Six on Saturday – 18/6/2022

It was hotter than I like yesterday, today is much cooler, overcast with a possibility of rain and I’m quite happy about that. All winter we want it dryer and warmer, when it’s dry and warm we want cool and wet. Sad.

The mid-season change over is almost complete, all the Aquilegias and most of the foxgloves are gone, Geranium palmatum will go just after our first opening next friday and saturday. Six things happening now could be six things our visitors just miss, item one certainly is.

I looked out the window this morning and there was a red poppy open centre stage, wasn’t there yesterday. With the realisation in my head that my sixes on Saturdays are usually five from Friday and one from Wednesday, I grabbed the camera and went out to take its picture. Is it going to elbow out one of the six already chosen, not a chance. Should I sneak it in as the header? Do a pictorial footnote? Post seven items not six? You’ll agree it’s quite the dilemma, or not. Carrying on round, I found Lilium martagon with blooms that I don’t think were open yesterday and noticed other things that stood out better in the kinder light. I have to go to the tip, dispose of yesterday’s rubbish pile, then I’ll be back and make some changes.

An hour later, we’ve had enough rain to lay the dust. Perhaps there’ll be more later.

One.
Sue’s cacti. The Echinopsis plants we have are presumably mostly or all hybrids. I don’t know whether a species in the wild synchronises its flowering but there’s a strong tendency for them to do say in the greenhouse. Thursday evening loads of them opened up and by friday afternoon most of them were starting to wilt. I tried to capture the flavour of it all on friday morning. Today a few more have opened but several are gone. There’s one picture from today at the end of the slideshow.

Two.
Fabulous overblown flowers are not just to be found in the greenhouse; Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ doesn’t hold back either. The blooms have gone over very quickly in the heat but there are plenty of buds so we should have flowers for a while yet.

Three.
Easing down another notch I was rather taken with this combo of Corydalis flexuosa, variety unknown, forming a backdrop for Fuchsia ‘Genii’. The Corydalis reminds me of its presence with a fair waft of scent every time I go past it. It’s tall, two foot or more, getting a bit of support from the Camellia grijsii alongside it.

Four.
I’ve established that my white Iris ensata is ‘Moonlight Waves’ but this deep purple one I still don’t have a name for. It’s very beautiful but soon over.

Five.
As ever, the first of my Hydrangeas is H. serrata ‘Cap Sizun’, a mighty fine French selection of the species. It gets some shade during the day but will be much happier for the weather turning cooler. It’s somewhere between being a lacecap or a mophead. It looked so much happier this morning that I took its picture again but the difference isn’t very apparent. Maybe I was imagining it was happier, it’s hard to get inside the head of a plant.

Six.
I had left Bomarea edulis in the ground over the winter but the slugs weren’t for letting it grow away come spring. I gave up, dug it up and put it back in a pot in my tunnel and replaced it with Bomarea caldasii, a plant in a five litre pot in the greenhouse with three feet or so of growth on it. Oddly, the slugs have barely touched it since it was planted in the hole B. edulis came out of. It isn’t flowering or even in bud yet. I had two more plants of the same variety in three litre pots, twining their way round the greenhouse and each other. I planted both into a 20 litre tub, put it in the border hidden behind a fern and trained the two plants up into the Camellias either side. One of the two looks like it might be a good flowerer, it had a couple of bud clusters when it was planted, one of which is now open. It’s not obvious how big the flowers are; not huge, perhaps 1½ inches long. It just remains to do something with Bomarea multiflora, which I saw in a garden recently and have in a big tub.

That’s of it, as they say around here. Did I already read that The Propagator is training hills in Wales, something like that, it’s all a mystery to me. He posted his post, as reliable as ever; it’s where the links are.

31 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 18/6/2022

  1. Sue’s cacti are very impressive, what a great display. Really love the bomarea, definitely one for the list. I’m sure Malcolm could help you out with the iris ID, whatever its name, it is a beauty. I do love Iris ensata. And don’t think I didn’t notice the sneaky extras!

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  2. Sue’s superb cacti were a treat to see, far far better than Bristol Botanic’s garden collection. Very strange weather here today after scorching hot day yesterday.

