Phew, what a week, and it’s not over yet. Last Sunday was the Rare plant fair at Tregrehan, probably the highlight of my gardening year. It was postponed from June but was worth the wait. I shouldn’t do this because it’ll make you envious, but this is what we bought. (Sue came too)
Begonia ‘Mishmi Silver’
Canna ‘Henlade Hybrid’
Correa ‘Federation Bell’
Nerine ‘Purple Hotspur’
Hydrangea serrata ‘Tosa no Akatsuki’
Pelargonium ‘Rober’s Lemon Rose’
I cannot tell you how much restraint was exercised to keep it to that. I could easily have bought twice as much.
Back in the garden, I have been chipping away at the Side Passage project and slowly coming round to the Tunnel Moving project. Monday saw a very large dying Fuchsia and a shapeless underperforming Camellia go from the side passage. Thursday saw the Fuchsia gap filled with another large Camellia from the other side of the garden.
Tuesday was a camellia planting day at Mount Edgcumbe, I’ve another tranche ready to go for next tuesday, in the interests of making space. A definite win/win.
Yesterday I really got stuck in to the tunnel project, which turned into the usual musical chairs game of making space, then filling it again. There isn’t too much left
in of the tunnel, as you will see.
The Camellia move. C. ‘Minato-no-akebono’ has been in one of the sunniest bits of the garden for several years and not really enjoying it. It had manged to get rather big and wasn’t really what I wanted where it was. I dug it up and moved it to where I’d removed a big Fuchsia on Monday. Even with the long meandering shoots taken of the top it was over six foot tall. I’d been watering it for days in advance, dug it with a rootball partly held together by Hakonechloa and Lily of the valley, lifted it on to a plastic sheet then dragged it across the garden to its new home. It’s behind the Miscanthus, shutting off the view to next door.
The stars of the garden right now are the Fuchsias. It should be Dahlias but they’ve not had a great year. Here are some of the best, starting with F. regia serrae. This is a fabulous beast and completely in the wrong place. It needs something to climb up. On flat ground it will arch over and root where it touches, then start again. On a support it can get 20 feet tall. It has dark glossy leaves and intensely coloured red and purple flowers and has produced stems 6-8 feet long this year.
Fuchsia boliviana. We have a patch of this in the garden which gets killed to the ground every year and takes until September to start flowering, which it usually only does on some shoots. I took cuttings and overwintered three plants in the unheated tunnel last year before planting them, already flowering, in spring. They’re still flowering. This flower head, it’ll be a corymb perhaps, is on the plant in the ground. Worth the wait. The leaves are very big, soft and furry. It’s a little over 3 feet tall.
Fuchsia ‘Delta’s Sara’. This is definitely one of my favourites, another somewhat lax grower that if the top growth survives the winter, can get very tall. There’s one down the road on the front of a house that was at least 10 feet tall, though I think it got cut back somewhat last winter. In the open garden it is less hardy and often has to start from the ground in spring. For some inexplicable reason we persist with another couple of blue and white varieties that are not as good a colour, are less hardy, more disease prone and flower less. ‘Hampshire Blue’, I’m looking at you! There’s a whole tribe of Delta’s varieties, we have ‘Delta’s Parade’ too, which is excellent. Bred in the Netherlands.
Fuchsia ‘Hawkshead’. This is one parent of ‘Delta’s Sara’, the other being ‘Fey’. ‘Hawkshead’ is a UK raised variety from a cross between F. magellanica molinae and F. ‘Venus Victrix’, a variety I’d buy just for the name. ‘Hawkshead’ is completely white, except for green tips to the sepals. It’s a hardy, but not especially robust in my experience.
It’s pretty obvious what I’m going to be doing today. This is the easy bit. the next two stages, getting it up to the allotment in our car and putting it up, especially re-sheeting it, may not be as straightforward. The die has been cast though, the point of no return is behind me. At least it’s a dry, calm, sunny day. I’m likely to need a few of them; I’m unlikely to get them.
I see the boss man is on the road today. It won’t stop him, nothing does, so get over to his blog and comments section for the links to other sixers.