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.
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!
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.
The back door pot of thyme also caught my eye in a silvery way.
And more silvery colour came from the lamb’s ear, Stachys byzantina. Tiny signs of new growth are pushing through. Very encouraging.
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.
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!
There was talk last week about growing plants in pots. Was it really growing them or was it keeping them in a pot until the right spot was found. I have had many a plant in a pot that has died through benign neglect while waiting for that perfect place in the border. On moving house I decreed ‘no more plants in pots’. My agapanthus and lavenders were planted out and their roots now have the freedom to roam. I neglected the rosemary cuttings and they duly died. Some plants have stayed in their pots and make an important structural impact and some need to be moved on or given up. Here’s my six:
This phormium and its dragon pot have been together for 20 years. There is no chance of me releasing it from the pot so there it will stay. Every now and then it flowers but they are not significant. It is the focal point of the leaves that is important.
This cordyline had been in its pot for about 15 years. It has recently been repotted and not a day too soon. I use it to balance out the phormium on the other side. Being smaller it needs help.
So I pair it with this yucca. It came out of the old garden and into a pot. The yucca rarely flowered in the garden and was getting congested. I dug it up with the intention of throwing it out but decided to keep a few divisions in a pot to see if I could create another focal point. The divisions took and they are beginning to establish themselves. Paired with the cordyline they help counterbalance the phormium.
Herbs are often kept in pots by the back door to be on hand when needed. This thyme is in a sunny spot and has survived many periods of neglect. There is a sunny spot in the border against a south facing wall now vacant after I managed to kill a well established rosemary. My murderous gardening activities usually involve lack of water. It might be safer to keep the thyme in the pot and in sight.
I’m a little nervous about this one – I’m sure it won’t survive. It was given to me as a present for the new garden. It’s a dwarf azalea with a pink flower and until I see the colour I’m not sure where to put it. For this year it is staying in the pot and if it is very dwarf it might stay in the pot for a few years. This is how it starts…
Saving the worst till last. This box has been in the pot for about five years. It was bought unshaped and my plan was to cut it into shape over the years. I was not successful, the pot has cracked and neglect is setting in. It has been demoted to that special corner of the garden where the broken pots are kept and the tumbleweed blows through. Time for it to go … or shall I give it a new pot, some water and one more year?
That’s my pot expose (add accent please). Thanks to The Propagator for hosting the wonderful Six on Saturday. Read his blog posts and all the other Six on Saturday posts from around the world at The Propagator my plant obsession