Sunday, 31 July 2022

Highlights and Horrors of Hexenhäusli Device Gardens

 Hello!  I thought I'd better pop in as it's been a couple of weeks since I last surfaced.  I don't have very much to say for myself, but I do have some photos from the gardens here at Hexenhäusli Device.  

 Above is the second showing from that Hippeastrum in last month's Of Hawkmoths and Drag Queen Knock-Offs (you can see the first set of blooms in the photo below). 

 To the right, the first little 'pineapples' of my Pineapple Lilies (Eucomis comosa 'Sparkling Burgundy') sprouted earlier this month. 

 And below, rocketing up in front of the jasmine, clematis, and permanent pea (everlasting sweet pea), is a double white hollyhock (sourced from Delargo Seeds back in 2021).  I sowed it and its many siblings last year (along with some other seeds - as seen here), and while most found their way to a border at the side of the house and flowered that year, this one was a spare that I tucked in beneath the trellis next to the paysho.  It didn't seem to do very well then, but it was obviously establishing itself ready for this year.

This was taken on 2nd July.
The hollyhock is now even taller at just over three metres (that's nearly 10 feet)

Bumblebee vs Hollyhock

The second generation of Kniola's Black (Ipomoea purpurea) - the first generation was also from Delargo Seeds last year.  These are three self sown seedlings I rescued from that bottlebrush plant (back here).  I've noticed there are loads more under the hollyhock, but I don't know if they'll amount to much as it's probably too shady under there for them.

Fancy a cruise around the lake?

With the exception of 'Blacky' (my favourite) bookending this selection,
I have no idea what these Fuchsias are called

Amongst the Cathedral Bells / Cup-and-Saucer Vine (Cobaea scandens) 
growing up this old gate, I've tied in some Fuchsias and Spider plants.

And above the gate under the garage eaves these unspeakable eldritch horrors lurk!

Eeuuch!  They're hideous!  One of the few creatures that I'd happily squish without a second thought if they came near me.
(Despite looking - and moving - like something from the Dungeon Dimensions, these repulsive things are harmless common harvestmen, Phalangium opilio)

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

Orange Hawk Bit / Fox-and-Cubs (Pilosella aurantiaca)

Bear's Britches (Acanthus spinosus)

Unfurling tree fern frond (Dicksonia antarctica)
Not quite the rich chocolate brown I was hoping for from my tiny foxglove
(Digitalis parviflora)

My G&T Corner - although, as you can see, it serves as a coffee corner when etiquette and decorum states it's too early for alcohol...


  1. My, how beautiful your garden grows, Mary! Sigh. I have failing raspberry bushes and underperforming marigolds. It's just not the year for me... Everything should be nearing peak and its like they've not even begun. I do not have a green thumb. You, on the contrary, Mary... wow. It's like a drag show! Kizzes.

    1. Why, thank you, Mr Tonking! Although, you'll notice that I'm only showing snippets rather than the whole, scruffy, heat-blasted, dried up wilderness...

      Raspberries?! You haven't mentioned those before - Are they new this year? Perhaps they're an autumn fruiting variety which may be why they seem to be 'failing' at the mo?
      Nevertheless, I'm still expecting some photos from you this year. If your plants aren't performing as you'd like, some careful angles, judicious cropping and thoughtful close-ups could work wonders!

  2. How fabulous! Everything is so lush at this time of year...

    Good to see the Hollyhock doing so well (our look like crap in their pots), and as for Ipomoea (and Asarina and Verbena bonariensis, for that matter), we have self-seeded plants popping up everywhere! Our original (dwarf) "pineapple flower" is in full flush, but nothing so far on the one you sent us.

    Despite the grey and humid air out there, needless to say I am out there in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, doing some pruning and feeding. At some stage I may decide to just sit down and enjoy it...


    PS Those harvestmen are hideous, but they serve a good purpose, eating harmful pests like aphids, earwigs and even small slugs and snails.

    1. I'm rather pleased with the hollyhock - Delargo Seeds has done it again!
      I suspect you may be waiting another couple of years before those 'Sparkling Burgundy's flower - although, I'm sure yours are doing better than mine (I forgot that mine existed and found them rather late in the season struggling behind some big pots).

      With the amount of harvestmen under my eaves, so to speak, I shouldn't be seeing ANY pests fr the rest of the year!


