Saturday, 21 April 2018

Superfluous Gardener

How we spent our week.

What a week of heat & sun.  As I slowly melted, muttering about it being hotter'n the American south, some kind family member translated the temperature into Fahrenheit.

67 degrees.  I'd have a light sweater on at home.

In addition to being roasted like a weiner, CFS came over for a visit, reduced my gardening fun to turning trays on the window sill.

I had a coupla surprises from that bunch.

1.  The Goldilocks Method.

Neither my leeks nor onions moved past germination.  Haven't a clue what I did wrong.  I'd used all my leeks seeds, but did another tray of onions which admirably poked their thread-like stems through the soil.

I left the first trays in situ, ever hopeful since the seeds had germinated.  So this popped up in the original onion tray (that little green fleck in the middle of the photo).

Too small in the onion patch.

It doesn't look like the 2nd batch of onions, so perhaps I mixed the onion tray w/the leeks.  Whatever it is, it'll get itself potted up.

My beans are on the other end of the spectrum.  In their short fortnight of life, they've outgrown 2 homes & are determined to outgrow their 3rd.  The warm weather makes it so tempting to plant them out, but I'm holding off until the 1st of May. 

Too big in the bean forest.

Fortunately, the rest of the window sill trays - maters, peppers, peas & flowers - were all just right.

2.  Why, o why, dear Woodwardia?

Okay, so I might be hot & I might be sick, but I'm not staying inside.  Just ain't happening.  Right outside the back door, pride of place, my new Woodwardia fern.  Looking less than happy.

Brown spots.

My web searches only tell me the woodwardia is disease resistant, not why it's going brown.  I don't know if it's transplant shock or if I should actually lift it.

If anyone has any ideas, please give me a nudge (boot) in the right direction.

3.  Brenda's legacy.

Other than my favourite fern, the garden got on with things this week, telling me I'm non-essential personnel.  But then, the garden's been on its own for a lot of years, so it knows what it's doing.

According to the OAP Fairy Person next door, the house once belonged to a woman named Brenda who died over 10 years ago.  Brenda added a conservatory (now our kitchen) & terraced the back garden.

She loved grape hyacinth.  They are everywhere still.  Here's some mixed in with what's turning into a giant peony.  The blue & reddish purple look so good together.

Peony, grape hyacinth & bucket.

The bucket has 2 buddies with it to keep certain dogs from wandering through the peonies.  For some reason, both the dogs love chewing on grape hyacinth.  That can't be healthy for anyone involved.

4.  Daff cherry.

So you know that my favourite tree of all times is my Crooked Cherry whom I saved from the clutches of a ruthless bush 2 gardens ago.

Last autumn, I got some free daff bulbs & knowing we were moving, tossed them into the tree pots.  A few weeks ago, some revealed themselves to be quite fancy, including the ones in the Crooked Cherry's pot.

Can we please move on?

This week, Crooked Cherry started to bloom.  The combo of burgundy leaves, pink flowers & those not-orange-not-coral daffs . . . I was smitten.

So I took 37,000 photos, none of which captured what I saw in real life.

Later that avoe, my phone dinged.  Attached to a message from my son El Punko, were 3 photos of the Daff Cherry.

So you have him to thank for this photo. 

Daff Cherry by El Punko

In future, you may have Fred the French Gardener & his Macro Gang to thank as well.  Their photos have influenced El Punko to get a macro lens for his new phone, as soon as it arrives.

He'll be pressed into willing service for future Sixes.

Yes, willing.  I swear.

5.  Unrequited love.

Last week, you saw my pear tree in bud.  This week, it's spiralled into bloom.

Pear & fig.

But its pollination partner - the Asian pear in the foreground - still has no buds.  I'm wondering if it's because the Louise Bonn is too cozy with the fig tree.

Unrelenting celibacy.

6.  What is it?

So, I've been watching this group of 3 small trees in the corner of our patio area, wondering what horrors to expect from them.  When they came into bud at the same time as my neighbour's tree on the other side of the fence, I was less skeptical. 

