Six on Saturday 27th February

Good morning and Happy Weekend! It is, of course, time for another Six on Saturday. This week I present a varied selection, from the popular to the obscure. The Propagator will be hosting an even more varied selection of Sixes, for perusal at your leisure. Without further ado:

1. Crowd Pleaser

Six on Saturday tete-a-tete

Here’s a bunch of cheerful Tête-à-têtes. I remember reading somewhere that this single cultivar accounts for 90% of all commercially grown Narcissus. I can’t find anything to confirm that now, but I can well believe it. I can also understand why – it’s a rather jolly presence that arrives with such vim and vigour, before Daffodil-fatigue sets in later in the season.

2. Corydalis heterocarpa

Six on Saturday corydalis heterocarpa

While we’re on the subject of yellow, Corydalis heterocarpa is just gearing up for it’s own flaxen display. I’m really surprised at how well this has come through the winter. With such lush foliage, it looks like it ought to die back. Instead, it’s just carried on; a tremendous mound of green through snow and ice. Not that I’m complaining!

3. Corydalis glaucescens ‘Early Beauty’

Corydalis glaucescens

This little chap is doing much better than it has in past years. It featured in a previous Six on Saturday as a promising little shoot, and has now delivered on that promise. It isn’t flowering particularly profusely, but it’s a charming presence all the same. The photo doesn’t quite capture it: it has a hint of red that streaks down the side of the flower.

4. ‘Beth Evans’

six on saturday Corydalis solida Beth Evans

This is my Corydalis solida ‘Beth Evans’. I say ‘my’ because of a discussion with Jim over at Garden Ruminations last week. The gist of the conversation was about whether ‘Beth Evans’ is a single clone, or whether it has become muddled up with other pink flowered seedlings. During the week I’ve been looking into it a little further and came across an article by Ian Young in the International Rock Gardener (the Scottish Rock Garden Club’s online offering which has recently been indexed, making it possible to find all sorts of useful information). He seems to think that both ‘Beth Evans’ and ‘George Baker’ have become mixed up with other similar coloured seedlings. Interestingly, his ‘Beth Evans’ didn’t seem to provides viable seeds, meaning if yours does, it probably isn’t the original ‘Beth Evans’. I wonder whether both cultivars might now best be described as seed strains. Regardless, it’s a fascinating article. I notice that he also grows his Corydalis in submerged lattice pots. That made me feel rather clever.

5. Flora of the Silk Road

flora of the Silk Road

I’ve just received a copy of Flora of the Silk Road (by Christopher and Basak Gardner). It was on my list on the recommendation of Noelle, and when I saw it again at The Tea Break Gardener I took it as a sign that I shouldn’t wait any longer. It has more than lived up to expectation. In summary: the photos are the perfect mix between close ups that show the detail of the flower, and wider shots that illustrate the environment they are found in. The text is relatively sparse but very informative and precise. If you’re in a browsing mood you can look at the pretty pictures; if you’re in an intellectual mood you can read it with the atlas open on one side, and a stack of garden reference books on the other. Preferably with a glass of beer – the three Bs: Beer, Botany, Books.

6. Dactylicapnos torulosa

dactylicapnos torulosa

This merry pot of seedlings illustrates the ups and downs that we all submit ourselves to, as gardeners. Dactylicapnos torulosa is a climbing annual, which used to be included under the genus Dicentra. I sowed the seeds fresh last autumn and was pleased to see a few seedlings pop up almost immediately. Then they all got a bit too cold and gave up the ghost. Thinking that all was lost, I was less than pleased. This week a horde of seedlings emerged, making me pleased again. They were obviously the clever ones, patiently waiting for the opportune moment.

That’s it for this week’s Six on Saturday. If you require more Sixes, you can find them here. The weather forecast is quite promising for this weekend, so I hope you can get out and enjoy it. Thanks for popping by, and see you soon!

21 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 27th February”

  1. I never get daffodil fatigue – unless you mean daffodil foliage fatigue, lasting into May or June, in which case yes! That looks like a great book, one for the wish list. I guess it covers all the Silk Road countries? My Dad lived in Turkmenistan for a while, a very interesting, if odd, place.

