Six on Saturday – 23/11/2019

Just after I’d posted last Saturday’s six, I loaded up the car with crocheted cacti and assorted other crafteries and took Sue down to Lanreath Church where she was partaking in a craft fair. With about four hours at my disposal before I had to collect her, I went across to Lockengate to visit one of my favourite nurseries, Treseders.

Treseders had a long and distinguished history, in Britain and Australia, as nurserymen, before closing down completely when their Truro nursery closed way back when. James Treseder has revived the tradition and runs a small nursery that is about as close to what I would have done myself had life followed a different path as it is possible to get. An interesting, eclectic mix of plants, well grown and reasonably priced. Some real rarities, some common crowd pleasers, lots and lots of well chosen, good garden plants that mainly don’t make it into the garden centres or supermarkets.

There’ll be a nursery a bit like it somewhere near you and I hope you know of it or them and make a point of giving them at least a bit of your plant purchasing budget from time to time.

I mainly went there to ask him if he ever did talks to garden clubs but needless to say I had a good look round and came away with a few things. I had intended to do six evergreen plants this week, I’ve taken the pictures already, but they’re going to be there all winter so I’ve decided to feature six of the seven plants I bought instead.

One.
Fuchsia hemsleyana ‘Silver Linings’. This actually has a collection number of BSWJ10478, not that it’s on the label with the plant. It was collected by Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones of Crûg Farm Plants in Costa Rica in 2004 and put into volume production by Seiont Nurseries, a wholesale liner producer. Their catalogue is a good place to look if you want to know what’s going to be in the garden centres next year.
Both Crûg and Seiont list the Fuchsia as ‘Silver Lining’ but the colour tag has been printed as ‘Linings’. I would expect it to be completely hardy in Cornwall but it will be interesting to see if it comes through the winter as well as F. microphylla, which often doesn’t drop a leaf or stop flowering.

Two.
Lorapetalum chinensis ‘Firedance’. I’ve grown this as a nursery plant but never in my garden, so I have a limited amount of experience on its hardiness. Some poor sod was given the task of writing the text that was to be printed on its plastic colour label and predictably they’ve produced something confusing. I couldn’t have done much better; hardiness is the most elusive of qualities to pin down. I plan to grow it in a pot, in full sun, keep the nutrient level fairly low, then overwinter it tucked against the front wall of the house. Even then, I might lose my nerve and bring it under cover if we get a serious freeze, though they’re getting rare.

Three.
Blechnum wattsii. This is kind of cheating, because I wrote about this fern in a blog about ferns that I did a couple of days ago. James had a corner of his tunnel given over to ferns and the temptation levels went off the scale. Digressing, it’s interesting to see the range of ferns in the Seiont catalogue, they must be in vogue somewhat as the choice is steadily increasing.

Four.
Blechnum brasiliense ‘Volcano’. Yet another border line hardy plant. I’ve had Blechnum tabulare growing outdoors in a pot for several years and I’m guessing this will be of similar hardiness. With ferns in pots its always possible to shove them under the bamboo or a camellia when frost threatens. They aren’t bothered by winter wet or the combination of cold and wet, like succulents or Salvias say. This variety is in Seiont’s fern list, unlike some of the other stuff he had, I wonder where he gets them from.

Five.
Strawberry F1 Summer Breeze Rose. What caught my eye was the extraordinary colour of the flowers on a dull mid November day. More or less continuous flower, fruits over several months, apparently all but evergreen but still squeezing out some autumn colour. You expect me to walk away and leave the damn plant there? The only thing I find hard to explain is that I only bought one.
SOS1272

Six.
Begonia ‘Connie Boswell’. I seem to be getting a bit of a thing about Begonias. I was given a leaf of B. sizemoriae a couple of weeks back and have been trying to propagate it from leaf cuttings. It looks like a failure. I looked the species up online and found it was in Dibley’s catalogue. Fabulous plant, I shall have to get one. So too is B. ‘Connie Boswell’; in their catalogue, that is; I don’t know if it’s fabulous yet. What caught my attention though was the advice they give that all the cane type begonias grow well outdoors in summer, something I have discovered myself. I’m certainly planning on using them a lot more; it’s where ‘Connie Boswell’ will end up.

And that is my six for this week. Six more additions to my overcrowded garden. I’m now going to sort out my wants from the Alpine Garden Society seed list which went live online at midnight. There was a time bad weather would have deterred me from nursery visiting and saved me money, now it keeps me indoors where online buying is all too easy and tempting. Getting your gardening fix from the comfort of your living room is what six on Saturday is all about at this time of year, links in the usual place.

