Six on Saturday – 20/6/2020

Looks like we may be back to more familiar weather for a while, frontal systems coming in off the Atlantic, an hour or two of rain then back to dry. The garden seems to be in transition, I’ve done nearly all the planting I have planned and am waiting for things to start flowering. In earlier and simpler times, it would be the time when the summer bedding was all in, the spring bedding having been removed a few weeks ago.

That said, I went round on Friday with my camera and came back in with at least twice as many viable entries for a saturday six as I needed. Too many is always preferable to too few so let’s have a look.

One.
Hydrangea serrata ‘Shojo’. I don’t doubt that when I put this in around this time last year that I remarked on how I’d come close to chucking it out for under-performing. Not last year, and not this year either. Understated compared to a mophead macrophylla but a lovely thing all the same. I’m expecting the flowers to get a bit bigger and to turn more blue.

Two.
Aeonium ‘Pomegranate’. This is a Surreal Succulents hybrid from 2014 and on their website it has yellowish leaves with a red blush. I think ours might be a bit better nourished, perhaps even over nourished. It’s enormous; the rosette is 13 inches across. We need to find somewhere in full sun where it can develop it’s full colour potential.
SOS1570

Three.
Fuchsia boliviana. Talking of things fulfilling their potential, this species fuchsia, generally reckoned fairly tender, has been in our garden for years. Every year it comes up fairly late, grows to around 4 feet and if we’re lucky one or two shoots will just about flower around October/November, then the whole thing gets killed to the ground by frost. Two years ago I took cuttings which came through the winter unscathed in my unheated tunnel this winter in 3 litre pots. I planted a group of three a few weeks back and they are flowering their socks off. It’ll be interesting to see if they keep flowering all summer. The second picture shows the original plant in the ground which will not flower for many months.SOS1571SOS1575

Four.
Exobasidium. Camellias occasionally get galls on them at this time of year but I’ve not seen them in my garden before today. They mostly infect shoots and the white, swollen mass still has discernible swollen leaves. In this case, on Camellia ‘Minato-no-akebono’ it seems to have infected a few late flowers, there are small pink flakes of petals stuck to the outsides. This plant has never produced fruits and there are none on it now or I may have suspected infection of the fruit, which also sometimes happens. They’re not a serious problem, there are usually only a few on a bush, so they need picking off and disposing of.

Five.
Fern of the week is Dryopteris erythrosora. It is just an amazing colour just now. I have another which is not quite so good and a variety called ‘Brilliant’ which isn’t anything of the sort. This has made quite a big clump and is two to three feet tall.
SOS1574

Six.
Salvia ‘Sylas Dyson’. We’ve grown a lot of different Salvias over the years and this is becoming a firm favourite. It’s a bit darker than ‘Royal Bumble’ and smaller flowered, but a good doer and free flowering. I held a bit of ‘Royal Bumble’ up to show the comparison.SOS1576

That’s yer lot. You don’t need me to remind you to check out the links to other sixes from The Propagator’s blog. Gotta go, need to plant my onions.

33 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 20/6/2020

    1. Dryopteris is probably happiest in full shade but not too dark. It’s pretty drought tolerant once established. I have a similar one in a mainly sunny spot and it needs moving. Not happy.

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  1. Beautiful hydrangea! That salvia is quite different from the ones that Mr Propagator gave me a few years ago. I will put one in next week, it has almost furry, huge leaves more noticeable than the flowers themselves. I MUST get some bamboo.

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      1. Yes. I remember you telling me to buy the better, probably more expensive, variety. I think it will be in a few months time, I’m not doing any non-essential shopping yet.

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  2. Wow, such a vibrant Six, Jim! Thank you for the helpful comparison shot of that salvia. Your camellia gall almost resembles a scoop of ice cream with candied nuts — but I’m just hungry! I’m sure you’ll deal with it as a true expert. Again, I learn something by reading your posts. Thank you.

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  3. You and your blue Hydrangeas! I found the same with F. ‘Lechlade Gordan’. The parent plant has been very slow to get going but the cuttings I took last autumn have grown into good sized plants with flowers forming already.

