Six on Saturday 3rd April

Once again, The Propagator leads us headlong into another Six on Saturday. As an Easter Treat, I’m replacing the first item on my list with a video. I hope you can forgive me for starting in such a contrary manner…

1. A Video Introduction

Well that was jolly.

2. Alpine Garden Society – Rock Plants in Flower Competition

Last week the Alpine Garden Society ran a wee photographic competition on Twitter. I’m not usually the competitive type, but it seemed like a fun, low profile sort of thing so I entered the photos shown above. I didn’t win any prizes, however the photo of C. heterocarpa featured in a selection of photos that ‘showed great artistic merit’. Funnily enough, I didn’t really think much of that particular photo; there’s no accounting for taste! The winner of one of the categories was a fine specimen of C. solida, and Corydalis photos featured several times in the ‘highly commended’ and ‘artistic merit’ galleries (including one particularly eye-catching C. sewerzowii). Also of note: regular Six on Saturday contributor Katherine, of Tea Break Gardener fame, had a photo in there somewhere too. All good fun!

3. A New Cold Frame

Six on Saturday cold frame

This is a cold frame of the most rudimentary and functional variety. I came into some old double glazing units so it made sense to try and make use of them. I believe that double glazing filters out some of UV spectrum, but it still achieves the main aim of a cold frame. The edges are made from some pieces of wood I acquired some time ago. I think they were old roof rafters, or something similar; they were over 20 foot long and I had to cut them in half to fit on the top of the van. Anyway, they’ve come in useful for various bits and bobs, and now I’ve used the last few. The glass is just rested on top (they’re heavy enough to hold themselves in place), and propped open with bricks where needed. You can see the shoots of Dactylicapnos macrocapnos planted in there, ready to climb up wires on the fence. D. scandens and torulosa are planted elsewhere along the length of the cold frame.

You can also see the bright orange replacement fence panel, which keeps ruining the background of various other photos (!), and the bits of paint seeping through where next door has made the interesting decision to paint all their side black.

4. Alliums

Six on Saturday alliums

This is a bit of an experiment. I find that Alliums tend to dwindle in number over the years, so I’ve been letting them seed around in this little patch. It seems to be paying off: there are some seedlings, some flowering size plants and everything in-between. I find that self sown bulbs often do well because they’ve chosen their own position and the bulbs grow at the exact depth that they choose. When we plant bulbs ourselves, it’s only ever an approximation of their preferred position.

5. Sollya heterophylla ‘Alba’

This is a beautiful, but unfortunately ex-, climber. It was planted in the full knowledge that it isn’t fully hardy, but it had come through several winters and was filling me with false hope. I think it’s been the cold winds that have done the damage, more than the sub-zero temperatures. Having said all of that, there are a few green leaves near the base of the plant, so there’s still a chance that it might pull through.

6. Dicentras

Dicentra season is upon us! Here are some highlights to whet your appetite. ‘Moorland Mist’ is the first to flower this year (not surprising – it featured in a previous Six on Saturday for it’s early emerging leaves). It’s a delicate looking thing, but quite robust in habit. Next along is ‘Filigree’, an interesting cultivar with very finely divided leaves. So fine, in fact, that the autofocus on the camera couldn’t pick it up! Finally, the very nearly in flower ‘Bacchanal’. This has been one of the strongest performing formosa cultivars I have; nicely coloured, red flowers and a tough disposition.

Thus ends this weeks Six on Saturday. There are many more such posts over at The Propagator, so why not head over and take a look? Hopefully the weather won’t prevent you from getting out in the garden over the next few days. Regardless, enjoy the Easter weekend!

23 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 3rd April”

  1. Please, please, please show Griffin every week, I love him! Sorry the Sollya didn’t make it, but we have to push the boundaries sometimes or it wouldn’t be such fun. Now Mr KH, I have trouble keeping Bacchanal (and spelling it) is it just me or is it a tricky one. Lovely corydalis photos, and lovely to spot an SoS friend. Have a happy Easter.

    1. I’ll see what I can do – he’s a bit misanthropic, so he might not take too kindly to the attention! Usually he’s head butting the boots because my feet are in them, but I managed to deceive him on this occasion. Interestingly, it’s only me he attacks!