    1. Yes, I think it’s the bedraggled remains of the daffs that get a bit trying after a while!

      The book starts off in Turkey (where the authors now live) and makes it’s way across the continent as the book goes on. That’s an interesting connection – not many people have much of an awareness of the Central Asian countries. I’m afraid the book itself doesn’t have anything from Turkmenistan directly. The closest section would be from the Golestan National Park in Iran which I think just borders on Turkmenistan. The next bit passes straight onto Uzbekistan.

  2. I think most of the daffs in my garden are Tête-à-tête, primarily because they’re not easily toppled by the wind and rain. That was an interesting read regarding ‘Beth Evans.’ I’m glad your Dactylicapnos torulosa seedlings have done good.

    1. If think you’re right about the tete-a-tetes. They’re probably helped by being quite short, so they don’t suffer from the worst of the weather.

      Me too (about the seedlings)! It’s quite an interesting plant, so it would have been a shame to lose it.

  3. Great book that! ‘Tete-a-Tete’ is everywhere here also and Mary picked a few of the double-flowered ‘Tete-a-Tete’ this morning and they are very nice.

  4. Tetes-à-tetes are so charming at the start of the season that you shouldn’t go without! Great Six .

  5. James Stephens

    Really interesting read about Corydalis solida and its seedlings. Just makes me want to grow more of them. Tete a tete owes its quality to good parents, N. cyclamineus x N. Soleil d’Or. I just sowed Dactylicapnos torulosa; bought seed, I might get lucky.

    1. Good to know about Tete a tete. That does explain why I sometimes see it described as N. cyclamineus ‘Tete-a-tete’ (although not quite correct).

      I haven’t found D. torulosa too tricky in general. It’s an interesting plant and will probably grow slightly better for you than it does for me, with your milder climate (and possibly wetter too?).

  6. I think my small daffodil must be Tete-a-tete too. Very pretty it is. I do enjoy seeing all these different Corydalis. If I can find room, they will be next on my list.

  7. That for the links, and just amazed at all the tipbits spilling out from your conversations with Jim. So much to keep us going during the week too.

    1. The SRGC Bulb Logs and International Rock Gardener archives are pretty extensive and really interesting. Well worth exploring! Thanks for the book recommendation 🙂

  8. What a lovely surprise when something you’ve give up on emerges (or reemerges) unexpectedly. The Silk Road book looks lovely – I’ll have to see if I can acquire a copy.

    1. Yes – it can be worth hanging on to seed pots. With some of the Corydalis, I’ve had them pop up a couple of years after they’ve been sown! The book isn’t the cheapest, but it’s well worth the money 🙂

  9. I enjoyed learning more about corydalis plants.
    The Silk Road book looks desirable and fascinating. I’m a fan of species tulips from that area and the ones I’ve planted seem to be doing well so far, although we’ve had quite a wet summer, so I’ll have to wait and see if they reappear next spring.

    1. There’s lots of tulips in there. Irises are another plant which feature heavily – some really weird and wonderful species! I hope your tulips pull through – I only have a couple of species, but they’re such beautiful plants.

  10. So now I’m wondering if my George Baker just rearing his head in the woodland area is indeed George Baker. The IRG is indeed a great source of information on these things but my head can’t really cope with the taxonomical twists and turns. I read something about clones and the crocus heufallianus I shared on my blog this week and brain fog descended. I’m loving all the corydalis you’re sharing with us. Would you recommend the heterocarpa and ‘Early Beauty’ for a woodland setting?

    1. Who knows! I think the main thing is that George Baker and Beth Evans were the first C. solida cultivars with strong red and pink (respectively) colouring that did well in the UK. As long as yours is a good red colour and grows well, that’s probably good enough!

      The taxonomy certainly does become a bit of a head ache at times. All of these names and classifications are of course only for our benefit, the plants themselves don’t always seem keen on complying with our systems!

      C. heterocarpa does well in a woodland setting – that’s where I grow it. At the moment it gets lots of sun, but when the oak tree next door comes in to leaf it’s pretty shady. It’s only short lived but grows very well from seed.

      C. glaucescens ‘Early Beauty’ likes a bit more sun (and dry) in the summer so possibly not so much. Most of the solida cultivars would be ok though.

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