Six on Saturday – The Exceptions

There is a vague theme for my Six on Saturday this week. My contribution consists of mainly fuchsias with a couple of interlopers thrown in for a little spice. I find it difficult to focus on one subject for too long. Fuchsias were never my favourite, especially the frouncy, doily ones. As the years have passed and I have matured into a sophisticated citizen of the world (quiet in the cheap seats!), they have wheedled their way into my heart. Not so much Mrs Frillypants, but there is still time. Hop on over to our Leader, The Mighty Prop, to find out what the rest of the gang have been up to. Let us begin.

First, we have an unnamed fuchsia, which was in residence when we bought the house. It never disappoints. We give it a big chop back at the beginning of the year and if it oversteps the marks. It lives in the teeth of the north wind, which seems all too frequent even in summer, and never complains. I should take some cuttings.

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Another inherited plant is Buddleja ‘Black Knight’, lording over the aforementioned fuchsia in the front garden. Much loved by sparrows and flutterbys.

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Onto the diddy Fuchsia microphylla, or similar, there are many varieties in this category. Like many in our garden, it lives in a pot where it gets sporadic attention. It might be small in flower and leaf, but the shrub, if allowed to thrive, can reach 2m in height.

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Now Fuchsia ‘Thalia’, just coming into bloom. I am fond of the slender flowered specimens, members of the Triphylla Group, with their clusters of elegant drop ear-rings. They are somewhat tender, but this one has over wintered without protection for a couple of years. But if The Beast came a-calling, I would worry for its safety.

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Next Fuchsia hatschbachii. I rage against the inclusion of this, admittedly beautiful, fuchsia. Fabulous flowers, dainty pink boots, but a spelling nightmare.

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Lastly, the golden Crocosmia ‘Colleton Fishacre’. Dark foliage, shining flowers, the early morning sun. Win, win, win. Always end with a bang.

Adios my friends, stay well and safe.

Six on Saturday – Running Late

Here we are again, Six on Saturday time again, I’m running a little bit late. Because of my tardiness, this will most probably be concise but not necessarily accurate. You never know, once I get going anything could happen. If you want to check up on the rest of the gang, and of course the man himself, pop on over to The Propagator’s post and you will find a smörgåsbord for your delectation. Now let us proceed or there will complaints. Mr K might be very quiet at the moment, but believe me, he is lurking in the shadows and misses nothing!

First, we have Cautleya spicata, the Himalayan ginger, which is beautiful in many ways. It will take some frost, some shade and some “oh my, I forgot about you, I had better water/feed/unweedify you”. Gorgeous.

On to an unnamed pelargonium. When we first visited our house, I looked at the red brick steps that lead up to the garden and thought “I want to grow pots of pelargoniums on those steps”. And I did.

Now Linaria ‘Fairy Bouquet’. During the first few weeks of lockdown I wondered if I would be able to get my few bits of bedding that fill the planters at the front of the house. A rummage in the seed tin and I found a pack of these and duly sowed them. They have worked quite well. Unlike the two dahlias that have constantly been eaten down to ground level. Yesterday I rescued them, not before time.

Next an agapanthus that earlier in the season was shuffled. At great personal risk of injury, I dug out this monster, divided it, gave a massive chunk to Westwell Hall and another to my neighbour then replanted the remainder in a more appropriate place. Then I had a lie down. It is a thug which seeds at will and a battalion of snails live in its fleshy leaves, planning their night manoeuvres. I rather like it.

Let’s have something a little more genteel, the lovely Alyogyne huegellii. I’ve no idea how to pronounce it, I do know it is very pretty and is an anagram of ……. Answers please!

Lastly we have the definition of blue. I can’t stop looking at it, and occasionally stroking it whilst cooing words of love. Salvia ‘Blue Angel’, wonderful.

Adieu my friends, keep staying safe and well.

Six on Saturday – Peace

Another day, another Six on Saturday. For the uninitiated, take a look at The Prop’s site and you will soon be up to speed with the inner workings of the sophisticated machine that is SoS. For those of you that wish to witness a plethora of flimsily veiled, Grade A cheekiness then take a look at what Mr K is up to. I can’t believe you actually looked?! I am very disappointed. Best to sweep that under the carpet and proceed with the task at hand, all the while silently weeping.

