Six on Saturday 23/03/19

We’re in (so far) sunny Belfast this weekend where gardens seem to be at the pretty much the same stage as at home despite the fact that there was some snow here very recently. I thought the plants might be a bit behind being a bit further north. One difference I’ve noticed though is how many Berberis there are here and all looking so beautiful at the moment. I used to have a couple but got so fed up with the sawflies defoliating them that I finally gave up and dug the last one out last year. Maybe the sawflies haven’t got this far north?

Here’s a quick six from my garden which, thankfully, has had some time to recover from the recent storms and high winds and is looking very much like Spring has arrived.

1. One of my Sixes last week showed the new x Fatshedera lizei that I’ve planted to replace a Griselinia littoralis. Many years ago there was an Epimedium in the same bed but it had gradually disappeared. Since clearing this little bed these two flower stems have shot up! I can’t remember the variety but may be able to identify it when the flowers open.

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2. My soil is very alkaline so acid lovers need to be grown in pots. One exception is this Pieris japonica ‘Forest Flame’. I got fed up with watering pots so, many years ago, dug a very deep hole, punched holes in the bottom of a large bag of ericacious compost which I then buried in the hole and transplanted the Pieris. It’s thrived, although the original compost must be long depleted but I do top dress it each year. It grows by an Amelanchier so is rather one sided but looks beautiful at the moment. Needless to say my resolution not to have so many pots has long been broken.

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3. The Euphorbias are starting to flower. Along with many other plants I’ve lost track of the variety.

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4. My dad used to grow a small patch of Fritillaria meleagris and when I was sorting his garden after he died I transplanted a few to mine. They come up every year but don’t increase as I don’t have an area damp enough for them in my garden. Annoyingly, cats seem to like scratching and digging here and a few have met a sad end this year.

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5. I managed to spend a couple of hours in the glasshouse this week, mostly potting things on. I bought some Zantedeschia aethiopica rhizomes (according to Google) last year and they made a good contribution to the patio display. I dried the pots out as the foliage died down in the autumn and they’ve been in the glasshouse all winter. I tipped the pots out the other day and found lots of reasonable sized rhizomes with new growth points and roots. This one is ‘Mango’ and they’re larger than they look here. The pot saucer is for a large pot.

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6. There’s not a lot of room left in the glasshouse and I’m launching into major seed sowing after Belfast so need to clear the staging of some of the overwintering Fuchsias etc. The Non-Gardener put up the temporary seedtray staging that he built last year and I’m going to stand some of the smaller pots in the trays until they’re needed for the transplanted seedlings. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start hardening some things off by the time I need the trays.

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Phew, this is a very late Six but it’s still Saturday. Don’t forget to check out all the other Sixes at

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

7 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 23/03/19”

    1. I wanted a bigger glasshouse but couldn’t afford one so placed an advert in the local paper several years ago. The Non-Gardener suggested that I go for 8′ by 10′ but I must have mis-heard as the advert said 8′ by 12′! I was really lucky to get this one. We had to replace some of the glass but the total cost was a fraction of a new one.

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  1. I think the ‘Forest Flame’ is tolerant. I also grow one here and my soil is rather clay but it doesn’t matter. It grows very well and flowers like yours. Maybe other varieties of Pieris prefer acid soil …? To compensate for the lack of acid soil, I often add a 40-liter acid potting soil bag during planting and that’s enough.
    Did your Zantedeschia flower last summer? what color? I don’t remember but I also planted bulbs last week.

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    1. I think you’re right about the Pieris varieties Fred. The Zantedeschias flowered well last year. Mango was absolutely the colour of mango flesh, another was called Red Charm with lovely dark red flowers. I also had a third one ( I’ll need to look up it’s name) that didn’t flower. Hopefully this year!

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  2. Admiring your greenhouse setup. It’s all straight and everything! Very neat and tidy. I am fast running out of flat surfaces to stash potted on plants. I need to start hardening off some of the hardier plants.

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