Divide and Conquer

 

One of our gardeners had a rather crowded Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’.  So, a couple of weeks ago, here’s what happened:

1   Yes, a bit crowded…

Glynis Hosta Mouse Ears 1 A

 

2  No sign of vine weevil, at least.  Good root systems here…

Glynis Hosta Mouse Ears 2 A

 

3   Plants for free!

Glynis Hosta Mouse Ears 3 A

 

Good job well done, there.  Even better, it’s pretty much not stopped raining since that clump was split up, which will help the divisions settle in to their new circumstances.

Tuesday Treats

It’s time for us to guess our way round the plant world again!

Last week’s Tuesday Treats has been updated to show identities, and can be seen here:

https://thepleasuregardener.blog/2020/08/18/tuesday-treats-20/

Well done if you got all those.

Here we have this week’s bouquet…

1  Edited to add:

Hemerocallis ‘Sammy Russell’.  This was introduced in 1951 by Hugh Russell, one of the most influential American daylily breeders of the 20th century.  It starts flowering early, and continues after most other Hemerocallis have finished.

Jo's Hemerocallis Sammy Russell

 

2  Also, do you know which group within its type this belongs to?

Edited to add:  This is Dahlia ‘Mary Evelyn’, and is a collerette dahlia.

Jo's Dahlia Mary Evelyn

 

3  And again, what is it, and which group within its type does this belong to?

Edited to add:

This is Clematis ‘Princess Kate’.  It is a Group 3 clematis for pruning, and is in the texensis group – these clematis have lovely bell-like flowers.

Meg's Clematis Princess Kate A

 

4  Recognise it?  Surprised?  I saw this flowering a week ago.

Edited to add:

Yes, this is a Hellebore, a double flowered Helleborus x hybridus, which would have flowered in Spring, but is now in flower again.  I can only assume that the hot weather in April and May, followed by a period of hard frosts in early June, made this plant think that it had gone through 4 seasons, and it’s now Spring again.

Hugh's hellebore A

 

5  The yellow thing.  But have a go at the others if you can.

Edited to add:

Choisya ternata, the Mexican Orange Blossom.  I don’t have the cultivar name, but it’s probably ‘Sundance’.

With it, we have Trachelospermum jasminoides (the climber), and Cotoneaster horizontalis under the Choisya.

Meg's foliage 6 A

 

6  Edited to add:

Fatsia japonica AGM.

Meg's foliage 10 A

 

7  The orange thing.

Edited to add:  No-one got this right.  It’s Agastache aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’ with lovely mint-scented foliage.  I grew it from seed this year, and like all the seeds I grew, it suffered from the uneven weather, but it’s come good, although it should be a bit taller.

It’s sold as an annual, but is a tender perennial.  Well, there’s a challenge.  I haven’t got any seed left, so I wonder whether I can overwinter the plants in the greenhouse?  Can’t hurt to try…

Jo's Lavatera and Agastache

 

8  This is from the Dorothy Clive Garden

Edited to add:

This is Bougainvillea.  I’ve no idea which sort, so I defer to anyone who does!

Hugh's Dorothy Clive Garden (66)

 

9  Edited to add:

This is a Monarda.  Its owner has put in the comments that it’s Monarda ‘Kardinal’, and she should know…

Glynis's Monarda A

 

Good luck!

So, how did you do?  Have a chocolate digestive if you got any of them right.

Well done!

The Carpentry Project

 

I’m a little later than usual again today.  Isn’t it amazing how life just gets in the way?

You might remember a carpentry project from one of our gardeners over the lockdown period.  Well, that gardener sent me a few images of his garden, plus the finished project.  A couple of the images I used in Tuesday treats, but here’s the other, plus the project.  It’s very impressive.

Look at the colour in that gladiolus…

Rob's 1 A

 

Lovely cannas, flowering well.  And look – is that tea for two laid out in the summerhouse?  He tells us it’s just a garden shed, but it looks much grander than that!

 

Rob's 4 A

Perhaps we’ll see the whole thing another time!

Great work there, and the garden is looking super.

Tuesday Treats

A little late today, but it’s time for Tuesday Treats.

Last week’s post has been edited to show identities, and can be found here:

https://thepleasuregardener.blog/2020/08/11/tuesday-treats-19/

So, what do we have today?  Let’s see…

1   Edited to add:

This is the white version of Tigridia pavonia (the name, roughly, means Tiger Peacock).  These tender bulbs are not grown as much as perhaps they should be – they sell at about 10p each, so not a big investment.  These are a bit short because of the drought we’ve had – they’re about 2 ft tall.  Tigridia can get to 3-4 ft, , so quite impressive.  They are members of the Iris family, with several flowers per stem.  They come in red, yellow, pink or white.

Jo's Tigridia

 

2   Edited to add:

These are Begonia semperflorens, or the wax begonia.  They are grown here as annual bedding plants, but are tender perennials.  They root from cuttings very easily, and once the weather turns in autumn, they can be dug up, potted up, and will give months more of colour either in the greenhouse or on a windowsill.  I’m a particular fan of dark-leaved cultivars like these.

