Six on Saturday – 16/3/2019

It hasn’t been a good week for gardening. Let’s just leave it at that and move on. I’m off to Rosemoor today for the RHS Early Camellia Show. Glad I’m not competing, it’s going to be very hard to find undamaged blooms.

Bit like that finding six things for this, for starters I didn’t really want to go out to look.

I started indoors, well the conservatory, where the Bergenia ciliata I bought from Rosy Hardy at her talk a few weeks back is still unplanted. Flowering nicely though and I still haven’t decided where to put it.

I’ve been trying to get a colony of Cyclamen repandum going for a couple of years now, mostly from small self sown corms I’ve been given. They’re not going to be over-running the garden this year, or next, but there are a few buds showing. I’m hoping for them to carry on when Cyclamen coum is done.

Skimmia japonica ‘Bowles Dwarf Female’. This is an excellent form, very low and compact, but painfully slow growing. I might see if I can transfer some pollen from ‘Rubella’ onto the flowers on this, maybe get more berries. Bit of dry weather would help.

Magnolia ‘Ann’. There were 8 “Little Girls” raised by Kosar and de Vos of the American National Arboretum and one of my books describes this one as being an erect form. My plant evidently read a different book as it grew around 2m tall and now only grows sideways. It doesn’t seem to mind getting beaten back.

We will have new neighbours from Monday. They have small children and are planning to grass much of the front garden into which I’d planted a few good plants for the previous occupant when he was housebound. The new people told me to take anything I wanted to keep so I dug Camellia ‘Prudence’ and a couple of other things. It’ll be off to a new home when the wind drops.

I keep on buying the odd pot of bulbs in hopes they’ll be happy and that I will want to bulk buy loose bulbs later. Anemone x lipsiensis ‘Pallida’ has been in for a couple of years and the clump is getting bigger. Chionodoxa (Scilla now) luciliae ‘Alba’ is in its second season and is no smaller than when planted. Muscari latifolium has been in for several years. I don’t even know where it started and it’s popping up in several places very well apart. I don’t think I will need to plant more of that.

And a sneak preview of next week to finish on.

The weather forecast for next week is rather better. It needs to be, I have things I need to be doing. It’s a bit demoralising when there are more things flowering but the wind is knocking them for six and the rain is keeping you inside anyway.

I’m expecting a bit of grumbling and some stoicism from somewhat frustrated northern hemisphere gardeners this week. Mr Prop will be master of ceremonies as ever.

32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 16/3/2019

  1. Still some smaching pictures this week ..! I do like the mucari and cyclamen.
    Bergenia ciliata is paler than the common, right? Mine (common) are so big that I have to remove 1/3 each year …
    Last thing, new neighbors with children = soccer ball in your garden … you have made the right choice to keep this camellia and other plants
    ( Chinodoxa= Scilla now?)


    1. My Bergenia ciliata is mostly white; I haven’t worked out whether it opens with some pink and fades to white or the reverse. There was a recent article I read about Chionodoxa being lumped in with Scilla but I can’t remember if it was all of them or just some. Must find and read again. Don’t want to think about footballs, thought that was all in the past.

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    1. That Magnolia ‘Ann’ got me in trouble. It has a close relative called ‘Susan’. My partner is called Susan. Mind, we’ve only had it about 20 years, far too soon to hope for forgiveness. I just picked the better plant at the time, as a good gardener should; if I’d lied about the name she’d never have known.

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  2. I am liking the look of prudence. As you know I am slow to make decisions but my camelia knowledge is beginning to develop. By this time next year I may be in a position to make a choice! I was looking at my paltry collection of cyclamen yesterday and wondering what type they were. Thank you for reminding me of the possibilities – I will do some research. They were an impulse garden centre buy so nothing special.


    1. ‘Prudence’ was raised by Betty Durrant in New Zealand and I’m in the middle of a book about Camellias that her husband Tom wrote. Wonder what they talked about over the breakfast table. There were three blooms of ‘Nicky Crisp’ in the Rosemoor show today, another of her pitardii crosses, which I rate very highly. There’s yet another called ‘Snippet’. They’re all on my camellia website.

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  3. Such a shame your new neighbours will be digging up all those plants! Haven’t they got a back garden to lawn? Oh, well, I just hope they are nice neighbours with non-screaming children! I have tulips in flower already (supposed to be April/May flowering) and my heart is in my mouth when I look at the way the wind is blowing them around! Have a lovely trip to Rosemoor. I must get up there one of these days, it is a lovely garden.


    1. There are non-screaming kids? In fairness most of what is left is no great shakes, if it were mine I’d dig it up and start again. They have grass at the back but it’s quite shady. They seem very nice, I have my fingers crossed. I may have tulips out by next weekend if it’s warm during the week. I saw nothing of Rosemoor garden today, by lunchtime the rain was horizontal so I came home.

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  4. That skimmia is lovely with the mixture of flowers and berries. Pity about the nextdoor garden. I guess grass is better than paving. I’m bored of the wind.

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    1. The Camellias were fabulous, I was judging and was worn out by the end of it. Especially considering the weather this week, the quality was superb. I had to drag myself away from the daffodil classes as well, the miniatures were a delight. I have neither the time nor space for another gardening obsession. The trouble with book descriptions is that they’re mostly second hand and if first hand, are based on the writers experience with one plant in one garden/country/climate zone. Growing a uniform batch of 25 plants for a nursery in controlled and identical conditions can be a challenge.


  5. That Bergenia ciliata is really lovely. Not sure if I would be able to grow it through our hot summers, but I think I need to try.

    Can’t wait to see the Erythronium next week. Native E. umbilicatum are blooming in the local woods, but for some reason Erythronium aren’t popular garden plants around here.


    1. I was persuaded to buy the Bergenia because it wanted conditions I thought I could provide for better than the usual types. I can’t now remember what those conditions were and the sellers website isn’t helpful. Your Erythronium looks to be a pretty thing, I don’t think I’ve come across that species here.


  6. It is annoying isn’t it! We’ve been hit by storm Gareth rather badly but no fallen tree yet.
    Magnolia Ann is a pretty lady isn’t she? My Susan hasn’t flowered yet but I’m proud of her for hanging on tbh.
    Hopefully we can all get into the garden next week.


      1. I think mine probably need wrapping for protection during winter but I don’t really want to live with a wrapped up lollypop shrub for a quarter of the year. Just have to accept some years are better than others.


      2. The darker coloured flowers carry off a bit of damage to the blooms better than pale pinks and whites. In competition it’s the first thing you’re marked down for, not really an issue in the garden.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. The Camellia ‘Prudence’ was a nice bonus!

    It heartening to know that others buy plants then are left with the decision of where to plant them. that’s probably why I got hooked on growing so many plants in containers.


  8. Bergenia crassifolia is the only one we have here, and it is quite old fashioned. I see these others online, and have wondered about them. It will be interesting to see if they every come back into style. I am still waiting to see if others here get interested in snowdrops; but it has not not happened yet. I notice the same in regard to cyclamen; but at least Cyclamen coum and Cyclamen hederifolia are being grown at some mail order nurseries in the Pacific Northwest and New England.


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