Having been given a tiny bit of freedom (from lockdown) this week, I’m in my parents elegant garden on a cold but sunny morning. I’m sure I got the gardening bug from my mom – she’s a plantswoman through and through and the variety of flora still flourishing in her garden on the first Saturday in December is simply inspiring. I could easily have included 3 weeks worth of sixes, but these are the best given my photographic skills!
The garrya elliptica providing an effective framework for the mischievous clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ was a birthday present I gave mom at least 10 years ago. This evergreen shrub, which can grow to a huge 4m x 4m height and spread is tolerant of of any well drained soil in sun or partial shade. It has small green flowers growing in tassel like racemes in spring and winter, holding last years blooms on its stems unless pruned after flowering. And then there’s ‘Freckles’ – this particular clematis is a tricky one – it just grows and grows. I grew one against an exterior wall of the house some years ago – Chris removed it when we found it growing out of the skirting board in one of our bedrooms! I’ll just stick to admiring my moms!
Melianthus major is commonly known as the honey bush and although it’s a lovely evergreen shrub, sadly it’s not fully hardy (H3) in the UK. Fortunately, in more northernly areas (with care), it can be treated as a herbaceous perennial. However, this extraordinarily healthy looking specimen in my parents garden did not die down last winter and in fact grew a spectacular maroon flowering spike in April – unfortunately due to lockdown, I didn’t get a picture of it and so I’m hoping it has a repeat performance next year (fingers crossed).
I featured this wonderful castor oil plant on my blog yesterday, but my pictures focused mainly on the flowers, which was more than a little remiss! The plate sized bright green leaves on this plant add year round structural interest and are an asset to most border designs, but particularly those with a ‘tropical’ theme. Mom has reminded me today that she purchased this plant at a tiny stage from Morrisons – amazing!
Believe it or not, this rose, growing through and to the height of the castor oil plant, was planted approximately 20 years ago – with the label ‘flower carpet’, suggesting it had a ground covering habit!
In a darker sheltered area of the garden, mom pointed out this pretty hydrangea – still flowering, but also holding onto some lovely spent flower stems, delightful!
Last but so definitely not least – isn’t this camellia just lovely! It normally flowers from January, but as can be seen, its full 15 foot height is currently covered in creamy white blooms and there are plenty more to open. Most years the petals suffer with frost damage, but as it’s early and we’ve seen such mild climes, joyfully this plant is now at its best. On a festive note, as this lovely camellia is growing next to a bay window in full view inside and out, I think it’d look fabulous with some tasteful lights ready for Christmas…..just saying!
Keep safe and well – we’re almost there (fingers crossed)
For more Six on Saturday adventures, a visit to the Propagator at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com is recommended!