Glynis's Begonia A

 

3   Edited to add:

Agapanthus.  The photo’s owner didn’t say which sort.  I’m guessing they came in a big bag from the supermarket…

Rob's 2 A

 

4  As many of the things as you can name

Edited to add:   The main subject is the Aeonium arboreum.  The red leaves peering over the wall are Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’.  The trough contains sedums, sempervivums and echeveria.  The grassy plant in the pot is not a grass, but a member of the Lily family.  It’s Ophiopogon planiscapus.  Some are the species’ green, others are the black of ‘Nigricans’.  The lovely thing about Ophiopogon is that, if you save the seed from ‘Nigricans’, the seedlings exhibit almost perfect Mendelian inheritance ratios for green or black colour.  Try it.

Glynis's Aeoniums plus A

 

5  The yellow things

Edited to add:  The yellow thing is Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’.  With it is a rose, agapanthus, eleagnus and what looks like a Ribes, identity unknown.  Oh, I wonder whether it’s a hardy hibiscus…  Not sure.

Rob's 3 A

 

6   Edited to add:

White Cosmos ‘Psyche White’ and Lavatera ‘Mont Blanc’, with Dahlia Bishop of ‘Llandaff’ in the background.  But the main event is the orange Canna ‘Durban’.  There’s a long story of litigation over Plant Breeder’s Rights on this, which I will share if anyone is interested.  But it shines a light on the South African Appeal Court, for whom much paperwork was prepared.  However, the judge was only interested in what must have been about the first line, identifying the owner of the Plant Breeder’s Rights as someone who ‘discovered’ the plant in a garden in Durban.  No, no, no, said the judge.  You can’t discover something growing in someone else’s garden, because it is already known.  Appeal upheld!  Don’t you love judges with minds like a bacon slicer?

Jo's Canna Durban

 

7  Edited to add:  The real plant is a richer, deeper red than this – a red that my camera doesn’t handle very well.  This is Crocosmia ‘Hellfire’, and is a gorgeous plant, far better than ‘Lucifer’, with huge flowers.

Jo's Crocosmia Hellfire

 

8  Edited to add:  My apologies.  I wasn’t specific enough, I think.  Yes, there are Cosmos in the picture – the varying shades of Cosmos ‘Rubenza’.  But the main event is the Salpiglossis ‘Black Trumpets’.  I used to grow Salpiglossis years ago, and they were just over a couple of feet in height.  Things seem to have changed, and these are about 10 inches.  But, they have been very good, and I’m pleased with them.

Jo's Salpiglossis

 

Good luck!

 

Edited to add:  So, how did you do?  Treat yourself to a virtual chocolate if you got any right.  Well done!

 

A Garden View

 

It’s always nice to see other people’s gardens, and for the last few months, we haven’t had a chance to do that.  Except, of course, here in this blog.  Today, we’ve got some lovely pictures from a new contributor, with lots of interest and colour, and making the most of every inch.  Let’s have a wander…

 

Maxine 1 A

 

Maxine 2 A

 

Maxine 3 A

 

Maxine 4 A

 

Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday Treats

Our last Tuesday Treats has now been edited to show the identities of the plants on the Nature Table.  It’s here:

https://thepleasuregardener.blog/2020/08/04/tuesday-treats-18/

I thought we might change things around just a little bit for Tuesday Treats.  Still the Nature Table, of course, but it’s a different sort of Nature Table.  We’ve had a couple of weeks of tricky ones.  This one should be easier.  It’s from the allotment, so expect to see veggies!  This change, to easier challenges, won’t always last, but this week I have my Annual Review as a tutor, so I need you to show progress in your recognition skills!  :~))

The second little variation is…  If you look at the header for the blog, it says:

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

We haven’t really touched on the library part, so I thought I might share with you what I’m reading, and you might sometimes share what you’re reading.  What do you think?

I’m reading ‘The End of Everything  (Astrophysically Speaking)’.  It’s by cosmologist Katie Mack, and it’s meant for public consumption.  It explores how the Universe got started, and the different ways in which it might come to an end.  It’s very interesting.  Did you know this – we speak of the observable Universe, i.e. the bit we can see with our range of telescopes and such.  We can’t see further, not because our kit is lacking, but because the observable Universe is bounded everywhere by a wall of flame, a nuclear inferno, space on fire from the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.  The light from that inferno and from that long ago time is just reaching us now.  And, you can’t see through fire.  We will never see what is on the other side of that wall of flame.  How about that?

If you like a bit of science, this book is recommended.  (People who know me will know that no money was received for that recommendation.  In fact, I paid money to be able to read the book!)

Right, the Nature Table.

1  What’s in the trug?

Edited to add:  Sweet peas – lovely!  I’ve got no information on the veg varieties except, if I remember right, the tomatoes are Sweet Million.  Then there are potatoes, looking very tasty, radish – might be French Breakfast, with its white-tipped longer root – and beetroot.

