Six on Saturday – Happy Holidays

osteospermum

After a week or more away, I have come home to builders, scaffolding, inaccessible plants and a really vicious cold.  For this reason (and I will continue to blame everything on the builders including my poor health, who in reality are rather nice chaps, until further notice) my Six on Saturday will dwell on holiday snaps.  Of course these consist, on the whole, pictures of plants.  This is probably just as well you wouldn’t want to see myself and OH in our “kiss me quick” hats, trousers rolled up daringly above the ankle, having a paddle.  If you would like to share in the experience of other SOSers, with or without builder input, pop on over to our Site Foreman to find out more.

First we have an osteospermum, growing in the recess of a wall overlooking St Ives.  Always a joy to visit, come torrential monsoon and high winds or shine.

bamboo

Next is a golden bamboo, possibly Phyllostachys aurea, but I’m not absolutely sure as I wandered off to admire it and I was reined back in.  Which happens unsurprisingly often. This photo was taken at The Leach Pottery, also in St Ives.  It is located about 100m from my childhood home and we always visit when we are down.  Incredible pots and wonderful memories.  Not that we were aware of it as kids, we were just kids.  In those days we were just interested in playing on the beach/woods/moors and eating Mr Kipling’s produce.  And yes we did buy more pots.  Very beautiful they are too.

Bidens

Then on to Penzance to catch up with old friends and continue our hedonistic adventures.  Our guest house had a rather amazing garden, which not only had sea views but was packed with colour.  These bidens were a treat, as was the Hummingbird Hawk Moth feasting on the Verbena bonariensis, which unfortunately avoided my lens.  You will have to trust me on that one.  On our last morning we were waiting for our taxi to take us to the train station, when a gentleman in a rather flamboyant shirt left the house.   He started a conversation, asking us where we going and the like.  He then dropped into the conversation, like a feather into a vat of oil, that he was returning from Kew Gardens to Tresco where he is the curator of Abbey Gardens.   I may have fainted.

Colquhounia coccinea

During our stay we visited the small-but-perfectly-formed Penlee Art Gallery and Museum, which is situated in Penlee Gardens.  I almost didn’t get in the door.  Waylaid variously by swathes of Tulbaghia violacea, a largeTrochodendron aralioides full of Sputnik fruit, white crinum and night scented Cestrum parqui.  The treasure which made me squeal with glee was this Colquhounia coccinea, unlike my own specimen, a strong and flower-full example.  When I got home I rushed to see if a miracle had happened.  No.

Fascicularia bicolor

I had a hunch when I saw the expanses of swordfish foliage that it might be something special.  A little poke about and I found what I was looking for, the outlandish flower head of Fascicularia bicolor .   Planted in a tiny garden, come seating area, just opposite the Jubilee Pool, this is another example of the exotic as ordinary.  Wonderful.

Peggy Pearlers

On our last day we had an itinerary.  We were having a day out with my good friend and jeweller to the stars (and me) Duibhne Gough, known to her pals as Div.  She would take us to The National Dahlia Collection, then lunch, then to a nursery, then to see her new workshop before home, tired but happy.  I have long wished to visit the dahlias at Varfell Farm, even more so since I named a dahlia after my Mum, read all about it here It Is All In The Name.  It was a fabulously sunny day with bloom after bloom after beautiful bloom.  But none were the special one.  Soon I was beginning to doubt myself and that it was in fact a cruel hoax.  Then a point and smile from the lovely Div and there she was in all her glory.  I can quite honestly say, in a totally biased manner, that Peggy Pearlers was the most beautiful specimen in the field.

After a delicious lunch our itinerary was scrapped, as £20 worth of unleaded had found its way into the diesel Citroen.  It turned out for the best, a balmy afternoon of laughter and lager (and the odd house white but that didn’t scan as well), and I didn’t buy a single plant!

Thank Mr P for being the host with the most.  Until next time!

Six on Saturday

Scabiosa drakensbergensis

Scabiosa drakensbergensis

I’m not much of a joiner-in.  Its not that I don’t want to, but I lack focus and commitment. However I have decided to have a go at The Propagator’s meme, Six on Saturday.  For those of you who don’t know The Propagator he is best described as The Terminator in reverse.  His remit is simple: post six photos of plants from your garden on a Saturday.  That can’t be too arduous can it?  Apart from the small fact that most of my pictures are taken in my esteemed client’s gardens and I never work at the weekend.  Um.  Could be tricky.

