Six on Saturday – 25/4/2020

Somehow gardening has become a full time job and I can’t imagine how I ever had time for anything else. I seem to spend about 75% of my time at home in the garden, 25% on my allotment. Two or three times a week Sue will be up for a walk and we’ll amble around the lanes for an hour or two. Things could be a great deal worse.

The weather is amazing, too amazing really, there will be a price exacted, but the garden is full of things doing their thing. I’ll try to do another video of it all next week but for now it’s about picking just six things that grabbed my attention.

One.
Holboellia brachyandra growing over Camellia ‘Nightrider’. There will need to be some hardening of the heart when the Holboellia finishes flowering because it will smother the camellia if not chopped back. For now I am enjoying the combination hugely.

Two.
Polygonatum x hybridum ‘Betberg’. This seems to have settled in well and is spreading moderately. In past years it hasn’t been ravaged by sawfly to anything like the degree of the green one beside it, but I still watch it like a hawk. It starts out this colour then turns green after a few weeks. It’s quite tall, around 75cm.

Three.
Sweet Gum and Pines has included some of the American deciduous Rhododendrons in his posts and it may be that the parent of this has been among them. I still have a small bush of the parent plant but it isn’t out yet. This is one of two seedlings I managed to raise from it. It was open pollinated but there were no other Rhododendrons anywhere near so it’s something of a mystery why it’s so different from its parent, which, if it is a species, I’d have expected to come fairly true if grown in isolation. Shows how little I know. It doesn’t have as good a scent as its parent but it’s still pretty darned good.
SOS1495

Four.
Osteospermum summitorother. Right outside the front door is a patch of Osteopsermum which has been bright to the point of dazzling for a couple of weeks now. It has a tendency to trample on its neighbours but is easily beaten back if necessary. We take cuttings and start afresh every couple of years.
SOS1496

Five.
Aquilegia. A couple of years back I grew some of these from seed. McKanna hybrids or some such. Snazzy colours, thought it’d give the rather limited palette we had a bit of a lift. I dotted twenty odd small plants around the place. If any of them made it to flowering size they were the same colours we already had, I’ve seen nothing different. I suspect they came to nought. Good thing I like the plainer blues and purples just fine. One day I’ll try again.
SOS1498

Six.
Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilafee’ and Disporum sessile ‘Variegatum’. My worst habit when traipsing round the garden with my camera is to get into record mode. I’m so concerned with getting an accurate and informative picture of the subject that I don’t consider how well it works as a picture. More often than not, if it works as a picture it’s just blind luck and a bit of Photoshopping. This time, for a change, I went out at ten to seven in the morning when the light was still interesting, got down really low and used a wide aperture to give shallow depth of field, choosing a position where both subjects were in focus. It’s funny how a picture that contains less information about the subject can nevertheless tell you more about it.
I think my new career as a photographer is still at an early stage.
SOS1497

And that’s all I’m allowed. On the cutting room floor is footage of lily of the valley, a couple of rhododendrons, another Solomon’s seal, Maianthemum, blue Libertia, Asphodelus and Podophyllum. Will they still be strutting their stuff in a week, will there be new things vying for attention?

There’ll be a cornucopia of goodies vying for attention over at The Propagator’s link hub. Just have to go and move out the Dahlia seedlings and other daily in/out hardening off subjects. See you next week, have a good’n.

 

36 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 25/4/2020

  1. Wonderful to be out in the garden so much although here it has been too hot for gardening in the middle of the day which is unbelievable for April. Lovely colours on your Osteospermum and Aquilegias!

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    1. The secret is not to take pictures of the ones with greenfly. When I see them I squash them. I’ve seen plenty of Aphidius already this year, it soon gets on top of them on most things.

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      1. I had to look up Aphidius. At first I thought it was a catch all phrase for all the aphids. I shall add this parasitic wasp to my insect safari watch list.. Thanks for this Jim.

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  2. You have reminded me, Grannysgardenhimindoors likes dahlias and I haven’t bought any yet. I think it is a little late for seeds so I will look for some young plants. Your Number 1 is a lovely mixture. I’m hoping to include some aquilegias next week.

