Six on Saturday – 25/9/2021

If you’re reading this it’s because I’ve managed to post it on some mobile device while away from home. Routine for many of you no doubt, but not for me. Which is not to say I created it on a mobile device, it was done a few days ago when I was still at home. If it’s Saturday, I will have been at the Chelsea Flower Show yesterday, taking a turn on the International Camellia Society’s stand. I will be back there tomorrow too but today I am a free agent.

I didn’t like the idea of not doing a post, I haven’t missed yet and SoS has become a bit of a habit. If our gang leader can do a post while running along a Dorset clifftop in pouring rain, I can surely put something out. Besides, there are things flowering that I want to report on.

Like this Scarborough Lily, Cyrtanthus elatus. I will have looked up why it is called Scarborough Lily, then promptly forgotten again. It’s all very well having the world’s knowledge just a Google search away, but it doesn’t encourage retention of that knowledge. Too easy to look it up again. I showed the pink one five weeks ago, the red is what I think of as the original form, though again, I quickly ascertain that it is a fynbos plant and can be red, pink or rarely white in the wild.

Hesperantha huttonii. This appeared spontaneously in my pot of pink Cyrtanthus, which is to say that I noticed a thin, grey green shoot amongst the bulbs several years after I first obtained it. It could easily have been a seed stuck to one of the bulbs, germinating and growing unnoticed for a number of years. When eventually it flowered, this is what it turned out to be. It’s very slender and the flowers small compared to the usual Hesperantha coccinea forms. I intend to untangle it from the Cyrtanthus and plant it in the garden, probably this winter. I collected and grew seeds of it last year, they’re doing OK but are still very small.

Another species type thing I grew from seed and which is flowering now for the first time is Clematis viorna. The seed was from the Hardy Plant Society, sown in January 2019, so I am not displeased to have it flowering less than three years later. At least I hadn’t nurtured it for a decade before facing the dilemma of whether I think it is worth keeping. The colouring is muted, the flower 15mm long. I confess I hoped for more.

Plectranthus argentatus. In mid August I put this in a six just as the flower buds were starting to appear. I commented then that as far as I was concerned, the flowers added little to the foliage effect and that if it were my call, I would remove them. What do you think? Perhaps I should do a before and after, though obviously there’s no way of putting them back.

Miscanthus nepalensis. Describing planty stuff as looking like burnished bronze is usually just hyperbole but in the case of this grass, there really is a metallic quality about it. Cornwall is generally too wet and windy for grasses to stand well into winter but this will, getting progressively fluffier as the weeks pass. It doesn’t have the stature of Molinia or Stipa gigantea, it’s well under a metre tall, but it’s a lovely thing.

Fuchsia ‘Olga Storey’. This is one of our favourite hardy Fuchsias and I’m pleased to see it’s still in commerce. It has bright yellow foliage and large, deep pink and purple flowers. I suspect it may not be hardy in colder parts of the country and it is perhaps pretty late to get into its stride flower wise, but it looks so good even without flowers that it is really worthwhile having.

Back home and back to normal next week. Yesterday at Chelsea was mostly spent on the stand, I managed to see some of the Grand Pavilion in daylight but didn’t get outside until it was nearly dark. I talked till I was hoarse about camellias, which was fine, I don’t often get the chance. Back there tomorrow, hopefully I’ll see a little more.

Now the Propagator, host with the most, needs his link. How do I do that? That might work. People do this on phones!?

Dispensing advice or listening to laments, snazzy new summer flowering camellia behind me.

18 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 25/9/2021

  1. What great weather you had for Chelsea and so much to see, I hope you had enough time. And a great post and wonderful photos, I love the grass shot – I’ve been trying for weeks to take one that looked half decent and failed, but mine are newly planted so there’s not much to capture. Plectranthus argentatus – possibly better without the flowers but maybe from a distance the effect is different?


  2. I’m impressed, I wouldn’t know where to start on my phone, so clearly very successful. I’ve not been to The Chelsea Flower Show, is it worth seeing or too hectic? Pretty flowers in your post again. I say leave the flowers on Number 4.


    1. I didn’t see the Camellia on TV, I assume it was the plant in the Plant of the Year section, rather than the ICS stand. No one pointed a camera at me but I do now have the POTY plant, having ostentatiously lifted it from the POTY stand, carried it across the Grand Pavilion, then back to Victoria on the bus and down to Arundel on the train. It being London, no one bats an eyelid. I saw a bit of the show, but not much and not well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You look very smart on your stand. Hope you got to have a look around. That fuchsia is a delight, a shame more wasn’t made of them at the show (or at least by the Beeb). And I happen to think that clematis is rather cute and dainty.


    1. We didn’t get a proper look around, too tied down to the stand. I saw one Fuchsia nursery, excellent, but I think they pull off a similar display when the show is in May. The show gardens get the lion’s share of the TV coverage and Fuchsias don’t feature in show gardens, whatever the time of year. The clematis will be OK if it has reasonable numbers of flowers, I shall find a spot for it for a year or two at least.


  4. Great selection 🙂 I had no idea the amaryllis was a South African native. Haven’t heard it called Scarborough Lily, though I’ve been to Scarborough! I have a red one, and two bulbs to plant, one pink, one white. Better get a move on as it’s flowering time soon.


    1. Not Amaryllis I’m afraid, by which I take it you mean Hippeastrum, which are called Amaryllis by many. Hippeastrum isn’t South African, it’s from central America, ish. Legend has it that bulbs pillaged from a Dutch shipwreck off Yorkshire in the early 19th century turned out to be Cyrtanthus, so became known as Scarborough lilies.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A garden I used to work in had a huge clump of Plectranthus, variety forgotten, and we treated it like Coleus as the garden owners didn’t like the flowers. From your picture F. ‘Olga Storey’ looks like a better version of ‘Genii’. The flowers seem more rounded?


    1. Every railway station from Victoria to Arundel seemed to have Plectranthus argentatus in its planters. Most of them looked pretty good, so getting looked after. The flowers of ‘Olga Storey’ are chunkier than ‘Genii’ but not as prolific and the leaves are more lime green than ‘Genii”s yellow.


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