It’s been a dreary old week where very little gardening has been done. I did manage to get up to Mt Edgcumbe and Antony House on Thursday, trying to identify a recalcitrant Camellia or two, with limited success. At least I was outdoors and away from the house, which feels the more liberating for being borderline legit. Normally I spend my time there in splendid isolation but this time I had quite a long chat with a couple of park visitors who were admiring the Camellias in flower. I’m never happier than when I’m talking plants with someone who’s interested, so that was a good day.
Talking of Camellias in flower, I’m starting with a repeat, Camellia sasanqua ‘Navajo’. I open the front window blind every morning and this is what I’m confronted with. When you point a camera at it you get reflections from the glass that you normally don’t notice, so I also ventured outside, pinned myself back against the wall and took another picture, then noticed a seed pod, with one seemingly live seed in it. I’ve sown it, of course. The white Camellia behind is ‘Paradise Little Liane’, another sasanqua variety.
Just behind the Camellias in the pictures above, you can just see a bit of Yucca. It also is there to greet me in the morning. It’s flowering late and slowly. From the downstairs window I see it against a backdrop of cars both running and derelict, houses, bins, a tatty boat and assorted other junk. From upstairs I managed a gravel background. It’s native to the coast of the southeastern USA, it must feel right at home here.
I have another Camellia just starting to flower out the back, and I’m especially glad that it is. It’s the six foot plant of Camellia ‘Minato-no-akebono’ that I moved not so long ago as reported on 26 September. We did get one or two dry spells in which I watered it copiously, but it practically hasn’t turned a hair. My back is still whingeing mind. The bloom is only damaged because it had a leaf rubbing against it. Scented, flowers for months, I love it.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Early Sensation’. I’ve only put this in a six once before and that was back in November 2018 for its autumn colour. It’s never made it for its flowers. This year it seems to have produced at least as many shoots that didn’t flower as did, and they’ve grown twice as tall. Very fleetingly it produced something of an autumn colour display but the wind soon put paid to that. There are a few leaves hanging on to the shoot tips. The name remains a mystery, it’s not especially early and it certainly isn’t a sensation.
Back in 2018 you could at least see the Hydrangea, then last year we put a big bunch of Salvia confertiflora in front of it, not really expecting them to get 6 feet tall. Most of them died last winter and a big Fuchsia arborescens was parachuted in to fill the gap, and hide the Hydrangea. The overwintered cuttings of the Salvia were planted into spaces elsewhere. They haven’t been as good as last year but I’m not complaining about anything that still looks good at the back end of November.
Begonia U614 is another repeat, from July. It’s a borderline hardy species which I overwintered under cover last winter to its great liking, and intend to do the same this year. But here we are in late November and it’s still looking amazingly good, with no sign of it going underground for winter. If I lift it like this I think it will stay evergreen, which might not be a bad thing, it would really hit the ground running when planted out again in the spring. I think I’ll give it to the end of the month then lift it in whatever state it’s in; much the same, looking at the weather forecast.
I took the plunge yesterday and ordered an extension kit for Sue’s cactus house. There’s a long delivery time of 20 weeks or more, so I won’t be posting about it for a while. It does mean I can make progress on the rest of that area though, given some half decent weather. I can build the base for it, so I’m ready to put it up in the spring. It’s a relief to have made a decision.
Whatever the weather, I have promised a couple of large camellias to some friends who have just moved into a new house and garden, digging them is pencilled in for today and helping to plant them for tomorrow maybe.
Seemingly, according to The Propagator, that makes me a pig not a chicken. Don’t ask me, go look at his six.