Six on Saturday 4th May 2019

When it’s a freezing cold north wind and only 7C, the best place to be is in the greenhouse. So I’m starting this week’s tour of the garden, indoors.

Star of the greenhouse bench today is this bright pink amaryllis, or hippeastrum. It’s aptly named Flamingo. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one with as many flowers before. The bulb came from Taylors in Holbeach during their centenary open day and sale. I’ll certainly visit them again next year for my summer bulbs. The quality is first class and all the bulbs are bargain prices. Like most things, it’s best to go direct to get the best deals.

I wrote about my visit to Taylors here : https://bramblegarden.com/2019/04/13/fields-of-gold-and-white-taylors-daffodil-day-2019/

My tulips are still looking colourful- despite the high winds. Most of the photos I took today are blurred because of the windswept conditions. It’s just starting to hail! I can hear it bouncing off the greenhouse roof. Luckily it’s nice and warm in here. A cedar greenhouse has few drafts in the winter; the wood expands with the cold wet weather and seals the gaps. A slabbed floor also absorbs any heat from the sun and act as a kind of storage heater.

I’ve nipped next door to the poly tunnel which is just 1m from the greenhouse and runs parallel. It was a 40ft tunnel when we bought it second hand, but we reduced it down to 20ft to match the greenhouse and fit the space. It has opening doors both ends through which the wind is billowing today. I can’t close them as I’m trying to harden off some plants to go into the veg plot. In one of the raised beds I’ve planted 50 mixed tulips for cut flowers. This one is either Uncle Tom or Hero. Either way, the double late tulips are fabulous this year. They are lasting a long time because of the cold.

In the cutting mix is this delicate pink tulip. It looks a little like Angelique, or could be Upstar. The flower started a deeper pink and faded to this almost translucent shell colour in a week. Very pretty in a vase with blue forget me nots and white crab apple blossom.

Braving the weather, I’ve stepped outdoors to look at my latest acquisition, Agapanthus Fireworks from Wyevale Nurseries ( not to be confused with Wyevale garden centres). It’s in a terracotta pot, so I could whizz it indoors, but it seems to be standing up to the weather and looks pretty on the trolley outside the greenhouse doors. Wyevale also sent me a new raspberry, a dwarf patio variety called Yummy, to try out. I hope it lives up to its name.

Not at all bothered by the cold is this calendula/ pot marigold that’s come through the winter undeterred and is flowering beautifully now. It is a seedling of Sunset Buff. I was also growing Orange Fizz last year, so it could be a mix of the two, calendulas being prone to hybridising. I love the extra little petal in the centre of the flower. And I’m fond of petals that look as if they have been cut with pinking shears.

Finally, I’ve ventured to the top of the garden to watch the clouds skimming across the ridgeway. It’s too cold to go for a walk. I think I’ll stay in the warm and potter in the greenhouse. There’s plenty to do inside at this time of the year. What’s in flower in your garden right now?

Links: Six on Saturday : https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/six-on-saturday-04-05-2019/

Taylors Bulbs : https://taylors-bulbs.com/

Gee Tee Bulbs cutting mixture : https://www.gee-tee.co.uk/bulbs/tulips/cutting-mixture-tulips

Wyevale Nurseries Agapanthus Fireworks :http://www.wyevalenurseries.co.uk/news/news/agapanthus-fireworks-wins-new-product-award-at-glee/

Mr Fothergills Seeds : Calendula :https://www.mr-fothergills.co.uk/Flower-Seed/Calendula-Seed/CALENDULA-Sunset-Buff.html#.XM2WOIzTWfA

46 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 4th May 2019

  1. Great SOS and I always thought how grey skies show off the yellow of rapeseed fields in flower beautifully. There is nothing quite like personal recommendations regarding plants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mala. An unexpected explosion of flowers. I love to grow flowers from bulbs. There’s no way of knowing how many stems they will produce. This one was a nice surprise. My Mum is coming to see the greenhouse today.

      Like

  2. Karen I’m very sorry that you are at 7ºC and with a north wind. I am at 24ºC and it continues. Karen layer on layer to keep the heat and in the garden inside the Greenhouse to the heat. Your Hippeastrum Flamingo I love it and it has a divine color. I remember very well the magnificent blog of your visit to Taylors and its wonderful tulips. What a divine burgundy tulip. The very very pale pink Tulip is a jewel and you have already thought about a vase with it and other flowers that I love in my imagination. The Agapanthus Fireworks I love with its white flowers and purple base and lighter when opened, with those lilac stripes on each petal. And planted in a terracotta pot to be able to take it from one place to another. Calendula I love it, it has a wonderful color and I like it a lot like you have the petal in the center of the flower. The whole yellow field of rapeseed flowers contrasting with the sky with dark gray clouds of cold is a wonderful picture. Karen sees the heat of the Greenhouse and from there enjoys your magnificent flowers. Thank you very much for showing us. Thanks for the links, they are very interesting. I am not cultivating anything. And I’m going to take longer to go to the country house because my father has had a large ulcer on his leg and until he is completely cured we will not leave. And they are slow to heal, because they have come out other times and they have lasted for months. Karen love, health, strength and happiness for your whole family and for you. Take care and rest. Keep the heat. Loving greetings from Margarita.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear about your father. Leg ulcers are so painful and take months to heal. We have seen them in our own family. Compression bandages are essential and keeping legs elevated helps. But it is still a long process. Thank you for your kind words. Sending loving greetings to you and your family. I’m thinking of you all. Karen xx

