Six on Saturday – 6/6/2020

Perhaps today is the day we get some rain. The garden is gagging for it. Lower temperatures have given it a bit of respite but a good drench is what it needs. I’ve watered a few things in the ground; new plantings and the things that suffer the most, but our water is metered so hosing everything is not going to happen.

We went up to Rosemoor on Tuesday and it seems to be much the same there; signs of selective irrigation but some areas struggling. They’d had quite a bit of frost damage from around a month ago, which we were sad to see but relieved we’d not had.

So, joining with The Propagator and many others, here are six things strutting their stuff in our garden today.

One.
Leptospermum ‘Karo Spectrobay’. You may recall that last week I mentioned visiting a nursery and buying this Leptospermum. The name on the label is Leptospermum karo ‘Sprectro Bay’, under which it had a ‘common’ name of New Zealand Tea Tree. It was flowering, I liked it and I bought it. Good nursery, I’ve enthused about it here before, but I did a bit of digging and I have to say the label could be improved. The name is as I’ve written it above, it is a hybrid between L. spectabile and L. rotundifolium. The species L. karo does not exist and ‘Karo’ is part of the cultivar name. It was raised in New Zealand but both parent species are Australian. Then there’s ‘Sprectro Bay’ versus ‘Spectrobay’. Almost all references to it online call it ‘Spectro Bay’, wrongly. The horticultural industry can be a little complacent about such things IMHO. I’ll get off my soapbox now.
SOS1553

Two.
Back in January I noticed a flower spike emerging on my Yucca gloriosa ‘Variegata’. It didn’t seem likely it would survive the winter but it did and now it’s fully out. I think they normally flower in autumn. Looking back at the January six, I noticed I’d dated it 25/1/2010. Time flies.
SOS1554
Three.
Lathyrus grandiflorus. The two flowered everlasting pea is a very fine plant which was given me by a gardener in Liskeard some years back. It took a couple of years to get going then went berserk, popping up yards away in all directions. I saw the original yesterday, in full sun against a wall, a sheet of flowers. Mine has a few. They’re in two’s and they are a very vivid colour. No scent unfortunately. I gave three seedlings of it to another gardening friend the day before yesterday. I have two left; I should plant them somewhere sunny.
SOS1555

Four.
Continuing my ferns mini-series, I offer you Polystichum setiferum ‘Ray Smith’. This has fronds about three feet tall but very narrow. Like many of the P. setiferum forms it produces bulbils on the leaves which grow into little plantlets and can be grown on into new plants. Doing so is irresistible to me so I usually have a few plants kicking about waiting to be given away to someone.
SOS1556

Five.
Before the old man next door to us died a couple of years back he invited me to have anything from his garden that I wanted. There wasn’t much but I did dig up a peony, not knowing what it was, but as something of a memento. I have subsequently identified it as ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ with reasonable confidence and last year it was beautiful. This year a couple of buds were badly distorted and never opened properly, leaving this as the only decent bloom this year, and even this one is small. Probably just too dry, I hope it’s not something nasty like a virus.SOS1557

Six.
Clematis recta. From the same garden as the pea above. This was given me twice because I’d mislaid the first. It turned out I hadn’t lost it because when the second one started into growth, so did the first, right along side it. They are seedlings, one starting off strongly flushed purple in new growth, the other green. The green one starts flowering earlier than the purple but the flowers are the same. Quite a strong fragrance but growing about five feet high and requiring good support, so this weekend’s gales will probably snap my recycled canes and bring it down. They’re only half the height they needed to be to start with.SOS1558

Now I’m off out to tweak my water harvesting setup so that if the rain comes I don’t miss a drop. I’m not sure I’m going to want to stay out long, it’s quite cold and very windy, but I was lent a book on Hostas yesterday (Grenfell and Shadrack) so I could do with an excuse to sit down, browse, drool and covet. I was looking a few up online yesterday; Hostas could easily become a monumentally expensive way to feed slugs.

Have a good week.

 

43 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 6/6/2020

  1. Very nice photo of Lathyrus grandiflorus. My yucca flowers will soon be open like yours (maybe next week, depending on the weather …)
    Never tried Leptospermum…another one to buy or sow.

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    1. The rain has parted to east and west of us again today. It’s not like I’m stood on the roof with my wand or something. I need to learn to read, dream and not get my wallet out.

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  2. The names on the labels are only as good as the person typing them in! I’m with Fred regarding the everlasting sweetpea. It was worth growing that one. We just haven’t had much rain at all in the West Country…every time I watch the forecast I just try to see whether the rain goes over our area…sadly it often comes to nothing. A few light showers, but 2 cm only moisture then nothing in the soil.

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    1. The Met Office weather forecast is making a habit of forecasting 6 or 8 hours of heavy rain which turns up as 30 minutes of drizzle, it’s frustrating. The label description thing is something I have experience with. I’ve written thousands of label descriptions and if you’re a nursery carrying a very wide range but not selling many of most things, it’s a very time consuming task. When plants are bought in, saleable or as propagules to grow on, you’re dependent on the description of the grower you get them from; with new lines there is often nothing additional about them online. You don’t get to see a plant growing to maturity before putting it out for sale, often you don’t even get to see it in flower. If you’ve been supplied the wrong thing you’ve often sold some or all of them before a problem comes to light. In the eyes of the law the retailer is responsible for the error but they are often not the source of the misinformation.

