Six on Saturday – 11/12/2021

It’s not getting any easier to find things to include in a six. The dregs of the current season and the early stirrings of the coming season generally overlap to some extent in Cornwall. To a lesser extent than usual this year I think, with rain, hail and gales having seen off virtually all the flowers and cool temperatures holding back emergent shoots of early bulbs. There are snowdrops showing, just, and daffs in pots.

One.
Skimmia japonica cv. When the chips are utterly and irrevocably down, it’s time to turn to Skimmia. In nearly five years of SoS I’ve never included this plant, which is a travesty of natural justice. It’s totally neglected, noticed only when I’m cursing it for being in the way of my plum picking. Yet look at it, replete with berries and topped with the buds of next year’s flowers which will provide nectar for insects and scent for us. Another good plant ruined by ubiquity.

Two.
Another plant that has been poked away in the corner near to the Skimmia is Fuchsia excorticata, which I actually think is F. x colensoi, its hybrid with F. perscandens. It’s a bit more deserving of being pushed to the margins, being interesting without being remotely showy. Think brownish foliage and purple/brown/green flowers in the middle of winter, hidden deep in a tangle of stems. Gorgeous.

Three.
A few years ago I splashed out on an expensive pair of Japanese secateurs. Very nice they were too and much used. About a week ago I went to grab them for something and couldn’t find them. Nothing unusual there, I’m forever putting things down and forgetting where I’ve put them. Almost always, they turn up. Not this time. I looked everywhere I thought they might be and then some. Then I realised the last time I’d used them was up at the park when I was furtling among the Camellias. I went up there midweek and retraced my steps carefully; I get off the paths a lot, where few people go, they’d probably still be there, but no luck. By Thursday, resigned to my own stupidity, I went onto Niwaki’s website and ordered a new pair. An hour later it occurred to me I hadn’t looked under the car seats, only in the boot and glove box. Hey ho. I rang Niwaki and cancelled the order. The woman was very understanding, I suspect I’m not the first. To those of you too young to relate I simply say, just you wait.

Four.
Ivy. Our ailing Acer has Ivy growing up one of its stems. I don’t let it get very far but quite like the look low down. I noticed yesterday that it is dying. It looks like it’s been cut through at the bottom, except that it hasn’t. Maybe the Acer has fought off the honey fungus that’s attacking it so effectively that it’s gone for the ivy instead. No, I don’t believe it either, the instead bit. As well as, more like.

Five.
Eucryphia lucida ‘Gilt Edge’. This variegated form of one of the two Tasmanian leatherwoods is pretty enough without flowers, which is just as well as I’ve had it for a good few years and it has never bloomed. Evergreens come into their own at this time of year though, flowering or not, so it gets a mention.

Six.
The last of my autumn bulbs, Lilium leictlinii, arrived Thursday and were potted Friday. I’d seen pot grown lilies at Wildside garden in the summer, looking like they had been planted about ten to a 10 or 15L pot, then buried to hide the pot. I’ve put these in a 10, if they look grossly underpotted when they come up, I’ll put them into something bigger. The plan then is to plunge them when in flower somewhere that needs a lift.

Well, that was a bit of a struggle. The best word to describe today is dreich, I don’t envisage a lot of dirty hands gardening going on. I’ll be popping back to the propagator’s missive to catch up on sixes through the day. See you there?

33 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 11/12/2021

  1. There’s an area of the gardens at Mount Congreve Gardens, well off the beaten track, where there is a collection of Skimmias and it looks wonderful at this time of the year. Every plant has its season, I suppose.

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  2. Superb flowers these Fuchsia excorticata! I love these colours. I don’t have Lilium leictlinii among the lilies I grow. I may make a special order to have some soon… Thank you!

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  3. The skimmia is such a get on with it plant that it’s easy not give it a turn in the spotlight but those berries are glorious – well worth a show. Absolutely in synch with you and the secateurs. I am still waiting for a hand fork to turn up though, I think it has been about two years…

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      1. I love the word curmudgeonly ness. I have a shorter name for myself — miser. The Christmas dishes were a gift from a family that didn’t want them any more. Now our house doesn’t want us to find them.

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  4. Haha… forgive me for smiling about the lost secateurs, I am forever losing my garden tools and having to retrace my steps, but the most recent scare was a credit card which I know I had in my pocket (along with my phone) and I used the phone (in the car) to call my daughter who was visiting us. After searching everywhere I was about to admit defeat and cancel the card, when my daughter suggested I look down the side of the car seat. And there is was. Tucked nicely down by the seat belt. I’m waiting for someone to tell me a good thing about getting old! No gardening here today: I’m watching the rain dribble down my windows.

