Six on Saturday – 06/30

Another “Six on Saturday” – thanks to https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com, the originator, for the inspiration!

I’d like to start by whining – this weather is nonsense. Less than a week from Independence Day and I’ve caught a cold and am mostly shut indoors because it’s drizzling and 65. This is a travesty – I feel robbed!

1. Escallonia flowers

This isn’t all that interesting as a bush, but with reliable shows of flowers, faint fragrance, and bee / butterfly attractor, I am happy with it. I planted this from a quart pot, something like year and a half ago. Anyway, it’s roughly tripled in size. I didn’t do a good job of pruning back the top growth, but it kind of filled in between and sort of looks like a firework exploding above. I will probably give it a bit of haircut as we approach winter.

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Escallonia “Pink Princess”
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Escallonia “Pink Princess”

2. Eggplant

Given how everything in my vegetable garden last year could be convincingly called a “dwarf” variety, I thought it prudent to branch out and try eggplant this year (sarcasm). I bought a six-pack of starts, and they have actually done pretty well. The foliage looks surprisingly exotic, and the purple splotches on this variety look as though someone had an accident while painting. The purple flowers are very pretty, and not surprisingly harken to other nightshades. If this sun would stop messing around I might actually have a harvest worthwhile!

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Eggplant “Millionaire”
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Eggplant “Millionaire” flowers

3. Astilbe

These rhizomes were planted yesteryear but failed to produce any flowers that season. However, it is now flowering this year and is as lovely as expected. In due time its prominence will be much grander. There are more scattered throughout the shady spots, but this one is currently the most impressive.

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4. Speedwell

I’d heard of Veronica, and more recently Speedwell after buying this, but it wasn’t until recently I realized they were the same. I have also heard they are edible? I would like to confirm, but if so I’ll give it a try. This one is also a bee and butterfly attractor, and the spikes are compact – I like that in particular. I have learned that its horizontal spread is “indefinite”, which I can’t say I’m upset about.

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Speedwell “First love”
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Speedwell “First love”

5. Hosta flowers

I recall a post from the Propagator (I hope this is right!) wherein there was a remark from someone who dismissed the flowers of Hosta as being irrelevant. I can’t say that I agree with that sentiment. The spikes of dainty little bells take the Hosta from being a diligent shade filler to becoming a real statement. It is transformative, and it feels like you’re getting two plants-in-one.

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Hosta “Halcyon” with flower
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Hosta flower
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Hosta flower

6. Tooling around

I broke my hand-tiller, which replaced my hand-shovel long ago and is far superior in utility. Sadly, I had been using a mattock in place of it, but that quickly become absurd. Given this lackluster weather, I took it upon myself to re-purpose a hoe that I have not used (ever?), into a better hand digger. I must say, the hoe is a canonical tool, yet I find it is inferior to many tools (like the aforementioned mattock) I also fixed up my hand-tiller with the other end of said hoe, doubling my tools and freeing up space.

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Well, that’s it for me. If you’ve got some spare sun, please send it my way – I am too impatient this time of year!

9 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 06/30

  1. I like your speedwell very much..I’m in favour of plants that do a bit of spreading around and space filling. The hosta is very nice indeed…I can’t really grow them here, not enough shade yet. And Escallonia is a great plant very hardy indeed.

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  2. I think that is awesome that you repair your own tools. Great way to customise something that suits you best. I’ve never grown Astilbe but after seeing a few in the sixes this week maybe it is worth a try. Very pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. O, for a little of your rain. I was given an eggplant this year & one of the SoSers said I may have to help w/pollination – what’s your experience? All your flowers are looking great – love the astilbe & speedwell. Impressed about re-jigging your hoe. Mine has a removable head & I use it that way, but if it had a short handle . . . you could make a fortune on those!

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    1. I go around and jiggle the eggplant flowers a bit, thwack the flower, like my tomatoes. As far as I understand, it’s a self pollinating plant so it should be ok. That would make sense given that its a nightshade as well. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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  4. What an interesting Six! My escallonia is a bit of a thug. Unfortunately, when I prune it ,it looks awful! Then it comes back with a vengeance!! In Britain, speedwell is a tiny blue weed, nothing like as pretty as yours

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