Six on Saturday – 16/10/2021

There is still plenty of flower in the garden, a pretty good week weather wise has even produced a bit of an improvement on my Dahlias, with Salvias, Fuchsias, Plectranthus and Begonias still going strong. I’ve been getting stuck into autumn jobs, essentially moving things around, getting things in for winter and chopping things down.

My big bamboo clump received some overdue attention and I’ve lifted and potted the first of my bedded out begonias, but I will do separate blogs about both and find six smaller subjects to include here.

One.
At the end of the month the RCM group will meet at Rosemoor for their annual general meeting. There will be a bring and tell session, with attendees speaking for a few minutes about something noteworthy that they are growing. Two years ago, someone brought along seed of Bomarea caldasii, big pods splitting to reveal bright orange seeds within. Members were invited to help themselves, which I duly did. I sowed them on 27/10/2019 and have one plant in flower now in the greenhouse. Looking at images online makes me think it may not be as striking as some forms, but it’s still rather nice. In theory it should be hardy outdoors but keeping slugs from destroying it is a different matter entirely. I have three young plants, one will be going out in the ground next year. The RHS says it is herbaceous, the Pacific Bulb Society describe it as evergreen. If I can keep it growing over winter and plant it in spring, it should have a head start.

Two.
Rhodochiton atrosanguineus is another perennial herbaceous climber, though usually treated as an annual in the UK. I saved lots of seed last year and sowed it this spring, only for nothing to come up. It finally yielded results at the third attempt, but by then was too late to plant out this year. Now I have six small plants starting to flower, and trail, in the greenhouse. I will try to overwinter them so I can plant them in the spring and get an early display.

Three.
Cyclamen hederifolium. Another plant I’ve taken to collecting and sowing seed of, the aim being to get them into every niche in the garden which is bare in autumn and winter. All are in one litre pots. The far left pot is seed kindly sent me by Noelle, sown in July last year. The others are from my garden, sown in August 2019. I planted out another pot of Noelle’s seedlings a few weeks ago, along with a seed tray full of my own. The problem is that they need to be planted while still more or less dormant, around July, but it doesn’t become clear where they are most needed until October.

Four.
Saxifraga fortunei ‘Sybil Trelawney’. A couple of weeks ago, the same weekend we did Chelsea, we went on the Monday to Wakehurst Place, we being Sue and I plus most of my sisters and their spouses. A good time was had by all and when we hit the shop on the way out, this was the cause of the moths in my wallet being disturbed. I’ve been wanting a Saxifraga fortunei for a long time and this looked to be vigorous and floriferous.

Five.
A few weeks back I was questioning whether I should have removed the flowers from my big pot of Plectranthus argentatus. I was at the time inclined to think I should have, but alas, it didn’t happen. Well, not alas at all, it turns out. From my bedroom window I look down on a patch of Salvias set against the Plectranthus and with a purple Aster behind that. Hedychium ‘Tara’ makes a punchy focal point long after its flowers have faded. At ground level it’s all at eye level, not the same at all. The Salvias are mostly ‘Amistad’, with ‘Black and Bloom’ and ‘Indigo Spires’ at the front. I took the clear picture on Thursday morning, the other this morning.

Six.
Another view to finish off. I mentioned at the top that I’d had a go at my bamboo and part of the reason was that it was obscuring what I like to think of as an inviting glimpse of the top corner of the garden from just outside the back door. There’s a bit of borrowed landscape too in the form of next door’s dogwood, starting to colour up, and before the fence replaced the hedge, hidden from view. The red Dahlia is a seedling of mine and has been a total joy this summer. I have collected seed from it, maybe it will have good offspring.

The Propagator is pounding the highways and byeways of Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Each to their own. I hope the visibility is better there than here, we have fog. He prepared his saturday six earlier, as did I mostly, but with no such alibi. I’ll stick to gardening, easier on the knees.

32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 16/10/2021

  1. Great photo of the Dahlias. I do like all the different leaf shapes and shades of the Cyclamen. There have been photos of some absolutely cracking Cyclamen on Twitter – there was a show at Birmingham Botanical gardens last week (which I completely missed) with some great looking plants on display.

    Like

    1. I joined the cyclamen society a couple of years back after they had a stand at Cornwall Show. They do an excellent seed list which I haven’t tapped into yet. I don’t do so well growing them in pots, they can’t be ignored like the ones in the garden.

      Like

  2. It’s fantastic…! We have had the same idea this week with the bomarea which is in bloom.
    The seeds you sent me were B. edulis: is it the same variety? Yours is obviously much more provided. I also had the idea of leaving it in the greenhouse this winter at around 0°, but not of putting it in the ground yet … I’ll think about it. Slugs and caterpillars nibbled on the flower buds here too.
    Regarding the rhodochiton, mine is also in pot and I read that after flowering it’s necessary to cut the stems almost down and to overwinter it like that. I’ll give it a try and we’ll see that next spring

    Like

    1. The flowers on my Bomarea caldasii are smaller and more orange, but with more flowers in the cluster. It’ll be interesting to see if it produces seed. I planted B. edulis in the ground and it was badly hit by slugs so that it took a long time to get anywhere. Last year I’d started it into growth in the tunnel, then planted it out, which was much more successful. My Rhodochiton have only just started to flower, I don’t know when after flowering will be. The end of next summer would be nice.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a bit of cold air came down across some of the UK earlier in the week but it didn’t reach us before the wind direction changed. On the way up again now for a day or two, then nearer normal. I’d prefer it around normal, even if warm is nice. I’m a worrier.

