Six on Saturday – 6/11/2021

Deeper into autumn and it’s getting trickier. Camellia sasanqua is just starting, so that helps. We’ve yet to have a frost, which is just as well since there’s a lot of stuff still outside that shouldn’t be. I was admiring someone’s toasted Impatiens yesterday, just a couple of miles away but at lower altitude, so it came close.
Having agreed to open for the NGS again in 2022, we have agreed to three group visits from garden societies, all in July. Suddenly I’m desperate to have more happening in July so adjustments are being made left, right and centre. All the spring stuff is finished, the herbaceous and annuals barely getting started in July. The only thing flowering is Hydrangeas and I don’t really want any more of them. Might have to go back to everyone’s sixes from July, get some ideas. You know where to go for the here and now stuff, over at The Propagator. I’d go there myself but I need my breakfast.

One.
Incoming Begonias. I lifted two Begonia luxurians and my B. U614. I wish they’d give it a name but even without one it’s a good doer so I split it between two 7.5 litre pots. They’ve been move to the other side of the glass since the picture was taken. I collected ripe seed from B. luxurians, though I’m not sure why. U614 has seed pods too but I’m not sure they’ll ripen.

Two.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Navajo’. I cut this, the first flower to open, to take to the Hardy Plant Society meeting on Wednesday. It’s slowly opening a few more but for several days I had three varieties with one bloom apiece.

Three.
Most of the crafting that goes on in this house is by Sue. I should do more, I might get better at it. The idea was to exclude the collared doves from the bird feeder since they tend to hog it, consume vast quantities and deter the little birds. I’ve seen a couple of blue tits so far, so I know it’s accessible to them. If the doves can get to it still, I can slide the canes a little closer together.

Four.
Correa ‘Federation Bell’. There’s a garden down the road which has had a Correa growing for years and a year or so back I knocked the door and asked for a cutting. The plant I grew is doing well but is still in the greenhouse, I’ll plant it next spring. In the meantime I bought this one, which is so similar it could be the same. Hopefully it will come through the winter, it’s in poor soil on top of a wall in as sunny a spot as we have.

Five.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘You and Me Together’. I don’t know that insects are much attracted to Hydrangeas so the fact that this one is double doesn’t change anything. I rather like double flowered Hydrangeas, the big balls of a typical mophead are not possessed of any great refinement and I think the double flowers improve things rather than making them worse, as they do in many other blooms. Sue doesn’t like them because she can’t press the flowers. I’m not complaining about the odd perfect flower head in November either.

Six.
Plectranthus argentatus. This is the third time in recent weeks I’ve put this in. Having realised that the flowers are not the liability I had thought they were going to be, I got around to looking at them closely. They’re quite pretty and the blue imparts a cool blue haze from a distance. I also found it in a seed list, which sent me scurrying out to see if mine had seeds on it. I cut several sprigs and there are a few tiny black specks appearing beneath them. I think I’ll stick with cuttings. Seed would be easier to overwinter though.

Sorting out potted Fuchsias is my target task for this weekend; clean them up and get them under cover. There, I’ve told the world, now I have to get it done. Now, what do I need to do first……..

27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 6/11/2021

  1. This creation around the bird feeder to avoid pigeons and doves is really a success.
    I do like the double hydrangea flower that you presented to us. These are flowers that are not often seen and which are very attractive.
    I never succeeded in plectranthus seedlings but instead I took cuttings from stems which are much easier and faster.

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    1. I have three double flowered Hydrangeas, completely different from each other and all rather pleasing. We’ve always done Plectranthus from cuttings too but if they do set viable seed maybe hybrids are possible, like argentatus x zuluensis, my favourite two.

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  2. Navajo is most lovely. And I am amazed at your hydrangea. My old mophead is brown already and in fact I am thinking of cutting it right back, but I will wait until the spring. Sadly I have had to bring my bird feeders back inside as there were rats mopping up the suet droppings. I’ll wait a couple of weeks and put the sunflower seeds out again, seeing the birds in the garden is what keeps me sane during these next 10 weeks. One question: I have hardy fuchsias in pots, should I cut them back now or wait until the spring? They stay outside.

