tell anyone that I have them so I can keep them all.   Perhaps inspired by the horticultural demons.  But I have grit, I have compost, now all I have to do is plant them artistically.  Which is where it might all go astray.

I discovered something new today, and it is another name change.  This time it is our beloved hedge bindweed.  I may be late to the party, but apparently Convolvulus sepium is now Calystegia sepium.  Who would have thought it?  I was trying to photograph a bee feasting on the honeysuckle and as my camera swung in an attempt to capture it, horror of horrors it nipped into a bindweed flower.  A weed in my garden.  Unthinkable!

Kniphofia ‘Tawny King’ is planted in a position possibly a little too shady for optimum flowering, but in spite of that it is making a sterling effort.  Not terribly “tawny” at the moment, perhaps it will darken as it matures.

I bought plugs of this Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ months ago, the idea being that I grew them on and then passed them on to one of my clients.  They staggered along, one foot in the compost bin, for weeks, not good enough for anyone else.  I planted them in the barrel in the front garden and left them to it.  “Sink or swim” I told them, and they have eventually decided upon breast stroke.  I would have preferred front crawl.

Finally we have Grewia occidentalis, the African Starbush.  This beauty is not frost tolerant so will join the queue for preferential treatment come winter.  As we are not thinking about that just yet, living in the moment, we can just enjoy the fabulous flowers, of which there are many to come.

All done, until next time!

Six on Saturday – Right Place/Wrong Place

After my week’s respite from Sixing I am feeling energised and inspired.  Not really.  I thought that if I typed that it would become the truth, but no, it didn’t work.  The week has been draining, but on the whole great fun.  No doubt some of you will also have had to endure/enjoy above average temperatures that inevitably wilts us Brits and suffer the relentless horseflies that pursue gardeners for sport.   Still I will do my best for you and most especially for The Most Worshipful and Esteemed Propagator who never shirks his responsibilities and is relentless in his pursuit of the perfect Six on Saturday.  Let us begin.

First, we have Leucanthemum ‘Engelina’, a shasta daisy.  Unfortunately, the Head Gardener (me) thought it would grow a little taller than it has and its beauty is hidden by a more vigorous salvia in front.  It doesn’t seem to have done it any harm, we can live with a little leaf nibblage.   For the meantime I will excuse this error by considering it a lovely surprise to come across when rummaging around in the border.

Next a eucomis, full name unknown.  It was a bit of a surprise when it appeared.   I don’t remember ever acquiring one, by fair or foul means.  It seems to have made itself at home all by itself.  No complaints though, I am always open to those kind of unexpected events.

Onto Nemesia ‘Myrtille’, bought during my bargain bin extravaganza a few weeks ago.  It, and its scarlet mate, are filling spaces in my Belfast sink planter in the front garden.   Someone (yes, I’m looking at you Mr Mollusc) decimated my gorgeous red bedding verbena, which I believe are now called glandularia.  I know, sounds like a tropical disease.  The culprit has never been found although the case is not yet closed.  The ver… glandularia are now in a safe place, we are keeping their exact location secret for security reasons.

Last year I bought Lycianthes rantonnetii as a mere stripling, but before the season was out it had shot up to 2m.  In the spring it was moved to a more appropriate place.  It didn’t turn a hair and is now flowering beautifully and growing splendidly.   Result.  If only life was always so simple.

Earlier in the week Mrs Bun asked me to chop the lavender outside the Garden Room.  As it was headed for the compost heap I offered to take it off her hands.  At the moment it is drying outside in the sunshine.   Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time.

When I visited Marwood Hill Gardens a couple of weeks ago, the wonderful Malcolm gifted me this Impatiens arguta ‘Alba’.  Yesterday I noticed that it had started to flower.  Fabulous.  A wonderful present.

That is it, all done.  Until next time!

Not The Six on Saturday

Today I am severely pushed for time, unable to spend the hours of careful consideration and agonising heartache I would normal suffer for a Six on Saturday.   I did however want to share just one photo with you.  The moment will have passed by next week and although I could pretend the omniscient Prop would undoubtedly find me out.

