Six on Saturday (20 April 2019)

Well this can’t be right. A sunny and positively balmy Easter weekend. Where are the grey skies? Where’s the rain? Where’s the chilly breeze? I’m so unaccustomed to such glorious Easter weekend weather I spent yesterday doing very little gardening but quite a bit of time sitting and garden gazing. The bee flies buzzed around enjoying the forget-me-nots and primroses. A little blue butterfly fluttered here and there. The ‘flutey’ scent of the Daphne Eternal Fragrance by the garden bench was inhaled deeply. A dunnock sat on the fence and sang a surprisingly beautiful song that rivalled that of the robin, and the wood pigeons attempted a bit of comical wooing (unsuccessful as always). It was a day of simply enjoying the garden, watching the wildlife and squishing the odd aphid or two on the Philadelphus and Lupins (yes, the sap sucking blighters have arrived). However, I was a bit more industrious the previous day.

1. Thursday evening was spent sowing some new seeds that were accidentally ordered on Monday. I blame gardening magazines, train travel and smart phones. I was flicking through a gardening magazine while we were travelling to Totnes on the train and spotted a brief piece on Crepis rubra. Looking it up on my phone I thought ‘what the heck, let’s get some’. I did an online search, found a supplier and added it to my basket which, to my surprise, already had something in it. By sheer coincidence it was the same supplier I’d almost purchased some Cosmos ‘Fizzy’ seeds from a month or so ago. I’d exercised great will power back then and decided against the purchase. No such will power was deployed this time. It was obviously the Universe’s way of telling me I needed fizzy cosmos. How I ended up ordering the African Foxglove seeds I have no idea; the plant certainly wasn’t listed in the gardening magazine, I’d never heard of it before and I can’t say I like the sound of ‘erratic’ germination. And yet there it is, a packet of African Foxglove seeds.

Most years I’ve been rather slapdash and not bothered with labels, always convinced I’ll remember what has been sown in each pot. I rarely do. However, I’ve been much better this yea. At least I thought I had; there are still a surprising number of pots with unidentified seedlings. I’ve figured out the flaw. Laziness. When sowing two or more pots of the same variety of seed I tend to only write out one label (writing two or more labels with compost covered hands is just far too much effort) and I foolishly thought that I’d be able to keep the unlabelled pot/pots with the labelled pot. No chance. So I’ve been uncharacteristically organised with this new batch.

2. The sowing of seeds and potting on of seedlings is always undertaken next to the blue shed. The spot gives me a good view of the garden, the bags of compost are stored nearby so I don’t have to lug them far, and at this time of the year I get to enjoy the delicious fragrance of the Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum’ up close. Its flowers have just started to open. Possibly my most favourite shrub.

3. Now this is rather exciting. The last time I tried growing tulips, a few years ago, they were a bit of a failure. However, last November I decided to give them another go.

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The first pot contained the Humilis Persian Pearl. They weren’t very impressive and I didn’t bother including them in an SoS a few weeks ago.

Yet the batch in the second pot (‘Tulip Collection’) have finally started to flower and I’m rather pleased with them.

So pleased that I feel they deserve to be seen from another angle…

And okay, perhaps an aerial shot too…

4. Another first, the Rosa Banksiae Lutea has finally started to flower. It’s been in the garden for two years but was never really happy competing with the Clematis montana in a slightly shady bed. It was moved to the South facing border last Autumn and has never looked healthier. There are buds and flowers aplenty… but alas, no scent. However, it’s evergreen and should help cover the back fence.

5. Bluebells. I’m a bit suspicious of bluebells. I bought some a few years ago, supposedly the English variety, from our Country Market shop. However, when they flowered they looked very much like Spanish bluebells. I tried to dig them all up and I started again with some bulbs from a garden centre. Problem is I’m still not convinced these are native English bluebells. The shape and colour of the flowers seem a bit off to me. They’re nice, don’t get me wrong, but I fear they’re a hybrid. What do you think?

6. And finally… plant supports. I never seem to have enough plant supports so I purchased some more last week. Later today I’ll be plonking them around the garden, though well away from the washing line so as to avoid a repeat of the rusty-marks-on-newly-laundered-white-sheets incident a few months ago. The birds also rather like them as they make good perches.

