Six on Saturday 1st May

Goodness gracious, it’s Six on Saturday time again! The main event of the week has been the arrival of some rain. It’s slowly starting to re-saturate the completely parched soil, and we’re in for plenty more rain over the next week. The Propagator will be hosting many more people who comment obsessively on the weather, and occasionally plants too. Here we go:

1. Phlox subulata

Six on Saturday phlox subulata

Last Sunday, we took the rather drastic decision to tidy up the patio. It had a good old sweep, and various things were re-arranged. Hopefully, the slightly altered layout will allow us to appreciate the Rockery/Owl-pine garden a little more, as it was rather obscured previously. One of the more pleasing features of this little area is the Phlox. It is slowly creeping over the slabs; softening the edges without being too rudely behaved. In the background on the left you can just about make out another cultivar, although the one featured above is a bit more healthy looking.

2. French Lavender (Lavendula stoechas)

Six on Saturday French lavende

While we were tidying up, I noticed that this little chap was in full flower. I wish I had been a bit more stringent when I cut it back last year, as it looks a little on the leggy side now. I find that they have such a long flowering season, there’s never a good time to cut them back. I’d prefer to keep a bit of protection on it over the winter, so I don’t want to cut it back too much in the autumn, then before you know it, it’s back in flower again.

Anyway, I think they make excellent pot plants. They don’t seem to need much fuss and are much tougher than they look.

3. Oxalis enneaphylla Rosea

Oxalis enneaphylla

This is a similar looking chap to ‘Slacks Peacock’, which featured last week. However, it’s a little paler in colour, the leaves are smaller, and it’s a touch later to grow and flower. I would assume it is one of the parents of ‘Slacks Peacock’, but that’s a guess on my part. All things considered, it’s a cheerful little soul.

It’s in a 5 inch terracotta pot, about 50:50 grit to compost, topped with some more grit. I seem to have an unlimited supply of terracotta pots, courtesy of a lady I work for who was having a clear out. Terracotta ages very gracefully, so having old pots freely available is a good situation to be in!

4. Corydalis vittae

Six on Saturday Corydalis vittae

A lovely, pure white Corydalis. I hadn’t realised it hasn’t yet appeared in a Six on Saturday – how remiss of me. It’s a very late flowerer: most of the tuberous Corydalis are going to seed, and some have completely died back now. C. vittae is so late to appear that I always think it’s had it’s chips. When it does finally rear it’s head, it flowers for longer than most of it’s relatives. It’s quite a diminutive little thing, but the bright white flowers mean it stands out well from a distance anyway.

5. Corydalis flexuosa ‘Purple Leaf’

A very fine cultivar of Corydalis flexuosa. It’s been behaving rather strangely this year: it sent out some flower shoots very early, but they obviously didn’t cope too well with the weather. As a result they’ve headed out sideways. There’s some fresh new growth, and flower shoots, coming up from the centre of the plant, which will hopefully help it to look a bit more normal again. I tried to get a picture of the whole plant, bit it was very windy and they all came out blurry. Another time!

6. Cyclamen purpurescens

Six on Saturday Cyclamen purpurescens

If you grow any Cyclamen, you’ll know how their seed heads curl up into a little coil. Cyclamen purpurescens has really taken this to heart: practically burying the seed pods with it’s enthusiastic coiling. I notice one of the corms in this pot has pushed itself to the surface. In fact, I thought there was only one corm in there so I’m not really sure what the little devils are up to.

That’s all for this week’s Six on Saturday. If you’re feeling like you need a bit more Six on Saturday, you should be able to satisfy your appetites over at The Propagator’s blog. Enjoy your weekend!

27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 1st May”

    1. I think we’re all of us gardeners are on the verge of a weather-related breakdown this year. The weather seems even more unpredictable than usual!

  1. Looks like a good tidy up will have earnt you a gold star this week. Maybe you may also have a few moments to sit and admire your handiwork. Lovely oxalis.

    1. As one might expect, since we’ve tidied the place up, it’s been cold and overcast. Hopefully we’ll have some sitting-out weather soon!

