Six on Saturday – 17/8/2019

Oh dear, more rain. It was supposed to be dry today. Friday rained all day. At this time of year a rainy day can be an expensive day. I sat at my computer, browsing Parkers catalogue, Peter Nyssen’s catalogue, then Potterton’s, Avon Bulbs and Ron Scamp’s Daffodils, just to mention the ones with whom I placed orders. They came on top of a new glasshouse ordered earlier in the week, a replacement soil warming cable for the propagator, a book on Geraniums. I haven’t started on seed orders yet.

At least I’m not on my hols, rather I’m on the permanent holiday that is retirement. Not so meme host The Propagator, valiantly posting and hosting while on vacation.

I have an ongoing project in the shape of felling our Chamaecyparis ‘Little Spire’, now a behemoth of a thing that is way too big and dark and dingy and it’s sucking dry an ever expanding area of ground each year. It has to go. I’ll include it in a six when it’s gone. I’m taking it down a car load at a time, it then goes to the council tip. I attempted to include one of my fingers in the latest load, which was messy and has set me back a bit, and I’m still only on the smaller branches. In a contest between a Silky saw and a finger there’s only going to be one winner. It’s my typing finger; as you can see, it still works.

I ran out of potting compost, necessitating a trip to the garden centre, where, surprise surprise, I spotted a couple of things I didn’t need and have no room for but which mysteriously found their way into my trolley (Why did I take that trolley when I had no intention of buying anything?) This was one of them, Eucomis ‘Aloha Leia’.

Helenium ‘Chipperfield Orange’. This has done tolerably well this year, in spite of being well within the root zone of the aforementioned big conifer. Just beside it is Helenium ‘Monique’ which is in a very bad way, black stems and leaves, looking very sickly. Maybe it has whatever killed all my H. ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ a couple of seasons back. I should dig it out and get rid of it. ‘Chipperfield Orange’ is tall but self supporting, pretty good but smaller flowers than some.

Acis autumnalis. That this is now flowering rather confirms the slide into autumn. This has come up reliably every year for several years now, which given its diminutive stature and extremely delicate appearance always seems little short of a miracle. I’ve ordered a few more to make the clump a bit bigger.

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Izu-no-hana’. This is a more open, natural looking plant than the double hydrangea I included two weeks ago. That was bred in captivity to be compact and covered in flowers for months; this one was found growing in the wild in Japan and is a lacecap which seems variable in the number of sterile, showy florets it has. I think in better growing conditions you get more sterile florets (the showy outer flowers) to the point it almost forms a complete head of them. I had one in a pot which had flowers in a very pretty shade of pink but in our acid garden soil it is blue.

Fuchsia of the week is ‘Loeky’. This is a pretty standard bush fuchsia, not regarded as hardy though we haven’t tried it in the ground yet. I love its wide skirts and free flowering nature but I really must make an effort to grow it better so that it performs to its best. The flared corolla can open almost to horizontal.

About a month ago I was taking pictures galore of our bog garden which was a mass of Astilbes and Filipendula in flower; except for the two Astilbes that are flowering now, one at each end of the bed. It seemed a good idea to spread the flowering season but it wasn’t really. The two flowering now look a bit forlorn and left behind and the display a month ago would have been even more impactful if these two had been flowering then. Perhaps I should replace them, I’d have no difficulty finding a home for them, though this one, which is Astilbe ‘Delft Lace’, is a real beauty with striking dark foliage and I rather want to keep it.

I was going to go up to the Rosemoor Flower Show yesterday, but chickened out. Today and tomorrow are out, the car is in use elsewhere. I really feel for the stall holders who must have had a pretty miserable day. It no doubt saved me quite a bit of money, and I’m not talking about the cost of getting there.

The horses have nothing to do with anything; I recently happened upon the picture, which I took a few years back, and it was just the size I wanted for a featured image. Not wanting to get soaked to get a relevant picture, it’ll do just fine. I went out this morning and took a picture of raindrops on grass; I’ll shove it in down the bottom here. It’s dull.

29 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 17/8/2019

  1. Stunning picture of the Acis autumnalis !
    I also introduced an eucomis this weekend but I prefer almost yours. The color contrast is very beautiful. How do you overwinter them:like tulips?