  3. Looking wonderful and lush as ever and not a Begonia in sight, though I did wince slightly at the Eucomis. My Strong Annabelle Hydrangea is putting on a poor display this year (Decrepit Annabelle as I like to call it) the flowers usually the size of dinner plates are now reduced to that of a saucer and have flopped over, I'm thinking about digging it out and replacing it with a Bramley apple tree, are they easy to grow and do I need a pair?

    Re. your gallery of fuchsias: Pic 3 looks like Love's Reward, Pic 4 could be Dorothy Pic 5 Carmel Blue.

    Lovely long fingers you have, ideal for playing La Campanella on the piano.

    1. Fuchsia #5 looks more like Eva Boerg to me; #7 might be Millennium? And the flowers on #6 are massive, then I would suggest Bella Rosella, but if they're normal size, then no clue. So many fuchsias look very similar in photos, it is very difficult to hazard a guess. Jx

    2. Oh, that's a shame about your Annabelle, Mitzi. Perhaps it's missing the blood & bone that bird-of-prey provided last year?
      The Bramley I have up the allotment seems very easy to grow. I planted it the autumn before last, made sure it was regularly watered for a couple of months or so, then pretty much ignored it. It has quite a few apples on it now, but there are a couple of eating apple trees up there too, so I'm not sure if they're the reason or not? (I'm thinking not - I don't think I would have bought it if I needed another for pollination purposes?)

      As for the fuchsias, #1 & #7 are Blacky, and #2 is Peachy (I found a label yesterday). #4 may be Black Prince? #6's flowers are quite small, so I'm guessing not Bella Rosella. I might have another hunt around for labels again soon.

  4. Looks like you've done a good job keeping things alive and thriving in your garden during your heatwave. We're having our own heatwave now. I'm doing the best I can to keep things alive. I'm the only one in this house who seems to care. The new young coyote was in a terrible state this morning. I may have left a large planter dish of water in the shade. Some people vehemently hate coyotes, like some people there really hate foxes there, but these non-native bunnies would destroy so much more plant life if there weren't checks and balances.

    There are a lot of common names for those kinds of fuchsia. I know them as "lady in a bathtub" and "bleeding hearts".

    1. Oh, good for you! Funnily enough, I left a dish of water on the bank behind the garden a couple of days ago - but that's mainly so the deer don't jump over the fence for a drink and then marmalise/devour my plants while they're at it!

  5. I do like your chimney pots! They wouldn’t look out of place up Jon’s back passage.
    Well someone had to lower the tone.
    Meanwhile, what is this talk of heatwaves??? Admittedly it is muggy, but it has been raining here! I am again verdant, and dodging puddles - I even got mud on my boots the other day - I will write a post about drizzle very soon.
    Your garden is beautiful and I would like to go boating on your lake.

    1. Ms Scarlet!

      :: blushes furiously ::

      When we were being baked alive a week or so ago, I checked in to see what the weather was like down your way and found myself envious of your cooler, wetter clime. I still don't have any Wellies though, so I wouldn't have joined you on a walk if I'd've visited.


    Tarantula deVice ! Confess : You are breeding them !

    1. Mwah hah hah hah haaaa!

      Soon my spider army will take over the worl-

      Um. I mean, I don't know what you're talking about, Mago? What an imagination you have.

      :: ahem ::

  7. Jon has certainly been successful in spreading his seed.

    As for the photos of those unspeakable eldritch horrors, it looks like my legs before shaving day.

    1. You'd be amazed the places my seed has fallen! Well, maybe not... Jx

    2. Best you keep those stripy tights on, Very Mistress!

      Yesterday I discovered that some of Jon's seed must have been inadvertantly flung up my right border! An Ipomoea "Kniola's Black" is growing there and put out two gorgeous flowers (which is how I noticed it entwined around the lavender, box, and miniature roses).

  8. Absolutely gorgeous! I love all of it, but if I had pick one it might be your beautiful "Blacky" fuschia. Or the double hollyhock.Oh! That Eucomis is pretty good, too. I used to grow the "common" one, but have never seen the purple.
    I've begun a collection of pics to send for your perusal, but nothing comes close to this!

    1. The hollyhocks and Eucomis' are going great guns! I'm going to have to try not to propogate any more Eucomis otherwise Mitzi's wince may turn into a sneer or grimace. And what if the wind changes?
      I need to take some cuttings from "Blacky" though as it's getting on a bit and looking a little worse for wear. I've tried before but they never seem to take - but every other fuchsia cutting does!

      I'm looking forward to your down-under collection - it is sure to be completely different to anyone elses!

    2. Yeth , Thir. I'll do my vewy betht, Thir...


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