Six on Saturday – 23/5/2020

Looks like WordPress are pretty much forcing everyone to use the block editor from June. Groan! Better get this six done and start on next weeks right away, see if I can cope with the change.

Blustery and not especially warm here, not great for gardening in that the wind takes the pleasure out of being outdoors. We had a bit of overnight rain both Wednesday and Thursday nights but could have done with a good deal more, so nothing new there. I got a small delivery of plants by mail order on Tuesday and did a first tentative garden centre visit on Monday to buy more compost. Baby steps towards normality.

One.
Allium cristophii. This is the only ornamental onion I have in the garden and the small clump seems to be very slowly increasing. I may well buy a few bulbs later and expand it the quick way.
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Two.
Foxgloves. Wild foxgloves self sow prolifically and some are allowed to remain and flower. We seem to have a lot this year, there must have been more than usual in places they could be left without consequences. I also grew some from seed last year, under the name ‘Elsey Kelsey’, but the same as ‘Pam’s Choice‘ I think. I kept them in small pots too long, waiting for space to plant them to appear. A few have done quite well, most are runty. they can add their seed to the mix for next year.

Three.
Geranium palmatum. This is another self sower and in fact at the moment it’s the self seeded foxgloves, geraniums and aquilegias that are providing most of the colour in the garden. When they’re finished there’ll be space for something else, though I’m not sure what that’ll be. Hopefully we wont find too many dead things underneath their massive foliar umbrellas.
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Four.
Adiantum aleuticum ‘Imbricatum’. This was pitched abruptly from shade to full sun when I took a tree down last year. It was marked down for moving, which eventually happened a few weeks ago as it started into growth. As well as being back in semi-shade, it’s not buried in the middle of other plants and is much better displayed. It doesn’t seem to have noticed the move and is looking the best it ever has. I am amazed at how tough Adiantums are; they look so fragile yet they are nothing of the sort.
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Five.
Ixia ‘Venus’. I planted a patch of these below our Taxus ‘Standishii’ when it was very much smaller than it is now. They’re on the south side so they get plenty of sun but the ground must be parched almost all year. Every year they come up and fall flat on their faces. My attempts to support them always seem to result in a cramped and unnatural look which I don’t like. One day I’ll get it right. I bought some yellow ones, ‘Yellow Emperor’?, which after about three seasons seem to have settled in and are in bud. They flop too.
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Six.
Alstroemeria ‘Rock and Roll’. Did I mention I’d bought some plants by mail order. Last year, bowled over as always by the peerless performance of my Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’, I started wondering about getting another one or two. Bob Brown, of Cotswold Garden Flowers, is a man whose judgment I have a measure of respect for, at least as far as plants are concerned and on his website he has an Encyclopedia of plants which I have often referred to. He has a ranking system, 1 to 10. Not many things are awarded a 10. He’s recently updated the appearance of the Encyclopaedia and has dropped his rankings from it, but when I received my order from him, there was a catalogue enclosed and they are still in there. As I recall, there were only two Alstroemerias which had received his highest accolade, ‘Indian Summer’ and ‘Rock and Roll’. I now have a plant of Alstroemeria ‘Rock and Roll’ and have two regrets. Why did I only get one? and why have I gone so many years without having it? You might just be seeing this again.
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The forecast is for it to be windy all day so maybe I won’t go up the allotment, tomorrow will be soon enough. There was even a ten drops rain shower first thing and I’d be very happy to get a lot more. Not gonna happen. A day for pottering about, like all the other days. The new normal is disturbingly similar to the old normal. The boss has posted his six, that’s been a part of normal for a long time. Publishing this from my iPad because I can’t be bothered to get out of bed, that’s new.

 

40 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 23/5/2020

  1. A great six. Tricky picking a favourite but the Alstroemeria ‘Rock and Roll’ is a stunner. I’ve got used to block editor now – though I was very reluctant to switch initially. I think 10 spots of rain have just started falling here in Somerset. They’re not going to fill up the water butts.

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  2. Yes, I groaned at WordPress but now find I enjoy the block editor, although I find some of the picture galleries frustrating. It doesn’t take long to learn the ‘how to do’. Love your plants this week!

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  3. That alstroemeria is stunning – I look forward to seeing it again. The Ixia is a beautiful, bright pink. I don’t like to tie my plants but needs must, especially with peonies and, this year, the fig tree which seems to spread outwards rather than grow upwards and keeps getting knocked as I walk past it. I hope your plants survive today’s battering.

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  4. The photo of your Alium Christopher highlights the spherical shape even when you have done a close-up. Nice choice of foxgloves, and I’m waiting too for my ixias right now. The buds are not yet open but I won’t wait too long

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  5. I got caught out by WordPress this morning. Took me a minute work out how to finish off my blog, but not done one from scratch yet. Sure there will be cursing involved. Nice ixia, I’d forgotten about them. Your digitalis rogues gallery is wonderful.

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    1. WordPress were inviting me to give their new editor a trial run. Like I’d fall for that old trick! (rolls eyes) The Ixias tick two of the high ranking boxes on my plant checklist; they’re still around after several years and they’re growing where not much else would. And they look good, three boxes.

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      1. Not sure which editor you use, but the original classic will still be available under Admin. That’s what I have always used. Woe betide WP if they ever take that one away.

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  6. Adiantum is looking marvellous. As for Cotswold Garden Flowers…my idea of heaven. I just happen to live too far away now to use it as my therapy outing.

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    1. Real therapy outings are way better than virtual ones. It’s a good thing I’m nowhere near CGF’s, I think Fibrex are close to them too if memory serves. That’s retail therapy with the “no such thing as too many plants” devil on one shoulder and the “where the *!$# are you going to put that” devil on the other.

