Six on Saturday.

So many of my blogging friends are participating in this meme that I thought that I would join the party. It does seem a good way of writing about quite unrelated topics that catch your eye.

Petunia exserta

1. A very unusual petunia. I’m not really a petunia sort of person, they are hanging basket sort of plants, and not my thing. But Petunia exserta caught my eye in the Plant World catalogue this year and I am very glad it did as it is quite charming. If you like the big, blowsy, trumpety ones this is not for you. As you can see it is single, bright red and star-like. And it has a story. It is on the verge of extinction in its native Brazil. In 2007 only fourteen plants were counted in the wild. It is not only endangered by loss of habitat but it hybridises with Petunia axillaris, the parent of all our modern petunias. In its native setting it is pollinated by humming birds. I can’t provide those but I am trying to assist pollination with a little brush. I do grow Million Bells, but this is not a problem as they will not cross pollinate. Do seek out this delightful petunia and try to help preserve it from extinction.


2. Million Bells.  Having been very rude about petunias I am going to feature Petunia Million Bells or Calibrachoa as my second item. I just love it in pots and it comes in a fabulous range of colours.

3. Solomon’s Seal Sawfly.

Sawfly larvae. Symphyta.

I discovered this today and the leaves look terrible, it is amazing how quickly the caterpillars munch their way through the leaves if you are not vigilant. The flies cunningly lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves so you don’t spot them. They are called sawflies because they have a saw-like ovipositor, (great word) and drill holes in the leaves to lay their eggs in. When the caterpillars have eaten their fill they drop into the soil and pupate. These won’t though, they have ended up in a bucket of water. Gardening makes murderers of us all.

4. Pocket seeds. I bet I am not the only gardener whose pockets are full of seeds. Wherever I go seeds just fall into my pocket. I always think I will remember them and what they are. But weeks later when I find them I have no idea so I sow them and label them Pocket Seeds. Sometimes I have a nice surprise. I have no recollection of collecting the seed for this pretty calceolaria.


I sowed this next one three or four years ago. It was not a pocket seed, I found it on the window sill. It must have been a stone from a Medjool date and now I have a nice little palm tree.

I get lots of grassy shoots. Some of them look like grass and others grow little bulbs. This pocket must have had a begonia seed in it as well as some sort of grass.

This has grown a bulb, I can’t wait to see what it is.

This one was labelled long thin pod. I have planted one out even though I have no idea what it is, or even whether it is hardy. I could have picked it up on my travels somewhere. Does anyone recognise it?


These look like tree peonies.

And what on earth are these?

Life is always interesting when you grow the contents of your pocket.

5. Salad on a Table.

My salad on a table has been a great success. The pigeons who fall greedily on any leaves in the raised vegetable beds haven’t noticed these. We have been having salads every day and I have various lettuces, radishes, rocket, mustard, spring onions, pea shoot and lots of herbs.

The grassy stuff is Agretti  or Salsoda soda which is new to me. I have no idea how you cook it or eat it.

On the ground there are potatoes in a bag, carrots, spinach, pak choi, beetroot and chard in boxes and pots. I suppose it is a bit silly when I have a perfectly good vegetable garden but this is very convenient for the chef who can’t be bothered to walk down the garden. And anyway it it is fun.

6. Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’. I have seen this on other blogs and wanted one for ages. I don’t know whether I have the conditions it likes but I will try to pamper it. It likes shade, well that’s easy. It likes a fertile soil so I have been spoon-feeding it with my special compost. Moisture retentive might be problem but never mind I will keep it watered.

Podophyllum versipelle‘ Spotty Dotty’

So there we have it, my random selection of Six on Saturday. Now all I have to do is master the knack of putting six pictures side by side on the top of the post like everyone seems to do.  And then perhaps get to grips with the rules of the meme but I was never very good with rules. Do check out The Propagator who hosts this meme and I had better go over too and introduce myself.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to Six on Saturday.

  1. Christina says:

    I like your selection. The agretti is a late winter crop here. I grew it for the first time this year. You pull a large bunch, cut off the roots or tough bits, then steam it. I then usually quickly stir fry it in some good oil with flavored with garlic and chili. If it’s very tender you can just stir fry. They sell the seed loose by weight here. You need lots for a meal.

    • Chloris says:

      Oh thanks Christina, I thought you would know. I have only got enough Agretti for a small helping then. How tall do you let it grow?

      • Christina says:

        It looks ready in the photo. It’s a bit like samphire in the way it grows. I bought seed at Chelsea last year. Very poor germination and even if it had all germinated it would hardly have been a portion and more than I pay for it when I buy a bunch. The loose seed was very cheap!!!!

  2. Sounds as if you should add pilferer to your list of vices. I love your salad on a table and the selection looks so tempting. Here, though, it would have to be salad in a wagon so I could move it with the sun. As usual, you are full of good ideas:^)

  3. janesmudgeegarden says:

    What a fascinating six. Firstly, I’m not a fan of petunias because I don’t like the feel of the leaves, but I could change my mind for your Brazilian beauty with its oddly shaped leaves. Next, the double million bells. I haven’t seen them before. I would never have thought to plant a date stone either. And Spotty Dotty whom I never met before I started blogging but have seen a few times since, has most interesting leaves.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Jane. I think if I came upon Petunia exserta growing in the wild I wouldn’t recognise it as a petunia. I shall always grow it now that I have discovered it.
      Spotty Dotty is certainly eye-catching.

