Six on Saturday – 3/7/2021

That’s both the summer solstice and the calendar midpoint passed. Half way through Wimbledon too and the Brits are dropping like flies. Blight in some of my potatoes too. A very ordinary summer.

Picking six things in the garden at this time of the year is about choosing what to put in, what to leave out. It’s surprising how often a plant is looking really good for only one shot at a six; if not this week it’ll be over by next, and last week it wasn’t even open.

One
Fuchsia magellanica ‘Arauco’. This has the same colouring as the slightly better known ‘Lady Bacon’ but is smaller growing. I planted it in the new area where the tunnel had been and should have put it nearer the front or planted shorter things in front of it. We’ve only had it a year so don’t yet know how hardy it will prove to be; if it isn’t killed back by frost it might get taller and be OK where it is.

Two.
I planted five bulbs of Lilium ‘Guinea Gold’, a martagon hybrid, three years ago and though they were chomped a bit by slugs they came through well enough for me to have added some more last autumn. I’ll probably get more this year too. They’re at the edge of my shady area and get dappled sunlight in early morning when they look lovely against the dark foliage of a camellia or, from a different angle, backed by Begonia luxurians. Dryopteris erythrosora fern is putting up its new colourful foliage alongside too, which matches astonishingly well, a happy accident.

Three.
White geraniums. Geranium sanguineum ‘Album’ is flowering its head off, the best it’s ever been. So too is Geranium pratense f. albiflorum, though as a much younger plant it has much less flower on it. Both will be well past their peak next week. I collected a few seeds from a drift of G. pratense f. albiflorum on a verge near Jamaica Inn, at Bolventor in the middle of Bodmin Moor. Both have flowers of pure white and both are lovely. Sorry, gotta break the rules, they share the slot.

Four.
While on the subject of white flowers, I put in my dark purple Iris ensata last week and this week it’s the turn of my white one, Iris ensata ‘Moonlight Waves’. If I’d checked the second of these pictures at the time I took it I’d have gone back out and taken it again having removed the two adjacent dead blooms. Too late now, it’s raining, and dark.

Five.
Cerinthe major ‘Yellow Gem’. I placed an order with Plant World for Dahlia campanulata and felt obliged to add a few things to make up a sensible order. I wanted a few annuals to quickly, if temporarily, fill the tunnel gone space, so I added these. They have grown prodigiously, are flowering beautifully against attractive glaucous foliage and are 30 inches high right beside the path, onto which they are encroaching, and with a bit more rain, collapsing.

Six.
Campanula poscharskyana, the Serbian bellflower, is a bit of a beast. It creeps underground by very slender runners that will go through the tiniest cracks in brickwork or paving and, as if that wasn’t enough, it produces seedlings fairly freely too. When it flowers like it is just now, all is forgiven. The flowers seem to be a magnet for slugs while the plant isn’t touched, or grows so fast it doesn’t matter.

It was raining earlier, now it’s dry but with showers forecast. I need to pick peas, which looks set to be a damp affair. The forecast for early next week is for wind and rain, so I need to get some things supported, especially Dahlias. We’re open again on Wednesday but so far only have two bookings. Rain is forecast so that may not change, next Sunday looks a better bet. The garden needs rain but the gardener doesn’t, in summary.

Be sure to check the rest of the SoS posts, the links are here.

27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 3/7/2021

  1. Six (or more) beautiful photos Jim. I planted three martagon lilies this year in my dappled bed, when I came back from a week in Somerset only one was still above ground and even that appeared to have had its flower buds eaten 😣 I hope they come back next year with more resistance to the S&S. That Cerinthe major ‘Yellow Gem’ is pretty. I had the purple ones last year and hoped they would self-seed, but only one did and that is hidden in the middle of one of the raised beds. If I remember I might try your variety next year.

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    1. My lilies were badly slugged in their first year but survived and flowered, they seem to stronger and more resistant this year. I hope the Cerinthe will set good seed which I can collect, in which case you’re welcome to have some.

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  2. Your yellow Cerinthe Major is looking good. Unfortunately, my beautiful, purple variety has disappeared and is definitely missed. I hope Wednesday fills up, although the weather forecast here is not good, I didn’t notice whether Cornwall fares any better.

