A Tale of Two…Crinums

 

Well, not really a tale, but I couldn’t resist…  I have two images of Crinum x powellii, all dressed up for a summer party.  Let’s hope there aren’t any beheadings…

 

Jo's Crinum A

I had this Crinum in a pot for a couple of years – and it did flower – but, for one reason or another I finished up with a number of pots of Crinum, so decided to take the risk and put one out into the garden.  That was three years ago, and this is the second year that it’s flowered.  For scale, the white Phlox on the left is about 4ft 6ins tall.  The foliage is remarkably free of slug damage.  Today, I counted 12 flowers and buds on the taller spike.  It’s never been as good.  And, while the central bulb is huge, now, there are a whole flock of adolescent-sized youngsters.

And, one of our gardeners has sent an image of his Crinum, which I’m sure is in a pot.

Hugh's Crinum A

It, too, looks as though there are a goodly number of buds coming up from the centre, so it’s definitely a good year for Crinums.

They don’t last for very long, but I do love something as flamboyant as this.  And it seems that pot or garden will do – at least until we get a bad winter.

 

 

Plants Anonymous

 

Most of the plant images I’m sent by my groups of gardeners come with no indication of what the plant might be.  I recognise a lot of them (possibly because many have been swapped in class!), but not all.

Here’s one that has got me scratching my head.  It isn’t from some posh garden, but from our own gardeners’ garden, so I’m hoping he does actually know, at the end of the day, and is just teasing me.

Help?  Does anyone recognise it?

Hugh's plant 1

Failed again… ;~)

When these daily blog posts started, it was to relieve the tedium and isolation of lockdown for everyone in the classes.  Now that lockdown is easing, although that’s only by baby steps right now, it seems appropriate to revise the schedule a bit.  After today Tuesday Treats will stay, and two other days, one being Friday.  Everything else will be more… as and when…

It’s been wonderful, the way the classes have pulled together to keep the images coming.  Thanks, guys!

So, what’s the plant?

A Garden View

 

Another one of our gardeners has sent me images of what her garden looks like this week.  Let’s see…

 

Meg's garden mixed Digitalis Firebird, selfsown cosmos A

The pink stems of flowers here are one of the new inter-generic hybrid foxgloves, Digiplexis ‘Firebird’, or is it called Digitalis x valinii?  There seems to be disagreement.  Probably the latter, since one of its parents, Isoplexis canariensis has now been reclassified as Digitalis canariensis, having shown that it could successfully be crossed with Digitalis species.  It was bred in the UK.

The Cosmos plants are self-sown – the seeds seem to happily survive the winter, since this gardener makes a habit of doing this every year.

 

Meg's Rose Lichfield Angel A

This David Austin rose is ‘Lichfield Angel’.

 

Meg's roses ThankYou and Lichfield Angel, Allium Millenial A

‘Lichfield Angel’ again on the right, and ‘Thankyou’ on the left of the bird bath.  Allium ‘Millenial’ is about to open up next to the bird bath.

 

Meg's Campanula Dwarf Pink A

This is Campanula lactiflora ‘Dwarf Pink’.  I know it well – it was one of the range of seeds that was included in the seed sowing exercise that I set the groups three or four years ago.  Here, the word ‘dwarf’ is definitely relative.  The plant grows about 6 inches shorter than normal C. lactiflora.

 

Meg's monarda A

Monarda, probably ‘Adam’, that seems to really be enjoying itself.

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

 

Tuesday Treats

 

Last week we had a mystery plant assailant, chewing discrete chunks out of the juicy midribs of plants such as Hydrangea aspera and Rodgersia pinnata.  That mystery remains to be solved, so thinking caps on, please.  Mind you, that matter has been referred to the RHS’s Advisory Service, and they don’t know either.  Perhaps it’s a really small vegan alien.

This week, we are reverting to form with a Nature Table of plants to identify.  See what you make of these.

