Six on Saturday: 14 July 2018 – The Return of the King(don)!

Is it that long? It seems that flu isn’t a respecter of seasons and, whilst most people think of it as a winter problem, it can hit at any time. And so it was that the start of the heatwave co-incided with the start of a bout of Australian flu (blood tests revealed that). And after a spell in bed, feeling sorry for myself, I entered a spell of feeling totally lethargic; a spell that the doc says will last for a few more weeks yet. Still, I got through the worst of it, even if the garden didn’t do so well.

The reference to Lord of the Rings in the title of this post is appropriate – well I am returning from an absence! My space here is named after a place in that book and, it seems, in my absence our glorious leader has, in the course of adjusting his garden, earned the title of “Eye of Sauron”. So Tolkien references abound. If you pop over to the prop’s blog, you won’t find a mass of orcs but you will find his Six of the day and, attached thereto, a host of links to other contributors to this meme.

Meanwhile, having dragged my failing carcass out of the house to view the Desolation of Smaug that was once a garden, I’ve managed to put six things together and, without further ado, I invite you to “Speak, friend, and enter my little patch of Hobbiton.

1 Clematis Something or Other

When I bought this, it was labelled as “piilu”. The flowers look piiluish but are too small, at least to my eye. There’s a lot of them but piilu should also grow fairly tall whereas my “Whatever it is” manages no more than a metre. Still it’s the first of my Six today and maybe someone can offer a suggestion as to what it really is.

2 Dierama (Various)

They’re known as “Angels Fishing Rods” and look really graceful hanging over water. Except that mine flatly refuse to dangle over the pond, preferring to dangle over the lawn. Talking of pond, in my absence, that little attack of duckweed became an all out war. As fast as I can scoop the stuff out, it regrows and covers the surface. And it’s become quite thick. I guess the tadpoles have suffocated. There’s little I can do until the late autumn/winter when it’ll be a case of removing all the planting baskets from the pond and meticulously picking every bit of the damned stuff I can off them, then scooping madly and possibly draining, sterilising and refilling the pond. Which means certain death for anything still living in it though wildlife will return fairly quickly.

3 Lilium Longiflorum “Apricot Fudge”

An unusual form of Asiatic lily which appeared in the UK this year. As the flowers open they look like roses and when fully open they look, well, different. I bought a couple of packs from the QVC shopping channel (actually supplied by De Jager) but when they arrived the bulbs were soaking wet, in sealed plastic bags, and showed signs of mould. I got my money back and bought some from another supplier. QVC invited me to plant the bulbs they’d sent in case they came up. I did but they didn’t. Still the second lot are flowering nicely.

4 Stachys macrantha

This should have flowered a while ago and gone over by now but someone up there was sympathetic and so it’s flowered late. A nice little splash of purple.

5 Hemerocallis


I could fill a few sixes just with daylilies as this is daylily season and mine have all taken their socks off. But I’ll treat you to just a couple. I often find that they can’t read very well and it’s not unusual for a flower to last a couple of days before deteriorating rapidly. So I’ll call them two-daylilies. I may remember the varieties when I wake up properly.

6 Representative Wall Planter

At least my wall planters are doing fine. They’re all connected to an irrigation system which, unlike the system I’m installing around the garden, is automatic. So every day they have been watered without any need for me to heave myself out of bed. An added bonus is that plants which I’d bought with the intention of planting them were languishing in gravel trays underneath a run of wall planters. As the planters dripped away merrily, they took care of watering the “plants awaiting” by maintaining a decent water level in the gravel trays and so I didn’t lose anything. I just need to catch up with the planting now.

On the other hand, I think I need to crowdfund the payment of my next water bill. I had a glance at the meter. I will simply say “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!”

We have rain forecast for most of next weekend. I’ll believe it when I see it and will be most grateful as I’m not due to attend an open-air concert, unlike a certain person teetering on the brink.

Until next time, have fun in your garden.

28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 14 July 2018 – The Return of the King(don)!

  1. Very glad to see you posting again, hope another one is coming for this week – no pressure though. Flu recovery and this heat is not a great combination. You are putting me off my hazy plans for putting in a small pond with one minimal water lilly, but we shall see. Angel’s fishing rods are great and I think are to feature on GW this week. You are so on trend! I’ve been wondering about all your plug plants – what a relief that they are looking so good. I too am feeling the pain of the water meter – but what can we do?

  2. Welcome back. Hope you return to full strength soon. I love everything that everyone else above (or will it be below once this is published?) says they love. Hadn’t come across angel’s fishing pole before &, as Granny mentioned, it’s in other post this week as well, so that means I have to get it, even tho I don’t have a pond. I do have a DoodleFace pool, so perhaps that’ll do. But, in addition to everyone else’s pleasures, I really was taken by the begonia wall planter. Absolutely picture perfect.

    1. And thank you. I hope so too – I suspect that the incessant heat is slowing me down more than the aftermath of flu! You don’t need a pond for Dierama. They’re available from lots of places in 9cm pots (probably not worth getting bigger plants) in white, pale pink, deep pink and shades thru to a deep purple. Most people seem to prefer lighter shades but IME the darker the colour, the longer the flowering period. Once the flowers go over, the seed heads remain attractive and I don’t usually cut (or pull out if you follow “the book”) the stems until they look really ragged in the autumn. My display grew from three babies and is about three years old – that gives an idea of how they will develop. The begonia planter is an experiment – most of my wall planters are a mix of large New Guinea impatiens and Lobelia on the top and petunias around the face. Next year I think I’ll go for begonias in the lot.

