Six on Saturday – PS Peggy

Shall we get the obvious out of the way before we get going? It has been hot. Hot for us Brits. We are ill-equipped for such things. We are sleep deprived and smelly. We are pink and dehydrated and grumpy. This week I have mainly been watering pots, talking about how hot it is, sweating and trying to sleep. I have woken to find the weather has broken; it is windy and wet and warm, a generous gift from the alliteration gods. It is too early to say whether this is a preferred option, it is undoubtedly one I am more accustomed to. Crikes, a garden chair just flew past the window! Wait a moment while I rescue it. Well, that was exhilarating and a little bit scary.

I’m trying to think of someone who would have stayed chilled this week and calm in a storm…… just a minute it is on the tip of my tongue ……. oh yes, our Six on Saturday leader, The Prop. Let us shake a leg, this SoS won’t write itself.

First, we have a plant that I took without the owner’s permissions. I nicked it. At the earliest opportunity I confessed, which makes it alright. I think. He didn’t call the police. But I have moved house since. Perhaps I am on the run and don’t even know it. It was however a crime of passion, so there is absolutely no way I would be charged in a Disney court of law. It is a rather beautiful geranium that I don’t know the name of, I didn’t go so far as to steal the label, but I call it Paul’s geranium.

My cucumber ‘Marketmore’ has taken off and there are more flowers and baby cucs on the way. I have been removing the male flowers, for no other reason that I thought the bad boys might make the fruit bitter. Or is that courgettes? The plant has decided that my cane support was not adventurous enough and headed in a tomato-ey direction. As the saying goes, “You can lead a cucumber to bamboo but you can’t make it climb it”. Unless you tie it on and cut off all the tendrils of course.

Last week it was Peggy’s birthday. As we skated to my brother’s house for a celebratory meal, mum on her rolator, me and OH on rollerblades, we bumped into a local gardener. “It is my mum’s birthday” I said, just like a three year old would. The generous woman disappeared into her greenhouse and came out with this little beauty, Salvia ‘Senorita Leah’. “Happy birthday” she said, and then to me “You can easily take cuttings”. I was already on it.

You might well hang your head in shame Dahlia coccinea! One day you have red flowers, the next you decide to start blooming orange. A mystery indeed. I blame Brexit/heatwave/alien invasion.

This is the first time that my Hydrangea aspera ‘Hot Chocolate’ has flowered. To be honest it hasn’t been a long wait, a little over a year, and you have to let a chap settle in. The lovely peachy blooms are a pleasant surprise. I bought the plant for its foliage (and name) and hadn’t considered flower colour. Very nice.

The watsonia seedling has also flowered for the first time. It was a gift from Steve and Dawn at Devon Subtropical. Here it is growing in association with a more reliable orange dahlia, Bishop of York. When I say “in assocation” I mean, I stuck the pot next to it.

And here is an extra. However I have got an exemplary excuse for this misdemenour. Are you sitting comfortably? Since we have been living with my mum, I’ve enjoyed sharing my plants with her. I bring the pots in that are small enough, or help her outside for the larger ones, and tell her a little bit about them. Yesterday afternoon we were looking at this Fuchsia procumbens ‘Variegata’ and she was smitten. “Shame, I’ve already got my Six on Saturday photos sorted” I told her. “Can’t you have it as a PS?” Of course I can. So here it is: the adorable variegated creeping fuchsia.

That is your lot. Rain this weekend, which is much needed. Hopefully not floods, which are seldom welcome. Take care, my friends. ‘Til next time.

Six on Saturday – Ruthless

Bidens 'Firelight'

Beware, I am in a ruthless mood today.  Inhabitants of the garden that have not been performing to my exacting standards have been extradited to the green bin.  Oleander that has never flowered, promised once but was only joking – Out!  Dead stick thing that has been in extensive care for so long the label has rubbed clean – Out!  Scrubby grass with no aesthetic merit whatsoever but for some perverse reason I have always felt sorry for – Out!  OH has been hiding.

I feel cleansed and ready to write my Six on Saturday.  We are semi-anarchic group led by Prop Guevara, take a look at his manifesto and all will become clear.  You will also meet others in this band of merry folk.

My first offering is Bidens ‘Firelight’.  I am fond of bidens.  They seem to like me too.

Next we have Impatiens puberula,  which earlier this year I transferred from its pot in the back garden into a large barrel in the front garden.  After an initial period of homesickness, it has settled in very well, spreading dramatically and beginning to flower well.  It is not surprising that it is a little ragged around the edges.  The very un-British weather we are enjoying hasn’t really suited this native of cool moist forests in Nepal.

You can have too much of a good thing.  This Verbascum chaixii, the nettle leaved mullein, has done too well.  After it has flowered, in the autumn I suppose, it will be lifted and divided and shared to all and sundry.  In the meantime it is providing a feeding station for bees, no caterpillars spotted yet.

Catanache caerula 'Alba'

Catanache caerulea ‘Alba’, or the white cupid’s dart, is next.   I grew this from seed last year.   The joy of seeing a flower bloom that you have propagated never diminishes.

watsonia

Now a watsonia seedling, a bit of a tender Terry, it was one of the many I was worried about earlier in the year.  It is not flowering as prolifically as it did last year, but I can forgive it for the harsh treatment it withstood.  The colour is wonderful.

grasshopper

Sat on the steps earlier, worn out by my tyranny, I felt that I was being watched.  Glancing sideways at the pot of begonias to my right, I saw this little chap, who kindly stayed in position whilst I dashed inside to get my camera.  As for the rest of the plants, you can all relax now.  For the moment anyway.

That is that.  All done.  Thanks for your leadership Propman.  Next week perhaps …..