Six on Saturday – 6/3/2021

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.

One.
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.

Two.
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.

Three.
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.

Four.
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.

Five.
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.

Six.
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.

35 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 6/3/2021

  1. Congratulations on your 200th Six! A fine achievement. I know what you mean about the garden progressing slowly. A few diffs and the odd sign of growth here and there, but the cold weather this week has put a bit of a halt on things round here.

    At least you’ve got the camellias to entertain you!

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    1. I should have salved my collector’s instincts with something smaller growing than Camellias, or got a much bigger garden. They are to me what Corydalis are to you, I recognize the symptoms.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funnily enough, I was looking at your post and your comments about not boring people with Camellias. I think I might need to reign in the Corydalis photos! Part of the problem is both Camellias and Corydalis are in full flow at the moment, where much of the rest of the garden is quiet.

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      2. No, keep them coming, they’re over all too soon as it is. When I visited the Mt Edgcumbe Camellia collection on tuesday my photo haul was 1214 plus 33 video clips on the phone. That’s likely to be a weekly total for the next month or so. And you think you have problems?

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  2. Number 1 is breathtaking. As you say, more words are unnecessary. I like the leaves of the Potentilla, I can imagine it with red flowers, very nice. I am sure you will show it to us later in the season. Meanwhile, congratulations on your 200th edition, it’s actually my 3rd birthday with Six-on-Saturday today. I think a nice bottle of chilled white wine with tonight’s curry is in order.

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  3. 200 garden posts: what an achievement and congratulations to you and Jon. The leaves on the potentilla look so soft and velvety, and well worth space in the border. Do diary it for reappearance when it is flowering.

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  4. Hi Jim, That’s a lovely story about the potentilla and I’m not surprised you’re keen to see it pop up. My outdoor echiums are dead as dodos because we had that really cold weather a few weeks back. Luckily I took six seedlings into the greenhouse as insurance and they’re looking good. Glorious camellia photo. I’m not good at pruning camellias ( ie I never do it). Maybe you could give us a masterclass one week?!

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  5. 200th Six? I don’t know how much for me … Less of course.
    A gorgeous pink camellia, a stunning photo of amaryllis on a black background, and the pretty potentilla leaves caught my eyes this weekend.

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    1. You might be disappointed, but you won’t be surprised, to hear that my portable background has faded over the years and is now just dark grey. I selected the area of the flower, inverted the selection and dragged the dark end of the levels curve up; bingo, black background.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Never missed, even did seven from Australia Dec 17/Jan 18. As much as it pains to say it, the very best bluebell clumps I have are clearly hybrid, I don’t have to try too hard to enjoy them.

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    1. I have taken literally dozens of pictures of Debbie over the last two days, trying to pin down the colour. Looks like we get rain wednesday, hopefully I can get up the park on Tuesday. Windy again too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Barbados is a stunner and the potentilla has a lovely, furry texture. The silvery outlines nicely accent the leaf shapes. Pots in the ground seems a good arrangement for bulbs with seasonal interest, allowing for a rotating cast of performers.

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    1. The tulips were a cheap end of season deal and will get shredded with no qualms. Hopefully by then the Alstroemerias will be almost in flower. The ground there is terrible, neither would have done well planted in it.

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  7. My Six were redundant to my Six from last week, but I did not notice until they posted! My Six for next week will be redundant to one of my Six from this week, . . . but that is actually intentional.

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  8. Congratulations on your 200th sixth. I’ve tried eliminating bluebells from certain areas. They manage to drag themselves down so deep! The potentilla leaves are lovely with their pale edges.

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    1. So true about how deep bluebells go. I very much doubt they are killed by having the tops cut off, even well below ground, if the bulb is left behind. I admire them, grudgingly.

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  9. You should get a medal, Jim, for the 200th! A fanfare, at the very least. I have wondered some weekends it I am repeating but I confine myself to the photographs taken in the week and take the view that if it was still interesting enough to photograph it will do fine in the Saturday report.

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    1. Repetition is inevitable; even with lots of plants there are times when not a lot is happening. I find it just as interesting to look at what has never been included, makes you question why you grow some things. SoS has been a real pleasure, especially this last year. It’s my point of reference for where I am in the week.

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  10. Much admiration for you never having missed a post. A great achievement. And it is a seasonal highlight to see your camellias. Keep ‘em coming. Re your bluebell seedlings. I too have similar looking seedlings but have put them down as allium ‘Purple Sensation’ seedlings. I hope that’s what mine are! I don’t need more bluebells. Love the hocus pocus with the backdrop too.

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    1. Minus four overnight hasn’t done much for the Camellias. That’s seriously cold for down here. I planted 50 Allium Purple Sensation in the autumn and only two have come up. Fortunately the six Allium ‘Ambassador’ are all up. Presumably seedlings on hybrid alliums are not necessarily true to type?

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  11. Why do we spend several years hoping that certain plants will spread themselves around the garden and then just as long trying to keep them in check? I waged a war against Allium christophii seedlings last year and there seem to be even more this year. It seems very ungrateful

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    1. I was quite excited to see loads of seedlings of Chionodoxa sardensis this morning and on the other side of the same bed spot treating with glyphosate an invasive perennial poppy which I unwisely accepted as a gift from another garden. This afternoon I was removing Hesperantha from one end of a patch of Adiantum fern and at the other end chopped back the fern before it choked out the rest of my fern patch. It makes it all the more remarkable the way that natural plant communities can have dozens of species growing together in seemingly stable equilibrium. Perhaps we need to have the courage to leave it be and let the equilibrium happen.

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  12. That is a gorgeous Camellia..highlighter pink is an excellent description of the color. I love a good color jump in the garden. I am loving your borage. After laboriously growing some from seed and watering forever, the rabbits ate them. Happy 200th.

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    1. Les Jury must have had a particularly strident pink Camellia saluenensis form since a lot of his hybrids have that same colour quality. Other breeders have raised swarms with quite different colour qualities. Strong genes.

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  13. Congratulations on your 200th Six on Saturday post! The bold colour of the Hippeastrum and Camellia certainly herald in the spring! I don’t know the Trachystemon or ants, but the latter with its silver-lined leaves is very pretty. Cannot wait to see it’s flowers. I like the idea of replacing pots strategically placed in the ground to allow for continuous colour in the garden. Similar to Padraig this week except he has a concrete pots into which he puts other pots.

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    1. I originally plunged pots so I could grow Alstroemeria where they would never have grown in the ground, which is like concrete. It seemed a good idea when they’d finished to replace them with something for winter/spring. I need to disguise them better.

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