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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?