Six on Saturday (4 May 2019)

Thankfully Storm Hannah didn’t wreak too much havoc in the garden last weekend. There was a fair bit of batterage but with the exception of a few snapped Buddelia shoots and a slightly dishevelled Lupin everything, including the fences, was still standing when the winds finally eased late on Saturday evening. Phew.

Sunday afternoon was spent carefully planting out one of two trays of Alyssum seedlings. Well, I certainly started off carefully, gently lifting small clumps of seedlings from the compost and gingerly separating each one, untangling their roots and planting each individual seeding into the ground, ensuring I left a suitable amount of space for each one to grow. Halfway through the tray I became less careful and towards the end I’d resorted to random mass plonkings of tangled seedlings with an increasing casualty rate. Note to self: sow less Alyssum next year. I’ve decided to give the other tray away. I’m going to have to give some tomato plants away too, which leads me to my first SoS.

1. The Yellow Tumbling Toms and Minbel were potted on a few weeks ago…

and have since gone a little mad…

A few have even started flowering. I’ve not had tomato plants flower this early before and I’m not sure I want them too as they’ve yet to be hardened off for life in the great outdoors. I’m wondering if I should remove these early flowers to encourage stronger plants. Next year I may sow them a little later.

2. The Morning Glory ‘Split Second Double’ have also taken off. I’ve had to remove the bottom shelf in the mini greenhouse in order to add a small cane to each pot for the plants to grow up. But the canes aren’t going to provide them with adequate support for long and removing another shelf isn’t really an option. I think these morning glories are going to have to be hardened off (stop smirking) ready for planting out.

3. Now there’s nothing glorious about my next SoS. The standard Ceanothus was a new purchase early last year and was a dazzling show of pale blue flowery fluffiness back then. Not this year. I’m not sure what’s gone wrong. I thought I’d kept on top of watering (it grows in a pot) and it’s been given the odd liquid seaweed feed but the majority of buds appear to have shrivelled up. It’s a bit disappointing. I’ll give it a light prune later in the month, which thinking about it I forgot to do last year.

4. Still, it’s far more healthy looking than the Hibiscus. I think this may feature each week from now on until a) it finally shows signs of life or b) it’s officially declared dead. Now I could be imagining it but I fancy the branches have taken on a slightly darker hue of late.

If I was a glass half full type of chap I’d wonder whether this hints at life, sap rising up the branches ready to produce buds. However, I’m more of a glass half empty kind of fellow and I’m wondering whether this is a sign that it’s getting increasingly more deceased. I may have to resort to scratching away a little of the bark to see if there are any signs of green… but not yet.

5. I didn’t know whether to go for a close up of daisies or perennial wallflowers for my next SoS. Both grow next to the Hibiscus. I’ve gone for the latter with its bright orange fragrant flowers.

6. And finally… While the Ceanothus has been a bit of a failure this year and the Hibiscus continues to keep me guessing, the Korean lilac Syringa meyeri Palibin has proved as reliable as ever despite being moved a few feet earlier in the year when work first began on the patio reduction. It’s poised, ready to burst into flower and will soon fill the garden with heady scent.

Though one flower appears to have jumped the gun.

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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22 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (4 May 2019)

  1. Nice tomatoes Graeme! They are ahead of mine
    For the hibiscus, it’s not a good sign to see it that way. You could have reduced the stems .. that would have encouraged new growths. I always prune each stem 2/3 each autumn. Give it a last chance ?

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    1. Thanks Fred. I didn’t think to prune the stems when it arrived. I might give that a go at some point if there’s still no sign of life.

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  2. Have faith, Hibiscus is alway late into leaf. They will appear eventually. I have a ceratostigma which behaves the same way. I know it will spring into life eventually but meanwhile it is an eyesore. Each year I threaten it with eviction. Your little lilac looks a picture with the clematis behind it.

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    1. I’ll give it more time but might start thinking about what could replace it just in case! The clematis has done really well this year.

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    1. I’ll be patient for a bit longer. Talking to it each day in an encouraging manner doesn’t seem to be working yet.

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  3. Condolences on your hibiscus and ceanothus. I am declaring my willow tree definitely dead so that will come out this week. (I think I have said that before!) Do I keep the branches/twigs and make a beautiful fence or willow baskets with them, or will I be realistic and shred them for a mulch? I like your dwarf lilac, I must go and check whether my full size one is flowering yet. Nice Six.

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    1. Thank you. Is that the willow that looks like Cousin It? Sad to hear that. Hope your lilac is flowering.

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  4. I’ve never seen these Korean lilacs before and suddenly they are everywhere! I haven’t even sown my tomatoes yet – must get round to it this weekend. I’m sure it is a good thing to be ahead of the game as you are.

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    1. There do seem to be a few Korean lilacs this week! Quite a few different varieties to choose from now as well.

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  5. I agree with Chloris, hibiscus is always a dawdler, mine isn’t doing much either. It is that time of year isn’t it? When we need to send the babies out into the world and we aren’t sure if they are quite ready yet. Some of mine have had to make space for newcomers. Might chuck a piece of fleece over them tonight. Love the perennial wallflower, what a colour! ps love the lilac too. 🙂

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    1. I threw bubble wrap over some dahlias. Must get some proper fleece. I was bad with the Alysuum and didn’t really garden them off prior to planting (the space they were taking up in the mini greenhouse was required urgently!) Seem to being doing okay, touch wood.

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    1. I’ll remove the tomato flowers then and take a look at the link! I’ve plant hunks of seedlings before but always when I get fed up. Thanks.

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  6. My tomatoes are budding as well, & I’ve been nipping the buds off. There’s no wisdom behind that, just a feeling it’s a bit early & the plants too small at the moment. Maybe your ceanothus will perk up after a prune. I do hope so. The leaves look nice & glossy, so perhaps just a bit leggy at the moment. Everything looks really good in your garden at the moment!

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    1. Thank you! I think you’re right about the tomato flowers. I’ll remove them. The ceanothus will get a prune and a talking to.

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  7. Your hibiscus may yet return, they are notoriously slow to get going. Mind you, mine is leafing out so perhaps yours is a goner. Sad face. Although, something new in its place! Happy face!

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    1. My mum’s hibiscus from Aldi is in leaf up in North Wales and it’s colder there than Somerset! I’ll start planning for the worst case scenario and look at possible replacements. Maybe another hibiscus!

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  8. I’m impressed that you started transplanting your Alyssum seedlings by gently lifting small clumps of seedlings from the compost separating each one, planting each individual seeding into the ground and ensuring you left a suitable amount of space for each one to grow. looking at that seed tray you have more patience than me… but I see you succumbed after a while. Life is too short 🙂 I wonder if it will have any effect on the plants by planting them in clumps as opposed to individually?

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    1. I’m thinking it wouldn’t make any difference! I usually end up doing the same with the snapdragons and those plonked in clumps seem to do just as well.

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    1. Thanks. It’s odd. When I look at it I just spot the weeds and what needs moving, chopping or generally tidied up! Lots of couch grass coming up at the moment.

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