Six on Saturday (17 April 2021)

Has someone turned the thermostat down? We’ve had a light frost most mornings of late and while the cold appears to be helping to prolong many of the earlier spring flowers (some narcissus have been in bloom for weeks now), outdoor sowings are taking their time to do much of anything. Perhaps I’ve just got used to unseasonably warm and early springs. While I’m grumbling about the cold I might as well grumble about the lack of rain too, although the dry weather does appear to have curbed the all-you-can-eat plant buffets of the slimy plant assassins of the night. Silver linings and all that. Anyway, time for Six on Saturday.

1. These were the first lot of seeds I sowed back in February: a white Black-eyed Susan and Convolvulus tricolor ‘Royal Ensign.’ They’re by far the healthiest looking of all my seedlings. I’ll pinch out the Black-eyed Susan (on the left) to encourage more stems and to keep them small until they can be planted outdoors after the risk of frost has passed. I’ve slipped up with the ‘Royal Ensign’ though. Figuring they’d be great for growing up the garden arch I failed to notice these are in fact a dwarf variety. Ah well.

2. Growing in the border with shrubs and perennials is the most tropical looking plant in the garden: Rhubarb ‘Poulton’s Pride.’ It can supposedly be harvested for 10 months of the year, from February through to November. This is its third year. The tulips (‘Violet Beauty’) are still going strong behind the Rhubarb but other tulips have begun to bloom.

4. This is ‘Lilyflowering Purple Dream’ which is rather lovely.

5. And this is a dwarf tulip ‘Czar Peter’ which is… well, I’m undecided. A Wilko purchase, I must have liked it when I picked up a packet last year. But when I was planting them, back in November, I’d gone right off them. Now that they’re flowering I find I like them one minute but I’m less keen the next. Would I plant them again? I’ll get back to you.

5. I won’t need to get back to you about my next tulip though. Tulip sylvestris is a stunning, bendy-stemmed fragrant yellow beauty. Most of my tulips are in pots but I’ve tried this lot in the ground. It’s a wild native tulip that according to Sarah Raven will be in the garden for decades once planted. I hope so, I just need to make sure I don’t accidentally slice through the bulbs later in the year.

6. And finally… When I planted the new standard Bay tree in the autumn I didn’t expect flowers in the spring, but flowers in the spring is what I’ve got and rather interesting they are too up close. Thankfully, it’s escaped the cold and a mid winter move unscathed.

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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38 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (17 April 2021)

  1. On the topic of species tulips your Tulip sylvestris looks very dynamic and shows great movement with its curving stems, so definitely one for me to add to my order for the front garden.

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  2. I think Tulipa sylvestris is very beautiful and has flowered for about 15 years here but has not increased to any significant degree.

    Lots of frost here also

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  3. I agree with your sentiments about the cold weather, for me tulips usually come with al fresco dining! I would love to add Tulipa sylvestris to my collection – the wilder ones have real grace, I think. The fact that it comes back year after year is also a real bonus. Czaar Peter has big impact, though I actually thought it was a lily at first, it can be a really fine line with the bi-coloured tulips, sometimes the width of the splash or the subtlest change in colour tone makes a big difference.

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  4. Yes, wrapping (or forgetting) and watering are the order of the day, cold and dry, could be worse I suppose Lovely tulips, I’m undecided too abou the Tzar, but adore the sylvestris so it evens out. Sure you’ll find the perfect place for your diddy Morning Glory and you can pretend that you meant it all along. 🙂

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    1. Apparently you can pinch out morning glory plants. I’ve just been checking my original seed order and the ‘Royal Ensign’ isn’t even a morning glory – it’s a Convolvulus. My mind was obviously elsewhere when I placed that order… and when I sowed and labelled them.

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  5. A flowering Bay tree? That’s the first I have seen. That Czaar Peter is like one I used to have….it looks better shut than open. Your rhubarb is a bit ahead of mine but once mine starts, it goes on and on for months.

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    1. You’re right, Czaar Peter does look better shut than open. The Bay tree had little pale round things on it when it arrived – I thought they were berries or seeds of some sort, but no, they were buds. I hope it actually is a Bay tree. I should try a breaking and sniffing a leaf.

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  6. Lovely tulips, I grew Purple Dream a few years ago, but I do like to ring the changes! Tulipa sylvestris is pretty, I am sure I planted some in my first autumn and although they flowered the following spring I have never seen any since! I am trying two different species ones this year, but in containers – all will be revealed next week. I am quite liking this cooler spring as the flowers are lasting longer (but then I am lucky enough not to have any frosts).

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    1. The flowers are certainly lasting longer with this cooler weather. I’m looking forward to seeing which species tulips you’ve gone for. I thought I’d planted a stripy yellow and red one back in 2019 but I think the company sent the wrong variety as they all turned out to be red.

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  7. I’ve not seen a bay tree in flower either. I’m impressed by the Rhubarb too. Not much growth on mine. It’s been too dry I suspect.
    Czaar Peter looks nicer when closed up than when open, in my humble opinion. But I often prefer them like that as the shape is more elegant.

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  8. I like your tulipa sylvestris very much. I am trying to build up a collection of species tulips in my garden as I like the fact that they naturalise. We had a lot of rain last summer though, and I fear mine might not reappear. Time will tell, of course. I haven’t had any luck growing rhubarb. Perhaps I over watered. Yours looks delicious.

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  9. The bay flowers are very exciting. Personally, I’m liking the Czar Peter – a lovely combination of colors. The rhubarb is a wonderful monstrosity. I hope my newly planted root takes off as nicely some day.

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  10. You’ve discovered a marmite tulip in the Czar Peter. I think it’s rather striking. I’ve never heard of that Rhubarb but it’s a winner if you can harvest it for such a long season!

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