Six on Saturday – 28/9/2019

Two Camellia articles that I am supposed to be writing fall due in October so I’ve been willing it not to arrive since April. Didn’t work, I’d better get writing.
It’s a funny time of year in the garden; part of me wants everything to go on flowering and looking good for as long as possible but another part wants to crack on with moving the tunnel, moving various shrubs, planting bulbs and so on. For those things I need to be able to cut things down and clear some space.

I was in a friends garden today and she had just planted Cyclamen hederifolium seedlings into and area planted with Roscoeas. The Roscoeas are just starting to die down, the cyclamen are slowly leafing out and flowering. As the cyclamen die back in the spring it is intended that wood anemeones will be coming up to flower. Their foliage should have just about died away when the Roscoeas show again next year. Three things occupying the same piece of ground, taking their turn to grab the light. That’s the theory anyway. I’ve been combining spring bulbs with summer performers for years but it’s the autumn/winter that is trickiest, basically the next three months. Keeping the summer stuff going as long as possible is a start. Then there are the plants that do their thing in October. There’s a few of them coming up.

Salvia corrugata. I bought this a year ago and kept it under cover last winter. It’s grown well and I nearly put it in last week when it had its first flower. I’m glad I waited because it’s flowering pretty well now. Too bad it had to fall over before doing so, it means it’s almost hidden from view. We took a cutting in spring so there’s a backup plant to get through the winter but I have half a mind to lift this one and replant it in spring; I’m not sure it will survive the winter.

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Septemberrot’. I wish my Miscanthus ‘Ferne Osten’ would take a leaf out of ‘Septemberrot’s book and learn to stand up straight. This one never falls down and flowers well at 4-6 feet. With the right weather it might even put on some autumn foliar tints but that doesn’t happen often in Cornwall.

Aster ‘Purple Dome’ or if you prefer Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’. Confusingly there is a novi-belgii variety with the same name. Ignore all the other stuff in the picture and focus on that beautiful rich purple in the middle.

Cyclamen cilicium. The Cyclamen Society had a stand at the Cornwall Garden Society Spring Show this year. It came after most of the cyclamen had finished flowering but they had brought along a lot of little plants with good foliage and I was persuaded to buy two. I think I may have killed the other one but this one, still in its pot, is up and flowering. As well as being beautiful it has an exquisite scent but you’re going to have to take my word for that.

Hosta ‘Raspberry Sundae’. I saw this Hosta at the nursery where I bought the Salvia corrugata but decided to let them overwinter them, they were quite small, and went back this spring to buy a couple. The slugs have done their thing but hopefully its quality shines through. Quite a rich purple flower and a striking variegation enhanced by the speckles of purple that spill over from the petioles. I’m hoping for much better next year.

x Amarine tubergenii. A hybrid between Nerine and Amaryllis, this is like an outsized Nerine. I have it in a large pot, out the front in full sun. The flowers are around 2 feet tall. I have a few Nerines flowering and just one Amaryllis, they don’t seem to have liked the 2018 drought, which I find a little surprising. One day I will put the Amarine in the garden but it’s quite useful to be able to hide it away until it’s about to flower.

I had two seed orders arrive yesterday to add to the four bulb orders that have come in the last couple of weeks. I wonder if I could now get to the end of the year without buying any more seeds or plants. It’s only three months, how difficult could it possibly be?
Today looks like the morning might be usable, afternoon a washout. I have shredding to do, having cut down most of the Fuchsias in pots yesterday.
Links to other sixes at The Propagator, as reliably as ever. Enjoy your weekend.

30 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 28/9/2019

    1. Fred, I’m flattered that you think I might be capable of pulling off a hybrid like Amarine but no, I believe it was raised in Holland and used in the cut flower market. There’s a x Amarcrinum too, Amaryllis x Crinum, but I haven’t grown it.

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  1. Love the Aster Purple Dome, it makes a magnificent splash of purple. I had Salvia corrugata in 2017, and overwinteredquite happily until 2018/2019…a magnificent plant with lovely texture and great under leaf bronze colour too. Before I answered I went down to sniff at my cyclamen cilcium newly planted in my gravel garden, maybe it was the wrong time of the day! Yes one can definitely get totally immersed in cyclamen, it is the leaves that I go for every time!


