Six on Saturday – Waiting

My photos for this Six on Saturday were restrained by the fact I had to be within hearing distance of the phone. OH was out doing the weekly shop, God bless him, and I was on high alert, loitering within ear-shot. Therefore, all pictures had to be taken within two leaps of the back door. As it happens, I could have wandered further. I was waiting for the call that never came, like some love sick teenager. Please pop on over to The Prop’s site and check out the other SoS who I am sure were more adventurous. Let us proceed.

First, we have a peek-a-boo Fuchsia ‘Eruption’ screaming “why are you denying my time to shine!”. Fleeced up for protection, it has managed to poke a couple of flowers out of a weak point in the defences. You will be pleased to hear, it is all tucked back in and cosy again.

Next, a Cornus ‘Porlock’ seedling, which is supposed to be deciduous but hasn’t been caught on yet. Perhaps cornus are like beech trees and hold onto their leaves whilst young. Yet another plant in waiting, we are all waiting.

Now, a ravaged leaf, ripped from the nearby brugmansia by the wicked wind, dumped on the steps and subsequently chewed.

Onto Callistemon masotti, presenting fat buds to aid our dreaming.

Whilst lurking I opened up my little plastic greenhouse for a breath of fresh air and at the same time had a poke about to see what had been happening. All the while listening out for a ring, of course. The sempervivum were looking quite fine and most dandy.

Lastly, hidden beneath the shifted fuchsia fleece, a lone Iris reticulata bud. This is the lolly-labelled pot, whose identification had biodegraded rather prematurely, so I’m afraid I can’t tell you the cultivar. Made me smile though.

Six on Saturday completed for another week, I hope you lot are all doing well and staying safe. All fine here. Like Vladimir and Estragon, I’ll must be getting on with my waiting.

Six on Saturday – Crisis? What Crisis?*

Second week in and 2021 is already looking rather tarnished. I’ve got an idea. Let’s buff it up, reintroduce a shine, give it a serious Six on Saturday make-over. If you visit the SoS Housekeeper’s site you will find a battalion of us from across the globe, armed with dusters, doing a bit of polishing, making their own corners sparkle. Without further analogy, which to be honest was getting a little out of hand, let us get on.

We start with Osteospermum ‘Double Berry Purple’, an oldie but goodie. This flower has been stuck in the self same position for the past few weeks, like a horticultural game of musical statues. Perhaps it opens and closes when I’m not looking. It may even do the oki-coki.

Next, we have Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’, dark, shiny and mysterious, like my soul. Not really, my soul is made of candyfloss.

On to a moth eaten viola, still, to my mind, quite beautiful. But then again I always did like the waif and stray, the underdog forever has my backing. Nice pop of orange too.

Now Erysimum linifolium ‘Variegatum’ which is a wallflower made of stern stuff. It grows in the gravel edge to a paved area, it is continually trampled to avoid bashing your head on the rotary clothes line, and swamped by its neighbours. No complaining, it just gets on with the job. Good chap.

Next a Miscanthus napalensis seed head, its golden locks now turned to grey. I think it very distinguished.

Finally, Vinca difformis ‘Jenny Pym’; always a joy, never a nuisance (not yet anyway), and so welcome in these chilly hours.

That is your lot, hope you feel the world is shining a little bit brighter now. Until next time, stay safe and well.

*with thanks to Supertramp

Six on Saturday – Left Overs

Bar the shouting, most of the Christmas craziness should be over by now, and we are probably all a little relieved. To my mind, Boxing Day is the most relaxing day of the festive season; there is minimal cooking, plenty of time to play with your new toys, have a little walk perhaps and room to reflect on the meaning of life. And lots of left overs. I am sure it will be no surprise that I am not writing this on Saturday, that would be over and above the call of duty and might cause some non-marital tension. But we are not far off, it is Christmas Eve. The ham is cooking, the red cabbage prepared and I am just about to search for our only table cloth for its once yearly performance. My name is Christine Control; all is calm, all is bright. How long do you give it? Whilst we are on the subject, our master The Prop is always the epitome of control and calm, except of course when it comes to tulips. Shall we proceed?

First, we have the carcass of a crocosmia seed head. I remove a lot of these unremarkable montbretia from the back of the garden, and still they spread with unconcealed glee. Today, this rusty reminder was most welcome. My icy heart may have thawed just a little.

Next another rogue, the three-cornered leek. Again, I have dug many of these out of the garden, to little avail. Still, if I didn’t know their reputation for invasion, I would think them quite lovely.

