Hmmm, I seem to be in the WordPress block editor, so the outcome, or output, is uncertain at best. I’ll give it a whirl before I throw my toys out of the pram.
The last couple of days, especially yesterday, have been windy, so both the garden and I are looking a bit battered. I finished the decking midweek amidst squally showers, (see previous blog) and I’m now turning my attention to other repairs around the same area, wonky steps, crumbling concrete; that sort of thing. Nothing like the contemplation of opening your garden to focus your mind on the faults, even if it’s not until next year.
For now though, six things in the garden that don’t involve timber, torx screws or concrete.
Hedychium densiflorum ‘Assam Orange’. This was originally collected in 1938 by Frank Kingdon-Ward in Northeast India. It was grown under heated glass at Edinburgh Botanics until the early 1970’s when a selected clone was planted out at Wakehurst Place, where it thrived. I don’t remember when or where I bought my plant of it but it must have been fairly early in its commercial availability. It flowers reliably every year and often sets viable seed, which I have germinated and grown in the past. Just once, I sniffed at a flower and was astonished to find it quite strongly scented, which it had never been before and hasn’t been since. Must have been the right combination of heat and humidity. Irrelevantly, I just noticed in my book that H. densiflorum ‘Sorung’ was an Edward Needham collection, which has catapulted it to the top of my wanted list.
Sticking with orange, Helenium ‘Chipperfield Orange’. I was pleased to realise when I went to photograph this that Helenium ‘Feursiegel’ has also survived. ‘Chipperfield Orange’ is tall, nearly five feet, but manages to stand up without support most of the time. I have it right at the front of the border which isn’t sensible, I will try to remember to move it. It has new leafy shoots at the base of the flowering stems which are being hit by slugs; I need to resume my nightly patrols with this wetter weather.
An Aster, not that it’s called that any more. It’s label says Eurybia x herveyi ‘Twilight’. I picked this out at Bodmin nursery last year because it had good healthy foliage amongst the general late season mankiness. The flowers are much like a number of other asters and I was looking for things to flower quite late.
Sedum telephium. I’d long been aware that we had a few native stonecrop type prostrate Sedums but it was only a few years back that I saw this growing in a hedgerow near here, in amongst woody plants and in full shade. I looked it up, thinking it must be a garden escape but it’s native. I’ve since seen lots of it along the Cornish lanes, usually at the bottom of the hedgerow at road level. It goes under the common name of Orpine. I tidied up a plant of it when I was doing a gardening job and brought bits home as cuttings. It is thriving, which is remarkable as no form of S. spectabile we’ve ever planted has lasted a year. It’s about two feet tall and inclined to flop. ‘Herbstfreude’ is a hybrid between the two and even that hasn’t survived.
Colletia hystrix (syn. armata). A gardening friend has a big bush of this and it is becoming something of a nuisance, or menace, overhanging a much used pathway. I’ve walked into it a few times and wished I hadn’t. I said I’d try to propagate it to give her the option of replacing hers with a smaller plant or hard pruning without the risk of losing it altogether. The cuttings rooted, I have four or five plants growing away well. I read online that the spines are modified leaves which is wrong, there are a few tiny leaves around the flowers on this plant but they soon drop off. They’re flowering and with the greatest of care I sniffed what turned out to be a rather heavy scent. If I were trying to stop people taking a short cut it’d be a toss up between this and Poncirus.
A wildlife video from my allotment. Since our resident Pine Martins¹ are nocturnal and the beavers² move too fast to get a good shot, I’ll settle for some caterpillars. There are masses of these on the nettles I let run riot around my compost heap which is good because last year there were none. There was a Red Admiral flitting about so I thought they were his/her brood but it seems they are Peacock butterfly caterpillars. I don’t know where they’re planning on pupating for the winter but I’ll try not to disturb them.
¹ fat chance. ² fatter chance.
I just looked at a preview and it all seems to be OK. I also just looked at the block menu, gulp. So much to play with; so much to go wrong.
It’s bright and sunny outside, having been threateningly cloudy first thing; usually the other way round. I have much to do and must get on. There’ll be time later to check everyone else’s sixes, links as ever at The Propagator’s.