Six on Saturday – 28/3/2020

One good intention that has so far fallen flat is the one about doing a bit more blogging while in theory I have more time to do it and readers more time to read it. I have excuses, the weather was too good and my allotment is a mess after a winter of doing nothing; my computer broke down and it came back from the repair shop in worse shape than it went in.
So here we are on yet another Saturday, except it’s not like any other Saturday. I have flowers so I’m going to shut out the rest and focus on them.

One.
Chionodoxa sarniensis (I think). I added a few bulbs onto someone else order to Parkers and now I’ve forgotten what I bought. I thought they were Chionodoxa, now Scilla forbesii, which I have a patch of that are doing well and wanted to get going elsewhere. These are different though, with more flowers to a stem and very little white in the centre. They’re probably better than what I had already so if they settle down and establish well I shall be very happy.
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Two.
Erythronium dens-canis ‘Illand Pink’. I put this in a six a month ago when its foliage was looking lush. I promised flowers when they came. Another thing to look into, what’s the difference between E. dens-canis and E. revolutum? I presumably bought these as E. dens-canis which is a European species with pink flowers and mottled leaves, but so too is the North American E. revolutum. Phillips and Rix say E. revolutum is distinguished by having swollen anther filaments, which makes mine E. revolutum. This is another thing I’d love to have drifts of and I have a pot of seedlings in the greenhouse that brings that vision a little closer. I will try to collect more this year. At least growing my own I know I will get more of the same thing. I’ve not found them easy from dry bulbs, they don’t like to get too dry. Order early and plant immediately, even if it’s in pots, would be my memo to myself.
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Three.
Pittosporum ‘Elizabeth’. I suppose this must be about twenty feet tall but because it doesn’t change much through the seasons it tends to go unnoticed most of the time. It’s covered in very dark red flowers at the moment which are probably quite strongly scented except it usually blows away from our garden. It’s good to have a large evergreen shrub that isn’t a drab dark green.
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Four.
Anemone lipsiensis ‘Pallida’. My clump of this is now about a foot across having been plant as a 9cm pot several years ago, so a much slower spread than the various Anemone nemorosa forms I have around the garden. This flowers at the same time but I’ve never put it in a six because it’s always comprehensively outshone by it’s more vigorous cousin. As often happens, when I include something in a six I look it up to see if there’s anything interesting to say about it and I often learn something. Turns out it’s A. x lipsiensis, a hybrid between the wood anemone A. nemorosa and Anemone ranunculoides. Not cousin then, but half-sister.
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Five.
Euphorbia mellifera. This gets chopped almost to the ground every second or third year and this year it will need to be done as it’s across the path and isn’t a plant you want to be pushing past too much, not that I’ve ever reacted to its reputedly irritant sap. There’s always a first time. At least not having been cut last year it is flowering on every shoot this year. It should smell of honey but I haven’t stuck my nose up close and I get nothing from further away. My sense of smell is probably getting worse.
SOS1447

Six.
Sue has finally ventured out in the last week to do some sorting out in her cactus and succulent house. I got roped in to help her repot some of the biggest and spiniest cacti. My task was to get them out of the pots they’d been in for the last ten years. There was blood, there were profanities, but we won through.


And that’s another week done. Summertime tomorrow so it’s gone cold. Hope we don’t get another cold spring where everything takes forever to get going; I feel I need to be self sufficient for veg as soon as possible. More veg in pots in the greenhouse, push them on a bit, perhaps that’s the answer. Strawberries too.
The Propagator has the links to all the sixers, will they mention the elephant in the room, or ignore it. You know the rules now, don’t go out, and if you do, watch out for drones.

37 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 28/3/2020

  1. Your chionodoxa are very thick! I only had 4-5 flowers on mine. Maybe too buried in the ground … I just started planting seeds of euphorbia mellifera and I can’t wait to see it planted in a corner of the garden … (beware of the loss of smell and taste … first signs of covid …)
    Stunning greenhouse ! I love all these cacti ans succulents : congratulations to her

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    1. These Chionodoxas have far more flowers on each stem than the others I have. They’re a confusing bunch, I’ve seen a good article about them last year but I can’t find it. If the loss of sense of smell is due to Covid then I’ve had it for years. Sue said thanks!

