Six on Saturday – 5/5/2018

It’s one day shy of a year since I did my first SoS post. My first item then is my first item now, with the next two items also having featured before. The next three are new. It’s inevitable as the season starts round again that repetition will occur and it will be interesting to compare the progress of plants from last year to this. Some won’t be coming back, having failed to make it through the winter. I hope that checking back to what I posted on a given date last year is not the point when I realise something is no longer there. It’s bound to happen.
Not that losing plants is really my biggest problem. I just got back from the Hardy Plant Society plant sale in Truro, with nine more plants I didn’t need. There are times when I need saving from myself, but at that sort of event you know you have to grab stuff or you’ll never see it again and will rue the missed opportunity.SOS396

Camellia of the week, and the last for this spring, is ‘Night Rider’. It was raised in New Zealand by the late Os Blumhardt, who also produced Magnolia ‘Star Wars’. Just those two would have been enough to establish his reputation but he bred many more, notably Vireya Rhododendrons.
‘Night Rider’ is very slow; nevertheless my plant is now about six feet tall and flowers profusely every year. The new growth is a sumptuous glossy purple-red colour and will probably get an outing here later on.

Rhododendron ‘Merganser’. This was one of a series of Rhododendrons bred by the Cox family at Glendoick. It qualifies as a dwarf, though our plant, which is probably about twenty years old, is about three feet high and as much across. It’s very pretty but the flower display, from start to finish doesn’t stretch to a fortnight. The shortness of their flowering partly explains why the various Rhododendrons we’ve had and lost or removed, have not been replaced. I’m recalling ‘St Breward’, augustinii ‘Electra’, ‘Goldkrone’ and ‘Percy Wiseman’; it’d be easy to get nostalgic.

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’. This is a truly fabulous plant and everyone who has a moist shady spot somewhere should be growing it. Anything that grows in moist conditions without getting consumed by slugs is worth knowing about and they don’t touch this. The leaves, which are not yet fully expanded, are ten inches across. Later it will have dark red flowers hanging beneath them where you can’t see them. I’ve planted the similar Podophyllum ‘Kaleidescope’ beside it in the hope of getting seeds. That for some mysterious reason, appeals to gastropod tastes much more.

The first of a couple of ferns is Adiantum venustum. It looks just as delicate as the houseplant maidenhair fern and it is hard to believe that this is a very tough plant. Ideally it wants moist soil in light shade but it will put up with dry conditions and deep shade. When happy it spreads quite quickly. I’ve not found it easy to propagate, it doesn’t like disturbance. My best results have been around now, when it is in growth, cutting sections a couple of inches square and trying to disturb the roots as little as possible.

I have quite a few ferns, most of which take a turn as “my favourite” at around this time of year when they produce their new growth. Athyrium nipponicum comes in various flavours; I have found this one, ‘Athyrium nipponicum ‘Burgundy Glow’, to be the most robust. ‘Ursula’s Red’, growing next to it, has never thrived and ‘Red Beauty’, at the other side of the garden, has been swamped by bluebells. The colouring on this one is superb at this time of year and holds up well for a few months. It is completely deciduous.

Another shade lover to finish. Disporum sessile f. macrophyllum BSWJ4316 is another of Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones’ collections. It gets about 18 inches tall in the garden; when it was in a pot in a polytunnel it added another foot to that. It does suffer some slug damage, there are a couple in the picture, but considering it is immersed in Corydalis it could be much worse. The flowers are about 4cms long, quite large for the genus.

It’s a lovely time of year to be doing a blog like this one, with lots to choose from. It all seems to happen very quickly though, so I’ll append a few photos that didn’t make the cut.
By this time on a Saturday morning, it’s a safe bet that lots of links to other sixes will have been added to the comments below The Propagator’s weekly missive. Reading them may have to wait, I have gardening to do and the sun is shining.

14 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 5/5/2018

  1. You ‘re probably right when you say that the repetition will take place from year to year. It was my thought when I started but I have not finished my first year of SixonSaturday, I still have a bit of time before repeating myself (or it’s necessary to purchase new plants, new seedlings …).
    It’s always a pleasure to discover or rediscover some plants that you have presented. (For this Six, I particularly liked your ferns … what beautiful colors these “serrated” leaves!)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Finding it very hard to find one thing to comment on more than the others, indeed they are all lovely and wonderful plants so I shall say I enjoyed them all the same as each other!


    1. At the Truro plant sale this morning I had three Dahlias, a Disporum and a Polygonatum. Nearly bought another Podophyllum, but 20 quid’s a lot for one plant. I love them for different reasons, but I still love them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You lucky person! That’s the lovely thing about gardening for yourself isn’t, you can grow what you want to grow and enjoy growing


      2. Absolutely! And while my garden isn’t huge, I have room for a lot of things I like. If it were much bigger it could easily become a burden, especially as i get older.


  3. I love spotty dotty. I’ve had mine going in a container for 5 years so even though they like damp conditions they must be pretty tolerant/tough. I’m going to treat it to an upgrade into a new border I’m planning this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m often accused of having too many plants but just take that as a challenge. I mis-counted my photos and decided to save the seventh for next week so Athyrium will probably be making another appearance, the leaves are so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oooh that Spotty Dotty would give me nightmares – what a creepy plant! You love it and I’d run a mile from it. We all love different things thank goodness. Hope you are enjoying the sunshine.


      1. Because I get lawns of seedlings everywhere and it comes up in the middle of everything and is a brute to remove. It’s fine to look at but is just way too much of a weed. Too successful.

        Liked by 1 person

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