Six/Ten on Saturday

I missed last week’s posting due to grandparent duties so I have a bumper crop this week starting with the scrumptious Rosa ‘Camille Pissaro’ newly acquired from Style Roses. Always difficult choosing roses from a catalogue but this one didn’t disappoint. Camille himself was an 18th century French painter and this probably looked like his painting apron!

Good old Geranium ‘Rozanne’ mingling with Nepeta faassenii ‘Kit Kat’, and just about anyone else she can find on her sprawl across the border. Good at hiding the less attractive underparts of roses and carpeting the ground to prevent weed seed germination.

Another new addition for the rose garden is Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ AGM currently smothered in hundreds of small but delicious almond scented flowers. I may have underestimated this clematis as I had assumed small flowers – small height. Wrong! She is going to be huge next year, easily outgrowing her allotted space and may have to be moved while still young enough to cope. If you like marzipan, you’ll love the fragrance.

I found a tiny self sown seedling of Verbena ‘Bampton’ when I was clearing the ground for the new rose garden, potted it up and replanted it in May. It has rewarded me with a wonderful display of its rigid wiry stems, dark green foliage and tiny purple/pink flowers for weeks and shows no sign of slowing down. A good strong perennial self seeder.

The last of my Thalictrums to flower is the wonderful ‘Rochebrunianum’. Fully 2m tall and literally smothered in delicate purple flowers with bright yellow stamens, it is a sight to behold. Adored by bees and other pollinators she makes me happy every time I see her.

Apologies for the tall picture but I wanted to get the flowers and foliage for this one. It is Penstemon sub serratus (we think!) grown by local nurseryman Kelvin Freer from donated Cottage Garden Society seed last year. I say ‘we think’ because opinions seem divided over the species but whatever it is, I am happy to give it garden room. It is proving to be robust and long flowered and like every Penstemon, adored by bees.

Just acquired this Tulbhagia violacea from a National Trust garden after failing miserably to germinate any from seed earlier in the year. I love their elegance and delicacy but, sadly, not their smell. They are not called Society Garlic for nothing! A South African native, they are not quite hardy in the UK unless you live in balmy Cornwall so they will be kept in a pot and transferred to the greenhouse for the winter. I am led to believe they ‘clump up’ like agapanthus and can be split every few years.

Sweet Pea ‘Betty Maiden’ from last year’s Which? Gardening trial are doing very well again and deserve a place in any pastel colour scheme, The delicate mauve and white flowers opening from lemon buds are just gorgeous and one of the best scents I think too.

Not particularly liked or fashionable these days, the ubiquitous Centranthus ruber or confusingly called Red Valerian, is all over my garden in cracks and crevices. Growing out of gravel and dry stone walls, it seems to be able to survive on a starvation diet of pretty well nothing. I certainly never water it or feed it and in fact, ignore it completely. If it pops somewhere I don’t mind then I leave it and if I don’t, it is easily pulled out. A lovely addition to a garden despite its almost ‘weed’ status. It comes in pink, red and white and seems to blend in with most things in my garden.

Last, but definitely not least, my current ‘Plant of the Year’, is Diascia personata, a tall version of the popular rollin’ & tumblin basket or edging plant, which went to the top of my lust list after coming across it at an open garden last year. You know that ‘I’ve got to have it’ feeling? It was one of those! It has performed so well and flowers so profusely I am going to spread the word among my fellow cottage gardeners by taking loads of cuttings for dispersal.

That’s it for this week. Hope to keep this up, I’m quite enjoying it again!

5 thoughts on “Six/Ten on Saturday

  1. Brilliant David. What an eclectic mix! I, too, love valerian, especially when red and pink mingle side by side. I have been listing the wild flowers I cohabit with in my garden this year, but am finding it’s a tricky task, and no one seems very agreed about which are the garden escapes and which are the natives which have been introduced into gardens.Valerian is a very prolific selfseeder however, and definitely on my list of things that need ‘managing’!

    • Thanks Carol. You can be sure of some cuttings! Just been to Hidcote today, bit disappointed with the lack of maintenance but understandable under the circumstances. One way system so saw the whole garden!

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