Six on Saturday

I was all revved up for a Six a couple of weeks ago, in fact I had the photos lined up and scripts imagined. Then disaster struck and I had fisticuffs with my computer, which didn’t end well for me. We have since made friends (tentatively) and I am determined to join the throng this week. I considered using the same pre-trauma photos, but they were rather dull and I thought, perhaps that crotchety old computer knew best after all. Here are six brand-spanking new ones, which although not earth-shatteringly exciting, are hopefully not mind-numbingly boring. “What is she on about?” I hear the uninitiated wail. Well my lovelies, I’m talking about Six on Saturday, the “free to enter impossible to leave” meme hosted by our very own Games Master. Follow the link and all will be revealed, along with the exploits of many other participants, mostly wearing lycra. Shall we proceed?

First, we have a primrose, one that has featured in a previous blog. My thinking is that if I can’t remember what I said about it, you won’t either. This primula is growing between the stones of a wall in the back garden beds. It is not a colour that I would generally warm to. What would you call it? Anaemic pink with the saving grace of a butter yellow centre, perhaps? Still, in spite of myself, I love it.

Next, is the emerging leaf of a tortured hellebore. Last year I bought three Harvington hellebores and duly potted them up for planting out later. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the compost that I used for this and many other things last year. Some of you will know which one I am referring to. The poor plants struggled and gallantly held onto life. Last week I emptied each pot, carefully removing as much of the evil concoction from the roots as possible, and repotted using new compost. And look! This one is Double Lilac Speckled. I have great hopes.

This is more my kind of colour; no holds barred, in your face orange. Quite how this little viola has escaped the ravages of storm and snail is a mystery. Not that I’m complaining. Now is your time little violet!

Onto the challengingly named Pseudopanax lessonii ‘Moa’s Toes’ looking fabulous in the small sunny respite this afternoon. The new foliage is charmingly crimson (was that too horridly alliterative?). The cultivar name refers to the leaf’s similarity to the foot of the New Zealand Moa. Never having met such a bird (yet), I cannot confirm whether this is indeed true. But I think a couple of my SoS pals might know the answer.

It is tricky to explain why certain plants make your heart skip a beat, and I certainly don’t have the words, but this is one that gets my pulse racing to unnecessary rates. Here we have the almost open flower of Fritallaria meleagris, the snakes head fritillary. This is not a rare plant, easy enough to grow and widely available, but for me has an element of mystique and intrigue that is beguiling. It is also vulnerable to mollusc munching, so appreciate it whilst you can.

“Tarquin!” I exclaimed in horror “there seems to be an olive languishing in the front garden, do you have any idea how it might have got there?”. Without raising his head from the joys of Cave Diving for Beginners he said “Probably dropped by a passing seagull”. To be honest, your guess is as good as mine.

Take care my friends, until the next time!

Six on Saturday – Watches

Snake's head fritillery

This may be rushed.  Again.  I’ll tell you why.

The strap on one of my watches came apart so I asked OH, AKA Glue Monitor, to fix it for me.  I don’t have many watches, just three.  You may think that is a lot.  I suppose you only really need one.  My three perform different roles in my life, apart from telling the time, that is.  One is a work watch, it has a large dial so I know when it is coffee time without putting my specs on and I can press my nose to my client’s window and dribble as way of a hint.  It was also embarrassingly cheap so it doesn’t matter too much if I compost it by mistake.  My second watch is my goth watch, a black-faced, black strapped Swatch, for my moody moments which are few but intense.  My third is a Fossil watch, bought in an outlet store for a fraction of the retail price and is my favourite.  It is my favourite because it has embroidered flowers on the strap.  It was this very strap that needed mending.  Anyone still awake?  The fact is this watch was still resident at the in-house menders meaning that it didn’t spring forward last weekend with the rest of the timepieces in the house.  And today I have been wearing that very same, now fixed, watch.  Which means that all day I have been running on Greenwich Mean Time instead of British Summer Time.  This in turn means I have one less hour than I thought to cram all the things I had earmarked to do this afternoon before cocktail hour.   I know another excuse.  At least I have turned up.  And our very own Time Lord, The Propmaster,  won’t need a lie down as he does on the rare occasions that I’m early.

Less wittering more plants!  Firstly we have a not quite open snake’s head fritillary, Fritillaria meleagris.  These play “will they, won’t they” each year and then seemingly over night, and usually a little nibbled, they appear.  When I say “they” I mean three.  They never seem to multiple like you hear in fairytales.

Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’

Next is a great joy to me, the strong and healthy roots of the most wonderful and doomy Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’ or the black willow .  These cuttings were sent to me by my friend Chloris after I admired the puma paws of one in her garden.  They have been sitting in a cup of water for a couple of weeks and voilà.   Read more about it here: The Blooming Garden – Six on Saturday 2nd March.   When admiring this willow I shall be wearing my black Swatch.

Now it is time for a fat and hairy potato sprout.  You may well remember, as I am prone to over-sharing about my personal life, that every year I buy OH some chitting potatoes for either his birthday or Valentine’s Day.   I usually buy Rocket, but for a change I thought this time he could try Charlotte.  I’m wild like that.  Each year he plants them and tends to them in a completely different way as to how I would do it.  But they are his.  I will not interfere.  I will not even give my opinion, I have tried before and it has fallen on stony ground.  But it is wrong.   Unfortunately it works.

acer

What next?  Oh yes, the fresh young leaves of one of our acers.   A little burnt by the wind, but all the same a beautiful sight.   All our Japanese maples are named Woolworth, as it is here that we bought them, many moon ago, and very well they have served us too.  I still miss Woolworths.

blueberry

On to blueberry flowers, blushing bells all primed to provide a handful of fruit for a summer treat.

Dahlia 'Peggy's Pearler'

Lastly, I am pleased to announce that Peggy is back!  Has she arrived in South Wales yet Mr K? For any of you who don’t know who Peggy is and why I should be so excited at her return, then you can find out all about it here: It Is All In The Name.

All done, double checked my numbers, and I’m all linked out.  I cannot linger, that Moscow Mule won’t drink itself!

 

 

 

 

A meadow of snakes

snake's head fritillary

The hail is flamenco-ing on the velux and I am remembering happy days.

This photo was taken at the very end of March 2016 at Holbrook Garden. I was visiting this wild and wonderful garden with the grand dame of Little Ash, Helen.  A meadow of Fritillaria meleagris, the snake’s head fritillary, was particularly spectacular, with its nodding heads of mottled purple interspersed on occasion with an albino specimen.  Great beauty indeed.