Six on Saturday – W47/2020 – ‘Chameleons’ and a Jammy mouth

This week I discovered a local online nursery that supplies plants mainly as tubestock. I ordered six new hedging shrubs, mainly to provide fill some of the gaps around the perimeter of the garden, and as a local I was able to opt for collection from the nursery. The plants are incredibly healthy, and if I can plant them out this week then it will not be long before they have a growth spurt!

This week’s Six on Saturday is a bit of a mixed bag. Here goes…..

  1. The Tibouchina mutalibis ‘Chameleon’ trees are flowering in the garden and are looking magnificent! One is located at the southern tip of the garden marks the corner post of our boundary. The other is on the northern side of the garden, and both are providing a colourful backdrop to the garden.

2. Dahlia excelsia, the pink tree dahlia is growing vigorously, and is already as high as the posts. I will be using these two posts and some wire to provide support for the dahlia as it continues to grow. Last season I forgot to support it and it fell over into the dry river bed, and took over twice as much garden space than it should have. The orange kangaroo paws behind the post are still flowering.

3. A bromeliad that was given by a lovely lady who owns a bromeliad nursery is flowering. It is a lovely blue colour.

Unidentified bromeliad. A close up view of the flowers is provided in the featured photo.

4. Last season I purchased a miniature red hot poker (Kniphofia ‘Poco Yellow’). The stock plants got mixed up, and as the online nursery could not guarantee the yellow colour, they offered to either supply two plants (colours unknown) or wait until the yellow one was available. I opted for two plants. One is flowering and it is a lovely burnt orange in colour. Perhaps the second plant will have yellow flowers? The entire plant is only about 2 inches high.

5. I featured the tiny native orchids, Spiranthes sinensis, in a previous blog. I initially discovered these little plants growing in the front lawn, and marked each of them with a circle of white stones. Once they had finished flowering I dug them up and planted them in the corner of one of the garden beds. Last year there were at least 6 flowering plants. This year only three. A couple more have appeared with some of the pot plants. Because the leaves of this tiny orchid look similar to the leaves of the buffalo grass, I have decided that they will probably flourish better in their own pot rather than in the garden bed.

The tiny pink orchids in amongst Guara, Paspalum and weeds.
Native orchid flowers. If you look at the flower spike from above you will see that the tiny flowers spiral around the central flower spike.

6. Finally, the Jammy Mouth, Ruttya fruticose, has a second flush of flowers. An unusual flower indeed, but it is obvious why it is called ‘jammy mouth’! The bush is upright, wiry looking, and around 2m in height.

Try as I might I never seem to be able to read all the Six on Saturdays during the weekend. Which is good as it means I can spend more time going through each post. It is my salvation during the week! If you would like to participate, or read about what is happening in other gardens around the world, then please visit The Propagator and be inspired!

Happy gardening!


    • You have no idea how excited I was when I first came across the little native orchids in the lawn! They are so dainty, and I do hope that they survive in our garden. The jammy mouth is really lovely too, and you can see why it got its name! The bush is right at the top corner of the garden so it is gets neglected at times. I’m trying my best to give it some extra TLC this year.

  1. Wow! The Tibouchina mutalibis ‘Chameleon’ trees are amazing – so lovely! How long do they flower? I wonder if they will grow in Western Australia where my youngest daughter is?

    I do hope you manage to get a yellow poker, but the burnt orange is beautiful – and that was a bargain with your two for one. Jammy Mouth is such a strange name to give a plant – but the colour is glorious. As colour fades into winter gloom here, I’m happy to be able to enjoy yours!

    • The Chameleon trees do look incredible! They have been flowering for over a month, and the flowers are only just beginning to fade now. I’m not sure if they will grow over in WA, but ask your daughter to have a look around her suburb and see if any are flowering at the moment. I have only visited Perth once, briefly, and I can’t remember seeing them. Oh I’m happy to share my garden with you, as when we are in dull winter here, I love seeing the summer colour in your garden.

  2. Marvellous post, full of things that are (to me) exotic! Loved the Tibouchina and the ‘jammy mouth’ in particular!

  3. Such a fascinating post with enviable plants! Like others, I’m particularly admiring the Tibouchina, something that can’t grow here. I’m not familiar with mutabilis, it’s certainly spectacular. You’ve reminded me that I had a tree dahlia in my previous garden. Perhaps I could try one here…..

  4. It’s so lovely to see your floral abundance as we descend into winter here. The Tibouchina is spectacular – wow.

  5. Oh, good lord, that tibouchina is fabulous! They don’t get beyond being pot plants here – outside for the summer and brought in for winter protection. And then you have Spiranthes!!! We have two native species here in Ireland, two treasures of our native orchids. OK, time to stop drooling! Lovely post!

    I didn’t even mention the tree dahlia which has frustrated me for years and I have given up on any hopes that it might flower here.

    • The trees are looking really great this year. I was extremely excited when I discovered the orchid – the grass had not been mown for a couple of weeks and with al the rain the tiny orchids appeared. Mr S had to mow around all the orchids! He was thrilled when I dug them up and moved them! I think the tree dahlia probably needs high heat units and a long growing season to flower. They are beautiful plants! I bought a white flowering tree dahlia, but it is really struggling to grow.

      • I have a few native orchids in the garden; some were rescues from other gardens – appearing in the wrong place for that gardener – and I have had a few appear out of the blue. I am very interested in our native orchids and go to visit sites around the country each year. We have no hope with the tree dahlias here. They begin to look well and promising just as the gardening weather comes to a close each year! Tibouchina! A dream – so beautiful.

  6. Wow to the ‘Chameleon’ tree! I hope the other red hot poker is yellow. Questions… is that a lady bird ornament sitting in a hole in the post behind the dahlia? And what is sitting in the hole of the other post (in the second Chameleon tree photo?

    • The trees are so spectacular. Yes that is a ladybird (polyresin, I think) ornament in the hole in the post. The other one is a little orangey coloured bird ornament. I’m a sucker for these little ornaments in special spots in the garden.

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