Six on Saturday – 25/8/2018

The weather is completely back to normal, a bit of this, a bit of that, nothing to remark on. Except that the effects of the hot spell are still playing out, with early flower here and renewed growth there, meaning that it doesn’t quite feel normal. At least there is more colour about now, with Dahlias in full flow, Heleniums making an effort, Geraniums and Alstroemeria back to something near their best.

When the worst I have to worry about is what to include and what to leave out, I shouldn’t complain. Here we go then.

Yucca gloriosa ‘Variegata’. My excitement around how brilliant this was shaping up to be has been slightly tempered by seeing equally good ones all over the place. Like so many plants, it’s easy not to notice them until they flower. I have taken several pictures of it; from the street, with a neighbour’s wall as background, close up. Just need a drone shot for the full set.

Roscoea hybrids. The arrival on the scene of Roscoea ‘Red Ghurka’ seems to have kick started a bit more interest in this classy little genus. I don’t know who started the ball rolling but I have bought hybrids from Wildside and from Tale Valley nursery in the last couple of years. Keith Wiley at Wildside had masses of them around the garden a few years back. Mine set loads of seed and I now have masses of seedlings coming on. Saw a tweet about William Roscoe t’other day, all round good guy that he allegedly was.


Dahlia of the week. ‘Royal Velvet’. I might have done this one before and if I have I make no apology. One thing that growing a lot of Dahlias shows up is that a lot of Dahlias have excellent individual blooms, some have loads of blooms over a long period, providing a fantastic floral display, and almost none have both. ‘Royal Velvet’ has both.
If I was only allowed to keep one of my several Dahlias, it could be this one. But then again…….

Agave Americana ‘Mediopicta Alba’. I just saw an ad for an 11cm pot of this on eBay. £15.95. This one is in a 20 litre pot. Unrooted divisions a lot smaller than the ring of them round mine were going for £9.99. I need insurance. I just moved it out of Sue’s glasshouse; it’s a beast, when it stabs you, you stay stabbed. It desperately needs potting on but it’s pretty much impossible to handle now so I’m thinking of putting it in the ground under the canopy of a large conifer we have in the middle of the garden. I’d put it on the south side so it would be in full sun, kept hard and mean by competition with the tree roots, fairly dry even in winter, bit of protection overhead from frost. I’d wean the babies first, keep them in the glasshouse. Just have to dig a hole through the tree roots, get it out of the pot and into the hole….. Tomorrow maybe, or the day after. Dreckly.

Hedychium densiflorum ‘Assam Orange’. Early one evening a few years ago I smelt this and it had a strong sweet perfume. As far as I know it’s had no detectable scent before or since. Hedychiums like plenty of water during their growing season; when I plant the Agave above, it will displace Hedychium ‘Tara’, which is desperate for somewhere where it gets more summer moisture. I haven’t worked out where that’s going to be yet.

Athyrium nipponicum ‘Burgundy Glow’. I include this before back in May when it had just leafed out and was looking lovely. It was amongst the many items in the garden left to take their chances in the drought and it died down completely. I figured that was it for this year, just needed to keep my fingers crossed that it came up next spring. Turns out it isn’t finished with this year and it’s coming up again so that it can be a mass of fresh new leaves when winter arrives. I’m surprised there’s been enough rain to turn it around, especially where it is in the root zone of a couple of large trees. Several other ferns around the garden are also making new growth, though none had died down completely like this one.

Hedge cutting today, methinks. Can’t put it off any longer. Short bursts interspersed with cups of coffee accompanied by visits to the sixes of contributors from everywhere. The Propagator is the host with not just the most, but all the links.

20 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 25/8/2018

  1. Your agave is really beautiful but must be repotted as you said. Many babies who will be appreciated by many people… or you. I don’t know if the price is a bargain or not … I don’t realize but it is very attractive.


  2. What an unusual Six! Apart from the dahlia, all the others are new to me. I have been looking more closely at my blue plant and cannot see any evidence of the capsid you mentioned but I don’t really know what I am looking for! Anyway, thank you for your comment.


    1. The distorted leaves between the two open flower clusters, that’s capsid. You rarely see them, they feed at shoot tips then when the leaves expand, they are distorted, sometimes very badly.


  3. I love a wander in your garden, you have so many interesting plants. I have just bought a Yucca and an Agave this summer. Both still in pots as I am not sure what to do with them. I realise that I should probably bring the Agave indoors during the winter (it is one of those little ones) but can I plant the Yucca into the garden and expect it to survive the wet?


    1. Depends which Yucca, most are fairly tough, it won’t like waterlogged soil but a ‘normal’ soil should be fine. There are a couple of fairly hardy Agaves, notably parryi and montana. Places like Tremenheere and St Michaels Mount grow others outside. If the Yucca is a lush, tunnel grown plant it could be more vulnerable.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All I know is that the Yucca is a variegated type. I might leave it as it is for now and bring it indoors this winter if the temperatures get too low. Thanks for the advice.

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  4. That agave looks angry. Good luck w/your ventures there. I have faith in you, but keep the first aid kit close to hand. And medicinal whiskey.


  5. Agave are the devil! Once spiked you certainly know it, it hurts more than it should, don’t you think? Love H. ‘Assam Orange’ such an undemanding plant, and I have found it self seeds. I watered my Tara every other day and it is flowering well, but it was spoilt. Lovely to see your photos Jim.


    1. Agaves make me increasingly nervous as I get older and my eyesight worsens. It’d be so easy to impale an eyeball. What the hell is out there in the desserts of Mexico that they don’t want to get eaten by? I’ve collected and grown Assam Orange seed but it’s never done it on its own.

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    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Yuccas were flowering more, what with average temperatures rising as they are. You don’t tend to notice that they’re not flowering. I think there may be far more about, driven by fashion for exotics and a willingness to try less hardy plants, even in colder areas. They can take a long time to start blooming.

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