Six on Saturday #64 (March 13, 2021)

What a difference a few weeks makes. This week has been brightly sunny, and the high temperature was about 80 F (26.5 C). The spring bulbs and hellebores are nearing their peak, the garden is perfumed by Edgeworthia chrysantha, Lonicera fragrantissima, and Osmanthus fragrans, and the fence lizards are skittering about in the leaf litter.

1. Cypripedium formosanum (Formosan lady’s slipper orchid)


After three years, my C. formosanum is still going strong. I think this year’s flower is the nicest so far. The plant is in an 8-inch diameter pot with a mix of composted wood chips, peat, and stalite. It lives outside under shade cloth in summer and spends the winter on the floor of the greenhouse, near the cold draught from the imperfectly sealed swamp cooler.

2. Hellebore flowers

Hellebore flowers floating in a dish

The pure white flowers at center left and 5 o’clock are Helleborus niger. The large reddish flower at 10 o’clock is Helleborus x iburgensis ‘Anna’s Red’. The others are all seed-grown Helleborus x hybridus.

3. Narcissus ‘Odoratus’


This is a dwarf tazetta Narcissus. According to various web sources, it was discovered somewhere on the Isles of Scilly by the horticulturalist Alec Gray. To my nose it is only faintly fragrant, despite the cultivar name.

4. Narcissus x odorus (Campernelle)


Narcissus x odorus is a centuries-old hybrid of N. jonquilla x N. pseudonarcissus. It has been grown in North Carolina since the colonial period. The blue-green foliage in the foreground is Tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha (see photo 2 here).

5. Cackleberries


The tiny dinosaurs have started laying, and between the five of them, we are averaging about four eggs a day! The very pale blue-gray eggses are from Hühnchen and Kuritsa. Dark brown with darker speckles is from Pollo, large brown from Kylling, and small, light brown from Frango.

6. Vegetable seedlings

A picture of Cypripedium formosanum

I handle the ornamental perennials, but vegetables are my wife’s domain–she’ll have more than a dozen different varieties of Asian greens and kale, along with tomatoes, malabar spinach, spigariello, lettuce, and a few annual flowers ready to plant out next month. The glow from her new LED grow lights makes our house look like something out of “The Amityville Horror” at night, but the seedlings seem to love it.

The Propagator is the host of Six on Saturday.  Head over there to see his Six for this week and find links to the blogs of other participants.

10 thoughts on “Six on Saturday #64 (March 13, 2021)

  1. I’m always attracted to this easy-to-grow terrestrial orchid here. I just have to find an ideal (small) spot and I’ll try it.
    This beautiful evening purple red color catches the eye 😂 (and even the police at some but not yet at my house; anyway I have nothing to hide).
    Interesting yellow stickers for midges. Here we only have large models to hang which are not very practical.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I keep the Cypripedium in a pot, because it starts growing too early in the spring and is sensitive to late freezes. It might be better in your climate.

      There was someone in the local orchid society who had a visit from the police who were curious about his very expensive high-intensity lights 🙄, but that was 20 or more years ago. I haven’t heard of any lately. We’d be happy to show them around the garden 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, for more cypridediums in the garden here. I grow only one, C. kentuckiensis, which does very well. Time to seek out some more, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have it in the open garden, in the shade of a rhododendron, a dampish spot in the garden and it seems to suit it very well. I am thrilled with how well it has done there.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a great way to appreciate the Hellebore flowers in the bowl. With Narcissus, if you can bear to cut a few flowering stems and bring them into the house, I find the fragrance is much more noticeable and even the bog-standard varieties can then be appreciated for their scent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Helleborus niger is pretty sharp. Except for the greenish white bloom of Corsican hellebore, none of our hellebores are as simple white. If any of ours are cultivars, I can not identify them. The cultivars may have died out decades ago, leaving only feral seedlings. I featured them this week because they bloomed better than they have ever bloomed. They do not perform so well here.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s