Six on Saturday – 1/6/2019

Another full on week down here, I’m exhausted. Next week will be worse, the scrappy hedge between us and one of our neighbours is going, to be replaced by a fence. It all has to go through our garden because they have no front to back access other than through their house. A couple of tons of soil (this is an old Cornish hedge, ie a soil bank) plus the hedgerow itself goes out, fence and whatever comes back in. I’m dreading it. It’s a long and twisting path to our front drive where they will park their trailer.

On the other hand, since the hedge is going, I dug out about eight barrowloads of soil for my own small construction project this week.

One.
Shady area rebuild. We used to have our compost heap here but these days I take everything up to my allotment. It also became the pot store but the staging I had to put pots on and under was way too small. This week I dug out the last of the compost heap, moved the pots and replaced the staging having paved the ground beneath with recycled slabs. Then I paved the area in front of it with new slabs. I took a car load of dead pots, carrying trays and rubbish to the tip. Order has returned and I have a small area of bare ground and some staging for plants in pots.

Two.
I bought a plant of Indigofera pendula from Treseders Nursery last year, kept it in my tunnel over winter for lack of anywhere to plant it, found somewhere this spring and now look at it. that is one purchase I don’t think I’m going to regret. It’s about two feet tall at the moment and should get to 3m.
SOS1013

Three.
This one is for the Optimistic Gardener, who appealed for wider garden shots last week. This, unless the washing pole is in the way, is what greets me when I step out the back door now. I get pretty much the same view from our bedroom window but from a different angle. Angle is important, too low and you just see the front row, too high you see all the gaps, though there less at this time of year. At the foot of the large conifer – Chamaecyparis ‘Little Spire’ (Ho bloody Ho!) is a hydrangea I moved this week; just a few feet further from the conifer roots, which I tried to chop. It’s going to have to go, it’s sucking up all the water in a 6m diameter circle. The hydrangea looks happier already; I lifted it with a good big rootball and have kept it well watered.

Four.
Stipa gigantea. This has proved to be a very long lived and low maintenance plant. It’s flowering very well this year and looks gorgeous in evening light against a dark background. Taking pictures of it is a different matter, one day I’ll get one I’m really pleased with.

Five.
I put this Geranium into my six for 12 January this year, when it was just a mound of silvery foliage. It has a label saying Geranium incanum, which is wrong, but I asked then if anyone knew what it was. I do believe I found out its correct identity but stupidly I didn’t change the label. Now it’s flowering and climbing through everything around it. It is absolutely beautiful, though most of the silvery foliage in the picture is Leucanthemum. I must have written it down somewhere.

Six.
Victoria Plums. I have to thin my plums, a job that breaks my heart. As Bob Flowerdew once said, thin them till you cry, then thin them some more. One every two to three inches on the branch say the RHS. At least my pruning, which I was very unsure about, doesn’t seem to have done too much harm.
SOS1018

Right; cabbages, kale and courgettes to plant, peas to sow, seedlings and cuttings to pot up, watering and weeding to do. Our host The Propagator is a lover of lists, loves to post them on Twitter. I suppose it puts pressure on to get it all done but it’s not pressure I need, it’s time.

48 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 1/6/2019

  1. I feel for you with the new fence coming. We have had building work going on along our boundary with our neighbour for nearly six months now. All to dig out a path. I’m not sure why it’s taking so long. We must seek solace in plants. I like your purple geranium. Having expanded from the ubiquitous pink in our garden I may develop a thing for blue and purple geraniums. Like the long shots and your revamped shady area too.

    Like

    1. The fence is supposed to be a three week job, including other work they’re having done. I can’t bear to think about open ended overruns. That geranium, harveyi I believe it may be, is a real beauty; I have my fingers crossed that it will set seed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What your plums are ahead of mine ! I checked mine yesterday and they are far away …
    I do like your overview # 3 (nice arrangement of colors and shapes: We see the professional who did a great job!)

    Like

  3. I haven’t seen a silver leafed geranium before, very pretty. Thank pink plant looks like what I knew as a Beauty bush but the leaves are different. I have plum envy, of course, yours looks so healthy although Victorias have a reputation for dying off. Mine was a Marjorie’s Seedling which has a reputation for being hardier but not very tasty fruit. It was brilliant for years with a delicious flavour but not happy now!

    Like

    1. The Indigofera is somewhat like a miniature shrubby Wisteria, hopefully it will be more controllable. My Victoria has some dead bits and gum oozing from its trunk. Nothing lasts forever.