  2. As I did some work in my garden this winter, I had to move a lavender (Lavendula stoechas) but unfortunately it didn’t appreciate the change… I had been growing it for several years (6 or 8 years maybe) and I will have to buy a new one because I obviously love this fragrance (and bees too)

  3. Morning, Jim. I like the lavender! Agree with you that it’s a great one for a pot.
    Some rain here during the week as well, but more needed.

    1. Yes, despite the rain, the soil is still pretty dusty and dry. I’ll forgive the naming error at that early hour 😉 Luckily I answer to pretty much anything!

      1. Sorry about that Tom  Andrew. I’ve always put it that you can call me anything, but If I owe you money you better get it right to get your money!

  4. Of all the cyclamen, C. purpurascens is my favourite since I was given a few corms by a gardener in Italy – so, they have a certain provenance but have also performed wonderfully in the garden, coming in well before C. hederifolium.

    1. Yes, it’s one of my favourites too. I keep meaning to put one or two in the garden, but can never decide on a spot. For now they sit in their pots!

  5. I’m always afraid of cutting my lavender back too hard. I lost my one and only French Lavender years ago and after seeing yours I really must give it another go. It seems to flower a lot earlier than the other varieties.

    1. The French Lavenders do flower nice and early, and repeat flower too. I think I prefer the smell of English Lavender though. The only answer is to have both!

  6. Because of you I am becoming a little bit obsessed with the little oxalis, perhaps I will try one in a pot when we get settle wherever we end up! Love the phlox too, do you tiptoe around it, or will it take a step or two?

    1. They’re lovely little things aren’t they? I’ve acquired a few more this year – completely different leaves, and flowering later in the year. We’ll see how they turn out!

      Personally, I tread carefully around the Phlox, but I can almost guarantee that my children have trampled on it, so I assume it can take a bit of abuse!

  7. That’s a characterful little spot you’ve got on the patio, not just the pretty phlox, but the owl and teapot in the background, a vaguely tea party theme? I am embarrassed to say that I killed my french lavender, which was a gift, even worse – I find they need a lot of watering in hot weather when in pots and I was not attentive enough. Must try again as they are lovely plants.

    1. Thanks, it’s a little eccentric. There are more owls and teapots scattered around it. I can’t really explain why!

      If you do try French Lavender in pots again, try a nice deep pot. I put a couple in deep pots at my nan’s and they’re doing really well. They only get watered once a week, when I pop round, even if it’s very hot and dry.

  8. The corkscrew cyclamen curls are completely new to me. What a wonderful and incomprehensible way to emerge from the soil! I couldn’t agree more re terracotta and lavenders are a staple here because of their toughness and drought tolerance.

    1. I believe the thinking is that the seed pods are brought lower to the ground, where they get carried off by ants (which are attracted to the the seed coating). As far as I know, most cyclamen do this, with the exception of C. persicum (they’re the sort you often get at florist shops). Having said all that, I don’t know if people grow much in the way of cyclamen where you live?

      Yes, lavenders are tough old things!

  9. I laughed at your opening comment as I find it quite difficult to start a post without mentioning the weather! Glad you’ve received rain.
    I found my species tulip seed heads behaved in a similar way to your cyclamen seeds and also buried themselves in the soil. I was rather pleased as it was a way of seeding with no effort from me.
    I think your oxalis is such a pretty thing. The only oxalis I know is a weed.

    1. I know, I always make reference to the weather at some point; in conversations too!

      That’s interesting about the tulips. As you say, it’s a low maintenance way of gardening!

      I’ve had a couple of Oxalis for a while, but I’ve become a bit more interested in them this year. They’re a varied bunch. Wood sorrel would be a good example of one that spreads! I’ve also got a couple that look completely different again – they’re quite tall, with more lush foliage. I have no idea what the flowers will look like!

  10. I had no idea that cyclamens did that funny thing with their seedheads but it may explain how mine seemed to come back from the dead. I’m glad of it!

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