      Like

  3. I like the way the flowers are held on the Rhodochiton atrosanguineus and the red Dahlia is a stunner. It certainly was foggy at Lanhydrock this morning, although the grand reveal of the gatehouse was quite impressive and welcome (it seemed quite a march from Bodmin station when you can’t see much in the distance).

    Like

    1. You were at Lanhydrock! Just down the road. It’s quite a walk from Bodmin Parkway even when you can see the way. All the conifers will have been looming out of the mist, some fine specimens between the station and Respryn. If you’re over this way (Dobwalls) do pop in.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d forgotten you were so close. I’m heading back on an early train tomorrow (I’m staying in Liskeard where my wife is doing a course) but there’s a possibility there might be another course down this way at some point. If so I will definitely plan a visit!

        Like

  4. I’ve just come back from Somerset HPS meeting where Mary Payne was speaking and she pointed out Saxifrage fortunei as a fab autumn plant. Your garden is certainly looking splendiflorous, and hope it will do so for a few weeks yet. The Cylamen are looking fab.

    Like

    1. I’ve had Saxifraga fortunei before and lost them after a year or two, possibly to vine weevil. I did a nematode treatment a couple of weeks back and I’ve come across a few things I missed. I planted the other potful of your seedlings together in one area; they’re small but looking very promising. I’ll have to wait until next year for flower.

      Like

    1. Tom Hudson grows a Bomarea in his glasshouse at Tregrehan which I almost wish I’d never seen as all others get compared with it and all are found wanting. Still, B. caldasii is pretty good and maybe when it really gets going the flower trusses will be bigger, so I really need to grow it as well as I can to do it justice. I think that means it spends winter under cover, summer outside, but in or out of a pot, planted or plunged, I’m not sure.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe Cyclamen hederifolium comes fairly true from seed, certainly that has been my experience and the Cyclamen Society offer seed of specific named forms, implying that it would. I’m always on the look out for distinctive forms so I collected seed from several plants (out of leaf at that stage) and mixed them when I sowed them. Unfortunately they are best separated and planted when dormant so again I don’t know what I’m planting where.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So, it is still a surprise. The species is new to me, and I only saw it for the first time (almost) two years ago. It grows from seed in the particular garden where I saw it, and they generally look the same, as if a variety.

        Like

      2. “It is widely distributed through Switzerland, Italy, the Balkans and Greece to western Turkey and shows an amazing range of variation in leaf shape and pattern. It is very tolerant of poor, dry soils and will flourish in full sun or deep shade.” Thus says the Cyclamen Society’s guide. I guess the various populations of it haven’t been isolated from each other long enough to be regarded as different species but are perhaps headed in that direction.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It just occurred to me, now that you mentioned it, that here in California, where significant regional genetic variation is expected within native species, the bigleaf maple that live above Beverly Hills in Los Angeles County resemble those that are right outside here in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara County. I know that they must be different, but their leaves are surprisingly big.However, the leaves of those in the Santa Ana Botanical Garden have weirdly narrow lobes. I probably should have asked about that. I do not remember if it is a cultivar, or if that is how they naturally look within part of their natural range. It would make sense. Heck, for all I know, those that I saw could have been naturalized descendants of trees that were imported from here.

        Like

      4. That’s why I love horticulture, you could spend a lifetime studying one species of tree with no risk at all that you’d run out of things to learn. The complexity of nature is such that it is essentially unknowable.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Two Bomarea on SoS this week, yours and Fred’s. I hadn’t heard about this plant before. There’s still a lot of lovely colour in your garden, Jim. I planted some dahlia seeds and they’ve germinated, so it will be interesting to see what kinds of flowers eventuate.

    Like

    1. There’s something about growing things from seed when you really don’t have much idea what you’re going to get. There’s an element of jeopardy, you hardly dare throw any out in case it’s the exceptional one. Most of the time we try to avoid that uncertainty.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your six. The Bomarea is fabulous. I find Rhodochiton germinates more freely if sown when fresh but then you have the problem of getting them through the winter, they are martyrs to red spider mite and white fly in the greenhouse. What a fabulous Saxifraga fortunei, I can never keep them for long. I love the Plectranthus with the salvias.

    Like

    1. This will be the first time I’ve tried to overwinter Rhodochiton but autumn sowing and an early start in spring is appealing. They could do with potting on already. The saxifrage seems to be a big chunky form, not one of the peely-wally, highfaluting, overpriced forms.

      Like

  7. The saxifraga just had to be bought, there’s no doubt about that. I am most envious of your ‘Indigo Spires’, mine never got to that height and then didn’t survive the winter. They make a great combination with the others in the photo. I love the way you and Fred keep us on our toes with your exotics, always a joy to see them.

    Like

    1. We’ve not done a good job of taking Salvia cuttings for next year; now the dilemma is whether to lift or leave in, and whether cuttings now have any chance of growing. I’m glad you enjoy the exotics, there are so many plants to grow and a shrinking number of years in which to grow them.

      Like

  8. I was in the cut the Plectranthus flowers off camp but might have to change my mind now. Maybe I ought to try to keep the root of Rhodochiton which has reached a good size in the glasshouse. I’m still waiting for the seed pods to ripen.

    Like

    1. I have to admit that I’ve also been forced to change sides on the Plectranthus flowers debate. I meant to check how pot bound the Rhodochiton were today, they may well need potting on. A note has been made for tomorrow.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s