Six on Saturday – 18/8/2018

SOS579I don’t have lawn in my garden, so in theory I don’t have the regular chore of mowing. However, since nothing’s ever that simple, I do mow next door’s, except he’s now gone into a home and his mower has been given away so I had to do it with my strimmer. Then I went strimming around my allotment. The grass is growing again with a vengeance. I try to tell myself that it’s all good compost material but I can’t say I enjoy cutting grass. The grass is not the only thing to have been revived by the rain, most things are back on track with only a few showing signs of recent trauma.

One.
Crinum powellii, Powell’s swamp lily. I have had this for many years and this is the first year I can remember that it hasn’t been chewed to bits by slugs. It usually manages one or two flowering stems but by the time they arrive the foliage is wrecked. It’s supposed to be strongly scented but I’m not getting much from this one. The horseshoe stamens are my favourite thing about it.

Two.
Oxalis triangularis. I have no idea where this came from, I’m certain I didn’t plant it yet a couple of clumps appeared a year or two back. Oxalis makes me nervous, I have O. corniculata around and obliterate it when I see it. This one seems to be grown as a house plant as much as a garden plant but it came through last winter so it must be hardy enough here.
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Three.
Cyclamen hederifolium is flowering away in various places and much happier for a bit of rain. It will grow where nothing else can, like right under my yew tree, so I’ve been planting a few each year in the hope they’ll get established and seed about.
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Four.
Ipomaea lobata. I’ve always known this as Mina lobata. I’ve grown this again this year to get some late colour by climbing it over early flowering shrubs. The problem seems to be that it doesn’t compete too well with the roots of established shrubs. There’s still time for it to really get going hopefully.
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Five.
Dahlia ‘Weston Spanish Dancer’ and Rhododendron ‘Merganser’, lumped together because both are destined for the bin. The Dahlia has virus, so much for the “bargain” from the *** plant sale. I don’t know what the Rhododendron has, some disease or other. It has suffered dieback a little in recent years but this year it is much worse. I will try to get some cuttings to root, though there is not much good material. It’d be a shame to lose it, it’s the only Rhododendron I have left.

Six.
Begonia Summerwings®’Ebony & Orange’. There are so many new Begonia varieties around these days, new species too, and some good hardy ones mixed in. This has beautiful dark leaves which set off the elegant flared flowers. When it starts to flower it is fairly refined, but as the flower display increases it steps effortlessly across the line into unapologetic vulgarity. Much like Dahlias. I love it in both phases. “Elegant, stylish and vibrant” according to Kernock Park Plants; well, yes it is, but not all at the same time.
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Right, I’m off to do some more strimming. The six on Saturday club is chaired by The Propagator, from whose blog there will be numerous links out into the rest of the world. We all spend the weekend (figuratively) tramping around each others gardens and a warm welcome awaits anyone who cares to join us.

(‘Polly Peachum’, ‘Vivex’, ‘Hayley Jane’ and ‘Red Velvet’: the dahlias at the top.)

16 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 18/8/2018

  1. I’d love to have cyclamen popping up around my garden, but I don’t have enough shade..yours look very pretty. Oxalis would make me nervous too- any of them. I’m sure they’d become a weed in no time here. Your begonia is very interesting with its dainty flowers.

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      1. They probably would Jim, but my garden is quite young and doesn’t have much shade. I used to grow some in my last garden, under the trees.

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  2. Sitting here reading your Six, I’m now looking at my lawn (slowly reducing in area), it is a right state. Brown patches from the hot summer but tufts of lush growth, round the edges mostly. I will have to use my strimmer too as the mower is in for a service. I really like that begonia. Is it hardy?

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  3. The horseshoe stamens are delightful, but thanks for the warning about slugs. I won’t bother with them. I have been finding S&S in the garden again. Seems like some managed to survive the heat 😦

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  4. It’s only when the grass starts growing again that you realise just how little grass cutting we’ve had to do this year – although I’m envious of the strimmer, as I use shears for the grass on my allotment.
    I was about to say how good the dahlia flowers looked, until I saw you mention it has virus – it still looks nice and cheerful for today’s grey weather though.

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  5. How can you tell your dahlia has a virus? Those blooms sure look pretty. Must be something you see on the leaves? Your crinum is gorgeous! I never say, or even think, that I am cutting the grass, only that I am harvesting grass for my compost pile. And I harvest only that amount needed for green material in the compost pile or bin, on any given day. I’m sure my neighbors wonder why I stop and leave the rest growing, but I don’t really care what they think. It’s better for the soil organisms to let it grow a little taller, anyway.

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    1. Dahlia leaves are mottled and distorted; actually the flowers, as good as they look, are not right, kind of pinched. You must get more total grass crop by infrequent cutting than keeping it shaved. My heap gets green and brown as it comes, then gets mixed later in the season. Strimming gets followed by raking and collecting, it all goes on the heap.

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  6. Quite a delicate look to your Six-on-Saturday this week. (Apart from the dahlia, I don’t think it could be classed as delicate!) I must admit I like a stretch of lawn but I am not bothered about perfection or stripes. It is surprising what distance one covers when going up and down a relatively small lawn! Enjoyed your Six-on-Saturday, as always.

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    1. We didn’t set out to have no lawn, just started cutting out flower beds in a large circular lawn, expanded them until there was just a grass path between and around them, then swapped the grass for gravel because we thought it would entail much less work. I dug up the last of it one Christmas day morning.

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  7. I plan to get rid of the grass when my youngest dog becomes a grand dame – love a garden of paths. Was quite taken w/your begonia & thinking I might like one until you said it wasn’t hardy. Might still be tempted as it looks as if yours has done well in a planter. Like that lobata climber as well, so hope to hear better things about it in the future. Good luck w/the rhododendron cuttings.

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    1. The Rhododendron cuttings are now in the propagator, we shall see, 20 or none probably. Hardy begonias are a work in progress for me, they seem pretty fussy about conditions, moisture, friable leafy soil, shade.

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