Six on Saturday: Pretties

Despite a long list of tasks, I have not been able to get out and get any of them done today, which is a shame, but that’s how it is; Six on Saturday was therefore achieved  by a a brief photographic sojourn around the garden, picking out six of the pretties that are delighting me at the moment.

Above, in the Coop, is Hippeastrum ‘Alfresco’, now at its peak and with huge blooms that I still haven’t to take a tape measure to, but are definitely in the region of 8 or 9″ and the biggest I have ever seen on any hippeastrum here. Below is Rhododendron ‘Cheers’ (aka ‘Christmas Cheer’) which I though wasn’t going to flower this season, which can be anytime from November to April, but now has a dozen or so buds bursting open to show their frilly pink underwear:

Also in the woodland are the first of the fritillaries, F meleagris, which I am trying to build into larger colonies like the wood anemones, bluebells and wild garlic here. As other bloggers have found there is now a range of shades in evidence, from the typical plummy ones to the almost insipid whites and everything inbetween:

Over the years since I first  created the woodland and added the first woodland bulbs, I have been assisting the wood anemones to spread although they are quite adept at it themselves. There is now a veritable carpet of them but last year I planted numerous offshoots under the ivy at the bottom end and it is these that have emerged and started flowering first – perhaps it is not as dry here due to less tree cover?

On the rebuilt clematis colonnade the Clematis alpina are budding up and beginning to burst; surprisingly, 6 of the 8 survived the upheaval and 6 of the viticella too, leaving me to replace only two of each. I think they will appreciate the deeper soil of the slightly raised beds which will also be better for moisture retention. This deep purple-blue one is C alpina ‘Pamela Jackman’:

At the bottom of the garden, in the working greenhouse, are the ‘Winter Sunshine’ sweet peas, rapidly growing taller in the spring sunshine as temperatures and light levels rise; I was thrilled to find 3 or 4 buds appearing in the last week or two and wondered if we might see a March bloom this year; that now seems unlikely, but nevertheless I am not imagining the hint of colour of the in-focus bud in the background…

So that’s my Six Pretties on Saturday, and I am grateful to Jon The Propagator for providing the platform to do so – pop over to his blog to see his six and links to those of other bloggers

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26 Responses to Six on Saturday: Pretties

  1. Noelle says:

    I love your snakeshead fritillary…the patterns are amazing.

  2. Karen I love your flowers and like the photographs. The Hippeastrum “Alfresco” is a jewel. The Rhododendron “Cheers” I love its color and its shape even if it is not open at all. This F. meleagris, in the forest, is an authentic wonder: its watermarks that make up its color are fascinating. The forest and the very special and beautiful wood anemones that carpet it are a treasure. The Clematis alpine “Pamela Jackman” I love its shape and its blue color. I’m glad that the clematis losses have been moderate. The Sweet Peas “Winter Sunshine” “go full steam ahead” as Espronceda says, a Spanish poet and writer of the 19th century; the buds look beautiful. I have loved your flowers and your magnificent garden as always: enjoy it. Love, health and strength for your whole family and for you. Take care and rest. Loving greetings from Margarita.

  3. janesmudgeegarden says:

    The clematis alpine is a gorgeous colour and I do admire the fritillary- such an interesting pattern on the petals.

  4. Nice six. Everything is well advanced in your garden and to be close to having sweet peas must be wonderful.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Allison – they will flower be flowering prolifically by May and June but will then come out to make room for the tomatoes

  5. Very pretty pretties, particularly your modestly beautiful Clematis. I have a woodland patch which is currently overrun with celandine – I wonder if I could replace it with lovely anemones like yours.

    • Cathy says:

      Wood anemones are prettier and less thuggish – I would wage weedkiller war on the celandine if it was me as they are so hard to eradicate 😐

  6. Chloris says:

    It’s so frustrating if you can’t get out on a beautiful spring day. I love all your spring pretties. The wood anemones are early this year, I love them. Fritillaries seem to get their heads bitten off by pheasants here. But they are always left lying neatly alongside the plant. Such a pretty clematis and I am impressed by your sweet peas, they will be in a vase very soon I expect.

    • Cathy says:

      A minor indisposition put me in bed for much of the day – I don’t think I have ever slept as much! No pheasants have appeared in our garden so hopefully the fritillaries are safe. I love C alpina, especially the darker coloured ones and yes, look out for sweet peas in a vase sometime soon!

  7. Lovely photos, especially the apina clematis.

  8. Heyjude says:

    A lovely stroll around your garden, the alpina clematis is a beauty. I have just planted two new clematis and hope that they will take off and do well. So much to look forward to 🙂

  9. I like the sound of your woodland are. I’m trying to get some wood anemones established and planted some last autumn. So far there are no flowers and not many leaves. I’m hoping they’ll build up over time.

    • Cathy says:

      Mine took a couple of years to establish but then there was no stopping them – I am sure I only started with 100 and now there is real carpet of them! 😊

  10. cavershamjj says:

    Your woodland area sounds lovely. My sweetpeas are looking very bedraggled. I need to figure out why. I should just plant them out I think, no sense messing about now. Job for next weekend perhaps…

    • Cathy says:

      The Winter Sunshine ones have to be grown under cover and they were sown in Oct at the same time as my ordinary ones. I have learned that I need to repot the latter at the same time as I put the WS ones in the greenhouse beds otherwise they run out of nutrients and steam before they get planted out

  11. tonytomeo says:

    ‘Christmas Cheer’ did not do well for us. We started growing it because our clients wanted it. Production continued for quite a few years, but bloom was never quite right. Most of what we produce leaves before bloom, but ‘Christmas Cheer’ was often blooming when it was sent out, or worse, had already bloomed. We did not feel right about selling something that would not impress at the retail end, or might not bloom well wherever it went. I mean, if it bloomed badly for us, it probably would not do well for others. It bloomed so early that it would get ruined by the weather.

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