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    1. Wednesday isn’t looking too bad on the Met Office website but much less fun on the BBC weather website. If I were booking myself I’d wait for the Sunday opening.

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  3. There are some great summer colours there Jim. I like that Fuchsia and your note that it is smaller than Mrs Beacon. Would you be happy to share the name of the nursery you got it from?

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    1. I’d happily tell you where I got the fuchsia if I could remember. It was a garden centre purchase, bought in from a wholesale supplier, in all probability Dutch. I think we may have cuttings on the go if you want one.

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  4. Those Lilies are wonderful. I’m not surprised that you went back for some more. I grow that campanula (which implies I’m in charge of it which is not the case) and its very pretty.

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  5. Amazing area covered with your Campanula poscharskyana on your terrace/path. It’s true that it’s a very easy plant… I have to cut mine regularly otherwise I will walk on it.
    Nice fuchsias !

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  6. I love your fucshia, a real beauty. I have L. ‘Golden Guinea’ too and another martagon lily ‘Claude Shride’ which is fabulous too. I love the way you have placed them.

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  7. Cerinthe major purpurascens seems to set seed more readily for me than the Yellow form which only lasted 2-3 years self seeding outside. Do let us know how yours does in warm sunny Cornwall

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    1. I’ll collect seed if I can, I might even tag the best colour forms for the purpose. In warm sunny Cornwall self sowing is at the pleasure of the slimy assassins, though Cerinthe seem comparatively untouched.

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  8. These flowers are all so stunning, especially the Fuchsia and the white Iris! We have an invasive bell flower here – Campanula rapunculoides – SO invasive and impossible to get rid of once it’s established. Just as bad as bindweed, really. Just with spires of beautiful blueflowers.

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    1. Tricky business, invasive species. We have a few and there are several other species flagged as having the potential to become problematic but a) no-one takes them seriously until they’re a problem and it’s too late b) their spread is exponential and Covid has taught us that most people don’t understand exponential growth.

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  9. Those geraniums normally do not interest me. They just do not do well enough here. It is a bummer, since they look woodsy enough for the redwood forests. They seem like a natural fit. White would be even better, not just because it is my favorite color, but because it brightens up the ambient shade. (Even sunny spots are surrounded by shade.) Does Geranium pratense ‘Albiflorum’ tend to be floppier? A (nearly) local grower grows several of the geraniums, but I just ignore them when I see them in the nurseries. I know they must grow somewhere near here. Otherwise, the nursery would not sell them.

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    1. Both G. pratense and G. sanguineum generally grow in open situations though woodland margin getting some sun would probably be OK. G. pratense is taller and usually held up by the other plants it grows amongst. G. sanguineum is shorter and more spreading but like a lot of Geraniums, give it something to scramble through and it will get higher. The species I would think more likely to succeed in redwood forest is G. sylvaticum, which has a wild white form G. sylvaticum f. albiflorum and a white cultivar, G. sylvaticum ‘Album’. Both can be grown from seed and should come true.

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      1. Geranium sylvaticum sounded familiar, but I just looked it up, and the (nearly) local grower does not grow it. (Annie’s Annuals). Of course, she could have grown it in the past. I suspect that there were more than what is available now. I will not grow one from seed, but I might grab one if I see it in the retail nursery. I just avoid those that are either very rare, or fads, like ‘Rozanne’.

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  10. What a beautiful Fuchsia. I’m missing mine but hope a gap of a couple of years will break the Gall Mite cycle. D. Erythrosora didn’t do very well in the ground here so I put it in a pot in the fern wall but it’s only produced three fronds so far. Do you give yours any special treatment?

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    1. We had quite a bit of gall mite last year which I removed and binned as soon as I saw it. I cut all the fuchsias in the garden right down before the winter and so far have seen none this year. A high alert level is being maintained. The Dryopteris gets no special treatment except I did water them a couple of times when it was very dry earlier on.

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  11. The white iris are gorgeous! And I’ve honestly never been interested in different types of lilies, but your Lilium ‘Guinea Gold’ has changed my mind. They are so pretty! And not to be left out, Cerinthe major ‘Yellow Gem’, is just lovely, too. 🙂

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    1. The lilies are a classic example of the danger of writing off a whole group of plants because of the ubiquitous ones. Every overly popular plant group has a few gems on its fringes, if you can only find out about them, then get hold of them.

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