Six on Saturday – 5/12/2020

I’ve hardly been out in the garden this week. It’s been cold, often wet and the ground is sodden. I lifted a couple of Begonias and potted them up. They’ll go back out in spring and be months ahead of where they’d be if left in the ground. Did a bit of tidying up and leaf shredding too.
Here I am, living in the only part of mainland England under minimal restrictions and barely taking advantage of it at all. We did manage a bit of a coastal walk last Sunday, I’ll put a picture at the end of the post to show you the privations we’re having to endure.

Still, enough of that, the garden looks deadly dull or fairly colourful depending entirely on whether then sun is shining. Dull overcast light saps the colour from the brightest flowers whereas the low winter sun turns the browns to luminous gold. Yesterday provided both and I’ve mainly focussed on what is sometimes colourful.

One.
Fuchsias. We still have loads of Fuchsias kicking around in pots, mostly 10L, so quite big plants that are fairly resilient. I need to cut them down and get them into the glasshouse, create a break in the cycle for rust and gall mite. I don’t want to do it too early or they will be making lots of early growth long before they can go out again. Besides, lots of them are still flowering, as are several in the garden. I hope you don’t want the names because I haven’t included them.

Two.
Hedychium ‘Assam Orange’ has coloured up quite nicely and gets the sun for around an hour in the middle of the day. There are still a few seeds hanging on it, I have no need of more. I’ve never seen birds eat them, perhaps they are gingery.

Three.
Hydrangea serrata ‘Cap Sizun’. This flowered in June as usual, then put up a number of stems to produce a second flush perched a foot above the fading early blooms. The weather being cool now, they are lasting exceptionally well.

Four.
What is needed to set off the blue of the hydrangeas is some yellow, in the picture above provided by the bamboo behind, but the hydrangea is almost encircled by grasses, most of them forms of Hakonechloa, of which I have several. For providing colour in December and January, often February too, they are second to none. As the spring bulbs start to appear, the grasses get cut down. There are crocuses growing right in some of the clumps of grass.

Five.
Salvia ‘Ember’s Wish’. This has a hand written label in it, implying that it was grown from a cutting but I don’t remember the parent plant or being given any cuttings. It started flowering a few weeks ago and I’ve finally got around to moving it under cover. It’s a cracking colour and Sarah Raven says it flowers longer than almost anything else in her garden. She probably says that about lots of things. I’m envisaging a mixed planting with Salvia ‘Amistad’.

Six.
Lettuce. A variety called All Year Round, sown on 3/10/2020 and looking like it might be plantable in my tunnel around February to give me a very early crop. Probably need to sow in August/September to have lettuce in the tunnel for the winter. Just need to keep the bunnies out.

Right, here’s the promised picture of our bit of coast. There was nothing to see out to sea this time; when we went a few weeks ago there was a big pod of dolphins working its way across. The Fowey Lifeboat crew were practising sending up flares in Lantic bay, bit of a tame firework show really.

Lantivet Bay with St Ildierna Church, Lansallos, on the hill.

We shan’t be down there this Sunday, or doing much gardening either probably. Virtual gardening, I like that word virtual, it’s very close to virtue in sound if not sentiment. So, virtual gardening, starting with The Prop, who hosts the links to sixes around the planet. To work….

35 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 5/12/2020

  1. Well done for your salads! Like me you manage to grow them in winter (Batavia for me)
    As for the Hakonechloa, does it tend to be invasive in the ground? I’d like to grow them (or potted if not)
    Last thing, Assam Orange berries have sprouted! Tks again.

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    1. Hakonechloa spreads very slowly, 5-7cm a year for me. Nothing stops it though. I keep meaning to put H. ‘Allgold’ into a pot, it weeps down and is on the ground a lot of the time, would be lovely in a pot. Good work with the Hedychium.

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  2. You certainly live in a beautiful area Jim, and walks by the sea are quite exhilarating in the winter. There is still so much colour in your garden. Will you be snipping off lettuce leaves as baby leaves in the meantime?

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    1. I’m lucky to live where I do, I try very hard not to take it for granted. The overwinter lettuce is a first for me, I hope to be picking a bit soon. If they’re planted with no lower leaves and a bit of stem maybe the slugs will miss them a bit.

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  3. What a glorious local walk, and by the sea: perfect! But so is your garden, with those lovely grasses, of which I only have one and who could guess that they feature on each of our posts this week?

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  4. Lovely colours still in your garden, Jim. The view is stunning. I have been watching some of the “Saving lives at sea” programmes on “Catch up” recently. Those lifeboat people are so modest about the work they do.

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    1. In 1976, I was given a lift, along with three friends and four rucksacks, by a lady driving a small car along one of Hoy’s empty roads. She had a lifeboats sticker in the windscreen and one of my friends asked, jovially, who was on the lifeboats, her husband or her. She told us he had died in the Penlee disaster. We didn’t talk after that.

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  5. Your garden still looks glorious and you’ve captured the light so well. I’m happy you are in the lowest tier of restrictions and imagine your reluctance to take advantage of them collectively has helped keep you there. My part of the England is in the top level and has been almost all along. I’m glad we have sights like these to help keep us cheerful.

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    1. I’m not entirely sure why case numbers have stayed so low down here, didn’t even go up much when the tourists came back in late summer. Combination of low population density and bracing Atlantic winds perhaps. Compliance is less convincing.

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  6. Lovely as your garden is it’s nice to see the coastline near your home – just stunning! And look at all those fuchsias – so many and all so beautiful.

    Welcome to twitter again. I’ve followed you back. I find it a good place for garden chat and there are so many good growers with great plants showing what they’re up to. Just steer clear of politics and don’t be tempted by any of the trending hashtags. They are rarely rabbit holes that you’ll be happy you went down!

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  7. You have a fabulous collection of fuchsias. I’ve never bothered with them much but I think you have converted me. What fabulous views and of course you are much milder, my salvias have all collapsed.

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    1. We try to keep the Fuchsias going because most would be impossible to get again if we lost them. I think tonight might be the first real test for salvias and some other things. Fingers crossed.

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    1. We do seem to have a high death rate for Salvias, like Dahlias the biggest problem being slugs on the emerging shoots in spring. We always leave taking cuttings too late as well, so there are no backups.

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  8. Much like you the garden is so sodden I don’t want to step on it. The Hakonechloa looking good. Mine has been spreading very slowly but found a few pots cheap on a visit to local country house earlier in the year so bulked out a bit now.

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  9. Your garden is full of treasures and both those huge glowing patches of ginger and Hakonechloa are stunning. I’ve never been a fuchsia person, but that is a great selection. It sounds like you would typically leave them out, so they are all hardy??

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    1. I’ve just spent most of the morning cutting Fuchsias down and moving them in. Most of them seem to be hardy here if planted in the ground, there is absolutely no clear cut off between hardies and non-hardies. Some of the species get killed to the ground, come up again reliably enough but don’t start flowering until October, so if we don’t get an early frost they’re OK. Many of the hybrids don’t get killed back by frost but with gall mite becoming more of a problem, I shall cut them all down this week and have a good clean up.

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  10. That is a lovely selection of fuchsia. That is unusual seeing the second flush of flowers high above the first lot of flowers. They certainly stand out! As for the grasses, the sun definitely brings out their golden tones. While our lettuce have bolted due to the heat (we had two days straight of 37 deg C), yours are looking particularly healthy! Your final photo of the coast line is really pretty, and calming!

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  11. A beautifully colourful post – inspiring me once again. I am gradually adding grasses to the garden, they do earn their keep over the winter. What a lovely walk – good to see some wide open spaces, very good for the soul.

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