      Like

  4. Although not on the same scale or even quite the same, I can feel your apprehension. I’m having a new kitchen next week and the workmen will be trooping in and out through the patio windows. It’s the upheaval and number of people around that is dreaded. Your garden is just a wonder, so much to look at.

    Like

    1. If the workmen are careful there’s no reason for any damage to be done and you would hope you could take that as a given with professional landscapers. So many so called professionals just don’t set themselves very high standards, sadly. We shall see.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The Indigofera is a real beauty…I admired it at Hilliers last year, maybe a different cultivar, but such a stunner, I had to post about it. As for that geranium….a real beauty…will you be taking cuttings? Surely….

    Like

    1. I must look up your post on the Indigofera. The geranium looks to be one of those that puts out long thin straggly shoots from a small and slowly expanding central clump. Do I divide the clump, take cuttings of the stems or hope for seed? Or all of those and see which works best. Any advice gratefully received.

      Like

      1. Since it so good, try as many as you have time for. If there is a little clump of leaves at a node, then bend it down, and use a hairpin to keep it in the soil, or curved bit of wire…if you can’t spare any or your hairpins…seed could be crossed with your other geraniums….divide clump when it is large, but I wouldn’t want to chance killing the whole thing. Cuttings of course. You have green fingers so go with what you fancy.

        Like

      2. There is no sign of the geranium rooting of its own volition so I found a few low down shoots and took them as cuttings today. I think it must have started putting up this years shoots last autumn so I may have another go sometime in the winter with non-flowering cuttings. If I can get seed I’ll try that too, there are some good ones nearby, I could get something fabulous.

        Like

  6. Hope the fencing job goes smoothly. The overview of your garden is great. I really like those curving steps from the decking.

    Like

  7. What a load of work going on there! I was practically exhausted just reading of the labor! Glad you have that nice view out the door and the healthy geranium to keep you going, Jim.

    Like

  8. It is the crazy time of year, everything seems to be happening at the same time! Love the indigofera, I planted one in one of my client’s gardens and it is romping away. Nowhere near flowering yet though. Good luck with the work, hopefully it is relatively painless.

    Like

    1. Nick Macer at Pan Global calls the Indigofera an “Absolute gem of a plant” “Worth every effort to grow”, not that I’d seen that when I bought it. Perhaps it’ll be the Chelsea plant of the year one day. (please don’t snigger)

      Like

  9. Beautiful Indigofera pendula, I’ve never seen one before and this is just stunning. I feel you on the thinning, the thinning of ANYTHING makes me cry, lol!

    Like

  10. I had to look up Cornish hedge. It seems to be a dirty wall! The description also implied that they are very old technology. Is yours very old? It seems a shame to remove something so old.

    Like

    1. The field systems that surrounded our village and into which housing has spread in the last 50 years have none of the characteristics of ancient field systems such as those in West Penwith and on Bodmin Moor. It’s the “hedges” with a lot of stone in their construction that have survived, and then mainly in areas where stone is abundant so old walls haven’t been re-purposed or where populations have abandoned areas because of climate change, plague or whatever. “Dirty wall” sells them short massively, many are very beautiful, sometimes for the stonework, sometimes for what grows on them, often for both.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Why was it removed rather than repaired? I so hate to see old buildings demolished, but our concept of ‘old’ is very different here where there are no buildings older than 1800. The only synthetic structures older than that are shell mounds, which are just trash dumps of the people who lived here before the Spanish arrived, and developers tend to demolish those before anyone realize what they are. I could not bear to demolish anything that had been around longer than our old buildings.

        Like

    2. Oh, Tony, not a dirty wall! The Cornish hedge is a wonderful thing to behold. I live in the West Penwith part of Cornwall that Jim mentions and our lanes are mostly bordered with these ‘hedges’. So many native flowers and shrubs and climbers grow on and in them and therefore attract the wild life too. See a couple of my posts for a true Cornish hedge 🙂
      https://cornwallincolours.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/nature/
      https://cornwallincolours.wordpress.com/2019/05/22/the-lanes-in-may/

