Six on Saturday -4/4/2020

I considered doing my six as a video this week but having done so for the RCM group on Thursday wasn’t ready to repeat the performance. Does anyone know a simple way to get video from an iPhone onto a Windows PC? I managed, but what a performance. (I tried again and succeeded, it doesn’t take much to make me happy)

I can’t say I’ve been massively busy in the garden this week; I’m fairly well on top of things and I’m eking it out a bit. My allotment is nearly clear of the winter weed build up, but I’ve only planted broad beans and spuds so far. April is the month when it all needs to happen though. So, moving on to what has taken my fancy this week, I offer you these:

Narcissus ‘Rapture’. Like the seemingly much more popular ‘Jetfire’, this is a cyclamineus type. I planted five last year, was impressed, ordered 25 for this year. Here they are, later than they should be, if other people’s pictures are anything to go by, but cheerful and floriferous. Only two of last years made it above ground at all, just a few streaky leaves and no flowers. Perhaps these will fare better, I live in hope.

Erythronium ‘Susannah’. This is a rather choice form that I paid a decent amount for some years ago, so when I saw that Geranium palmatum seedlings had grown up last year after it had gone dormant I went looking for its label to clear it some space. Found nothing. Sighed. I’ve looked again a couple of times, looking for an emerging shoot but it wasn’t until I looked at the Geranium, thinking I might include it in my six, that I spotted a flash of yellow among the leaves. You can see a leaf, just left of centre in the Geranium picture, the flower is there too, but harder to spot. Looking it up I learn that it’s a hybrid of E. tuolumnense and E. oreganum. Raised by the late John Valence of Sutton Valence in Kent and described by Rare Plants as the best yellow hybrid to date. I’m hanging my head in shame. If I remove the geranium now the Erythronium will collapse, but I will make very sure it’s clearly labelled.

Lunaria ‘Corfu Blue’. I got this as seed from Derry Watkins at Special Plants and she describes it as perennial. I haven’t found it much more perennial than ordinary Honesty and treat it as a biennial. It self sows prodigiously and gets thinned ruthlessly. Like foxgloves and Geranium palmatum it’s capacity to smother the competition is scary. When it flowers all is temporarily forgiven. I’m not sure why the rhubarb pot is there, there’s no rhubarb under it.

Double Primroses. Mostly from Barnhaven, bought after Caroline Stone, National Collection Holder, gave a talk to our garden club. Some named, some mixed seedlings.

Adiantum venustum. Hardy maidenhair fern. Not often offered by nurseries this is a very much tougher plant than its very delicate appearance suggests. Fully hardy, more or less evergreen, tolerant of dry or moist shade as well as partial shade. The new fronds come up through the old and are bronze coloured before turning fresh green. It’s spreading at an alarming rate, might need reigning in.

Pleione Tongariro Jackdaw. That this and the two others I have are still alive is some comfort to me. I am in awe of its extraordinary flowers and sumtuous colour. Last year it produced a seed pod which is currently discharging its contents all over the place. I must sow some, albeit with zero expectation of any success.

By no stretch of the imagination can that be thought of as just another week over. These are strange days. I’m glad to be fully immersed in a hobby that is unaffected by the lockdown, if I lived for football or loved dining out or any other gregarious activity I’d be climbing the walls by now. As it is I can immerse myself in the garden with no pressure to do anything else. Then, when the pressure gets too much, I can immerse myself in everyone else’s gardens, problems and escapes from problems, by reading all the SoS posts from all over. Links in the usual place.





30 thoughts on “Six on Saturday -4/4/2020

  1. I like the foliage of Erythronium as much as the flowers !
    For your video, export it by email from iphone, you get an avi file that you can add to your library and watch with WMP or VLC then share
    (PS :About flowers, the roscoea seedlings have finally started after 3 attempts! Impatiens have all grown up and I’m going soon to transplant them into the ground)


    1. I managed to transfer the files by plugging the ipad in to the computer then telling it to transfer things in File Explorer, it worked this time though I’m sure it didn’t the last time I tried. Good to hear about your progress with seeds etc. Dianthus Black and white are going, still waiting and hoping for the rest.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love all those Primroses!!! And, your photo of Erythronium ‘Susannah,’ – is the Erythrnium the plant with the wonderful cut-leaf foliage? Is that where the yellow flower comes from? I’m confused….or maybe just blind….