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    1. ‘Lechlade Gorgon’, (sorry to be a pedant) set me off on a flurry of fuchsia chasing. Firstly I re-bookmarked the FuchsiaFinder website, which is very useful, then I nipped down to see whether a big Fuchsia outside was labelled ‘Panache’ (it wasn’t labelled at all) but a small one in the greenhouse is. Both are I now think ‘Lechlade Gorgon’, which is arborescens x paniculata. We have arborescens, which is similar but clearly different. ‘Panache’ is 25% panicualata and looks completely different, I don’t know why I thought it was that. We were going to plant the big ‘Lechlade Gorgon’ (?) in the garden but there was nowhere to put it at the time so it is now in a 20 litre pot. So thanks for prodding me in the right direction.

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  4. Ooh, that fern is LOVELY! I have some bamboo in my garden – not your lovely golden one – and it is spreading at an alarming rate. I quite like how it creates a bit of a wind shelter, but how do I stop it spreading? Pulling it out / digging it up is just so difficult!

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    1. There’s no easy way to stop a spreading bamboo spreading that I know of. Mine has spread as far as I want it to go but the new growth it makes is always taking it further, never back to where it started and is now rather bare.

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  5. The gall on the Camellia is very interesting as I have not seen such a large one before. The hydrangea is lovely, and after seeing the climbing one in other blogs I’m seriously considering trying one (despite the poor performance of the common one I have). Another trellis is needed! The colours of the Dryoptera are exquisite indeed! They are colours to brighten up any shady corner. Unfortunately I don’t have many shady spots……yet! I’m waiting for the trees and shrubs to reach a reasonable height and density! The Salvia is a lovely colour!

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    1. I took some pictures of Camellia galls a couple of years back and I thought I’d used them in a blog but if I did, I can’t find it. I was going to do a link. They were quite a bit bigger, they can get to six inches long sometimes. It could seem odd that you hanker after growing something that we would find easy and we hanker after growing the things we can’t and that you find easy. We’re all in the grip of grass is greener syndrome.

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      1. I find it a little challenging trying to grow different plants here, and get immense satisfaction if I succeed! Neighbours are bemused by my enthusiasm – apart from the one lady who inspired the enthusiasm! She understands!

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  6. Hydrangea serrate ‘Shojo’ looks like broccoli. The profusion is impressive. I miss mophead hydrangeas though. There are plenty at work, but not in many other gardens.
    Aeonium ‘Pomegranate’ is impressive. I enjoy my two simple aeoniums too much to try anything new, even though I know I should. (One is just the plain and common houseleek.) I will not purchase any, but could take bits off those I see on job sites. My colleague down south has one (and only one!) that I could try. It is broad like yours, but with variegated foliage. I think it is a common sort too.

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    1. A nurserywoman of my acquaintance, based way down west in the wilds of Cornwall, by dint of years of slogging round plant shows, including Chelsea and Hampton Court, the big national ones, and showing fine plants of a few carefully selected forms of Aeonium that she’d bred, built up quite a following for them. Needless to say, others have jumped on the bandwagon since so she’s still working hard to make a living and the lines she’d popularised are now available everywhere so she now struggles to sell them. Whatever else life may be, it ain’t fair.

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      1. Oh cuss! One of the problems with enjoying work so much is that it is difficult to be business oriented with it. Well, you know how that goes. Others believe that our work must be so fun, which it is, but there are certain consequences to enjoying it so much.

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  7. I’m interested in the hardiness of your fuchsia. I have one growing in a pot so that I can overwinter it in the greenhouse. I’m sure it would rather be liberated in the soil. I think we get colder winters up here than you though. I think I might try it out anyway and take some cuttings for insurance…

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    1. Fuchsia boliviana is regarded as tender but we have grown it in the garden for many years and every year it is killed to the ground by the first frost but comes up again the following spring. Like a lot of the species, it takes a long time to reach flowering size and it has never flowered well in the ground. I took cuttings in 2018, kept them frost free the first winter, potted them into 3 litre pots and grew them on through 2019, they flowered in the summer, then kept them in the unheated tunnel through 2019 winter. They lost leaves but the stems weren’t killed and they started flowering very early this year so I planted them in the ground. If I leave them in I would expect them to be killed to the ground like the original plants, so either I lift them and protect them over winter or I take more cuttings and start again. Increasingly I’m liking the idea of planting out decent sized plants of tender subjects that have been overwintered under fairly minimal but just enough protection. It’s worked well with some Begonias, Impatiens, Bomarea. They might survive in the ground but are deciduous, come up very late and don’t give half the performance you get if you hit the ground running with a decent plant in spring. It’s what people have done with Dahlias, Cannas, Pelargoniums and so on since Victorian times. They bedded out all sorts of exotic plants for the summer.

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