Six on Saturday: 9 March 2019

What a week! The weather’s shifted continually between heavy rain/dry but cloudy/a bit of sun/strong winds (a few gusts recorded at 60mph) and I’ve been getting a lot of exercise darting in and out of the house to get things done when I could. Today’s outdoor photos were taken on Thursday as insurance against the heavy rain that was forecast for Friday. Which is good as the heavy rain decided to turn up on schedule, beating down on the greenhouse in which I’d ensconced myself to get some potting on done. I couldn’t hear myself think!

Still, I’ve made it.

1 Ed 2 Developments

Iris don’t last long! The two alpines I featured last week have been battered to death by the weather. But life continues in Edifice 2. Here is Corydalis ‘Beth Evans”, currently carrying the mantle whilst other plants catch up.

2 The Changeling

Last week, I featured a few Hellebores (Helleborus if you’re pedantic). The third of those has grown from a self-sown seedling so is var.unk, as Mr Prop would say. I’m thinking of calling it var.changeling. To begin with it’s a deep wine colour with thin white margins which are spotted with the same wine colour. But it changes colour and by mid-May the white will have changed to pale green and the wine bit and spots retreat a bit. It’s already starting to change.

Here, the white margin on the flowers is getting wider.


And some of the flowers are starting to change from white to green. One in the middle is well on the way.

3 Tubers

I ventured into the garage attic the other week to retrieve my dahlia tubers from their usual winter hideaway. I left all my then tubers in the ground under a mulch over winter 2017-8 to see how they’d cope. The unusually cold winter here did for them so I bought some new ones. They didn’t perform that well but I went back to my usual lifting and storing. I don’t seem to have done any better as the tubers were all soft and mouldy. So I’ve gone for new ones again, this time from Sarah Raven. And I have to admit that what I’ve now received is way better than the last lot (I won’t say where from). A bit more expensive but much bigger and looking very healthy.

I’ve unwrapped a couple for effect.

Now where the heck are my dahlia starting pots? I’ve hunted high and low but can’t find them. And not a single 2 litre pot to be found in the local garden centre!

And before a certain Gill Heavens flies into a rage, your mum is quite safe with me. She was carefully cossetted in isolation, regularly assessed and cuddled. Maybe this year she will pull her drawers up and flower. Incidentally, poor Gill has had another encounter with a killer pasty and isn’t sure whether she will make it this week so, on her behalf, I will offer apologies, just in case. If ever you meet her in a pasty emporium, never buy the same range of pasties as she does!

I’m also having a go with Roselilies, which do not produce pollen and reputedly flower for longer than normal lilies. These came from Dobies. And I had a pleasant surprise. I had thought I was ordering three bulbs (I know they’re not tubers) but it turns out that I was actually ordering three packs of two bulbs so twice as many as I expected. Which may be a problem as I only ordered three because I only had space for three! Still, I’ll work something out. And again, I’m very happy with the quality of the bulbs.

4 Leaves Appear

My Malus crabbus (OK, Malus var. unk) has started to leaf up. For me this is the real start of spring. Unusually, this year the leaves are keeping a lot of old fruits company. The crabs are usually stripped off by birds (last year a flock of fieldfares stripped it bare before the first leaf opened) but this year they’ve all dined elsewhere. I wonder if that’s because I no longer park a car under the tree so they’ve got nothing to c**p on.

5 A Last Hurrah

This tree heather is 25 years old and nearly five feet high and two across. But it’s seen better days. I’m letting it flower one last time before I dig it out. It’s not making that much effort though.

6  Sow, Sow, Quick Quick, Sow

It’s that time. Today’s going to be very wet again so I’ll be in the greenhouse merrily sowing away. I resisted all the seed exchanges this year, mainly confining myself to hardy annuals which I didn’t bother get round to sowing last autumn.

I’m being unusually restrained this year! Too early for the outdoor sowings just yet.

