Six on Saturday – 13/4/19

A gorgeous day in the garden here in Malvern.  Whilst there has been a cool wind, when the sun shone it was almost t-shirt warm.  Especially when you are rapidly going up and down a sloping garden moving pots around. As I hope to do Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post on Monday I thought I would try and avoid flowering photos.  So my first photo is a Cornus backlit by the sun.  I’ve no idea what it is, I’ve had it for ever and it never seem to put much growth on.  I have removed the odd stem in the past to see if I can get those nice red winter stems but I have concluded today that this really isn’t that type of Cornus so I will let it shrub up.

Regal Fern (Osmunda regalis)
Regal Fern (Osmunda regalis)

Some of the ferns are starting to send up their new fronds.  My favourite at this time of year is the Regal Fern (Osmunda regalis). I love the colour of the fronds, a sort of grey burgandy and they are just opaque enough to glow when the sun shines.

 

Arisaema speciosum

Another plant that fascinates me at this time of year is the Arisaema speciosum.  Their mottled stems appear and then their three leaves slowly unfold before the weird spathe type flower appears – quite fascinated.  I grew these from seed probably about 10 years ago now and they flower every year without fail

The winds last month blew most of the flowers off the Camellia (variety unknown) so I was really surprised today to notice there seems to be a second flush of flower buds.  I’m sure they are new buds as opposed to original buds which were slow to open.

I mentioned, at the top of the post, that I have been going up and down the garden all day moving pots.  I decided my focus today was to sort the patio out and plant out everything I can.  I haven’t sown any seeds this year nor do I plan to. I have decided this year to abstain.  My reason for this is that I have been growing plants from seed for at least a decade and I have loved it.  I have all sorts of strange plants in the garden as a result of seed exchanges but at the moment my spare time is limited whilst I love the excitement when something germinates, I hate it when the seedling gets too leggy as I haven’t moved them on quickly enough. It will also give me the chance to get on top of things rather than spending all my spare time pricking out.  The little box above was a seedling I picked up from a walk way at a garden somewhere. It was little more than a matchstick and it has languished in various pots, growing slowly for around 10 years.  It has grown despite me!.  I thought I would treat it today and pot it up into a new pot with fresh compost and give it more of a starring role.  This is the very right hand side of my patio and if we have heavy rain this corner floods and can stay wet for days.  It has always been hard to manage but in recent years I have gone with the conditions and it is planted with a number of iris that like a bit of damp such as Ensata Iris, some Sensitive Ferns (Onoclea sensibilis) and a variegated grass/sedge which likes the damp.  There is also a tall grass which people grow in bog garden which has taken over this corner so I spent a difficult hour digging as much of it as I can out.  This should give the irises more of a chance to establish.

My last photo is the left of my patio.  I need to say here that I dislike my patio and plan to replace it at some point but its down the end of a long list of expense. This photo was taken when I had moved about half the pots of seedlings.  I have a significant number of peony and lily seedlings grown from HPS seed exchanges which I have been dutifully potting on.  Why I thought I needed to try to grow so many I have no idea – I think it was a case of having a go and not expecting much germination.  They are now all relocated up the garden by the top bench where it will be shady and they are out of the way.  In the muddle by the greenhouse are also the various snowdrops I bought back in February and these have all now been planted out with labels. I’m pleased to say that all the little pots to the right of the photo have gone and most of the plants have been planted out.  So next weekend, I will weed the patio ready for some summer patio pots.   I should confess that whilst all those pots have now gone, I have as many to the right of the patio which I am hoping to sort tomorrow.

Thanks to the Propagator for hosting this weekly meme which is really getting me back and engaged with my garden.  I love reading everyone else’s, which you can find in the comments, on the Propagators blog – I have to confess to hardly reading blogs for some years and it a real delight to find so many new and interesting gardeners and gardens.

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. bcparkison says:

    Busy but a good busy.

  2. Love the sunlight through fresh growth!

  3. Oh I wonder if those beautiful hills give you some shelter Helen. The wind was so icy here and I did not venture further than the confines of the greenhouse. My eyes were drawn to your trellis and those birds in flight.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I bought the birds when I went to San Francisco – just to the right the trellis is covered in metal bees from some old solar lights!

  4. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    Lots of sunshine there. The Regal fern is lovely. Bit envious of that watering can on the wall!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      It was from IKEA a few years back

  5. janesmudgeegarden says:

    As is often the case on SoS, I’ve had to research a plant, on this occasion your Arisaema speciosum which looks like a very interesting plant. I like the look of your damp corner with the trellis and watering can etc.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jane I think interesting is the right word, but garden worthy I’m not so sure

  6. Keith says:

    What a beautiful post. I imagine the patio is somewhere you find yourself quite often during the gardening day. If you were to remove it what would go in its place?

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Sorry Keith – what I meant was I hate the paving slabs. If I cleaned them you would see they are those pink and yellow ones from the late 70s, so I don’t clean them!!!

  7. Cathy says:

    Well done for all the pot moving and emptying, Helen – definitely a job well done!

  8. Chloris says:

    I always grow far more from seed than I need. It is enormous fun, but then you get pots all over the place and hundreds of children crying out for attention. It has been cold here for days. It must be warmer for you, my Osmunda regalis fronds are still tightly folded up.

  9. cavershamjj says:

    I hear you on the seed front but have not yet abstained, far from it. I am just about staying on top of it. The problem will come when everything is still in pots and drying out in warm weather …

  10. tonytomeo says:

    That dogwood in the first picture looks like it should be one of ‘that type of Cornus’. Those with the best color are Cornus sanguineum, but our native version is Cornus stolonifera (which might now be a synonym). It is not nearly as colorful, with only rusty brown stems. Although I can not imagine why those that lack color would be available there, is it possible that yours would be a less colorful cultivar.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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