Six on Saturday – 2/7/2022

We’ve been to three garden centres this week and in all of them there seemed to be surplus bedding plants by the truckload. It would not be a surprise to hear that plant sales have been down this year but if they are it is not for lack of trying on my part. In spite of all the stuff we grow ourselves from seed and cuttings, we never fail to find a few more plants that have to come home with us. Plugging gaps because we’re opening the garden is an excuse that has seen a lot of use this year. There’s heaps going on already mind, so you’re not going to get to see any of them this week.

One.
Hydrangea serrata ‘Shojo’ has been quite a showstopper the last three or four years and is once again hitting its stride big time. I’ve had to do some very discreet supporting to keep it from blocking the path completely. The darkest leaves are almost black, I’ve not tweaked the photo to make it look that way.

Two.
Poppy, self sown variety. Last year there was one. This year there are dozens, mostly nowhere near where last year’s plant was. They have nice flowers, but only one at a time, and they have terrible foliage. I’m not a big fan, on the other hand, I’ve not pulled them up yet.


Three.
Impatiens stenantha. Gill put this in a few weeks back at which time mine was doing nothing. No longer, it’s looking good and I even have in amongst it a bonus different sort of Impatiens that is in bud. Two for the price of one is always welcome with plant purchases, well almost always.


Four.
I tried to use the image and media side by side block but it wasn’t having it. We planted Watsonia in the front garden a couple of years back and it seems quite happy there. However, when the three volunteer Echiums gatecrashed the party last year, the Watsonia found itself in part shade with some serious competition for water and nutrients. It has a couple of flower spikes; I think it will improve now the nearest of the Echiums is gone. It might be Watsonia pillansii; or not.


Five.
Alstroemeria ‘Summer Break’ (Summer Paradise series). In a big pot and pampered and preened in the tunnel before being put in a prominent position out the front, this is now paying back the investment. It doesn’t altogether go with all the fiery colours around it but that was never going to bother us much.


Six.
Sometimes you knock off a couple of pictures of something and when you look at them on the big screen they fall so far short of conveying the merits of the subject as to get summarily deleted. I should probably do that with these but the truth is I have failed miserably to do better on a number of occasions so I despair of it getting any better than this. Geranium nodosum is at the weedier end of the geranium spectrum and usually has undistinguished pale pink flowers. I did have a white one but I think it’s passed on. However, I managed to find just a few seeds on a really dark flowered form in a well known west country garden and happily, the plants I now have are as good as their mother. Now “weedier” becomes “robust” and “invasive” becomes “cheerful self sower” and “undistinguished” becomes “distinctive” and “bloody impossible to photograph” becomes “elusive velvety texture”. For now, I like it a lot, but that might change when all the pale pink is gone and the garden is smother in the dark one.

This morning it’s raining again. Just as well I got the photos yesterday. Yesterday’s plant purchases will have to wait too, there’ll be no gardening, other than the armchair kind, done this morning. That of course includes the world tour that is six on saturday, the check-in desk for which is on The Propagator’s patch. Passports at the ready please.

25 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 2/7/2022

  1. I was amused by your word play regarding the geranium description It seems in magazines and in the press that wordsmiths are most important than the plants, breeders or selectors. Learning my way to see through it all. At the end of the day beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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  2. The Alstroemeria looks familiar, I have more unidentified plants coming into flower. I shall pop out and take a closer look at mine to see if it is a match. Our local garden centre had masses of plants that they were having to put on the sale table. Why do you think sales are down this year?

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  3. That hydrangea is a beauty and a little judicious support did no one any harm. Also loving the dark nodosum. How are the begonias getting on? I almost (it was in the basket) bought B. palmata yesterday. It was the P&P that put me off in the end, a £12 plant became a £22 plant. Enjoy your armchair gardening day.

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    1. If I lived as near to Farmyard Nurseries as you do, P&P wouldn’t come into it. I keep starting blogs about Begonias and getting sidetracked. I did manage one on ‘Torsa’. B. grandis ‘Sapporo’ and B. tengchiana were recent acquisitions I’ve had no cause to regret. ‘Mishmi Silver’ is outstanding. And so on.

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  4. Super pretty hydrangea! Is it the begonia luxurians on the left that we see?
    Rain you say ? Indeed seeing some photos with small drops… Here great sun and gardening in shorts and T-shirt. Have a nice week end though, Jim

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  5. I was preparing the garden for opening today and nearly went to the garden centre for some plants to brighten the place up but the heaves opened instead and I had to retreat indoors. Great alstroemeria. I’ve not had any luck growing them here sadly.

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  6. Wow! I was not aware of the Watsonia. I have seen it somewhere, but can not remember if it was in your garden. I got my first Watsonia pillansii from Tangly Cottage Gardening earlier, but neglected to consider that they could bloom before next year. It is ‘Coral and Hardy’. I should have tended to it better, and at least brought it out to show off the bloom before it started to deteriorate. I was not aware that it was blooming. The Watsonia pyramidata that I am more familiar with blooms in spring. Anyway, I figure that if it is good enough for Tangly Cottage Gardening and your garden, then I should not feel badly about growing it. I happen to be fond of it, not only because it was a gift from Tangly Cottage Gardening, but because it needs nothing more than a bit of water from me. (It does not rain through summer here.) Of course, that is an assumption, since I am only familiar with Watsonia pyramidata.

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    1. We’ve had Watsonia in the past and lost it in cold winters. When I bought this one he had a mixed pink and orange batch, so I picked one in flower. Probably should go see if he has any more, it being their flowering season. They are happily, and very impressively, naturalised on the Isles of Scilly, not so far off the Cornish coast.

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  7. That hydrangea is “awesome”………one of my grandson’s favourite words and definitely appropriate here. Perennial geraniums seem to be in a couple of other posts and certainly do earn their place in the garden. Hope the Open Garden Scheme is going better now.

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    1. I’m pretty ambivalent about geraniums if I’m honest. They can be pretty scruffy a lot of the time without enough flower to forgive them for it. They’d probably stay more compact and flower more in a drier area than Cornwall. We’re open both days next weekend, which should give us a clearer idea of our appeal. At the moment the weather forecast is good.

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  8. I came on a very attractive G. nodosum called ‘Fielding’s Folly’. I have grown a few plants from seed and hope to see them flowering later in the year. They are valuable plants in the right place.

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    1. Not so very different from the form I have, judging from online pictures. The ordinary form is not inclined to stay in the right place, it remains to be seen if the darker form seeds less prolifically.

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