Six on Saturday 20th February

Good morning and welcome to another Six on Saturday. Before you take your pew, why not light a candle at the altar of St Propagator, perhaps stopping at the Six Stations of Saturday on the way? I feel my metaphors are getting a little out of hand, so perhaps I’d better move on…

1. Peas!

six on saturday Peas

Well, I feel this is fairly self explanatory. After experimenting with a few different ways of growing them, I’ve settled for sowing them in modules at the start of January. I give them a bit of heat to germinate, then sit them in the unheated greenhouse ’til they look as per the above photo. I’ll plant them on the allotment as soon as I get a chance.

2. Botany 101

six on saturday corydalis

Here are a few cultivars of Corydalis solida looking rather verdant and grateful for some milder weather. I’ve been teaching my daughter the important botanical technique of Pointing At Things. She’s got some way to go, but she’s getting there.

3. Corydalis paczoskii

This plant featured a couple of weeks ago. It’s made slow progress during the cold weather but has made up for it over the last week. I don’t remember it being quite so early in previous years, but this time round it’s the first to be in full flower. Not easy to pronounce, but easy to grow!

4. Seedlings

Now that I look at the photo, it doesn’t show quite as much as I thought it did. At the front are the Corydalis and Lamprocapnos seedlings that have already featured. The interesting stuff is at the back and out of focus: some Dicentra seedlings and Corydalis cheilanthifolia and tomentella. Never mind, there’s always next week!

5. Corydalis petrophila

I forgot to include this picture last week, so here it is. I’m growing it from seed I bought from the excellent Growild Nursery (leave your credit card with a responsible adult before you browse their catalogue). It’s not yet a year old, so hasn’t flowered yet, but quite frankly it’s worth growing for the leaves alone.

6. Ceratocapnos claviculata

This time last year I was on a rather wet holiday, with the family, in Shropshire. We usually go away in February half term, but this year we’ll have to make do with previous years’ photos. While we were away, we took a stroll around the restored bog at Whixall Moss. We had a squelchy time. More importantly, I found masses of Ceratocapnos claviculata; a close relative of Corydalis and Dicentra that is native to this green and pleasant land. Here it is in it’s happy place: scrambling up the previous year’s bracken stems and generally having a whale of time.

And so ends today’s Six on Saturday. After several attempts to finish with the same metaphor I started with, each one more potentially offensive than the last, I think I’d better simply say goodbye and see you next time! Don’t forget to take a look at some other Six on Saturday posts.

27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 20th February”

  1. Your daughter is a natural in the pointing department, very impressive! Also impressive are your peas, they look so healthy and sturdy. I will never get tired of looking at germinated seeds, is that weird? Possibly. Have a great week. 🙂

    1. I’ll pass your compliments on to her.

      I don’t think that’s weird, or it might be weird and I suffer from the same affliction!

  2. I do like the unpronounceable Corydalis – to my untrained eye it looks like quite an unusual colour but then I have only grown the blue ones bought as a plant and probably killed off – only time will tell.

    1. It’s nice isn’t it? The early Corydalis have quite a big range of colours (there’ll probably be lots more over the next few week’s SoS).

  3. The botanical technique of pointing at things made me chuckle. The leaves of the Corydalis petrophila are very pretty. I’d forgotten just how wet it was this time last year; I had a nightmarish train journey to North Wales and back, having to take a different route after flooding along the South Wales/Hereford line.

    1. It’s as close as they’re allowed to get in that particular part of the garden!

      As wet as it is now, I think it was wetter last year!

  4. Gosh, those peas. What a wonderful crop that’s going to be when the time comes.
    I have a corydalis trying to grow in my garden, but I don’t think it’s very happy…. too hot.

    1. I hope so! I generally do pretty well with peas – the main problem is pea moth, but as long as I get them going nice and early I usually beat the caterpillars to it!

  5. Beautiful photos of corydalis and bravo for the peas! Mine are in the ground and are emerging now. Far behind yours in modules

    1. Thanks! I’ve got a lot to learn when it comes to photography, but I take a lot, then whittle them down to the good ones!

      I’ve had such inconsistent results with peas in the past, but I’ve found that pampering them a bit to get them going generally works well for me.

  6. I’m not sure how much better your daughter’s pointing skills have to be before you consider her fully qualified, I can’t fault her style. Anyway, those leaves on Number 5 are so unusual……very nice.

  7. Seeing your peas made me wonder whether I ought to show some new seeds the posh pots. I used a few loo roll tubes and there is some mold on them. Even the finger pointer person could do better than that, I am certain.

    1. Now that you mention it, the peas were sown (under my watchful eye) by the younger one. Interestingly, he has more patience for seed sowing than the older one.

      I have sown them in loo rolls before as I’ve been told they don’t like having their roots disturbed by pulling them out of the pots etc. I’ve found it makes no difference!

  8. James Stephens

    Had to look up the native climbing corydalis which as far as I’m aware I’ve never seen. It is now my mission to find it down here if it is to be found, it looks very pretty in the book.

    1. I’ve seen it on a couple of occasions, but strangely, only in the winter. I think that’s because it comes into growth quite early, so it’s lush growth stands out on a dreary winter’s day.

      It not exactly common, but when I’ve seen it, it occurs in abundance.

  9. I do like seeing the wild version of garden plants growing in their natural habitats. Helps us to understand what ‘the right conditions’ are. I remember seeing masses of cyclamen growing wild on a rocky slope in Jordan, spectacular, not quite sure how I’ll recreate that in a town garden in Belgium though!

    Like the others, I have pea jealousy. I had better sow some quick.

    1. You’re so right – it can be very insightful. Having said that, some plants seem to unexpectedly thrive in conditions quite different to those of their natural distribution!

      There’s plenty of time for peas! I just get mine going early because later in the season they tend to get infested with pea moth caterpillars. An early crop is ready before the caterpillars are!

  10. Corydalis are such beautiful plants – I completely understand why you like them so much. I went out earlier and was excited to see my little G P Baker is sprouting in my woodland area. I look forward to seeing how your petrophila develops.

  11. I had always believed (because I read it somewhere and not for a good reason, like personal experience) that YOU SHOULD NEVER TRANSPLANT PEAS. I’m glad to know that you can because growing in plugs and then planting out seems to work much better for me in general.

    1. I’ve read the same! I as long as they get plenty of water, I find they don’t seem to mind at all. Funny how these ideas get passed around – even in gardening books.

      1. Christopher Lloyd writes about that in The Well Tempered Garden, saying that all garden writers are terrible plagiarists. He’s referring to a clematis that is always described as scented in every book he’s read, but it wasn’t.

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