And they were my Six on Saturday. For more Sixes on Saturday, from all around the world, take a look at the site of the chap who started it all over at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

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35 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (20 April 2019)

    1. The only one I can easily identify is cosmos! I think Cupid’s Dart and Coreopsis are the mystery plants… I think.

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  1. Your perseverance has been useful for the tulips, the flower pots are very pretty. It was worth it.
    I went to the forest this morning and obviously there are plenty of bluebells ! I will also post a tweet soon about them. I’m also looking forward to seeing my rosa banksia lutea bloom..

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    1. I look forward to seeing the bluebells tweet. My wife loves bluebells. We usually head off to Hestercombe to see and photograph them.

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  2. Thank you very much!!!! Now I need Crepis rubra. And it against the law to order just one pack of seeds. It is a slippery slope. I also think those are hybrid bluebells, natives have bells on just one side of the stem and are fragrant. Love the rose absolutely beautiful. ps I think I have a flower bud on my white bletilla. There is a long way to go and as we know there is “many a slip between cup and lip” or “bud and flower”. Enjoy your weekend.

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    1. Oh dear! I suspect they’ll have had quite a few Crepis rubra orders since the magazine came out! I think I’ll just have to live with the bluebells now. I struggled to detect a whiff of bluebelliness from them (though the Daphne was close by). Have a good weekend.

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  3. Your mixed pots of tulips look lovely. I have decided that next year I will keep one variety in each pot or trough. My mixed tulips have been fine but where I have mixed tulips, irises and daffodils, I have ended up with a couple of blooms which then died followed by another couple etc.

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    1. I’m not sure what to do with these once they’ve finished. Chuck, leave or dig up and dry them ready for next year. Decisions, decisions.

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  4. I can practically smell that luscious viburnum from here! An excellent choice of spots to work from. I’m certain others have forewarned you: Success with tulips is a slippery slope. Yours are a great combo.

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    1. I was lucky with those that came in the second pack. No idea what variety they are sadly. There will definitely be at least two pots of proper tulips next year!

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  5. That banks rose looks jolly healthy. I love roses and grow a few but I always want them to be smothered in flowers all summer and they rarely are. I love your tulip pot too, lovely and colourful.

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    1. Thank you. I think it can occasionally have the odd flower later on but not a proper second flush. We have a few repeat flowering roses but there’s always a big gap between flowering!

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  6. What lovely photos and update, smart phones are very dangerous for seed ordering. I have seen amazing tulip photos i must do some #sixonsaturday

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    1. I was inspired to give tulips another go after seeing everyone else’s last year. I’m glad I did. Internet reception is usually pretty poor on trains making online purchases more tricky. Alas it was fine on that journey!

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  7. I just looked up Ceratotheca and I can see why you would buy it, things that lovely sell themselves. The bluebells are more Spanish than not. Our native one has a one sided, less erect spike, narrower flowers with petals much more reflexed, darker colour, creamy (not blue) anthers.

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    1. That’s what I feared. Thanks. The Ceratotheca does look lovely. Fingers crossed they germinate. The packet only had 6 or so seeds in it.

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  8. I like your plant supports. Check out your local steel factor. You can usually buy 2m lengths of 6mm steel rods which can easily be bent into plant support shape. Usually cheaper than buying the finished article.

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    1. Good idea. I saw Monty making his own one year on GW. I plonked them about the garden yesterday. More might be required.

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  9. Your words: I’ve been rather slapdash and not bothered with labels, always convinced I’ll remember what has been sown in each pot. I rarely do. resonate with me!

    i planted two types of petunias, trailing and bush. Of course I’ll remember which seed tray contained what type. did i hell. 😦

    The Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum looks wonderful! Do the flowers continue throughout the year like hibiscus?

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  10. Once upon a time, it was easy to ID native and non-native bluebells because the natives were droopy and the forriners erect but these days, thanks to their ready hybridisation, it’s a lot harder. I go by the colour of the pollen aka anthers. If it’s creamy-white then they’re proper natives. If it ain’t, they ain’t.

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