Six on Saturday 3/6/2017

1. Conifers. I was going to run with six conifers, on the grounds that a quick tot-up in my head led me to think I had just six in the garden. When I uploade the picures to the computer I quickly saw two more in front of one of the ones I’d snapped, so I have eight, unless I’ve missed any more. It kind of tells you something about conifers in a garden, they merge into the background, never doing anything to draw attention to themselves, and as a result get overlooked.

That’s a pity, because they are structural, like hedges and trees. They provide a backdrop against which the more flamboyant members of the garden community can perform.


The one on the left is Pinus pumila ‘Saentis’; about 25 years old now and I have cleared its lower branches to make it tree like, reclaim growing space beneath it and get back the view of the garden from the greenhouse beside it.
The one on the right is Pinus parviflora ‘San Bo’, which is outside the front door. I hardly dare say this, but in a week it will be gone to make way for a porch. It would have had to have gone soonish anyway, it’s getting too big for where it is and they’re not easy things to restrict in size without destroying their character. I shall miss it though, it’s a thing of beauty.

2. Orchid. I can tell you this is a Dactylorhiza but not which species. It was legitimately raised in captivity so it may be hybrid. I have a book, I will try and work it out, later. It was a self sown seedling in a pot that was supposed to have a Dodecatheon in it, but which survived only one season planted in the garden. The orchid is in its third or forth and seems very happy. If it’s happy, I’m happy.


3. Diplarrena moraea. This is an easy to grow member of the iris family that you see surprisingly rarely. It puts up stiff stems from a clump of narrow leaves and opens out its pure white flowers to show off a centre of yellow with purple pencilling. I have two forms, this one is 30-40cm tall, the other at least twice that, but with smaller, less well marked flowers.


4. Chionochloa rubra. The New Zealand tussock sedge is a mighty fine grass, pretty much unrivalled as what in my younger days, in the context of bedding schemes, was called a “dot plant”. It is used to great effect as a punctuation mark in the semi-natural flower meadows at the Garden House for example.
I grew this from a few seeds that I purloined from a garden run by a well known horticultural organisation and it has proved a robust perennial plant, probably nearing twenty years old now.  The tallest leaves will be 2 metres.


5. Cactus. I have no idea what species or variety this is, it wouldn’t add anything to it to know. Cacti were just about the first thing I grew, a while ago now.


6. Cucumber. This looks set fair to be my first cucumber of the season. That isn’t half the triumph it might have been; this is the last survivor of the half dozen plants I started with, the rest having dropped by the wayside as a result of my poor husbandry. Mind, if last year was anything to go by, one cucumber plant will be enough to ensure we are sick of cucumbers by about August. It’s a Brexit cucumber too, no way that would pass the standard for approved cucumbers. Probably taste alright.

So that’s this Saturday’s six, for the Propagator’s Six on Saturday meme. I wonder who has chipped in this week.

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