      Like

      • Karen, thank you very much for your kind words. It is not the first time he has ulcers and the previous ones healed well. You see a doctor Vascular surgeon: you are in good hands. The ulcer goes well and is not infected. Thank you very much again for your interest. You are a very good friend. That everything goes well in your family. Greetings and memories of Margarita.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your agapanthus Fireworks look like Twister I grow. I have 2 spikes that should open in a few days. (in the greenhouse …)
    About your cedar greenhouse, it’s interesting to have given us this information. And you don’t have to heat it in winter? Is it still frost-free when there are negative temperatures outside?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve got a Parwins electric fan heater set at 5C. At this time of the year, it holds the heat from the day and doesn’t need the heater on. Cedar smells wonderful in summer too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! I love amaryllis. You’ve inspired me to grow these next year. Any recommendations on best varieties to look out for? Do you order them online as bulbs?

    I think I’d be in the greenhouse at 7C. I thought you guys had turned the corner with the weather after Easter weekend

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Anne. It’s a shock to the system as we’ve had 20C days – and now back to 7C and hail. Luckily the tulips haven’t been damaged, apart from the doubles which just look like someone had been along with a scythe. And the fruit blossom was blown right into the back fields. Hope some of the flowers had a chance to set fruit.

      Like

  5. Beautiful pictures of your flowers! What a fantastic color that Amaryllis has! Never seen such before. What do you do when the flowers are done? I have an Amaryllis in a pot and it blooms around Christmas only, now for the 2nd year. After that I don’t do anything. Yours is so short on the stamens as it seems? Do you cut it or something?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ingeborg. I will cut back the flower heads, leaving the stems and letting them die down. I’ll water the leaves with seaweed extract and keep the plant growing until July/August. Then I’ll turn the pot on it’s side to give the bulb a 2 month dormant period. I’ll repot with John Innes no 3 and start back into growth and keep somewhere nice and warm. Good luck with yours. The secret of success is keeping the leaves well watered which forms the flower bud for the following year.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I hope your weather warms up a bit and says goodbye to nonsense like hail!
    My favorites are the amaryllis(wow!) and the calendula. The calendula has such interesting shades to the petals, something I always enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. That amaryllis has the most enormous bulb I’ve ever seen. Do hope it comes back next year. I will water the foliage and keep it growing until summer and then let it have a rest for 2 months before re potting and starting it again. More little calendula seedlings are popping up.

      Like

  7. The calendula is a pretty shade. I have Indian Prince which is deep orange with a red back that only produced a couple of flowers last year but is blooming merrily now! Yours would be a nice contrast. And the agapanthus is so pretty. And so big already! Lovely photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It was cool here but no brisk north breeze and no hail either – the last few nights have definitely seen lower temperatures, but not so low to make me want to gring anything back inside. And 20 feet long greenhouse and polytunnel, Karen? I had no idea they were as long as that – lucky you to have the space for these…what an asset! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • We used to look every evening in the classified ads of the leicester Mercury. Used to be full of useful second hand items. Hardly anything we have is new to be honest. Even our summerhouse is 3rd hand. Very chilly here. The acers and viburnums have burned tips from frost. Also the hydrangeas. Flowers don’t seem to be affected.

      Like

      • I am all for that, Karen, and have done the same in the past, although our local paper has far fewer things for sale now. EBay is my go-to place and two of the greenhouses we have bought have come from there. Are you in a frost pocket? Our temps went down to about 4 degrees, but no less than that for a few weeks now

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Love that calendula. Beautiful colours. Also a bit jealous of your greenhouse/poly combo. I have also been retreating to the GH in these chilly days. Mine is what I would describe as a working greenhouse. I dont grow anything in there except the tomatoes and chillies, it is otherwiseclear of plants by June, they are all out in the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The greenhouse is kept now for sitting in and displaying tender plants. All the messy workaday stuff goes on in the poly tunnel next door. If I had the money, I would have bought another greenhouse. Poly tunnels are good for having somewhere dry to work, but the temperature varies wildly, and they are hard work to keep clean. Mine is covered in algae at the moment and I’m pondering how to clean it. The plastic skin is rather delicate. However, the whole thing cost me £20 for the “rings” and £140 for the replaceable plastic skin, so I can’t complain.

      Like

  10. Just wowed by the number of blooms on that amaryllis. Incredible. Also love the colour of the calendula. Their many varieties are addictive, & their tough insistence to live just makes them all the better.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Those tulips are rad, like peonies! The agapanthus seems like an odd acquisition for a region where so many prettier flowers can be brown. It is also odd that it is blooming now. They are very common here, but bloom in early July, in time for the Fourth of July.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Tony. I think these agapanthus have been grown indoors which is why they are flowering early. They are good sturdy plants though and I’m enjoying watching them open.

      Liked by 1 person

      • They are a nice color too. When I was a kid, they were either solid blue or solid white, without the nice mixes in between. Blooms were either big or small (mostly big) without anything in between. Purple was not developed until the 1980s. The old classics are still my favorites, but cultivars like yours make them more fun.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to bittster Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s