Tuesday Treats

It’s time for Tuesday Treats again, for touching base with one of my gardening groups, and giving them a few treats for the week.  Or, toilsome tasks, depending on your point of view.  :~))

Most of that will go out by email, but I’m going to use this blog post as a nature table exercise, for the identification of, and discussion of, exhibits.

The images today were taken by one of our gardeners (who should, at least, know the answers!) at Dunham Massey, a National Trust property near Altrincham, Greater Manchester.  Like all National Trust properties, Dunham Massey is currently closed.

One of them is easy, one is moderately difficult, and the other is fiendishly hard.  I hope everyone will have a go.  After discussion, I’ll return to this post, and identify the images for anyone still scratching their head.

Here we go:

Edited to add : First, we have Iris ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ AGM (Reticulata Group)

This is said to be a hybrid of Iris winogradowii and Iris histrioides, but is often sold as an Iris reticulata.

202003 H Dunham Masey (26) A

 

Edited to add: Second is Erythronium tuolumnense, one of the Californian dog’s tooth violets.  Given another day or so, these would have turned their petals back into the familiar recurved Turk’s cap shape.  More commonly seen in the UK is Erythronium ‘Pagoda’, which is similar but different, if you know what I mean!

202003 H Dunham Masey (6) A

 

Edited to add:  Third is the really difficult one.  This is Lathraea clandestina, or Purple Toothwort, and it’s unlike most other plants.  It’s a parasite, and it grows on the roots of various trees, especially willow and poplar.  It’s found in the damp, shady places where its hosts grow.  It has no chlorophyll and relies on food taken from its host.  Its leaves are simple scale-like structures carried on the underground stems.  Lathraea is from the Greek for ‘hidden’, and clandestina means ‘secret’.  The seed capsules are explosive.  It’s a native of W. Europe, but not of Britain, being first planted at Kew Gardens in 1888.  It is now widespread but rare.

So, how did you do on these three?

202003 H Dunham Masey (9) A

Stay safe, everyone.

Pretty in yellow

It’s Monday, and winter has struck again.  At least there’s no snow here, but the temperature is in single figures and the wind has knives in it.

Something pretty, then.  From one of our gardeners, here’s a pretty little double daffodil.

Tony's daffodil 1 A

 

Tony's daffodil 2 A

I’m not sure which variety these are – they look a bit like Golden Ducat – but whatever their name, they’re as cheerful as seeing the sun.

Thanks for sharing!

Gardening by Design

So, it’s the day the clocks go forward one hour for British Summer Time.  The weather forecast is for temperatures near zero, wintry showers and a nithering wind.  On a day like that, it’s a good job we’re locked up, um self-isolating.

Today’s image is from one of our gardeners who has been taking a short course in garden design at Harlow Carr.  I’m no good at design things, so it will be interesting to see what she has come back with when all this nightmare ends.  Looking forward to it!

This is part of her garden.

Lesley's garden A

Thanks for sharing!  It looks just ready for a Devon Cream Tea on a warm sunny day.  It will be interesting to see how it all progresses.

The Daffodil Path post – I’ve edited to add in the identification of the mystery plants, having had all the responses from my groups that I think I’m going to get.  :~))

Don’t forget to change those clocks…

From the allotment

For one of our gardeners, one allotment is never enough.  :~))

But it isn’t all cabbages and onions.  A well-kept bed of these may certainly be pleasing to the eye, but Saturday’s cheer-up picture from the allotment is more a breath of Spring.

You can surely smell these Hyacinths from here.  Lovely!

Nat's 1 A

There is absolutely nothing like a daffodil to make you feel better!  And here’s a whole bunch.

Nat's 2 A

Thanks to our gardener for a snapshot of her allotment!

For everyone under lockdown, wherever you are, stay safe and stay well.

The Daffodil Path

I’ve got some lovely images from group members for these daily lockdown posts, but I thought that today, I would just take the chance to show you some pictures from my garden, or I won’t get round to doing it!  Here we go.

This is one of the Spring highlights – the Daffodil path.

Jo's Daffodil Path A

It sits at the edge of the orchard, next to the parts of the garden that I’m trying to bring back from something that could hide a whole herd of tigers – you know what I mean!  The upper part is my new rose beds, with more and more anti-rabbit cages appearing.  The bit in the left foreground is the edge of my very new yin/yang bed – so new that it’s still waiting for some plants.

Jo's Spring Garden A

This is Prunus cerasifera, in the front garden.  It’s lost a few main branches in recent years, with storms and snow, and there’s a worrying bracket fungus on the trunk, but it’s magnificent for about 7 days every year.  It’s just gone over now, but there may be fruit in August.

Jo's Cherry Plum A

There’s a handy little seat at the top of the back garden, made from a moribund plum.

Jo's tree seat A

A basket of sheep’s fleece hanging from one of my washing line posts – and yes, the birds are taking it, which is what it’s there for.  Ignore the bricks and the sheeting – there is more work to do!

Jo's fleece basket A

I ordered some bulbs and such from a place that was new to me – an estate in Scotland.  My order included Crinum amoenum, which turns out to be out of stock, but they’ve substituted Crinum powellii.  I think these are bigger than the ones you get in the average garden centre!  They’re enormous, for £2 and some pennies each.

Jo's Crinum powellii A

And, finally, here’s some Nature Table homework for members of the gardening groups (and anyone who wants to join in).  Here are two plants – the picture was taken yesterday – and they are plants that are commonly confused.

What are they?

Jo's White Christmas Cactus Novembro Brasil and white Easter Cactus A

To ease you into this impromptu homework thing, I’ll just say that Christmas meets Easter.  Let me know your answers.

Edited to add: The one on the left is a white Easter cactus, Hatiora gaertneri, cultivar unnamed.  On the right is a Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera ‘Novembro Brazil’.  For the sharp-eyed, ‘Novembro Brazil’ is a single plant in the pot, whereas the Easter cactus is one of about 6 cuttings, mixed Hatiora and Schlumbergera, which is why there are pads of different shapes.  They need repotting, but they’ll have to wait until the garden centres open again and I can buy some potting compost – which may be months.