Six on Saturday – 1/1/2022

I imagine I’m not alone in putting my Saturday sixes together on the Friday, an arrangement that means this was written in one year to be published in the next. A 50:50 split between looking back and looking forward suggests itself but is not what’s on offer. It hasn’t been a great year so looking back lacks appeal but then again, a year ago any optimism that things were going to get better was short lived. That leaves the present, which is good since the brief for SoS is six things happening now, the problem being that scraping together six things at the end of December is a challenge. Here goes though.

One.
The view. When we had the extension built it quickly became a regular thing to take this exact shot from the upstairs window. I used to centre it where the paths meet but the Yew tree now obscures that point and I have to guess where it is. I use my 10-18mm wide angle lens, fully open, so I get the same view every time. I shudder to think how many times I have taken the same shot. This version was taken yesterday, when it was dull, but not as dull as the day before. I took the picture without compensating for the bluish light, then did that on the computer. Switch between images and there’s an obvious difference but after a moment all I see are the colours in relation to each other within the picture. As ever, at this time of year, the Hak macs are all aglow.

Two.
Right up in the far corner, behind the bench to the left of the glasshouse, is Camellia ‘Show Girl’. There are three “girls”, ‘Flower Girl’ and ‘Dream Girl’ being the other two. All are hybrids between the autumn flowering C. sasanqua and a couple of forms of the large flowered, spring flowering C. reticulata. For my money ‘Show Girl’ is the best of them, flowering December to February with pink flowers 14cm across. Mine isn’t in the ideal spot, a bit too exposed, but it’s doing well so far.

Three.
Correa ‘Federation Bell’ is down near the house, atop a low wall where it gets plenty of sun and more wind than ideal. I included it in a six on 6th November when it first started flowering and it’s still going strong. Hopefully it has several weeks of display still to go, provided it survives any really cold weather that we get, and the wind that has been rocking it about alarmingly. This is its first winter in the garden and I’ve not grown it before so it’s an unknown as regards hardiness. I kept it in its original pot for a year, with no feed, to toughen it up a bit before I planted it early summer 2021.

Four.
I’m always pleased to see the reappearance of Cyclamen coum. These are well established now and are self seeding around. They’re growing in a mix with ivy and Honesty, both of which need keeping in check to stop them overwhelming the Cyclamen. The foliage of Cyclamen repandum is starting to emerge too, so they will extend the cyclamen season into the spring.

Five.
I grow three forms of ginger lilies, Hedychium coccineum ‘Assam Orange’, H. ‘Stephen’ and H. ‘Tara’. All are reliably hardy and generally fully deciduous. ‘Stephen’ died down perhaps six weeks ago and I moved it to a better spot a couple of weeks back. ‘Assam Orange’ turned yellow and about a week ago the stems started snapping off from the rhizomes, they’ve all gone now. ‘Tara’ is still green. I don’t think I’ve noticed such a difference in the past. I get the impression that if we don’t get frost it will stay green all winter, which I seem to remember them doing when I grew them in the nursery tunnels. ‘Tara’ has flowered and won’t flower again on the same shoots so they have to die at some point.

Six.
Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’. I haven’t kept a close enough watch to be sure but I’m pretty sure these have been in flower all year, albeit in the tunnel last winter. I grow them in 20 litre pots which I set in the ground and in the spring I put out three pots to replace the tulips I grew last year. They had lots of stems and had started to flower, which they did for months, but the new growth they tried to produce was slugged relentlessly in the summer. I grew three more pots of it which carried things through until now. It really is in a class of its own for flower power. I have a couple more forms which I’m starting to treat in the same way, growing them in big pots that will be sunk in the ground where and when they are needed.

Not bad for New Year’s day. It’s mild; grey but brighter than yesterday. I’ll pop out for a mooch about later but I doubt there’ll be any gardening done. There is at least a sense that the trajectory is upwards now, which is good. Don’t forget to check in with the hungover Mr P, see what he and his followers have to kick off the new year.

32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 1/1/2022

  1. Happy New Year to you and yours Jim! I think we all have favourite views of our gardens, yours certainly shows good planning. Must try growing alstromoemerias in pots in future, maybe I’ll have more success that way! Have a lovely day.

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    1. The downside of doing Alstroemeria in pots, apart from the extra work and requirement for covered space in winter is that they look a bit contrived; there’s a dense clump with a sharp edge. I might try doing smaller clumps but I would need a supply of 3 or 4 litre deep pots ideally. Happy New Year to you too.

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  2. My hedychium ‘Dr Moy’ looks like the one in your photo ‘Assam Orange’, yellow and fallen stems: nothing to do except wait for new shoots?
    You too, you managed to find beautiful flowers at the beginning of the year, I didn’t do better. Happy New Year to you and your family

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    1. You can understand why plants that flower now are not widely known. For a nursery they flower when there are few customers and they’re not thinking about plants; for public gardens they’re flowering when few people visit and taking up space that could grow summer flowering plants. Happy New Year to you too Fred.

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  3. After seeing A. ‘Indian summer’ in your posts last year I bought it plus two other varieties and they’re all still flowering. I’m now coveting the Correa. Joining SonS has become an expensive habit.

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    1. Gardening has always been an expensive habit for me but if it keeps me from gambling and crack cocaine it’s a fair trade. I’m sorely tempted every time I see Alstroemeria for sale but probably have as many as is sensible.

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    1. Happy New Year to you too. I just need 312 more items and that’s another SoS year done. I wonder if I have enough plants to cover that without repetition. In theory I do, there are 458 on my out of date list.

