Six on Saturday – 18/9/2021

Having finished our garden openings for this summer, I went out with my phone and took a lot of clips of things I thought looked OK, then tried to cobble it together into a video.

As with taking photos using film, digital changes everything. You can take hours of appalling footage without it costing you anything but time. Then you can spend hours watching it all through, selecting bits and splicing them together, suitably edited. More time gets wasted on commentary, subtitles, transitions and so on, leaving you, well me, with something that barely scrapes through the embarrassment test. It seems to account for where most of this week has gone.

It’s not going to help me here, The Propagator has a published set of rules and a ten minute video sits outside of them. Six straightforward things from the garden is the brief and this is what I’m offering. Good thing I took the pictures yesterday, it’s sluicing it down just now.

Taxus baccata ‘Standishii’. Every year this fastigiate yew gets a little taller and very gradually I am beginning to contemplate the unthinkable business of reducing it in size. Just taking the top off would lead to it getting wider, which I don’t want, but the foliage is a thin veneer on the outside, so making it thinner will leave it naked for a year or two. I measured it yesterday, it’s 4.9m tall, just over 16 feet in old money.

A couple of weeks back I included a picture of Fuchsia ‘Delta’s Sarah‘ intertwined with Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’. They’ve been joined by Anemone hupehensis ‘Bressingham Glow’. The fuchsia is blue when it opens, turning pink over a few days and it manages to match both Anemone and Clematis.

Begonia grandis ssp. evansiana var. alba is, along with the pink version, the hardiest Begonia I have, surviving over winter outdoors without any problems. It has come into flower at a snails pace over the last few weeks but a couple of months of flower in the shady area, which mostly consists of spring flowerers, is very welcome. The leaves, especially back lit, are gorgeous too.

Salvia ‘Amistad’ and Hedychium ‘Tara’. I’m trying to imagine a big bed of ‘Amistad’ with ‘Tara’ standing proud amongst it, or a long border of ‘Amistad’ with ‘Tara’ behind it. Next year, perhaps.

I almost missed this; it’s tucked in behind other plants and deserves better, especially as it’s the only Hesperantha I have that doesn’t flop as soon as the flowers start to open. I know it as Hesperantha coccinea ‘Alba’ but that may be wrong. There’s a H. coccinea ‘Good White’, perhaps it’s that. It came from Cally Gardens originally but they don’t list any now.

Fuchsia magellanica var. gracilis ‘Variegata’ is a lovely hardy Fuchsia but less vigorous than many and quite tricky to propagate. This was planted early this year and seems to have settled in well. Just have to hope it doesn’t get gall mite.

If the video ever turns into something worthy of seeing the light of day, I’ll publish a link to it. Meanwhile, it looks like I’m having a week off SoS next Saturday. I’ll give you a clue to where I’ll be.

Have a good week.

28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 18/9/2021

  1. You’ll read that Graeme (One Man And His Garden Trowel) recently bought a fuchsia Delta’s Sarah ( that I have too). He was wondering what was its hardiness. Mine is potted and overwintering in the cold greenhouse (unheated). Does yours stay outside in the ground? Regarding the begonias, I don’t remember if it was you who gave me the seeds, but in any case it worked very well too: I moved half of them to another corner of the garden.


    1. I commented about Delta’s Sarah on Graeme’s post. Ours has been outside for several years, planted beside a section of trellis. Some years it has come through the winters without any damage, so it then gets to 1.5-2m in the next season. Other times the top growth has been killed or badly damaged so it has to start from the ground again. A near neighbour had one to the eaves of her house a couple of years ago, 4m or so. It was cut down and is now much shorter, but I don’t think it was because it had been damaged, just got too big. It’s quite a lax grower, after one year’s growth it really needs some support. My enthusiasm for Begonias keeps growing, I’ll do an update post sometime soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For hardy fuchsias I was wondering if it would be best to cut down the stems and mulch the plant just the day before the first frost or wait for the frost to hit the aerial parts and after winter cut off anything that has been grilled. (with mulch also during winter). Your opinion ?


      2. In the past we’ve always left the top growth on through winter, both to protect the roots and in case it came through sufficiently unscathed to leave it. Usually they were cut down around March. We’ve never made a point of mulching them; they usually collect leaves among the stems anyway, but we never get severe frost here that would freeze the ground. We’ve had F. boliviana and F. splendens in the ground for years, both get killed to the ground but grow back up in spring.

