The weather has had it in for us this week. We hit -4°C earlier in the week then the wind set in. I don’t like wind, it makes me tetchy. Another week has passed without me even getting into the garden much, far less doing anything useful out there. This morning it’s doing that old trick of being bright and sunny until you walk out the door, when the heavens will open.
Fortunately Katherine the teabreak gardener had suggested I do a masterclass on camellia pruning, so thinking that a good idea, I have been working on it on and off all week. It’ll go on my camellia blog when I’ve sorted the rest of the pictures out. I received a couple of deliveries of bulbs during the week, so two more Eucomis, two more Amarines, a rather tasty Gladiolus papilio variety and tastiest of all, two intersectional peonies, ‘Bartzella’ and ‘Cora Louise’, have been added to my plant inventory, or would be if I had one. The bulbs are potted, the peonies planted; I managed not to be totally idle.
The frost trashed the open flowers on all my Camellias but I was intrigued to see that half open flowers and buds just showing colour seem to have largely escaped and within days some plants at least, were well on the way to looking good again. The ones with very few buds left to open have had it for this year but that really only applies to two bushes.
At least as far as this six goes, I don’t seem to be in the position of showing the mushy remains of things I was posting a week ago as showing so much promise. That’s a relief. Which is not to say it’s a mush free post.
Geranium ‘Fay Anna’. I saw this flowering in a friends garden a few years back and decided I had to have it. I moved it from the front garden where it wasn’t very happy and was getting swamped by Osteospermum, to a fairly shady corner out the back. Looking at it now I would say it was the right move. This display from the new foliage is not something I’ve seen it do before. The flowers are pinky mauve, smallish but abundant, late season.
Hellebores. I mutter and grumble about my collection of self sown bog standard hellebores and usually they ignore me. There must have been something in the tone of it this year that may them pay attention; they’ve suddenly put on the glitz, with a couple of whites that stand out from the rest. Maybe I won’t rip them all out and start again, not this year anyway.
Chionodoxa. For a number of years I have had a slowly expanding patch of what I have always called Chionodoxa luciliae. Blue, white eye. I downloaded from the RHS website the trial report bulletin from a trial of “little blue bulbs” that is dated 2005. From that I concluded that I should probably be calling it C. forbesii or siehei but that it’s all a bit of a mess. Chionodoxa sardensis sounded to be an even better blue so for the last couple of years I have bought and planted quantities of C. sardensis, purchased from Peter Nyssen. They are a truly fabulous colour and I see that the ones I planted in 2019 are surrounded by thousands of seedlings so they are evidently happy. I’m hoping for the flowering to improve greatly before long.
The bit behind the glasshouse. There’s a small triangle of ground behind one glasshouse that has not delivered much for several years. It contains a Miscanthus that always flops, an Aster that the slugs always wreck, a Hibiscus that has never got going, an Epimedium that doesn’t flower any more, a Japanese anemone that is reverting to something nondescript, a million hybrid bluebells. I am determined that things will change and today planted two newly purchased intersectional peonies, ‘Bartzella’ and ‘Cora Louise’, which were too expensive for failure to be an option. Keith Wiley had them growing at Wildside when we went there in 2019. Anything he can grow I can kill. I hope you don’t have too long to wait for pictures of the plants rather than the space.
Baring my soul this week! Another failure. This lot are Aristea ecklonii that I must have had a plant of at some point since they were grown from my own seed. Sown 16th July 2018, so I’ve mollycoddled them for 138 weeks, through three winters, for this. Hey ho, good planting space. I chopped the blackened leaf tips after the last frosty spell, probably a mistake.
Clivia miniata var citrina. Given to us a week or two back, I now have two, this healthy one and the other, less healthy one. The other one is bud; I think I need them to flower together to stand a chance of getting seeds. It’s not going to happen this year. I don’t really know why I want seeds, just for the satisfaction of getting that far perhaps. Have I got seeds and seedlings of other varieties on order? Might have.
It was tipping it down overnight so I’m not planning any digging or planting today. Seed sowing is a possibility. Showers area pain, you never know what to do. Hang a light fitting, watch the rugby, read everyone’s sixes. Time passes just the same, whatever I do. The sun is shining, I have to do something!!!!