Six on Saturday – 9/5/2020

It started with the Thursday night clap. Most of our neighbours were in on that from about week two. Then one of my sisters set up a get together on Facebook messenger and that has become a Friday morning ritual. Then one of our neighbours suggested we have a bit of a socially distanced street party on friday so out we all went at 3pm, mostly wishing it would rain, but actually it went pretty well and half of them stayed out till who knows when. Bunting and all let me tell you. This is so not me that I feel like a Martian in my own street. Quaffing was no small part of it, and helped.

It disturbs my carefully laid plans, though the rain we woke to yesterday had a part to play. I didn’t get my peas and lettuce planted. I write myself lists of things to do because my brain is shot and I’d forget otherwise and I’m not halfway through the list I wrote for Thursday.

It was somewhat reassuring to see that the Propmeister was equally discombobulated this morning, confirmation we’re all in this together, or apart. Right, to business:

One.
Geranium nodosum. I planted out three plants of Geranium nodosum that have been under my feet in the tunnel since last year. I wish I knew their story; I want to think I grew them from seed that I liberated from a well known North Devon garden but they may have been given me by someone. A couple of them have now flowered and they are not wishy washy lilac-pink like the weedy ones I have seeding all over the place but a rich velvety dark purple. The flowers are small and borne one at a time but I see them as a big step in the right direction.
SOS1519

Two.
I love growing things from seed and had two pleasant surprises this morning with new things that had germinated since yesterday. I’ll save them for a different blog but one of the joys of seed raised plants is that you never know what you’re going to get. For years I had Papaver atlanticum self sowing moderately in the garden. Single orange poppies above attractive glaucous foliage. Last year one of them flowered semi-double. They’re short lived but it has survived to flower again this year and I’m hoping it will seed about too. From what I read online, collecting the seed and sowing it would be likely to fail. I may try anyway.
SOS1520

Three.
I have an ongoing love affair with ferns and seldom manage to resist anything I haven’t got when visiting nurseries, in person or online. This is Blechnum penna-marina, low and spreading; a little invasive in truth, but forgiven all its faults when it does this.

Four.
Maianthemum racemosum subsp. amplexicaule ‘Emily Moody’. According to Dan Hinkley the western (North American) form of Maianthemum racemosum is a tetraploid while the eastern form is diploid. American botanical sites are giving it subspecies status as amplexicaule without any reference to ploidy, the eastern form being M. racemosum subsp. racemosum. I have three forms of M. racemosum and this is the best. Just shy of four feet tall, imparting a strong lily of the valley fragrance, mostly untroubled by slugs, not much troubled by sawfly; cracking plant.

Four.
Maianthemum bifolium. Still in the shade and another Maianthemum, this is of diminutive stature compared to the last, at least in the vertical direction. I’ve had it a few years and there are signs this year that it has decided to spread itself out a bit, in that shoots are appearing in a yard wide circle all around the original clump. I can accommodate that but not if it wants to spread that much every year. I need to get down to it to see if it has fragrance.
SOS1525

Five.
This pair threw me somewhat. I thought I had one plant that kept moving about and popping up feet away from where it was the year before. Seems I have two different plants that keep moving about and popping up feet away from where they were the year before. In leaf they are very similar, I don’t think they’ve both flowered together before.
The one on the left is Disporum sessile ‘Variegatum’, the other Polygonatum x hybridum ‘Striatum’. Both around 15 inches tall, both popping up in random, well spaced fashion.

Six.
Camellia ‘Sweet Emily Kate’. One of the numerous Camellias I have growing in pots mainly because I don’t have space for them in the garden. This is a lutchuensis hybrid so should be scented, though I couldn’t get any yesterday. What sets it apart though is that it is growing barely six inches high and is around 30 inches across, so in the right place it might grow as ground cover or even perhaps weep over a wall. The flowers are small, 6-7cm across so just outside miniature category.
SOS1528

The bunting is still flying outside the window here, which I find slightly unsettling, like I’ve been drawn into one of those time-shift TV shows where I’m not sure when and where I am or whether the players are real or holograms. A stint on the allotment is needed to bring me down to earth. I’m not sure Bozzer will be giving the green light to street parties tomorrow and for once I agree with him.

Have a good week.

35 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 9/5/2020

  1. Lots of lovely shade lovers! We grew Papaver atlanticum ‘Flore Pleno’ at Cliffe, or rather it grew itself, and was a great favourite. This year I have sown some P. atlanticum and hope I get a double or two. Love orange. Although to be honest there aren’t many colours I don’t like in the right place, or wrong place even! North Devon garden? Now I wonder? By the way I’m off to Marwood next week, shall I give your regards to Malcolm? 😉

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  2. Ooh, I had no idea that Maianthemum racemosum is fragrant. That certainly moves it higher on the “to buy” list. It ought to be a common wildflower around here, but I always seem to find Polygonatum biflorum instead.

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  3. Your plants always look so healthy! I am going for a driveway cookout today! Of course, we are still distancing! I can’t wait to get back out and do something different! Although I don’t know what that would be really! My favorite today is # 5!

