Six on Saturday. Looking Good in August.

l have been away for a while. Not to Brazil, as I suggested in my last post as a safer option than the UK, but to France to spend time with my son Bertie and his beautiful Beatrice. They no longer live on the boat, so the jetty garden has been left behind, but they have managed to buy an amazing home in south west France. They have done this in the middle of the pandemic and despite the difficulties created by Brexit. And it is beautiful, unusual and very old. The garden has enormous potential and I will be writing about it in due course.

Coming back to England was a bit of a shock. My garden has become a jungle, I have never come back from holiday in August to find so such a tangle of weeds and the lawn like a hayfield. What kind of tropical weather have you been having here? But amongst the chaos there are some beauties which are well worth putting in an appearance for Six on Saturday.

First, I have some lovely codonopsis. These are climbing plants growing from a tuberous root. I have Codonopsis lanceolata from Asia; it has pixie -bonnet flowers which are green with purple markings inside. I believe this plant has pharmaceutical properties for the treatment of various diseases. But I grow it for the exquisitely beautiful flowers.

Codonopsis lanceolata
Codonopsis lanceolata

Codonopsis grey-wilsonii ‘Himal Snow’ comes from Nepal. It has apple-green leaves and beautiful, snow-white, star-shaped flowers. I think next year I must investigate the codonopsis family further and see which other ones I could grow.

Codonopsis grey-wilsonii ‘Himal Snow’
Codonopsis grey-wilsonii ‘Himal Snow’

I love South African summer bulbs and I have several different forms of the lovely albuca family. There are over 100 species in this genus so there is plenty of choice. I believe they are known by the revolting name of slime lilies because they are fleshy with a mucilaginous juice. Albuca nelsonii is my largest one. It has the most enormous onion-like bulb and long stems with green and white flowers.

Albuca nelsonii
Albuca nelsonii

Albuca bracteata rejoices in the ridiculous common name of ‘Pregnant Onion’; I wish I knew who dreams these names up. It has the most delightful, starry, green and white flowers on long stems. Some members of the Albuca genus used to be included in the Ornithagalum family and you can see the resemblance.

Albuca bracteata.

Each year I collect seeds from the charming flowers of Albuca shawii because a pot of these in flower makes a nice gift for friends. It has nodding yellow flowers which are scented.

Albuca shawii

Most of my agapanthus are grown from seed; they are very easy to grow and bloom in the second or third year from seed. The parents are all large flowered ones. I believe Agapanthus africanus is not considered to be hardy, but mine have been outside for a few years now. I love to have them all round the garden and specially on my ‘beach’ in front of the shed.

The white ones seem to bloom a bit later and they are still in bud.

Each year I grow a few different cyclamen from seed. The labels get muddled up so I am not always sure which is which. But this summer-flowering one is Cyclamen purpurascens. I think it is probably hardy but I grow it in pots because it is beautifully fragrant, A pot in the greenhouse fills the space with scent. It is a woodland plant so I keep it under the staging in the greenhouse. I also keep a few pots on my table of delights.

Cyclamen purpurascens

Also in a pot I grow the ridiculously -named annual, Zaluzianskya capensis each year. I believe it is named after a Polish botanist. The common name is night-scented phlox but I don’t hold with common names. I don’t think it is actually a phlox at all. If you visit me in the day time you may wonder why I keep a pot of these uninspiring little buds in such a prominent position by our sitting area. They are a pretty shade of deep pink but still it looks a bit weedy. But each evening the buds open up to reveal starry white flowers which have the most gorgeous fragrance. Sometimes I bring the pot inside with me when we come indoors because I just can’t get enough of the wonderful scent. This little plant comes from South Africa. It is easy to grow, I sow it straight into the pots in which it is going to live. It’s no use having this plant down the garden somewhere, it needs to be where you sit in the evening or by a door or window so the evening scent can drift indoors. It is pollinated by moths.

Zaluzianskya capensis. Daytime.
Zaluzzianskya capensis Evening.

I am going to finish with another plant with an amazing scent. It is my very favourite oriental lily. It is called ‘Casa Blanca’ and as well as a glorious scent, it has huge pure white flowers with huge reddish brown stamens.

Lilium ‘Casa Blannca’

So there we have six beauties well worth coming home to. And I haven’t even mentioned my dahlias which are looking wonderful, but they will be looking good until the frosts so we can come back to them. And now, having completed my six, I have no more excuse to pretend I haven’t noticed the weeds rampaging all over the garden. Please check out the Propagator to see other August beauties.