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  2. I laughed at your use of “old money”. When we lived in Reigate, our gardener was still adjusting to pounds and pence. The change was fairly recent, so he always translated a price into shillings. As he did that, I was figuring out what he said in dollars and cents.


    1. I wouldn’t want to go back to pounds, shillings and pence, crazy system. Not to mention guinea’s, florins, half crowns, thrupenny bits, farthings, ha’pennies. You couldn’t get away with not being able to add up then.


  3. I look forward to seeing the video. The Hesperantha is very nice indeed. Whites are quite nice at this time of year, as they stand out so well in the dingy overcast weather that often accompanies our autumns (although not this one so far!).

    Keep us updated on the Taxus – I’m facing a similar dilemma in a clients garden (although a problem that can probably be dealt with in a couple of years rather than immediately).


    1. I’m probably not going to do anything with the Taxus for a year or two either, it is at least a slow growing form. I need time to think over all the possible ways of going about it. I’ll do a post with the links to the two versions of the video before the day is out.

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  4. Is that a pass for Chelsea? I’m sure I planted a few weedy looking Hesperantha coccinea ‘Alba’ in the spring. I’d completely forgotten about them which suggests they haven’t done anything or I haven’t been paying attention. I’ve yet to read the comments on my post but have taken notes on the fuchsia. I tend to chop ‘Army Nurse’ right back each spring so may do something similar with Delta’s Sarah once she has got established.


    1. It is a pass to Chelsea. The white Hesperantha generally available was a poor thing, the one I have, given me by a gardening friend, was a Michael Wickenden selection, which is generally a solid recommendation, but I’m not sure if it is available anywhere, Cally Gardens don’t list it any more, and if it is, under what name.
      My general experience with fuchsias is that if they survive winter with the top growth in good condition, they will flower early on the previous season’s growth but that if they are cut back hard, they will flower much better, but much later, mid August onward, on the new growth.

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  5. The yew is an exemplary specimen, even if it is in a less than ideal situation for its expansion. I am not familiar with them, because they are rare here. Within the many acres of landscape here, there is only one yew. I do not know what it is, but it had the more common dark green foliage. It is quite unsightly, but I can not bear to cut it down. I needed to groom it, and did so quite aggressively, expecting it to respond with new foliage from within. Well, that did not work out very well.


    1. Yew is native to the UK, growing on chalk soils in the south east. There are old specimens in churchyards that are reckoned to be several thousand years old but they’re invariably hollow and they get epicormic growths which merge into the trunks, so dating them is virtually impossible.

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  6. Your Anemone hupehensis ‘Bressingham Glow’ is a lovely colour. So many delightful Japanese anemones and so worthwhile at this time of the year. We visited Trengwainton on Thursday and there were a lot of Hesperantha growing in the walled garden, deep pinks, reds and pale pink and I think that same Begonia which I can never resist photographing from behind. Is it hardy enough to stay out all through a wet winter then? I wouldn’t mind some in my woodland border which is a bit colourless at this time of year.


    1. The Begonia seems to be reliably hardy. It produces large numbers of bulbils from the leaf axils; basically the buds swell and detach themselves, fall to the ground and lie among the leaf litter until spring, then off they go. Happy to put some in the post to you later. It’s in my shady area, where most things are spring flowering, so I value it highly at this time of year.

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  7. My Begonia ‘Claret Jug’ has just started flowering, perhaps I will include it next week, Alba looks wonderful. Tara and Amistad combo sounds great, both late-ish to the party. Yesterday I visited a garden that Amistad alongside Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and it looked good. Enjoy your camellia party next week!


    1. I don’t have a clonal name for either of my Begonia grandis forms. ‘Lemon Queen’ has jumped out of half the sixes I’ve looked at this week, I need to steer clear of nurseries that stock it for a few weeks. The Camellia party should be good fun, big change from sleepy Dobwalls.


  8. Two and four are fabulous, and the white hesperantha has me revising my plan to invest in some pink ones. The anemones are the stand outs for me though. I hope you enjoyed your foray into open days, once bitten or planning for next year?


    1. Including colour combinations is a sneaky way of getting two or three things into one sixer item. I saw a stunning anemone in a garden yesterday; ‘Pretty Lady Susan’. I still haven’t looked it up but if anyone’s offering it, I will be buying. We’ve registered to open next year, on a slightly different format and without pre-booking being required. It raises the jeopardy level a notch or two.

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