 

1  Edited to add

Sempervivum flowers.  These succulents have flowers with an almost alien beauty.  Each rosette grows for a number of years, and then flowers, but only the once.  Having flowered, that rosette dies, and if you’ve given away all the offsets to friends, you’ll be left without.  So, no matter how many offsets the plant grows, remember to keep some for yourself.

Tony's 5 A

 

2  Edited to add:

A white lacecap hydrangea.  It is exactly the same as the more familiar mophead hydrangeas – they are both cultivars of Hydrangea macrophylla.  The small flowers are the actual flowers.  The large white ones are sterile bracts.

Hugh's H Felley Priory(9) A

 

3  Edited to add:

This caused some head-scratching, but I kno0w it well, having wrestled with it, nursed it to health many times, and eventually composted it. (This one is Felley Priory’s, not mine.)  It’s Fuchsia arborescens.  It’s probably striking as a large’ish tree, but as a pot plant, it’s interesting to grow, but not interesting enough to buy a second time round, in my opinion.  It flowers only on the very tips of the branches, so flowering is sparse, and it gets woody very quickly, so if you try and limit the size, foliage gets a bit sparse, too.  But it is interesting.

Hugh's H Felley Priory(12) A

 

4  Edited to add:

This is a martagon lily, that wonderful woodlander.  Lilium martagon ‘Album’.

Hugh's H Felley Priory(24) A

 

5  Edited to add:

This is a Cornus, a flowering dogwood.  It looks a little bit like ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’, but I’m just guessing there.

Hugh's H Felley Priory(37) A

And a closer look:

Hugh's H Felley Priory(38) A

 

6  Edited to add:

A Lychnis, but its name didn’t accompany the picture.  If I were guessing again, I’d suggest Lychnis chalcedonica ‘Carnea’.  ‘Carnea’ means ‘flesh-coloured’.

Judy's Lychnis chalcedonica Carnea A

 

7  Edited to add:

‘Potentilla’, the email said.  Ah, but which one?  It looks like nepalensis to me, so I’m going to have a stab at ‘Melton Fire’.  Thompson and Morgan have been pushing this for some years, certainly long enough for the plant to be planted and the name forgotten…

Judy's Potentilla A

 

8  Edited to add:

Catananche caerulea, Cupid’s Dart.  Might be the variety known as ‘Major’.  A pretty, but short-lived perennial, needing well-drained soil to persevere.

Lesley's Catananche A

 

9  Edited to add:

Diascia personata.  Most diascia are relatively tender, and relatively short, good for summer baskets and containers.  Not this one.  It can grow up to 4ft tall, and it never stops flowering.  It comes from South Africa, where it is pollinated by just one species of bumble bee with the right sized tongue to reach the nectar.  That bumble bee does not occur here in the UK, so the plant never sets seed.  It just keeps on flowering.  Mine is regularly in generous flower in December.  it’s hardy, too, although somewhat short-lived.  A cutting or two is a good idea.

Meg's Diascia personata A

 

10  Edited to add:

Another hydrangea, but quite different to the lacecap above.  This is Hydrangea paniculata, with longer, pointed flowerheads.  The cultivar is ‘Pinky Winky’, and the white flowers do, indeed, fade to deep pink at the end of the season.  Unlike Hydrangea macrophylla, this is not a woodland edge plant, and it needs full sun to give its best.  It flowers best on new wood, so has a different pruning regime to H. macrophylla.

Meg's Hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky A

 

Good luck!

Edited to add:  So, how did you do?  If you got any of them, have a chocolate biscuit!  Well done!

More from Felley Priory

 

The thing about Felley Priory is that not only is it lovely, and inspirational, but also the staff are cheerful and helpful, the tea shoppe (yes I think it deserves ‘shoppe’) is crowded but the food delicious, and it isn’t far away.  For me, a 20 minute drive.  Clearly, when we are asked to stay close to home, our gardeners like to go there, too.

