Six on Saturday – 13/6/2020

They do say you should be careful what you wish for. My water storage is brim full, 3400 litres of lovely rainwater. I’d prefer it to stop raining now for a bit. It’s brought out the slugs in force. Thursday evening I found 36 on one foot tall Dahlia. (best not to ask) Before that I was chasing a rabbit around my allotment at 9.30, until he went full tilt through the new wire fence I’d put up between mine and the neighbouring plot just weeks ago. They’d mowed the grass on their side and ripped three big holes in it. I blocked them up with bunny on their side of the fence. He’d been making a meal of my peas, lettuce and runner beans; let him eat someone else’s.

Slugs notwithstanding, the garden was desperate for rain and most things are looking hugely refreshed. It’s been windy too, so it’s looking a little battered in places, but finding six things going on was easy enough. If it’s not happening now, it never will be.

One.
Hydrangea serrata ‘Cap Suzin’. The various forms of Hydrangea serrata are rather less widely grown than the hortensias. I like them, they’re a bit more refined. They are less tolerant of full sun and dry soil than hortensias though and this one was struggling a bit with the hot dry weather in May. It’s now looking much happier and will get better still. It’s a French variety which is as good as any I’ve come across anywhere.

Two.
Iris ensata ‘Moonlight Waves’. In the corner of our filled in pond bog garden are two plants of Iris ensata, the Japanese water iris. This year this one is flowering well and the other, dark blue one, hardly at all. All very fleeting, blink and you miss them, but lovely while they are out. Very vulnerable to wind and rain though.
SOS1562

Three.
Campanula takesimana ex ‘Elizabeth’, to stick with the seed packet description from the Hardy Plant Society. These I grew from seed last year and when I planted them they were set upon with relish by the molluscs, to the point of all but disappearing. Happily, come this spring, they all came back up, I’d planted a group of the seed raised plants, and they are beginning to flower. Looking at the pictures a Google image search throws up, there are a lot of seed raised plants out there. ‘Elizabeth’, in its clonal original form, is supposed to be reddish-pink. Named after Elizabeth Strangman, which I would accept as a recommendation.SOS1563

Four.
Fern of the week is Dryopteris wallichiana ‘Jurassic Gold’. This was new earlier this year so it’s still small. I’ve grown the species for years and it’s a big dramatic fern with black bristled crooks emerging in spring. I’d expect the same from this in time, plus gold new leaves in spring, turning lighter green by summer.
SOS1564

Five.
Alstroemeria ‘Flaming Star’. I’ve been considering replacing some of my Dahlias with Alstroemerias because they seem to get going earlier in the year and a couple of beds where I have Dahlias are still looking rather bare now in June. We have had a couple kicking about for years, one a dwarf thing in a big pot, the compost so low the Alstroemeria barely shows above the rim; the other this one, which is in the ground but doesn’t do well and barely gets a foot high. I dug it up and potted it. The ground was like concrete, I’m surprised it had even survived. Looking at Viv Marsh’s website it appears to be ‘Flaming Star’. I keep looking at his list and there’s always one or more that I want are sold out.
SOS1565

Six.
Seeds. I picked a few ripe seed pots from Papaver rupifagum ‘Flore Pleno’, the first seeds of the season. There are several others not so far behind. I have no need of more of any of them but will no doubt collect seeds anyway. Perhaps I should start a seed list. In the picture so far are Asphodelus albus, Stylophorum lasiocarpum, Geranium palmatum, Chelidonium majus ‘Flore Pleno’ and the aforementioned poppy. SOS1566

Heavy showers are on the menu today and the sky is looking appropriately threatening. I could be doing some hunkering down. Plenty of SoS contributions to read, courtesy of the king of the geraniums and the comments thereupon.

 

44 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 13/6/2020

  1. I just love it when plants I can’t grow because of the conditions here are shown to perfection. Tres joli ton Cap Suzin….and the iris too. I admired a few ensata at Rosemoor and surrounding gardens.

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  2. Oh dear, Cornwall seems to be having too much rain now. I saw the tai5end of Springwatch from Cornwall the other day and they were soaked. Your hydrangea is a lovely shape and colour and that campania is unusual. Interesting Six-on-Saturday again.

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  3. Hydrangeas already in full bloom! Mine start to have a few colours and I would have to wait a week or two before they look like yours. Nice montage of seed pods and this alstroemeria is as pretty as ‘Indian summer’ that I grow, although yours is smaller in size I guess.