First, we have a crest fallen rose, a victim of this summer’s ravages. It has been suggested before by your clever selves that it is ‘Peace’. I like it. Both the sentiment and the flower.

Next, the most elegant in flower but languid in habit, Fuchsia glazioviana.

Now a disappointment. Yes, another one. This is, supposedly, Agapanthus inapertus ‘Midnight Cascade’. I have been waiting for it to flower for an age or two. After my initial euphoria, I now believe it to be an imposter. Life is like that sometimes, still the dark stem is rather nice.

On to Campanula ‘Loddon Anna’. It is a relatively new arrival but already has been subjected to the trauma of OH trimming the grisselina behind. Which cost it its first flowering stem. I said nothing. Let me remind you; peace is the preferred option.

Now the glorious Gladiolus papilio ‘Ruby’. I can’t beat glorious I’m afraid.

Lastly, a Dahlia coccinea seedling, dark-leaved and sultry. A great favourite of both myself and the slugs and snails. Sometimes I am not quite so peaceful.

That is yer lot you mottley crew! ‘Til the next time. Be safe and happy, my friends.

Six on Saturday – Compass Point

It is Six on Saturday time again, which is serving as a welcome compass point. Although hard to believe, the days this week have seemed more confused than ever. Cancellations, rearrangements and future plans, when the future was previously barely credible, have all served to muddy my already murky waters. For that reason it is nice to know that this is Saturday and only Saturday, for that is all it could be. If you wish to discover further benefits to SoS participation, then pop over to The Propagator to find out more, or perhaps even less, my compadres are also often muddled. Let us get on or I will be getting in trouble with the Strict Task Master across the Channel, no Fred, not you, the other Channel.

First, a leaf of Brugmansia ‘Grand Marnier’ and friend. You must forgive for the blurry photograph, it was early morning, before my 100% proof flagon of coffee. During my garden meanderings I spotted this critter and ran (wobbled) back to the house to get my camera. All that exertion was too much for me, hence shake. And no, it was nothing to do with gin. This brugmansia has not thrived, possibly due to being in too small a pot. Last weekend this was rectified, so now has absolutely no excuse not to do something fabulous.

Next, a dear little erodium, nestled in an alpine planter bought lock, stock and barrel from a bargain bin, far, far away. It has subsequently been ignored. Everyone loves a trouper.

Now the absolutely gorgeous Diascia personata, a gift from my friend Chloris. She is not only generous, she also has impeccable taste. Its common name is masked twinspur. After absolutely no research on this matter at all, I can only surmise this is due to its twin spurs which are masked. I wouldn’t quote me on it.

On to a teasel water reservoir. This is son of, son of, son of etc the teasel that hitched a ride from our previous home in Bristol. We love teasels in our house. Although none of the current generations have reached the dizzying heights of their predecessor, all are loved. Next door has a new bird feeder which has attracted a family of goldfinches, hopefully they will still be about to enjoy our offering. Yesterday I was watching a fledgling on the telephone wire outside our bedroom window, gloriously twittering for some grub. A joy.

Now for Impatiens puberala, just coming into flower. A great favourite of mine, although I am sure it would be happier in the ground or living with someone with a better watering ethic.

Lastly Dichelostemma ida-maia, which I featured as a mere shoot in an earlier SoS. It has suffered badly from the onslaught of molluscs. The attack has been relentless. Although the flower is not fully out, I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to share. It might be in the belly of a snail tomorrow.

That’s it, all done for another week. Take care my friends.

Six on Saturday – No Name

Sometimes you can get caught up in your own little world of misery. Which is what has happened to me this week, or perhaps a fortnight. It is tooth related, a design fault to my mind. In the scheme of things, it is small beer, but still, the mire of my mood persists. Weakness is sometimes hard to acknowledge, which is unfortunate as troubles are seldom unique.