Onto the aeonium that is heading towards the stars, like an old fashioned camera lens. Looks like some untimely flowers are on the way. Who am I to argue with Madame Nature?

The other evening, whilst sitting in the front room learning my lines for the SoS panto, I heard a suspicious noise. Bravely/foolishly I went to investigate, armed only with my curiosity. I found nothing. A couple of days later the culprit was discovered. The Hoya lanceolata ssp. bella had leapt off the top of the filing cabinet in the office onto the floor below. It was put outside in disgust, into the naughty corner, where it has stayed.

Now onto my faithful friends, the fuchsias. You have got to hand it to them, they are stalwarts.

Lastly, the statuesque teasels; ever reliable, ever welcome. I have saved all the seed that I need to spread their joy to foreign climes, leaving plenty for our golden visitors.

I hope you are all relatively unscathed and had much fun and laughter over the last few days.
This time next week we will have a new year to cheer us!

Six on Saturday – Distracted

I have been a little distracted of late, which has resulted in a deficiency in the blogging department. The reason for being even more away with the fairies than normal is that we are moving house. To be more accurate, we are attempting to. Yes, you heard me right, we trying to sell our house in the middle of a pandemic. We wouldn’t want it to be too easy. For this reason, my mind in the last few months has often been elsewhere; wondering if anyone is actually doing anything constructive to further the cause and would someone please remind me how much an hour our solicitor gets paid for doing exactly what? In a sublime piece of synchronicity, several of my clients are also moving on, or have done already. Times are very strange on Planet Gill. Of course, to everyone in the else in the world all this is of meagre consequence, and quite rightly so. I bet our leader, The Prop, doesn’t even mention it. So, without further excusing, let us get on with the task at hand.

First, we have a plum pudding. Not really, it is a well wrapped Grewia occidentalis. This tender, cos it’s worth it, plant stubbornly refused to flower this year, possibly due to inadequate protection last winter. Slightly shamed by my short-comings I have made a special effort. Others thereabouts are quite rightly feeling a little miffed. Hopefully I will get around to them before too long.

Last Sunday I had a good clear out, horticulturally speaking. I rearranged and titivated The Step and surrounding area. The glass door opens out from the dining room, but is (luckily) seldom used. Sneaky slugs were dealt with, the disappointing dahlias put to dry and chosen pots snuggled together ready for their fleece as and when necessary. It was a cathartic experience and a start. Choices will have to be made; only the strong will survive.

Now, a lone, valiant, battered flower of Erigeron karvinskianus. A shadow of its heyday self, but still a daisy is a daisy is a daisy and always welcome.

Then, another lone survivor, the last leaf on our peach seedling. Whether this tree-ette will ever amount to anything is doubtful. Still, we don’t care, which is all that matters.

Onto, a spilling seed pod of the big blue agapanthus. It is big, it is blue and it is an agapanthus, any more I can’t tell you. Except it is liable to seed itself all over the place, which is both a blessing and a curse. I am hoping one will lodge in a pot to be carried to pastures new. Or I could just collect the seed, which doesn’t seem quite as romantic.

Lastly, a festive primula. Bright and joyful and all the things we need in these dark days.

Keep the faith, my friends. Now the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, I will attempt to shield you from the worst of our conveyancing traumas. Which I know are inevitable. And hope that sometime in the near-to-middle future we will have a new garden to dissect for SoS. Although sometimes the prospect seems a long way away.

Six on Saturday – Confusion

Anyone know what day it is? No, nor me. Hang on a minute, it must be a Saturday of some persuasion because I have that nagging feeling that I should be SoSing. That is all I’ve got. Perhaps The Prop will have more details, but be warned, you will find out an awful lot more than the date. Most of it will be good. Let us proceed.

First, we have Fuchsia ‘Bornemann’s Beste’, looking splendid even after a couple of chilly nights. Long may he reign.

Next, the aeonium that I bought from the house across the road during the first lockdown. It is now concertina-ing out in an alarming manner, I wonder what is going on?

I may have mentioned previously, that I try to only buy plants the names of which I can easily pronounce. Often, I fail. This is Correa schlechtendalii, who I believe was once a member of The Pussycat Dolls.

Now some variegated ivy, which caught my eye when buying my meagre winter bedding. I’m not usually a great fan of ivy, except of course of its wildlife nurturing properties, but this little one somehow wooed me. I think it was a good shout, it is looking rather lovely.

