Six on Saturday – W29/2020 – Random things in a winter garden

Last week I opted out from the Six on Saturday. The photos I had taken were mediocre, and my mind was not in writing mode! I had tried three times to get going then just gave up! This week however, I have a few interesting things to feature, and I made a point of going out into the garden with my camera when the light was better and there were fewer shadows. Lets get on with this week’s Six then.

1. The Tree Dahlia. I can not believe that the tree dahlia is still flowering, but there it is, the odd flower appearing amongst the many seeds. I need to cut back the canes soon, and I will be distributing them to friends. This plant is only a year old but has done well where I planted it. A couple of months ago I purchased a cane for a white flowering tree dahlia, and this has three shoots, each about 3 inches high. No doubt they will put on a surge of growth once spring arrives. This morning we finally put up the first of two old hardwood fencing posts right next to the pink tree dahlia. Hopefully I can start digging the hole for the second fencing post, and run wires between the two posts to support the new growth of the pink tree dahlia.

Seed of the tree dahlia

2. Ifafa Lily. The Crytanthus mackenii, Ifafa Lily, I bought last year is flowering. This one was labelled cream, and it is a lovely delicate colour and fragrance. The flowers look demure, hanging down from the stem. The bulbs are planted in a lovely blue ceramic pot, along with what I think are Sparaxis bulbs. Both lots of bulbs have multiplied like crazy and the pot is filled with green plants. I am hoping that the Sparaxis will produce some buds soon.

I propped up these flowers on a trellis so that you can see the mouth of the little tubular flower.

3. Bromeliad unknown. One of my newer bromeliad acquisitions is flowering. I have no idea what the genus is, but decided to include it anyway as the flowers are rather lovely. The plant itself has a loose structure and looks a little untidy, but the foliage provides a lovely contrasting colour to adjacent plants, such as the white may bush (Spirea) which grows behind it.

4. A Stinkhorn. I came across an interesting find near the Dombeya last week, which I thought I would include here. It was an Aseroe rubra – the anemone stinkhorn. This fungus grows readily in mulch, and is supposed to smell of carrion. The smell attracts flies who the spread the spores. The spores are in the brownish slimy that is around the opening. However, all the times I have come across once of these stinkhorns I have not noticed any bad smell. This stinkhorn is reportedly the first Australian fungus identified back in the 1700’s.

5. Untidy corner. One corner of the front garden is really overgrown. I have avoided that corner ever since I was threatened by a very tiny blackish snake that I disturbed when I was weeding there. That was last summer. I have decided that I need to don some thick gumboots and make an effort to tidy up the area. The area has weeds, native grass, a Streptosolen, and a Grevillea and is bordered in the front by the Jammy Mouth and a huge clump of bromeliads, Guzmania, I think. I’m hoping that the snake has moved on, as I am sure it is one of the poisonous snakes, which I would prefer not to have in the garden. It needs to move back into its natural environment, which is only a few 100 metres away.

6. Indoor plants. Finally, I am featuring two of my indoor plants this week. The Zygocactus, Schlumbergera, is flowering and looks lovely with the blossoms peaking out through the devils ivy, Epipremnum aureum. The little gnomes that are keeping it company are too nice to hide outside in the garden, so they keep the indoor plants company. They were a special gift to us from Mr S’ niece and her daughter.

Now that my Six is complete I can relax and spend the next couple of days admiring and enjoying an armchair tour of the Six on Saturday gardens world wide! If you pop over to the mastermind of this pastime, The Propagator, you too can enjoy seeing what is happening in their gardens. Have a wonderful gardening week!

13 comments

  1. Your one-week rest has worked wonders, a chara, and you’ve penned another very interesting read.
    I’m visualising Jammy Mouth. It’s a great name.
    Tell me please, is the Dahlia Tree really a tree? As in, what height is it?

    • Thank you! The tree dahlia is more a herbaceous perennial (long tall canes) which can grow 3-5 metres or 10-15 foot tall. It is amazing how thick and tall the canes grow in just one growing season. However, based on a comment made by Paddy Tobin (see comments on my post), it might just require more heat units than your climate allows for it to reach that height and flower.

  2. It’s fascinating to see plants from another continent, The Ifafa Lily is very delicate and quite elegant. The stinkhorn is, on the other hand, a bit intimidating!

    I think we all have our little untidy corners, but hopefully without a snake lurking amongst the foliage. Better safe than sorry, get those gumboots on. 🙂

  3. The tree dahlias has frustrated us for many, many years. Our season is simply not long enough, nor hot enough to bring it to flower. It grows each year but never to flowering size. I suppose I could lift it and give it the early start of the glasshouse but I wonder if it is worth the bother. It would be no more than a curiousity to us.Nice to see it.

    • I really don’t mind the harmless snakes (as you would have noticed from previous blogs), but I still treat them with respect (i.e. keep my distance). The poisonous ones are another story. You get used to knowing they are around, and keep a look out for them, especially if you are a gardener, but they are better off in the bush.

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