  4. Ali says:

    That is an intriguing petunia. I love your pocket seeds, though can’t help with the id! And your salad table looks brilliant. It gives me an idea…

    • Chloris says:

      For the salads I have used a collection of wooden boxes or little plastic crates or any sort of container that was in the shed. I lined them with weed membrane if they were too holey to hold the compost.

  5. March Picker says:

    Hooray for you joining in, Chloris! Your garden has so many unusual beauties. The petunias are so far ahead of ones I sowed this year. I’ll have blooms in July. I love that you started a palm from a small, saved pit.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you, it is a fun meme.
      I sowed the petunias quite early on the 23rd February.
      I am pleased with my little date palm, I sow any kind of seed that I can get my hands on.

  6. Love, love, love your salad on a table.
    I eat a lot of Medjool dates but have never thought of planting the stones. I will now!

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, the salad table is a great success, I don’t know why I never thought of it before.
      The Medjool palm tree is coming on very nicely, of course it has to come inside for the winter.

  7. snowbird says:

    Hahaha….just LOVED pocket seeds and the harvests you reap, and the surprises you get. Marvelous, needless to say I also have pockets full of seeds. Your salad bar is fabulous. I shall look out for the endangered petunia, bless her!xxx

  8. What a great idea Chloris a salad table.
    And 6 on Saturday may try that myself rather than just mingling

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, I have been delighted with my salad boxes and it helps me make sure that I keep sowing so I have continuity and don’t have that feast or famine thing which is what usually happens.
      Yes, give 6 on Saturday a go. It ‘s a very popular meme.

  9. Heyjude says:

    I laughed at the idea of ‘pocket seeds’ – I think the ‘long thin pod’ might be some kind of salvia, sage-like leaves? And I also love your salad table. I have had poor success in my raised beds other than over winter – and something closer to the house would be much better.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, it does look like a salvia but I have never seen a salvia with long thin pods. Anyway we will see when it flowers.
      I expect pesky molluscs are a plague for your veg down where you live. Maybe growing salads in boxes on a table wood solve the problem.

  10. Great selection, I have to search for those Petunias and love Callibrachoa in the winter here. The P.exserta is a perennial here. Ordering seeds! I am a great experimenter, maybe enthusiastic is a better word,of found plants that usually surprise me.

    • Chloris says:

      I am delighted to hear that Petunia exserta is a perennial with you. As I have it in a pot I will be able to bring it inside for the winter.

      • I ordered some seed. It’s sold as a hummingbird attracting plant here. Another experiment.

      • Chloris says:

        Yes, most petunias are pollinated by moths but this one is pollinated by humming birds. How wonderful if you can attract humming birds to your garden. You will love this petunia, it is a real cutie. Do be patient, the seeds can take 2 to 6 weeks to germinate.

      • Wow, I will start them when they arrive. The west coast of Florida gets more hummingbirds than we do. I see maybe 5 or 10 in the winter, although the numbers have been increasing with the butterfly gardening.

  11. Kris P says:

    I can just see you meandering along filling your pockets with seed. If you ever have occasion to visit my garden, I’ll remember to hand you a packet of envelopes and a pen before we stroll about. But perhaps the mystery associated with the surprise seedlings is part of the joy? I’m always impressed by what you’ve manage to grow from seeds, especially as I’ve no particular skill there. However, I did collect some seed from my Ferraria crispa and will have a go at growing it from seed, and I’m patiently waiting for my Pacific Coast Iris seedpods to mature so I can give them a try too. Best wishes in identifying your current mystery plants – like Hey Jude, my thought was that the first one looks like a Salvia.

    • Chloris says:

      I looked up Ferrara crispa and it is beautiful, how exciting. I grew some Pacific Irises from seed and they are gorgeous, much prettier than their parents.
      My mystery plant does look like a salvia doesn’t it? But I don’t know of any salvia with long, thin pods. I’ll just have to wait until it blooms.

  12. mrsdaffodil says:

    Oooh, I can just about taste those salads! How funny about the seeds in your pockets. At least you have an excuse for not knowing the names of the plants that result. I start out knowing the names and then losing the labels and then forgetting the names. Eventually, I spend valuable time looking at Google images trying to figure out what I’ve got before I write my next Six on Saturday post. (Good to see you here, by the way.)

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Mrs. D. Sowing the contents of your pocket is fun as there are always some surprises. But lately I try to be more organised and carry little envelopes around with me.

  13. Annette says:

    Oh what a quirky and lovely post, Liz, always worth it to enter your world as there’s so much to learn and sometimes smile about when I recognize myself in it. Ought to start sowing all those pocket seeds too, it’d be a surprise alright! Always think I’ll remember but then of course, I don’t. Wishing you and the pianist a great summer 🙂

  14. cavershamjj says:

    I don’t mind a petunia, am not averse to bagging a tray or two for pennies when they’re half done in the garden centre. Yours look good. Lovely Six, And as for the rules, there aren’t really rules. You’ve done the necessary few things just right. Hope to see you again soon.

