Six on a Saturday: 21.9.19 a taste of the exotic

Well, it has been an interesting week in the garden. It was very chilly at the start of the week and it has ended with brilliant sunshine on Friday. My garden is need of a good water today.

1. Aeonium

My aeonium is a long-suffering plant in my garden collection. It was given to me by brother in law as a small cutting. As I lacked space inside it was left out through the Beast from the East. It survived, though with only a small rosette left. Then last year I thought I would give it a better chance and brought it in where it suffered from lack of light. I put grow lights on it but it still wasn’t that happy. It was thriving through the Summer but something seems to have taken a liking to it as some of the leaves have been nibbled. It will be coming back into the shelter in a month or two before the worst of the frosts.

2. Hydrangea runaway bride

I had made the claim that I had reached my hydrangea limit in the garden but these were on offer from Thompson & Morgan. Then our visit to Exbury has only given me more plants on the wish list. I’ve bought two very little runaway bride hydrangeas. It won the Chelsea flower of the year in 2018. Most hydrangeas flower at the end of each branch whereas these produce lacecap flowers along the branches. I’m going to try these in pots on the patio. I’m interested to see how these do. They are only little but as they were bargains I’m willing to wait for a bigger show.

3. Nasturtiums/caterpillars

These nasturtiums featured a month ago. They’ve flowered well and are now being chomped to pieces by cabbage white caterpillars. The combination of verbena flowers above and nasturtiums has been irresistible bringing in many butterflies. I don’t mind though as I’m happy to see the butterflies in large numbers in the garden.

4. Tits

A large number of caterpillars and fennel are bringing in large numbers of tits. I’ve had regular blue and great tits. These are fairly regular visitors anyway but the fennel has brought in large numbers of long-tailed tits.

Then an even rarer visitor has been coming more often, the coal tit.

5. Clematis

I had featured this clematis earlier in the season but I think it’s worth showing again as it is flowering better than ever before. The seed heads are also going over and I love the fluffy silver seed heads.

6. Passionflowers

I’ve been grumbling about my lack of flowers on these plants for the last month. It has put on tons of growth this year and is claiming large sections of the fence but was showing no sign of flowers. Then it put on lots of buds that have then taken a good month to open. They are worth the wait, a stunning flower. Though so far they are opening one at a time. I had dreamt of a spread of many flowers across the fence all open at once but as ever the dream is a long way from reality. Maybe next year.

As well as my existing passion flower I have managed to grow a few from seed that I think are ready to go in the ground now. They apparently take a few years to flower but I’m impressed enough that I’ve managed to get this far up North. I really didn’t think I’d get any going without the headstart of a greenhouse. We’ll see whether they manage to harden off before Winter.

I’ve got quite a bit of school work to get on with today but hopefully find some time to get these in the ground. Then got a few bulbs to get in pots. We’ll have to see whether I manage to get them in. The builders have returned to finish the render. We still have a bit more to go but I’m hopeful I may have my patio back before winter. I’ve got a few evergreen ferns to go in pots to give me some foliage through the winter. If you fancy taking part in Six on Saturday check out the participants guide. Don’t forget to read the other posts.

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23 thoughts on “Six on a Saturday: 21.9.19 a taste of the exotic”

  1. My 3 aeoniums suffered a lot last automn and winter. I lost a lot of plants but 1 recovered thanks to the dry and warm in the greenhouse.
    I was happy to see on Twitter a few days ago that your passiflora had bloomed : this flower is really beautiful!
    Fingers crossed that you have more flowers next year

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    1. I keep meaning to take cuttings from the aeonium as they should be easy enough to root.

      Very happy to have the passionflower blooming. It’s now covering all the way to the top of the fence and a good 2-3 metres spread long. If it survives the winter it should thicken out nicely next year. Then got a sambucus infront that will provide a nice contrast.

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  2. Our passionflower grows in too shady a spot I think. It has the odd flower but has never really put on much growth. Great pictures of the birds. Long-tailed tits never fail to raise a smile when they visit the garden. We had a group of chiffchaffs visit the other weekend – presumably on their way back to wherever. One even enjoyed a bath.

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    1. Passionflowers are meant to like partial shade. I’ve fed it a lot this year as it has dahlias in front so it will have had quite a lot of tomato feed intended for the dahlias. Don’t know if that’s helped.
      The long-tailed tits are great to see as they didn’t used to be a big feature in my area.

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  3. You’ve a good eye for identifying the different tits in your garden. I can never get a passionflower to survive the winter – do you bring yours inside the greenhouse or do they survive outside? I got the same T&M bargain on Runaway Bride & am also keeping them in pots. We’ll have to compare progress next year. The foliage is quite attractive. Your clematis looks like it’s floating – beautiful.

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    1. The tits have been a bit less shy this year so I’ve been able to be in the garden at the same time as them to see them a bit closer.
      The passionflower is in the ground. It’s one of the hardier varieties but it did have a mild winter to establish. Being coastal the salt winds give some protection from frosts. A lot of it will die down in winter but I’m hoping enough survives that it gets a bit of a headstart next year.

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      1. Thanks for the vine advice. 2 of my neighbours have passion flowers escaping their walls, now in fruit, so perhaps it’s location. I may look for the hardier types, as they’re definitely worth it.

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    1. If it survives this winter I think it will be pretty well established to do well next year. It’s not as sheltered a position as they like but I’m hoping my salt winds will help protect from the worst of the frosts. Then a good mulch on the ground to protect the roots.

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  4. The passionflower is so exotic looking. I noticed one in Penzance a few weeks ago which was covered in buds. I think I am too exposed here to grow one successfully. How lovely to have so many tits visiting your garden. I love the long-tailed ones and now regret removing my fennel before it flowered!

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    1. I don’t really have the right conditions for the passion flowers up North by the sea but I’m determined to get them going. Not sure how they’ll cope with bad winters so got some more hardy climbers establishing around.

      The fennel is getting too big and blocking other plants but its wildlife benefit is too great to get rid.

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