Six on Saturday – 8/12/2018

Well, I don’t know about the rest of you but my garden seems increasingly to be the only sane place left in the world and it’s frustrating when lousy weather stops me getting out there. 11.5°C and raining just now. Nothing seems to encapsulate hope more than sowing seeds and watching things grow. Let’s start with seed sowing.

Seeds for 2019. Since I got my allotment in 2014 I have kept a record of the seeds I have sown so that when something works I can repeat it and when it doesn’t, I can do something different. Back then almost all I was growing from seed was veg but things seem to have changed somewhat. For 2019 I have a list of 84 items to sow and I still have 20 from the HPS seed list to add to that. 41 are vegetables, the rest an eclectic mix. There are plain brown envelopes containing things I have saved myself, been given or that fell into my pocket. There’s a batch from the Australasian Plant Society seed distribution, some from Seedaholic, a few from Jelitto.
As to the home spun philosophy equating seed sowing with hope, truth is I’m depending on a high level of failure to save me being overwhelmed. What to do for an illustration, well how about seed of Strelitzia nicolae that I collected from the plant of same that I was hacking down on my last day in Australia last year.

The hak mac movie. I can put movies into this blog without having to post them to YouTube or wherever first. I can’t see myself using it much, but it has to be tried. My apologies to anyone with a wind-up internet connection if it doesn’t work.

Acer palmataum ‘Sango-kaku’ (aka ‘Senkaki’). I was musing about plants that provided winter colour and noticed this in a garden down the road. It’s one of those gardens where everything is clipped into a neat dome including Camellia, Magnolia, Pieris, Photinia and this Acer. What struck me about it was that the effect has been to make it more twiggy and to make the colour effect more intense. So while I find the pruning deplorable I have to concede that it is effective. The autumn colour a few weeks ago was excellent too. Oddly it stood out more in dull conditions (left) than sun.

Fuchsias. When it came to shoe-horning the non-hardy Fuchsias into the glasshouse for the winter there were several looking too good to chop down. Some are still putting on a good display now, usually viewed from outside the greenhouse through rain spattered glass and condensation. I’ll cut them down eventually and they’ll be late to flower next year and the cycle just goes on. Fuchsias ‘Loecky’ and ‘Lechlade Debutante’.

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’. Further to my musings on winter colour I observed that the reason my grasses stand out is that their colour contrasts with the rest of the garden, not because they are light against a darker background. On a black and white photo they don’t stand out at all. So this Euonymus would probably do the same, except it’s tucked away in a corner, contrasting with the shed. It’s a strident tone of yellow and you wouldn’t want much of it, perhaps behind and filtering through a bare deciduous shrub?

I wasn’t going to include this yet but yesterday it opened a bloom, unfortunately facing the fence, but still too good to ignore. It’s Camellia ‘Show Girl’, which is one of a group of varieties raised by Howard Asper in America by crossing an autumn flowering C. sasanqua variety with a C. reticulata variety, the prima donnas of the spring flowerers. This flower is quite small at 4″ across, I’ve seen them over 6″ wide, plus they flower from early December until late February. That’s the stump of one of my two recently removed pines bottom left. I’m not pining for my pines.

That’s another week navigated. If you’re wondering about the flowers at the top of the post, they’re the ones that didn’t make the cut or have appeared before. Maybe next time. It’s a good thing I have lots of plants, it spares me having to use my imagination.

Actually, I can’t wait to see what other peoples imaginations have come up with this week, as well as the pictures of plants hanging on here or thriving in warmer climes. You’ll know the routine by now, pop over to The Propagator’s hexagon and head to the comments down below. There we all are, or will be.




25 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 8/12/2018

  1. Loving Hak Mak the movie and of course the great illustration for the optimism of seed growing. I despair of ever finding the right autumn colour for the garden – seeing your neighbour’s acer makes me think that that too is too big for this garden. But maybe the camellia inspires me. Too many ideas at the moment!


