Six on Saturday: Expect the Unexpected

The garden is looking increasingly more abundant every day, and still throwing up some surprises. Magnolia ‘Susan’, above, has now been flowering well for a few years now, although still surprises me when I see all those tulip-shaped buds breaking open to reveal the deep pinky-purple blooms inside.

Geums have been temperamental here in recent years, and reluctant to reappear every year, so it was a pleasant surprise to see G ‘Totally Tangerine’ return after a long absence. It may just be a fleeting visit, but I will enjoy it while I can.

I have tried growing Fritillaria uvavulpis a few times with no success, so it was good to see a bloom appear recently in the woodland – and one bloom out of 25 bulbs is better than nothing…

Not unexpected, because I planted it in the clematis colonnade last year, but perhaps unexpectedly prettier than I might have imagined, is new early-flowering clematis, C ‘Albina Plena’:

Also not unexpected, but carried out almost on a whim, was the revamping of the bronze heuchera bed which surrounds the Acer griseum. Heuchera tend to look the worse for wear after the winter, but with a slate mulch to the border I felt the soil had been sorely neglected so removed the slate and the heucheras and enriched it before culling the saddest of the plants, replanting the rest and ordering some new specimens. The completed border, invariably commented on by visitors, will be mulched with bark rather than slate.

It took my wisteria six years to flower but I have learned to expect its glorious racemes every year since, so was disappointed at its poor showing last year – disappointed, but also furious at the wood pigeons who had made a meal of the flower beds. I have been vigilant this year, however, and moved on any wood pigeon that dared to linger in the vicinity, so I am pleased to report that normal service will be resumed this year, sometime around the middle of May. You can see the progress so far in the photo below, the sixth of my six for Jon the Propagator’s Saturday meme:

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21 Responses to Six on Saturday: Expect the Unexpected

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    Ooh the pigeons are a nuisance they devour the buds of so many plants.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    Fritillaria is certainly unexpected. I do not expect others to appreciate such wildflowers. Their origin is unexpected also, since this particular species is not wild anywhere near here.

  3. Heyjude says:

    The wisteria is looking good. I know what you mean about the Heuchera. I have had to dig up several of mine this year and take cuttings as they were looking very tatty, but also quite old plants so to be expected. I also mulch with bark and it seems to work very well.

  4. Your Wisteria looks great! I don’t have a Magnolia in my garden, but I love seeing them around the area. They really signify spring to me. 🙂

  5. Cathy says:

    Can’t wait to see your wisteria this year! The white clematis is very pretty. I have given up on clematis as they don’t like our summer heat I think. Your post reminded me I have finally found a Totally Tangerine Geum online and I am waiting eagerly for the delivery. I hope it likes it here and lives up to my expectations!

    • Cathy says:

      It’s a shame about clematis, but I suppose it’s better to accept that they are unlikely to survive and grow other things instead

  6. My heuchera were scruffy last year and I thought they would need replacing, but they have suddenly picked up and are thriving!

  7. Your Wisteria will look magnificent in full flower! The bed of Heuchera surrounding the Acer will look splendid too! Both your surprises (Geum and Fritallaria) are pretty. The Clematis is amazing! I’m battling to grow even the common Clematis, which I suspect, like Cathy, that they do not like the heat.

    • Cathy says:

      Shame that you can’t reliably grow clematis either. I am so looking forward to the wisteria flowering, and missed it last year

  8. Pauline says:

    I too lost my Geum Totally Tangerine a few years ago, I thought it had flowered itself to death as it had so many flowers for so many months. Maybe I’ll have to go and have a look to see if it is still there! Your Heucheras are looking good, I’m sure they will appreciate being mulched with bark chippings.

    • Cathy says:

      In recent years any geum I have tried has struggled, but this plant seems to have returned quite strongly, so I wonder why it has been dormant for so long. I hope yours returns too

  9. Oh I am so pleased that your wisteria is back in business this year Cathy and look forward to seeing it in full flow 😂 One of my last year plantings of three geums ‘Totally Tangerine’ looks as if it is on steroids now – will be interested to see what the future holds in store.

    • Cathy says:

      And I am well-pleased too – but the wood pigeons still get moved on, just in case!! Hope your geums continue to do well

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