Six on Saturday – 18/12/2021

I’ve actually spent a bit of time in the garden this week, partly tidying up, partly starting on my quite lengthy list of things that need doing in winter. It looks like the weather is set to turn wet again next week so I should probably keep at it over the weekend. The sun is rising now into a clear sky and an hour ago the moon set in as spectacular fashion as I’ve ever seen.

One.
Winter work. Just in this view are several things that were on my to do list. I moved the Miscanthus back and to the right, then cut down the Fuchsia ‘Lechlade Magicien’. It has been gradually dying from honey fungus; I dug out the section that had been cut down some months ago. White mycelium under the bark and black rhizomorphs around and among the roots confirmed the diagnosis. I also dug out the very rotten Schefflera root that it had spread from. I’ve planted Hedychium ‘Stephen’ in the space, hopefully that will not be attacked.
I was going to dig out the small apple tree but changed my mind, for the time being at least. On the other hand I’ve added the Mahonia to the list of things to move; it’s very yellow and isn’t going to flower, hopefully it’s just in too much sun and hasn’t also come under attack. I’ve a shadier spot lined up.

Two.
I grew Arthropodium cirrhatum ‘Matapouri Bay’ from HPS seed in 2019 and since making an impressive start has been set back by winters and mauled by slugs since. Thinning my bamboo has created a bit of a space which will give it overhead protection and perhaps be dry enough to harbour less slugs. I keep looking enviously at Thistles and Kiwis pictures of her rock lilies; I have seen them growing well in South Devon, it should be possible here if I can find the right spot.

Three.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Navajo’. What makes for a good display of flowers on a camellia in winter is for the flowers to last a while, not get blown off the day after they open. That way you get lots out at once. ‘Navajo’ is outside the front window so I mostly see it from inside but pictures from that angle get reflections from the glass and a backdrop of the builders dumpy bag and pallet of paving slabs next door.

Four.
Begonia ‘Mishmi Silver’. It may not have escaped your notice that as well as having a thing about Camellias I also have one about Begonias, in particular the ones that can be planted in the garden, even if they get lifted for the winter. I dug this one up and potted it a few weeks ago, at which time flower buds were just showing. Mid December seems an odd time to be flowering but a plant from North India is going to be a bit confused by finding itself in Cornwall. It just seems extraordinary to me that this is a plant that was collected in the wild, not some carefully bred hybrid.

Five.
Begonia sizemoreae. I read somewhere recently that this extraordinary plant is another recently introduced species found growing in fairly low altitude forest in North Vietnam. As crazy as it seems, I will probably plant this out in a shady spot next summer, just to see how it does. It seems to be a vigorous grower so I may be able to take a cutting before I put it out but I have a hunch it’ll be just fine. I can always get another from Dibleys. Obviously it will have to come in again in the autumn. I could just place it outside in a pot I suppose. It’s standing on an upturned 20L pot.

Six.
Strictly speaking, the last two aren’t in the garden, so I’ll finish with something that is. Euryops pectinatus is fairly reliably hardy with us but this one is in a large pot standing on the rotting stump of one of the Eucalyptus we had taken down some years ago. It really is looking good for the time of year and is still producing a trickle of flowers.

I suppose I’d better get out there and shift that Mahonia. There’s a few more items on my list should get done today too, I’m in danger of catching up with myself. The Propagator posted at crack of sparrows, I wasn’t around to see it but it’s where the links are.

30 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 18/12/2021

  1. Your garden is developing a rather tropical look under your careful eye. As for that Camelia what a picture. Would it be foolish to try one in my area which has neutral to alkaline soil? Or maybe if I found a small shrub I could enjoy it in a pot in the right compost instead?

    Like

    1. Our soil is only slightly acidic but camellias don’t do well in even slightly alkaline soil. I grow several in pots, there’ll be pictures of a couple of them in the next few weeks.

      Like

  2. Euryops can’t resist out wet and cold winters here … too bad because it’s very pretty.
    About the second begonia, why a pot on an upturned pot? To prevent the leaves from coming into contact with the ground?
    And fingers crossed that you manage to have flowers for your Arthropodium

    Like

    1. The begonia lives indoors on a table and hangs down. I just stood it on the pot for the photo. If the Euryops survives it has to stay in that fat bellied pot as it won’t come out. It dried out too quickly this year, next year will be worse if it’s even bigger.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a nice sense of achieving quite a lot in a short time when you move a biggish plant or two. You have a good Christmas and New year too, the ‘first in a new house’ events are always a bit special.

      Like

  3. The Euryops isn’t a plant I’ve come across before. It’s looking very good considering the time of year. The leaves on the Begonia (both of them) are the stars of this week’s post for me though.

    Like

  4. The camelia is particularly lovely, so many flowers and if you keep posting begonias like the Begonia sizemoreae I may be converted! It’s a time for planning and moving things around here too. Wishing you a Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year.

    Like

  5. That camellia is a beautiful plant to have at this time of year. Will it continue through the winter? As always, an interesting and informative post. I hope this works, I have been replying to your posts every week but I don’t think they have been delivered for a quite some time. Have a good Christmas and a healthy New Year.

    Like

    1. B. sizemoreae is very much untested but I don’t imagine it will be hardy, it will stay in the house. ‘Mishmi Silver’ is in the greenhouse and will be fine with just frost protection. It’d be nice to see it flower properly and I’m not sure if it will be warm enough for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That camellia is so pretty, it looks like a rose! And your begonias fascinate me, so many different types, the hairy leaves are interesting. Euryops pectinatus grows all along the George V walk in Hayle and flowers all through the winter months, it is very cheery. I should try and snip a bit off on my next visit and see if I can propagate it. I managed a couple of hours in the garden the other day to tidy up. Came to the conclusion that I will have to dig up one of my beds completely as the Phygelius has sent runners everywhere and it is impossible to pull them out. Sad thing is I have Allium bulbs planted there too, so do I do it now or wait until they pop up so I don’t spear them with the fork!

    Like

    1. Euryops should be easy to root, though just to say so is to guarantee failure. Phygelius was banished here long ago for both its invasiveness and the figwort weevils that ruined the flowers most years.

      Like

  7. It is years since we grew Euryops pectinatus and I always liked it – the boys killed it as it was in their way when playing football, cycling, roller-skating, skate-boarding etc etc. It is time to put in a replacement as they boys are long gone.

    Like

    1. It’s a great value plant, almost always in flower and attractive foliage too. We’ve lost it a couple of times, caught out by a hard winter when we’ve no young plants coming on, but have always replaced it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Euryops pectinatus got a bad rap years ago, when it became too common. Nowadays, I rarely see it. I put fourteen at the curb in front of my home in town. They were the common sort with green foliage.

    Like

      1. So, by the time they die out, they are no longer a fad. In large landscapes, I just let layered stems take over for parent plants before the parents die out. Lavenders do the same. At home, where space was more limited, I pulled the layered plants up and moved them to where their parent plants were dying out. (Mine were in a parking strip that was quite narrow. Layered plants, although only a few feet from the parents, were too close to the edge.)

        Liked by 1 person

  9. It is definitely time for transplanting and reconsidering what is working and what needs to change. I like the idea of planting out begonias and others that are not frost hardy during the summer. While it is far too dry here in summer for begonias, I have had some success with putting cactus and succulents outside, where they tend to put on substantial growth.

    Like

    1. We put out cacti and succulents in their pots but not in the ground. The growth can become a problem when it comes to putting stuff back in, not only is it much bigger than when it came out, but the space has been filled by the growth of the stuff left in, plus the odd new purchase possibly.

      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