Six On Saturday: A tale of two skimmias

There is a tale of two skimmias to be told but first the tale of the headless chicken.

Finding myself with some spare time I set off to do some weeding. Yep, I was definitely going to tackle the patch by the gooseberries. But on the way I walked past the borders where I spotted some ground elder. No, stay focused. Oh dear, there’s some enchanter’s nightshade running along the wall behind the roses. I’d better do that first. And then there was the creeping cinquefoil, leading on to creeping buttercup, which was nudging up nicely to the hairy bittercress and then the oxalis came into view. Celandine was popping up everywhere and I wasn’t anywhere near the gooseberries. In headless chicken mode I ricocheted from one weed to another, feeling determined and feeble in equal measure. A small dent was made and the fight will go on. But for now here are six delights from the garden.


The first of the skimmias, ‘Kew Green’.  As far as I can understand this is a male skimmia, with no berries. Which was fine by me, I wanted it for the lime green pannicles and to fill the space left by the removal of the  ailing choysia.  So here it is, much loved by the bees at the moment and I’m happy.  Now.  But this is the second skimmia I have bought,  The first, which came to me as skimmia ‘Kew Green’ went on to produce a few berries.  Curious, I thought.  Is it really ‘Kew Green’.  I really did want KG so I bought the second, which I really think is KG.  Are you keeping up?


This is the first skimmia, which purports to be ‘Kew Green’.  Now it is in flower I can see it has smaller flowers which are white.  It looks fine, I don’t mind it, but it doesn’t look like ‘Kew Green’ to me.  I’d be interested to know if it is possible to identify it at all?


I was very delighted to see that my leucojum aestivum, aka summer snowflake, are finally in flower.  I dutifully stuck to the recommended planting distances and now I have five rather lonely looking snowflakes.  Here’s hoping they will clump up over time. 


Last week’s ‘World Friendship’ tulips have been joined by something that was meant to be  ‘White Triumphator’ but which doesn’t look very lilly flower like to me.  More gardening mysteries! 


I’ve planted out the first of the autumn sown ammi visnaga.  This is the row that will run alongside the wild blackberries that I inherited.  I have a picture of this in my mind, let’s see if it materialises.


The promise of things to come.  Such a decision to make.   I’ve chosen the allium nigrum.  I was tempted by the buds of apple blossom or the seed heads of an early flowering hellebore that are on the point of bursting but I am most excited by these. I’ve previously planted ‘Mount Everest’ but they seem to disappear too easily so this year I’m trying nigrum.  I can’t wait to see them in flower. 

The second early potatoes are in, I’ve pruned the hydrangeas,  I’ve sown a few dwarf french beans – inside on the kitchen window sill and the sunflower challenge has begun.  It’s a busy time. I hope you are keeping well and finding some time to garden.  Mr P is doing sterling work keeping SOS going.  He’s well ahead of me with his seeds, leading the charge into the growing season.  Stop by and take a look. 


18 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: A tale of two skimmias

    • Interesting. My favourite is the Kew Green. It looks just right in the space and now I have to build some planting around it. The white one is growing on me and is a good in the very dark corner it inhabits!

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  1. Whoever your Skimmia’s are – they’re both lovely. But I know how annoying it can be to end up with mislabelled plants. I have a white Hydrangea that should have been pink, we had a cordon apple that should have been a red but was green and no one would eat it. We eventually dug it up.

    The summer snowflake is beautiful. I planted some in a border – but there’s no sign of them flowering. It’s very pretty. My Ammi is but a tiny seedling right now – there’s obvious wisdom in doing an autumn sowing – thank you, I’ve learned something else today. 😊

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  2. I agree that the two skimmias seem to be of different cultivars. I actually prefer the second skimmia, with smaller white floral trusses. I can not identify it because I am unfamiliar with skimmias.
    The snowflake is nice. It is what I grow instead of snowdrop. I did not plan it that way. It just showed up in the garden.


  3. The first picture, your second Skimmia purchase, does look right for ‘Kew Green’, which is a form of Skimmia laureola. The other is a female and presumably had red berries, so they haven’t confused it with ‘Kew White’, which has white berries. The male ‘Kew Green’ won’t pollinate the female one, which will be a form of S. japonica, so if it has berries it may be a self fertile form or there may be a female japonica form in a nearby garden. There are quite a number of female japonicas but not many that are widely available, post a picture when it’s in fruit, it may be possible to pin it down. It’s a very healthy looking plant, whatever it is.

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    • Thank you so much Jim, that answers so many of my unvoiced questions. There were one or two red berries on the white one – which alerted me to the possibility of it not being KG. The white one is growing on me and if it produces a good quantity of berries I will be very happy.


  4. hahaha… I know the headless chicken mode all too well, which is how I pop out into the garden for 10 minutes and return 3 hours later and still haven’t done what I set out to do! Interesting Skimmias. I bought two white females last year as I have a male and wanted berries. One is Skimmia japonica Nymans and the other is Kew White which looks like your #2. I also have ‘White Triumphator’ which has yet to flower though lots of buds. I’ll post a photo when it does so we can compare, but my instinct is that yours is not lily-flowering.

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    • My real ‘White Truumphator’ have flowered this week and the difference is very apparent! Jim is going down the Skimmia japonica route for the white flowering skimmia. I’ll have to wait and see what sort of berries I get. Still in headless chicken mode but gradually get there!

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      • My ‘White Triumphator’ have flowered too – pretty ivory coloured fluted flowers, but some are very short! They are in a pot with white Thalia narcissi so maybe they got a bit tight on space! Funny though, because I thought I’d planted them in the raised bed and it was only when I saw them both in flower I realised the difference – the other is ‘Tres Chic’ and definitely not lily-flowered, though some sites say it should be! 🙂 I’m beginning to realise that tulips often have a mind of their own!

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