Garden Warrior

Exotic plant lover & allotment newbie

Category: Six on Saturday

Six on Saturday – 04/08/2018

This weeks Six on Saturday highlights what’s new in the garden as well as some of my favourites.

Cyphomandra corymbiflora

The hardy tamarillo (I’m yet to test this) belongs to the Solanaceae family and can apparently withstand temperatures as low as -10°C. The flowers are just starting to open and should be followed by edible fruits.

French Bean ‘Cobra’

Sown in late June and planted out in a newly created raised bed, I’ve been really impressed with the speed of growth of these beans which are now over 2m tall and have reached the tops of the canes. The first flowers have opened this week and I’m already looking forward to my first harvest.

Sunflower ‘Soraya’

I’ve always loved sunflowers and enjoy trying out new varieties. Helianthus annuus ‘Soraya’ is a branching sunflower that produces tangerine-orange flowers up to 15cm across.  The first flowers are just starting to open and are ideal for cutting though I’m planning on leaving them for the bees to enjoy.


Sometimes it’s not the species or variety that’s important but rather the provenance of a plant. In this case I grew these Antirrhinum from the seeds of plants that grew in my partner’s parent’s back garden, so for that reason alone they are special and will hopefully be with us for many years to come.

Birdhouse Gourd

When I saw mention of these on Twitter I just had to try my hand at growing them. In my usual fashion I had no idea where I was going to plant them and so this, the only plant to have germinated is still in the greenhouse and taking it over at an alarming rate. The delicate looking male flowers are an attractive white rather than the usual yellow of curcubits, I missed the females, they opened and closed whilst I was out, I did however intervene just to be sure that they had the best chance of being fertilised and fingers-crossed it’s worked.

Nicotiana glauca

My first introduction to the Tree Tobacco was in Greece where it has become naturalised and grows wild by roadsides and in dried up riverbeds. When I returned to the UK I grew it for several years before losing it one winter. This plant is from Ulting Wick and hopefully I will be able to get it through a couple more winters and see it achieve 2m or more.

Six on Saturday – 09/06/2018

Here is my first ever #SixOnSaturday I thought it was about time I tried this out. I’m pretty busy right now, my final RHS L3 exams are coming up in less than two weeks, there are loads of jobs to do in the garden and I’ve been away in France for work. This seems like the ideal way to keep blogging when life is particularly busy, so here goes.

For my first Six on Saturday I’ve taken a wander around the garden and snapped photographs of plants that make me happy right now.

1. Gunnera manicata

Kindly sent to me three years ago as a small cutting in a shoe box by Twitter pal @sianrobinson101 this is now something of a monster in a 130 litre pot and I love it!

2. Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’

The Red Abyssinian Banana is tricky to overwinter & sadly I lost my other one this time around. I love the colour of the leaves and the amount of growth it puts on in a season is amazing.

3. Solanum pyracanthum

You may have seen me raving about these on Twitter. Grown from seed sown two months ago they are probably the most vicious looking plants that I have ever grown.

4. Dahlia imperialis

These survived the ‘Beast from the East’ and everything else that was thrown at them last winter without any protection. I am therefore especially happy to see them putting on a decent amount of growth. Last autumn they managed to produce flower buds but sadly these succumbed to frost before they could open.

5. Pelargonium Deerwood Lavender Lass

Bought from Fibrex Nurseries last year this seems to be hardier than most pellies again surviving the winter with less than adequate protection. I’m hoping to grow it on to a decent size as the flowers are just delightful.

6. Amorphophallus konjac

Those who know me, know that I love all things big and tropical. This is my first attempt at growing Amorphophallus so I thought I’d start small before working my way up to the Titan Arum!

Well that’s all for this week, I’m off to do some more revision.

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