Six on Saturday – 18/4/2020

We actually had a bit of rain yesterday, sorely needed but nowhere near enough. Still, every little helps. I torture myself by looking all too frequently at the Met Office radar; it’s amazing how much rain just misses us. I’ve been up my allotment most days this week, almost on top of the weeds that took hold over the long forgotten wet winter. There were a few plots available but they’ve all been snapped up now. I wonder how many will still be there in a years time.

In the garden it seems like the June gap could be over by the end of May. It’s been a very good year for spring flowers but I don’t seem to have much coming along behind. It’s a gap that often gets filled by self sown Aquilegias, foxgloves and Geranium palmatum; all of which may yet deliver. No shortage of choice just now though.

Tropaeolum tricolor. I bought three corms of this last year, potted them in a large terracotta pot, constructed a frame out of thin bamboo side shoots and voila! I included it in a six a month ago and it has only got better since. You may see it again yet. There was supposed to be a flower show and competition at RHS Rosemoor next weekend; I’d have been judging camellias so couldn’t enter any, but this baby might have been eligible for something. There’s always next year and I need to get my coverage better, it needs to be good from all angles.

Clivia miniata. A yellow one. James Treseder had them at his nursery sometime last year and I’d long wanted one. He grows them from seed so they’re slightly varied and they mostly weren’t in flower so I just took pot luck. Me and the Pukeko are very happy with how it turned out. I think I’m getting a slight scent but I’m olfactorily challenged so I may have imagined it.

Salvia gesneriiflora. Big shout out to the lovely Offtheedge Gill for this one. I have nurtured three through the winter and they’re now flowering, which even by the standards of Salvias is either extremely late or extremely early. One will stay out next winter, I reckon there’s a chance it will come through. What does it do now? flower all summer? Flower and give up? It’s a fabulous colour, it can do what it likes and I’ll still love it.SOS1484

Hosta ‘Raspberry Sundae’. I bought these from James Treseder too. I should put a link in for his nursery. I hope he’s still around when all this is over, it’d be a tragedy if he went down. Actually, he does mail order so perhaps that’s still going. Fabulous range of ferns incidentally. Anyhow, I bought these hostas and last year the slugs dined out on them. Not this year, they’re looking good.

Apple blossom. My apple trees are flowering, my pruning hasn’t been a complete disaster. Apple blossom is so pretty, that thing of white flowers opening from pink or red buds just seems so right and perfect. If I were a bee it’s what I’d get off on. Perhaps I am a bee. People have said something similar. Most of this is ‘Holstein’ but there are several varieties on the tree.

One of my better liked self sowers is Lamium orvala. We used to have both purple and white forms but the white seems to be on furlough. I like a plant that seeds around enough that you’re not going to lose it but doesn’t want to take over the whole garden. Or in the case of welsh poppy, the world.

I need to pump a bit of water around, make space for the next shower. My water harvesting system is still awkward, improving it could be project of the day. Plan my next video, now there’s a good game for filling endless hours. The Prop has posted, the links are rolling in, time will be spent perusing sixes. Have a good week.



34 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 18/4/2020

  1. Glad the salvia is doing its thing for you, it is a beauty. It will stop flowering, although not growing! I have got some just germinated seedlings of the I. tricolor, a long way to go to match yours. Love that lamium. I’ve taken some cuttings of the Impatiens arguta ‘Alba’, if they succeed would you like one?


  2. Wonderful and inspiring six – I’m sure you are right about the tropaeolum. It would have won a prize. Always been a fan of Lamium orvala, so nice to see it featured amongst more exotic friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The pot is 22.5cm wide. I just keep winding it round and tucking it in; who knows how long the shoots actually are? I’m not sure how long it will keep going, at some point it will die down and go dormant, by mid summer maybe, but this is the first time I’ve grown it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know about your being a bee, but the Tropaeolum flowers look like a shoal of little fish – I’d say basking sharks, but they’re too cheery for that. If you’d have been able to exhibit, you could have no doubt got the coverage more to your liking – it looks very good to me! My dad grew Welsh poppies that made their way up and down the terrace, in and just out of the gardens. I love the apple blossom too.