I have asked Mine Host if I can use photos from other places and he most kindly agreed.  I haven’t mentioned the “not taken on a Saturday” bit yet as I don’t want to push my luck.  I will promise to stick to six if that helps.

So in an uncharacteristic willingness to conform, I have on this occasion battled through the chaos and managed to find the magic six in my own garden.  As I have mentioned before my own garden is full of good intentions and neglect.  This was therefore not an easy task.  But I was brave.

The opening photo is Scabiosa drakenbergenis, which is a cutting from a plant at Cliffe.  That plant was grown from seed.  It is loyal and undemanding, winding its way through and around others in the border, popping its head up in unexpected but welcome places.  It comes from the Drakenberg Mountains in South Africa, reaches 1m tall and is tough and beautiful, a perfect combination.

Fuchsia hatschbachii

Fuchsia hatschbachii

Next comes Fuchsia hatschbachii.  This fuchsia came into my possession whilst on a trip with Torrington Tina.  That is all you need to know, except no criminal activities were involved.  None that might result in a prison sentence anyway.  I like to think we liberated it.  Compact in form, dark green foliage, masses of slim red and mauve flowers.  No wonder both myself and TT had independently admired it from afar.  Sometimes you do get what you wish for.

Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis and friend

Now for the ubiquitous Verbena bonariensis.  Self-seeder and butterfly magnet extraordinaire, it was doing its job well this morning.  This little chap was hanging on for dear life as the stems almost doubled in the brisk breeze.  Others might have called it a raging wind.  Hopefully his persistence paid off.

Rosa 'Rhapsody in Blue'

Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’

Oh yes, the rose.  The Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ that I bought earlier this year from Cannington Walled Garden has just begun its second flush of flowers.  The scent is delicious, the flowers a treat. It is doing very well in its pot, has avoided any blackspot and is growing just a little too vigorously!

Dahlia australis

Dahlia australis-ish

We must have a dahlia.  This is one that I grew from seed and is purported to be Dahlia australis.  I have an inkling there may have been some shenanigans with an interloper.  Although this has the slightly nodding habit of the species, it is supposed to be single flowered.  Oh well, you win some you lose some, and it is very pretty.  It shall be known as Dahlia australis-ish, which is quite hard to say after a couple of babychams (or equivalent).

Teasel

Terrific Teasel

And lastly the magnificent teasel.  These self seed in the front garden and are direct descendants of The Giant One.   TGO lived in our garden in Bristol and hitchhiked a lift on one of plants we brought with us.  For the past 10 years they have appeared without fail, to the great joy of local bees and finches.  When the winds come from the North, they dance a merry dance.

So there we have it, Six on Saturday.  Thank you Mr P for hosting this meme.  I hope I have passed the test.

The Gardener’s Car

Verbena bonariensis

I’ve got a new car.  Yes, a new camera and a new car.  No, I haven’t won the lottery.  Admittedly I did win the premium bonds the other week, but I shared the whopping £25 prize with two friends. Yes a whole £8.33.33333333 each.  This car is not an indulgence.  It has been a necessity for at least nine shaking, spluttering months.  In order to work I need reliable transport.   In order to stay sane I need transport that doesn’t threaten self destruction at any moment.  Driving the old banger is like being a contestant in the Wacky Races, and we are not  talking about Penelope Pitstop’s sporty little number.  Rather imagine the Boulder Mobile.  So last week I got a new car.  When I say “new” I mean “new to me”, that £8.33 didn’t go far.  But who would have thought it?  It doesn’t rattle in an ominous way. There are no odd burning smells.  The heater isn’t jammed on.  The boot doesn’t double as an indoor pool.  It has a rear windscreen wiper.  It has a CD player and electric windows. It is very shiny.  It is very grown up.  It is far too good for me.  I suppose it won’t take long for me to wear it in.  Before brambles scratches the silver lining.  Before mud infiltrates the soft furnishings.  Before the rural lanes splatter their welcome.  Before it is christened as a gardener’s car.  Which is exactly what it is meant to be.

Did I tell you about beeping reversing thingy? Brilliant.  I wonder, can you turn it off?