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    1. Most Hydrangeas flower blue with no help from me and the few that don’t wouldn’t flower blue whatever I did. I think H. serrata is reckoned to be slightly more cold hardy than H. macrophylla but needs moist shade to thrive. I’d be surprised if they weren’t available over there.

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  4. The water iris look lovely. But vulnerable to wind and rain rule them out for me. And I have never seen a pink Campanula before, how beautiful. I’m afraid I laughed at you blocking the rabbit on the other side of the fence. Does that make me a bad person? Sunshine and lots of showers here today – I shall spend a happy afternoon visiting virtual gardens courtesy of the Prop. And yes, can we please have summer back again!

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    1. The rabbit wasn’t trapped, it could get out under their gate, and back in again as well. Hopefully it can no longer get to my peas and beans. The showers have mostly missed me, so far. No more than a few spots on and off.

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  5. Your ‘Cap Suzin’ is a nice thing, good foliage colour too did it come from the Mallet collection ? My ‘Zorro’ from your days at DN is a hansom thing, but grows like a brute. I cut it all short to 9″ with a few buds in early Feb. to contain it but it regularly shoots up to over 5ft and is flowering mauve as I write, it’s in unshaded sun all day, but it must be in a good spot – needs some more aluminium sulphate to push it to a better colour. The little rain we had has brought growth on quickly but the ground still like rock here in Sussex.

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    1. The Hydrangea was one from the guy who was growing for Nick Macer at Pan Global. He had small numbers surplus to requirements sometimes. Zorro sounds terrific though perhaps too much for my small patch. Good when they flower on current season’s growth though. We’ve had quite a bit of rain now but it seems to be running off or down the cracks, the soil is still very dry.

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  6. ‘Flaming Star’ Alstroemeria seems to be a one of the old traditional sorts that we used to grow for cut flower crops . . . except that it is too short. I understand why the low mounding garden varieties are so popular. They look neater in the garden. I am just not so keen on the flowers and rubbery foliage. Ours are the cut flower type, and they are a sloppy mess. I would not want to replace them though.

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    1. I seem to remember the difference between cut flower and garden Alstroemerias being an issue when I was deciding which varieties to grow on the nursery. Not sure I ever worked out what the difference was.

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      1. I believe that garden varieties really are more popular and desirable because the plants are prettier. Nurseries would sell more of the cut flower types if more of their clientele wanted them. They are taller and more awkward, and need to be caged like tomatoes. There are some that stand on their own a bit better. They look sort of like yours.

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  7. I hate rabbits. I think we’ve got one in the garden again. They are so destructive. In the past they’ve been ‘sorted out’ by a tom cat, but we only have a little female one at the moment and she won’t be up to the job. The hydrangea is very nice – I’m making a note to look out for some serrata varieties.

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  8. Still barely a drop of rain here. Loving all the flowers and the fern this week but I must go back and check on the fern that you showed a couple of weeks ago. It is still coming to mind so it is past the first hurdle!

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  9. your poor dahlia. i was inspecting the estate this morning, wondering where i’d planted a dahlia i couldn’t spot. i found what was left of it, just the tattered remains of a stalk. bah. i think you should start a seed list! you have so many interesting plants in your garden.

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    1. I’m about to write a blog about slugs, it won’t be pleasant. You’re the first to respond to the comment about a seed list, I was putting my toe in the water to see what the response was. I will give due consideration to how I work it.

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    1. Lists like his should have warnings on them. Sue was looking at Fibrex’s Pelargoniums this morning and I became ensnared in Pan Global’s fern list a couple of days back. Dangerous. I want to make the seed list happen, watch this space.

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  10. The colour of the hydrangea is stunning. I’m also taken with the frilly edge to the petals. A beautiful specimen. I battle to grow the common hydrangea, so I’d better not try growing any others or I will be devastated when they die! The alstroemeria Is a lovely colour too. Seeds…… My focus has previously been propagation by cuttings but recently I have had good success with growing annuals from seed, so its a good time for me to start harvesting some seeds from the garden.

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  11. Re rabbits.
    Several times they have mown off trays of our camellia transplants, they seem to get a taste for specific vareties. Baited with a bit of carrot our trap was very good at providing rabbit for the pot until we trapped a large rat. Despatching the brute was a frightening experience. Never realised how quick they can move and how vicious they can be when cornered.

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