Six on Saturday – 4/9/2021

With every week that passes there is a sense of the spring slowly winding down. It’s a chilly 12°C here this morning but the weather has been benign and most things are holding up quite well but a day or two of wind and rain will quickly change that. I’m not talking Ida wind and rain, we neither want nor need any such thing.

One.
A couple of weeks back I showed a seedling of Gladiolus papilio ‘Ruby’ that had flowered for the first time, to my considerable excitement. Two more spikes opened about a week later and looked to be identical to the first, which got me wondering. This week spike four has opened and what a beauty it has turned out to be. There is one more still to open, who knows what further treasures are in store.

Two.
My Dahlias this year have either been a runaway success or near total failure. In the former camp is a collarette type called ‘Danum Torch’, which made unusually prodigious growth then started producing unusually small flowers. They’ve slowly increased in size so it’s now producing a good display and it is hugely popular with the insects.

Three.
Clematis viticella ‘Etoile Violette’ and Fuchsia ‘Delta’s Sarah’. I know that’s two things but that is pretty much the point. The combination is rather lovely at the moment though getting both elements into a photograph with equal prominence eluded me.

Four.
Canna ‘Cleopatra’.

Five.
Another Fuchsia, this is ‘Maxima’. I could do six Fuchsias for weeks and not run out. They are really coming into their own now, late because they were all cut to the ground last autumn to try to eradicate Fuchsia gall mite, then were hampered getting go by April’s frosty grip.

Six.
Unable to choose between Amaryllis and Cosmos for my last item, I’ll go with apple pruning instead. Around a month ago I shortened all the laterals on my apple tree to roughly four inches. Yesterday I cut them back to an inch or so. The outermost bud had started to grow away on most of the shoots but it’s too late for any new growth now. I could have delayed the whole operation until now but I would have missed a month of the vigour supressing affect of removing much of the new growth. I do sometimes wonder whether stripping the leaves off wouldn’t have much the same effect.

And that’s yer lot yet again. Don’t forget to check in with the Propagator, he’s up bright and early this morning, or his auto-post is.

39 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 4/9/2021

  1. Very nice photos of dahlias! On the first we can see 1 hoverfly, on the second we can see 2, I thought I would have 3 on the third etc. 😂 Bees, butterflies and bumbles are there too .
    The foliage of the Canna “Cleopatra” is truly extraordinary. I discovered this canna on twitter not long ago. A must have!

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    1. I had a go at identifying the various bees. Soon gave up. The Canna, like bicoloured Camellias, fascinates me. Whatever genetic thing switches pigment randomly on and off in the leaves, also does it in the flowers, which are red, yellow or both. In bicolored Camellias the seed pods have red stripes, but the leaves are always plain green.

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  2. Was Gladiolus papilio all from the same seed? I mean, did it grow and divide enough to bloom with several stalks before it bloomed for the first time? . . . or are there several that grew from several seeds? Since they are seedlings from a cultivar, I would expect some degree of genetic variation from several seeds. Yours are exquisite, but mine are the BEST because they were a gift from Tangly Cottage Garden!

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    1. The seed was collected from the single clump of ‘Ruby’ I have in my front garden, with no other gladioli near. The first three spikes appear identical and may be from a single plant, I won’t know until it dies down and I lift and divide the clump. I’ll also collect seed and grow another generation, see if that throws more variations. I’d like to bulk up the two forms I have into decent but separate clumps and I’m not sure whether to do so in pots or in the ground.

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      1. Goodness, horticulturists do some darn silly things in the garden. You know, I dug two separate white perennial pea ‘plants’. I know that they are essentially identical, but I am keeping one that was divided into three as a separate ‘cultivar’, ‘just in case’.

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  3. I could barely go beyond the clematis I just found the combination so stunning. And I think I might have just planted an Etoile violette. It’s night now and I can’t check but gosh I hope so!

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  4. That gladiolus is definitely a “stop you in your tracks” flower. Beautiful. The fuchsias are looking good now. My “hedge” fuchsia is pretty much in full flower, I will show it next week. The dahlia with visitors is/are lovely.

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    1. I cut all our fuchsias back very hard because of gall mite last year so they’re running late but should give us a couple of months of good flowering. One of our “hedge” types has earned itself a stay of execution by flowering its socks off. The gladiolus is lovely and I want a separate clump of it, just not sure how best to do that.

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  5. Your spring has gone on forever Jim! 😆 Love that Canna leaf with its black stripe – I always think back to living in South Africa when I see Canna lilies, they seemed to have the most tatty leaves which has put me off growing them.

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    1. We seem to have acquired three Cannas in the last year, not having grown them for many years. So far they are looking great but the real test is just around the corner. Do I lift them or leave them in; Cleo is in a pot so that’s easy, the other two are in the ground.

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  6. That Canna is amazing; I’m amazed that your Clematis (and others I’ve seen in British Sixers) are still blooming so prolifically – aside from the native C. virginiana, they’ve all pretty much stopped blooming here, for several weeks now.

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    1. I don’t know about other peoples clematis but the ‘Etoile Violette’ had an epic struggle to get going in the spring. I cut it back early and very low and the slugs were utterly relentless, taking buds back to the main stem repeatedly. When around May they left it alone for a bit it was as if the plant was so exhausted it had no strength left to make growth. So I’m amazed it grew at all but not at all surprised its very late.

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  7. Beautiful photos of the dahlias and insects and your success with the gladiolus is very exciting. I hope one day my Etoile Violette will perform as well, it’s one of my favourites.

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  8. That’s a very nice shade on G. papilio! I grow the ordinary one here, a bit of a weed but an attractive plant nonetheless.

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      1. I like the flowers but it does become a weed so very quickly – after spending half and hour today lifting seedlings from a rockery! Grrrr!

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    1. I think I find the green and purple combination in Cleopatra more to my taste than the green and white variegated things with the same growth habit that I’ve seen. I must check how tall it gets, at the moment it’s short for a Canna and would be much better at twice the height.

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