This week’s Six on Saturday has been a challenge! I don’t know what the weather’s been like in your part of the world, but although officially, Storm Dennis is over, the wind has continued to blow and the clouds have continued to drop heaps of rain on us here, along with substantial amounts of sleet and hail.
I spent Wednesday morning in the greenhouse, potting on a few cuttings from last September and October. I stopped at lunchtime (read that as ‘I gave up’ at lunchtime – my feet and hands were freezing), and resigned myself to the fact that it was still too wet and cold to be trailing back & forth to the greenhouse. (That makes it sound as if it’s far away – it’s not).
That was the point that I thought I’d beat the weather and take some of the in-bloom potted plants into the house. Yes, I have to confess, they’ve not been photographed in the garden, they’ve been shot on my dining room table.
I lifted some of the old weathered slats from staging in the greenhouse, propped them up against an improvised support, and that became a rustic background. Actually, I rather enjoyed my afternoon in the pop-up studio.
Crocus ‘Cream Beauty’
I brought a small pot of Crocus ‘Cream Beauty’ indoors first. Poor little crocuses, soaked and a bit downtrodden with rain, and firmly closed. You might just see in the back of the clump that there’s a little purple interloper. I guess a wrong bulb managed to find its way into the packet.
But later in the warmth of the room, they started to open. I’m just annoyed that I forgot to take the plant label back out! 😐
Helleborus revisited: ‘Molly’s White’
This is Molly’s White, she’s tall and very graceful, but I really want to see her in the garden. I’m aiming to get her into her final planting pot on Saturday and then she can take her place near the house, where I can see her from the study and kitchen windows.
Helleborus Revisited: ‘Cheryl’s Shine’
Cheryl’s Shine is flowering well, she has plenty of buds and although she seems happy in the greenhouse, she’s an outdoor plant and the sooner she gets out there the better.
I’ve got to admit that I’m disappointed with this plant. It was delivered last weekend, and I expected to find it in bloom – or ready to bloom. Instead, it is just starting to show above the soil, and I doubt if I’ll see any flowers on it this year. It’s in a 5 litre pot, so I think it must be reasonably well established – the flowering time is given as blooming in winter through to early Spring.
The existing leaves are well-nibbled, and I assumed the culprit was the ugly black slug that was sitting on top of the pot when I unpacked it. However I’ve since read that slugs don’t like Hellebore leaves, I’ll have to inspect them a bit further.
I’ve popped it into the greenhouse this morning to see if I can bring it on a little bit faster, though I’m not sure if that’s a wise thing to do? I’m new to Hellebores, and have no idea of the rate of growth, perhaps it’ll surprise me yet. 🙂
They’re slowly starting to open, but still have a way to go. You can’t fail to love ‘Tête-à-tête’, they hold their own against the weather and are so delightfully bright and cheery. I usually have two pots on my front doorsteps, as a friendly welcome to visitors, but this year I decided that I’d prefer to be able to see them more often, and placed the containers at the back of the house. Maybe that was a selfish move? Perhaps I should pot up some more pots next autumn and put them on the front doorsteps. Now there’s an idea.
Being at the back of the house might explain the later opening, as the light is better at the south-facing front than the back. But they’re opening now, and bringing some bright yellow cheerfulness with them.
Finally, some of the cuttings that have just been potted up. These cuttings were taken mid-late September last year. I wasn’t sure that they would make it through the winter, but they seem to be doing fine.
On the other hand, the two in the Terracotta coloured pots were taken last July, with the September cutting in the black pot at the front. There’s a big difference in growth. It will be interesting to see if there’s any difference in the quality of the plants in summer, and whether there’s any great difference in flowering time.
ABOUT SIX ON SATURDAY
Six on Saturday is like a weekly journal. Take six photographs and post them to Twitter. You can get all the details from The Propagator who kindly set it all up. If you want to join in and see what everyone else is doing in the garden, just follow the link!
All photographs copyright of Catherine Wood unless otherwise stated.