Six on Saturday – 23/4/2022

I’m off to Rosemoor garden again today, to the spring show. It kind of marks the end of the camellia season, so I’ve put a couple of mine in here. Spring bulbs are over their peak too and to an extent flower is being overtaken by greenery as the build up to summer begins. I’m happy with that, I much prefer to be looking at complete vegetation cover rather than patches of bare soil. There’s plenty going on in the flower department, here are my weekend highlights.

Let’s start and finish with Camellias; first up, C. japonica ‘Bob Hope’. I pruned this back last year so it has fewer flowers than sometimes, but they are such a rich red that a few go a long way.

Last week’s peony bud has opened up to this rather splendid creation. I cannot find its name, which is annoying me, but I did just venture out to see if it had a label (it didn’t) and discovered that while it is all growing on one stem, down at ground level there are probably twenty or more little shoots coming up, mostly only an inch high. Hopefully it’s on its own roots and not grafted. I need to clear away ivy, cut back the overhanging Camellia and start treating the peony decently. Who knows, I might get rewarded with another flower in ten years time.

Hostas come up remarkably quickly, probably a strategy to fend off mollusc damage; get up, do some photosynthesizing, get chomped to ribbons. I keep picking up the odd one, always looking for something quite distinct from what we already have. We’ve had ‘Raspberry Sundae’ for around three years and it’s the furthest on of all we have. Bold variegation and red spotted stems, it flowered last year and I’ve forgotten what the flowers were like, quite dark I seem to recall. They are the first of a group of mostly foliage plants in pots that will go on pot stands at the shady end of our decking area.

On the sunny side of the garden we have an Osteospermum that thinks it’s high summer already. It is flanked by Camassia and the white daisy whose name I cannot remember. I’m somewhat surprised at how well the Camassias are doing in such a sunny and dry place, though they only last a week or two.

Asphodelus albus. I don’t think this usually flowers so early but it seems to suit it, the individual flowers generally don’t last more than a day or so so the overall effect is diminished; being cooler they seem to be lasting longer so the whole spike looks better.

Camellia number two is ‘Night Rider’, late flowering, very dark red, small flowers and glossy dark red shiny new foliage.

And that’s your lot. I’m in a rush, looking forward to a good show. I’ll be back later to follow up the links from the Propagator’s Saturday six.

27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 23/4/2022

  1. My camassias here are in partial shade and are starting to flower, but they stay in bloom for at least a month…maybe thanks to the shade? Superb flowers of the camellia ‘Night Rider’


    1. I have some camassias that need moving, I will try some in a shady area. If they flower a little later and last longer that would be a good result. ‘Night Rider’ is a good camellia, Tony put me on to where it got its name, see his comment. Don’t know if ‘Knight Rider’ made it onto French TV.

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  2. Those dark camellias are very attractive! Enjoy Rosemoor – I liked the area of the old/original garden but not the new/designer areas at all. We grow that white daisy plant with the grey foliage but we are both stumped re the name.


    1. I don’t get the newest addition cool garden at Rosemoor at all. It doesn’t seem to fit in to the setting and with so much hard landscape isn’t going to mature into it as some of the other areas are gradually doing. Hey Jude named the daisy, sounds vaguely familiar.

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    1. I’ve always thought it should be possible to extract something from a plant that is never attacked by slugs and spray it onto the ones that do. These days you’d think gene editing would do the trick, transfer garlic genes to dahlias. Hostas usually start off OK, unlike dahlias and some others, which get browsed the minute they reach the soil surface.

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    1. I had a lovely day thank you. The trouble with obscure obsessions is you don’t get many chances to have a good blather with someone like minded, there are too few of them.


  3. The red camellias are very lovely. If I had more room I would definitely have more camellias. The white daisy looks like Anthemis punctata subsp. cupaniana or Sicilian chamomile. I also have some flowering alongside Osteospermums, which seem awfully early to me. No sign of my Camassias yet, though the leaves are up.


    1. Camellia ‘Toni Finlay’s Fragrant’ crashed onto my wanted list today, courtesy of the show. I will get the daisy name into my records (yes, I have a garden plant list, sad, I know)


    1. The hosta stems are great though in truth they’re hard to see. The Asphodelus has been a long lasting plant, I’ve been trying to get Asphodelus robustus going, but without much success so far. It’s more branched so showier.


  4. Ah, I can remember ‘Bob Hope’, although I do not remember how we acquired it. We did not grow it though. I do not know why. It just lived and bloomed out in the arboretum, along with all the other stock plants. ‘Night Rider’ looks a bit . . . dark, like the 1982 Trans Am of (almost) the same name.


    1. Oz Blumhardt registered ‘Night Rider’ in 1984, the first episode of the TV show Knight Rider was 1982, featuring the car. I’d never made the connection before but now you point it out, it’s obvious. As a nursery plant ‘Bob Hope’ was a bit of a pain; very slow to get going so took a year or two longer than most to get a saleable plant. Slow growth becomes an advantage eventually though.

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      1. Oh, I do not know if there actually is a connection. That was just a guess.
        You know though, I told my colleague down south that ‘Electra’ rhododendron was named after the car. He believed me. We also grew ‘Taurus’.
        The commonly available camellias that we grew were easy to grow. There were a few odds and ends that needed a bit more work, but they were not in production. Even the Camellia reticulata were not in regular production. We grew only a few for collectors. It would not make sense for us to grow ‘Bob Hope’ if it is slow. I would not have guessed that from its performance in the arboretum. I never asked.

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