Six on Saturday

It’s Saturday again, doesn’t it come round quick! Just had to show you the Liquidambar backlit by the sun this morning before the rain moved in.

Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ has gone bonkers this week and has literally hundreds of flowers. Probably her best display ever.

Chrysanthemum ‘Bretforton Road’ discovered by Bob Brown of Cotswold Garden Flowers and grown for generations in Badsey, is a bone hardy reliable variety which seems to grow anywhere. It started at one end of a border and is now up the other end too!

In the months and years to come, I hope to be reporting on, and displaying, a National Collection of Tradescantia virginiana and Tradescantia x andersoniana hybrids if I am accepted by the Plant Heritage Plant Conservation Committee in due course. They have asked me to build up the collection and demonstrate my abilities to manage and propagate the 60 or so cultivars and naturally occurring hybrids of this species. Early days but here is the very first picture of how they will be displayed.

Rose cutting update – looks like it’s working! Not sure if any roots have formed yet but the top growth certainly looks promising!

Down in the darkest recesses of the back garden in an area of dry shade under an enormous beech tree is my comfrey patch. Six plants of the sterile hybrid ‘Bocking 14’ produce 4 cuts of leaves for my compost bin each year and are totally happy being hacked down to the ground every 8 weeks or so. It is said that the roots ‘mine’ the rich minerals up to 5 metres down in the earth which, in turn, are passed into the leaves which produce the amazing comfrey liquid I extract and use as plant food.

Have a good weekend, stay safe, warm and dry.


18 thoughts on “Six on Saturday

    • Hi Piglet! So nice to hear from you again. I was watching the Portuguese F1 grand prix practice yesterday (on TV!) in glorious weather, you are so lucky to live there. However, I read your post about missing your grandchildren so it also has its downsides!

      • Life is a balance. We won’t travel because we are high risk and even if we came back to the UK to live we would not get the healthcare we receive here. I’ve just read a lengthy study about the NHS and the treatment of elderly COVID patients and how they were denied ICU treatment based on age and pre conditions. BLue skies are a bonus … as are the range of plants… so we count our blessings. I’ve now realised it could be another year or more before we get to see the grandkids.
        In the meantime we keep gardening and fighting the pests and disease in the garden 🙂

  1. I’m hoping the comfrey you gave me will work well here too – We’re all looking forward to watching your Tradescantia progress! Your Garden birdlife will miss all the fruit bushes !

    • Thanks Carol. The comfrey will do well, it always does. You will be amazed how many bees it will attract to the flowers. It must be a very high nectar producer. The Tradescantia is a work in progress and I will provide updates as the planting progresses. I am looking forward to next June/July when you can all come to see them in flower.
      True, the birdlife will miss the fruit bushes, particularly the blue tits who gathered caterpillars for their young in our nest box, but there is plenty more!

  2. Still a great show, even when I don’t see it until Sunday! We amateurs who are just starting out in this gardening thing draw great inspiration from your blog. Looking forward to following your Tradescantia. It’s sure to be a success and if t’committee don’t accept you they will have missed a great opportunity.

    • Hi Chris. Doesn’t matter when you see the blog, it’s just nice you follow it and comment. I am truly flattered.
      The Tradescantia adventure is a new departure for me. I am usually in control of everything I do but I am exposing myself to the great and good of Plant Heritage, botanists, expert horticulturalists and far better gardeners than me. You know I like a challenge but I wonder if I this is a step too far! Time will tell. Thank goodness I have selected to curate a collection of easy going, hardy, unfussy North American weeds!
      Hope Tier 3 lockdown is treating you well!

  3. The Liquidambar looks great, good shot, just in time before the rain. I’m very interested in the Tradescantia National Collection, as I’m looking for unusual plants. I did have a Tradescantia plant some years back but sadly died off. Good luck with your pursuit with the collection.
    I’ve a lot to do in the garden here to bring it back to some form of garden and not haven for bindweed and brambles, It’s going take few years but I’ll enjoy every moment of the creation.

  4. Very interesting to read about the comfrey idea. What an obliging plant!
    Also the tradescantia. I wonder what made you decide to create a collection of that particular plant? It will be fascinating to watch them grow. Are they a bit thuggish, and is that why you’ve put them in pots, or is that simply a method of keeping them from mingling with each other?

    • Hi Jane. Nice to hear from you. I am guessing from the title of your blog that you are in Mudgee in New South Wales, Australia so it must be getting warmer there now just as we are entering winter.
      The Tradescantia National Collection came about by chance, as these things often do! I have been a member of Plant Heritage for many years and am a Plant Guardian for a few plants threatened with disappearing out of cultivation, although this is often because the plants (usually old cultivars) are not very good, have gone out of fashion or have a poor habit or form. I have a few Chrysanthemums and Asters which fall into this category.
      Earlier this year, Plant Heritage published a list of the ‘top ten’ genera in need of a National Collection and Tradescantia was one of them. In an impulsive fit of enthusiasm I stepped up and offered to curate it. I have had a few Tradescantia and recently acquired a few more because some of them are quite striking plants and flowers. Many more, however, are overly similar, mundane colours or have tiny, almost imperceptible differences, which makes me think they were registered out of a desire to make money rather than to introduce genuinely new varieties.
      Anyway, they were like an orphan child, a dog in the pound which nobody wanted and now they are mine!
      I will tell you more about why they are in sunken pots in my next posts so please keep following!
      Best wishes

      • Thank you so much David, for your fulsome reply. I realise now I am familiar with Tradescantia, although I don’t have any myself, and in fact there’s a common one that can be a terrible pest in a garden, but I think not in Mudgee as it wouldn’t like our climate. I look forward to seeing how yours progress.
        And yes, it’s getting warmer here, although with this recent unusually wet weather, it hasn’t been too hot yet.

  5. Loving the clematis. It’s on my list, Jane. Had thought initially, it was a similar hellebore but then on the closer look and with better glasses and reading your titles…love seeing how the NSW gardens are going. Assuming you’ve had a wet year out of the box like us?

    • Ooops! Sorry, David. Was thinking of Jane from Mudgee as I wrote and can’t find an edit button. In any case, I standby the C.Cirrhosa. It was in a recent catalogue .

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