Six on Saturday – 7/12/2019

Benign day today, gales tomorrow. We had a couple of frosts during the week so there’s a lot of mush about but we’re now back to the more usual succession of weather systems coming in off the Atlantic. It’s not so much that nothing is happening outdoors, just that it’s the same few things going on for many weeks and I’m trying very hard not to be repetitive. The Camellia ‘Navajo’ is looking so good though that I’ve sneaked it into a picture of something else. I’ve put in three inside items though, so they’re not strictly in the garden but they’re not strictly in the house either.

One.
Chamaerops humilis. This is pretty much my response to a request. Tony pointed out that you never hear about my Chamaerops. I have included it a couple of times but the last time only as a clothes horse for snow. I looked it up on Wikipedia, like you do. Interesting entry, it has a fascinating relationship with a weevil for pollination. Also, I discover, there is a blue leaved, high altitude form from the Atlas Mountains that has been recently introduced to cultivation. I want one.
The one I have is 3 or 4 feet high, perhaps a little more in width. Most of that is leaf, the stems, there are several, are a foot or so tall with the vicious spiny leaf stalks coming from them and supporting fan shaped leaves. We’ve probably had it 20 years, it’s incredibly slow. Once a year I go under it to weed and remove old dead leaves; it always draws blood. Hopefully it’ll outlive me and some other poor sod will have to dig it out.

Two.
Kalanchoe ‘Dorothy’. We bought this at our local garden centre about five months ago and it hasn’t changed much. A massive head of flowers on a single stem with a few fleshy leaves at the bottom. It’s in the front porch so it gets lots of heat and sun by day, quite cold by night.
SOS1286

Three.
Teasel. I may have mentioned somewhere that a neighbour is growing teasel and I was expecting it to seed into our garden. It hasn’t quite worked out because the seeds have not been eaten by goldfinches nor have they fallen onto the ground on our side of the fence. They’ve germinated in situ. I suppose at some point the whole seed head will fall and I’ll have a clump of seedlings. Maybe the seeds on the underside fell out, I’ve not looked for seedlings on the ground.
SOS1287

Four.
Crassula argentea. Jade plant or whatever you want to call it. We inherited/liberated this from our deceased next door neighbour and nursed it back to health. Still not completely on top of the mealy bug but it’s happy enough to be flowering. Like the Kalanchoe it’s in the front porch and I wiped off the rain to take its picture, only to get reflections instead, so I took another shot through the open door.

Five.
Tropaeolum tricolor. I saw this at one of the Rosemoor flower shows in the spring and bought three bulbs from Avon Bulbs in the summer. I planted them, wasn’t sure how moist to keep them or where best to put them. They’re in my new glasshouse, frost free, fairly dry and I wasn’t expecting anything to happen until spring. Got a bit of a surprise this week when I saw it had shoots several inches long and growing very fast. I need to sort out some kind of support for it before it gets tangled round itself and everything else within reach. It’s a nine inch pot and I’m wondering if it’s big enough. The flowers are on the plant at Rosemoor, from 23rd March.

Six.
Miscanthus nepalensis last had an SoS outing two years ago but has looked good the last week or two, especially on the rare occasions it’s dried out a bit and caught some sun. In sun it goes fluffy, that picture was taken on Monday. It’s wet again now but is still good for getting somewhat abstract shots. It flowers late, I was beginning to wonder if it was going to do anything.


Another six completed. Three more sees out another year and gets us to the other side of the shortest day and a bit more besides. I feel we’re already moving beyond tales of things dying and being cut down into new shoots coming up and the promise of spring. Gardening as a partial antidote to pessimism. For more new shoots be sure to check out theThe Propagator’s blog and the links from its comments section. Have a good week.

 

 

 

26 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 7/12/2019

  1. Interesting six! I have a Chamaerops in a pot on my balcony – too big for the pot now. I’ve been looking for drought- tolerant things outside (have already planned to get 2 Yucca glauca) and checked Chamaerops hardiness (-12 cent.). It might just survive if I plant it out next spring. Thanks for the inspiration! A friend’s recently blogged that she had dahlias germinating on spent flowers – I’d love to see this!

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    1. We made the common mistake of growing the Chamaerops in a pot that narrowed at the top so we couldn’t get it out. It thus stayed in it for more years than it should have but at least when it was planted it was hard and mean. We had to smash the pot.