The largest of the 3 unknown trees.

Especially since the neighbour's tree had last summer's dried fruit on it - type unknown.  In an English garden, my first port of fruit tree call would be apple.  The thing that confused me was that I didn't think apple trees self seeded all that well, & whatever this tree was, it'd done it at least 3 times. 

Perhaps Brenda liked her neighbour's tree & got one for herself.  Except that the 2 smaller trees look too young to be from Brenda's time.

Last year's fruit.

For a brief moment, I thought, maybe it's a pear!  But the leaves aren't the same.

Here's a closer photo of the leaves & blossoms.  The leaves have a slight serration around the edges & although the veins are visible, they aren't pronounced.  Does anyone recognise this tree?

Mystery tree in bloom.

Whatever it is, I do like it, even though it doesn't seem to have much of a smell.  If it self-seeds so easily, one of its chillen may travel with us when we go.

Bathing beauty.
To end, here's a gratuitous photo of the Big Nose in a puddle, cuz he's my buddy & the other 2 buddies've been featured.

For other Six on Saturday blogs by gardeners who actually garden, run over to The Propagator who hosts this meme.

In his comment section, there'll be links to lots of other Sixers.

See you next week!


  1. I blame the lack of germination on the weather (at least that's my resoning for my 75% of my newest strawberry plants being dead).... but then I blame a lot of things on the weather.
    The cherry looks amazing!

    I hope we get some slightly more Spring-like weather next week, rather than the unusually hot summery stuff we've had - it's great to see the sunshine, but it made it too hot to work on the allotment!

    1. Agree w/you totally on the heat. Guess I'll blame it for the leeks not growing as well.

  2. Beautiful blossom and lots going on in your post. Can't help with the mystery one, but it is very lovely.

    1. It's that time of year when I don't know what's happening next.

  3. Hang on there with the woodwardia, once it warms up on a more regular basis I'm sure it will be OK. One's here, in the balmy wet SW aren't doing much yet. Your tree might be a cherry plum, maybe, perhaps :)

    1. I'll hang in there, on your word. The dried fruit on the neighbour's tree (if indeed they're the same type tree) is larger than a ripe cherry plum. I'd thought plum as well, but had the same reservation about self seeding. Peeking through the fence, it does seem as if there's more than one tree on that side as well, so . . . prolific plum?

  4. Thank you for thinking about me, the picture of El Punko is beautiful! I'm waiting for more each week now.
    The unknown tree could be for me a cherry tree ( prunus cesarus - I don't know the english name) or plum tree ( Reine claude-Mirabelle ...)

    1. According to Google, that cherry is called a sour cherry. The evidence of dried fruit next door is larger than ripe cherry. I do like your plum suggestion & the leaf looks right.

  5. Sorry you are below par this week. Could the brown leaves on the Woodwardia just be cold damage? If so, cut them off and let new growth come through. Is it a crab apple?

    1. I'll take your suggestion about getting rid of the brown leaves. I'm so in love w/this fern, I do want it to succeed. The dried fruit on the neighbour's tree is larger than a ripe crab apple. I'm beginning to think plum, even if I can't explain how these 3 trees got here.

  6. Just remember that the dead fruits on your fairy neighbour's tree will have dehydrated and so will be smaller than they were when they were still alive and possibly edible. I'll go with the cold damage suggestions for your ferny fronds. Just let it see your snazzy gardening shoes and it'll perk up. It may even try to move away ;)

    1. The whole shrinking dried fruit is what makes identifying this tree a bit tricky.

  7. I have a victoria plum i am trying to train into a fan shape. It is allegedly self-pollinating, a good job as I only have the one. Thisbisnits third year i think. Second summer perhaps. Hope you feel upnto more gardening soon.

    1. When I've had a Victoria plum in my garden, I always only had one & they always gave me tons of fruit. Which is a good thing, because it's hard to beat a Victoria plum.