Six on Saturday 11/05/2019

After cherishing seeds and subsequent seedlings, the time is close to sending them out into the wide world. I have an inability to discard seedlings so end up with far to many plants for my small cottage garden plot on the allotment and patio pots. My patio is beginning to look like a mini garden centre.

A number of the more established plants already moved up a level into the cold frame on the allotment, leaving the kindergarten plants that need to be nurtured a bit more.

This weekend we have a plant sale in the Horticultural Society shop so I’m sorting out what I can part with. They need two labels one with the plant name and another with my name and price. Pricing plants is another story but it’s been suggested 50p and £1 according to size.

By no means do I claim to be anything but an amateur gardener. I was surprised this week, when offering plants to people with large gardens, (who also belong to the Horticultural Society), of their relative lack of knowledge of garden plants. They didn’t know what Cleome and Rudbeckia are; I struggled trying to explain Amaranthus and Ammi Visnaga it was lost on them, so they didn’t take any. Oh dear, I sound as though I am getting very intolerant in my old age.

UPDATE: After writing this I realise how arrogant I sound and I apologise. I know we are always learning and finding out about new things. I acknowledge that because I know something I shouldn’t assume others do, especially when there are a lot of plants and flowers I am still to find out about. This is where blogs like The Propagator, and gardening people on Twitter and Instagram are so good. Social media opens up a wealth of knowledge when you follow gardening folk.

My six today are a selection of what I have grown from seed with a brief description.

1. Amaranthus ‘Velvet Curtains’

A plant many have not heard of. Some Amarathus have tassel flowers, this one has an upright flower spike. The flowers and leaves are shades of crimson and dark red. It is an annual and sometimes a short lived perennial, needing full sun and best used as a bedding plant. This variety grows to about 0.5-1 metres. I have found it needs staking as it can get floppy when in full flower. Amaranthus looks fabulous with orange and yellow Rudbeckia.

2. Rudbeckia ‘Cherokee Sunset’

My Rudbeckia have been very slow to germinate this year and have only just been repotted but they are getting there. Another short lived perennial best used as an annual. Cherokee Sunset grows to 70-75cms and has large double flowers in shades of yellow, orange, brown and bronze.

3. Cleome ‘Violet Queen’

Cleome is one of my all time favourite garden plants and I grow it every year. This is another tall plant, reaching about 1mtr, that needs staking – maybe that’s why people didn’t want my freebie plants. You can also get white and pink varieties but I love the purple/lavender unusual spidery type flower.

4. Geum ‘Lady Strathenden’

This is one plant I’ve raised from seed that really is a perennial. ‘Lady Strathenden’ has a semi-double rich yellow flower, so not one for those who dislike yellow in the garden. Believe me such people do exist! It spreads up to 0.5mtrs with a height of 0.5mtrs which is great for the front of borders.

5. Ammi Visnaga

This totally floors people and when I say it has a cow parsley type flower it is clearly a marmite plant. Maybe I should use Sarah Raven’s description: “…a slightly chunkier form of ammi with dense yet delicate white and green domed flowers…green angelica-like architectural…good as a cut flower”. I am going to plant mine in my dahlia bed, as Ammi visnaga can grow quite tall. Interestingly, if the seeds are sown in the autumn the plant is very much taller than those sown in the spring. Mine are spring sown plants.

6. Cosmos ‘Polidor’

If you don’t like cosmos that grows as tall as the sky, Polidor only gets to about 75cms. This variety has a medium sized semi-double flower in orange and yellow shades. I have a lot of these and will plant some in a container on my patio as it is quite a bushy plant as well as in the cottage garden area.

Thank you The Propagator Blog for hosting Six on Saturday. Please hop over to his blog and you will be amazed at not only what he is growing but also the large number of participants who are letting you into their gardens to show what they have this week.

15 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 11/05/2019

  1. I am also loath to throw any seedlings away hence why I am stuck with about 50+ maturing petunias, I ask if people want them and they say.. yes, just a few, I don’t really like them. Shame because they grow like weeds here and will overwinter and give colour on dark days,

    BTW, I confess if you asked me if I wanted xy or z I would not have a clue unless you showed me. I am a visual gardener. My friend can spout all the Latin names for every plant. I am so impressed but then I say to him and please tell me it’s nickname…forgetmenot, foxglove, morning glory etc We laugh because my dyslexic brain can’t retain information like that. You did not come across as intolerant. 🙂 I am now a member of three gardening groups and I am embarrassed by my lack of knowledge re plant names. 😦

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    1. A friend of mine is a professional gardener and spouts all the latin names which I find quite irritating. I do soak up names of plants which would probably make me useful for a pub quiz if there was a plant round! I’m not that good at varieties, e.g. I know a few salvias but couldn’t name them all. I belong to a U3A gardening group and most of them just like gardens but have no knowledge.

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  2. Your seedlings are so healthy. The shorter cosmos is interesting, the leaves are different from most. I grew a “dwarf” cosmos a few years ago. If it was “dwarf” I don’t want to grow the full size ones! Which I actually am this year, but in a larger space.
    I think some of the problem may be whether one uses the common name or not. They may know what black-eyed Susans are, but not know it as Rudbeckia .

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  3. I would happily buy all of your plants for 50p or £1 – what a bargain! I grew Ammi visnaga last year (SR plants) and they were truly lovely. Though tall plants are really not suitable for my garden due to the south westerlies that blow through!

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  4. All of us gardeners keep learning and there’s always some plant we’ve failed to identify, identified wrong or just know nothing about. I usually fail on the more common ones (like Euphorbia 😉 ) but can rattle off obscure details of plants that you don’t find in that many gardens. I hadn’t heard of Ammi until a few years ago. And I still can’t get the blasted thing to grow for me!

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    1. You are quite right, after 40+ years of gardening I am still learning. I’m just a plant geek devouring everything that comes my way. I suppose following the gardening fraternity on blogs Twitter and Instagram it is a wider forum to be introduced to new plants and ideas. My ammi has gone mad this year so I’m taking 6 to the plant sale.

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  5. When I lived in small villages, I found the gardens all had similar plants in them. When I’d contribute something different to plant fairs, they never sold. It seems SoSers are just the opposite. You have a plant they don’t know, it’s immediately on their Lust List. Like that geum of yours. I may seriously have to get that one. But then, I never met a geum I didn’t love.

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    1. I’m going to print off info about the plants I am taking to the sale tomorrow with the hope my little plants catch peoples imagine and sell.

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      1. Good luck!

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        1. Made £5.60 and spent a £1 on 2 pumpkin plants😀

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  6. One Man And His Garden Trowel May 11, 2019 — 12:15 pm

    I like the idea of a cow parsleyesque flower or two in the garden. Might attempt Ammi visnaga next year. I’ve got a few common valerian plants which are sort of similar flowerwise.

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    1. When I said Ammi was like cow parsley someone said in horror “like the stuff that grows on river banks! No thank you”. I like valerian but it spreads if you are not careful. When I went to Cornwall on holiday it was everywhere.

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      1. Valerian does indeed spread and can cause damage to walls. It grows wild in Devon as well and even south Shropshire! But I love it when en masse.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this amaranth that I didn’t know. I grow 3 or 4 others including a new that the flower doesn’t fall, a bright orange … impatience to see it in bloom!
    Seedlings of cleomes have failed here … pity

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    1. Cleome is a funny flower to grow I’ve always found them to be temperamental. I sowed enough to produce 12 plants and after weeks of waiting for some sign half appeared and I have had to nurture them. This variety of Amaranthus is a new one to me, I’ve grown the tassel ones in the past. Not sure about bright orange!

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