Here are a few more images – like most images, they came to me unlabelled, except that I know where they came from, so I’ll leave you to just enjoy the pretties, or to have an extra Nature Table to which you may never get the answers.

Hugh's H Felley Priory(28) A

 

Hugh's H Felley Priory(35) A

 

Hugh's H Felley Priory(2) A

 

Hugh's H Felley Priory(5) A

 

Hugh's H Felley Priory(30) A

 

Hugh's H Felley Priory(33) A

 

It’s worth a visit.

Containers not by design

 

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m rubbish at design.  But, I keep trying to improve…

This year, I thought I would have some baskets at the front, full of the hot colours of red cascading geraniums, Begonia ‘Cascading Embers’, Fuchsia ‘Thalia’ and Surfinia petunia ‘Victorian Yellow’.  To cut a long and dismal story short, the plants were ordered, then lockdown stopped the shopping.  Trying to get mail order hanging baskets was a nightmare (presumably most of them come from China, also in lockdown at the time), and those that arrived had very little wire and enormous gaps in between, so planting through the sides wasn’t at all practical.

The baskets went into the shed, and the basket plants, now in burgeoning growth, were consigned to double fill eight containers that were meant to hold a calmer collection of whites and greens, pinks and purples, most of which were also in burgeoning growth.  All except for the Caladiums, which had, to a man, rotted.

Well, they’re all looking full of themselves now, even if not as planned.

 

This was a month or so ago.

Jo's container A

 

And this is now.

Jo's container 2 A

Not showing to best advantage, I know, but they’re too heavy for me to heave around.  Crammed in there, we have unlikely bedfellows.  There’s Colocasia, with the large leaves; Zantedeschia ‘Picasso’, with the purple-throated white trumpets and spotted leaves; red balcon geraniums (the sort you get hanging from window boxes in Switzerland); surfinia petunia ‘Victorian Yellow’; the dark leaves and orange flowers of begonia ‘Cascading Embers’; fuchsia ‘Thalia’ with its red-accented leaves and emerging trumpets of scarlet-orange flowers; and fuchsia ‘Annabel’, just starting to open pink-tipped white flowers.

All things considered, I’m amazed they’ve grown as well as they have, the colocasia needing a lot of water to fuel those leaves, and the geraniums and petunias, not so much.  Hopefully, next year I’ll do better!

The weedy plant just behind is truly a weedy wildflower – ragwort.  I’ve left it there because the clumps of ragwort in the drive that are currently being consumed by Cinnabar moth caterpillars are now down to almost stumps.  I think I may have to move the starving hordes to another food plant, and this one is big enough to see them through.

 

 

Felley Priory

 

Felley Priory seems to have been a popular day out for our gardeners this summer.  These came in two batches from the same person, so I’ve had some of them for a little while.  Still, they show how nice the gardens are, and some of the lovely flowers to be seen there.

Cistus

Glynis's Felley Priory 1 A

Aconite and what looks like a cultivated form of rosebay willowherb

Glynis's Felley Priory 2 1 A

 

Glynis's Felley Priory 2 2 A

One of the newish hybrid foxgloves, Digiplexis ‘Firecracker’.  Yes, I can read the label… That’s a tutor’s best friend.

Glynis's Felley Priory 2 3 A

 

Glynis's Felley Priory 2 4 A

 

Glynis's Felley Priory 2 A

Euphorbia

Glynis's Felley Priory 4 A

Iris

Glynis's Felley Priory 5 A

Geranium

Glynis's Felley Priory 7 A

Geranium – sorry, the label is too out of focus for more!

Glynis's Felley Priory 8 A

Papaver somniferum, allium seedhead and geranium

Glynis's Felley Priory 12 A

Orlaya, I think

Glynis's Felley Priory 14 A

Variegated weigela and eryngium

Glynis's Felley Priory 15 A

 

Glynis's Felley Priory 17 A

 

Thanks for sharing!  I really feel as though I’ve been there this year…