Six on Saturday – 9/4/2022

Well, that was a full on horticultural week. Camellia Society meeting on Monday, Mount Edgcumbe on Wednesday (camellias), full day on my allotment on Thursday and a couple of days of pricking off, potting up and on, pruning and so on around the garden. I want to get another day in on the allotment today, plant more spuds and some lettuce, get supports in for the peas. It’s good to be slowly emerging from winter and the frustrations of wanting to do so much and being able to do so little. I went around yesterday and took pictures of a few things, far too many as it turns out, which is a good sign, so here are the six I narrowed it down to.

It’s that time of year when the need to start moving things out of the greenhouses is becoming desperate. In the autumn they get stuffed full of all the Fuchsias, Begonias, Pelargoniums and so on that needs winter protection. Then in February, into already full glasshouses, go seeds, seedlings, potted up bulbs, potted on things, unneeded purchases and so on. Temporary shelves get erected so some of it gets moved out by day, back in by night, allowing watering to be done. It’s a kind of madness.

This is the sort of thing I mean. I came home from Mount Edgcumbe on Wednesday to find this in a carrier bag by the door. Sue had bumped into an ex work colleague to whom it had filtered back that I had lusted over his Begonia that he had put on Facebook. It may not look much right now, but just you wait. Begonia omeiensis. If you think it looks like rhubarb now, see what it looks like in full leaf. It’ll probably stay in a pot for this year, then get bedded out for the summer in subsequent years.

Another looming task, pruning the Euphorbia mellifera. It is now in full flower and has spread itself out to almost block the adjacent paths, especially when it’s wet. As soon as I’ve had my fill of the flowers I will cut all the flowering stems to the ground. The non-flowering stems of the same age and height will go too. That will leave the shorter non-flowering stems that are now under the flowery canopy and getting drawn for lack of light. I may leave them for a few weeks then remove them but if they’re really messy they will go with the flowering shoots. It’ll be a lush mound of new leaves by mid summer.

Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’. The male Skimmias may not produce berries but their flower display pretty much makes up for it, visually and olfactorily, if there is such a word. I read once that ‘Rubella’, much the commonest male form grown, is a poor pollinator, presumably not producing much viable pollen. With this much flower it would need for much of its pollen to be viable to succeed with the ladies. Indeed, our two female Skimmias are regularly loaded with berries.

Anemone x lipsiensis ‘Pallida’. Lovely thing, spreading very slowly, much slower than A. nemorosa, I’m always surprised when this pops up each spring covering a slightly larger area.

Erythronium californicum ‘White Beauty’. These seem to have settled in nicely and are just so graceful and refined that I can see myself planting a lot more. I learned the hard way that Erythroniums are a bulb you plant as soon as they arrive. Leaving them lying about for a few weeks before planting them is very likely to result in failure as they rapidly dry out. The perennials and shrubs that are going to be the mainstay of the garden for the summer months are starting to green up now and Erythroniums are perfect for filling in the few weeks before they do, then vanishing until next year. I took a picture yesterday just as the rain stopped, could do with getting a better one. I’ve just been out and taken another.

A lovely clear day has dawned, albeit cold in a frost on the car roof way. An allotment day beckons. I get to walk a mile there and a mile back, probably at least twice. I can’t compete with The Propagator, but he has age on his side. See you later.

34 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 9/4/2022

  1. The way your last two pale lemon plants reflect the light is just perfect this time of the year. So much work goes into delightful gardens like yours, and I appreciate that when I visit gardens.

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    1. When people visit in summer they mostly don’t give a thought to what was there a few months earlier and it may have been a carpet of spring flowers or it may have been completely bare. One is harder to achieve than the other. If you’re ever down this way you must pay us a visit, whether we’re open or not and probably the latter is better.

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  2. Great blog post, I’m interested to hear what you’ll do with your Euphhorbia after flowering, I have been leaving mine and it’s making a take over bid for the garden around it.

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  3. Superb clump of your euphorbia! For the first year, mine will flower ! ( from seedlings 2 years ago. It’s really very fast you were right.)
    Just one thing, do you know why the top leaves are curled? Cryptogamic disease or critters? I can send you some photos if you want.

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  4. A timely reminder of what to do with the melifera. Mine is just in flower and is just the the right size for the border as it is now. I will be cutting back as you suggest. That anemone is beautiful. As are the erythroniums – mine are just coming into flower now and I have them lined up for next week. Enjoy your allotment visits.

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  5. I’m gobsmacked by the amount of plants you have in the garden and the greenhouses AND you have an allotment! How do you fit it all in? Good point about the Erythroniums – I might have another attempt at growing them, they are so pretty and would look perfect in my woodland border.

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  6. Erythronium californicum is a rare one. I believe that it grows wild north of San Francisco and west of Tahoe, but I have never seen it within its native range. A nursery in Monterey grew it a few years ago as a ‘native’. Those who now grow it in their gardens believe that it is native to the region of Monterey.

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  7. I haven’t seen yellow anemones before, very pretty. Are you contemplating another greenhouse? You could certainly fill one. Where will you put all those plants? I have yet to start any vegetables, I was so disappointed with the destruction produced by the insects etc. last year that I think I will only plant Swiss Chard and runner beans, although some of the latter were covered in blackfly but there were enough beans to make it worthwhile.

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    1. I can’t see us adding another greenhouse though as you say, filling it wouldn’t be a problem. There isn’t a short answer to where all the plants will go, allotment, garden, garden open sales and so on. I was talking to some new allotment tenants a couple of days back, totally new to the game; advised them to go for some easy wins like courgettes and runner beans, or they risked getting disheartened.

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  8. I have admired that begonia with a friend who grows them wonderfully but have never wished to grow it. On the other hand the euphorbia grows only too well here – there are a few plants, in a wildish corner, which are about three metres high. Time to prune a little, I think!

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    1. I’m quite pleased with how my Euphorbia responds to the regime I give it. I don’t think they improve for getting tall and showing a lot of leg. My borderline hardy Begonia obsession is in danger of getting out of hand but there really are some fabulous plants amongst them.

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      1. I had a look at one of the Euphorbias this afternoon and it is about 4 metres tall, behnd large shrubs, generally out of sight.

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    1. Outside in a pot sounds good, but where are you and how cold does it get and do you give it any protection and all the other questions that I may have to learn the answers to the hard way.


    1. Two from 25 is not a good success rate. What is not under your control is how well they’ve been stored before you get them. I think sometimes suppliers hold back on sending them out if you have other bulbs on the order that aren’t available as early.

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  9. Oh the greenhouse! Is that B luxurienson the left staging? Do you cut it down or plant it out as is? Mine has finally reached a reasonable size but looks a bit leggy.
    When are you opening your garden this year? I’m hoping a date might coincide with a Cornish visit

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    1. Well spotted with the Begonia. We plant them out as they are, generally side shoots, new growth and shoots from the bottom disguise the legginess. Those ones are smaller than we usually plant out, our biggest is just on 2m now. I’ll email you our opening dates, but you’re welcome any time.

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