Very early on I realised that I couldn’t remember what I’d posted in these sixes even a couple of weeks ago, so I started keeping a list of what I included week by week. Otherwise it becomes a diary in which it is hard to find anything. At some point I started putting in the links to the posts too, so I could quickly look up all the times I’d included Muehlenbeckia astonii or whatever and then go to the post to see what I’d said. It also means, since I number each week, that I can tell you this is my 200th six, meaning it’s the illustrious, industrious Propagator’s 200th too. I feel I should do something special, raise a glass, bake a cake, sow a seed. That’s nearly four years worth of Saturdays. Other than that, this is just another Saturday, with six things happening in, or very close to the garden.
Kick of with a bit of drama then, another of the small collection of Hippeastrums I bought for Sue late last year. This one is ‘Barbados’. Nothing to say.
Meanwhile, in the great outdoors it’s all still happening very slowly except for Camellias and I don’t want to push my luck. Trachystemon orientalis is doing its thing, which is blue borage flowers amongst fresh new big leaves. It’s a good space filler down in the shade under Camellias and the like, though it’s a bit of a thug and needs to be kept clear of its less robust neighbours.
Potentilla. I scoured books and catalogues last year and eventually put a name to this with a fair level of confidence. Needless to say, if I wrote it down I don’t remember where. When my allotment neighbour quit her plot she left a herbaceous Potentilla with intense red flowers behind. It set seed which I duly collected, sowed, germinated and grew on, planting them out last year. They vanished completely in the winter but are now back, more silvery than before and I’m very much looking forward to them flowering.
Bluebells have been spreading enthusiastically across the garden for years, almost all clearly hybrids between the English and Spanish. They’re ephemeral enough to live happily alongside most things, quickly dying back underground before summer gets under way. Even so, I decided a couple of years back to clear them from one area completely so I carefully dug it over while the leaves were still green and removed every last one. Last year the area was clear and I gave myself a pat on the back. I should have known better. Look what I have this year, a forest of tiny seedlings that will be almost impossible to remove completely. Looking closely at the photo, I think I can see the black shiny seeds so perhaps I can get them before their roots go down and a bulb forms.
Out the front, the cheap, end of season tulips are showing great promise, growing in plunged 20L pots where the similarly accommodated Alstroemeria were last summer and will be again later on. Hopefully the foliage will soon mask the pot rims. I planted a Watsonia out there last summer and it’s taken quite a hit in the cold. Some of the self sown Echiums are so far looking pretty good but we’re not through winter yet. Then there are half a dozen monster Alliums, two in the picture.
It being Camellia season and me being the camellia man, there has to be a camellia. This is C. x williamsii ‘Debbie’, raised by Les Jury in New Zealand and a colour that manages to clash with just about everything, including most other pinks. Abby Jury describes it as highlighter pen pink. I cut ours back by around two thirds a few years ago and I have been keeping it compact by pruning since then. I think I will let it make a bit more growth this year so it does a better job of screening us from the neighbours, but then thin it so it’s not too much the solid lump of dark evergreen foliage. Camellias are wonderfully malleable plants.
Oh, is that it? I haven’t finished. It’s cold outside and I need to press on with weeding my allotment but it can wait. I also have seeds germinating on the bedroom floor which need to be squeezed into an already full glasshouse. Links to the rest of the gang are where they always are, on the Propagator’s post. See you there.