It’s a year ago today that I posted my first ever contribution to the Six on Saturday online gardening link up. It’s been a wonderful way to interact with fellow gardeners from all over the world and a good excuse, if one is needed, to get out in the garden and see what’s looking good or interesting.
I’ve loved seeing what everyone else is growing. The friendliness of the gardening community is something to be cherished, be it online or in person – a story encapsulated in my first picture.
If you want to read other contributions to the Six on Saturday link up of gardeners click here to go to the page of host The Propagator.
Pass it on
This picture was taken just over a week ago so strictly speaking shouldn’t be included but I hope you’ll indulge me this once. This exceedingly pretty crocus heuffelianus ‘shock wave’ was given to me by my friend ‘Mr Snowdrop’ who I’ve written about for the Alpine Garden Society here and also several times in Six on Saturday posts. Mr Snowdrop died a couple of weeks ago. He was elderly but in the short months I knew him encouraged me so much in my gardening enterprises.
At his memorial service this week, the address remembered his infectious enthusiasm for many hobbies and for his unstinting kindness.
A story was told about him offering a lift home to a man who was more than a little tipsy. The man thanked him and offered to pay for his petrol to which Mr Snowdrop replied simply “Pass it on”. The man was confused and asked what he meant by that and Mr Snowdrop replied – “Pass it on – the kindness”.
Through Mr Snowdrop I have met new friends in my local area who are keen gardeners. His gifts to me of friends, plants and knowledge live on. He truly did pass it on.
My birthday was last week. My parents in law gave me a birthday card with some money in it. I was thrilled as it gave me the excuse to go plant shopping.
I went on Wednesday to a large local nursery which stocks many lovely shrubs. You can wander around the poly tunnels and marvel at the rows and rows of plants. Of course at this time of year, many of the pots don’t look much and I’m not particularly knowledgeable about shrubs. I took time to look closely at the labels and the potential of each one began to come clear. In some cases a quick search on the smart phone proved useful.
I have to admit that as a group, they currently look a bit supermarket car park but each one has the potential to wow and I’ll be sure to share some pictures when they are ready to show off.
My new collection includes a small Daphne x transatlantica ‘Eternal fragance’, a Crinodendron hookerianum or Lantern Tree, a Ceratostigma griffithii or hardy plumbago and a Drimys aromatica.
This is where most of the new shrubs will be going, a bed cut along the new wall built last year as part of last year’s greenhouse project. The soil is fairly typical of my garden – a pretty good loam with some clay and huge chunks of flint.
I think my shrubs will be happy here.
In one of my first Six on Saturday posts I wrote about a fabulous shrub called Edgeworthia which I noticed at RHS gardens Wisley. I was keen to buy one back then and this week I ticked it off my wish list.
Winter flowering shrubs really are to be treasured and this one not only has pretty flowers but also a honeyed scent. When I was young my mother often made a rich buttery rice pudding and the colours in this Edgeworthia flower remind me of her tasty pud.
I bought these Epiphyllum plants from The Cactus Shop in Devon last year and they’ve grown very well, with lots of new shoots. Reading up on them, I learned that they are often grown in hanging baskets. I can now see why – they have almost doubled in size. Until last week they were up on a high shelf in my greenhouse but they’re now hung up higher still. So high in fact that one of them is on a pulley so that I can lower it for watering.
Another stunning Iris pot
Two weeks ago I shared pictures of an Iris called ‘Katharine’s Gold’. This week, this Iris reticulata ‘Scentsational’ is looking lovely. As the name suggests it is scented.
Iris reticulata are very easy to grow in pots when planted up in autumn but they can also be grown in the ground or as here in grass. These I found on a dog walk at Hughenden Manor near High Wycombe a welcome splash of colour on a woodland walk.