Six on Saturday – 30/6/2018

We chucked a few plants in the car this morning and did a car boot sale. £60 for a couple of hours seemed Ok. Might do that again. We’ve trying growing fewer plants and that didn’t work.

Great as it is to have lots of overseas contributors to this meme, it does have a down-side. When it comes to us poms whingeing about the weather, it rather cramps our style when what we think of as extreme turns out to be very ordinary indeed. I want to whinge about the weather but I don’t want to seem ungrateful.

Suffice it to say that I am heartily sick of watering. Actually, that doesn’t suffice. The plants are as unused to this hot stuff as we humans and some things are starting to suffer. If it goes on for a long time, and I’m told Farming Today said it will last until September, there will be long term consequences. The effects of the 1976 drought were felt for several years afterwards, especially by trees. Right, I feel better to have gotten that off my chest. What’s in Pandora’s box this week?

One.
Maianthemum flexuosum BSWJ9150. Well, that’s what the label says. Obviously that’s wrong and you don’t need an intimate knowledge of the flora of the Guatemalan rainforest to see it.
I think I know what happened. I went to the Cornwall Garden Society Spring Shopw last year and admired a plant on Crûg’s stand. “Why, that is a beauty” I declared, “I shall purchase it dreckly”. “Righto sir, do you want me to put it down here for you to collect later”, “Yes please, that would be splendid”. I then remembered that I had come to the show on my motorbike and that getting it home presented difficulties. “Fret not” said my horticultural colleague, “I have my van, fill your boots, I’ll drop them off for you”.
Then when he turned up at my place later in the day, it was with a different plant because they’d managed to sell my plant a second time to someone else and had found another one in their van. Which wasn’t flowering, and didn’t, until about five weeks ago, when a couple of shoots produced a couple of dull purplish flowers. Shortly afterwards the rest of the shoots started to develop flower heads and it’s taken until now for the flowers to open. It appears that I got two for the price of one, both Maianthemum species, with almost identical foliage and very different flowers. The earlier one may be what the label says it is, I think the other is Maianthemum paniculatum. Must send them a photo and see what they say.

Two.
Daphne x transatlantica Eternal Fragrance = ‘Blafra’ and for good measure, Daphne x transatlantica Pink Fragrance = ‘Blapink’.
Daphne’s have a reputation as difficult plants, with the possible exception of Daphne odora. Robin White, as British plant breeder, raised a couple of seedling from a cross of D. caucasica x D. collina and came up with this pair. I planted both as sturdy liners just beside my greenhouse. They’ve never looked back. Both are at the edge of a low brick wall, high enough for the drainage to be excellent, but enough water makes its way out from the greenhouse that they are never short. The scent, especially on these warm evenings, is fabulous.

Three.
Hemerocallis ‘Bela Lugosi’. I’m not mad about day lilies but I do have a few. This bloom, which I confess didn’t happen on Saturday, it happened on Thursday, has more than its normal complement of petals, 10 instead of 6. It’s that “me, me, put me in your six” showing off thing again. They get really dark just before they start to shrivel up. Or maybe it was the camera settings. Or perhaps I have more varieties than I thought.

Four.
Hydrangea serrata Tiara’. I like Hydrangea serrata for its generally less coarse demeanour when compared with H. macrophylla. They don’t seem as robust though and this one is always the first to suffer if it turns dry. A fortnight back it looked set to be the best ever, now it’s a struggle to keep it alive.
SOS510

Five.
Eryngium giganteum. This is never more than a biennial for me, but seeds about enough that most years I have a plant or two somewhere. If I was organised, I’d collect and sow the seed so I could have more of them, and where I want them too.

Six.
Cucumber. The variety is Carmen. Last year I started with about five and ended up with one. This year I have watered them and it’s really worked, I started with four and I still have four. One is absolutely as many as we need, the number of developing cucumbers on four plants is a little unnerving. Next door have children who recognize green stuff as food, they’ll take some. Cucumber sandwiches anyone?
SOS511

I may have spent too much time in the sun this week. It’s at times like these that the gnat’s piss strength Australian beers come into their own. 5.5% alcohol is a tad on the strong side for thirst quenching. It can be dangerous; it’s inclined to send me to sleep, not a good idea if you’re out in the sun.

Right, need to get this done and do some watering. The magic wardrobe into the world of six on Saturday is in The Propagators back bedroom. Through the door labelled ‘Comments’.

 

 

18 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 30/6/2018

    1. They’re both now in Asparagaceae and used to be in Convallariaceae, Convallaria being lily of the valley. I’m liking this one both for being pretty and for flowering a good deal later than any of the others I have.

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  1. Hehehehe I’d take offense to your comment on our Aussie beer except I wouldn’t drink it either… Bleh 😂😂😂😂. Sea holly in a few sixes today hoorah. Great stuff.

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    1. To be fair, the nearest Dan Murphy’s was a good way off but I did eventually sample rather a lot of their craft beer range, some very fine brews amongst them. The widely available bottled stuff isn’t very special though.

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      1. Hehehe very true. Emu export has the unofficial slogan “a fight in every carton” which fits seeing as people seem to drink it to get drunk rather than to enjoy.

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    1. It was mostly flowering stuff that sold, Fuchsias, salvias, succulents. £3 for 1litre, well below garden centre prices but not 50p giveaway. Only 4 plant stalls among couple of hundred selling bric a brac (I’m being kind)

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  2. My replacement pink Daphne arrived the other week, in flower. You were quite right, very similar to the white Eternal Fragrance! The flowers and leaves are a bit bigger possibly and there’s a subtle pinkness. If it does as well as the white version it should be show.

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    1. It sounds like Robin White managed to get two seedlings from the cross that he made, pretty similar but different enough to name and introduce both. The pink was a little slower off the mark than the white for me, but there seems little difference now.

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  3. Hydrangea serrata is lovely and, as you say, more refined than H. macrophylla. I’m glad I read your comment on Eryngium, as I purchased several of these plants as a gift for my daughter. I will warn her to collect seed (just in case).

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  4. And here I gave all my extra plants away on FreeCycle. Interesting caution about sea holly. This is the 2nd summer for mine, so I’ll keep an eye out for seeds, just in case. It’s a great favourite here & even the non-gardeners would be upset if it disappeared. Love the day lilies & hydrangea as well.

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  5. Wow, that day lily is gothic and deserving of its name! I keep on seeing Daphnes cropping up – in my ignorance I thought they were spring plants as ours flowers February to April, but obviously I am wrong and there are summer varieties. I must have one.

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  6. I used to take a table at craft fairs (yes, they let me in!), and that was a very profitable way to spend some time. Generally, plants are cheaper than anything else on sale there, so business is brisk. :~)) Love your Six. I like the Maianthemum – I’ve got Smilacina, sorry Maianthemum, racemosa, if it’s survived the weather, and the scent is something else again. And I agree about the hydrangea – serrata is lovely.

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  7. A belated visit to your post Jim. I’m limiting my visits to all the Six posts to my morning commute, as many as I can get through on Monday & Tuesday! Just too many now to do justice to on a Saturday. I too am fully cheesed off with the Watering. A necessary evil. Like you, no sign of rain for at least the next few weeks. Not sure how I’ll manage being away on hols yet. I’m hoping August will be nice and wet. Great pic of the eryngium there.

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