SoS September 19 2020

A very sharp shower earlier this evening heralded a small amount of expected and hoped-for rain. I’m hoping for rain on two counts. One: the weather has been unseasonally warm and two: another day’s respite from painting the outside of the house, a project that was started this week which is proving rather exhausting.

Spring is well underway and each day there is more to enjoy in the garden. Here are six blooms/veg that can be found in my garden just now.

One: Narcissi ‘Sir Winston Churchill’ and ‘Porteous’ which are almost the last narcissi to bloom this Spring, not counting the ones that obstinately refuse to bloom at all, for reasons best known to themselves. The non-bloomers don’t fall into any of the categories (overcrowding, incorrect feeding, cutting or tying leaves too early) usually reserved for daffs that don’t flower, and I’m unable to work out why this has happened. Luckily, there’s enough happening in the garden to direct my attention to other areas.

Two: More species tulips. On the left is Tulipa gesneriana ‘Kurdica’ which hails from the rocky hillsides of Iraq, and on the left, Tulipa clusiana ‘Tinka’ which has primrose yellow petals inside, seen when the flower opens in the sun, and dark pink on the outside, more noticeable as the flowers close when the sun begins to set. These tulips don’t mind being hot, so they are perfect for this climate.

Three: Not a native of Peru as its name would suggest, but from the western Mediterranean, Scilla peruviana Hughii is coming into flower. I received this as a replacement for an unvailable bulb on a mail order, and it might just be an improvement on the original order – something I’ve long forgotten about.

Four: This is the flower of Lavandula pinnata ‘Sidonie’ which is borne on stems up to 130 cm tall. It has a unique ferny leaf structure but cannot survive frost, so I’ll have to grow it as an annual. Hopefully it will spread itself around the garden and reappear each year. If not, I’ll propagate from cuttings as these flowers are perfect for filling spaces above the throng.

Five: Grevillea ‘Lady O’ is covered with vibrant spindly flowers and is a haven for bees. It flowers all year round but is even more floriferous in spring.

Six: Just in case anyone thinks I only grow flowers in my garden, here are two veg photos – broad beans and broccoli, planted during the first weeks of lockdown. Broccoli straight from the garden is so delicious and tender it can be eaten raw. Well, the stalks can. Of course I have an over abundance. It often seems to be a problem when growing vegetables.

Those are my six for this week. As ever, I’m joining in with the Six on Saturday theme, skippered by the admirable Propagator. Follow this link to see what others are doing in their gardens.

Weather today: 13 – 22 degrees C, cloudy and sunny. Rain forecast for tomorrow!
Happy gardening, everyone.

61 Comments Add yours

  1. Noelle M says:

    Love the tulips, and a reminder to place our orders ready to plant on the other side of the world.

    1. Jane says:

      It’s always fun poring through catalogues and choosing next year’s flowers.

  2. nancy marie allen says:

    I love seeing your spring bloomers while, here in Northeast Massachusetts, we’re enjoying the last of our fall flowers!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Nancy. One of the good things about Six on Saturday is seeing what is happening in gardens on the other side of the world.

  3. Your spring is coming along well. House painting is a lot of work.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, the painting isn’t something to look forward to. We are taking it slowly with rest days in between.

  4. fredgardener says:

    The broccoli was on my plate at lunch… Unfortunately, these are the ones I bought at the supermarket and not the ones from the garden, because the season is over.
    I will try to grow the scilla peruviana (from seeds). I read that germination is slow … fingers crossed!

    1. Jane says:

      Good luck with the Scilla, Fred.

  5. Lovely Six. I especially like 3 and 4. By funny coincidence the Sir Winston Churchill narcissus was featured in a garden magazine I’m reading. It’s very pretty.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you. Sir Winston is well worth planting. One of the more interesting ones, I think.

  6. Heyjude says:

    ‘Sir Winston Churchill’ is lovely, I planted some last year and was very impressed with them. I hope they come back next spring! The Peruvian scilla is a very different colour to the ones I am used to here, which are a bright blue. Lovely flowers and I love your photo of it.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Jude. I was a bit disappointed with the colour of the Scilla to start with as I would have preferred the bright blue, but I’m used to Hugh now, and he has his own charm. Also, the snails don’t seem to be as interested as they are in other spring flowers.

