Six on Saturday: 12.1.19

The days are getting longer now. I’ve travelled home during daylight a few days this week. The first day back at work with the children has been nice, though we now have building work in the classroom and at home. No escaping. Good to be the weekend now and have some time to check over the garden.
1. Primulas

I’m not a massive fan of primulas. I mainly see them in Council bedding schemes with a lurid range of colours. But I’ve kept a few yellow and white varieties close to the wilder varieties. I considered removing them last year, but blog readers encouraged me to divide them and leave them in. I still can’t say they excite me, but it is a few flowers at a point where little is happening.


2. Crocus

With the building work going on I’d moved a few pots off the patio and onto the border. I’ve a suspicion that I may have crushed some of my existing croci. So I’ve added a few cheap ones from the local florist.


3. Fern-Dryopteris Affinis

Another purchase from the florist, I found this fern discounted as it has browned a bit. But once new fronds come along it will be fine. I currently have one patch of ferns under the Acre. I want to add some in the opposite border along with a few hostas. This will add some cohesion to the borders. Then with the planned ferns and hostas on the patio, this will hopefully tie the two layers together a bit. I won’t plant this yet though. I’ll let the weather warm up a bit first. Golden shield fern has the traditional look of ferns fronds and grows about a metre long. An attractive foliage plant that should look good combined with the hostas wider leaves.


4. Camellia buds

The established camellia is awash with buds. This is a white-flowered variety. It suffered from frost last year and many of the flowers had rather unsightly brown edges. It probably needs protecting with fleece, but I don’t really want large plants that aren’t hardy enough. We’ll see how it goes this year and decide it if gets the chop.

The less established I think was called Christmas Rose. It has red flowers. But it hasn’t produced any yet. It is looking a bit scruffy, but it does have buds this year. Again, I’m looking to see if it pays its way or whether it also faces the chop. I’m not a massive fan of them, so wouldn’t miss them much.


5. Lychnis Coronaria-Rose campion

Having cleared some ground over the last few weeks I can see the mass number of self-seeded Lychnis. Luckily, I like this plant but I will need to move some around the border. The mass of pink flowers kept going for a long period through last Summer and attracted lots of insects.

They are pretty well covered in dust from the render coming off, but a bit of wind and rain I’m sure will remove some of this. Once they put on new growth I’m confident they will look a bit healthier.


6. Dahlias-Naomi Slade

It’s time to rest now and dream of Summer. In preparation for that, I am reading Naomi Slade’s beautiful book. With lots of stunning photos it acts as a catalogue of dahlias to buy. But on top of the eye candy it has lots of information to go alongside. I’ve never grown dahlias before so this will be my first year. I’ve got a collection Sarah Raven sells to grow in pots on preorder. They are shorter varieties that don’t need as much staking land and can handle the confines of the pot to go on the patio. After reading this I’m sure I’ll want to add some to the borders as well. What dahlias are you planning this year?

So now it’s just patience of waiting for the weather to warm up to get started on the dahlias and other seed sowings. So enjoy your weekends and good gardening!

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34 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 12.1.19”

  1. I have not yet chosen my dahlias but it’s planned soon! Your camelias will certainly be very pretty, at least the buds are out and the leaves are healthy! I don’t put any fleece around. It’s mostly ice and snow on the buds that it doesn’t like. Fingers crossed

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  2. I’m hoping some of my small white dahlias in a pot (originally grown from seed a few years ago) survive another winter. I can never be bothered to dig them up. I bought a packet of dahlia seeds from Wilko last week (a mixture of colours) I can’t remember what variety they are though!

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    1. I don’t really want to lift either. I’ve got enough for two pots so may try one lift one not. I believe its the wet that causes issues so hopefully if I ensure good drainage then mulch they’ll save me a job. Don’t have masses if space to store.

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  3. Which dahlias I grow this year remains to be seen. Last year I only grew on some rooted cuttings of which only one has (so far) survived so I need to restock. I think this year may be the one I go for the big, blousy cactus types again. I’ve never protected Camellia from frost; last year was exceptional with “The Beast” followed in many parts by “The Mini Beast”. Here, the later, lesser beastie did way more damage than the first because of when it hit. Let’s hope this year is kinder (at the right time) and yours thrive. Camellias can take their time to get going so your younger one may just be heading for its first flush of youth.

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  4. Lovely range of topics on your post. I had a nightmare with Dahlias in the heat last year. I will try again with Honka Fragile, and The Bishop’sChildren, but if they don’t perform again I will look elsewhere! I have some Lychnis Alba seedlings in my cold frame which I hope will do well.

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  5. I planted Rose Campion a fee years ago, but I don’t think it appreciated our Summer heat and humidity because it never bloomed for long and then decided not to return after a brutal Winter. I bet yours looks so pretty in bloom!

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    1. That’s a shame it didn’t take for you. It was getting recommended during the drought last year as something that was tolerant of the heat. It looked nice last year with just a few close together. If I can transfer a few of these around the border so I have them repeated I think they’ll look pretty good with the thinner verbena.

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  6. Camellia ‘Christmas Rose’ should be flowering by now given it’s a hiemalis cross. Whites do spoil badly when frosted, that is, the damage is very visible, strong reds hide it much better.
    I’m growing lots more dahlias from seed this year, encouraged by last year’s success.

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  7. Might have to add that lovely looking book to my birthday wish list. Am envious of your Lychnis. It clearly grows like a weed, but I don’t have any in my garden and would dearly love some. It grows well on chalk so there is nothing stopping me.

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  8. I’ve just been ‘lost’ in the Sarah Raven site for an hour planning Dahlias! There are some beautiful ones. I’ve only dabbled in Dahlias before so may have a try too. I’m tempted to turn over a vegetable bed to cut flowers this year.

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      1. I did quite well on growing from seed last year. Lots of verbena and hollyhocks established. The hollyhocks largely have suffered with rust though so may need to fill the gap they’d leave if I remove them. They still flowered well despite the rust.

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  9. I love reading about your garden, because I am not a natural gardener. Dahlias? I’m more likely to be found in a dalliance with my husband of 54 years. (If you don’t like puns, never mind.)

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    1. It is, enjoying reading it. Seem to have a few of all the bulbs coming up. Lots of the established daffodils now coming up, a few alliums, crocus and even found a lily coming up in a pot. Not sure they’ll all like the oncoming cold front.

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