    1. I’ll probably risk leaving the Salvia in then, it’s pretty mild down here but that often means things don’t harden up much I have a backup though. Reading up on Cyclamen, I found out that there exist scented forms of C. hederifolium, which i’d Love to get hold of. Perhaps I should join the Cyclamen Society, there are worse things to spend your money on.


      1. I have quite a range of cyclamen hederifolium ‘gathered’ along the years…my last set being this year. I’ll be sniffing and reporting on SOS. I think you are just the person the cyclamen society would welcome…


  2. I bought some Amarine bulbs this year and they have grown, but no flowers 😕 maybe they weren’t in enough sun. They are in a pot and I believe they are quite hardy so hopefully next year I shall have the flowers! That cyclamen is pretty. I looked up the Roscoeas as they might do OK under my willow tree, but then I read that slugs love the fresh young leaves so maybe not.


    1. I don’t think my Amarines flowered for the first couple of years. I haven’t had many problems with Roscoeas and slugs. They come up so late, around June, when it’s usually dry enough to deter them a bit. I keep hoping for seed set but there don’t appear to be any. None last year either, masses the year before.

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  3. I always learn something when I visit your site, Jim. Thank you for that. That salvia’s blue is a standout! I wonder how NOT to order for a few months, but this is a busy time of planning and purchasing for me… seems impossible to hold off. My bulb orders begin arriving next week also, so I am with you in that!


  4. Hello Jim, all looking ship shape, as usual. I haven’t started clearing yet but I will not be able to resist much longer. Got bulbs to plant for a start. No sign of my (your) nerines yet, nor come to think of it, my hesperantha which ought to be showing its face now.


    1. My nerines are dreadful this year, perhaps I should lift them and replant them. Hesperantha I have in flower all over the place, it verges on being a weed. That’s probably a bit tactless of me, not what you wanted to hear perhaps. The fairly relentless rain is reducing a lot of stuff to mush so the clean up isn’t far off.


  5. Every time I read a SOS post I think oh yes, I meant to do that. Here it is cyclamen and wood anemones. I have the wood anemones now just have to sort out cyclamen. And you have featured a beautiful cyclamen. Purple Dome is the sort of aster I should have. Mine is far too tall. I succumbed to some ‘Mystic Spires’ salvias recently even though the recommendation was to treat them as annuals. I was going to risk it, but hearing that you may lift in Cornwall makes me think again. Genuine thanks for keeping me on my toes!


    1. I was poised to sign up to the Cyclamen Society, like I need to be a member of anything else, but it’s only 10 quid a year. Be worth it for the seed distribution alone I think. I’ve only got about 500 cyclamen seedlings germinating already, clearly I need more.


  6. So many lovely things! I bought S. corrugata last year. It grew really well but didn’t flower. I overwintered in the glasshouse and have sunk the pot in the border this year. Still no flowers. The foliage is good but is it good enough to keep the plant if it won’t flower I ask myself. Your Miscanthus is way ahead of my ‘Silberfeder’ and the flower colour is showier. Other people’s plants are always so desirable


    1. If I leave Salvia corrugata in and it survives it’ll probably be late into growth and not flower; to lift or not to lift? Other peoples plants are always desirable but other people have picked out the best ones and different things do best in different conditions and grass is greener syndrome is humankind’s biggest weakness. It is pretty annoying when you buy something good and come across a better variety soon after.


  7. One can only focus on the purple for so long before being distracted by the surrounding goldenrod, anemone and such. There certainly is significant variety there.
    It is good to know that some of us still now how to grow cyclamen. The species of cyclamen are not even available in nurseries here. Only common florist’s cyclamen is common. It has been so cheapened as an expensive (cheap) winter annual. When I was a kid, I grew it as a perennial. I would do the same now, and might actually do so if we grow some as annuals at work. I so hate to throw them out at the end of their season.


    1. It’s a similar situation here with cyclamen. The garden centres are full of gaudy hybrids masquerading as hardy garden plants. They’re nice enough in their own way but look wrong in the garden and don’t last long as a rule. I just joined the Cyclamen Society. Their seed list this year, which I was too late for, included every species except somalense.

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