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  3. I’ve said it before but Sue really has a collection of wonderful cacti!
    The Bomarea edulis I have from you overwintered in the attic, safe from slugs.I thought it was dead too because no more green shoots visible but since I put it in the greenhouse and watered new shoots have appeared (which are only 5cm long…)

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  4. I find myself with poppy envy this week! Used to have the red ones, love the lavender one that someone else posted today, and even the bright orange California poppy – California is the place that feels most like home to me, but the reality is I can’t afford to live there now, and if I could, I probably could not afford the water to garden. I do love succulents and that could be done in SoCal, but I like to grow things I can eat too (I know, one can eat prickly pear pads and fruit, but I don’t have experience with it.

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    1. We used to see fields of poppies once but glyphosate has all but eradicated wild flowers from farmland; a much more serious problem than it possibly being carcinogenic in the greater scheme of things. (In my opinion and possibly controversially)

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  5. Many cacti are endemic to desert climates, so naturally bloom within a very brief season. The Mojave desert has extreme summers followed by brief but rather cold winters. There is not much autumn or spring in between summer and winter. Bloom is minimal early in winter, as many plants generate vegetative growth, but then happens suddenly, briefly and potentially spectacularly late in winter, just before warm summer weather.

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      1. No. I have seen it just prior to bloom, or just after. It is easy to miss, since it is rather brief. A few species bloom in their own particular phase typically prior to the full blown desert bloom. For example, I have seen vast Lupinus nanus bloom, which continued into the full blown desert bloom immediately afterward. While there, the bloom does not look like much within close proximity. It is most spectacular in the distance and on the horizon. I find the Mojave Desert to be spectacular even without bloom.

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      2. We must have seen quite a bit of the Mojave Desert, we visited Joshua Tree National Park and drove Las Vegas to LA; I wish I’d had then the camera I have now. I think I have a box of faded slides somewhere in the attic.

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      3. That is an awesome trip, although large portions of the middle of the trip do not seem to change much for many miles. You know, I have lived in California for my entire life, but only got as far as Barstow about a decade ago, on the way to Oklahoma. I went through there for the second time a few months ago, on my first trip to Las Vegas. That was my first trip on Highway 15 in that region. I really should get out more.

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      4. California is a very special place. There is more diversity of scenery here than anyplace else I can think of, from vast deserts to deep forests to long beaches to snowy mountains to broad valleys. That is why the ‘entertainment’ industry is so prominent here. I have seen some of the best bits of it, but would like to see more. It is not so easy to justify trips to the Mojave Desert. No one else is as fascinated with it as I am. Ironically, the Santa Clara Valley, my favorite part of California, is not as appealing as it used to be, and is not exactly a tourist destination.

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      5. The UK in total is less than 60% the size of California; England just over 30%. The highest mountain is 1345m. Then again, we did produce William Shakespeare, even if he has been dead over 400 years and not much of note has happened since.

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      6. There is a lot of diversity within minimal spaces here, regardless of how big California is. I can walk to more climate zones than there are within the entire state of Oklahoma. Every planet that the Enterprise visited on the original Star Trek was within a short drive from western Los Angeles. Some large areas, such as parts of the Mojave Desert, are significantly less diverse, which is why it looks the same after driving through it for a few hours, but places like this make up for all that monotony.

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      7. There are echoes of Australia in that sort of localised diversity. There you go from xerophytic vegetation into rainforest very abruptly, but it isn’t a different climate beyond microclimate. Here we barely get that, though it can be surprising how much difference a few hundred feet of altitude make.

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  6. Stunning cacti from Sue again. Your peony is very late isn’t it? Or do they flower at different times of the year……..well, obviously they do, but I hadn’t realised it. Interesting Six-on-Saturday as always.

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  7. Your hydrangea is a lovely one – delicate colour and spreading shape. I love a good blousy pink peony and Sarah B is a favourite of mine (mainly because a local market stall used to sell the plants for £4). The cacti are very impressive. It’s a shame the flowers are so fleeting.

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  8. What a fantastic cacti collection Sue has, the flowers are amazing! Like your dark blue Iris ensata, mine aren’t out yet, still in tight bud, I have a white one and blue and white striped one at the back of the bog garden, they only get early morning sunshine, so seem to last for a fair amount of time.

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