At which point I must away through the storms to the greenhouse, pausing only to pay homage to our glorious leader, the indomitable Mr Propagator, appended to whose blog of the day you will, in time, find a host of links to other participants. Why not join the merry throng? A handy sheet of orders to the troops can be found here.

20 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 9 March 2019

  1. The corydalis is pretty, I meant to buy a blue one for this spring, but it will have to go on my ‘next year’ list now. The Hellebore is a beauty. My white ones are still flowering, but I am hoping three new ones I purchased recently will have colour! As for SR I usually buy my tulips from her and yes more expensive but always bigger and healthy bulbs. I have just put in an order for a few more plants from her for the summer [looks guiltily around in case the OH comes past]

    1. Happy to send you some when they ripen though, of course, I cannot say what the flowers will look like. The nearest neighbours are a pure white double and a red single. I’ll try a bit of brush pollination and cover the flower for a better chance.

    1. Get a few plants and in a couple of years you can look for seedlings or collect seed and expand your collection.

  2. Beautiful corydalis, it must be in the perfect location. I couldn’t help taking a look back at your lupin six which was featured at then end. I’ve just planted out some Sarah Raven lupins and would love it if they get so six feet. I’m a convert to lupins – I think!

    1. I’ve never encountered lupins that tall before. They came as a cheap 6-pack from Parkers.

    1. I’ll start mine in a week and a bit. In the greenhouse (heated) for a month and then it should be reliably warm enough to transfer them to the cold frame until I plant them out in June.

  3. Your Corydalis is so pretty.
    Too bad about the heather. I’m losing my lilac, this is probably its last year flowering. I did pull out a sucker with some new growth, so I might not be lilac-less.

    1. If you can find a suckering root with two shoots on it, cut it off just inside the shoot nearest to the parent. Then cut the root again on the other side of that shoot and pot up the outermost shoot with the rest of the root attached. If you can’t find a double sucker then take what you can. It’s just that often taking the outer of two can work better. Use a loam-based compost like JI3 with some added grit for drainage and away you go.

  4. That Hellebores is absolutely stunning. Yes, good old Sarah Raven…..I bought quite a few this year too.

    1. Sarah can be a bit pricey but always good quality. I’m going to collect seed from that Hellebore this year but I guess, sod’s law, that nothing will match the parent. One of those chance blow-your-mind seedlings.

  5. Your corydalis is beautiful John. The foliage seems so airy and pure.
    This weekend, I’m going to take a look at my dahlia tubers. They will go tomorrow in a large container to be forced. About a month before they are ready, I guess and they will go outside
    What will you plant after the heather is dug up?

    1. I’m on the hunt for some more alpine corydalis. Their bigger cousins won’t thrive in my soil but the alpine beds in Ed2 are just right for the small ones. The heather won’t be replaced with anything as it’s also in the way of the eventual linking of Ed2 with the (unfinished) Ed3. Watch the space! I need to get new pots to start the Dahlias in. I still can’t find my existing ones.

    1. Don’t ignore the singles – some are stunners. And it’s always worth collecting seed or watching out for seedlings. The one I featured again this week is a self-sown “cross-breed” so I don’t know if I can repeat it. I’ll have to try division.

  6. I have purged the pasty (details withheld) and much better now, thanks. Love that hellebore, what a beauty. I think they change to green after they have been pollinated. Haven’t heard of roselilies before, very interesting, especially if you have cats. Do you think that you will have a better relationship with your crab apple now it isn’t a pooping spot? The corydalis is magnificent, just perfect. 🙂

    1. Until the next pasty! That’s the only H I have which changes in this way. But I have checked it. It’s only been flowering for just under two weeks and it already has seed pods forming. Maybe it’s var. nymphomaniac? I think roselilies appeared last year and reputedly look like roses when they first flower – we’ll see. My poor relationship was with the blackbirds who dropped mushy bits and more on the roof of the car. I like the tree itself.

      1. You are quite right, where pasties are concerned I never learn. Thinking about it, this is true in many parts of my life. Love the new name of your hellebore. 🙂

Comments are closed.