Six on Saturday (11 May 2019)

Typical. You take your first week of leave and it turns out to be mainly cold, wet and breezy only for the weather to improve just in time for your return back to work. Ah well. Despite the dodgy weather the scabious and dahlia seedlings were potted on, visits were made to establishments of the plant purveying kind, strolls were taken in the countryside and the odd tasty meal out was enjoyed. There were also travellings of the M5, M54 and the A-good-lord-not-another-roundabout-which lane-do-we-want-this-time-5 kind which leads me to my first SoS.

1. Last Saturday my wife and I travelled up to my Ancestral home in the North of Wales for a few days. I took up some pots of plants for my mum but inevitably came back to Somerset with far more.

An anonymous geranium, allegedly white though possibly pink (my mum doesn’t label things either), some stipa grass (pre-ordered a few months ago), a thyme, a primula candelabra, some rudbeckia and a sneaky fern which will join that other fern you can see in the background. I’m gradually creating a stealth fernery – just don’t tell my wife.

2. The hibiscus is still not showing any signs of life. To add insult to injury my mum’s hibiscus (a special from Aldi purchased a few years ago, no more than a foot or so high and growing up North where it’s decidedly chillier than down in the South West) has leaves. Leaves! I will release my pent up frustrations here as I’m trying to remain positive in front of the hibiscus, offering it encouragement and support and providing it with a safe, non-judgemental, pressure-free environment in which to… well, do nothing while all the other plants in the garden just get on with it, doing their whole leafy-growy-flowery thing without any fuss. *Sighs* I must remain positive and patient.

3. I planted a mixed bag of ranunculus last Autumn.

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Some are beginning to flower and rather nice they are too, if a little spindly. Here’s a white one.

This is a ruffly yellow one.

And here’s the bud of a pink one that’ll hopefully feature next week if the wind or a wood pigeon doesn’t flatten it before then.

4. Several years ago I bought a packet of iris (Dutch I think) that if memory serves me correct were supposed to be scented. They weren’t. They were originally grown in a pot but were later scattered around the garden. Most of the time they usually only produce one flower, which is a shame, but I prefer them to the bearded iris and the flowers last a while. They’ve slowly multiplied over the years. This is the first one to flower.

Some of the others aren’t far behind. This yellow one was in bud on Friday morning…

But by the evening, and despite of the rain, unfurlage had occurred…

5. Now I’ve not had much success with alliums in the past (they don’t like our heavy clay soil) but I decided to give them another go, adding a bit of gravel to the back bed to improve the drainage a little. The new batch of Purple Sensation are definitely looking more robust than previous efforts (though there are a few blind ones) and some are just beginning to open.

Yet I’ve been rather taken with this much smaller variety that haven’t received any special treatment and were just plonked wherever there was space.

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So far they’ve all been white. Understated elegant beauty.

6. And finally… Remember the Dwarf Korean Lilac from last week, its buds poised, ready to burst open? Well the fragrant flowers have finally opened en masse.

It’s at times like this that I wish some plants would just go on flowering throughout the whole of the summer. I’ll just have to make the most of heady scent while it lasts.

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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26 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (11 May 2019)

    1. I’ve just been trying to sort out a solar pump for a water feature near our lilac this afternoon and the fragrance was lovely.

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  1. Your irises are very pretty (and I prefer the second side of the Dutch iris)
    Ranunculus and alliums flowers are full of promise… and nothing else to say about the dwarf lilac… it’s really beautiful !

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    1. Thank you Fred. I’ve been surprised at how different each of the ranunculus have been. Might get some more in the autumn – which is a long way off yet!

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  2. Here at the bottom end of Wales, I’m about to give up totally on Hibiscus. I love the flowers but to get those I have to fork out for a large plant because I know that it won’t get through the winter whatever I do (short of digging it up and putting it into the greenhouse which will already be over-full). I covered mine in several layers of fleece and a deep mulch and it still looks decidedly dead. I share your feeling for lilac. Mine is starting to go over and I notice the scent lessening. Oh well, next year …….

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    1. I’ve found an article by Alan Titchmarsh on hibiscus and he reckons it can occasionally be June before leaves appear. I’ll give it until then and perhaps contact the supplier as apparently if a plant doesn’t work out they’ll replace it so long as you pay postage and packing.

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  3. Everything’s looking so lovely, perhaps you should consider your hibiscus an architectural statement plant in that bed. That fern is so pretty, it’ll be hard for your wife not to notice. You should buy more understated ones. I recommend a woodwardia (which grow out scarlet & are huge, so she’ll never notice).

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    1. My sister has just twittered me about the fern – she seems to think it had been promised to her… awkward. Woodwardia sounds perfect – subtle and understated!

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    1. I’ll have to check both pictures again as I can’t remember. Hang on… Yes, you’re both right! It may be a fluke with the alliums this year.

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  4. How nice to have someone to trade plants with!
    I love alliums. I’ve been growing them from seed, so I have a wait. They seem like rather perverse little things. When sown in pots and cared for they take ages to germinate, but if I just throw them around they come right up.

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    1. Some seeds do seem fickle. The best snapdragon plant in our garden is one that sowed itself between the wall of the house and drive. It’s a picture of health and has been flowering for a few weeks!

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  5. Oh, the A5… I used to travel regularly from Chepstow to Bangor, so I know that Marches road really well. I was much younger then ( as Jackson Browne would say) and would do there and back same day. The road through Milton Keynes has that same ‘What? Another roundabout…?” feeling…

    I empathise with your hibiscus problem. They are the latest and laziest plants ever. Ours just has buds at the moment and every year we think it’s not going to do anything and threaten it with the compost heap.

    Everything else is looking good though. I’m not managing a 6-on-Sat just lately oo busy keeping the place spick and span for a house move!

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  6. Hey, you do realise you need to talk to hibiscus to make them not only have leaves but also flowers. I can be heard talking to all my plants… and the blackbird. Probably WHY the neighbours give me a wide swerve. That’s probably your Mum’s secret. Ssshhh…

    The silvery fernish plant is really pretty. Ferns and hellebores are most def growing on me for shady areas.

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    1. I’ve been talking to it in an encouraging Douglas-The-Good-Life-Bean manner. Wondering if I should adopt the Tom Good method instead – come on you ‘orrible hibiscus, grow!

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    1. I wonder how many ferns it takes to make a fernery?! It’s hibiscus Marina Blue, a new purchase earlier in the year, planted after the snow. I’m not giving up on it yet (possibly in denial).

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  7. I used to have a garden full of spring flowering shrubs and small trees including a lilac and was always sorry when they finished flowering. For those few weeks though the garden was magic. And yes, the A5. Know it fairly well, at least a little faster than driving up the A49!

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    1. Yes, it’s the way of things when it comes to gardens. I’m getting better at appreciating the fleeting beauty of plants, although the viburnum seemed to finish flowering very quickly this year. In theory the orange blossom should take on scent duties after the lilac finishes. I’ve not had the pleasure of the A49!

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      1. Not so many roundabouts on the A49, but single lane traffic and Hereford… When I lived in Shropshire I invented a new word ‘trucktors’ because I was forever getting stuck behind a truck or a tractor. Slow travel.

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