Six on Saturday – Mush, murk and muck!

I am sure that from my title you can tell I’ve been reading posts from some other SIXers on this wet, dismal day. I’ve not even been out for my daily walk, let alone thinking of running, because I can’t face slipping through all the muck and mud round here. I’ve also sadly missed a tree planting session with Cambridge Nature Network near Madingley, because none of my waterproofs would have stood up to this morning’s deluge.

Anyhow, if you want to join the general sharing of mush, murk … and magic, head for Jonathon’s Six-on-Saturday meme by just clicking on the link.

For my first Six of the year I thought I’d stay mostly inside and report on some of my house plants and windowsill residents. 😉

First up, my sansevieria is flowering. This came as a surprise as I didn’t realise that they did that. OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but for all their ubiquity, I’ve never seen one in flower before. It’s an underwhelming sight to be sure. However, since we’ve been wallowing in all the afore-mentioned mush, murk and mud, I am taking this as an optimistic sign for the New Year. (I just hope the plant doesn’t die on me now!) This mother-in-law’s tongue was a don’t-worry-we’ll-get-through-this-lockdown gift from my husband’s company in 2020. Last year I split it and gave my son half. It seems to have appreciated the change of soil and pot!


Sansevieria in flower

Next thing to share is my new lemon tree. It was a Christmas present. Now, until a year ago I had a grown-from-seed, 2m tall, occasionally-fruiting lemon tree in the lounge. However, after a long battle with scale, spider mites etc. and several aggressive pruning sessions to limit affected areas needing treatment (I tried hand cleaning, neem oil, washing-up liquid, white spirit) I finally gave up and threw the tree on the compost. Well, this lemon tree currently stands at about a ruler (30cm) high and is loaded with 5 decent-sized lemons!!! Amazing isn’t it. I suppose it’s the magic of grafting.


My lovely, prolific new lemon bush!

Third thing to talk about is one of the surprises resulting from growing Chiltern Seeds’ exotic Mac’s mix last year. The mixture is a fun idea, but at the end of the experiment I still have several plants whose identity remain a mystery. I’ve been through the catalogue trying to ID them, but I have been stumped by one or two. Happily, I think that just before Christmas I finally managed to match this one to a name:


Any ideas?

The swollen stem persuaded me trying to shoehorn it into some kind of Baobab tree catagory, but no, it never matched. The stem has had several large tear-shaped leaves emerge from the top, but these have fallen off with the winter. In fact, the leaf shape confused the identification for me. I’m guessing they are still a juvenile form.

OK, I tell you what I believe it to be … Jatropha podagrica or the Buddha Belly plant. so now I am looking forward to new leaves and ultimately lovely orange flowers.

If I’ve got this wrong and you think it is something else, please let me know!!!

The next Six is from outside in the wet, but is looking lovely nevertheless. It is a cyclamen:


I bought 4 together, 3 were bright red and were to cheer up an area in front of the potting shed. This last one pink was to brighten a spot under the bird bath. Well, the red ones were all chomped by the muntjac, but the pink one survived and is therefore a doubly welcome sight.

The 5th of Six is a fern.

sosf dryopteris_cristata

Dryopteris cristata

I’ve started a fern corner, because I’m filling a shady spot and I’ve been trying to come to grips with the different ferns that I can grow. I’m on heavy alkaline clay. So far so good, but I must say that I am struggling with the subtle differences in forms and if I didn’t have the labels, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what they are. Anyhow, this one was IDed as Dryopteris affinis ‘Cristata The King’ also known as the golden male fern. I love it’s crest frond tips.

And finally, I planted some freshly collect seeds of Calycanthus occidentalis, (often called spice bush or sweetshrub) and put them out for cold, moist stratification a couple of months back. Today I was checking our mini-greenhouse when I noticed that they’ve started to germinate already.


Maybe they’ve reacted to our blistering New Year’s day temperatures, but I think I will move them to the bubble-wrapped greenhouse to give them a bit more protection.

So, those are my six. It’s been a bit odd without Six on Saturday over the Christmas break. It’s nice to get stuck in to things again.

Have a great weekend! I even might make it outside tomorrow 😉

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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18 Responses to Six on Saturday – Mush, murk and muck!

  1. fredgardener says:

    My sister has had a Sansevieria which flowers every year for 3 years now. She gave me a cutting 2 years ago and I hope mine will flower soon. It’s original even if it doesn’t have much interest but I think there is an interesting scent.
    About your unknown plant, don’t you think it could be a Beaucarnea? It looks like.
    Very pretty lemon tree that looks perfectly healthy! You will soon be able to eat them – I think they look ripe to me

  2. As Fred mentioned above, there is a nice scent to the Sanseveria flower. When mine flowered years ago it surprised me as it did you and the scent was especially surprising.

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Give the Snake Plant’s flower a chance… the buds uncurl into 1/2″ stars, reminiscent of witch hazel, but thinner petals. I love the pink cyclamen… I’ve thought of planting some, but I don’t need to fight deer… they get enough as it is. 😦 What will you use the lemons for? Every day or something special like curd?

    • I think that I’ve been jumping the gun on whether my sansevieria smells or not. I’ve just checked again and you are right that the flowers haven’t opened yet. What I thought were tiny white petals were just protective scales I now think.
      Re the deer … yes agreed. In winter it becomes even more obvious that we are just providing the high-end, tender bit of their diet!
      Curd sounds like a wonderful idea 🙂

  4. shoreacres says:

    I love anything lemon, and those are beauties. I’d be torn between just admiring them and eating them, although after a certain point they’d be past admiring. I had no idea Sanseveria flowers. I suppose if I’d thought about it, I might have come to that conclusion, but it’s ever so much more fun to learn about it by seeing yours.

    • It is going to be hard to pick those lemons I admit. It would be easier to take them off gradually, so as to lessen the shock of a bare plant, but I agree with Eliza that lemon curd would show the right degree of respect! Hopefully I should start to see new flowers forming fairly soon.

  5. Cathy says:

    I really enjoyed reading your varied six, Allison – didn’t have time to do my own this week! And if life gives you lemons, making lemon curd is definitely the thing to do!

  6. Chloris says:

    A nice mixed bag of 6. I didn’t know that Sanseveiria would bloom. Yes, scale is a big problem with keeping citrus plants inside in winter. Good luck with your new lemon. I am fascinated by your mystery plant.

    • Thanks Liz. I hope that the mystery plant reveals it’s true colours/leaves this year, but I am now fairly confident in the Buddha Belly ID as I found a picture that looks identical to mine. I put a link to that in my comment to Fred.

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