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.