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16 Responses to Six on Saturday. Looking Good in August.

  1. bcparkison says:

    Every thing looks beautiful and I can’t wait to read more of your sons new place.

  2. A great Six. I’ve not seen Codonopsis before – lovely. And wow to the agapanthus. I tried growing Zaluzianskya capensis from seed this year but without success. I must try again next spring.

  3. Kris P says:

    Welcome home! Would it surprise you to hear I’d be very happy to return home to a jungle, even with weeds? We are so dry I’m really beginning to believe we’re mid-transformation on the way to becoming a desert and find myself wondering if a move to Seattle is in the cards, although the US Pacific Northwest has been hotter than it’s been here, which is also unbelievable. But I’ll cease ranting and focus on your gorgeous blooms. The Codonopsis are very intriguing, and new to me. I’ll be looking into the Zaluzianskya – if it grows in South Africa, it may be suitable to my climate. Your Agapanthus and lilies are lovely and nice to see as mine are all over and done with for the season. Best wishes with the weeding 😉

  4. Pauline says:

    What a beautiful selection you have given us! I have agapanthus envy when I see how many you have, they make such a wonderful display. I look forward to seeing your son’s new garden!

  5. I have Agapanthus envy as well. The two in my garden are not worth looking at. There is a native Clematis here that looks like your first Codoponis, common name Fairy Hats. Your weather must have been like ours, I have some junglies to attend to. Looking forward to seeing the Berties new garden.

  6. Heyjude says:

    You have such glorious unusual plants. I am going to have to investigate some of these further. In particular the Zaluzianskya capensis. And I look forward to seeing more of your son’s home in France.

  7. Eliza Waters says:

    A lovely six, Liz. the Zaluzianakya sound intriguing. Are they an annual that must be resown every year?

  8. bittster says:

    Your garden has been busy while you were away, and I’m excited to see pictures of the new house! It already sounds perfect, “beautiful, unusual, and very old”.
    I was just admiring my own codonopsis this afternoon, and I was excited to see something familiar in your six, but then I saw the agapanthus and it was back to complete envy. I love the clear, icy colors, and the blooms look so fresh. Maybe someday my seedlings will clump up and be half as nice, but here it’s smaller flowers since they need to be the hardiest sorts.
    May all your weeds pull easily.

  9. tonytomeo says:

    Gee, I can not identify those agapanthus. They look like a small variety of Agapanthus orientalis, or a big variety of Agapanthus africanus. The profusion of bloom suggest that they really are Agapanthus africanus.

  10. fredgardener says:

    I hope you had great time in France. SW is my favourite.
    Thanks for showing us the Codonopsis lanceolata in bloom. I sowed mine and still waiting for the flowers. How tall is the plant ? Mine is a slow grower so far…
    Lovely agapanthus and of course amazing Zaluzianakya

  11. Anna says:

    Mmmmm, I can smell all those scents floating through the air from here Chloris. I love the gathering of pots around the beach shed. I’ve grown zaluzianskya capensis before – a friend who often holidays in Greece asked me if I could start some seeds off for her and the scent was intoxicating. So glad to hear that you escaped to France and what an inviting entrance to Bertie and Beatrice’s new home. Sadly we’ve just cancelled our already delayed holiday to Nice in October – I couldn’t bear the idea of such a long rail journey wearing a mask 😱 Hopefully we will venture abroad next year.

  12. Oh, whereabouts in SW France? I just know they will make a wonderful garden there, can’t wait to see the story unfold. As for your beauties …… as usual both an education and a balm for the eyes. Lovely. Now get weeding! x

  13. Fascinating and beautiful selection of plants and I hope it won’t take you too long to get it all back under control. The French house looks fabulous and romantic.

  14. Veronica says:

    What amazing and unulual plants. Many are unknown to me. i seem to have weeds all the time but especially in the last 2 weeks.
    Potenial garden in south west France looks promising too.
    Veronica

  15. snowbird says:

    Oh my, I can’t wait to hear more about Bertie and Beatrice’s garden and home, that photo is intriguing. What a gorgeous selection of blooms, especially the agapanthus. Yes, what is it re crazy plant names.xxx

  16. I like your jungle; it looks fine to me! How fun to escape to France, though. We haven’t traveled far for the past two years either. Hopefully, that will change in the next few years, and travel will be “safe” again. That Codonopsis is special! I don’t remember seeing that plant before. Nifty!

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