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  4. You have a wonderful selection of plants but my favourite has to be the Camelia 🙂 BTW, I’d give anything for a social distancing street party. My neighbours out the back never seem to speak to each other yet alone anyone else and the one time I tried to speak to the guy about his veg and I got barely a grunt. I commented on the size of his lemons and mentioned it was a shame they were all left to rot on the tree … hint hint … another grunt grunt. Miserable toad I thought. WE have no other neighbours to speak of … You have a good community spirit in the UK 🙂 (Bha humbug)

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    1. It’s well and good having street parties but there are people in our close who will be back at work this week, in Plymouth probably, at significant risk of picking up infection. Then there are the old ladies, in their eighties and nineties, living alone all but sealed up in their houses and desperate for a bit of company and a chat, and I’d like to see a bit more care taken around them than seems currently to be the case.

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  5. Lovely geranium! I have a lot of the pink oxonianum variety that seem to love to self-seed around the place. They do flower for a long time unlike the blues I have, but they also take up a lot of space!

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      1. You are not wrong about the leaves! I might leave the ones in my woodland border as it is very shady there and they do at least prevent other invasive weeds from growing, but the ones in the gravel garden could possibly come out. I’ll give them a couple of weeks of flowering first though.

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  6. A lovely six. I particularly love the Disporum sessile. The orange poppy comes up everywhere in my garden, you don’t need to collect seeds it becomes a bit of a weed. I am confused now because I always thought it was Papaver rupifragum ‘Flore Pleno’. Has it changed its name or is is this something different?

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    1. Seems like it’s Papaver rupifragum var. atlanticum, so we’re both right, which is a good result. It seeds around a bit for me but only enough to hold its own, I remove a few seedlings but not very many. I have Disporum sessile macrophyllum too, which is unvariegated and for a long time stayed as a tidy clump, then two hot years got it on the march.

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  7. What is ‘clap’. (I know it is not what it sounds like.)
    Maianthemum is so notably more popular outside of the native range that I am getting to wonder what I have been missing. I would not mind them if they stayed out in the forest; but they have an odd habit of getting in the way.

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    1. Some bright spark started a thing where everyone goes to their windows or front doors at 8pm on a thursday and applauds for health service workers. It sticks in my throat somewhat that a lot of the people clapping will have voted for the party that has been starving the health service of funds for the last decade and when I see pictures of tory politicians applauding I wonder how cynical some people can be. Oops, went off on one there somewhat. Regarding Maianthemum, I think it seems to be hard wired into most people to get more exited about the new and unfamiliar than about the very familiar. I’d like to think I’m not so shallow but I know I am.

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      1. Oh, that! Some people here howl with the coyotes at 8:00, but not just on Thursdays. It is annoying.
        I still do not get the allure of Maianthemum. I doubt that I would be impressed by it if it were not so common. It looks nice in other people’s gardens, but I would not like how it dies back after only a short while.

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      2. I don’t know that Maianthemum dies back especially early here but where things do I try to have something else to fill the space, Roscoeas or Cyclamen perhaps. I might try howling this Thursday, would liven things up.

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  8. Both the geranium & poppy are magnificent in their colour intensity. Emily Moody intrigues me for all her virtues you’ve listed, but I’m finding very little online – is she not common in UK gardens?

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    1. I’ve never come across it in a garden or for sale. Mine has spread painfully slowly, I’ve only ever done one division to give to someone. There may be a technique for propagating it more quickly but I don’t know of one. I collected seed from mine last year and have one tiny seedling but it’ll be years before I even find out if it’s come true to type.

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  9. Luckily no street parties here!! I do love your photo of the poppy! I can understand why you love ferns, and the Blechnum you feature has the most amazing leaf colours. I’m guessing it’s one of the low growing ferns? It looks like it clumps very nicely. The Camelia is a lovely rich pink.

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    1. The fern is low growing but quite a fast spreader. I saw a fern in Mount Mee forest with lovely red new growth and found a source here for what I thought it was, but what I was supplied wasn’t what I’d seen. Australia has many fabulous ferns, mostly not hardy or obtainable over here.

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      1. I’m gradually learning more about the native plants here and I’m sure my garden will gradually incorporate more natives. Interesting about the Mount Mee fern, which will be more sub-tropical. I will see if I can find it in one of my Australian books and se if I can find it.

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      2. I think what I was seeing was Adaiantum hispidulum, so I bought Adiantum hispidulum ‘Bronze Venus’ expecting it to be a good form but I’m sceptical that it’s even A. hispidulum. The Queensland Government has some very helpful stuff online, I eventually managed to put names to a couple of orchids I saw on Mount Mee. https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/facts-maps/wildlife/?AreaID=national-park-daguilar&Kingdom=plants&SpeciesFilter=Native

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      3. Thanks very much indeed for the link. I’d love to learn more about native flora, and I think this website will be useful. We discovered a wetlands at Bli Bli, where winter walks are recommended, so an outing there is on the cards once the crowds are back at work.

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      4. Walking round the swamp in the middle of Bribie Island has cured me of wanting to see any more wet bits of Australia. I must have been bitten a million times. Winter is probably safer.

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  10. on our street it looked like people had temporarily taken leave of their senses, there looked to be far too much inter-household driveway mingling. we stayed well clear, and anyway it was my daughter’s birthday so that kept us occupied.

    that fern is lovely. will look out for it.

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