Less of my self-pity. Let us get on with proceedings, that is, my Six on Saturday. Please pop over to our magnificent Prop’s to find out what else has been going on in the world this week. Gardenwise and perhaps other-wise.

First we have a glorious, unnamed, hydrangea which we inherited with the house. The spider came too. The flowers are such a wonderful colour, the photo only a meagre reflection of reality. Flowering perhaps a little bit early?

Next Penstemon ‘Gurt Big Purple’, grown from a cutting from an ex-client’s garden. Lush. I made up the name, just in case you wondered.

Now a fragrant-leaved pelargonium. I haven’t a clue what it is called; I can’t even remember where it came from. Although you can’t appreciate the scented foliage, you can admire the very pretty blushing flower.

Onto a scabious that, before it flowered, I thought might be ‘Blue Jeans’. It appears not. It is possibly a self seeder from the original that has now popped its clogs. Twice the height of its parent, this cuckoo is rather lovely with its pink brushed flower.

Now a flowering sempervivum which is a combination of obscene and wonderful. It came in a job lot from Lidl and, with its assorted mates, sailed through winter protected from the worse of the wet. I have grown rather fond of them.

Lastly a geranium, pilfered from a client’s garden, which has made itself at home on top of the cut-and-come-again lettuce. They look quite happy together.

That is yer lot, my friends. Have a good week. I’ll try to jolly up by next time.

Six on Saturday – Excitement

Welcome to another Six on Saturday, I hope it finds you well and happy. If you would like to know more about this worldwide phenomena then pop on over to meet our host The Propagator (a little bit like The Terminator but marginally less violent). Shall we proceed? We don’t want to give that Welsh chap anything to moan about.

First, we have the ever faithful Osteospermum ‘Double Berry Purple’. It struggles through each winter cruelly exposed to the elements, whether wet or cold or windy or all three, with little more than a shrug. A trouper and one to have on your side.

Onto another stalwart of the garden. However much I mistreat this gallant soldier it fights on regardless. It is dragged it out of shrubs, the roots are wrenched from the ground and shrivelling spells are cast. Still it displays its virginal flowers to prove my ineptitude. Never one to let you down, I give you, drum roll please, the indestructible (through fair means not foul) bindweed!

Next, we have Erysimum linifolium ‘Variegatum’, probably. It grows in a narrow gravel border that edges the slabbed area. Although it is flowering well at the moment, contrarily, I chose to present the foliage which I think is equally as lovely. I notice that someone has taken a cartoonish nibble out of one of its leaves. Now who could that have been? Hands up please, or should I say tentacle up?

Now we have Bletilla stricta ‘Alba’ which although growing healthily has been a great disappointment. This year, as well as last, it pretended to flower, causing great excitement, but the bud disintegrated into nothingness. Any ideas folks? I have fed with tomato food, which as you know isn’t as daft as it sounds. Oh yes, and there this little chap who I thought was quite beautiful. Unless he is called The Emerald Bud Chewer. I might go off him then.

I don’t have much in the way of bedding plants, but these little trailing verbena turned my eye whilst shopping for essentials. Surely no one could argue that this little darling is not essential!

And finally, more excitement in the garden. After five years languishing in pot showing no inclination to do anything of merit, my Agapanthus inapertus ‘Midnight Cascade’ had got not one, but two flower spikes. I have changed my name to Thrilled of North Devon. That is unless the dreaded Emerald Bud Chewer comes its way. I have installed 24 hour security.

Another week over, take care my friends, and stay safe.

Six on Saturday – Linkless

This is my first attempt at a Six on Saturday from scratch, using the new-fangled WordPress block editor. At the moment I haven’t located the link oojamaflip (I’ve never had to spell that word before, might need checking, I did, it was wrong, I corrected it, no-one will ever know) so you will have to find your own way to The Propagator and his blog of wonders. I have faith in your navigation skills. You know you can’t always have it handed to you on a plate, it is about time you did a little work for yourself. Having skilfully offended both the members of my audience, I will continue.

First, we have Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, a Six on Saturday favourite. And quite rightly so; although not blue, it is a rhapsody. The contemplation of this rose has taken me straight back to Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and the dolly bird pilots Harmony, Melody, Rhapsody, and Symphony Angel. How I wanted to be in their gang. It turns out I never even got close.

