Six on Saturday #30, June 9, 2018

This will be a quick Six on Saturday, as I’m running late.  Weather is typical for June:  currently 84 F (28.9 C), 70% humidity.  Expecting a high around 90 F (32 C).

1.  Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline’ with creeping cucumber


‘Jacob Cline’ is reputedly one of the best clones of our native scarlet beebalm.  As advertised, it seems to be very resistant to powdery mildew, but what I had not anticipated is how vigorously it spreads through moist soil.   From a single 8-inch pot, the plants have spread into a 10×20-foot clump constrained mainly by mowed paths surrounding the bed.  “Hummingbirdbalm” would be a better common name.

Even M. didyma can’t compete with the invasiveness of creeping cucumber (Melothria pendula), an annoying weed that crawls over everything and makes the flowerbed look even more overgrown and messy than it would otherwise.  The tiny cucumber-like fruits are edible when green, but they’re reported to be a powerful laxative when black and fully ripe.

2.  Gladiolus ‘Boone’


Gladiolus ‘Boone’ is one of the old glads that have survived for many years around southern homesteads.  This clone was found at an abandoned site near Boone, North Carolina and is now well established in the horticultural trade.  I got mine from Niche Gardens in Chapel Hill.  It is roughly on the same scale as the yellow Gladiolus that I suspect is G. ‘Carolina Primrose,’ and is significantly smaller than my Gladiolus ‘Eno Orange.’

3. Zea mays (sweet corn)


Youngest offspring brought home a single kernal of sweet corn from a “farm-to-table” field trip at school.  We didn’t have a good bed to grow it in, so I stuck it in a large pot along with some tomato seedlings.  So far, so good.

4.  Canna ‘Flaming Kabobs’


Here’s one that I have featured before.  You get to see it again, because it is my favorite canna and is the first to bloom this year.  I was worried that it might not survive last winter, but it came through with flying colors when several other cannas succumbed to the cold and snow.

5. Verbascum chaixii (nettle-leaved mullein)


Another repeat, but it isn’t easy coming up with six new plants for every Six on Saturday.   I wish my V. chaixii plants would seed around a bit, but so far I haven’t found any volunteer seedlings.

6.  Turtles!

Are we getting bored of box turtle pictures yet?  Never!  Here’s a juvenile that I almost stepped on.


And last, but not least, turtle butt!


This lady (I assume) was trying unsuccessfully to hide under some Stokesia laevis (Stokes’ aster) in the garden area at my workplace when I went outside to eat lunch on Friday.  So, it’s in a garden, just not my garden.

I think she is a river cooter (Pseudemys concinna) looking for somewhere to dig a nest.

For more Six on Saturday, head over to The Propagator, the host of this weekly exercise.

17 thoughts on “Six on Saturday #30, June 9, 2018

    1. They’re galvanized metal stock tanks. The tall ones are for cows and horses, the shorties for goats or sheep. I just pull out the plug and put in a couple of inches of gravel to help drainage and prevent rodents from getting in through the plug hole.

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  1. I’m glad you repeated the canna as I clicked the ‘before’ link and found a six I’d somehow missed. Fantastic color and I love the name. The gladiolus is a bit special too, something of G. papilio in the parentage maybe?

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  2. Fascinating about the old glads: I find them so much more attractive than the typical overblown hybrids. The Monarda is striking – I’ve never had them get so big in my garden and they disappeared entirely last winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have some of the modern hybrids that I foolishly planted and can’t get rid of. The flowers are so heavy that the stems snap off if I don’t cut them for a vase. The old glads never do that and often don’t need staking—they’re definitely better garden plants.


  3. Is creeping cucumber that common weed?
    Is the corn just grown to look good? I grew it as an ornamental grass many years ago. They were some sort of grain corn on short stalks. Sweet corn will want to get bigger than it can in that pot, and will not get good pollination alone

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    1. We’re just growing the corn stalk for fun—my daughter wanted to see if it would sprout. Creeping cucumber is the vining thing with heart shaped leaves and twining tendrils that is using the beebalm as a support. I’m not sure how common it is—I think the birds brought the seed to my garden.

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  4. Your cannas are wonderful! It’s a new to me this year. I hope to see them soon flower. 6 different unlabeled but one thing I know is that they are dwarf cannas.
    Thank you for sharing pictures of turtles. They are adorable!

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  5. That mullein died out here a couple of years ago and I’m trying to find replacements. Trouble is everyone seems to expect that I’ll grow them from seed or that I’m happy with the white variety but I want to be lazy and get them ready-grown. And I want the yellow. Stamping my foot doesn’t seem to work. The monarda is definitely non-invasive here; indeed it’s an effort to keep it alive from one year to the next. I doubt the plant’s any bigger than when I planted it originally. I’m beginning to wish I’d got more interested in climate study in the years when my brain was receptive to input.

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