Six on Saturday -6/4/2019

I spent a good deal of yesterday on the showground at Wadebridge, helping set up a stand for the International Camellia Society at the Cornwall Garden Society Spring Show. I’ll be back there tomorrow on the stand. My plan for today’s six was to take some pictures up there yesterday, but it didn’t work out that way, it never does.
So I was out in my garden early-ish this morning with my camera. The thing I’m impatient for at this time of year is to have bare soil disappear under new growth. It’s happening slowly and I’m pleased at the contribution that planting crocus, snowdrops, scilla and other persistent bulbs has made. I found myself photographing patches of bare ground to remind me where I needed greenery at this time of year, like around cut back Fuchsias. Not the stuff of sixes though, Mr Prop has never included bare ground in his lists of suggested qualifiers.

One.
In the autumn I visited a local nursery and was very taken with Hosta ‘Raspberry Sundae’ but thought it wise to let him get them through the winter, providing me with an excuse to go back this spring. That I did earlier this week and bought two for a pound less than one of the stands at the show wanted for one of exactly the same size. I shall grow both in pots for a season or two.
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Two.
Clivia miniata, yellow seedling. Now he did tell me what this was a seedling of, but I’ve already forgotten. Suffice it to say there were lots flowering and this appeared to be the best colour, though they were very similar. I like the idea that it could be grown from seed, I wont be dead-heading mine. I’ve wanted one of these for so many years.
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I also succumbed to Cantua. He had one about 4 feet high in a pot and sold me a baby out of his propagation area. Flowers like Abelia floribunda on steroids. I see Abelia no longer exists, its members redistributed amongst other genera. Sigh. I feel I should give Treseders nursery a plug. It’s a hidden gem, should you ever find yourself in Cornwall; well worth seeking out.
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Three.
Periwinkle has been getting a fair amount of stick in recent weeks, not entirely undeserved for Vinca major and V. difformis. Vinca minor in its various forms is a much better plant for smaller gardens. It is much slower spreading and makes a much denser mat. Useful for very dry places, though it grows almost anywhere. This is V. minor ‘Argenteomarginata’ if memory serves.

Four.
Asphodelus albus is a thing I’ve had for many years. It seems to be in two or three places, though I only ever planted one and it’s no longer where it was. It puts up two foot stems with masses of buds at the top, then opens only three of four at a time. Gardening is full of disappointments, but you don’t need me to tell you that.
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Five.
Chaenomeles speciosa and Asarum proboscideum. Or Chinese Quince and Mouse plant if you prefer. There are probably flowers under the Asarum leaves, I didn’t look. The Chaenomeles was razed to the ground a couple of years back. They’re both thugs, they deserve each other.
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Six.
Seeds. I’ve sown around three dozen sorts this week, my Hardy Plant Society stuff, Australasian Plant Soc. stuff, own stuff, veggie stuff. Typically they are sown in small pots the pricked off into these cell trays. From there they may go straight into the ground, as in lettuce, beetroot, onions, or they may be potted on into 9cm pots and grown some more before going out, like Dahlias. The cell trays get washed and re-used four or five times at least, says he, getting defensive about using plastics.
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The sun is shining, I need to get on. Cross over to The Propagator’s six post for links to loads of other contributors from around the planet. Come and say hi if you’re at he flower show tomorrow. And next weekend is the RHS show at Savil Garden. I’m going up country.

32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday -6/4/2019

  1. I have passed that nursery several times en route to the Eden Project. Maybe next time I will stop! So many nurseries in Cornwall. Have a great time at the flower show. I was going to go, but decided I need to get on with planting and no more buying!

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  2. We visit Carlyon Bay a couple of times a year, so next time (June) I will pay Treseders Nursery a visit. I like the Periwinkle because you can just pull up what you don’t want. I nearly put a picture of mine in this week but will do so next time.

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    1. So long as you’re not expecting anything beyond an excellent range of well priced and well grown plants, you’ll love it. No café or childrens playground. Ring a big cow bell to get someone’s attention.

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  3. I think using plastics is (generally) fine – it’s the disposal that matters! There are worse things being done to our planet than hygienic plant pots.

