Six on Saturday – 6/10/2018

I was expecting to wake to rain this morning, but it still hasn’t arrived. It’s not far away but it’s not moving either. Hey ho.

Six things happening in the garden now, no problem.

Not one, but two bulging packets arrived in the post yesterday, next year’s seeds. I stuck with Kings for my main veg order, on the basis of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The other one was a departure for me, sparked by my following a link from Nadia’s blog a couple of weeks ago to a seed company called Seedaholic. (Thank you Nadia) I can tell you that first impressions are excellent. Each seed packet is attached to a sheet containing a full description, growing instructions and background information.

It’s the time of year for contemplating the herculean task of squeezing all our pot grown plants which have spent the summer outdoors back into a greenhouse for the winter. I’ve made a start with Fuchsias. My first step was to update my inventory of what we have. I am a massive list maker, I can’t help myself. It means I can tell you we have 99 varieties and a total of 265 plants. Some are in the ground, 48 in fact, the rest in pots ranging from 9cm to 7.5 litre. The hardy varieties amongst the pots will go in the tunnel, the rest under glass, having been trimmed and stripped of leaves. Quite a few are still looking very good and will be left for now.

I also updated my inventory of Camellias this week. More lists. The most pressing job needing to be done is to get nematodes to treat them for vine weevil. I took out a dead plant yesterday which had been barked completely below soil level, squashed two grubs. I have camellias in the ground, up the allotment and in pots. Some are young plants that I have propagated for one reason or another, like because the National Collection only has one and should have a back-up. In truth, I could not give you a convincing reason why I have so many. 203 varieties, excluding the cuttings on the mist bed. I have two Camellia sasanqua varieties flowering in the tunnel now, ‘Crimson King’ and ‘Gay Sue’.

Nerines. Compared to last year, my Nerines are terrible this year. The bulbs seemed to survive the cold and leafed out fine, so it seems they haven’t produced a lot of flower buds because of the dry, which I find very surprising, having hoped for the opposite effect.

Dahlia ‘Karma Choc’. Most of my Dahlias were a bit slow to get going in the spring, perhaps because the ground was colder than usual. Once they were under way though, they made up for lost time and have been flowering for many weeks in most cases. Not this one, which decided to wait until October to open its first bloom. Very dark blooms are interesting and dramatic, but stand back a few feet and they don’t contribute much to the overall flowery look of the garden. I’m happy with that, I want both.

Blechnum tabulare. Not to be confused with Blechnum chilense, though it often is. That’s the rampant spreading one I’m trying to get rid of. This one is from sub Saharan Africa and only borderline hardy in milder parts of the UK. I have it in a pot so it can be moved under protection if the weather turns nasty. It has grown strongly and is now in a 20L pot with a crown over a metre across. In time it will develop a trunk. Like a lot of plants grown mainly for foliage, it looks much the same year round and risks missing out on its deserved SoS slot because there is no point when it does something to grab my attention.

That’s how early autumn is looking in my neck of the woods. As ever it will be interesting to compare notes with lots of gardeners at a similar point in the cycle and to be inspired by a few who are way ahead or behind. Links to fellow sixers as ever from The Propagator’s missive. (Ooh!, it’s finally started raining, how exciting)


29 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 6/10/2018

  1. I was quite pleased with my 2 camellias until I read your post! Plus my 1 fuschia. That’s most impressive. I have the excuse that I would not be able to fit many more in my garden. I am hoping to plant some winter vegetables in the greenhouse but I will have difficulty fitting in any pot plants if I do that! Never mind. Thank you your comment, as always.


  2. Many interesting things this week Jim and a lot of things to comment on.
    First, very nice choice of plants (I love Blechnum, how do you winter it? in the glasshouse?)
    Beautiful colors of nerines and dahlia!
    Then, Seedaholic seems to be a good seed producer. I have to check if they deliver France.
    Finally, I may have already asked you, but is your glasshouse frost free ? Do the fuchsias (cut and without leaves ) stay there all winter?