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It seems a shame to remove it. There is nothing like that here, but there are what are known as Berkeley Mystery Walls in Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara Counties and elsewhere. They are ‘mystery’ walls because there is no documentation of any of them being constructed. No one knows how they were constructed, or why. Most of us believe that the stone was just cleared from what had been pastureland, and deposited wherever walls might have been useful for containing cattle. They are neither as old, nor as refined as Cornish hedges are. They lack soil, and even if they were constructed with soil, are in climates that are too dry for them to sustain wildflowers.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If you go onto Google maps and find Bolventor in Cornwall, then go directly north past Codda, you get beyond fields onto open moorland and a place marked Leskernick Hill. Zoom in and you can see the remains of a settlement from the Bronze age with field boundaries, hut circles, stone rows and so on. To the south east, across the track but before you hit fields, is a stone circle, probably from the same era. To the west of Leskernick is a hill called Brown Willy which is littered with archaeology from bronze age field systems to mediaeval farm ruins. Dotted about the moor are the remains of tin streaming, copper mining, china clay works and much else besides. I think there are sixteen stone circles on the moor and there are many more elsewhere in Cornwall. Practically every hill has a fort or burial mound on top of it. Leskernick is one of many magic places where you can stand in the middle of a four thousand year old house and wonder how in Gods name you could survive there. I have done the odd blog about it, I should do more.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Such a blog would be compelling to those who are not familiar with such archaeology. I now that some of it is not as interesting to those who have lived with it as it is to those of us who lack it. The only people who were here more than two centuries ago build almost nothing that was permanent. There are interesting ruins in some remote places only because they were not in the way of something else, but they are not as old as what is in Europe. Insight into something as simple as what your neighbor just demolished is interesting to those of us who are unfamiliar with it. That is why I just started writing about homelessness in our Community. We have a few active hate groups that target the homeless, but not much insight into homeless society.

        Like

      4. They sort of are, but I do not think they are as mysterious as they are purported to be. It seems to me that it only made sense to get the stones out of the pastures, and since they needed to be moved, it only made sense to pile them into walls. The Chinese who came here to build levees, roads and railroads did all sorts of such work that would not have been feasible if they had been payed livable wages.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. You have reminded me to look at the plums! It is good to see the wider views of the garden and there is much to enjoy. My scrambling geranium, which looks like yours, is Brookside and it is self seeding. It is going crazy at the moment – one for next week. Many sympathies for the next few weeks, and much admiration for the new paved area, that looks so useful.

    Like

  12. Stipa gigantea is one of my Sixes this week. You’ve managed to take much better pictures of yours. I might look for that Geranium and replace ‘Anne Thomson’ with it. I love the colour of her flowers but she’s too much of a thug for my border. Never satisfied as the N-G would say.

    Like

    1. I think we bought Anne Thompson last year, if we did I need to track it down. I seem to remember being persuaded by the claim that it was a relatively compact version of Ann Folkard which I got to plant in a fairly inhospitable patch which I thought might curtail its growth – it did, a bit too much.

      Like

  13. Again you open my eyes to some unusual plants. I don’t envy you the building work. I hope they take care in your garden. I am a little puzzled why one would want to replace a Cornish hedge though and replace it with a bog standard fence. I have spent this week tidying up ‘my’ hedge and my son has rebuilt one end of it for me. Now to try and encourage some native perennials to grow there and not simply brambles and nettles. Good as they are for the wildlife, there are sufficient in the field borders! BTW you say Leucanthemum is growing by that lovely geranium, I have that in my garden but I thought it is Anthemis punctata subsp. cupaniana (Sicilian chamomile). So many similar plants!

    Like

    1. To describe our boundary as a Cornish Hedge is to flatter it some as it’s really no more than a soil bank. There were one or two places where there were the remains of a stone facing but this was a fairly modern farm, built on less than 40 years ago. The farmer is still alive and well and lives down the road, he’s long been on the committee of our garden club. So it’s not a wall, a hedge or a fence and it’s in Cornwall, so it must be a Cornish Hedge, just a rather lousy one. The neighbours have been digging their side of it away for years, well beyond the mid point, which I take to the actual boundary, and it’s on the point of collapse. I didn’t want to get rid of it but it does now seem to be the sensible way forward. You may well be right about Anthemis, I’ve never been very sure what it is. Looking at pictures online I can’t see what distinguishes them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds as though the hedge is past its best! But I still don’t envy you the upheaval! I think if you compare the Anthemis and Leucanthemum leaves you will see the difference. The flowers are pretty much the same.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello Jim, garden looking splendid. I know the MIL is looking forward to the tour! Jealous of your plums, if I can say that to another grown man. My fan trained vic plum is 2 years old and I was excited to see a few blossoms and the beginning of what looked like a few plums. They vanished. Perhaps next year will be the bonanza year. We live in hope.

    Like

  15. You’ve been working like a dervish! Love the wide garden shots. it must be agony tossing so many of the plums, but the rest will taste like candy. Or something better. Nothing like a good Victoria, eh? And what do you do w/yours? Surely not more cordial!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s