six on Saturday, 9 April 2022

Spring, in shades of yellow-green and pollen covered, has arrived here in Blount County Alabama. The following six items offer a pretty good sense of what’s going on in the garden.

1. I’ll make the pollen point with a photo of one of the birdbaths. The rocks are in the bowl because a year or so ago I read that landing places help little birds, who can’t easily stretch their necks from the rim to the water, get a drink. The rocks also give bees a landing place. Trees above and recent rains and winds have deposited dried leaves in and fresh pollen on the water. Consequently, this birdbath is up for a refresh, but the water is not actually as murky as the pollen makes it seem.

2. For the shades of green, the various colors of some hostas throughout the garden provide evidence–especially ‘Fire Island’ the third one pictured below. The first, ‘Sum and Substance,’ is just beginning to unfurl leaves that will be big and bright. ‘Blue Angel,’ the second will have leaves as large but be a much more muted green. The others are a random selection of hostas whose tags are long lost or who were pass alongs never having a variety name. The one in the center of the bottom row might be ‘Francee’ although the leaves seem a little narrow. But given that there are 70 or so species of hostas and over 3,000 varieties, who knows? By the way, notice the pollen on the leaves in the featured image of the hosta in its heuchera bed.

3. The new foliage on Gardenia Gold Doubloon™ (Gardenia jasminoides ‘Ogon no Hana’) holds its chartreuse color for the first year or so, until becoming a deeper green. It is suppose to have a particularly fragrant double bloom; however, in place for over two years, this shrub has produced just one small bloom. Whether this is due to it being a slow learner or due to its location in semi-shade, I’m not sure. Maybe a litter fertilizer will help this year. Regardless, the bright color is welcomed throughout the year.

4. Some cuttings I took of a variegated leaf althea (Hibiscus syriacus or Rose of Sharon) last year are showing promising signs. I hope these cuttings prove true to the host shrub, which is in a very bothersome place and really needs to be removed. The flowers are a common purple, but the white mottled leaves are eye-catching. The second photo below is an older one showing those cream and green leaves. One of the leaves on the cuttings in the first photo shows some sign of color variation.

5. There is other potting going on, too. These hellebores, or Lenten roses, are being collected for the Blount County Master Gardeners’ annual plant sale the end of this month. Too bad I can’t add seedlings to the sale’s table by the shovel-full. There are many more to be potted, but it looks like I need to clean the house siding as well.

6. Finally–and our Six-on-Saturday linchpin, The Propagator, says anything in the garden is eligible for inclusion–there is my new garden cart. The best thing about it was that I got to put it together! I love putting things together. In this case, I commend Gorilla Carts for providing efficient packaging and directions that are easily read!

That closes out this week’s six. Wishing everyone temperate weather and well designed garden things to put together.

10 Replies to “six on Saturday, 9 April 2022”

  1. Does rose of Sharon naturalize? We sometimes find seedlings in our landscapes. They all seem to appear in inappropriate situations. However, they do not seem to be aggressive about it, or overly prolific.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are not overly prolific because you do not have many of them growing! Here they seed very easily on their own, but I think that I just have a particularly happy soil for them. They are not long-lived though. They’ll grow 10 to 15 feet or more, then begin to fail. I find that they do not take to pruning well either.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now that you mention it, they are not overly popular. Mine were in the garden when I moved in, but I would not have planted them. Their foliage is generally yellowish here. They seemed to be quite old, and lived with me for many years before I finally removed them because I was so dissatisfied with them. (I almost never do that.) They always looked tired. Those specimens never seeded. I occasionally find seedlings here though, from plants in home gardens nearby.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Sum and Substance and Blue Angel are wonderful when they leaf out. On the other end of things, I have a few tiny hostas as well–especially a really cute (a word I rarely use with plants) mouse ears.

      Liked by 1 person

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