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  5. Christmas china?! Surely that is a thing that is only done in the US? Oh well, I guess I am out of the run of things. I find my Christmas fabric serviettes possibly a step too far.
    I think the Skimmia is beautiful, and must get some for my garden. It gives at a time of the year when little else does, even here where there is no frost. I am too early in my gardening journey to be fussy, but I understand others are at a different point.
    I predict a happy half hour spent looking at the Niwaki site — thanks! Eye candy, but I don’t have to buy any.

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    1. Christmas china was a feature of our Aussie trips to visit the kids too. They DO Christmas. We’ll probably get the tree from the attic a couple of days pre Christmas and put it back a couple of days after.
      The Niwaki stuff is a pleasure to look at but don’t linger on the kitchen knives; it pleases me that there are people who would lavish such care on such tools and that there must be people prepared to pay for them.

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  6. The skimmia berries are wonderfully vibrant, Although the garden here was mainly planted with shrubs, there is no female skimmia, so no berries for us to admire/take for granted. I googled the Lilies to see what they looked like. They should look stunning grouped in a pot like that.

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  7. Eucryphia lucida ‘Gilt Edge’ looks like a beauty. Well done on finding the secateurs. I have a tendency to lose gardening tools in trugs. Weeds, clippings, etc., go in the trug. Clippers go on top, tend to get covered and end up in the green waste bin. I always remove my wedding ring before gardening now after one incident a few years ago.

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    1. There’s an unacknowledged pandemic of losing things going on here, it’s a wonder we all get by. My mother used to beat herself up something terrible when she started getting forgetful; it’s so important not to do that.

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  8. Mr S just looked over my shoulder a minute ago when I was reading about your secateurs. “Bit past their best he muttered”: cheeky Monkey. Yes they are the best, and with a quick sharpen and oil they keep go on going for years. I better not show him what mine are looking like now. If you are like me you will be feeling elated on finding them. What were they doing under the car? Maybe the car was in a different position when they had been put down.

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    1. They were under the car seat, must have slid forward when the back seats were down. They were a bit mucky, I took the picture then cleaned them. Thought about retaking the picture and told myself not to be a fraud. They’re actually quite well maintained but they’re also much used.

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  9. The fuschia is intriguing. A compelling color pallet. Can definitely relate re clippers, as all my garden tools manage to go missing at some point when I use them. I am currently trying a galvanized bucket to keep them in one place. The worst is misplacing them outside, then stumbling upon them a week later thoroughly rusted.

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    1. The worst by far is glasses. I need them for close work, so when I’m taking camellia pictures, which I do a lot of, I need them to look at the flower but not to look through the viewfinder. I picked a pair up this spring and was able to check when I’d last taken pictures of the same bush about a year before. I cleaned them up and they were fine. I usually realise they’re missing very quickly and backtrack immediately but can’t have done on that occasion.

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  10. Like others, the skimmia is such a lovely spot of colour. Nice to see you use a good Scottish word in your post too to describe the weather!

    Re the lost secateurs – I think we can all relate! I ‘lost’ a pair of small clipping shears. Bought some more as I find them so useful. Fast forward six months…and when I was out looking at the camellias at the back of the house and found them under a bush…

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    1. Just the fact that they are made with yellow and red handles tells you this is a universal problem. Maybe the psychology is wrong, if they were brown all over maybe we’d learn to be more careful. Doubt it.

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  11. Gee, in your climate, the cannas are lasting longer. I cut ours back yesterday, not so much because they needed it, but because I will not be in that region for at least two weeks from next Wednesday. I suppose it would have been harmless to let them collapse, but did it nonetheless. I got ‘Australia’ in my downtown planter box, like yours, but not here yet. I will likely add some from mine at the end of winter. I will be taking a few to a colleague in Washington in a few days too. Are yours ‘Australia’?

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    1. They’re looking very bedraggled but we’ve had no frost so they’ve not gone to mush. I don’t know the variety, it has not very large orange flowers so maybe not Australia. It was given to me with no name.

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      1. My ‘Australia’ canna blooms with orangish red flowers, but really is more red than orange. The flowers are large, but not very large. The bloom sounds like ‘Wyoming’, but the foliage is too dark for that cultivar.

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