It’s a mouthful, isn’t it? Dioecious. Nine letters, six of which are vowels. More about that later.
January is almost over, and there’s a grand oul stretch in the evenings. At this stage there’s almost a full extra hour of daylight. Here’s Friday’s update (Location Dublin), although locally, Dungarvan has an extra 7 minutes.
We’ve had an unprecedented second dry week here. So without further complaining, here’s my selection from the garden this week…
I’ve mentioned this plant before. The common name is Dog Hobble. I’d really love to know how it came to be called that. It’s one of my favourite plants, particularly in winter. It’s evergreen with a generous red tint, and it’s doing very well in a container. I scattered a small handful of fertiliser on the surface this week and then proceeded to add a layer of coffee grounds. Lidl Bellaroom.
Thinking Outside The Tub
My daughter gave me this gorgeous tub as a Christmas present. It’s unusual that there’s no drainage underneath. I got the drill and was about to start when an alternative idea struck me. Rather than poke holes in the base, I’ve chosen to allow excess water to drain out through the sides. I spent a while trying to figure out how low would be best, and in the end I opted to drill just above the lower copper ring. It’s about 10 cm from the ground, so the container will hold a decent reservoir of water. It’s an experiment, and it remains to be seen how the main shrub, Camellia japonica Lady Campbell, will cope with wet conditions at the bottom. I’d not be too concerned about the other plants because the roots will not be deep and they will be replaced seasonally. What’s in there?
- Heucherella Catching Fire
- Galanthus procumbens (Wintergreen)
I feel a return visit to the garden centre coming on, becausee I think there’ll be room for some snowdrops and crocuses. I’ll keep a close eye on this tub during the course of the year and re-drill if necessary.
The small plant below is Galanthus procumbens, known as Wintergreen.
Here’s what I found out about it last year…
Wintergreen is dioecious, meaning that the male reproductive organs are on one plant, and female on another. I get that, yet it is not normally the way of doing things in the plant world. It has too many vowels for my liking. In addition to that-way-of-doing-things, extract from the plant is used to soothe sore muscles (especially after doing things), and for mouthwash, toothpaste, chewing gum and American root beer.Six-on-Saturday – December 2020
That’s one of the things I love about writing this blog… if I’ve previously written about something, there’s no need to write it again. I just need to be able to find what I’m looking for quickly. I’ve a few tricks up my sleeve for that. Couldn’t be wasting gardening/cycling time searching for needles in haystacks.
I must find out if Heucherella and Heuchera are one and the same. I’d imagine so. Names seem to change just to add confusion to the horticultural world. I wonder would it be akin to Cinders and Cinderella? Or perhaps similar to the Irish usage of the extension “-ín”. Bláthín is a small flower, teachín is a small house and Jimín is Jim-of-small-stature. I have fond memories of a book called Jimín Mháire Thaidhg in primary school. He was a bit of a rascal.
I understand this Heucherella Catching Fire should grow well in a container, provided it does not become too wet. There will be late spring and summer updates.
I learned something new today…. I learned that I’m sometimes wrong…
Heucherella is a cross between two closely related plants – Heuchera, commonly known as coral bells, and Tiarellia cordifolia, also known as foamflower. As you might expect, heucherella offers many of the benefits of its two parent plants.GardeningKnowHow.com
An Apple A Day
It’s a very bad photograph of half an apple. More precisely, it’s a bad photograph of the remains of half an apple. The starlings and blackbirds are very picky. They love apples (or half apples) but they leave the skin. It’s a delicate process to get the fruit and leave the rest, particularly for birds with reasonably sharp beaks. I popped up a short video during the week. It was a feeding frenzy. Over the past few weeks I’ve also left grapes and bananas.
Other birds will not touch these fruits at all. The sparrows love peanuts, while the beautifully-coloured finches go for the sunflower and nyer (nyger) seeds. I could stay watching them for hours. On Monday last I sat near one of the feeders with the camera. After a few minutes they returned, ignoring me completely. However, the few photographs I snapped are nothing to write home about. I’ll do a short video one of these days.
Agapanthus stems are now fully dead, and it’s time to remove them. Last year, once removed, I kept them and tied them together as a kind of bouquet. Not exactly a suitable gift for upcoming Valentine’s Day, but it looks good on the bare wall trellis. I’ll do the same this year and present the completed item SSS. Some Saturday Soon. Similar to ASAP.
I got a bit of a shock last April when this beauty started to wilt. At the time I was delighted with the advice I was given here to cut it back to the base. Recently I’ve put fertiliser and coffee grounds on it. I guess I should chop it back, but I don’t want to, because it looks so good right now.
That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Until next week, I hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill.
What’s this Six-on-Saturday thingy? We are a group of gardeners who write. We write about six items in our gardens, and we do it on Saturdays. I love reading about and seeing other gardens from as far away as New Zealand, Tasmania, USA, Canada, Belgium, France, Britain and Waterford City. Many more choose to publish on Twitter and Instagram using the #sixonsaturday hashtag. You can find out more about it here.