Six On Saturday: Strange inspirations

I thought about pulling a ‘dog ate my homework’ one this week.  I had a good excuse – the  lightning cable has disappeared and downloading the photos looked distinctly unlikely.  But I did have six photos on the phone and I know the Prop expects every man to do his duty and so a spare was found.  Here’s my six.

One

The Christmas break offered a few days to explore some culture and a visit to Tate Modern for the Burne-Jones exhibition provided unexpected inspiration for this week’s six.  The paintings on display featured many beautifully painted plants: irises, dianthus, lillies, pansies and sweet peas, all with their own significant meanings and truly I was going to give you six insights into flowers and art but I know this will resonate much deeper – Leopard slugs.

These are slithering around the main entrance to the museum.  They are by Monster Chetwynd  who is fascinated by the idea that ‘light emitting organisms may one day power street lights.’  Now I did not know this, but leopard slugs emit a blue glow when they mate and so Chetwynd’s slugs come adorned with blue LED lights.  When you next go late night slug hunting spare a thought for what you may be interrupting!

Two

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Back to things that really are in my garden now.  My front garden hydrangea continues to give me joy.  Yesterday the brown flowers were caught by the late afternoon sun giving them a bronzed look.  The photo doesn’t do it justice, you will have to trust me on this one.

Three

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The back door pot of thyme also caught my eye in a silvery way.

Four

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And more silvery colour came from the lamb’s ear, Stachys byzantina.  Tiny signs of new growth are pushing through.  Very encouraging.

Five

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The Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii is also developing its lime green flower heads.  These were one of the first plants to be put into the new border two years ago and they look wonderful now they are reaching their full size.

Six

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When I started the hunt for six to feature this Saturday I thought the garden was looking pretty grim.  But there is always something to enjoy as plants work their way through their life cycles.  The Cotoneaster that was resplendent with berries a few weeks ago is now a skeleton, indeed looking very much like a fish skeleton.  The geometric spacing of the branches is worth taking a moment  to stop and admire.

Phew! Made it!  The first six of the New Year.  May 2019 bring us all a bounty of beautiful things in our gardens.  To take a look at what is happening in gardens elsewhere call in at The Prop’s place – there’s some LED action going on there too!

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29 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Strange inspirations

  1. Maybe Jonathan’s greenhouse is a giant leopard slug in disguise?
    Your blog has reminded me of several things I want to plant/ replant this year. I love both Stachys and thyme, but have managed to kill them off in previous years. Just need to find the right spot.
    Is it sweet pea time already?

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    • Last year I left it ’til March I think. The cold weather put me off but sweet peas don’t mind the cold so much. I going to do some now and some in March and see how they go. No LED lights for me – or heated benches, just the usual crossed fingers!

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  2. I always have to stroke lamb’s ear when I see it. I think my garden is too wet to grow it though. But maybe I’ll chance one of the Senecio ‘Angel Wings’ in a container this year.

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  3. Ha! It’s time to get back to nightly slug patrols and if I happen to perform an act of coitus interruptus I won’t mind. Indeed, the plink-plink-fizz effect as I drop them into my little salt water bucket is far more satisfying than the after-dinner noise of Alka-Seltzer. Though I usually only find slugs enjoying a bout of self-gratification (which is all they need, of course). I’m hopeful that I’ve finally got Stachys through a winter as mine is showing tiny little shoots though not as advanced as yours.

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    • Aah more insight into the habits of slugs! Good luck with your Stachys. I did lose several of mine last winter. These were at a sunnier end of the garden so perhaps better established before last year’s onslaughts.

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  4. Hmm, I’d need something bigger than a trowel to finish off those slugs. Like Heyjude I too am a compulsive lamb’s ear stroker.

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    • I know! I’m not that good at disposing of slugs – I did have a mammoth session of drowning them in salt water last year, I felt very bad 😦 Maybe 6 tactile garden plants is a one for the future.

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    • Maybe their reward would be a continual supply of fresh, green leaves!! The lightning cable is that bit of cable that recharges the phone and links the phone to the computer for downloading photos. I found it today! In a gardening fleece I hadn’t worn since before Christmas. There’s always something interesting in those pockets!

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    • I’ve had this thyme in a pot for years and years and even though I have a good sunny corner I’ve not got round to planting it in the ground. It seems happy so it will stay in the pot! I haven’t grown lemon thyme but it is also good with fish. Maybe one for me to add to a new pot???

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  5. I had to look Monster Chetwynd up and was surprised to discover quite a normal looking person! What a strange journey through all those names. Wikipedia doesn’t provide any reason for the name changes though. Isn’t cotoneaster amazing with that scaffolding of branches.

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    • Yes I had a quick read up on Monster. Initially I thought it was the name of the work!! I agree with you on the cotoneaster. It was lovely to see your garden this week full of all the summer colour. I hope the temperatures are a little cooler with you now.

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      • Thank you n20, yes we had a cool change on Saturday night, so a couple of pleasant days. Now the temps are climbing up again!

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  6. Those slugs are the stuff of nightmares! I have some nice stachys plants which I divided on purchase, still in their pots waiting for a landing slot. They look a lot like yours. Must plant them out…

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    • I should have mentioned the asymmetry – it was the shape that caught my eye first. It’s been in the pot for a very long time, it got a good cut back about two years ago and now I go round once a year taking off a good chunk – but clearly with any great topiary skills!

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