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    1. I suspect you may miss out on Leptospermum flowers this year then, they mostly seem to be flowering now. I must look up their pruning, I’m going to need to keep this one to a sensible size.

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  3. Everlasting sweet pea is something I need to plant! So pretty! I asked my non-gardening (obviously) son to pick me up some annual sweet pea seeds when he shopped for me, and he brought home Sugar Daddy peas! He said, they had no “sweet” peas, but “sugar” was in the name!

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    1. We now have a young couple with kids living there, not gardeners at all. Front garden given over to car parking. They’re very nice and not excessively noisy. Things change, the older you get the less often it seems for the better. It’s probably as well he went when he did, caring for him now would have been a total nightmare, for him as much as anyone else involved.

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      1. I’m only glad that my m-i-l died at the end of 2018 shortly before her 95th birthday. We were just trying to get her into a home as the care in her own home wasn’t so great and she was being quite neglected. It would have been a nightmare for us to check on her as she lived in Shropshire. Goodness knows how many elderly people in their own homes have suffered from this virus. I have a lovely big fuchsia in my garden which comes from a cutting out of hers, plus the camellia that she won in a raffle. It’s nice to have plants that are associated with people and memories.

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      2. I think this is part of why gardens are such a source of succour to people, they are so much more than collections of plants. They are collections of memories, successes, failures, things to come and things past. You show someone round your garden and there’s a story to tell about almost everything in it.

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    1. Our poor old Yucca languished in a couple of unsuitable locations before being moved to where it is now. Once happy it grew fast and flowered soon after. I should think it would need to be at least five years old which is a long time to keep something in good condition in a pot, but no doubt could be done.

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  4. The Leptospermum is a pretty colour. That was an interesting note on the name too. Yucca is not a favourite with me, but the flower is looking great. I do like the C. recta, and did not know that you could get bush Clematis. It is lovely.

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  5. Sharing your pleas for rain, we did have a storm last night and it was enough to fill two butts. It’s a start. Peonies are beautiful until it rains! I brought some with me when we moved but they haven’t flowered.

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  6. By whatever name SpectroBay is called, my word, it’s a beauty. Wonderfully interesting blooms. Does it have a scent? I might forgive it if it doesn’t, as the blooms are so weird looking. The memorial peony is lovely, a nice way to remember the guy next door. Is this the one whose front you used to tend? How are the new neighbours treating it?

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    1. No scent to the Leptospermum unfortunately. We saw something similar on the edge of Wollemi National Park some years ago, I must dig out my pictures, see how close it was. The new neighbours are not gardeners. I’d better leave it at that.

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  7. The everlasting pea isn’t just beautiful in colour, it has such an elegant shape and your photo captures that perfectly.
    I had to laugh at your comment about hostas, I hadn’t realised that it was costing me so much to feed the snails that live so comfortably in this garden.
    I do hope the rain arrives to water your garden, ours had several good soaks during the latter part of this week, but it seems as though we have another dry spell ahead.

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  8. Tough things peonies. When we moved to the South Downs weald 50 years ago in our garden were a copper beech hedge, a red peony and mophead hydrangea Hamburg. We liked the hedge, but no longer practical to move, the old Hamburg loves being where it is and however radicaly pruned produces blooms in three colours for drying every year, but the peony has been chopped about and relogated three times, like the helibors they are survivors.
    Just had enough rain to fill the buts up but my weald clay is still like rock.

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    1. My parents inherited those same red peonies when they moved into the house in Redhill where they lived most of their married lives. When they moved out, after 40 odd years, they bequeathed rather more to the next owners. I wonder if they’re still there.

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  9. Among all the impressive flowers that you can grow, Yucca gloriosa ‘Variegata’ seems a bit . . . odd. That is like something I would grow here. Is it grown more for the foliage or the bloom. I suppose both.

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    1. The palette of plants we can grow which have the architectural qualities of Yucca is slowly expanding as the climate warms and new plants are introduced, but it’s still pretty limited. We’re right on the edge for a lot of things, the western tip of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly off the coast can grow a much wider range without winter protection. So for me Yucca is still a relatively exceptional plant, whereas for you it is comparatively ordinary I’m guessing.

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      1. Only the giant yucca is common, and there are a few that are ordinary, including Yucca gloriosa. However, most species of Yucca are not available because no one wants their spiny foliage in the garden. For a while, I had all but one of the known species (without cultivars). I happen to like them, but would not want them in a fancy flowery garden.

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      2. The one I’ve always rather fancied having is Y. rostrata. I’ve seen specimens around 6 feet in Italian nurseries so it’s probably available in the UK but I’ve never seen it for sale. Been to Joshua Tree NP too, so I have a bit of an idea of the setting that suits them.

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      3. Yucca rostrata is one of my favorites. There are a few that resemble it, but they are not so adaptable to irrigated landscapes. It takes a few years for Yucca rostrata to get six feet tall. There are some in Los Angeles that are up over the ground floor roofs, but they have been there for many years.

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