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  4. I am always wowed by your camellias, but the Correa is rather pretty too. I wonder whether it sends out runners? Happy New Year Jim and Sue. Maybe I’ll get to look around your garden for real this year!

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    1. I’m pretty sure the Correa won’t send out runners, or even sucker round the base. It’d be lovely to show you round, and don’t feel bound by our NGS opening days. Happy New Year to you too.

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  5. Happy New Year Jim. Seeing your Cyclamen coum reminded me that I’d planted one or two last spring. I went in search of them earlier and found their rounded foliage (although they’ve been swamped by a few foxgloves that will need moving). Another beautiful Camellia.

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  6. Gee, I can not see the difference of color, even when I flip through the two pictures quickly.
    I should have used that option of posting a few pictures within one ‘picture’ for my six this week. All of my six were of two trees. They could have been grouped together as two pictures. I mean, the second was just a larger view of first, and the third, fourth and fifth were just a progression of three pictures, moving upward, from the same vantage. Heck, even the six was just off to the side from the same vantage. Oh well. It is too late now.
    I likely mentioned already that those gingers seem to be more popular in regions with cool winters than they are here, where they can grow almost a bit too vigorously. I just got my first butterfly ginger from someone who sent them to me from Virginia! I am very pleased with them of course, but am perplexed about why they are more popular in a colder climate in Virginia than they are here, or even in the Los Angeles region.

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    1. I was trying to work out where you’d taken the fallen tree pictures from. You probably said and I missed it.
      Part of the appeal of Gingers here is that they are about as exotic looking as you can get with a hardy plant. In a warmer climate I could grow Bismarkia and Heliconia and a million other far more exotic things and Gingers would be an invasive near weed with a short flowering season.

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      1. Actually, I did not mention it, but thought that it could become a question. The pictures were taken from the Conference Road Bridge over Zayante Creek and Zayante Road, which is the road that the tree fell onto. The eastern portion of the bridge passes over our yard here. The sixth picture in this older Six on Saturday shows the eastern portion.
        https://tonytomeo.com/2021/12/18/six-on-saturday-halloween-is-dead/
        Heliconia is overrated. My colleague down south has been trying to separate and remove it from his Philodendron selloum. He wants me to take what I can when I get there. Bismarkia is overrated. It gets bigger than it looks, and needs almost as much space as Canary Island date palm.

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      2. I love that I can go onto Google maps and go up and down Zayante Road and see which tree it was and see the power cable on the other side of the road that it must have narrowly missed. As to Bismarkia being overrated; to that I have nothing to say.

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      3. Yes, Google maps likely clarified the situation. If you go a bit north on Zayante Road, and look through the gate to the east, and slightly to the south, you can see the big valley oak that dropped the limbs.

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      4. Gee, that is almost to Zayante, and almost a quarter of the way to my home neighborhood. The trees here really are excellent; but are not as excellent as they were prior to the clear cut harvest a century ago. The redwoods that are here now are only about a century old. The stumps a several centuries old.

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      5. The moment I clicked ‘send’ on the comment I started fretting that you would come back to tell me it had all gone up in flames since Google did their mapping. It must be heart breaking to look back at images of areas that were burned out.

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      6. The CZU Fire was to the West, on the other side of the San Lorenzo Valley. The Zayante Valley area burned in the 1950s. (I can not remember the year.) That fire started from sparks from a pump that brought water up to a vineyard where the farm is now. Unlike almost all of the ecosystems of California, redwood forests are somewhat resistant to fire. (Most ecosystems here use fire to their advantage.) They became more combustible after extensive clear cut harvesting to rebuild San Francisco after the Great Earthquake and subsequent fire in 1906. Redwoods regenerate very efficiently, but after so much was removed, they regenerated with other more combustible vegetation mixed in.

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      7. I find it hard to imagine living in an environment where fire is a natural component, a when not an if. To then manage it to minimise the risk while also conserving it as nature intended as far as practicable and no doubt also trying to satisfy a multitude of competing and irreconcilable demands about how to do so from the people who live and work there…..

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      8. The risk of fire has increased in modern history because of inadequate forest management. The regeneration of formerly clear cut forests includes more combustible species than it naturally does, and so-called ‘environmentalists’ do not want such species to be managed. It will take a few centuries for the forest to recover to a natural condition. Fires actually slow the process by killing some of the redwoods that would normally survive fires with less fuel. (‘Virgin’ trees, which were out of reach of formerly harvested areas, were killed by the CZU Fire because of the intense heat generated by more combustible surrounding forests. Such trees had survived several ‘normal’ fires through thousands of years.) Although fires are a natural component of the ecosystems here, they are much more destructive than they naturally are, and can even incinerate species and seed that should survive less destructive fires. Forest management, as unnatural as it seems, is actually beneficial to the recovery of the forest.

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      9. I’m assuming that climate change has also increased the risk of fires and perhaps complicates decisions about management too. We get moorland fires sometimes, more frequently as we get more and hotter summer droughts. They can burn in deep peat for months.

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      10. Actually, the picture of the bridge is the fifth picture, with the diminutive werewolf and orange spot on the ground. You will see what I mean when you get there. The pictures of the fallen tree were taken from the far side of the bridge, at about the left margin of the fifth picture, looking down.

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  7. Happy New Year! I enjoy seeing the photos from the upstairs window regularly – it gives a really good sense of where the garden is and how it’s changing throughout the year (and the years). ‘Indian Summer’ is an impressive plant – we get equally long flowering times from it up here (not in my own garden but in a couple fo client’s gardens).

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    1. At some point I will track down the first picture I took of that view. If I go through my Amazon buying history and find when I bought that lens, it should be soon after. If every picture tells a story, a series like that should write a book.

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