Six on Saturday – Bright Lights

18/04/2020

Six on Saturday is hosted by The Propagator. If you want to join in, check Jonathon’s blog for directions about posting and links to other participants’ Sixes. It makes a great distraction from COVID-19 Live Updates.

Here are my six:

1) Fritillaria acmopetala

I am growing these for the first time this year (bulbs from Peter Nyssen). Currently they are in tall pots, but I will try planting them out in our soil when they fade. We are on thick clay, so I will definitely need to add a lot of gravel to the planting hole for any chance of a repeat performance next spring. I love that flick at the edge of the petals (there’s something very 50s about it), plus the inside of the bell is gloriously shiny and striated.

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Fritillaria acmopetala

2) Staphylea pinnata

This Staphylea pinnata (seems a shame to call it common Bladdernut) is planted in the continuous shade of our neighbour’s tall fence, but it doesn’t seem to mind. Happily, the shrub has now reach sufficient height that its top catches some sunshine and shows off its lovely pink-tinged white floral tresses to great effect. The flowers are also scenting the air with a beautiful perfume, so extra points for that!

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Staphylea pinnata

3) Tulipa linifolia

I’d forgotten I had these cute species tulips as I had tucked their pot against the edge of a half barrel whose star occupant is a Euphorbia stygiana. With their bright red, satiny petals spread wide, they hit way above their diminutive weight in terms of eye catching display. I must remember to order more in the autumn.

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Tulipa linifolia

4) Mirabilis longiflora

Grown from seed, the plants have made it through a second winter stored in the greenhouse. Hurray. According to the Tropical Britain website you can mulch them and leave them in the ground here in southern UK, but I’ve not trusted that and have lifted them like dahlias. I am desperately hoping for flowers this summer as I was disappointed last year.

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Tuber of Mirabilis longiflora

The tubers have become pretty big, so fingers-crossed that I get to see deliciously scented flowers like these:

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Photo credit Gardenia.net

 

5) Mâche – A great crop for the ‘Hungry Gap’

We’ve been picking Mâche (Valerianella locusta, also known as lamb’s lettuce or corn salad) from the vegetable patch for the last month, but it is sadly coming to an end. It is both coming into flower and is also beginning to suffer from mildew in all this dry heat.

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Mâche (Valerianella locusta) aka lamb’s lettuce or corn salad

It is good at seeding around the plot though, so it will be back and I don’t mind at all. (I think I planted the original seed something like 5 years ago!)

6) Erysimum mutabile

Last spring I bought two small plants of Erysimum mutabile at the Salutation Gardens in Sandwich (very sadly closed from January 2020). The plants are bigger and better this year and are romping away. I love the transition the flowers go through as they age down the spike, from that egg yolk yellow, through apricot and bronze to an Honesty purple.

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Erysimum mutabile

So there are my Six. Hope that you are finding refuge in your gardens during this Lockdown.

 

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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12 Responses to Six on Saturday – Bright Lights

  1. Cathy says:

    A fascinating six – that Erysimum is something to search out. I love frits – I bought F. persica and F. imperialis from Peter N. last autumn and I’ve been a bit disappointed, because the flowers are smaller than I remembered. I think perhaps even they find the spot I’ve put them in too dry! Or perhaps I didn’t do enough soil improvement when I planted? Will keep on trying!

    • How disappointing. I bought two more F. persica for this year’s display (again so far grown in pots), but one is double the size of the other, even though I have treated them the same. I have put it down to watering. They do seem to be pretty sensitive to soil moisture.

      • Cathy says:

        I think you are right. I bought them for a very dry area (and also because it ‘tolerates’ drought). But the flowers are telling me what they think of my treatment!

  2. fredgardener says:

    A fritillary that we are not used to seeing, thank you for sharing.
    I also grow Mâche but rather in late summer. Why not do it right now, you gave me a good idea.

  3. I have never seen M. longiflora before. It looks like a lovely thing, well worth growing. Mirabilis jalapa is teetering on the edge of becoming a weed in my garden. Tubers and seed easily survive freezing weather, do maybe I’ll try to find sone M. longiflora to grow.

  4. susurrus says:

    I like the Erysimum mutabile too. It ought to have one of those ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’ style folk names. I searched to see if it had but couldn’t find one.

  5. cavershamjj says:

    I think I have seed for mirabilis in the shed. i’d never taken the time to see what it is, i’ll have to give them a bash. like I need more plants! I do like the old names for plants. bladdernut is a good one, I dug up a rogue clump of nipplewort yesterday!

    • You’ve probably got Mirabilis jalapa and they are lovely and bright, but also are one of those plants that are closed in the morning and open pm ready for long-tongued moths. Lol, I just had to look up nipplewort. You definitely need to take care of that!

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