      When it comes to Dicentras, they can be pretty fickle (‘Luxuriant’ is one that I just can’t seem to grow). Also, there’s a lot of confusion about names due to them being raised from seeds: my ‘Bacchanal’ might well be a different thing to the one you’ve been growing. Anyway, the particular strain I grow is pretty tough – I can’t imagine it not thriving elsewhere. Dicentra cultivars are a bit of a mess, in my humble opinion!

  2. Beautiful shots of the Corydalis, especially Corydalis malkensis. Since reading your SoSs I’ve become far more aware of these plants and spotted a lot at Hestercombe earlier in the week, growing in the walls of the garden. Does Griffin have his own Twitter account? Asking for a friend.

    1. Thanks, I was pleased with the malkensis photo – it really captures the shape of the flower.

      He doesn’t currently participate in social media, but perhaps that needs to be rectified! If feel like his slightly grumpy demeanour and sharp wit might lend itself to Twitter.

    1. The bi-coloured flowers are really lovely. I’ve had a couple of seedlings crop up this year that show some promise, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes up in the future!

  3. Superb photos of these different corydalis with this Bokeh effect ! 👍🏻
    Happy Easter to you and yours, Andrew

  4. I assume the video stopped when Griffin caught you…..he was certainly picking up speed. Cold frames seem to be “in the frame” this week, not something I have had for many years. Lovely corydalis again.

  5. How lucky you are to have Griffin in your garden? Does he like Corydalis? 😉 Perhaps the rustic cold frame will keep them safe, great work. Also your photos of Corydalis are super, or of ‘artistic merit’ if you prefer!

    1. He doesn’t eat Corydalis, but when he decides he’s going to spend an afternoon head butting me, nothing stands in his way. If I’m standing behind some plants, he’ll trample straight over them to get to me. I’m thinking of fencing off one half of the garden to keep my plants safe!

  6. I saw the competition was on and I am very happy to be the audience. Very engaging tortoise, and I hope you were wearing some other boots or you may have had a rather ****** soundtrack to the video. Dicentra Bacchanal looks good.

    1. I was rather riskily going barefoot at the time of filming. Interestingly, he doesn’t bite or head butt me unless I’m wearing shoes. It’s a very strange situation!

  7. Good luck to all your surviving plants! And surviving green leaves are always a good sign. I’ll be crossing my fingers and hoping it pulls through.
    Which plant are you most excited to get started next?

    1. Hmm, good question. I’m looking forward to seeing how a few of the dicentra seedlings turn out. Most of them come out looking like their parents, but there are usually a few interesting things that turn up!

  8. Sorry your Sollya has been hit by the low temperatures. I hope it pulls through. It was great to see your tortoise – we used to have one when I was a kid (as did lots of us I think).
    The Dicentra Bacchanal looks great. I hope you feature it when it really gets going.

    1. Thanks! At the rate it’s going, Bacchanal will be in full flower before too long. Once they get going, they don’t hang around!

    2. Saddened by your vine news, but green leaves near the bottom sounds promising. Hoping regeneration occurs. Inspired by your reuse of materials in the construction of your cold frame. As a bulb novice, I appreciated your explanation of the advantages of self-seeding, including allowing the plant to find its own ideal situation as well as succession. Makes sense.

  9. Jim Stephens

    Dicentra formosa in all its forms except one white one, possibly ‘Langtrees’ have been banished from my garden for being too thuggish and producing loads of seedlings that all end up looking the same. It seems churlish to complain about a really nice plant growing too well but there you have it. The RCM Group have a photo competition going but it doesn’t close until June so any results will be way after the season is over. I might just have a few Camellia shots lined up.

    1. I have to say, I wouldn’t grow any of them with anything particularly delicate – they need a bit of room to roam around. Having said that, the exploratory roots are very close to the surface, so can be removed pretty easily. Langtrees is a nice one. Similar to our previous conversation about Corydalis solida, I’m not sure how much faith I have in some of the cultivar names, so I’m in the process of trying to source and compare similar cultivars (such as Langtrees and Aurora). I’m sure I’ll write about it at some point in the future!

      I’m sure you’ll do well with your photos, you’ve put some great shots on your blog.

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