Six on Saturday

It’s nearly time for term to start, and the gardening group is getting in early.  Here are Six on Saturday from my students.

1  A brand new potting area for this gardener, and she’s confessed to catching the propagating bug.  Looks like she’ll need a plant sale soon!

Glynis potting area 2

Glynis potting area

2  The group took a trip to Felley Priory.  If you’ve never been there, what are you waiting for?  Lovely gardens, a nice tea room, and loads of plants for sale at very reasonable prices.  Here are a couple of images from one of our gardeners.

Lesley Felley Priory 2

Lesley Felley Priory 1

3  The same gardener, who has recently joined the group, sent these images of her garden, which has been getting  bit of a makeover,  The pond is a new addition, and spot the Melianthus major, doing well.

Lesley's garden 2Lesley's garden 3Lesley's garden 4Lesley's garden

4  A shot of this morning’s garden from one of our gardening couples.  Love that white gladiolus.

H and J garden

5  For some reason, this image from another of our gardeners got left behind last year.  I’ve just spotted it this morning, so it qualifies!  It’s his mother’s garden, which he tends, and what a lovely clematis.

Rob's mother's clematis

6  That’s it for student contributions this week – well done, guys,  on getting stuck in early.  So, I’ll finish with one of mine.  This is Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Herbstsonne’, lounging horizontally rather than vertically, with the last flowers of the fabulous Crocosmia ‘Hellfire’.

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The Six on Saturday meme is the brainchild of thepropagator, and the guidelines are here:

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/

A Hardy Perennial

 

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Crocosmia x crocosmoides ‘Castle Ward Late’

 

I like plants with a story. With history. Plants that stand the test of time. And this is one of them.

Sometime before 1895, Max Leichtlin (he for whom Camassia leichtlinii and others are named) was hybridizing Crocosmia at Baden Baden. Crocosmia paniculata x Crocosmia aurea produced Crocosmia x crocosmoides seedlings (not to be confused with Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora, the much-maligned Montbretia).

Apparently only 5 of Leichtlin’s hybrids survive, and this is one of them, Crocosmia x crocosmoides ‘Castle Ward Late’. I believe that another one is ‘Vulcan’, a red-flowered hybrid introduced in 1897. If anyone knows the identity of the others, please do share.

‘Castle Ward Late’ is a soft burnt orange that makes a real statement in the autumn border. It has elegant, spidery flowers on tall, strong, dark stems with lovely pleated leaves. I haven’t had the measuring rod out, but this clump must be 40 inches tall. It’s been flowering for at least three weeks now, and should keep going until October.

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It’s a survivor in more ways than one. This summer has been one of record-shattering heatwaves, interspersed with deluges of biblical proportions. This ‘Castle Ward Late’ isn’t staked in any way and most of it is still perpendicular, unlike much of the border around it. Hopefully, I’ll get round to treating it better next year.

Which brings me to its naughty side. It’s robust. A good do’er. Slightly assertive. This clump was a rather skinny potful only two years ago. Looks to me like there will be a bit of digging out later this autumn, so there will be giveaways to any of my students who like the look of this historic treasure.