Saturday, 28 September 2019

Updates & Reveals

A shout out to The Propagator who hosts Six On Saturday, a weekly gardening diary.  To snoop into gardens from all over the world, be sure to drop by the comment section of Mr. P's blog & check out the hashtag on Twitter.

We've had the longed for rain this week.  While great for the plants, the weather kept me inside with easy access to happenings in both my original & adoptive countries.

Definitely the worst social media week I've experienced.  Time to reap some welcomed health benefits from the garden.

This time of year, it's mostly running the straight stretch to winter, but there were some surprises.

So let's do this thang.

1.  Bessera Elegans update.

These lovelies must've heard me whining last week, because they've opened.

Drawing on long ago primary school science lessons, I'll hazard to say the white middle of these blooms produces 6 scarlet stamens w/grey-greeny dollops of pollen on them & a dark purple pistil in the middle - the latter being a bit more visible in the photo below.

The blossoms are supposed to be long lived, so hopefully will all be open at same time.

Last week, Hey Jude asked how I got mine to bud & I had to admit they were stuck in pots because I didn't have time to figure out where I wanted them to go.

I've since learned they're half hardy, so will stay in their pots & spend the winter in the shed.  Might have to get them something more exciting than coir pots for next year.

2.  Hydropod update.

Last week, I filled the new hydropod with cuttings.  Within 2-3 days, a coupla rose cuttings had roots appear above the foam collars, even though there were what looked like growth nobs below the foam.

A consultation with Mr P elicited advice that I move the roots to below the collar, which I did, meaning only a little bit of cutting showed above the foam.  The roots on this particular cutting have grown since last week & about a third of the others have started their roots, so reserved happiness, at the moment. 

As a side note, the hydropod is set up in our TV room.  The pump is quite noisy & the system acts as a sort of air conditioner, cooling the room.  Because it's filled with water, it's not convenient to move, so I'd advise against stationing yours in any of the main rooms - you'll have to live with it where it is for a while.

3.  Pumpkin update.

Every year, I worry about keeping pumpkins until Halloween.  A few weeks ago, I eavesdropped on a thread started by Nicky Kyle about curing pumpkins & squash.  That info probably saved my 2 smaller pumpkins that are now curing indoors (next to the flowering gaura).

There're 3 more outside yet, one which is only wee & probably doesn't have time to grow enough before frost.

The vine is still healthy, so he's getting his chance to become a teeny green jack-o-lantern.

4.  Cyclamen reveal.

I've not featured my cyclamen before, though they've been belting it out in the not-so-shady bed for the last few weeks.  Up 'til now, there've only been flowers, but this week, leaves.

My first year for this particular type cyclamen (whose corms are enormous!) & they've absolutely delighted me.

5.  Romanesque reveal.

My winter crop of Romanesque is escaping its netting.

Earlier in the summer, I'd been quite smug, watching the cabbage whites beat against this netting.  Then I found their caterpillars climbing through the netting holes & wondered if cabbage whites lay eggs on neighbouring plants in hopes the caterpillar will find the brassicas.

While I haven't found any more caterpillars under the netting recently, this little guy is chancing his arm leaf.

6.  Snow leopard melon reveal.

First year for snow leopard melon & it grew guns ablazing, up the fence & trellis, across the much fatter pumpkin vines, into the tomato planters.   It produced tons of flowers that swelled up at the base, ready, willing & able.  None of them seemed to get pollinated & the little swellings fell off.  Maybe the tiny melon flowers couldn't compete against the huge pumpkin flowers for pollinators.

Once the pumpkin vines began to die back, though, I saw this greygreen thing hanging on the back trellis. 

There's another melon on the ground at the foot of the trellis, but this particular one worried me, lest its weight compress the vine.

Break out the pumpkin hammock again.

I have no idea if these 2 guys're gonna have time to get ripe, but their appearance is exciting!  I'll try them again next year, but in a planter where there's no competition from the big guys.

So there's my Six done for the week. 

As always, thanks so much for stopping by.  Now I'm off to see what's been happening in your garden.

And that's all she wrote.


  1. I have my fingers crossed for the melons. The hydropod is very clever indeed. Thanks for the warning about the noise it makes though. Alas, I fear such a contraption wouldn't go down well in our house. The Bessera Elegans are stunning and the pumpkins are looking good. Sorry to hear about the cunning Cabbage Whites. Sneaky.

    1. Thanks for your good wishes! Hopefully our frost'll be late. The hydropod noise is about the same as a fan but unfortunately located next to the sofa, so drowns out the telly. It's recommended NOT to have it in direct sunlight, so could be put nearly anywhere in your house. We have a box room that serves as our cat feeding station, so next year the hydropod'll go in there. If you've as much trouble as I have getting cuttings to take, it's worth a try.

  2. So many amazing things going on in your garden. Bessera is gorgeous and I'm do happy you got melons!

    1. I'm a bit in love w/the bessera. Here's hoping the melons ripen!

  3. Stunning first photo of Bessera Lora!
    About snow leopard melon, what taste does it have? like melon or rather like pumpkin?

    1. That photo was taken w/my son's phone & inside the shed as it was windy. The other photos were taken w/his fancy camera outside when it wasn't so windy - the colour is more true in the phone pictures, amazingly enough. I've not tasted the melons, but they're supposed to be sweet, individual sized melons covered in white skin w/green stripes. We shall see.

  4. So much to like here, Lora, both beauties ad edibles. The race against approaching winter is on for your melon and pumpkins. I share the fascination and coddle them here. Finally harvested mini white 'Baby Boo' pumpkins. Minis are all the cool summer has produced.

    1. My melons & pumpkins have opposite worries - the melons not ripening before frost & the pumpkins not curing & thus not lasting until Halloween. However, I suppose a little thrill in the garden is what it's all about. I image searched baby boo & they're so adorable! Next year, maybe.

  5. I am soooo envious of your Bessera Elegans - they are stunning! I noticed this week that there are two tiny shoots coming through in my pot, flowers? A bit late I would have thought and with all this rain I'm not sure they will survive, but I live in hope.

    1. Could you bring them inside? I think they're originally from Mexico, so like heat. They're definitely worth a little bit of fuss.

  6. Excellent early hydropod success. I keep mine in the greenhouse! The reassuring whir of the pump is now part of the atmosphere in there. Mine is currently empty, waiting for a long overdue clean. Must get around to that before spring.
    I managed a sum total of two squashes, bit disappointing.

    1. I do have outside electrical outlets, so that's a good idea for next year & perhaps get the heating accessory. For the # of pumpkin vines I had this year, 5 is a poor showing. I think our dry spell in the summer didn't do them any good. Onward to next year.