Six on Saturday – The whole world in my hand …

It’s time to catch up with ‘Six on Saturday’. I’ve missed a few and half written other Sixes, but finally I’ve got my act together today. So I’m linking with Jonathon aka Mr Propagator (and hordes of other keen gardeners) to share six garden-related things.

1 Poppies – A new generation

And so my first ‘Six’ relates to the title. Obviously, I don’t really have the whole world in my hands, but I did have a whole globe of sprouting poppy seeds.


Opium poppy seed head sprouting next year’s seedlings through every crack and hole in the eroding shaker.

The recent torrential rains (apparently, 3rd October was the wettest day for UK-wide rainfall since records began in 1891) have triggered a lot of seeds to start into growth while still on the plants. I think that this is a seed head of Papaver somniferum ‘Black Peony’, so I will be pricking out a fair few of these next week.

2 Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’

In the past I’ve been disappointed in the actual colour of this ‘Cherry Brandy’ rudbeckia  when I’ve grown it from seed (it often seems to be a muddy orange), but this time the colour is lovely:


Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’

The petals are lush and velvety and that tight cone is a marvel of neatness and geometry.

3) Kangaroo Paws, Anigozanthos manglesii

This was one of a selection of packets of seeds given to me as a present way back in 2017. For one reason or another I didn’t get round to planting the seeds until this spring and I wasn’t too confident about their germination after the delay. Well, it turns out that the seed was still viable and I watched multiple tiny grass-like leaves emerge. Then they seem to run out of steam, so after a month or two of waiting I pricked them out into new compost and bigger pots. The roots were very fine and matted together which meant I lost of few after the process, but subsequently the re-potted plants have taken off and are beginning to look like the pictures I’d seen of this plant:


Kangaroo Paws, Anigozanthos manglesii starting to look more like themselves. Probably a couple of years before flowering though I would guess.

4 The Prettiest Pot Marigolds

I don’t often grow pot marigolds, but I love their cheerful, long-flowering faces whenever I see them. This year however, I had planned to underplant the fig trees in Wimpole’s Walled garden with a mixture of Calendula officinalis ‘Sunset Buff’, Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’, Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple majesty’ and Helichrysum bracteatum ‘Salmon Rose’. Sadly, when Lockdown prevented any gardening there, I had rather a lot of marigolds to use in our own garden. What luck though! I am loving C. ‘Sunset Buff’. The dark undersides to the petals look individually painted, complete with brushstroke markings, and that glowing centre manages to lift the mood immediately.


Calendula officinalis ‘Sunset Buff’

5) One woman went to mow a meadow …

The wild grass area in the corner of the garden has had it’s annual mow. I’ve raked up the straw since this photo, but the whole thing now needs a final low cut so that the primroses and bulbs can shine next spring. I am still waiting for an order of wild daffodils to arrive for the meadow. Hopefully next week!


6) A new challenge

I think I got carried away after reading an email from Chiltern Seeds more or less challenging recipients to try to germinate ‘Mac’s Mix’, an exotic seed mixture. As a inveterate seed collector and germinator, how could I resist??? Probably what tipped the balance was that our village cafe is called ‘The Moringa Tree’ and I’d googled the name, so when I saw that the packet may well contain Moringa seeds it seemed like Kismet.


So that is one ‘Circuit Breaker’ activity planned then! Have you got any lined up?

Hope you enjoyed my Six. Keep well!

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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24 Responses to Six on Saturday – The whole world in my hand …

  1. fredgardener says:

    It’s always amazing to see all these seeds sprouted in this poppy head … What a life inside such a small thing!
    Already a nice result for the kangaroo paws … let’s wait for the flowers now …

    • Yes, nature is tremendous at spreading life around! The kangaroo paws will be worth the wait I think. I’ve watched enough youtube videos to see how they grow, so let’s hope I’ve learnt enough 😉

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    That germinating poppy seed head is astonishing – I’ve never seen such a thing! I was also stunned about the record rainfall in the UK…somewhat sobering view of the changing climate.
    I grew Calendula ‘Zeolights’ last year and while some sowed true this summer, there were many delightful crosses with the standard yellow and orange growing elsewhere in the garden. Bees at work!

    • It has been a wet autumn all round, but yes I hate the way weather records keep being broken. Not a good sign! I can see why you chose C. ‘Zeolights’ and can imagine the hybrids being stronger and brighter. What fun! Hope mine do the same.

  3. Right, I’m growing ‘Sunset Buff’ next year. It’s nice to see what Cherry Brandy should look like. I grew some from seed this year and most of them disappeared and the survivors have yet to flower.

    • What a shame, but I have to say that I’ve not found this variety to be dreadfully reliable. It is delicious when it works though! C. ‘Sunset Buff’ will be a breeze in comparison.

  4. Paddy Tobin says:

    The poppy seedhead is fascinating and I am very interested in your wildflower/bulb meadow as I have one here also.

    • Hello Paddy! The poppy shaker looks like those cress heads children make for fun! The meadow patch has proved an interesting experiment. Some of the stuff I plant in it disappears almost immediately (I’ve given up on camassias for instance), but I’ve found wild daffs and crocuses do OK, so I am bulking those up. It is brilliant for pulling a wide range of butterflies over the hedge though.

  5. March Picker says:

    Thank you for posting that poppy seed head. Fascinating and kind of wacky looking, too. I lean toward the deep cherry red of that rudbeckia, so aptly named.

    • I was tempted to draw a face on the sprouting seed head like you see on egg shell cress heads! The RHS Rudbeckia trial at Hyde Hall this year had varieties of many interesting shades and patterns, but when Cherry Brandy works like this, you can’t beat it.

  6. Cathy says:

    Never seen a poppy seedhead do that before – wonderful! Your wildflower area looks splendid. Hope there will be pictures next spring!

  7. Noelle M says:

    Interesting to see the seed poppy, and to read about your seed sowing. The leaves of Moringa are great to eat in many ways. I look forward to hearing how it fares. I wonder how hardy it is? I wrote about moringa a couple of times as I happened to see a tree whilst on holiday.

  8. Sel Calderbank says:

    I love that Calendula Sunset Buff, unusual. I have tons of the bright orange ones in my veg patch, I agree they are so uplifting! Will seek your variety out…was it easy to find?

  9. shoreacres says:

    That marigold is glorious. If I had enough sun for a pot of them, I’d plant them in a minute, but I’ve learned my lesson. Deep shade it is, and I’ll have to adapt, instead of insisting my plants do! That poppy seed head is — remarkable. I’ve never seen anything like it. Sprouting stems are one thing, but that’s on another level of unusual entirely.

  10. Sunset Buff is a lovely and very tempting variety. I grew Cherry Brandy for the first time this year. The slugs and snails really enjoyed them but the two that escaped their attention were a great colour. I’ll try again next year.

  11. Pingback: Six on Saturday: January Blues | Frogend dweller's Blog

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