Six on Saturday: 19.9.20

The building work has started properly now. We have stacks of materials around the garden. It is difficult getting to a few areas but they reckon they will be done by the end of next week so that seems hopeful. I’d mentioned in my blog on Burnby Hall that I think my RHS exam went well. I need to get the next assignment done. This unit is around compost and plant nutrients so it is quite a useful unit with plenty of chances to apply the knowledge practically.

1. Air plant

I’ve had two air plants in the spare room that have survived a good while yet and saw this one at the garden centre. They have gone from being a speciality purchase to being sold on the counter as an extra like a novelty cactus. An improvement on the googly-eyed cactus though. This one has gone in the bathroom where it will get a burst of humidity each day to keep it going and then the odd spray.

2. Tulips

Taking Alice to school she noticed the florist have their tulip bulbs for sale now. She had asked a few weeks back about getting a few new ones. I hadn’t really planned to add any more tulips as I have quite a lot that seem to be returning. She choose Giuseppe Verdi, a short yellow and red Kaufmann tulip that flowers in early spring. Then Chopin which is yellow with a red streak. It is supposedly perennial but we’ll see. She has requested that they go in a pot, but a nice one. We’ll look at getting them in today. Not the most exciting photo I have featured within my six. But, if I don’t record what goes in the ground I won’t be able to look back to work out what they are.

3. Watering can

I’ve been after a new watering can for a while. My larger watering can doesn’t fit up to the water butt tap and the smaller watering can is cracking. This new one feels nice and solid and should last a good while.

4. Hydrangea libele

I moved this hydrangea into the ground back in February. It suffered a bit with frost but it bounced back and seems alright. Last year a lot of the flowers were hidden in the foliage whereas it seems to be sorting itself out with a handful of the lacecap heads opening up.

The white bracts are pretty with a centre made up of a mixture of blue and pink.

5. Japanese anemome ‘honorine jobert’

This was planted as a reduced bargain last year and didn’t do very much. It is planted in a spot where a line of hebes used to grow. I think this has meant it has struggled a bit to establish but it is hanging on in there and has flowered. In late autumn or spring, I’ll add a bit more mulch around it to improve the soil conditions.

6. Iris unguicularis

A few people featured these irises last winter and I liked the fact that they flower during winter when little else is. I’ve managed to get hold of two cultivars. Mary Barnard is a velvety blue flower that will flower in February or March. It has an RHS award of merit for being reliable. Then Walter Butt has lavender coloured flowers that flower in December or January. It is apparently the most scented of the unguicularis so that should make it a nice treat for by the back door in the winter months. They are currently placed out of the way while the building work goes on.

I’ve got a few jobs to get started on now. I’ve given the front garden a good weed over but I need to try and work around the builder’s materials to check over the back garden. There are a few bulbs to get in the ground. But, I reckon I should have time to get back up to date after focusing on exam revision. Time to get cracking.

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18 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 19.9.20”

  1. I adore I. unguicularis – those stray flowers in mid-winter are so very beautiful. We usually pick them as soon as they appear and bring them to open indoors rather than leave them for the slugs which love them. ‘Mary Barnard’ is a particularly beautiful blue. We grow one called ‘Kilbroney Marble’ which has a mottled blue petal, attractive but not to everybody’s taste, I suppose. It is of Irish origin, hence its interest to me. Best wishes with exams and projects.

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  2. My parents also have the ‘Honorine Jobert’ anemones in their garden. They are beautiful at the moment, take up a little space but are controllable.
    Good luck for air plants. I’ve never had luck with them here.It’s too dry because of a hygro CMV in the house… Even in the bathroom…

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  3. I do like the idea of air plants in the bathroom, thanks for sowing the seed of an idea. As for fertilizers, a dose has invigorated by Covid cucumbers plants in cheap compost. They really looked ready to despatch, but have greened up and wish I had taken pictures to show the effect.

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    1. She’s normally pretty predictable of going for red, so continually had red riding hood tulips so this makes change. We got one lot potted up today. I almost always put something above for winter interest but didn’t want anything so a rather boring empty looking pot for a good number of months now.
      I’ve been after a new watering can for a while and saw this one that seems nice and solid, decent capacity and fits up to the tap. Speeds up the job holding a bit more. A few less trips or else areas will get a better soaking.

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  4. You certainly did the right thing letting Alice have her tulips! There are some things parents just shouldn’t say “no” to, and plants are one of them. Or a dozen of them. I’m awaiting the bulbs in my local stores! I don’t go in yet, but my favorite one puts racks outside and I’ll choose them and let my son go pay inside! Yes, that’s the plan!

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  5. Alice chose my favourite type of tulip – the ones that keep returning. I hadn’t heard of the ‘musical’ ones, but will be sure to keep a lookout for them.
    That’s a very smart watering can, and one that looks sturdy. I like the splashes of blue in your garden: chair, watering can, planter….

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    1. I’m not convinced any are really perennial in my clay soil. They slowly rot. But if I can get a few years out of them, once flowering the pot and then another in the border that will do for me.
      There are two key colours we’ve used around the garden. Things we don’t want to make visible like the sheds and log store are dark grey and then the cornflower blue has been used on benches and tables to smarten them up.

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      1. We have clay soil too, but we bought in good soil and built the gardens up and this seems to have solved the problem. Perhaps you could build some of your garden up somewhere and plant them there, because they certainly do multiply.

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  6. You will be pleased when all the building and disruptions are over, and things get back to normal again! Good luck for completing the next assignment. That is a pretty hydrangea. And of course the anemones are beautiful. I had to look up the Iris species and can see why you like the flowers for winter. Very pretty indeed!

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    1. It’s interesting though the solution to so many soil problems is the same. Too much clay in the soil add organic matter. Too much sand add organic matter. Though it is probably the most important module in many ways. As you know if the soil is looked after everything grows so much better.

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