Six on Saturday – 31/8/2019

When Cyclamen, Hedychium and Crinum commend themselves for inclusion you know where in the year you are. It’ll soon be Nerine season.
Last week I included my new shed as an item. This week I emptied the much bigger shed it is to replace and have an empty space for the new glasshouse that arrives next Thursday. Much of the stuff displaced to build the new shed is still displaced and has now been joined by a lot of as yet un-rehomed stuff from the old shed. It’s chaos. Sue’s away, which is just as well.

Cyclamen hederifolium. A month ago I collected seed from this and other cyclamens around the garden. They should be germinating any time now, I’m checking every day; what’s that thing about a watched pot? This particular group of plants has a hard time; they’re right under my big Taxus, which would be tough enough in itself but it also provides a dry carpet of fallen leaves that the cats find very comfortable. With a coat like hers, Bobbie brings a fair bit of it indoors with her.

Hedychium ‘Assam Orange’. A couple of days ago I thought to sniff this; nothing. Yesterday evening at nine o’clock, I tried again and it had a strong scent. That’s twice I’ve had scent in about twenty years of growing it. Is it night scented? I must be more systematic in checking. This is not the showiest Hedychium but is very hardy and a reliable flowerer.

Garlic chives, Allium tuberosum. This had been grown for many years in a pot but last year I decide I’d plant it out. It’s a lot happier and is quite pretty in flower. We do use it for cooking but hardly enough for that to be the main reason we have it.

Crinum powellii. There isn’t another plant I grow that gets so close to being oiked out as just not worth the bother of trying to keep the S&S off it. The other thing I’ve considered is potting it. The first flower spike was utterly shredded, fortunately it put up a couple more.

For years I have been aware of the existence of hybrid slipper orchids that are supposed to be robust and fairly easy garden plants, unlike the species, most of which are a challenge. The price has always put me off; until now. I was looking at various bulb suppliers’ lists online and Avon Bulbs were listing Cypripedium ‘Gisela’. I ordered three and on Thursday they arrived. I was pleasantly surprised, they were much bigger than I’d expected, with four or five buds each. I’d bought three Bletillas last year, which looked to have settled in well but only managed one flower spike between them this year. I cleared a small area which gets some sun, moved one Bletilla into it and planted two Cypripedium crowns beside it. The third Cypripedium went where the Bletilla had come from, a more shady spot. Because it is an orchid the cultivar name is actually a grex name, applying to the progeny of a particular cross, which can be somewhat variable. Thus I won’t know for certain what I have until they flower, which I expect to be in May next year. They are underneath the two white labels.

Fuchsia splendens cordifolia or F. ‘Karl Hartweg’. The last time I include this was November 2017, which had been a typical flowering time for it, unless it got frosted first, in which case it didn’t flower. Last year and this it has flowered much earlier, in spite of having been killed to the ground in the winter so that it had to grow up first. We have had plants in pots that didn’t die back and they seem to flower most of the time. I wasn’t sure of the name then and I still haven’t unravelled it.

There’s a spell of rain forecast for this morning, then I’m laying blocks for my greenhouse base. Who said gardening was relaxing.

Relief on Saturdays comes in the form of frequent checks to see who else has posted a link in The Propagator’s comments section, that being the window on a worldwide weekend snapshot of gardens.


27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 31/8/2019

  1. I was admiring the flowers of my mother-in-law’s garlic chives last weekend. I’m going to have to stop snipping ours for culinary purposes or divide it.

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  2. The garlic chives are very pretty but are they as invasive as the spring wild garlic? They turn up all over the garden, probably from tiny seeds in the compost. I like the Assam Orange plant. Looking forward to seeing the nice new greenhouse – will you assemble it yourself? We did the first but let the expert do our present one. A bit late to say, but “The Incredibly Sensible Greenhouse Company” were very reasonable, efficient and friendly.


    1. I’ve never had any self seeded garlic chives, I don’t know if it sets seeds, haven’t noticed. I’ll put the glasshouse up myself. What could possibly go wrong? I did the other two, both bigger than this one, but it gets harder as you get older. Must look up Incredibly Sensible, they sound interesting.


  3. I planted bletilla alba bulbs and hope to see them bloom next spring. I had seen cypripedium (C. formi) in a garden near here ( Etretat) and I think I will be tempted to add some to this corner of the garden: I love these flowers!
    Another question: like me, I think to see that your cyclamen only have flowers and no leaves. Right? I have one like that while the 3 others have flower and leaves right now : normal?


    1. I have a few hederifoliums starting to produce leaves but mostly not. The one under the Yew is showing no sign at all. Might they leaf out later if they’re in very dry conditions? The flowers would draw on moisture in the corm but probably not the leaves. My coums are leafier but have no flowers yet.

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      1. I just looked in my Cyclamen book (Grey-Wilson) and he says that the foliage of hederifolium may appear with the early flowers or after them. This is partly attributable to seasonal variations but some plants. Always seem to flower before the development of the leaves. Some start to flower early August, others not until well into September. He also says there are scented forms of hederifolium, I’ll have to grovel about to sniff mine, that would be a nice thing to have. There’s a cyclamen show near here in a few weeks, might have to ask there.

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  4. I do love all your fuchsia features, this one is very exotic looking. And the Hedychium is rather gorgeous. I planned on getting some in pots this year, but never got around to it. Is yours planted outside?


      1. I do and his garden is amazing! I couldn’t hope to compete with that though as mine couldn’t be more opposite – open, windy and very wet! My trouble with pots is with lifting the bigger ones. For large containers I am having to go plastic (urgh!) as they are lighter. And even they are becoming too heavy to bring indoors / change compost. I need to rethink my containers for next year.


      2. A familiar problem. I’ve gone the whole hog with a couple of very large pots that are permanent features in the garden that I treat like raised beds. My biggest mistake is a monster Agave in a big pot. Moving it is like fighting a bear.

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    1. I think you might be getting a bit optimistic but they do grow pretty quickly. I have done them from seed and it wasn’t an absurdly long wait but I can’t remember exactly. Came absolutely true, which could be a good thing or a disappointment.


  5. Lovely collection Jim. I do like a patch of cyclamen for lighting up a spot under a tree. Looks like the cat is eyeing them with a mixture of contempt and indifference!


  6. I have to use Google to the max when I read your six, Jim. It’s always an education. I would like to have some of those Allium in my garden, and they can multiply if they wish!

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  7. Slugs and snails have ruined a few plants my garden this year. I have a Dahlia (Silver City) that has very leaves that are unaffected but the flowers are big and healthy. The plant simply looks out of proportion. I like that Fuchsias is it easy to grow.


    1. Hedychiums seem to be one of those plants that are mainly grown by the subtropical gardening fraternity and regarded with suspicion by most other gardeners. There are a few that are reliably hardy, reliable flowerers and easy to grow. They don’t have a long flowering season but they look good out of flower.


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