Six on Saturday – 18/1/2020

For a while now, not a lot has been changing from one weekend to the next, at least where the garden is concerned. We have a couple of three frosty nights coming up, so that might be about to change, followed by a dry week.

The only frost we’ve had here was on the 2nd of December. It saw off a few things and damaged some others. The survivors have had a few more weeks to harden up, I’m curious to see whether it counts for anything. This Plectranthus zuluensis is just too big to move in, it lost the top six inches last time but has rallied a bit. I wonder how it will look on Monday.

Cyclamen repandum. I was given some very small corms three years back which produced a few leaves and two or three flowers last year. They’re coming up now and looking like they’ve taken off this year, though no flowers yet. I sowed seed on August 1st, a few of which germinated quickly, then nothing until now; quite a lot now emerging. One pot is very mossy and will need to be cleaned up before they try to grow through it next winter.

Camellia ‘Minato-no-akebono’. The true autumn/winter camellias are about finished, we’re on to the varieties that take it into spring. This is a Japanese raised japonica x lutchuensis hybrid, very early and beautifully scented. It’s almost my favourite.

Because the world is not fair and “unto every one that hath shall be given”, this monumental tome landed heavily on my doormat this week, very generously gifted by a lady with even less need of it than I have. I retired from nursery work five years ago. There is a section on grafting camellias, which hopefully I shall turn to good effect at some point. I thought of you Mr Prop, if you ever give up the day job it’s yours.

Iris reticulata ‘Some’at or other’. I have no recollection of planting this, which is not saying a lot. It produced one flower last year which didn’t get its moment in the spotlight. This year there were two fat buds followed by this moth eaten thing and the other one which was eaten through before it even opened. I shall go out after dark to try and find the culprit. Pointless, self destructive revenge being my only motive.

Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’. One of the garden’s framework plants and apt to be overlooked when I go looking for six things a laying (down) on a Saturday. So much going for it, coloured stems, evergreen foliage, graceful habit, grows to about 5m quite quickly, but then no taller.

They changed the weather forecast between the morning and evening yesterday, so I was out in the dark moving things in and setting up heaters yesterday evening. I’ve woken to frost but it’s not excessively cold; I can tell by how much the Euphorbia mellifera is hanging, and it’s not, so around freezing I would say. I haven’t ventured out to survey the damage. Mild and wet or cold and dry, it’s not the choice I want really.

Here’s the link to the other links, you never know when you might need one.

33 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 18/1/2020

  1. You are a wonderful show case on the SOS circuit for camelias…this is a beauty. Have you wondered whether caterpillars may be the cupprit? I have picked off several over the last few weeks. Frost here too today.


  2. That camellia is stunning ! I understand why it’s your favorite…
    I have euphorbia mellifera seedlings to do (indoors) …. do you think it’s a good time or should I wait for March?


  3. The Camellia is very pretty. I don’t think I had any frost last night, but I have found a couple of small plants that have rotted away with all the rain… 😥 I think I am going to have to rethink my planting and look at bog garden plants!


      1. Quite. I debated whether to nip outside with some fleece just now (as it falls dark on a cloudless sky) but then thought, sod it, I can’t be doing with mollycoddling everything, most tender plants are inside already, the rest can just get on with it!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I like your pointless, self-destructive revenge, only I hope you won’t self-destruct. I suspect there was a bit of frustration there, and I can truly sympathize with a frustrated gardener.


    1. I like to think my indignation and rage was on behalf of a plant that has taken several years to reach flowering size, pushed it’s beautiful and ephemeral bloom up into a cold wet January only to be met by a slimy onslaught.


  5. I thought I wouldn’t comment on the camellia, as everyone else would go bonkers over it & my comments do tend to be wordy, but it seems most of the comments are about frost (did a quick weather search & we’re safe for the next fortnight). So I really love that camellia. Just perfect, in form & colour. The 4th photo in #2 of the seedling peeking around the moss, that was fantastic. Did you find the panda inside by the fire, drinking your tea?


  6. That is one funky video. The irises are not in flower here yet – which means that your slug alert is very well timed. The first year for me in this garden with crocuses and irises and having them decimated by slugs is not in the plan! But plans don’t count for much!


  7. ‘Tome’? I was not aware anyone still used that word. It is supposed to be the origin of my name, supposedly because my ancestors bound books.
    Anyway, what is plectranthus grown for? Is it just a foliage plant? I do not believe I am familiar with that species. It does not sound familiar. I do not remember the name of the plectranthus that is such a problem down on the coast. It is pretty, but aggressive.


    1. I wouldn’t say I use the word ‘Tome’ a lot, but certainly occasionally. Plectranthus are mainly quite nice but not exactly stunning. There are probably more grown for foliage than flower but they all do flower. P. argentatus and P. zuluensis are the best two I’ve come across.

      Liked by 1 person

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