Next Salvia elegans. Hard as I might try, with camera or phone, I have never taken a decent photo of this lovely salvia. I’m sure there are all kinds of technical reasons, I like to think it is a curse. I will not be daunted, here it is, half the measure of flower it is in reality. You may have to use your imaginations.

Last, but definitely not least, is Nerine ‘Bicolor’. Lush, to the extreme. No confusion there.

That is it for another week or fortnight or month or whenever. In the meantime, stay safe and well and happy.

Six on Saturday – Slack

I haven’t been here for a few weeks, but possibly you were. What did I miss? Anything much? Any scandal or intrigue to report? Of course, I’m talking about Six on Saturday. For the few sorry folk that haven’t come across this mega-meme, there is no need to feel embarrassed. If you pop over to The Prop’s site, you can study all the intricacies and many codicils attached to this world famous weekly event. For the more impatient here is a précis: Six. On Saturday. I have been a little slack for a while on the blogging front, but rest assured I have been very taut elsewhere. Let us see if I can remember how it is done.

First, we have Helichrysum bracteatum, the strawflower. It is one of my feeble attempts at front of house bedding this year. Too tall, not floriferous enough; but on its own, in its own right, it is rather lovely.

Now onto Dahlia ‘Verone’s Obsidian’ which I believe is one of the honkas. I’m a little confused as to its real identity. This its first flower to bloom successfully and even that is a bit wonky. A little more honking and a little less getting scoffed by snails would be nice.

Next Hedychium ‘Pradhanii’, the only flower worth a public showing. Pots have been shuffled recently and this stunning ginger has unfortunately found itself in direct rotary washing line range. Each time our matching “his and hers” lederhosen whizz around in the breeze they whack this poor beauty in the mooch. I should move it really. It makes sense.

Onto someone looking very guilty “It wasn’t me guv, I just sat down for a rest and the big hole was here already”. I believe you.

Now Heliotropium arborescens ‘Chatsworth’ purchased a few weeks ago on a birthday visit to Atlantic Botanic nursery with my old mucker Hero. I have grown this Cherry Pie fragrant lovely before, but it didn’t make it through the winter. Fingers crossed for this one.

And finally, Salvia involucrata ‘Hadspen’; pure dazzling pink furry joy.

All done. I might try this SoSing again, it wasn’t too bad after all. Take care, my friends, I’ll see you in the gloaming.

Six on Saturday – Sighing

I have been a little slack on the blogging front recently. There are reasons of course, none of which I will bore you with at the moment. Rest assured, nothing bad. Hopefully anyway. I felt I should make a special effort this week. In missing a couple of Six on Saturdays, I’ve discovered that there is only so far you can push the patience of Akela. I had a note from my Mum (and it wasn’t even forged) and even Mr K said it would be OK ( on reflection it was a mistake to give him that money in recompense) but still there were repercussions. Believe me, a Propagator tantrum is something to behold. I would suggest that no one attempts to have even one week off, let alone two, it just isn’t worth it. There are sighs, there are mega-sighs and there are Propo-sighs. Less of the excuses, let us get on with it, Sunday is chomping at the bit.

First, we have Ageratum corymbosum, looking a little like a soggy muppet after our storms. Still I love it; the colour, the form, the everything.

Next is Tomato ‘Harzfeuer’; my first but hopefully not my last. I haven’t done well with my toms this year; I was late to the party. There is time enough to regain a little ground. A miracle however would be handy.

Now a potted cutting of Fuchsia procumbens ‘Variegata’, the mother plant is playing hard to get on the flowering front. I cannot get over the other-worldliness of these little psychedelic blooms.

Like many, I thought I would try my hand at a few more vegetables this year. My report card would say “easily distracted”. Here are some mixed oriental salad leaves that I sowed and forgot.

Now another fuchsia, I didn’t realise I was such a fuchsia fan. Perhaps it is time to stand up and be counted. This is F. ‘Thalia’. Lovely.

A self-inflicted rule is “you must always save the bee shot for the finale”. Here is our star, supping on a weather-ravaged Salvia involucrata ‘Hadspen’, a bit worn around the edges but still full of the good stuff. A lesson for us all perhaps.

That is your lot my friends. I hope all is well on your planets. Keep safe, happy and full of fun.

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_2237.jpg

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_2234.jpg

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_2214.jpg

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_2227.jpg

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_2205.jpg

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.