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  3. I was talking to Gill about her osteospermums and yours are superb too!
    It must be said that the very nice weather that we have at the moment favors the beautiful photos and the flowers are even prettier

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  4. Well, I like the blue aquilegia. Mine all seem to be muddy mauve, but I’m happy for them to spread around too.

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  5. The Holboellia/Camellia combination looks great. I tried growing a packet of what I thought was a more colourful aquilegia last year. One of the plants has just flowered and it too is purple. A very nice purple, but certainly not like the one pictured on the packet.

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  6. Contrast your soft lighted photographs with the wild glare of mine this week! Holboellia is just such a brilliant climber. I had one on the back fence of my little London garden and I loved the evergreen weird shaped leaves and the amazing scent. Your combo with the Camellia does indeed look stunning.

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    1. I just went looking for the link to your post on your comment to the Prop and there isn’t one. Had to go back a week. I see what you mean about the photos, I don’t like harsh light like that much and nor does my camera, even with the contrast dialled way back. The Holboellia relative Stauntonia seems to have vanished from nurseries, when it’s offered it’s invariably Holboellia.

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  7. I agree with you about the lovely combination of Camelia and Holboellia. It is stunning! Out with Dr Google to look up Holboellia, as I don’t know it at all, but thanks to you it’s now on my radar. The Osteospermum is outstanding, almost blinding with its intense colour. Wonderful!

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  8. Is that rhododendron a hybrid of Western azalea? (I suppose I should know since I worked – and will eventually work again – for THE rhododendron authority of California.) The species grow wild in a few spots here, mostly near the tops of creeks. They do not venture into drier spots away from the creeks or higher above the canyons much. Nor do they venture much out into the floodplains where they must compete with other vegetation. It is much more common farther North, and is the state flower of Washington. Rhody knows he is in trouble when I address him sternly as ‘Rhododendron Occidentale Tomeo!’; but because he is a terrier, he does not care.

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    1. I got my original plant of this from a nursery customer who was sure of the name but the name they were sure of doesn’t exist. I’ve tried since to pin down what it is but it’s quite likely a seedling raised on a nursery in the UK which would mean it was almost certainly hybrid, whatever it was sold as.

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      1. Well, the hybrids are generally a bit better to garden situation that the straight species anyway. I know that rhododendron enthusiasts really like the straight species, but it gets a bit large and sparse. (They are variable of course, so some are fluffier and better foliated.)

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  9. #6 is a smashing photo. All your choices are looking healthy & vibrant. The camellia smotherer interested me the most, however. Do you cut it down for it to grow back next year, or is it curtains? Certainly a perfect combo. I love how the smotherer flowers dangle. O, if only they’d get along!

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    1. They’re getting along tolerably well but I think the climber will win out in the end if I let it. I’ll probably just cut off all the growth on top of the camellia and let it grow back for a couple of seasons before repeating.

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  10. The Rhododendron is lovely anyway even if not what you were expecting. I like the plainer aquilegias too. I have a few of the fancier ones (mail order freebie) but they aren’t as elegant.

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    1. I suppose when I sowed the rhododendron seed I thought I’d get something very similar to the parent. The deciduous Rhododendrons/Azaleas are notoriously difficult from cuttings so I was probably hoping for an easier propagation method. I was surprised by how different from the parent the two seedlings I raised were, in leaf and flower. I don’t know the provenance of the parent, it may be a genuine species raised from wild collected seed or more likely is a nursery raised seedling from garden collected seed. As you say, it’s lovely anyway.

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    1. The Osteopsermum does a big flush of flower at this time of year then maintains a bit of a display until autumn. This last winter it had the odd sorry looking flower through most of the winter but nothing you could remotely call a display.

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  11. all lovely but like you I think that first combo is a winner. I got my delivery from treseder at the weekend, well packaged and good plants, excellent value for the size and condition, I thought. I keep meaning to get some osteo, never remember to buy.

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    1. The six on Saturday thing really brings home how much more is going on in the growing season than in the depths of winter, unless you live in Florida or Australia perhaps.

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