Six on Saturday 11/9/2021

This week saw some significant rain, which was very welcome except that most of the paths are now almost impassable. The curtain is beginning to go up on the last act for this year, with Asters opening, Nerine pushing up and Hedychiums flowering. With our NGS openings I’ve acquired a dead-heading habit that has stood me in good stead, so Dahlias and Cosmos are still going strong. I want to get a bit of seed from the Dahlias so I have to remember to leave some heads on. Here are six things that stood out this week.

One.
Hedychium densiflorum ‘Assam Orange’. I didn’t put this in a week ago because it had barely started to flower; a week later and it’s nearly finished. It usually lasts longer but it should be getting monsoon rains and instead it’s parched. I took a picture from an upstairs window and contemplated doing five more things from the same vantage point, so uninviting was the weather yesterday.

Two.
What first caught my eye from the window was the combination of Ipomaea ‘Grandpa Otts’ and Clematis ‘Ernest Markham’ flowering atop our obelisk. The Ipomaea fades to exactly the colour of the clematis so they’re a good match.

Three.
While I was with camera, I took a couple of shots of Ligustrum lucidum ‘Excelsum Superbum’, which is now in flower. It must be at least 20 feet tall, strikingly variegated, evergreen and flowering when few other trees are.

Four.
Eucomis ‘Pink Gin’ performed especially well in a Wisley trial so I succumbed to one this year. It’s done well and may have company next year. Company of its own kind, I’ve sneaked in a second picture, for scale you understand, where the Eucomis pole-evansii which I included a few weeks back is making a second appearance.

Five.
Agapanthus inapertus ‘Icicle’ appears to have had a good year, whereas Aggie ‘Queen Mum’, right next to it, isn’t going to flower. Confusingly, there seems to be a white Aggie called ‘Icicles’. The disgusting mess of half dead Crocosmia, yellow flowered if it can be bothered, is going very soon.

Six.
Hedychium ‘Tara’. I started with one Hedychium and I’m finishing with another. I moved this from elsewhere in the garden and in its second year here it’s doing quite well, though not as well as the bit I unintentionally left behind. Both are due to be moved to another location this winter, back together again.

Part of me wants the flowers to keep going, summer never to end; the other part wants to get stuck in to planned changes, get things moved around and planted well before winter so it has a chance to get settled in while the soil is warm. I have to hold back for another month at least, realistically. I see The Propagator is still committed to being a non-propagator for a year, as captain of the sixers ship he risks the mirth (hidden) of his merry shipmates, who will believe it when they see it.

31 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 11/9/2021

    1. It’s altogether possible my ‘Tara’ is a seedling too, it’s a much quicker way to build up numbers, and they seem to come nearly true, as many nurseries have discovered. I think my ‘Icicle’ is correctly named, but ‘Icicles’ gets more Google hits. ‘Icicles’ isn’t an inapertus.

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  1. Not a bad vantage point from the window. A lot of Crocosmia round here are looking very much like yours in the background of the Agapanthus photo (not that I didn’t enjoy the main focus of the picture too!). I’m sure they’ll be glad of a bit of rain. The Hedychiums look excellent – such a bright splash of colour to end the summer with.

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    1. Now that I have Crocosmia ‘Paul’s Best Yellow’, I see no point whatever keeping the other one. There wasn’t much point before I got PBY, there’s none now. I love Hedychium, even just in leaf they grab your attention.

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  2. “Assam Orange” is interesting – love the color. I see you have as much faith in the Prop’s “commitment” to no new plants as I do. He’s already using weasel words…

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    1. The prop is seeing the limitations of growing things from seed, you get a lot of things that are not as good as the selected named forms in the nursery that he admits he will continue to buy. I feel his pain, I have a worse addiction than him and I’m too old to distract myself with long distance running.

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  3. I like the two twining together on the obelisk: to think ‘morning glory’ was as much a weed where I grew up as our white flowered one bindweed is here. However I always loved it and felt quite sad when the gardener removed it each week from the bamboo hedges.

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    1. I’ve seen rampant Morning Glory in Australia and totally understand why people there are less keen on it than we are here. It can be hard to imagine how something so benign here could turn into such a monster, but it’s far from the only one.

