Last weekend Sue and I were at the Chelsea Flower Show on Friday and Monday. Most of the time we were helping to man the International Camellia Society stand so we didn’t get to see much of the rest of the show, but talking camellias for hours on end is pretty much my idea of a good time, so I was happy. We’re back down to earth with a bump this weekend, with gales and heavy rain forecast.
Camellia ‘1001 Summer Nights’ Jasmine. Honestly, who makes these names up? This new camellia was in the Plant of the Year contest at Chelsea, as well as featuring strongly on the ICS stand. I had the great pleasure on Sunday afternoon of going over to the POTY stand, lifting this plant from the display stand and carrying it back across the Grand Pavilion to the ICS stand. From there I carried it out to the bus, rode with it to Victoria Station, then on the train down to Arundel. On Wednesday we drove back with it to Cornwall. It’s destined for the National Collection at Mt Edgcumbe. You might expect London commuters to be looking askance at such cranky behaviour but they don’t. I suspect you could be leading a grizzly bear and they’d still feign indifference. If you want to know more about the plant, check here.
Impatiens omeiana in variety. I’m going to regret lumping all these together, it starts to get harder to find sixes at this time of year. I grow at least four forms of this, the original one, which may not have a clonal name, ‘Ice Storm’, a red leaved form which may be ‘Chen Yi Red’ and a Dan Hinckley collection. They’re all good, at least until they get too dry. I’m hoping to get some seed this year, with several flowering in close proximity. I wonder if I should get out there with my sable paintbrush.
Hesperantha coccinea. I think of this as the default colour for Hesperantha. It’s the one that seeds itself in various places in our garden then makes itself impossible to remove by burrowing into the middle of other plants and under paving. At the moment it’s almost standing up, that won’t last, it’ll be flat on the ground by the end of the day. You feel you should be grateful for anything that flowers so late, but it doesn’t make it easy.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’, This got a modified Chelsea chop at the beginning of the season. I’d cut it back, the buds were swelling, then they were gone. I suspect birds. I cut them back to the next set of buds down and eventually it grew away happily enough. When, a couple of months ago, you were all posting pictures of your H. paniculatas in full flower, I was looking for flower buds on mine, not really expecting any to form this year. It came through for me in the end, though I won’t be banking on the colour coordination with Japanese Anemones every year.
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Septemberot’. I’m not sure how this came to get get planted right beside the path, it carries huge amounts of water when it rains and I’m always expecting to get cut by the leaf edges. It’s upright and stays upright long into the winter. It has been known to colour well in autumn and would probably do so more reliably anywhere but Cornwall, and it flowers well. The path runs between it and the Hesperantha in the picture, except there is no between.
Salvia leucantha. The form ‘Santa Barbara’ if memory serves. This has arrived late to the Salvia party, though no later than pineapple sage and well before Salvia gesneriiflora. The hottest, driest and sunniest places in our garden are just not hot, dry and sunny enough, if the various pictures online are anything to go by. I should probably dig it up for the winter, or maybe it’s still not too late to get some cuttings going.
Another week gone, into October and thinking about preparing for winter. Rather, trying not to think about it. Every year there seems to be even more needing to come under cover and I ask myself why I make life difficult for myself. Then next year I’ll be glad I did. Today though, looks to be an indoor gardening day, following up the Propagator’s links, sorting a seed order, looking for a decent book on Begonias, that sort of thing. Down to earth sort of stuff.