    • The Blechnum was brought in for the coldest spell last year, about a week, outside the rest of the winter. The year before it spent the winter in my unheated polytunnel. The 12 x 10ft cactus glasshouse gets two 240W tube heaters, the 10 x 6 propagation glasshouse gets 2 x 180W tube heaters which just about keeps them frost free. The tunnel is unheated, the lean to behind the house gets a fan heater.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish I had your list making gene. I always buy a notebook and decide to be better but I always go bak to hoping the brain cells will continue to do the trick for me. With that many fuchsias I can see why lists are important! I’m growing Karma Choc. It is lovely.


  4. 99 varieties of fuchsias? Wow! I am impressed. I was intending in leaving mine out all winter as they are supposedly hardy, but reading this I might bring one of each variety indoors ‘just in case’. I had the rain early this morning but it has been cold and extremely windy all day, too cold to plant bulbs. I might have to buy a potting bench for inside the new ‘Orangery’ so I can do my potting in the dry and warmth! (Well warmer than it is outside anyway).


    • Last winter we had several Fuchsias survive in the ground that absolutely shouldn’t have, like Quasar, while microphylla, which we think of as being as hardy as any, was hit very hard, dead to the ground and very slow to make a half hearted recovery. Hard to fathom. Every SoS’er had rain, we had heavy dampness, totally dry under trees.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You have reminded me how fantastic Seedaholic is. Their sheets are especially useful for growing perennials, which might need more complicated treatments.


  6. The fuchsias are so beautiful Jim, one of my favourite plants which I might just have mentioned before. Will we get to see a trunk on the Blechnum before too long, or is it a slow growing plant. I’m trying to imagine what it will look like.


  7. My hardy fuchsias have foliated (is that a word?) well this year but very few flowers. The tenders which did much better, though flowered early, are all in containers and, thanks to a strict regime of not exceeding capacity of greenhouse (OK, and conservatory) I’ll get them all in. Though I have to remove some if I need to get into the greenhouse myself. Now to find out whether the back will absorb all the extra carrying.

    Sorry to read elsewhere that Sue’s been in hospital. Hope she’s well on the road to recovery.


    • The main problem we have with trying to avoid exceeding the capacity of the greenhouses is that things grow. There’s an issue with more plants too but mainly its down to things being much bigger in October than they were in April. Oddly enough, we had quite a good show from our hardy fuchsias, especially just after the drought broke, while more tenders than usual have underperformed. Capsid was bad this year. Sue’s doing OK, though there are tests pending.


  8. Wow Jim I am a little awed by the sheer quantity of plants you have. I simply must get a larger garden! I was staring at a couple of underwhelming bog basic fuchsia today and thinking I might compost em.


    • Did the Nerines come to anything? I could get a little mail order business going on Fuchsias. You tell me what you want and I’ll take cuttings in the spring and send em out. Oh wait, that was my working life, it’s all behind me now.


  9. Seedaholic – what an apt name! I just spent most of the night here on their website, and have bookmarked over $60 of flower seeds to order for next year. I’m going to bed to sleep on this purchase for a couple of hours now, though, before placing it. I was drawn in by the Blue Spice Basil, which I used to grow every year until I couldn’t find the seed any more. I loved that basil for a tea mix. Thanks for the website tip!


      • Exactly! Most of my hours last night were spent trying to find that sweet spot just before the postage amount jumped up from $13 to $16. A ridiculous waste of time, but somehow justifying spendng all that extra money so as to exact every packet of seeds possible for the lowest amount of postage. . . . I will definitely check out Nadia’s site, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m another one taken w/your fuschia collection. I do like a good fuschia & you’ve at least 8 that I can see. Your moving-the-pots saga reminded me of a question I had last week but forgot to post. Did you say that you winter your plants in a smaller pot than they’ve been in during the summer or did I read that incorrectly?


    • I usually leave them in the pots they’re in. Interestingly our garden club talk last week was about preparing fuchsias for winter and she did downsize hers, having cut them back and removed all the compost to get rid of any vine weevil.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I scanned your last 3 posts & didn’t find even a mention of potting & sizes, so apparently I need to check w/my GP about getting some little purple pills or something akin to it. Interesting about the fuchsias, though.

        Liked by 1 person

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