Six on Saturday – 26/9/2020

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)
Crassula alba
Begonia ‘Griphon’
Begonia ‘Mishmi Silver’
Begonia ‘Torsa’
Canna ‘Henlade Hybrid’
Impatiens balansae
Correa ‘Federation Bell’
Nerine masoniorum
Nerine ‘Purple Hotspur’
Hydrangea serrata ‘Tosa no Akatsuki’
Pelargonium ‘Rober’s Lemon Rose’
Pelargonium ignescens
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.

One.
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.

Two.
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.

Three.
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.


Four.
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.


Five.
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.

Six.

The tunnel is going! The sun is ridiculously bright this morning so the pictures had to be tweaked a bit. Hopefully I can get the frame down today and get a more complete before and after. This represents the first 9 minutes of demolition.

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.

43 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 26/9/2020

  1. These dark red flower clusters of fuchsia Boliviana are stunning. I also grow ‘Delta’s Sarah’ and this is one of my favourites. I never tried to cut it down and leave the plant the ground for the winter, like I do for others … afraid of losing it maybe

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    1. I leave ‘Delta’s Sara’ in the ground but the top growth quite often gets killed or damaged by cold such that I cut it down in spring. We find that cutting Fuchsias down delays the flowering but gives us a better display later in the year, which suits us well.

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  2. Interesting to read about the fuchsias, and to learn new things about them. Plant fairs are just the best sort of day out for me too. I’m going to get more fuchsias next spring!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the way you write. I’m not a gardener, so it’s not your information that draws me in. It’s the way you put words together, laced with humor. Even on a rainy day, gardening can be a dry subject, but you make it come alive.

    Good luck on moving the tunnel.

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    1. If I can write entertainingly about erecting polytunnels then nothing is safe. It seems to me that there is a little of the ridiculous in much of what humans do to fill their days and the more they strive, the more seriously they take themselves, the more ridiculous they become.

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  4. Your fuchsias are gorgeous. So healthy! Mine are in pots and although managed not to be disfigured by rust thus year, haven’t flowered particularly well. Do you feed yours regularly? I’m very bad at remembering to feed my pots.

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    1. When you’ve as many Fuchsias as we have finding a few healthy ones is usually possible; believe me, most are looking pretty tatty by now, with rust, gall mite and whatever. I don’t feed the fuchsias in the ground, though I do water them if it gets too dry. In pots they get fed, a fairly low level of Osmocote in the compost, Osmocote top dressing in spring if they’re not getting potted on and liquid feed every week or two if they need it. They’re quite hungry plants but it’s easy to give them too much and get a lot of fast soft growth. I keep a bottle of liquid feed beside the tap and put a capful (it’s liquid) into the watering can when I fill it. Nugro organic liquid feed, £70.40 for 10L from JFC Munro at Hale. It’ll last you years.

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      1. We usually prune pot plants before shoving them under the glasshouse bench but won’t do that for a month or two. They get moved in when the first frost is forecast. Otherwise they start into growth this side of the winter. We repot in spring.

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    1. Well the tunnel is down, it fitted in the car no problem so it’s now on the allotment. I may get the frame up tomorrow but I need timber for the doors so it won’t get sheeted just yet. It helps when you’ve put up commercial tunnels, mine’s just a baby.

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    1. The picture compare thing is one of the WordPress blocks. I’d been dying to give it a go so the tunnel was just the ticket. The light wasn’t kind though, very contrasty. I should do a blog on Fuchsias while they’re looking good, at least some of them are.

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  5. How clever you are for your now you see it now you don’t tunnel slider! Brilliant. I kept seeing tweets about the plant fair at Tregrehan and wished I was down your way. I do allot of internet buying but there’s no substitute for a plant fair.

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    1. The picture compare is one of the new wordpress blocks, I’ve been looking for a chance to use it. Not that everyone uses WordPress and I don’t know whether all the blocks are available to everyone or whether some plans get more. I must have another look, see what else I could play with. I think the Tregrehan Plant Fair has a good reputation, I’ve only been to one other, at Tremenheere, deeper down in Cornwall. I think Tregrehan edges it. Great garden too.

