Six on Saturday – 12/6/2021

Our first NGS opening is on the 23rd but we had something of a dry run with a group from Liskeard on wednesday afternoon. It all went well, which was a relief. Having spent weeks coaxing things along and primping and preening it all, it’s hard not to feel a bit flat afterwards. There’s plenty of primping and preening needed on my allotment, which has been somewhat neglected. Sweet corn plants went in yesterday.

In the garden we now have a two week lull, during which quite a few things will flower their heads off and be over when our next visitors come. Just as well I have six on saturday to show them off.

One.
It’s the season of self sown biennials in our garden, foxgloves, Aquilegias and Geranium palmatum mostly. They put on a prodigious growth spurt in spring and there is the risk of them swamping other plants. Three weeks and it’s all over, a few get left for seed, the rest get pulled out and by July it’s a different garden.

Two.
Corydalis flexuosa cv. This was given to us without a name and I don’t know which of the many available forms it is. It’s vigorous, gets a couple of feet high and a bit more wide. So long as it doesn’t get too dry it will flower for months. It has a strong but not especially lovely perfume. Some time in late summer it will disappear, to green up again in the winter.

Three.
Allium ‘Ambassador’. I bought six of these and fifty ‘Purple Sensation’. These cost 13 times as much per bulb but are still the ones I’d buy again. I’m going to pick seed heads off the Californian poppies and spread seed where the Alliums are; see if they’ll hide the foliage next time around. I very much hope there’ll be a next time.

Four.
Leptospermum ‘Karo Spectrobay’. This is a New Zealand raised hybrid between L. rotundifolium and L. spectabile, both Australian species from New South Wales. It came through last winter with no problems and is spectacularly floriferous. It looks like it might be a bit of an unruly grower so I’m going to have to learn how to prune it to best effect.

Five.
Last Sunday we went to the plant fair at Tregrehan. For years I’ve been telling people they must go, and this year there were more customers than ever. Perhaps I should have kept quiet. I only bought two plants, Begonia panchtharensis and Pyrrosia sheareri. Some things you just ain’t going to pick up for a couple of quid in Morrisons and the truth is that even if Morrisons had this pair on a trolley for two quid, not one in a thousand of their customers would give them a second glance. Sue was this morning waxing lyrical about the one rose we have, ‘Hanky Panky’, saying that “obviously” I would want to include it in my six this week. You choose, love one and ignore the other.

Six.
Passiflora caerulea ‘Damsel’s Delight’. Everyone loves a passion flower, don’t they? We bought this last year and I only recently found a place for it, next to the Bomarea that I thought had died over the winter but which is now trying to struggle past the legions of slugs. If it succeeds it gets to fight with the passion flower. I like to reward success.

My present plan for this morning is to plant my butternut squashes, sow some carrots and feed my runner beans, all on the allotment. I’ve had a quick look at The Propagator’s six, gateway to the hexagonal world that it is; see you there?

35 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 12/6/2021

  1. ‘Purple Sensation’ is very well featured ! but I don’t know about you, but the flowers really don’t last very long… A week or less after they dry out, maybe because of the pretty hot weather right now here in France.
    This begonia panchtharensis has a very beautiful foliage

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    1. When I saw the Begonia I thought it was Syneilesis or Podophyllum; I’d have bought it almost whatever it had turned out to be. I should have taken photos of the Alliums from when they started to open, which was about two weeks ago. I’m wondering how much bigger the heads will get. Our hottest day is forecast for tomorrow at 23°C, then cooler again, so I’m hoping they’ll keep going for a good while.

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  2. My vote is for the begonia, although I expect you would guess that anyway. Good plan about the california poppies (some days I just can’t be bothered to try to spell esch …. eschsch ….. ). Really, really like the leptospermum! Happy allotmenteering.

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    1. I found an article about an Australian breeding programme for Leptospermums with a lot of enticing pictures. They were using the same parents as Karo Spectrobay; I’ve not looked into whether any of them are available over here. Several of these Begonias seem not to want to start growing until mid summer, I have a couple of dozen ‘Torsa’ bulbils with only one starting to leaf out. Bit like Roscoea, presumably in the wild they’d have been waiting for something else to die down. There’s always so much to learn with plants.

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  3. Lovely passion flower, so intricate a bloom. You have other lovelies, but I shall leave those for others to comment on.