  15. Indie says:

    What an interesting petunia. And a gorgeous calceolaria! I like the pocket seed idea, though half the time I am trying to figure out if seedlings in my garden are weeds or plants, so I don’t think I could give myself more confusion! Love the ‘Spotty Dotty’!

  16. gardenfancyblog says:

    Chloris, that’s so cool that you grew a Medjool date plant from a date pit! I recently read an incredibly fascinating book about date palms that you might like: “The Date Palm: Bread of the Desert”. Your rare petunias are also intriguing. Best, -Beth

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Beth, it is a bit impractical growing a date palm here but if something has a seed I have to grow it, it’s a weird sort of compulsion.

  17. tonytomeo says:

    Oh my! Unknown seedlings. That date palm is not something easy to accommodate. It wants space, and does not fit every garden style. When I went to Oklahoma, I grabbed seed all over. I know what they are, but I still have no place for more than a few of them.

    • Chloris says:

      I always know what the seeds are when I collect them but they become anomynous when they have been jumbled up in my pockets for weeks. The date palm can never be released into the garden here, we haven’t got the climate for it. Still it makes a nice pot plant.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Yeah, date palm is a serious commitment even here. They became trendy when date orchards from the Las Vegas region were being recycled to get them out of the way of urban sprawl. They are big and stately; however, they are not as messy as you would think because the male pollinators are not recycled with the fluffier female trees.

  18. Good for you doing your bit for Petunia exserta. And send all the sawflies to a watery grave!

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, I am delighted by the petunia and as for the sawflies, I have found some more. I have to drown them because sqashing them in the fingers like I do with lily beetles is just too revolting.

  19. I’m going to have to check out the meme! You have quite the interesting collection of six. I really like the idea of the salad on a table, and I’ve never seen a Petunia like that one! Fascinating!

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, it is a fun meme. I don’t think I can manage it every week but now and then is fun. The salads on a table have been a great success.

  20. Cathy says:

    What an interesting and fun post! I really need to try this pocket pilfering idea…ah, but I have, with agapanthus from Bristol Cathedral…! So impressed with what you have been able to grow from seed, love the red petunia and will probably now include million bells in my pots next year. Thanks as always for the inspiration 😀

    • Chloris says:

      Oh yes, I know you are not above collecting a few pocket seeds yourself Cathy. But then which gardener is? I learnt my criminal ways from my grandmother who trained me in the art of snaffling seeds. If I am in a private garden I ask first. But public places are fair game. I can thoroughly recommend Million Bells. Do look out for them.

      • Cathy says:

        I am already reviewing and reconsidering next year’s pots, Chloris, having found it helpful last year when performance was still fresh in my mind

  21. The sawfly looks horrible….I dread the thought of it making its way to my patch!

  22. Fabulous SoS, sorry I am so late on parade! I am also forever finding pockets full of mysterious seeds. Yours look very interesting. Love the petunia and the calceolaria, not quite so keen on the sawfly! Could the picture before the peonies be Aesclepias speciosa or similiar?

    • Chloris says:

      I am behind with blog reading too as I have been gadding in the Cotswolds. Asclepias speciosa looks similar but I wrote long thin pods on the label.

  23. I love the idea of sowing whatever falls into your pocket! When my son was little he once planted seeds from his apple that had germinated inside the apple and we ended up with trees! We don’t have those sawflies here. Thank God! Trump is bad enough.

    • Chloris says:

      What fun growing apple trees from seed. A pity you can’t deal with Trump as easily as you can the sawflies. You’d need a giant bucket.

  24. I eat dates every day, so I’m definitely going to try growing some of the seeds now that you’ve provided inspiration! How long did germination take? I always have seeds in my pockets, too. And in my car, and on my dresser, in my desk drawers, and on most every flat surface. As well as jars, boxes, and bags of seeds. Sometimes I know what they are. I try to keep them in their original shells or pods as much as possible, to help aid later identification. Pencil and paper might work better.

    • Chloris says:

      I can’t actually remember how long the date stone took to germinate, but I think it was several weeks. As it was such a hard stone, I soaked it in water for about a week first. I knew I wasn’t the only gardener who has pockets full of seeds. I do keep lots of little envelopes for seeds but I don’t always have them to hand.

      • Thanks for that added tip, I will start soaking my date seeds tonight. I have never been good about labeling anything. Not seedlings, plant rows, nothing. It makes for a mess sometimes. I admire those who neatly label their gardens.

  25. Peter Herpst says:

    Random and wonderful! I love your pocket seed surprises. Thanks for both the beauty and the laughs. Pocketbook flower is a common name for Calceolaria and it seems especially fitting for this one. You’ve taken the farm to table movement to a higher level with your salad on a table.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Peter, I love that calceolaria is known as Pocket Book flower, how very appropriate.
      I am very pleased with my salad table. The Pianist will now and go and collect his salads and herbs and we don’t risk being poisoned by euphorbia or convolulus which was always a possibliity if he foraged in the vegetable garden.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s