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  6. The Boliviana is amazing. I don’t bother with fuchsias anymore. I don’t have a greenhouse, and I don’t have the patience to deal with them as annuals. My mother had so many, so they are connected to childhood memories.

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    1. They’ve had a very hard time here over the last twenty years. I know of so many specialist Fuchsia nurseries that have shut down over that time, usually the owners reach retirement age and no one will take it on. I can’t think of any new ones. We grow a lot that are commercially unavailable and try to keep them going but lose one or two each year. On the whole they suit our climate well so they’re easy, I couldn’t see myself growing so many if they were a lot more trouble.

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  7. Lovely Fuschia. I bought a Hawkshead but it must have been mislabelled as much thicker flowers. But as it was from the nursery I was working at, at the time I can’t really complain as it may well have been my labelling to blame. Looks like a good haul from plant fair. I’m off to Scampston walled garden tomorrow so probably make a few purchases but not sure how much they’ll have at this point of the year.

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    1. I guess I’m more than a little pedantic when it comes to getting names right. I know I’ve been responsible for errors but often in nurseries you just go along with the name the wholesaler supplies it under without checking. I can think of at least two instances where I’ve told a wholesaler they have the wrong name and they refused to change it. It’s unprofessional. I don’t know Scampston (I’ll Google it in a minute) but this is the end of the growing season where nurseries are looking forward to keeping everything in good nick until spring because that’s when the punters want it. This should be the best time to buy.

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      1. I think a lot of the time they put the labels in that were closest to what they were growing. This one is white just not thin.
        Disappointed so far with sale benches. They were filled with hostas and strawberries. I’ve got more than enough of both to a point of giving away.

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    1. Gall mite is an enigma. We have had a few outbreaks but have had years in between with none. So I assume it is coming in from outside rather than carrying over from one season to the next on my own plants. That said, I had it last year and have it again this year, albeit only in the last week. I’ve cut off all infected shoots and binned them and I’m checking carefully every couple of days for more. If it doesn’t get a chance to spread and is removed promptly, I hope that will control it. All the infected plants will get cut to the ground in the next few weeks. We have around 100 sorts of Fuchsias, I’m not ready to give up on them.

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  8. You have some stunning plants in your garden and I’ll have to take some time to google all the new treats that you’ve acquired as I’m not familiar with most varieties. I’m glad you enjoyed the Rare plant fair and didn’t come home empty-handed.

    Beautiful Fuchsias! I tried to get F. ‘Delta’s Sara’ and also ‘Wendy’s Beauty’ on my trip to the nursery on Friday, but I was too late in the season and they had very few varieties left. I hope you managed to get your tunnel down, you’re tackling such a lot of work in your garden at the moment.

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    1. ‘Wendy’s Beauty’ isn’t one I’ve come across, I see one of its parents is ‘Quasar’, which we have and which looks similar. It survived in the garden through a couple of winters but dragged it’s flowers on the ground, so it’s back in a pot. Sue picked up a beauty called ‘Arauco’ a few weeks back, like a small version of ‘Lady Bacon’, amazingly floriferous. You may not know https://fuchsiafinder.com/ There was never the remotest chance of me coming home empty handed from a rare plant fair, never going to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. There is not much information about ‘Henlade Hybrid’ canna. The only picture I see looks something like Canna indica, with compact floral arrangement. I have been out of the mix with cannas lately.

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  10. i’m falling back in love with fuchsia, for flower power they are hard to beat, and some of the forms are lovely. I could get some more, especially if i can train them against a fence/wall. i’m sure i have space for them. must have.

    a good haul from the plant fair, how restrained of you!

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    1. I must do a blog on Fuchsias. As you say some are really lovely but there are an awful lot that are somewhat ordinary and samey which I think puts a lot of people off them. I’m still hurting inside over some of the things I didn’t buy at the plant fair.

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  11. You’ve been busy, Jim. All that hard work will be worth it. Please do take a photo of the tunnell/car journey!
    Stunning fuchsias, a chara. They are indeed extra stunning this year.

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