Six on Saturday – 2/10/2021

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.

One.
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.

Two.
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.

Three.
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.

Four.
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.

Five.
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.

Six.
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.

40 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 2/10/2021

  1. Glad you enjoyed Chelsea and I like the photo of you hiding amongst the foliage and flowers on the train!

    I’m rather partial to the Hesperantha, although I suspect it’s a little more pernicious in your mild climate. Mine hasn’t done quite so well this year, but it’s starting to pick up a bit.

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  2. The omeiana impatiens that you gave me are really a success here too all are in bloom and have grown well. I posted on Twitter some photos here is the link if you can not open it. https://twitter.com/frdvil/status/1443621213453045760?s=20
    I also grow (your) hesperantha huttonii. Beginning of flowering (and therefore in my Six next weekend). Do you think I should plant it outside in the ground or overwinter it indoors in the greenhouse?

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    1. Your Impatiens pictures look great; you have me wondering about getting back onto Twitter. Hesperantha huttonii should be as hardy as any other Hesperantha, I think it would be fine outside. Good to see you have Clerodendrum bungei succeeding, my sister was about to plant one in her Arundel garden; if it grows with you it should grow with her.

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      1. yes of course they will grow up there. On the other hand, I put an anti rhizome barrier 40 cm deep and that is not enough. I have suckers all over the surrounding 5m after several years, Suckers easy to pull nonetheless. Perhaps a deeper protection around 60 or 80 cm? …

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  3. Love that fluffy salvia and the hydrangea. I’d never come across other varieties of hydrangea before Six on Saturday — here they’re all big-flowered and either blue or pink. I like the white a lot!

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  4. I chuckled at the line “… talking camellias for hours on end is pretty much my idea of a good time, so I was happy.” But I’m confused – is it YOUR plant? Going to the National Collection? Or are you baby/plant-sitting it for a grower?

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    1. I’m the delivery boy. Because it’s a new variety the ICS were keen to get it into a National Collection and I do some voluntary work in the collection at Mt Edgcumbe. I have a second, smaller plant, which is mine.

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  5. The hydrangea/anemone combination really is fantastic. Salvia leucantha has been on my list ever since I lived in Berkeley, CA where it grows year round. I am still on the fence about plants I have to dig up and move indoors in the fall, though the option of taking cuttings makes the whole thing seem more manageable.

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    1. I know what you mean about whether to lift things or not. Sometimes it feels like a gamble, it might be fine, it might not; other things I know will survive but that they will be much better next year if overwintered under cover. Generally if I have room it seems sensible to make the effort but when things grow fast and big, room runs out.

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  6. And there’s me thinking their would be no expense spared couriers transporting such special plants to their new home (it is Chelsea after all), when in fact it was you having to carefully get it home by tube and train.

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    1. That is of course precisely the impression you’re supposed to get. It might be true for the heavily sponsored show gardens and some of the trade stands; I doubt it’s even close for the smaller nurseries and societies.

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  7. I like the Leucantha salvia very much, but it’s hard to grow here because of frost. It grew wonderfully well in my mother-in-law’s garden only an hour’s drive away. That’s a great photo of you on the train and also a very lovely camellia.

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  8. Mexican blue sage blooms into November. It is one of the more colorful perennials for winter in the Los Angeles Region as well as in the Santa Barbara Region. I believe it stops blooming a bit earlier here, . . . so now that I think about it, might finish a bit earlier there. Well, it should still be a bit later than other Salvia. I have never tried to grow it from cuttings because it is so easy to divide. I know it is not really a clumping perennial, but the lower stems of mature clumps layer right next to where they originate from. Of course, they look silly when initially divided, with a bit of roots at the bottom of a lanky stem, but they know what to do after division.

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      1. Don’t almost all of the stems originate from the ground? They should come from the base and curve upward, with only a few small side branches. It does not die back completely here, so instead gets cut back to the ground. It grows back very fast, like a tumbleweed. There are a few in town that the so-called ‘gardeners’ shear into weird globs of grungy crud after bloom. The new growth that emerges from below mixes with all the crud, and then gets shorn so that it can not bloom properly. It really looks bad.

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      2. This so-called gardener just had to go out in the dark to see how many stems my plant has. Five from ground level, with a few short side branches towards the top, all ending in flower spikes. It will get lifted for winter, it will get cut down when it stops flowering and there will be no weird globs of grungy crud on my watch. Well, not from the salvia.

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      3. If there are only five stems, it may not be enough to divide. It should be obvious when you pull it up. Some stems just happen to be flimsily attached. If you like, you can break those stems away to can separately, although five stems does not give you much to work with. There should be plenty to share next year.
        So-called ‘gardeners’ are those who know little or nothing about horticulture, but charge their clients significantly to ‘maintain’ their landscapes, almost always in a substandard manner. I have no problem with ‘mow, blow and go’ gardeners, since they only need to mow lawns and blow debris away. The problem I have is that they can damage lawns if they try to do more than mow and blow, and very easily damage other items that they can reach with their motorized hedge shears. Seriously, they shear everything they can reach. MOST of the damage I inspect in landscapes is caused by so-called ‘gardeners’.

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      4. It’s no different here. When you think of the amount of knowledge you need to have to be a good gardener, so many plants, so much information about each of them, the soil knowledge, the pest and disease knowledge, design knowledge, machinery and so on ad infinitum, then look at how little some people think is sufficient to call themselves a professional gardener. The saddest thing is that a lot of their customers know no different.
        I don’t think the Salvia will divide, it looks to me to like all the stems will join to one just below ground, so I’ll lift it for the winter. I’ve taken a few cuttings but it’s getting a bit late for them.

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      5. That is fine. If there are only five stems, they should probably stay together this year. There should be more next year. It is a rather vigorous perennial for us. I do not know how it behaves if dug and canned for winter though. My colleague down south told me about a white cultivar a few years ago. As much as I like white, I think that Mexican blue sage would look boring in white.

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      6. Blue? I think that wisteria should be purple (lavender?). White wisteria is spectacular also, but not as spectacular as purple or blue wisteria. Wisteria is expected to be a pastel color, but not white. Crape myrtle and bougainvillea should be rich colors, and look rather mundane in white. White crape myrtle actually looks mundane.

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    1. It made a serious change to have a busy week, most aren’t busy enough. A good photo of Molinia ‘Transparent’ has eluded me completely, I need a perfectly still day to do a stacked image. Miscanthus is easy by comparison.

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  9. I love the thought of you carrying that gorgeous camellia about on public transport. Well done on inspiring Chelsea and then the wider passengers on TfL to grow camellias. My salvia is even further behind yours and there’s not much doing on the pineapple sage (it’s new this year though). Maybe next year…

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  10. One tiny piece of that Hesperantha persists in the garden, in a large clump of dierama, but I pursue it every year with determination and hatred and hope to see the back of it eventually. It does not appeal to me.

    I would have loved to be at Chelsea, a great day out, but it may be a while before we do so again.

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    1. I don’t think the September Chelsea will go down as one of the best, the balance had slipped a bit too far from horticulture to “lifestyle” for my taste.
      The bed in which that Hesperantha currently resides is due for a makeover this winter and I can’t see myself replanting it in the same place or elsewhere. I hope I don’t have to pursue it with determination and hatred. Biggest problem is likely to be that instead of the desired “not a moment too soon” I’ll get “you can’t get rid of that, it’s lovely” from the counsel for the defence.

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