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  2. I steer clear of plants with thorns as much as possible…maybe a throw back to when I fell into a Lemon Tree when I was young. Oh I love your Tropaeolum tricolor. It was leaving the The Avon Bulb stand at the HPS sale last Spring…and looked like a little shoal of tropical fish all swimming in the same direction. By the time I had decided to buy one, they were all sold out!

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    1. No chance me passing one of my little Colletia paradoxa plants on to you then. I bought the Tropaeolum as dormant bulbs, along with some Cymbidiums, in August, outside of the normal bulbs season. They were expensive, it’s a relief they’re growing. Pretty irresistible.

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  3. I echo your sentiments entirely. Spring is in our thoughts now. A fine photo of the teasel seed head. My coneflowers also germinated in situ, they never fall to ground and germinate. I like the idea of a request! Chamaerops humilis is a good one. I’m always happy to see your camellias.

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  4. That teasel head is fascinating! I have a jade plant which has never flowered, must be a good 10 years old. Not sufficient heat I suppose. As usual an interesting 6 from you Jim.

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    1. I saw the seed offer but they have a 25 euro minimum order so I’d need to buy a few more things that I don’t need, which wouldn’t be difficult as they have quite a list. And then it could take many years to reach a good size. Might still be good forward planning, the way the climate’s going.

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  5. That teasel head is most unusual – does this happen often?
    I will have to get some grasses next season, I haven’t grown them before and so many participants show lovely pictures of them.

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    1. I think the seed thing is common enough in a wet autumn, which we’ve certainly had here. Knoll Gardens is the place to go to see grasses, they are lovely but I think you need to match them to your growing conditions or they can be disappointing. I’ve had a few failures.

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  6. Really nice photos Jim. The teasel head is quite striking. It just shows how desperate some things are to grow even before they hit the ground. ‘Gardening as a partial antidote to pessimism’ I will raise a glass to that. We are nearly there though, the winter solstice isn’t simply mid-winter it is like the beginning of a new chapter in the garden…

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    1. The seasons kind of overlap, just now there is still some late autumn colour to be had but some of the spring bulbs are already stirring. There’s a part of me says I should attempt to rescue some of those teasel seedlings, give them a fighting chance.

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  7. Save the teasel! I love the stuff on its own & the birds it draws, but don’t have room for it. Maybe less lawn, more teasel, eh? What a stark difference btwn that wet & dry miscanthus. A valuable plant indeed that looks good even in bad weather. Rather like that tropaeolum tricolor. Does it have to come inside every winter or because it’s young yet? And that jade plant – just wow! All dressed up for the winter season. Great Six, as always.

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    1. I can’t do less lawn, more teasel because I banished lawn long ago. The tropaeolum is a high-falutin plant that I’ve only ever seen in pots at alpine shows, leading one to assume that it wouldn’t survive two minutes outside in the rough and tumble of the garden. When I’ve gotten over paying 12 quid for three bulbs I might explore that idea further. The other thing is, it flowers in March and apparently starts into growth in November, which is generally only sensible if you have white flowers and are called Snowdrop.

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      1. I’ve seen photos of your garden & know there isn’t a blade of lawn grass to be seen. I meant I could have teasel if I unloaded some lawn. Well, you’ve talked me out of the tricolour, so all is well in the world again.

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      2. I was just reading about Tropaeolum tricolor on RarePlants website and they say that it is traditionally pot grown under cover but go on to say they also have it growing outdoors sheltered by and growing through conifers and that it has been fine for several years. I don’t know where they are mind. They charge £9.50 a bulb and think you’re going to take risks like that? I’m sure some people do.

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  8. Love the picture of the teasle germinating in the seed head. I think I have some seed of trop-doodah for next year. I have several colourful climbers to try from seed, a quick fix for slow growing roses and clematis. I hope.

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  9. I am sorry I missed your six, and your response regarding the European fan palm. It will be a while before I catch up. If you happen to have long arm pruning shears for pruning small stems and vines that are just barely out of reach, they work very well for pruning the old fronds from the palm. Just remember to cut the petioles very close to the trunk. It really is slow if it only got that big in twenty years, probably because it likes warmth. The silvery variety is even slower and smaller. It really is pretty though, especially for climates that are too cool for other silvery palms.
    I could not help but notice that, besides the surprising palm, there are what seem to be Yucca gloriosa right next to it. There is not need to respond to that.

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