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  7. I have Yellow Emperor ixia blooming, and am trying to hold it up! A white one refused to open. My magenta ixia opened long ago. I guess their floppiness is why they can be called wand flowers, although wands are rigid! Lovely pink colors in your garden today. The Alstroemeria is almost too much. What to look at, that foliage or the flowers?

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    1. Glad I’m not the only one with floppy Ixias, I must look out for a suitable support system. I think I can get away with one supremely vulgar over the top plant like the Alstroemeria, in the right place. The trick will be to stay in the almost too much zone and not cross into the too much zone. That’s the theory.

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  8. Your fern is looking glorious! Ferns are underrated I think. Maybe I need to look for that one. Allium cristophii is a lovely one, I am happy some of mine from last year have returned. Some of the others are giants though! Almost as tall as me! And I am impressed that they hardly move in this wind. What I don’t like about them is all the messy foliage which the snails seem to like to hide in. I am closing my eyes at that alstroemeria – you have tempted me enough today.

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    1. I love ferns, I have loads of them. Unfortunately the range on offer in most garden centres and nurseries is pretty limited and rather samey, which is a pity, there are so many distinctive ones to be had if you go hunting.

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  9. You have a wonderful crop of foxgloves. I have been wondering if I really want to go for a walk today, with the wind swirling around so much. It isn’t going to be a day for taking photos. We will still be able to use the classic editor, (wp-admin) which provides some backup.

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    1. Foxgloves seem to fill a niche in my garden between the spring bulbs and shrubs and the summer perennials and hydrangeas, so I value them. I just wish they didn’t have such a big clump of slug concealing leaves for so long before flowering. The wind has made a warmish day feel cold, better tomorrow hopefully.

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  10. I love the closeup of the allium even more than a distant shot. Those little florets are really fascinating. I bought a christophii, which was rather expensive and I was disappointed that it didn’t grow at all. Not a tiny shoot. The fern is impressive too- obviously loves its position despite having more sun. Perhaps that’s why.

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    1. It’s nice to try to get a fresh angle on a familiar plant; I say try, there are so many pictures taken these days it’s almost impossible to do anything original. Shame your cristophii did nothing, you’re left not knowing whether you did something wrong or the bulb was dead/disesed and you should have asked for a refund. Of course, plenty of people ask for refunds knowing full well it was their fault the plant died.

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  11. I had foxgloves for the first time last year and was very impressed by their showiness. I completely forgot to put more in this year, but then again I will probably run out of space for annuals as I want to plant out as many Calendulas as possible as I use the flowers to make Calendula oil. I will just have to plan a little better for next year’s spring show. The Alstromeria is really stunning with its foliage which shows off the gorgeous flowers!

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    1. I tried to grow Digitalis obscura last year; they germinated very late, then died in the winter. I think they come from somewhere hot and dry so would likely have not lasted long in the garden if I’d got them to planting size. Our native foxgloves can be very invasive if conditions suit; pretty though.

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  12. I’ve also added ‘Rock and Roll’ to my alstro collection this year though as young plants that won’t be flowering until next year. The foliage is really interesting. Another first is the arrival of wild foxgloves. I know of none growing in the wild locally so where they’ve come from is a mystery, particularly as there are about a dozen of them (left after I dug up another dozen or so as there were too many). Like you, I’ve avoided the new block editor until now but the latest incarnation is way better than the first. If you self-host, as I do, I think the classic editor plugin will remain available so if you can’t get the hang of blocks then that may offer a way out. My comeback post this week was made using the block thing and after a couple of small misfires I found it rather easy.

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    1. An Alstro collection sounds interesting, any other recommended varieties? Sounds like I need to get to grips with the block editor and stop complaining and procrastinating.

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      1. Don’t start me😁!? I’ve done a few posts in my former SoS incarnation and I could go on way too much for a comment. Bear with me for a few weeks and I’ll do a more than six post. I’ve got something like 20 here.

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      2. I’ve just used your search box and gone through the posts mentioning Alstroemeria. I would have got ‘Rock and Roll from Viv Marsh except he didn’t have it on his current list, which would have no doubt meant getting a couple more to make it worth while doing the order. I’m attracted by the notion that they would get going earlier than Dahlias but in the same broad colour range.

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  13. Still windy and dry with us today too and we’ve only had one decent day of rain since lockdown began. So much of my ‘extra’ time in the garden is spent watering. Hope the wind has dropped where you are. Lovely and envy inducing range of plants you’ve posted about. That fern looks so lush. I’m with you on the foxglove, aquilegia and geranium mix looking great for early June, but there is always some poor rose that ends swamped.

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    1. The wind dropped here and I’ve been doing catch up watering, especially on the allotment. Don’t think potato blight will be a problem this year. I don’t get swamped roses because we only have one and that’s in a pot, but there will be other casualties under the geraniums in particular. There will also be space when they’re finished, which is always something to get exited about in this garden.

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  14. There are ixia at work. I had heard of them, but had never worked with them before. We were supposed to relocate them this year, but with all the time off and catching up, we will not get to it. They are an odd sort. The colors are great, but they do not stand up.

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  15. I just love the adiantum,what a great shape. And every else too. The wind on Saturday was terrible here and the garden is so very dry. I am trying to keep those onions watered along with everything else. Of course now there’s talk of hose pipe bans. You are a fount on knowledge on all things – I hope I don’t have to change my WordPress technique!

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    1. The Adiantum is a terrific plant, I’d recommend it unreservedly, subject to the caveat that I live in Cornwall and most other people don’t. The WordPress changes will be OK, I just begrudge the time it takes to learn how to do pretty much the same thing but with a new method. I’m not wanting a lot of new functionality for a pretty basic blog, even assuming it’s available without paying more for it.

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