    1. No question that too many ideas is better than too few, unless you can’t resist carrying all of them out. There’s pleasure to be had in narrowing too many down to the right number. I tell myself that to dull the ache of letting go an idea that I can’t afford, won’t fit, won’t work or whatever.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Strelitzia seeds are gorgeous !. I discovered this a few days ago in a post on Twitter.
    As I will be going to the West Indies in a few months, I intend to bring back some (among others of course).
    I see that you managed to post your video: nice!
    ( perhaps you’ve already said it, but what is this statue of Easter Island: a bird’s bath?)


    1. Herman the Head is hollow, basically a tube. I stuck a pot of grass in it last year as hair, but it died. I need to pot up another. The video worked OK, done on my camera and edited with Premiere Elements, which I’d almost forgotten I had. There will be more. Have a great time in the West Indies.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Those bird of paradise seeds are beautiful in their own accord. I once had a landlord who employed a garden service that round-topped all the shrubs, regardless of what they were. I found it reduced the amount of bloom because it wasn’t done in the proper season. I eventually took over, kept the round shapes because it wasn’t mine, & even still had to run out some years to stop the butchering. That same garden had a small wooded area & some dark corners where euonymus was used & as you say, brightened those areas. There were some by the pond in full sun, though, & they were less effective. Garish, actually.


    1. Sadly, letting most shrubs develop naturally is not something that the size of a typical garden these days really allows. Pruning to keep something at a given size while looking natural-ish and not losing flowering/fruiting takes knowledge, skill, the right plant to begin with and the agreement of other stakeholders. No wonder it doesn’t happen often.


  4. Only 80?! Hardly trying Jim. I dread to think how many I will end up stupidly sowing. I have 50-odd just from the HPS plus 15 from RHS plus whatever I have in the seed drawers. And the veg. I’ll be doing less kinds of veg this time. So that’s something!


    1. It’ll be over 100 when I get the rest of the HPS stuff. A high failure rate would be bad but a high success rate would be worse. I could maybe grow a few things on at my allotment, for “evaluation”.


  5. I’m amazed that you can take seeds home from Australia. As you no doubt know, we have such a stringently enforced bio security situation here that we’d probably get life imprisonment if caught bringing seeds in. Just a slight exaggeration, but there certainly would be a hefty fine. I’m envious of your sweet camellia… just too hot in my garden for them.


    1. They were just a few seeds that must have caught on my socks when I was working. I didn’t notice them until I got home. Honest. Re Camellias, you must know of Paradise Plants/Paradise Nurseries at Kulnura. They’d have Camellias you could grow if anyone did.


      1. I grow a couple of theirs here and they need all the sun and warmth they can get. The white Camellia in the header picture is ‘Paradise Little Liane’, one of theirs.


      2. Oh yes, I know ‘Little Liane’- had it in my garden in Sydney. We are expecting 36 degrees here today, an indication of how much sun and warmth we’re getting!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the photos of the fuchsias through the glass. Oh to have too many choices of flowers to choose from for a SoS in December! Rather cheering to see so much colour.


  7. “my garden seems increasingly to be the only sane place left in the world” So true! I like your movie. Off topic but how did you do that without uploading to YouTube?

    Back on topic: I love the grasses… I have to say a picture would not have captured their beauty of movement.

    and seeds… my goodness. What on earth do you do with them all when they all grow.

    i used to grow all my veg from seed but as i could not bear to compost excess seedlings i reverted to buying plugs because i only have a small veg area.


    1. I think all the premium (ie paid for) wordpress themes support video embedded in the blog, though it could quickly eat into your space allowance. They vary in price a lot, this wasn’t too bad.
      I don’t have a clue what I’ll do with my seedlings if they all grow but since that simply won’t happen, I should get away with it. No doubt some will feature in future posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thanks, Jim. After posting my question I checked in the back office then realised I would need the premium plan. Still debating that idea. I look forward to reading about the fate of your seedlings. It’s a shame I don’t live nearer as I’d offer to rehome some 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. The owners of a garden near to me employ the municipal pruning technique for their shrubs. It’s beautifully manicured but there’s rarely a flower to be seen. Every time you feature a Camellia I feel the need to acquire one (or two or three) but then I come to my senses – I can’t have any more things in pots!

    Liked by 1 person

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