Next, we have a pelargonium proving to the world just how wrong they can be. Over-wintered outside, sited in the shadiest spot of the garden, and happy as a pellie can be.

A wanderer in the garden, Gladiolus byzantinus, is always welcome wherever it pokes it head up. And always a relief that is not another bloomin’ crocosmia.

The tough as old boots Phlomis fruticosa is in full flower at the moment. It may be that I just haven’t noticed it before, but the blooms seem to be held on particularly long stalks this year.

I have become partial to a begonia. It might be an age thing, along with cardigans. Whilst doing some essential shopping I spotted these trailing variety and they became more important than the toilet rolls. Surely no-one could argue that point? I was tempted to draw two eyes on this flower. But that would have been very silly, and we can’t be having any of that nonsense.

The big red poppy, archetypal, is holding its flower heads to the side this year. Another strange phenomena (along with the long stalked phlomis, in case you skimmed over that bit). Lucky catch of a visitor to the busby centre.

That’s it for another week my friends. Next week, flaming June. Stay safe and well.

Six on Saturday – A Catalogue of Errors

Another Six on Saturday, which for me has been the most discombobulating week since lockdown.  I can feel tension in the air.  Not in this house, luckily.  Not often anyway.  Strife is almost unheard of in the Six on Saturday Brotherhood, have a look at Our Guru The Most Properly Master of all Thing Prop’s post to find out what is going on in the rest of the world.  Hopefully all will be as well as can be expected.

Before we continue, I’ve heard a rumour, it is just a rumour so keep it to yourselves.  I wouldn’t want to get anyone excited just for their hopes to be dashed on the rocks of disappointment.  But still, there is a chance that someone is coming back.  But we must remain calm.  Let’s get on.  This week I am concentrating on my errors.  So good for the soul.

A few weeks ago, my Canadian friend Gabby asked if I grew any sisyrinchium in my garden.  I told her I didn’t.  Oops!  This is Sisyrinchium ‘E.K. Balls’, can you hear it sniggering at my ineptitude?  Quite how I forgot this little beauty is a mystery.

Onto Lilium ‘Forever Linda’, the one I mixed up with the stunning ‘Forever Susan’.  I’ve warmed to this lily.  I’m often inspire to hum the Luther Vandross song “Love the one you’re with” as I pass.

Yes, the boys are back in town.  The Bed of Anarchy is peppered with nasturtium seedlings, and they have now spread to the further reaches of the garden.  I was supposed to be vigilant.  I must have drifted off again.

Now for the heinous crime of  the “lost label”.  These are possibly a Rhodohypoxis baurii cultivar, or one of its mates.

Next a totally inappropriate purchase.  Yes another one.  May I introduce you to the magnificent Hydrangea aspera ‘Hot Chocolate’.  Fabulous foliage, and this shrub can reach 3m in height to show off all that beauty.  Never mind, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Finally, Geranium sylvaticum ‘Mayflower’.   Hard as I try, I can’t find fault with this one.  Ethereal blue, fine form, unfussy and very pleasing on the eye.

That’s it done for another week.  Keep safe and well my lovelies.

Six on Saturday – Hearts and Flowers

This is a special Six on Saturday.   Today was to have been the wedding day of my nephew Adam and his fiancée Jess.  Instead of white gown and morning suit they will be donning PPE’s, both at present working on Coronavirus isolation wards in The University Hospital of Wales.  I am immensely proud of them both.  I am sure they will be feeling a little sad today, so in a feeble attempt to sooth, I thought I would dedicate this post to them.  Be warned, there will be tenuous links, but they are all made with love.

It is only fitting that we start with a heart, the newly emerged leaf of Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’.  This small tree staggers on year on year, confined by a pinching pot.  Each spring, new growth is both a joy and a surprise that it has made it through another winter.

Now, as tradition would have it, Something Old.  Here we have the Helen Mirren of tulips, growing old beautifully.   Conveniently for the theme, photobombing from behind are a handful of violas, which are sometimes known as heartsease.