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  2. I love the erythronium – particularly as it reminded me that I had bought some bulbs last year. But where did I plant them? And very pretty anemones. Which reminded me that my a.nemerosa in the cold border have not appeared yet. Bit of a theme going on here. That is one impressive collection of cacti and succulents – which does not remind me of anything I have here!

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    1. I planted Erythronium White Beauty last year and only a few have come up. I think I will try ordering as soon as they are on offer and plant them in pots straight away. Anemone nemerosa is almost too enthusiastic here, I have seedlings popping up all over the place. Not a bad problem to have.

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  3. The erythronium is stunning, lovely photo too, were you lying on your belly? Love mellifera, such a wonderful plant. We have a couple of cactus that need repotting, if you could just pop round…….. well I am sure you would have if you could have!

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  4. Love your erythroniums – am frightened to waste money by buying bulbs, so your advice is very welcome. And what a collection of cacti & succulents. Superb video!

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    1. I know what you mean about wasting money on bulbs, so often they don’t come up or if they do it’s only for one year. I’m coming round to thinking that planting bulbs as soon as you get them is important, some of mine arrived in summer and didn’t get planted for a couple of months, by which time they were quite shrivelled. We all know it’s lethal for snowdrops, I suspect it’s almost as lethal for a lot of others.

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    1. Your Erythroniums are miles behind mine then, all of which are up and budding if not flowering. Some big succulents go out for the summer, are already out in fact, so most of what’s in there now will stay.

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  5. The Erythronium is a gorgeous colour and what a lovely photo. I think I planted two or three in my woodland border but the only sign of it I can see are some rather well nibbled leaves! Another one that bites the dust… sigh!

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    1. Oddly enough I’ve had very little trouble with slugs going for them. ‘Pagoda’ gets a bit more but comes up very quickly so escapes the worst. It defies belief that you have even more voracious slimy assassins than mine.

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  6. What exemplary cacti and other succulents! What on earth are all those agave for! They are not easy to keep confined for long (as I am sure you are aware). I can not help with the Chionodoxa sarniensis, because I have never seen it before. I grew another species, but not this one. (It was labeled a Scilla of some sort.)

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    1. The Agaves are the product of an inability to throw anything away, justified by pointing to how long it has taken to get them this far and how much money we could make if we could find someone to buy them. They grow much slower here so can be confined for longer, but that also firms up the justification side.

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      1. Oh my! That is not something I would want around for too long. The few that we have canned here are easier to handle, since their leaves have only one ‘relatively’ civil terminal spine, but I still want to get them into the ground as soon as possible so that I need not move them around. We will probably give a few a way because they are not compatible with the style of the landscapes here. I moved the parent two years ago, and the pups just keep coming up where the parent was.

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      2. Except for a few warm coastal gardens, Agave americana is not reliably hardy here so has to be pot grown and lugged in and out of a greenhouse for winter. It’s funny the things you’ll do for love but wouldn’t do for money.

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  7. The erythronium caught my eye too. I did order some a few years ago and potted them up and left them outside. The squirrels , or at least I think it was them, went through the pots and ate the lot. But I’ve also got some yellow ones that went straight in the ground and weren’t eaten. Hoping they will be in flower soon.

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      1. I keep getting reminded that I had another Erythronium, similar to Pagoda but better, that had seedlings of Geranium palmatum growing on top of it. By the morning I will have forgotten again, must write a note.

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  8. My goodness, Sue’s cactus house . . . that’s an enormous collection & they all look so different, so healthy, so deadly! Hopefully you both partook of some wonderful morsel or beverage w/lots of self congrats included. Your erythronium are spectacular & I really, really love that particular shade of yellow in your wee anemones.

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  9. That’s a seriously impressive collection of cacti and succulents! The Erythronium is very lovely and graceful, but I particularly like the pretty little yellow blooms of Anemone ‘Pallida’.

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