  7. Lovely, lovely, lovely! That scilla is absolutely beautiful. I am dribbling a little. 😀

    1. Jane says:

      If I could send you a bulb, I would!

  8. Lisa says:

    Broad beans are so ornamental. I’ve never grown them. I think I’ll give them a try this next season. Seeds are cheap enough to experiment with!

    1. Jane says:

      They seem very easy to grow, Lisa. They germinate quickly, and in this part of the world at least, reasonably free of pests.

  9. Just finished eating the last of my broad beans. I’d left them a bit late and a bit tough but had enough to eat in salads over the last few months. Only this last lost that were a bit tough. I like the Scilla peruviana Hughii. Looks a bit like a few of the allium heads I’ve grown this year opening out.

    1. Jane says:

      My broad beans are just beginning to bear pods. I must make sure I pick them early enough. It would be helpful if they ripened at the same time!

  10. krispeterson100 says:

    Yay, for the rain! I hope you get more soon. Narcissus always sings of spring for me. I’ve got more Narcissus bulbs on order but they won’t be delivered for another month or so. I adore your pale blue flowered Scilla. Your ferny lavender reminds me of what’s called Lavandula multifida here. It’s actually a hybrid of uncertain parentage that’s naturalized here and is even called by the common name of California lavender.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, I’m sure my lavender is the same as yours, even if the label stated that it has been bred for Australian conditions! I now have quite a few ‘Californian’ plants in my garden: lilac, poppy, lavender and salvia clevelandii.
      It rained nearly all night and we’ve had about 30 mm, so I’m very pleased.

  11. Amelia Grant says:

    Nice! I wish I could grow Grevillea here and Daffodils, too hot I think. The Scilla was a wonderful find and I wish I had some of the lavendar. Happy Spring.

    1. Jane says:

      Grevilleas don’t mind the heat at all, but perhaps your climate might be a bit damp. There are so many of them though, that I feel there must be one you could grow. The label on my lavender tells me it has been developed for hot and humid conditions such as you would find on the east coast of Australia, and another blogger has mentioned that it’s found in California, so perhaps you could grow that too. (I’m making a bit of an assumption about your climate).

  12. Chloris says:

    How fabulous that spring has arrived in your part of the world. I have never seen Scilla peruviana in that colour before, it’s beautiful. And that grevillea is gorgeous.

    1. Jane says:

      I’d never heard of Scilla before I received that bulb, and when it flowered I was disappointed with the colour as I expected it to be very blue. Now I really love it and I think it’s quite unusual. The grevillea is a star when it comes to providing year round sustenance for bees and honeyeaters.

  13. Lovely to see your garden looking so pretty – spring is a great season.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you. Spring is a very rewarding time for the gardener.

  14. Jim Stephens says:

    That your Scilla peruviana looks so good possibly partly explains why mine has produced nothing but leaves the last three years. It doesn’t want to be in cold wet Cornwall, it wants some sun. What an amazing head of flowers.

    1. Jane says:

      It is amazing, Jim, and I’m a bit excited because there’s another flower appearing right beside it. From the same bulb!

  15. annamadeit says:

    That is one tall Lavender!! Wow… cool flower, too. I hope you get your rain, and that the summer ahead is better than the last. I’m at the point now, where I dread our dry, fiery summers. I welcome autumn up here in the north, and will do a rain dance, for you, Jane.

    1. Jane says:

      Your rain dance must have worked, Anna, because it rained here most of the night. I feel that this summer won’t be as bad as the last as we’ve had quite a bit of rain and the countryside is nowhere near as dry. I’m hoping that is the case, anyway.

      1. annamadeit says:

        I hope so too. It sounds promising!

  16. Very pretty. Some more rain would certainly be good. We’re expecting some too but it seems to be a bit hit and miss at the moment. Homegrown veges are the best!

    1. Jane says:

      I hope you receive the rain. We’ve had about 30 mm, which is more than we expected.

      1. None yet, but perhaps later in the week.

  17. I love that you’re posting photos of your tulips when I’m just getting my garden ready to plant mine. That’s one of the fun things about SoS. Your flowers are very lovely.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, one of the joys of SoS is seeing what’s happening on the other side of the world and connecting with other gardeners.

  18. pommepal says:

    A lovely selection Jane and those veggies are a credit to your gardening skills.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you PP. I’m now looking for recipes with interesting ways to cook broccoli!