    1. The nice thing about flower show competitions is that the competitive element is harnessed to simply try to show a plant or flower or garden at its very best. Winning prizes is great but like they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery so if you can persuade other people to have a go at growing something by showing it, that’s job done.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the plants you have where there is plenty of greenery with the blooms. I haven’t finished the video from the other day but, again it is a quiet tour around your garden. Most enjoyable.


    1. I especially value the things that produce lots of foliage early in the year, gets the bareness covered up. I have a lot of ferns and grasses where it’s all greenery and no blooms to speak of and so long as there’s variety of colour and texture I think you don’t miss the flowers at all.


  5. Yellow clivia were such a fad years ago that orange clivia are now uncommon. Ironically, those who acquired the yellow ones brag about how rare they are, even while they became quite common. I still prefer the reddish orange ones. White got my attention, but of course, it is not really white.
    Does that nasturtium die back to the ground in autumn? It looks so much like the Bolivian nasturtium that I wanted to try, but never did.


    1. Yellow Clivia was a fad here too but they were so expensive they never really took off. I remember the original red Clivia having a good scent but the “improved” form that was usually offered had none. My sense of smell is not good, I probably couldn’t smell it any more. I’m assuming the Nasturtium will die back quite soon, it’s supposed to be summer dormant.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, summer dormant!
        My common nasturtiums are around all year. Those that like to grow through the cool and rain weather of winter get roasted in the dry warmth of summer, but not before replaced by those that like the warmth of summer . . . but then die back when autumn weather gets too cool.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I always love visiting your garden as you present so many unusual plants. And the Pukeko is a lovely addition! I must get back to your woodland video too, I got about half way and then had to go and cook dinner! I love Susan’s description of the shoal of fish! They really do look like they belong in a tropical fishtank.


    1. I’ve just been playing with animating still photos on my video editor, perhaps I could get the fish moving! As I recall, the Pukeko came from a lovely little shop in Napier. So much nicer a name than swamp hen.


  7. The pot of tropaeolum looks fab. What a great way to use a climber. I like the photo of the apple blossom. It is so pretty that I’m tempted to plant some more apple trees just to look at it.
    The first time I saw Clivias was on a visit to South Africa where our guide made a comment about them being the sort of thing her dad grew. They seemed so very exotic looking to me. Your pale yellow one is very nice.


    1. You remind me that there was an apple in the orchard at Cotehele that was so outstandingly bright red I always meant to see if they’d let me have a scion just to grow as an ornamental. I think it was a bittersweet cider variety. Apples are ornamental in flower and in fruit, plus you get to eat the crop, plus you can train them any shape or size you want and keep them like that. Don’t know why more people don’t grow them.


  8. Tropaeolum is amazing. I’d be very proud of growing that prizes or not and I’m very fond of the clivia, it is a lovely yellow colour. Barely a drop of rain here so watering is a on the cards for next week. Sounds like you have plenty of projects on the go, looking forward to more videos.


  9. Tropaeolum tricolor is looking absolutely show bench worthy. It reminds me of tropical fish swimming around. I award you a ‘Certificate of Merit’ for this one Jim.


  10. We are needing some rain here too Jim. It’s not often I’m looking for rain in this part of the country – but our soil is like concrete at the moment, even though the hose has been out for some time now.

    The Clivia miniata is new to me – and I’m smitten by those beautiful flowers and that colour! It’s a beautiful plant.

    I adore Apple blossom, and your image is beautiful. My crab apple isn’t in flower yet, but since it was pruned a few years ago and the lower branches removed, it kind of looks like a lollipop. It’s now also too high for me to photograph close up – unless I use a ladder.


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