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  4. Looks lovely. The Leptospermum fills me with melancholy. Mine made it through the winter and a transplant, bloomed bountifully, then died. The passion flower is a thing of beauty, and your plant fair acquisitions look quite promising.

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    1. You’re making me nervous, my Leptospermum is at the blooming bountifully stage; I’m very much hoping it keeps going. I’m a total pushover for almost any borderline hardy Begonia or any hardy fern that is significantly different from those I already have. Sue wouldn’t have paid for both plants what I paid for each of them.

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  5. Well done with the group visit, looks like you have plenty to keep them happy. I wish I had Geranium palmatum self-seeding in my garden instead of the Herb Robert! But it has its usefulness in dry shady places (as well as other places). I do like Leptospermum but running out of anywhere to plant anything now. In fact looking at the Bee and Butterfly bed I think I am going to have to dig everything out come the autumn and replant. It has got very overgrown and the Cape Fuchsia (phygelius) is spreading all over the place!

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    1. Until a couple of weeks ago I had an envelope of G. palmatum seeds on my desk. Happy to send you seed when it’s ready. I think what played out well with the group visit is that their expectations of a garden in the middle of a very ordinary housing estate were fairly low and were exceeded by a good margin. Phygelius is on the long list of things tried and won’t be coming back. The figwort beetles ruined the flowers as often as not, as well as the plants bad manners.

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  6. Do you believe that there may not be a ‘next time’ for the ‘Ambassador’ alliums? I want to start with ‘Purple Sensation’ because I suspect that they might be more reliably perennial here. I figured that, although other cultivars may not do so well here with minimal chill, they might be more reliably perennial where winters are cooler.

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    1. This is my first go at growing the tall purple alliums so I don’t have much to go on. I don’t do well with keeping daffodils or tulips, though some other bulbs have proved reliably perennial. I should look into it a bit before spending a lot more money.

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    1. G. palmatum is a biennial or at best a very short lived perennial. I leave a few to set seed, some of which I collect and the rest just falls. The rest get pulled up as soon as the flowering slows down.

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  7. That is one healthy corydalis, Jim! I love it here in shady spots where the special blue sings. I’ll need to lean low and smell mine (they’re only 12″ tall) based on your description… and I’m not entirely looking forward to it. 😉

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  8. It is the corydalis that catches my eye, I confess to not realising it reached such heights. I hope your next visitors enjoy it. Apologies to Sue, but there is no competition on what to feature! Wishing you a great NGS day.

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  9. Allium Ambassador looks good in that planting scheme, I like the way they stand so proud and tall and don’t flop around the place. What makes you prefer them to Purple Sensation – looks or longer flowering time? It’s true that PS is over quite quickly, mine’s done already but I am enjoying the seed heads. Your photo of the passion flower makes me wish I had one!

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    1. I may have planted Purple Sensation in a poor location but the bulbs were a fraction the size of Ambassador and several were in poor condition. Of 50 bulbs I should think less than 20 flowered, half the height and flower size of Ambassador and not lasting as long. I wouldn’t want to draw too firm a conclusion from one experience but the difference was enormous.

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  10. Despite what you told me, you do have some wider views of your garden, and very nice they are too. The geranium is very effective at the back of the fern border. The passion flower is stunning, so I am now trying to think where I could fit one in.

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    1. I’m still thinking that to pick out six views and not focus on any individual plants would be a worthwhile challenge. Looking up the Passiflora it seems ‘Damsel’s Delight’ is a polyploid variety bred by https://www.riversidepassiflora.com/ They refer to a few articles in magazines I get and must dig out again and read properly. It seems to be well worth seeking out one of theirs rather than getting species P. caerulea.

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  11. That rose Hanky Panky is a mixture between fascinating and weird, in my opinion. Yours is a lovely, healthy specimen though. The corydalis is a lovely, delicate blue. Interesting Six-on-Saturday again.

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    1. I’m not really very keen on roses but as the proud owner of Alstroemeria ‘Rock & Roll’ I’m in no position to get snobby about ‘Hanky Panky’. The great thing about plants is that you can love one for its brashness and another for its subtlety and so long as they’re not planted next to each other all will be fine.

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    1. Considering the Leptospermum was the same cross as a bunch of others made to get longer vase life as a cut flower, I’m a bit disappointed at how quickly the flowers have gone over. It’s been warm here, but not Aussie warm.

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