  19. Vicki says:

    What a lovely series, especially the Scilla…. So unusual.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Vicki.

  20. None of my daffodils have flowered but I still hold hopes they will. Each morning I feel the daffs down the middle hopeful of a slight bulge indicating the flower is finally coming. However, my grevilia has compensated the lack of bulb flowers and has produced flowers within weeks of planting. Good girt, Grevilia!

    1. Jane says:

      I have a couple of small clumps of daffodils that haven’t flowered and they didn’t last spring either. I think I will give them one more chance and if there are no flowers next year I’ll dig them up. They have been warned!
      Your climate might be a little colder than ours, so perhaps the flowers are still coming.

  21. My daffodils as yet have to flower too and I eagerly look each morning. However the grevilia flowered within weeks of planting. How lovely.

  22. Lovely, bright Six-on-Saturday. I wonder whether your broad beans will flourish. Mine survived the blackflies but then the local mouse family devoured the nicely matured beans (and pods) before I could pick them. 🐀

    1. Jane says:

      Fingers crossed, we don’t seem to have blackfly on our beans here. I picked a few this afternoon and we’re having them in our salad tonight. They’re very tiny and sweet.

  23. I just love that Scilla peruviana Hughii, Jane. How big is that flower? It looks enormous. What a lucky acquisition. Everything else looks cheery too. I’m quite envious of your broccoli growing skills. I have never had any success. You can never have enough broccoli.

    1. Jane says:

      Hello, Tracy. The head of the Scilla is about 10 cm across, so it’s quite big. It has another flower coming up beside it, so I’m quite excited about that.
      Yes, broccoli is a top vegetable, probably the green we eat more than any other. I have a lot in the garden and would gladly give you some if I could.

      1. Bonus. It is nice to find a plant that likes the conditions.
        Thank you for your broccoli kindness. 🙂
        PS. I noticed that you updated your page. I didn’t have to fill in my details and your response came direct to my notifications. Yippee.

        1. Jane says:

          That’s odd. I thought I fixed that problem ages ago. I haven’t made any changes recently!

          1. Must be at my end then.

  24. Catherine says:

    Your species tulip photographs have reminded me that I haven’t bought any species tulip bulbs this year. I should deal with that soon. Both ‘Kurdica’ and ‘Tinka’ are lovely.

    The shape and colour of Lavandula pinnata ‘Sidonie’ is fabulous, so elegant and proud. I hope it self-seeds for you as it must make a beautiful display.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Catherine. I’ll take some cuttings of the lavender as well, just to make sure I have some for next year!

  25. Katharine says:

    Lots of great things going on there. I have some scilla peruviana grown from seed but they just don’t seem to be doing much so it’s great to see yours and what they’ll look like if they ever get their act together. Pretty species tulips too – really lovely.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Katharine. The Scilla bulb has been in the garden for a few years and this is the first time it’s flowered in such a spectacular way. There was only one very small flower last year, so perhaps it’s something that needs a bit of time to establish itself. I hope yours flower for you before too long.

  26. I am in awe of the Scilla flower! It is stunning, especially with that little tinge of blue at the centre of each of the little flowers. The lavender is a lovely colour and form, and I am impressed with the size of the broccoli. Your broad beans look as if they are going to give you a good crop of beans this year.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you H&M. The Scilla comes in a brighter shade of blue and I was a bit disappointed at first, but I have come to enjoy the flowers on this one.
      There are a lot of small pods on the beans. Picking them before they become too big is a bit of an issue, and of course, we’re overwhelmed with broccoli!

      1. Our broccoli crop hasn’t been as good as last years, but the cauliflowers have made up for that this year. We harvest three good cauliflower heads. Now need to pickle/freeze some. We have bottles of Piccalilli, something neither of us have made before, but it is delicious and should last at least 6 months.

        1. Jane says:

          Piccalilli! Something I haven’t had for years. I’m sure it will be delicious.

          1. Made a slight adjustment to the recipe, and it IS delicious. We are going to try our hand at fermented veggies today…… we’ll see how that goes!

  27. cavershamjj says:

    well done on your veg growing. i may give broad beans another go this winter, i gave up as the yield per plant was always so low.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, I can already see that actually getting enough beans at once for one meal is going to be an issue. We did have some tiny ones sprinkled on a salad and they were very tasty.

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