  3. Glad you’re feeling a little more perky Mr K. I plan never to look at my water bill. Better that way. I’ve grown Stachys from seed this year but I can’t find them now. Must have succumbed to a nasty case of too-small-a-pot in this heat.

    1. Thanks. So am I. Mine is the sole survivor of a sowing last year – it looks like two small plants. I may divide it next spring. Cos of its diminutive size it really needs to be in a group. I@m beginning to get very resentful of those who boast that they’ve had some rain. Really bad manners to boast!

  4. Welcome back John. You were missed. I have the same issues with my Angels Fishing Rods. They insist on being naughty.
    I love those day lilies. Beautiful

    1. Thanks Brigid. I’m wondering whether I should lift the Fishing Rod roots and plant them the other way round. I often wish daylilies would clump up more quickly. I have a couple which have grown into large clumps and even though individual flowers are fleeting, those two are in bloom for ages. The babies which only produce one or two blooms each year need to get a move on!

  5. I think Lilium longiflorum is rather desirable. Welcome back after your flu bout. Sorry about that!

    1. Thanks. Can you get those lilies down under? Looking through trade paperwork, I think there’ll be a lot more places here in UK selling them next year.

  6. Welcome back. Recovery from flu is always longer than you want it to be, I had it earlier in the year.
    I’ve stopped growing Daylillies because of gall midge. By the time I picked off the affected buds there wasn’t much left to flower. A couple of years of that and I decided to give them a rest.

    1. Oh dear! Here daylilies are pest free (touches head, removes splinter from finger). I hope that continues or I’d have about 40 holes to fill otherwise!

    1. Thanks. I honestly can’t get my head around this recovery phase thing. In my mind, you’re ill. You get better. And all is well. I hadn’t realised how much a few days of flu takes out of you. Still onward and upward.

    1. Thanks. It seems that in my absence this SoS thing has taken off even more. I’ll get round to reading others’ posts soon. No rest for the wicked, eh?

  7. Good to read you are on the mend, it really took its toll didn’t it?! I love Angels Fishing Rods, the first time I saw them was in Furzey Gardens and I thought the guy was joking when he told me what they were called, but that is just what they look like – fishing rods.

    1. Thanks Ronnie. I honestly can’t believe it. I thought once I was ok and out of bed I’d be back to normal. Oh well! I was (just) a teenager when I last had flu so can be forgiven for forgetting I suppose. Dierama are loverly. If they hang over the pond that is! Why mine insist on hanging the other way is beyond me!

    1. Well I don’t suppose you want me to send you some then! 😉 On the plus side, during today’s scoop-out session I managed to net a few tadpoles and a froglet (so they haven’t all suffocated) and also a couple of small newts. Haven’t had newts in the pond for a few years.

  8. Duckweed – I scoop and scoop but it will always be there won’t it? I have a tiny pond and was thinking it was OK to just keep scooping. Do you really intend to try to get every single bit out????

    1. I do need to try as, otherwise, it will regrow from the smallest bit next year and I’ll be back to square one. What mystifies me is that duckweed usually feeds on what gets into the water from rotting sludge on the bottom of the pond. My pond bottom is clear as last winter was its quinquennial clearout. Which makes the appearance of the damned weed this year all the more galling. Still, keeps me out of mischief I suppose.

  9. Welcome back, glad to hear that you are on the way back to your normal loveable self. Dieramas are wonderful, love them and the daylilies are gorgeous. As for the rain, I will be packing my wellies!

    1. “Loveable”? I’ll leave that aside. I don’t think it’s going to be heavy rain here, just showers. We will be grateful for the smallest of mercies though. I have suggested a possible solution (allowing for the likelihood that it will still be warm and raincoats may be too much) via DM but I think all the seating is under cover as long as you’re not “on the edge”.

  10. I see that the King also has a Piilu clematis. Mine bloomed a few weeks ago and it was a delight. The daylilies and liliums that you have presented to us are gorgeous. Glad to see you recover from the flu and to take another reference to Tolkien, “my precious” is rather a water tank still half full … no rain at the horizon….

    1. Trouble is I’m not sure that it is piilu. Still, it looks close enough; I’m just wondering what it really is – it’s the Pippin (Peregrin Took) in me – curiouis. OK, you win the bragging rights of the week. Half-full water tank indeed, All of my water butts have been empty since the first day I got out of bed!

  11. Good to see you back. It sounds as though you have a fair way to go before you are up to full strength. Like your Six-on-Saturday but haven’t read Lord of the Rings so will take your word for it that that those are genuine people/places. (I did try but it didn’t work for me.) I will get at least a couple of those beautiful dierama – there was one on another post recently but that was the purply pink variety. Take it easy and enjoy your garden again. (If you read my post, you may notice I have abandoned the power tools in favour of a mallet, secateurs and hair pins – make of that what you will!)

    1. Dierama come in all shades of white thru pink to deep purple. I’ve just bought one that is supposed to be red (great minds thinking alike albeit your mind is clematis-oriented) but will have to wait and see next year. Before I read your post I had visions of GGHI being staked down, spreadeagled on the lawn and tortured until he revealed the hiding place of his hidden wealth. At this time of year, so many nurseries are having sales ……..

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