Six on Saturday – 29/2/2020

Six things happening in the garden eh, how about rain, rain, rain, rain, rain and more rain. I’m grateful I still have a garden, not a river or lake. Actually it’s bright sunshine just now, but ten minutes ago it was sleeting.

The garden is wet and windswept but by degrees it’s waking up from winter. Desperation leads to including things when still in bud or with the first flower half open, so I’m revisiting a couple of things.

Camellia reticulata ‘Mystique’. I’m not revisiting this, or at least not since last year. It went in on 23 March last year, so it’s well ahead this year. Too bad the weather has damaged the blooms as soon as they open, but from a distance it’s good. It’s a variety that was raised in a New Zealand nursery and available for only a season or two before it disappeared. Probably too difficult to propagate. I must have a go myself at some point.

The best of the crocus that I’ve planted over the past two seasons is C. tomasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’. It’s the showiest, it’s come back the next year bigger and better, it’s stood up to the weather the best. I may get more and I need to decide now where they will go and mark the spots.

Vegetable growing is starting a slow build up too. Potatoes are chitting, onions, leeks, cabbages, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, celeriac, celery, carrots and beetroot are under way. Indoor light levels are too low so I get them into the greenhouse soon after they’ve germinated, but there it’s lack of warmth that applies the brakes. It is still only February though. I need to prick off those leeks in the middle.

I left the main plant of Salvia corrugata in the ground; it’s died right down but will probably shoot again (ever the optimist). I took an early cutting and grew it on in a pot, it’s in the greenhouse with no more than frost protection and it’s flowering, for which I am grateful.

Where my gratitude has been rather lacking is in respect of my hellebores. Other people keep posting pictures of their magnificent specimens and mine are mostly muddy coloured miffy self sown things that refuse to perform well. This double, and I have to say, a couple of white flowered seedlings, are finally looking like they want to stay.

Back to something that is still only in bud, but I’m not sure that even in full flower I’m going to like it any better. Erythronium revolutum, a form that a local nursery called Illand was selling as ‘Illand Pink’.

Jorge huh. How come the Spanish meteorologists get to name a storm that is four square over us and nowhere near them? It doesn’t look like it’s going to affect the south of England too much, I might get a reasonable weekend, at least between the showers.
There’ll be time to hit the links. The Propagators links that is.

36 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 29/2/2020

    1. I’ll bear you in mind, though I’m not sure that cool woodland conditions would be easy for you to provide in sunny Portugal. Incidentally, while I’ll answer to almost anything, my actual name is Jim.


  1. Very nice foliage of the Erythronium !
    Being at the airport, I wonder how my potatoes are doing. I started chitting them before leaving, and also the seedlings of tomatoes and chilies. Result in a few hours…


  2. Those hellebores are delightful – most definitely a keeper. The camellia too is a great specimen, though taking your comments into consideration about weather damage, I’m kind of glad that mine flowers later in the year.
    I gave up trying with salvias as they didn’t ever come back after the winter, perhaps I should have taken cuttings and overwintered them as you did – your little greenhouse plant is looking good. But I’m learning – one of the really good things about Six on Saturday.

    As for Jorge. It’s here. I had a lovely morning, mostly in the sunlit and strangely warm greenhouse, but it’s a whole different story now! Hope you escape it!


    1. Mostly our Salvias don’t survive in the ground, or if they do they struggle to get going in the spring because of slugs. We take cuttings if the material is there, which usually means doing it early in the season.

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  3. I read that Erythronium revolutum as revolting! But it isn’t. The foliage is quite unusual. Don’t forget to show us the flower. I planted a couple of Erythronium last year, I wonder if they will re-appear? I’ve stuffed all sorts of woodlandish things in my shady border in the hope that some survive the wet, the S&S, the wind. Your double pink Hellebore looks perfectly at home, so many flowers!


  4. Wish you great luck propagating that camellia – it’s gorgeous & deserves reproduction. Your featured hellebores are great, which made me wonder about your sanity when I first started reading section 5. All was explained by the end, tho. What are the red berries/blotches behind the hellebore on the left? That erythronium is darlin, not revoltum at all! Doing a lot more than my own, to boot. O, misread again. Revolutum. Yes, I’ll agree w/that, not that I really have a say.


    1. The red berries are a dwarf skimmia which has surpassed itself this winter. I shall have a go at propagating the Camellia, there are a couple of grafting techniques I’ve never tried, it would be a good thing to crack. And yes, we’re talkin’ ’bout a revolutum.


  5. Had a good day in the garden today, lots done, dodging showers. I cannot raise any enthusiasm for the veg this year. I’ll plant out the onion sets and may do tomatoes, but otherwise, meh.


  6. I had never heard of Erythronium and had to go online to see its flowers. I suspect it might be quite difficult to find here. Not that I’m looking for one as I can see immediately that it wouldn’t be happy in my garden, but I do like the look of it.
    That camellia is a stunner with its very fulsome flowers.
    I hope Jorge didn’t cause any damage.


    1. Jorge came to nowt here. I don’t think Australia has many native bulbous plants. It’s interesting how hot and arid conditions have thrown up different adaptations in different parts of the world. I don’t know of many succulent Australian plants either.


  7. That camellia is impressive. Our only got pruned when we took scions from them. (One would think that we would have prune them more to get more scions.) Consequently, they were awkwardly lanky and floppy. I do not miss growing them, especially since we did not actually grow many at all.
    Anyway, I just mentioned to someone else that some of us take these hellebores too seriously. I work with some in the landscapes, but do not grow any in my own garden because they are not happy here. There are plenty of other things to grow, even in climates where there is not much blooming in winter.


    1. I’m on slightly acid soil and they mostly don’t thrive for me either. I’m not at all sure why, especially since other people on the same soil nearby do incredibly well with them. That one double is doing better than most, perhaps I have a poor strain for the rest of the seedlings.


  8. The leaf texture of the Salvia is lovely, so glad you have a cutting of it for the new season. The Camelia is a gorgeous colour, and as for the crocus and hellebores…..lovely! You certainly have a great vegetable selection for your allotment.


  9. I’ve yet to sow a veg seed. I’ve just started thinking about carrots and last year’s leeks were awful so I said I wouldn’t bother with them again. I rather like those hellebores and the ‘Ruby Giant’ are a good strong colour. I’m pretty sure I took you advice and bought some of those – I’ll have to check my meticulously kept records! I definitely have purple crocus in the garden.


    1. I went round today pushing short canes in places where I plan to plant more Ruby Giant in the autumn. I wonder how many will still be there come planting time. Much of the veg is a small early sowing that may or may not come to much. Most of the main sowings will be this month or next.


  10. Your comment about it being as well that S corrugata having good foliage is very true. Mine is (over) two years old, quite large and hasn’t flowered at all. It’s in a large pot, tucked into a sheltered spot outdoors. Should I plant it in the ground this year? Cuttings taken last spring grow well in the glasshouse.


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