Today’s post was going to feature a guest blogger who is, unfortunately, no longer able to be with us. So this post is, unusually, actually written on a Saturday and is late because other things needed to be done first. There we go.
It’s surprising how, with all this talk about technology making life easy, sometimes tech actually makes things harder. Like having all the photos on one device and composing a post on another. Cue setting up the easiest way to share images across devices without, as I’ve been doing in the past, taking the smartphone apart to remove its microSD card, putting it into a full-size SD card adapter, shoving it into a slot on the desktop PC and copying files over before getting the MicroSD card back into the phone. Enter “The Cloud”. Took a while but now things whizz along happily and quickly. Take a photo and it’s automatically uploaded to the cloud. Simples.
Then I had to get to grips with the fact that the WordPress block editor behaves differently on different devices. OK, cue a return to the Classic editor plugin which, it seems, will work on a self-hosted site until the end of 2021. It may work after then, though will not be officially supported. The poor poor people of Devon will probably not enjoy this ability, though.
One of the hardest parts of joining in with this Six on Saturday malarkey is coming up with original ways to give a shout-out to our great inventor, Mr Propagator, frequenter of pity benches in the sheds, over-sower of seeds, splitter of plants and general keeper-of-order. If you prop (or is that pop?) over to his blog-of-the-day and aim for the bottom, you will find links to other contributions originating from the length (and longth) of the planet celebrating the seasonal joys of the garden. You’ll need more than a cup of coffee, though, as the list is long and the joys are many.
Enough. On with the show.
1 Helianthus and Them
Helianthus (Sunflower to those who like the easy names) “Brown Eyed Girl” has been around for a few years now. Bred, I believe by Thompson and Morgan, it’s quite a pricey annual but rewards the outlay with a fantastic, long running, show of flowers. This little girl doesn’t waste energy on seed and so flowers her socks off for a long period. But, I think, the “you get what you pay for” thing doesn’t apply. My first of the six is in two parts.
Part The First is a pair of plants from Thompson and Morgan. Cost £24.94 delivered.
Part The Second is a pair of plants from You Garden. Cost £26.98 delivered.
It’s surprising what a difference £2 can make! Somehow, the only thing I can think of saying to Thompson and Morgan is “you MUST be joking”! Oh, and yes, there is some photobombing WoodblocX in the background of pic 2. All will be revealed in time. Patience Fred.
2 Read the Manual
Last year a rather old Amaryllis kicked the bucket. So I decided to get three different ones and plant them together in a large container. I looked forward to the timely display of flowers. Well one did the biz. Two nice blooms. Amaryllis 2 sent up leaves and nothing more. Amaryllis 3 stayed in bed. Now is (supposedly) not the time but it has woken up and produced two flower stalks. One has a single bloom, the other has four! Needed propping up. But even if it’s a bit tardy, it brightens up the conservatory.
3 Breeding Rabbits
Heading back out to what’s known as Edifice 2 and we have a fine display of Hesperis. I planted a couple of these in Edifice 1 a few years ago. They flowered and then disappeared. I planted one in Edifice 2 last year and this year have been rewarded (is that the right word?) with this display (about half pictured!), which has grown from its allotted place in the perennial compartment of Ed2 into the alpine compartments. I guess I have two things added to my to-do list. First, dead-head religiously and, second, dig a lot up!
4 Highs and Lows
Some people say that Alstroemeria can be difficult to grow. I’m not some! Here, they happily romp away quite quickly, forming ever-growing clumps and flowering from late March through to November. And there’s an Alstroemeria for all places. From the six-inch-or-so lows to the three-to-four feet highs. So here’s a random selection. Click any circle to see a biggie. Names available on request.
5 Agave My Love A Something or Other
I like having the odd “statement” plant. In January 2019 I got myself an Agave americana with the intention of planting it in the middle of a lawn somewhere. The sceptics said I was wasting my time and that it wouldn’t even survive the mild winters we tend to get in these parts. “Piffle”, I said, in one of my Boris Johnson moments. In 30+ years here, I’ve never recorded a winter temperature below -2C and any temperature below zero is unusual. Anyhow, I prevaricated about location, as is my wont and it was not until July last year that it made its way into the ground.
As I started to dig the hole, my erstwhile gardening companion decided it wasn’t deep enough. C’mon, I’d only removed the grass.
Once I’d dug deeper, in went the Agave. I used a Everedge plant circle to tart up the planting hole.
Eleven months later, the sceptics are proved wrong. Not only has it grown a fair bit but it’s already throwing out babies all around its base.
6 A Job For Next Week
This isn’t in the ground yet and when it goes in, it’ll be somewhere other than its intended spot (I’ve ordered another for that). Syringa ‘Palibin’ is a standard lilac, currently about 5 feet tall and it won’t grow too much more. Prunable to contain the head shape, according to the book it should flower about now from next year, which will be appropriate, and may flower again later in the year. It had better have read the manual!
That’s going to be one planting hole from which Resident Cat won’t be evicted.