Something New is a double first.  A new frond for my new fern Cyathea australis.  Again, this plant is Jim’s fault.  I am definitely not buying any more plants.  However, I have just seen a very tempting protea.  One doesn’t count.

Something Borrowed, is a magnificent peony from The Buns’ garden.  The Chinese name for the peony means “beautiful”, which I cannot deny.  More appropriately to our cause, according to the language of flowers, it represents a happy marriage and good fortune.  Both of which I wish our heroes in the future.

Now for something blue.  Bluebell, obvs.

To symbolise our celebrations after the ceremony, I searched the garden for hanging vines or laden pomegranate trees.  I delved deep for sweet strawberries and lush ripe apples.  There were no fresh quinces or passion fruit.  Unfortunately, all I could come up with was a beer trap.  Needs must.

But everywhere there were hearts.  These are the new leaves of a dwarf green bean, Tendergreen.

And more hearts, this time Cercidiphyllum japonicum.

And even more hearts.  This is a young Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’, the name of which is most fitting.

For those of you out there clicking away on your abacuses, I agree, this is not strictly six.  It was the hearts that done it.  But surely you can never have too many hearts on your substitute wedding day?  If anyone has a problem they can contact my minder/legal advisor/fashion consultant/confessor The Prop and he will undoubtedly ignore you.

Finally, a message to the wonderful Jess and Adam.  Keep on keeping on, my heart swells when I think of you, but not in a bad medical way.  Shall we try again next year?

There is a plus side though, I have a while longer to get into my dress which appears to have shrunk on the hanger.

Stay safe and well everyone, ’til next time.

 

 

Six on Saturday – Befuddled

Not only am I confused about what day it is, I am a little befuddled as to which week of the year it is.  Hence, I spent a fair amount of time on a blog which is appropriate to next week.   No matter, it is money in the bank I suppose.  We are getting paid for this right?

“Paid for what?”, you might ask, for Six on Saturdaying of course! That universal weekendly past-time of the great and the good.  To join our blissfully happy, mind-controlled crew, just pop on over to Propfessor X to find out what is going on.  There are definitely no subliminal messages hidden in this blog, definitely not.  Just don’t blink.  Shall we proceed?

First, we have Allium aflatunense ‘Purple Sensation’, one of many this week I should imagine.  In a slow crawl towards extending the season in The Bed of Anarchy, I planted these bulbs last year.  Or was it the year before?  Whichever, there aren’t enough of them to make a good show.  They move around the border all on their own, as if looking for more of their own kind.  I may well have to rectify that.

Now we have a lone lithodora flower.  Blue.  That is all that needs to be said.

Onto my arty-farty shot of the week and the interpretation therein.

The raindrops, suspended on the waxy surface of a hosta leaf, illustrate how we are living in our individual bubbles at the moment, where we have little choice but to reflect on inner demons and angels. There is no escape, we can see our loved ones in their respective bubbles, but can’t reach them.  If we did, we would destroy them.

A moment after this shot was taken next door’s cat knocked the leaf with her tail and the drops fell to the ground and disbursed.  I like to think this symbolises the futility of me trying to be serious.  The End.

Next strawberry flowers.  So white, such promise.  And if you are listening out there; Mr Slug, Mrs Snail, The Blackbird Clan; I am not sharing!

Then we have Aquilegia ‘Egg’, a flower I have featured before.  It is called Egg because OH nicked the seed from the farm where we used to get our eggs.  Later I asked the farmer’s wife what had happened to the mother plant, she said it had died.  My noble plan is to grow another and, at the dead of night, possibly wearing a balaclava, anonymously leave it on her doorstep.  Otherwise she might arrest me for seed theft, although it wasn’t me, honest guv.  She is rather scary, and looks very strong.  The farmer’s wife that is, not the aquilegia, which isn’t scary at all.

And finally, the biggest and most beautiful of our Woolies Acers.  The young leaves are at their best at the moment.  The stresses of grown-up life, the sporadic watering and summer winds that go with maturity, have yet to distress them.

That is my lot for this week.  Hope you enjoyed them.  Keep on keeping on, my friends.