28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 23/11/2019

  1. Yet again I intended to visit Treseders nursery but didn’t have time to stop on the way home because we were having lunch with our grandson who is at Bristol university and didn’t want to be late. I like your purchases, I really will go there when we are down next year.

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  2. Lovely colour of loropetalum Jim … I do like that plant and I have not yet dared to buy it because they say that the minimal temperature is -5° or -7°C … a little limit at home (unless I proceed like you in pot …).
    Same thing for Blechnum brasiliense … the temperature limit is a little better but I read that it was necessary to avoid the harsh winds of winter (I’m already fighting with my tree fern that I bring in and out with the cold nights ..one more?.)
    A Twitter friend in the US has this variety of strawberries. Full of strawberries continuously and very pretty flowers. Nice choice this week as usual

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    1. I like what you’re saying about the strawberry, perhaps I need to go back for a couple more. I think I can get away with most of the borderline hardy plants outside by protecting them on the increasingly rare frosty nights with fleece, or bringing them in for a day or two.

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    1. Not an easy question to find the answer to. It seems it’s a seed strain, rather than being vegetative, and the raisers say nothing at all about runners. T & M mention neat mounds with fewer runners but it reads like a generic description for ornamental strawberries. Ask me in a years time. I can’t find a retail seed supplier either.

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  3. And you are going to put these plants where exactly in your already crowded garden?😜 I am trying as hard as I can NOT to buy any more plants this year, but as you said the online offers are awfully tempting. Next year though I aim to use the local nurseries to fulfil my wants, though it will be mainly annuals I shall be seeking for containers on the patio. I’m going to leave the rest of the garden to settle in after all the changes I’ve made this year. (If you believe that you’ll believe anything!!) Although I do have plans for a succulent / rockery wall and also a teeny pond.

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    1. Then there’s the 43 packets of seed, mostly home collected, the 23 I just ordered from the AGS seed distribution, the 34 things I’ve sown this autumn. All the veg on top of that. There are people out there still saying there’s no such thing as too many plants. Stand in my shoes I say.

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      1. On the whole I’m very happy to be retired from it, plants are a bigger tie than cats, you can’t put plants in a cattery and my surplus output seems a lot under my feet in the garden but is trivial in the context of how much you need to grow to make any sort of living.

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  4. Oh…visits to good nurseries cannot but lead to temptation. You’ll be fine with the Loropetalum, I’ve moved mine now to be under the awning by the front door, and also the Fuchsia. Even with the snow we had last years, both came through. You have had me and how many more looking up that strawberry…As for those ferns, I can but admire them. Thanks for sharing you early Christmas Presents to yourself.

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    1. Early Christmas presents to myself is just the guilt dispelling line that I needed. Thanks too for the Loropetalous reassurance; I’ll mollycoddle it this winter but when it goes out in the spring it goes out to stay.

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  5. We have a couple of those exact same loropetalums in large planters, one of which can be seen in this recent post :-

    https://eaglesfeartoperch.blogspot.com/2019/11/building-garden-composter.html

    They’re way too heavy to be moved around, and so they’re just left out in the same places year round. Although they do suffer from the cold and can look a bit frazzled by the time spring arrives, they pick up again quite quickly and have survived the last two winters untouched here in the north-east, so I’d expect them to be OK in the south-west.

    Having said that, I’ve been thinking about wrapping fleeces around them this year …

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  6. What a wonderful nursery. I am so glad that places like this are able to keep going. Like a good bookshop they are hard to find but worth the effort and night and day from the mass production chains. There was a really nice nursery hidden in an abandoned walled garden a few minutes cycle from our village which sold up not long after we moved here which was tragic but probably saved me from temptation. I wonder given the pulling powers of the larger chains how tough is it to stay afloat as an independent nursery these days? Or does the online market make it possible?

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    1. I think it’s very tough for the small independents. Online is well and good, it’s a big marketplace, but comes with a lot of problems. Unless you sell everything as liner sized, plants are all sorts of sizes and shapes and no two orders the same, making packing and despatch tricky. If the customer kills something a week after getting it they’ll blame the nursery and demand replacements or refunds. Plant fairs, especially the rare plant fares, and shows are important for a fair few, meaning a lot of time on the road and away from home. Nothing easy about it.

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