    1. The cut-leaf foliage is Geranium palmatum; in the middle is one leaf like a tulip leaf, that’s the Erythronium. It took me a long time to spot it even when I was walking past it several times a day.


  3. Wow those Double Primroses are so lovely, and so unmunched too! I’m glad that I am a simple soul who rarely goes out except the visits to NT gardens and occasionally the coast, so my life hasn’t had to change that much. Though I don’t know how long I can say that for! I’m eking out jobs too. So far the garden has been tidied and weeded. Nothing more to do until the forget-me-nots finish flowering and then removing and I might try sowing some veg in one of the beds. Just chard and spinach. And later when it is less windy I’ll have a go at tackling the rock wall in the car park area to remove all the hedge plants that love it there. A day at a time…


    1. A day at a time indeed, I just seem to be taking them as they come, no big plans. I want to work on doing videos and perhaps do some more macro photography. It’s an opportunity in a way, I don’t want it to end and find I’ve done nothing with the extra time at all. I was watering the primroses today, they’re already getting seriously dry.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was watering today too! Tulips wilting and a cowslip looking most unhappy! I want to do more macro photography and use a tripod (I don’t usually) but for that the wind has to drop!


  4. The yellow dog tooth’s flower is magnificent…I am sure you will have already diaried a move date for it to a safer place, or will it be a remove date for geraniums in due course? Keep safe and carry on gardening…


    1. Not sure what to do for the best with the Erythronium, it was planted in shade but I cut the tree down, it might be happier somewhere else. The Geraniums will die after flowering anyway. What I MUST do is label it.


  5. Maidenhair ferns are how we find spots that are damp enough for some of the exotic trees that do not want to be too dry through our long dry season. There happen to be a few damp spots in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where ground water comes close to the surface. At home, there was a cliff in the canyon of Zayante Creek that was covered with them . . . not that would have planted anything on a cliff.


    1. That is interesting. I was surprised to see Adiantum species growing in Australian forest, it was probably the same thing, moisture just below ground. It was strange to me to see rainforest cheek by jowl with xerophytic stuff out there, it’s much more uniform in the UK.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even in deserts and chaparrals, there are riparian habitats. In parts of the Mojave Desert, oasis develop where seismic processes block the flow of ground water, causing it to accumulate right below the seemingly dry surface. Because these oasis move very slowly with the seismic activity, the species that live there follow them, and sometimes get very isolated from the rest of their species. The desert fan palm lives in broadly dispersed colonies in such riparian oasis, perhaps hundreds of miles from others. Each colony is genetically distinct from the others.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I used to have Honesty but kept pulling it up thinking it was a weed. Its foliage is very similar to a weed I have. I watched your video from earlier in the week…..very colourful and done at a relaxing pace. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Susannah is really lovely. I’m so glad she fought back the geranium to surprise you. Her unexpected appearance also shows me that springs bulbs can battle back geranium, something I’d been wondering about this week. The double primroses are very pretty, but set against the familiar primrose leaves, I find the sight disconcerting. Perhaps I’ve been in lock down too long, as why should something unexpected but beautiful be disconcerting? Jackdaw, on the other hand, isn’t a bit unsettling. Not its name, its flower or its seed pod. I hope your efforts w/it are successful. What a delicate beauty it is.


    1. My expectation of the orchid seed is failure, which is not pessimism or false modesty, just that orchid seed is notoriously difficult to grow. So if I succeed, you’ll never hear the last of it. I cut a few geranium leaves away from Susannah, to find there are two flower stems with five flowers out, so it really hasn’t been bothered by being under the geranium and may even have been glad of the shade.


  8. hello Jim, i’m still fitting the garden in around work, but it is much easier without the 3hrs of travelling every day. I like those primroses, bit different to the usual fare.


    1. I’m fairly fully occupied with garden and allotment without having a real job to do, let alone a commute to get there. I need to stop sowing seeds though, just creating future problems. The double primroses are a bit less robust than the plain ones, though they seem to vary a lot. If I end up with 3 or 4 robust ones I’ll be content.


    1. Erythroniums are woodland plants, for light shade. I just looked them up on Rare Bulbs. DO NOT go to and scroll to the search box at the botteom and put in Erythronium. You will surely regret it. Put Hepatica in there, go on, I dare you! I’m currently planning my next video, a great game if you have hours to fill.

      Liked by 1 person

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