Across the Atlantic, I think that beetroots are called beets, whereas here, the word ‘beets’ is more for sugar beet, grown as cattle fodder or, more importantly, for sugar.  Did you know that, in the UK, there are two primary suppliers of sugar, Tate and Lyle, and British Sugar.  Tate and Lyle get their sugar from sugar cane, while British Sugar (packaged as Silver Spoon) get theirs from sugar beet.  British Sugar is the only company in the world manufacturing sugar from sugar beet.

 

Nat's 1 A

 

2  What have we got here?

Edited to add:  Yes, sweet corn!  Never grown in rows, because it’s pollinated by the wind.

 

Nat's 2 A

 

3  The veg and the flowers, please.  And why are they together?

Edited to add:  Peas, which have come back from the dead.  They were eaten off by rabbits, but look at them now!

The flowers are Tagetes, or Tagetes tenuifolia, those smaller relatives of French and African marigolds.  These look like Starfire Mixed, the commonly available strain.  They’re commonly used for companion planting, especially with tomatoes, to keep pests such as whitefly away.

Nat's 3 A

 

4  The flowers, please, both lots.

Edited to add:  Dahlias and nasturtiums.

I know the dahlias came in a bag labelled ‘Mixed’, so great value there, but we can’t recover the names.

Dahlias are classified into 14 different groups, depending on flower form.  This pretty red and white one looks like a decorative dahlia, or possibly a waterlily.

Nat's 4 A

 

5  The flowers in this image, and in the last, are classified into 12 different groups.  Decide which groups are represented in these two images.

Edited to add:  Sorry, it really is 14 – I think.  Sources seem to differ.  Dahlias again, from that same mixed bag.  The purple and white ones (might be a variety called Checkers) look like decorative dahlias.  The red ones behind might be cactus (very narrow petals) or semi-cactus (not quite so narrow petals).

Nat's 5 A

 

And that’s it!  Easy peasy.  Probably.

Good luck.

Edited to add:  So, how did you get on?  Virtual hot chocolate all round?  Well done!

 

 

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.

 

 

Tuesday Treats

 

It’s Tuesday Treats time again.  Last week’s has now been edited, to show the answers, and it’s here:

https://wordpress.com/post/thepleasuregardener.blog/1591

Let’s see what’s on the Nature Table this week.

 

1  Edited to add:  This is Eryngium.  It’s probably E. planum, but it could be E. bourgatii.  Whichever, it’s commonly called Sea Holly, largely because it’s prickly and lives by the sea.  The thing about growing near the sea, unless you get too close, is that you tend to be growing in sand, which is extremely well drained.  That’s what it likes.

Glynis's Harlow Carr 2 3 A

 

2  Edited to add:  This isn’t easy, but we did see some on the Nature Table very recently.  It’s Veronicastrum.  This is from Harlow Carr, and I think the ones on the left are their plantings of Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’.  The main clump that we’re looking at has different coloured spikes, and I’m prepared to hazard a bet that they are Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Erica’, which opens pale pink from redder buds.

Glynis's Harlow Carr 2 4 A

 

3  Edited to add: This is Helenium.  No name was attached to the image, but I suspect, from the time of flowering, that it might be ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ AGM.  The common name for Helenium is Sneezeweed because, I understand, people used to make a form of snuff from it.  People also used to make a form of coffee from acorns, when things got really bad.  Because you can, doesn’t mean you should…

Glynis's Harlow Carr 2 11 A

 

4  Edited to add: This is Russian Sage, Perovskia atriplicifolia.  Oh no, it’s not.  It’s Salvia yangii.  Who knows what Mr Perovski might think, but renaming has taken place.  However, the Royal Horticultural Society heads the data entry as Salvia yangii, but the text refers to Perovskia atriplicifolia.  Also, they’re selling it as Perovskia atriplicifolia, so the change seems to be a bit, um, half-hearted.  Whatever you call it, this is a plant that needs drainage as good as that for the Eryngium.

Glynis's Harlow Carr 2 12 A

 

5  Edited to add: Hippeastrum.  You usually buy these bulbs in a box from the supermarket, where they are inevitably called Amaryllis.  But, they are Hippeastrum, meaning ‘knight’s star’, as in a mounted rider, and the star on his horse’s forehead.  It’s a bit romantic, but who’s to argue?  Normally in flower round about Christmas, you can see from the rest of the picture that it’s flowering now this minute.

Hugh's Hippeastrum A

 

6  Edited to add:  The email said that this was some sort of mallow, rest of the name unknown.  I don’t know what it is, and wonder whether it’s one of those mallow relatives, such as Anisodontea.  But I don’t know.

Judy's IMG_1172 A

 

Good luck with these!

Edited to add:  So, how did you do?.  Whatever the result, award yourself a virtual cup of hot chocolate.  With marshmallows.

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?