Six on Saturday – 30/5/2020

Seems like the less I have to do, the harder it gets to do it. In busier times I would have done my Saturday six on Friday so it was locked and loaded for launch. I started this yesterday, got as far as number four. Then this morning we popped out earlyish to get more compost from Bodmin garden centre and picked up a couple of Diascias and another Leptospermum because the one we have has been so good this year, see below. Then, since we were quite near, and it would have been stupid not to, we popped across to Lockengate and Treseder’s nursery. A bunch more plants just had to come home with us, needless to say. He had a sign up saying “by appointment” and a note below saying “very quiet, come in”. So we went in and he turned the second sign over. There was us and another couple; that seemingly made it busy.

The sun keeps on beating down, adding to the weirdness of life. I’m quite surprised how well the garden has stood it so far, though the stress is beginning to show here and there. All that work I did over the winter to increase my water storage and there’s nothing to store. I tried to order some irrigation parts on Wednesday only to find they’d had so many orders on Tuesday they’d suspended taking orders till the end of the week.

Sunny weather means more watering and less weeding. It has also meant getting on top of the untidy areas. I have washed a lot of pots this week. I desperately need to get up to our local tip with at least a car full of garden rubbish, and that’s just the stuff I can’t shred and/or compost.

The bright sunshine is pretty hopeless for taking photos, except in early evening, when it is beautiful. Every day I seem to grab the camera and take the same lot of backlit plants again. Let’s start with one of them.

Stipa gigantea. This loves this hot weather and is the best it’s been for years. From a photographic point of view it is best to catch it with the grass flowers catching the sun and the background in shade. Unfortunately, from ground level, the grass being tall, the background from almost every angle is of houses or equally well lit plants. I took this with the telephoto lens from upstairs in the house.

Did I mention that I’d been doing some pot washing. This was Tuesdays haul and the biggest of the week  but I think I’ve done at least some on every other day as well, at least as many again in total.

Leptospermum rupestre. I put this in my six just two weeks ago, when it was just getting started on its flower display. It peaked mid week and was alive with honey bees for about three days. There are fewer flowers now and far fewer bees, but some local beekeeper has at least partly manuka honey this year. The bees have moved onto the Campanula beside it.


I’m going to include at least one fern a week by way of giving them a plug. This is Araiostegia parvipinnata BSWJ1608 which was collected by Bleddyn Wynn Jones in some water drenched jungle canyon somewhere like Vietnam. When I had it in a pot the rhizomes crept over the edges of the pot and displayed their golden bristliness to great effect. Now that I have it in the ground the rhizomes are nowhere to be seen. It seems happy enough, has come through three winters unprotected so far and is spreading moderately, even in very dry conditions. It’s growing in dappled shade, which is good for the plant and hopeless for taking pictures. It is at least tripinnate, so fine and feathery. I’m sure it would be much happier in much moister conditions but that might not be a good thing, it’s plenty happy enough where it is. I’ve another bearing the name Araiostega pulchra HWJ1007 but it’s possibly identical.

This was this morning’s haul. Three Hostas, two Leptospermums (‘Nanum Kiwi’ and ‘Sprectro Bay’, in case you’re interested), Rogersia ‘Bronze Peacock’, two Salvias, a Cleome and three Diascias. There’ll be space for all of them just as soon as we’ve managed to kill something else.

Did I say something earlier about the early evening being the best time of day for the light here. Here’s a short clip that hopefully shows that off. It’s not really dusk, it’s earlier than that. Yoshikazu Iwamoto, Dusk; a fragment of, before you ask.


And so, with noon upon me, I finally get it done. It being my contribution to The Propagator’s Six on Saturday global phenomenon. There’s a bunch of us, you’d be very welcome to join in.

32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 30/5/2020

  1. Just seeing that leptospermum thronged with bees has made me want to get one. Just lovely. And I didn’t know they were the nectar behind manuka honey. I always buy local honey as it’s supposed to help with hayfever. I’m not sure it does help but I start craving it when hayhever strikes so there must be something in it.


  2. I’m going to be late to the party this week too. I usually have the blog post ready on a Friday, but yesterday ran away with me. Today I have been planting some herb plugs that arrived yesterday afternoon, it’s so hot in my garden I hope they don’t cook! They have had a good soak, but probably will need one later on this evening too. A leptospermum is very tempting…


  3. So. Many. Pots!!!!! I love that fern and thanks for the close up. Tripinnate is a new word for me and the photo provides a wonderful definition. I like to take my shots in the morning, when it’s light but before the sun hits anything. These days around 6 or 6:30.


  4. You really did go on a plant buying expedition. I say to my Gnome, i only want ONE plant and I come home with six.

    I enjoy your videos, Ji, You have a very well tended and pretty garden.


  5. So where do the pots end up once they have been washed, sorted, and stored? I too had a lovely little outing today to a Nursery right in the middle of the levels…


    1. I seem to use vast numbers of pots just for potting up seedlings and cuttings to grow on a bit. Not mention seed sowing on an epic scale. Nursery visits are going to be precious time not to be squandered for the foreseeable future.


  6. That final clip really got to me. What a fabulous garden – and your choice of Dusk’ was perfect. I had to laugh at your garden centre haul and the introductory story.

    You’re also quite right about the sun, and how harsh it is during the day. It’s the ‘Golden Hour’ where I am, right now and I should go out and try to capture some images. But other than watering, this is my garden day-off, so I’ll try tomorrow and hope that we have some of that lovely light that you’ve used for your Stipa gigantea.


  7. Perfect music for your last video. The garden is looking gorgeous, despite the dry weather. The tall spike in your ‘haul’ intrigued me, then I realised it’s the flower spike off the rodgersia! Wow, that’s ahead of mine & makes me so envious. Imagine finding one in that good shape at a nursery. That is one beautiful plant you found yourself there.


  8. I know exactly what you mean about the less you do the more difficult it is to find time to do it. I am exactly the same with when it comes to writing my blog. I finished writing it at 5am on Saturday after a wagon woke me up. That is a hell of a lot of pot washing and well done on the new plants. I am going to go big on new Hostas next year.


      1. I think they’re hardly grown here because they’re not hardy and need to be grown in pots and given winter protection. I bought a pot of Habranthus on the strength of the picture on the label and have a pot of seedlings of a Zephyranthes that I got from someone’s seed distribution. That’s the extent of my experience with them, but there’s something fleeting and ethereal about them that appeals to me.


  9. You win hands down on the Stipa photo, the dark background really helps. Sadly, no plant buying done yet as no nurseries very near and I’m not venturing into a garden centre for a while. Also, no pot washing done yet but they are all stacked up very tidily. Love the last video, you have a beautiful garden.


    1. The ONLY good thing about the leylandii hedge we once had was that it was a good background for Stipa. We really pushed the boat out yesterday and went to RHS Rosemoor on its second day reopened. So nearly normal but so far from normal.


  10. The Leptospermum is looking magnificent! I killed my first one, not intentionally, but I damaged the tap root, which caused its untimely death. Lesson learnt, so the second one, bought as tubestock, is doing well. The background colours definitely highlight the lovely colour of the Stepa. Your video of the early evening light is lovely and shows off your garden to full advantage. Just lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

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