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    1. The Hydrangea was an impulse buy from Trago a few years ago, I think they must have had a lorry load delivered. There are so many new ones around, they can’t all be both good and different from what went before. Re Fuchsias; I would have said cut in spring so the tops provide some protection for the pot and roots, but the last few years I’ve done it in autumn to reduce the risk of gall mite and perhaps slow the capsids a bit; it doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference to be honest.

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  3. So glad you revisited the Plectranthus. It’s interesting to see the flowers close up, and they do look good. And it is always good to see your camellias opening up as winter comes along. Thumbs up to the natty bird feeder guard, so precisely made!

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    1. It always seems terrible to leave the really big Plectranthus’s out to die in the winter but they soon get too big to bring in and we start again with small ones. Which reminds me, P. zuluensis I will bring in as we have no small plants.

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  4. I rather like that double hydrangea, and a lovely blue too. I find most of the correas quite similar, apart from backhouseana, perhaps I am not looking hard enough. Lovely camellia, which I expect from you! I am thinking about getting a Cornish Snow or another similar small one, any top tips? Long may your frosts keep at bay, we had a few here last week, too early!

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    1. Frosts eh! That’s what happens when you move up north. Top tips on Camellias, mmmm. I bought ‘Fairy Blush’ last year and it looks to be shaping up very nicely, it’s a C. lutchuensis seedling so lightly scented. Another lutchuensis hybrid I have and love is ‘Koto-no-kaori’, which has lots of small, scented pink flowers. I have a seedling of Cornish Snow, still in a one litre pot, that will make an appearance here before long. Difficult to know if it’s significantly different without planting it out for a few years but at the moment it seems very compact and is covered with buds.

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    1. I think the ‘You and Me’ hydrangea series were supposed to flower on new growth but I moved this plant a year or two back and very few of the new shoots have produced flowers. It’s in part shade now, I think it flowered more, ie produced more blooms after the usual hydrangea season when it was in full sun. I may move it back!

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  5. Hey, we used to grow ‘Navajo’. Doesn’t that seem like an odd name for a Japanese flower? Correa is popular among landscapers here, supposedly because it is resilient to the local chaparral climate. It does not rot easily there? I have not worked with it much.

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    1. ‘Navajo’ strikes me as one of those names that probably wouldn’t be given in these more culturally sensitive (haha) times. ‘Gay Sue’ is another. I have very limited experience with Correa outdoors here. I’ve seen the odd one in Cornish gardens but I think a colder than average winter might well kill them and I think it might be more due to cold than wet. I saw it growing in dry scrub on the South Australia coast but have little idea how conditions there compare with yours or ours. More extreme than ours for sure.

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      1. Well yes, cooler and wetter. Correa is right at home here in the chaparral climates, but we keep it out of the forested areas on the coast. Actually, I never tried it in a forested area. I just learned to not try it in such a situation.
        I did not consider the PC implications of ‘Navajo’. PC is a major (and increasingly ridiculous) issue in California. Squaw Valley is a ski resort town in the Sierra Nevada that just recently changed its name to Palisades Tahoe, which sounds like some sort of lakeside fortress.

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  6. By the way, should I send seed for the later Amaryllis belladonna? I know that you must have too many of the earlier sort to have space for any more, but there are a few seed here if you have use for them. The seed are bigger, and there are only a few stems, so there are really are not many.

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  7. I think the Hydrangea is really pretty with its double flowers, and the Plectranthus flowers do have a delicate beauty about them.
    I ‘discovered’ Correa earlier this year via The Australian Plants Online catalogue, and succumbed and bought a tiny tube stock plant, ‘Dusty Bells’. It is growing quite strongly now, and after seeing the flowers on your plant, I am really looking forward to the day my plant flowers!
    The canes on the bird feeder are a very clever idea.

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      1. There are some species here that flower summer to autumn, others flower in winter, while there are others that flower autumn to spring. I’m hoping my Correa will flower for me next year. I think the one I have flowers autumn to spring.

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