I don’t seem to have had much blogging time lately so Six on Saturday seems like a good way to have a quick hello. Like all gardeners, by the middle of August I seem to have an unreasonable number of plants in pots all needing attention. So here is a random selection of six plants in pots looking good at the moment. Let’s start with a couple of ‘easy from seed’ plants.
Number one is Rhodochiton atrosanguineus, the Purple Bell climber. This used to be known as Rhodochiton volubile but it seems to have suffered a name change. It has a profusion of pale purple bells with a dark purple, dangling corolla. It is not hardy but it is a perennial if kept frost free. I have found it to be a martyr to white fly in winter so I grow fresh each year. The dark corollas drop off leaving the pale bell- shaped calyx which persists for weeks. After fertilisation the seed cases inside grow and eventually when the seeds are ripe the cases look like little round bottoms. The time to sow them is in the autumn when the seeds are fresh, they don’t stay viable very long in my experience. If fresh, they germinate readily. Next year I shall try them climbing up the eucalyptus in the exotic garden.
Number two is another easy climber from seed, Tweedia caerula which is named after James Tweedie from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh who collected it in South America in the Nineteenth century. I love it for its gorgeous blue flowers, not exactly sky-bue but tinged with turquoise. The little central button is even darker. It is a member of the Milkweed family and it has the same long seedpods. Unfortunately it doesn’t come with Monarch butterflies but it always seems to be crawling with insects.
Every year I add to my eucomis collection and when I have enjoyed them in pots I plant them in the exotic garden. They always come through the winter as long as they have a nice mulch. This year I have Eucomis ‘Aloha Nani’ The ‘Aloha’ hybrids were bred in America for the pot plant trade and as they are nice and compact they are excellent for pots.
Eucomis vandermerwei is even more compact and has attractive, wavy, dark green leaves heavily spotted in black.
I seem to have amassed a large collection of pelargoniums without quite meaning to, so that takes care of my number four. My favourites are the delicate red ”Ardens’ which is a pernickety thing which suffers from sudden death and is difficult to strike from cuttings. I also love the species Pelargonium sidiodes for its silvery leaves and delicate purple flowers.
So as a lover of simple single flowers it is odd that I should be very fond of a double one, Pelargonium ‘Appleblossom Rosebud’. But this is not some new Frankenstein- hybrid, it dates from the early Nineteenth century and Queen Victoria was very fond of it. I can see why, there is something very endearing about it. But it needs to be staked or it flops.
Number five also has a double flower and it is a begonia so I should hate it really as I am allergic to those big double blowsy begonias in dayglo colours you see in hanging baskets. But since I have my exotic garden I grow several begonias with interesting leaves. This one is in a pot though, it is a delicate little thing and a lovely soft pink with bronze leaves.
I grow bulbs of the rain Lily, Habranthus robustus in pots because it is not really hardy here. Having said that I may try some outside next year, you never know, they may survive with a bit of mulch.
So, there we have it, I managed my Six on Saturday. Pop over to the Propagator and you will find dedicated SOSers who mark the passing seasons with a weekly six from the garden. Please join me on the 23rd with your Top Ten August Blooms. In the mean time I have some catching up to do.