Six on Saturday

This is going to be a fudge because I have yet to set foot outside today. When I woke at 6am it had already been raining for hours and it continued all morning, turning into sleet and finally into snow. I don’t mind telling you, it depresses me! I believe I suffer from the winter malady known as Seasonal Affective Disorder which makes me withdraw into my shell and become moody and more irritating than usual. My poor wife, she is a hero!

Never mind, I am going to win the Lotto ‘quadruple rollover’ tonight which will magically make everything all right! Lurking behind my desktop computer is a pot of Crassula ovata cuttings, otherwise known as the Jade plant or, as my mother called it, the Money Plant! I am following a family tradition and placing my lottery ticket on the Money Plant which will obviously induce a massive win. I know what you’re thinking and no, my mother never won a thing, not a sausage! Neither have I, well nothing big; the occasional free lucky dip but nothing more. But tonight, of course, is going to be different!

Because rain stopped play today, out came the seed boxes and planning was in full swing. This is just a small sample of the many seeds which will get a chance at gracing my garden this year and next. Some of them are old HPS and CGS seed exchange seeds going back to 2014! However, if just 10% germinate I will be happy. Who needs 250 Antirrhinums anyway?!

So, as I haven’t got a lot of lovely photos to show you today, here are some I prepared earlier, a lot earlier! A taste of better things to come regardless of whether we are allowed to get together with family and friends. Our gardens will still bloom and provide comfort.

Zinnia ‘Envy’ with Echium vulgare ‘Blue Bedder’, two of the best pollinator plants you can grow from seed to flower in the same year. These are on the list for this year along with

this unusual Nicotiana ‘Mutabilis’ which, as the name suggests, has different coloured flowers varying from lime green, yellow and pink to brick red and cream. The evening scent to attract pollinating moths is quite strong although not as strong as the sylvestris species. The saved seeds are from 2018 but enough should germinate.

One of the top three bee pollinators in my garden is Agastache foeniculum or Giant Hyssop, which I propagate every few years to replace the old plants which are short lived. This white one came from a packet of ‘Liquorice Blue’ seeds but no matter; the bees loved it all the same!

The little Canna iridiflora is easy from the ‘Indian shot’ seeds I save each year. It is pretty and adds an exotic touch in a pot on the patio. It is a great talking point and, if we ever have any visitors again, will no doubt do the same again this year. The huge Tropicana Cannas in the hot border now stay in the ground all year and reached almost 2m last year, but these diminutive versions are rather more tender and I treat them as annuals.

My final offering is another moth pollinated annual which I grow for fun, Zaluzianskya ovata or Night Phlox. It is easy from seed and sits in a pot on the patio table where, on warm summer evenings, it opens and emits the most delicious fragrance to attracts moths and other night flying insects. During the day the purple flower buds are closed tight to avoid the sun. Nature is wonderful!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend

Stay safe

David

8 thoughts on “Six on Saturday

  1. Your seed box looks a lot like mine. I, too, resist throwing away old seeds because poor germination rate and all, many of them are still alive! The blue of the Echium is quite striking. I will have to look into this Nicotiana of which you speak. Your photograph captures the color variation nicely. I am looking into growing Cannas in the tropical courtyard to come and I appreciate the slightly subtler, less fleshy flowers of the iridiflora pictured here.

  2. I think lots of folk struggle with the grey, wet and cold of an English winter David, but don’t forget we’re gaining about 3 minutes of light every day now. Spring – the meteorological variety – starts in only 4 weeks. And just think, 4 weeks after that, the clocks go forward and it’s light until 730pm (give or take a few minutes). So breaking this time of year into chunks and picking out the good bits might be helpful, but it might it might not work so well at the end of summer!

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