Six on Saturday – 5/8/2017

Dahlias and Japanese anemones are definitely flowers of the second half of summer. I’m impatient for them to start flowering, then depressed when they do.

One.
Dahlia ‘Orange Cushion’. There is not the remotest possibility of this dahlia ever being mistaken for nearly red or nearly yellow. It’s a bang down the middle orange. I’ve had it for several years and leave it in the ground over winter. I sowed some of its seed last year, am keen to see what I get.
Dahlia-Orange-Cushion

Two.
Someone put a fern in last week. Another of those groups of plants that I love, that do well in my conditions and that I have to resist the temptation to buy every time I see one I haven’t got already. Paesia scaberula, Lace Fern, is a New Zealand fern that a few years ago would have been regarded as borderline hardy even here in Cornwall. I’ve had no such concerns for the last few years, it’s in danger of matching the description in my NZ ferns book of “forming dense masses to the exclusion of other vegetation”. It’s 15-18 inches tall with lacy fronds and thin wiry stems. It spreads on the surface by means of slender rhizomes.
Paesia-scaberula-2

Three.
Eucomis montana. Very handsome it may be, but it stinks. We moved it away from the front door lest visitors think it was us when we opened the door. We have several other Eucomis species and varieties, mostly in pots, and none of them smell of anything much. You can grow them from seed, then propagate good forms from leaf cuttings.
Eucomis-montana

Four.
Anemone x hybrid ‘Lorelei’, or ‘Loreley’ according to some. The last 48 hours of wind and rain have taken their toll on this bloom, but you get the idea. The best pictures I have of it are backlit shots of the back of the blooms. After 3 years it is still a tight clump but I expect it to start spreading at some point. There’s no happy medium with some plants, they sulk or they rampage.
Anemone-Loralei

Five.
Grafting. In this case, a couple of varieties of Camellia reticulata, ‘Songzilin’ and ‘Mouchang’. ‘Songzilin’, aka ‘Robert Fortune’, was probably introduced in 1824 and then again by Robert Fortune in 1844. ‘Mouchang’ is a more recent American raised hybrid. The pure bred reticulate varieties are very hard to root from cuttings so are usually grafted. Varieties of C. sasanqua are usually used but I had seedlings of C. reticulata and used a cleft graft. I did some last year and got about 50% take.
Camellia-graft
I’ll do a more detailed blog about them on my Camellia blog at some point. Here is a link to a picture of ‘Songzilin’.

Six.
Grafting. Yeah, I know I already did that one, but this is different. The first Six on Saturday I did was back on 6th May and one of the things I included was a graft of ‘Plympton Pippin’ onto my poor specimen of ‘Elstar’ apple. I’d grafted it (simple splice) in February and by May it was flowering. Well now it has a quite respectable sized apple on it. I know I should have removed it, but it doesn’t seem to have held it back at all, the extension growth from that scion is as good as any of the others done at the same time. Apple grafting is easy and it’s a great way of getting better pollination, growing more varieties in a small space and giving you something to blog about.
SOS32

So that’s another Saturday and another Six. I see ThePropagator, host of this meme, has posted his, no doubt others will follow.

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5 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 5/8/2017

  1. Yep! Them Anemones are cagey blighters! I thought I’d ensured their containment by planting a bed of them in the middle of a lawn. Sure enough, the mower has dealt with any shoots that dared to pop up in the grass, But they’re now coming up in no-man’s land, behind a hedge some 8 feet away from the bed. I think of them as the advance guard about to do battle with a stand of Himalayan Balsam that I can’t reach from my side of the boundary.

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  2. I love Eucomis, and E. montana is one of the finest. But I agree that the fragrance isn’t the finest. Do you grow E. vandermerwei? That also smells unpleasant. Not as bad as some of the aroids, though.

    There’s an interesting flower right at the top of that inflorescence with too many petals/sepals. I wonder if it is a one-off, or if that plant is prone to them.

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    • I have E. vandermerwei ‘Octopus’, as well as a variety of E. commosa forms and E. autumnalis. I had a close look at that flower spike, the multipetalled flower is a one off, unfortunately.

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