Here we have it, Gladiolus papilio ‘Ruby’ snuggling up to an agapanthus.

Six on Saturday – Newbies

This week my Six on Saturday is going to feature New Kids on the Block.  I hope you won’t too disappointed to discover I am not talking about the 1980’s boy band but newbies in my garden.  Some are very recent acquisitions, fresh out of their wrappings, some have been in town a little longer but are just getting around to flowering.  All are giving me great joy at the moment.  Sorry?  You don’t know what Six on Saturday is all about?  Well you better pop straight on over to our leader The Propagator’s site and all will be revealed.  If you can’t be bothered, just try to keep up.  Mind you, I would recommend a visit to El Prop, you can see what others are up to and the rules of the game and other such frippery.  I will leave it up to you and your conscience.  Shall we proceed.

First Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Marvel’ rescued from a bargain bin during a convenient garden centre stop off on the way to visit my Mum last week.  He did not come alone.   It was a bumper harvest, and although some of my crammed car of rescuees were destined for clients this was always going to be mine, mine, mine.  It is indeed blue and marvellous.

Now for the beautiful Dahlia ‘Bishop of York’.  This was purchased earlier in the season in a “grab all you can bulb and tuber sale”.  Well that is how I read it anyway.  Initially destined for another garden, it didn’t quite make it, clinging on here by its roots crying “please keep me, I will flower well for you and you will grow to love me”.  How could I resist.  Although there are full blooms, I rather liked the way this one is partially open.  And I do love it.

Next my garlic harvest, much better than I thought it would be, laid out totally randomly to dry on our courtyard bench.  The breed is Dario, which I haven’t tried before, and I’m very happy with it.  Mine you, the proof is in the eating/vampire repelling.

I have had Dierama ‘Kilmurry White’ in the garden since sometime last year and I can’t even remember buying it.  All I do know is that again it was a bargain.  It is a wonderful pure white, and backed by the deep purple penstemon, looks a picture.

This Begonia fuchsioides was a travelling companion with the blue salvia and, considering how brittle it is, came home remarkably unscathed.  It is a plant I have read about, and might even be on one of my many Lust Lists dotted around the kingdom.  The only downside is that it is another Tender Trevor when I should really be buying Robust Roberts.  Hey ho!

Lastly, and off the scale of loveliness, is Roscoea purpurea ‘Wisley Amethyst’.   Grown in a pot, safe from the rough and tumble of the border, it is just as beautiful as I was hoping it would be.  Long may it live.

That is it, all done.  Until next time ….

 

 

Six on Saturday – Downhill

Well it seems that is it.  The solstice has passed and we are now on the slippery slope to winter.   Passed in a jiffy didn’t it?   Here is my midsummer Six on Saturday.  And perversely it actually looks like a summer’s day out there.   It is where I should be, not here at my desk.   As my heart is elsewhere, to be on the safe side, we should proceed with great haste.  I’m sure our mentor The Prop is not sitting at his computer wasting sunlight hours thinking of things to say to his flock.  He will be prepared and have done all this silly writing stuff ages ago and at this very moment be hard at work in his garden.  Not me.  Not organised at all.  If we get on I might be able to steal a few moments of pottering later.

Here we are, my first photo, Simon the poppy.   Simon was trampled on by steel toe-capped builders and scaffolders until I pointed him out in the nicest possible way and asked them to try their very bestest to avoid stomping on his head again.  They did their best and here he is blooming well to tell the tale.  I do love a good red poppy and Simon is one of the best.

In my little garden I don’t have the benefit of potting shed or proper greenhouse.  When I do any potting up, pricking out or some such fiddlings, I sit on the bottom step of the set towards the top of the garden with my compost, pots and the “to be sorted” arranged about me.  I then settle down with a nice cup of coffee, which in matter of moments has compost floating on the top, and enter my own little world.   It was then that I noticed this chap on a Salvia elegans, possibly the diddiest grasshopper in the world.  Splendid antennae though.