  2. As always a beautiful fuchsia. I bet the bulb sellers saw a spike in orders this week. I was browsing too and like you headed to the garden centre for compost and came back with plants. Beautiful photos, not sure where the horses are but I love the final photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No horses visible here, but I’ll take your word for them. Six more lovelies. Especially that snowflake photo! I try and avoid visiting the garden centre as I always come back with something I didn’t go in for. Fortunately I still have compost. Your Helenium ‘Chipperfield Orange’ is very nice. I’d like another one to go with my dark red one which is quite short growing. Talking of blackened stems, my Scabiosa ‘Beaujolais Bonnets’ has patches of black along its stems and the flowers are awfully small. Diseased? Should I cut it back despite having lots of buds? Or does it need to come out and be binned?


    1. I always go through agonies with apparently sickly plants, I’d much rather they just died. I have an Agapanthus ‘Winsor Grey’ flowering beautifully but almost certainly with virus, it has to go, and a Dahlia with virus too. It probably isn’t worth the risk of it spreading when I have lots of other Agapanthsu and Dahlias in the garden but I’m still reluctant.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was admiring hydrangeas during our stay in Falmouth. They weren’t as nice as ‘Izu-no-hana’ though. The finger incident sounded like it could have been gruesome, though ‘Iva no fingas’ might be a good name for a plant. I’m keeping an eye on my dwarf conifer after your words of warning last year.


    1. Ten or a dozen Hydrangeas would about satisfy me with hydrangeas. It would just about cover all the bases without becoming a collection. I have ten, they take up too much room and they’re not the right ten. ‘Izu-no-hana’ would be a keeper. ‘Iva no fingas’ would need to be a cultivar of something with digitata in its name.

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  5. Love your six. Obviously Eucomis ‘Aloha Leia’ is on the wants list. Something killed my Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ too, I don’t have much success with heleniums.
    I don’t grow many hydrangeas, they are too demanding with their water requirements but this is one is worth seeking out.


    1. I’ve just discovered that ‘Aloha Leia’ is part of a series of five, so far. I have that sinking feeling that I shan’t have just one for long. I’ve been reading up on Heleniums at Too dry seems likely to be the cause of most of my problems but I also think I have eelworm in at least one of them. It will go tomorrow. Dryness is causing me hydrangea problems too, especially with the serratas. I cut down a tree and took away the shade from a couple of them; the last two summers they’ve barely been worth having.


  6. You’re so cruel with your blue Hydrangeas! That is a beautiful one though. I’ve not seen that Eucomis before. It would go so well with my E. ‘Oakhurst’. Hmmmmm – it starts with a packet of seed of ‘Bicolor’, then a purchase of another variety, followed this year by a third. Now I’m thinking of a fourth. It’s the way to madness.


    1. Looks like there are at least five in the Aloha series of Eucomis, groan. I passed madness a long time back. Since blue hydrangeas are the norm here, it took a moment for the penny to drop about the cruelty comment. Oddly enough I was today contemplating getting rid of Tiara, an excellent blue, and replacing it with Garden House Glory, which seems to stay pink. Tiara would go to another garden, Garden house Glory is languishing much to close to my big bamboo and needs moving.


  7. Now that I know about autumn snowflake, I’m not going to get it out of my head, especially w/such a nice photo of it. That is one fine astilbe.


    1. I’m amazed the autumn snowflake (nearly just said snowflake, which seemed disrespectful, given the current usage of the word) is still there. I’m used to delicate little things not surviving long, or getting dug up when dormant.


  8. Dull? It is nice that you can take artistic pictures. They’re all pretty nice. The Acis autumnalis is particularly nice. (I don’t know what that is.) I think the last is the most artistic though. Some people are just good with getting pictures.


  9. Love your blog and especially the superb photos. Fascinated by your seed-raised dahlias too. May I just question your Izu-No-Hana which is just like my Romance (You’n’Me, not Darts, which is what it was sold as. Keep up the good work. All Best


    1. I don’t know You & Me Romance but have You & Me Together. Izu-no-hana isn’t repeat flowering into autumn like the You & Me series and is a lace cap with usually less sterile florets than it has this season. I still have a camellia question to answer, over to Facebook. Just did a new blog with a short video of the seed raised Dahlias in it.


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