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  4. The morning glory makes a very pretty combination on the obelisk with the clematis. I haven’t grown a Eucomis before, although that is something I want to put right. ‘Pink Gin’ looks like a lovely one to try. The description of the crocosmia make me smile – ‘yellow flowered if it can be bothered’. I have a day lily which (mistakenly) thinks it can get away with that kind of behaviour too.

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    1. Eucomis are another of the things we value highly for having a long season of interest. The foliage is interesting and in some cases deeply coloured, the flowers are long lasting, popular with insects and good looking still as the seed pods ripen. ‘Pink Gin’ was the star of the Wisley trial but there are lots of good ones, I like the Aloha series very much. Avon Bulbs do a good selection.

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  5. The pink eucomis is enviable. Is it quite exotic in an English garden? As ever, I’ve learnt something new on your blog: agapanthus inapertinus.

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    1. Eucomis are fairly exotic by English garden standards but what sets ‘Pink Gin’ apart, and pole-evansii too, is that they are much bigger than most of the other forms around and size matters when you’re talking exotic/architectural plants. I used to have a very dark Agapanthus inapertus but it hasn’t flowered this year; I must check if it’s still alive.

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  6. Ligustrum japonicum is considered to be an ornamental tree? I know it only as a shorn hedge. I know the glossy foliage is appealing, but it does not get very big very fast. The variegated forms look rather yellowish here, as if they are more sensitive to the aridity.

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    1. It would probably help if I got the name right. I dare not Google vascular dementia, the risk of self diagnosis is way too high. It’s Ligustrum lucidum ‘Excelsum Superbum’. There’s another form, ‘Tricolour’, which is not quite so good in my experience. There are variegated forms of L. japonicum but they don’t seem to be very popular and as you infer, wouldn’t become trees.

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      1. Seemingly not. L. lucidum is Chinese and gets to 10m., L. japonicum is Japanese and gets to 6m. They’re closely related so may be regarded as the same in some quarters. They’re both invasive aliens in your part of the world according to Wiki.

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      2. Invasive?! I needed to look that up. It seems to be a problem in the Southeast portion of North America. I am not aware of either being invasive anywhere near her, although Ligustrum ovalifolium can self sow too abundantly where it gets water. (It is bothersome here.) The cultivar ‘Texanum’ is the only cultivar of glossy privet that is commonly available here. It seems to be Ligustrum japonica, but is also sometimes designated as Ligustrum lucidum.

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  7. It’s true that this is a nice combo this morning glory and this clematis…
    Concerning the gingers, my Assam Orange is still young but I still hope to have flowers …otherwise it may be for next year.Tara is gorgeous too.

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  8. Your gingers are a delight. I still hanker after one (or two) but they would have to be grown in pots as I have no planting space left. Are any of them suitable for a container? Ipomaeas seem very popular with the Sixers, especially this stunning purple form. Sigh… if only bindweed was so pretty. Given I love gin, pink or otherwise, ‘Pink Gin’ ought to find itself in my garden too – a patio pot? And there I was saying I want less pots…

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    1. There’s no reason you couldn’t grow Hedychium in a pot, it’s what people do with the many forms that aren’t hardy after all. It would need to be a fair sized pot though. I grow most of my Eucomis in pots, they seem to prefer it, they can be kept dry in winter I think is the main benefit.

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  9. Having seen Morning glory strangling everything in Madeira, I am wary of introducing it into my garden, I really feel that it is just as bad as our bindweed and if we have a mild winter, it could take off. Love your Eucomis, especially the pink one.

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    1. I’ve seen it doing the same in Australia but growing them here has allayed any fears I might have had. I’ve only had one self sown seedling come up and the parent plant dies before the winter. Perish the thought that the slugs might be on my side for once.

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  10. The Ipomea and Clematis combination on the obelisk look really great! The Eucomis is really pretty. I find them a reliable and easy care plant here, although the hybrids you have are not available here unfortunately. I have always fancied getting an A. Queen Mum, but not if it does not flower each year. Lovely gingers!

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    1. I think ‘Queen Mum’ would flower reliably given the right conditions, mine was in too much shade and hasn’t recovered ye, having been moved. I haven’t found Eucomis to be good growers in the ground, though I’ve seen them doing well in other gardens. There are few places in our garden that get sun all day, which seems to be what they want. They’re fine in pots.

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