Six on Saturday – 16/4/2022

This little corner of the kingdom didn’t get the warmest day of the year that most of the rest of you got yesterday. I spent much of the day wrestling with my water storage system so it’s ready for the rain that isn’t in the forecast either. It’s benign weather, the flowers are lasting well and not getting damaged, but thick cloud makes for a somewhat dull appearance, especially in photos. Better day today hopefully, though not yet. On then, to this week’s choices.

Camellia ‘Spring Festival’. A chance seedling of C. cuspidata, according to the Camellia Register. C. cuspidata has small white single flowers so as chances go it was a particularly good one. There are very few narrowly upright Camellias and even this one broadens out with age. There are two here, the remains of a row of five I planted to screen off a neighbour. Honey fungus had other ideas and now they’re as big as they are, one would have sufficed.

Magnolia ‘Ann’. Contrary to what it said in my Magnolia book, this has been a spreader with no ambition to get very tall. I cut branches from its sides most years but have never taken anything off the top. This could well be the most floriferous it’s ever been.

Anemone nemorosa. I have a sizeable clump of Anemone nemorosa ‘Robinsoniana’ or at least that’s what I’ve always taken it to be. However, a number of seedlings have appeared in its environs and none is exactly like the parent. Given that most seedlings would probably germinate and grow within the original clump, it seems likely that there is a lot of variation about in what is offered under the name. One seedling is a little darker than the original, one about the same and two are paler, almost white in one case. They’re all nice and I have no plans to remove any of them.

On the subject of self sowers, I particularly like this primrose. The flowers are almost white and the flower stems, new leaves, petioles and mid ribs are dark red.

I don’t usually include things until they’re actually performing but this tree peony hasn’t flowered for so many years that I’m getting quite excited about its imminent unfurling. I’m also a little afraid that the bud will just get bigger then die without opening. It’s ridiculously huge for a flower buds. Hopefully it will be open for next week and I will have rediscovered its name.

I don’t want to miss out altogether on tulip season. I bought some cheap end of season bulbs and planted up three pots, one of which is plunged where Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ will go later, joining the two already there. It’s called ‘Jimmy’. The Echiums behind them are for later but are already hard to ignore and get taller very day.

I have much to do and must get on with it. A couple of months back I was itching to sow seeds and holding myself back, now I’m all behind. Probably the same every year, everything comes at once, especially when growing veg.
There’ll be links to other sixes to check, but that’s for later, the great outdoors beckons.

26 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 16/4/2022

  1. Very pretty flowering of the Magnolia “Ann”! Is it an echium pininana? A plant that I love but which unfortunately doesn’t overwinter here…I lost it every time at this size and it never flowered.
    I will try with a smaller one ( E Candicans )

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  2. Anemone nemoros ‘Robinsoniana’ is a very gentle blue, a colour regularly in wild populations – I found a big spread last week – and also in garden seedlings, some with darker foliage which makes them attractive. One called ‘Buckland Blue’ is in flower here and is excellent with much larger flowers and an more definite shade of blue. We got while in Devon, at The Garden House.

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  3. ‘Ann’ saucer magnolia is supposed to grow upright?! I thought that it was supposed to look like it does in your picture. I never researched it, and we never grew it, but I thought that it was one of the classic Magnolia X soulangeana types, with a low and rounded over canopy. ‘Alexandrina’ was a common sort while we were in school, and it stayed below second story windows, although is supposedly could get as high as a second story roof. (A specimen that I remember in Saratoga is now taller than twenty feet.) I thought that ‘Ann’ was similar.
    The anemones are rad! Most anemones, even the Japanese anemone, look rather woodsy, like something that should grow wild among the redwoods. Of course, I also like how they look so good in white. The primrose looks good in white also.

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    1. ‘Ann’ isn’t really a saucer type, it’s stellata x lilliflora ‘Nigra’, from the Kosar-de Vos “Eight Little Girls” series. My book describes ‘Ann’ as erect growing, almost columnar. On the nursery we mostly grew ‘Susan’ and there would usually be one or two plants in a batch of 25 liners that wanted to sprawl rather than grow up. Poor selection of propagation material possibly? The picture of ‘Susan’ in the same book is very much like my ‘Ann’ in habit. It says ‘Susan’ has six tepals, ‘Ann’ eight to ten. I just counted a few and they ranged from seven to ten, mostly nine or ten. I suspect most book descriptions are based on knowledge of only one or two specimens of a cultivar, which may not be typical.

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      1. Well, as you know, such information commonly gets copied from one publication to the next. Also, much of the information gets published while a cultivar is still relatively new, before it has time to mature completely.

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    1. We don’t always get away with Echiums here and overwintering them in pots is tricky, too wet or too dry will kill them and it usually stunts their growth. These grew from seed exposed when I dug out a Chamaerops a couple of years back, so the seed had been dormant in the ground for a few years. If I get a good seed crop I think I’ll direct sow a little and store the rest for future years.

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  4. Well, I thought the “test” comment worked, but neither it nor my proper comment worked…..Hey-ho. Still, I can reply using this route. The “tulip” magnolias have been very good this year locally, but our stellata has been rather disappointing…’s time for a prune. Your tulips look good and Mr Propagator’s, which I saw yesterday, were amazing in quality and quantity. He has dozens of large flowerpots stuffed full of them in flower plus many more yet to open.

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