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  4. I like that Clivia miniata. Lovely colour and flower. Vinca minor sounds like it might do well in the hot dry front garden border and provide ground cover to discourage cats. Will keep an eye out for some.

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  5. Lovely clivia and all those seedlings, wonderful! I’ve tried cantua before, bit wayward and dangly and didn’t flower much, looking forward to see how you get on with it as the flowers are gorgeous when they come. We kept it in a pot in the greenhouse. As for those bloomin’ mice …….. !

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      1. Yes, you are right about cameras … we can be selective gardeners. HaHa… you had inspired me to go tidy my potting area – the table is made of old pallets and I get more earth on the floor than in the pots.

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  6. I want to grow some variegated vinca under a tree I have where it is very dry and the tree roots make it hard to plant much. When is the right time to cut it back to get a good display of flowers, i end up with lots of leaf and not much flower

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    1. The bigger growing Vincas are usually pruned just before new growth gets going in late winter but Vinca minor doesn’t really put stems up in the same way, it’s more flat to the ground and rooting here and there. I haven’t pruned my patch in many years and I doubt it would impact much on flowering if I did. A nearby garden with a lot of Vinca difformis had a very good flowering this year, not having done any cutting back; so I suspect flowering is largely weather/growing conditions dependent, with trimming insignificant.

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  7. I’m in love with that Clivia, Jim, the colour is wonderful. I was thinking about what you said about plastics as I’ve had the same thoughts about cell module trays. They are the most convenient thing for pricking out large quantities of seedlings but I can’t think of a suitable alternative that isn’t plastic and is as easy to fill, move and store. I’m trying to collect slightly harder plastic ones rather than the flimsy ones and try and reuse them as many times as I can.

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    1. I’m well aware there’s a tendency with environmental issues to try to justify the things that we want to carry on doing but if oil is taken from the ground, turned into plastic, used multiple times, then buried in confined conditions in the ground, it seems to me that the environmental impact is quite low. If it went in the recycling bin, got sent to some third world country where it was dumped and not contained and ended up washing into the ocean, clearly there is a big issue, but the issue is one of why we are passing the buck on disposal of our rubbish. There are all sorts of problems around so called compostable plastics and I don’t see the sense in bringing ever more land into cultivation to produce disposable items either. The black plastics used for pots are not wanted by the recycling industry and in any case I believe they contain a proportion of recycled material themselves. If it can only be recycled a few times there has to be an end of line product that can’t go round again. I don’t claim any real expertise but I suspect I am at least as well informed as a lot of the people who think the world needs their opinion on the matter.

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  8. Beautiful clivia miniata . Finding a good nursery really does open up the planting opportunities. Even if I take photos of the bare earth it never seems to match up. But I’ve got my crocuses and irises planned for next year.

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  9. It may not surprise you to know that photo number 6 is my favourite. I do love an orderly tray of seedlings. Even a disorderly one! Good idea to take pictures of bare areas now. I also have an allergy to bare soil, I like a well stuffed border!

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      1. Yes I have an allergy to bare ground. I’m often fooled by how much there is at this time of year, forgetting that much of it is growing space for existing perennials. good idea to take a picture.

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      2. I’m asking myself whether the growing space for existing stuff can be filled by some early up, early down filler that wont mind shade from other things later.

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  10. Not only have I posted pictures of bare ground, but I have also posted pictures of a ditch through bare ground, piled dirt, piled chips, rocks, a broken shovel, a mudslide, empty sky, smoky sky, puddles, rain, two buckets of rainwater, storm runoff, fallen trees, landscape debris, tree stumps, firewood, lumber, dead trees, broken pipes, a tractor, a post office, a chimney, the underside of a bridge, a belfry, a squashed fence, cheap artwork, fake poinsettias, a driveway, street signs, an unidentified part of a car, a stick, the remains of a house burned down by the Woolsey Fire, an annoyed terrier, an annoyed gopher, my colleague’s good selfie, my bad selfie, and complete darkness with only a distant headlight visible. It seems that no one minds. Did you happen to see my picture of my colleague’s orange Clivia miniata in my first Six on Saturday post? Yes, I post pictures of flowers too, although his Clivia miniata is rather mundane.

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