Next Allium aflatunense ‘Purple Sensation’ which isn’t in the slightest bit sensational.    Perhaps it has a good excuse in failing to reach more than 20cm high.   They were planted late, they have been stood on (see above) and dug up by mistake (hangs head in shame).   Next year they will be wonderful, I can feel it in my bones.

A lovely surprise yesterday was to find that Peggy was flowering, albeit in a rather dishevelled way.  Like pancakes, the first dahlia flower is always a little bit dubious.

Next we have a horrid invasive geranium, it annoys me constantly by its continual march across the garden, swamping and strangling all that it passes.  Then the sun catches the veined indigo flowers and I am once more smitten.

Lastly the disgraceful sight of Big Ted after a night out on the tiles.   He has been severely reprimanded and is on house arrest for the foreseeable future.

All done, now let me out into the garden ……….

 

Six on Saturday – After the Rain

Flaming June was flaming wet yesterday.   It made Tuesday, when Rain Stopped Play if you recall, seem like a jaunt in the Gobi.  Today it has cleared, pushed onwards for the moment by bullying winds.   This has meant that although taking photos for my Six on Saturday has been a dry affair, it has not been without jeopardy.   In order to impress my Svengali, The Propmeister, I have battled through the gale to bring this Six to you.  And I only fell over once.  Which to be honest is good going on a non-windy day.  Shall we get this show on the road?

It could be the year of the geum, they seem to be very popular at the moment.  And for very good reason, to my mind they are invaluable in the garden.  This one is Geum ‘Prinses Juliana’ which is more delicate in form and fiery in hue than ‘Totally Tangerine’.  I bought ‘TT’ as a gift for Mrs Bun. She had expressed an interest in it so I treated her.  A couple of weeks ago she declared that she no longer wanted it.  “You mean the plant that I so kindly bought you as a present last year?” “Oh, did you?”  *sigh* “but it has grown too big for that position and I haven’t anywhere for it to go” *a lone tear trickled down my cheek* “are you sure that is the one you bought me?” *falls on the floor in a swoon*.  It is now planted in my garden.  Once we have recovered from the disappointment/rejection I will share a photo with you.

Next we have a crazy tomato plant.  This variety is called Big Orange from Martin at Sampford Shrubs, a pithy name if ever there was one.   It has lost its leader, which I vehemently deny removing by accident, but will be replaced by a shoot coming from the base.  It has also produced, alongside some very sensible if not rather buxom flowers, a giant possibly fasciated monster bloom.  I am blaming an incident involving radiation and Br…., oops almost said it!

Now a candelabra primula in a pot.   It seems to be coping quite well with this arrangement and I am sure enjoyed the dousing it had yesterday.  This is a “one day when I have a large garden I will find the perfect place for it” plant.  I am ever hopeful.

This is the first flower on the double osteo, which is possibly called ‘Double Berry Purple’.    Probably featured in a SoS before, but definitely worthy of a repeat.  The idea did spring into my devious head that I could just repost from the same time last year and see if anyone noticed.    But where would be the fun in that?!  Mind you, in an emergency SoSituation …….

You can’t beat a bit of fine foliage, which is just as well as this is the principle reason for growing Persicaria filiformis.   The pale green leaves have blood-red heart monitor lines chevroning across the width.   The delicate red flowers which are held on wiry stems, need to be observed close up and definitely with your specs on to be fully appreciated.

Lastly we have Phlomis fruticosa, which has been (and continues to be) beaten severely by the worst of the weather.  Apart from the odd frazzled leaf, it takes it on the chin, often bending into full blown Matrix positions and bouncing back just as well as Keanu Reeves ever did.   A trooper, and an important member of our horticultural family.

All done for another week, now that wasn’t too painful was it?  Don’t forget to take a look at what the rest of the SoSers are up to over on The Prop’s site.  Until we meet again!

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.