Time for another Six on Saturday, don’t they come around quickly!
I’m still trying to winter-ize the garden and one plant that I have been putting off dealing with is Ensete mureliae. I had originally hoped that it would go into the glasshouse for the winter but there really isn’t room and I’m not sure that it would be warm enough. Fred sent me a link a while back about how to keep Ensete and I also had a look at other internet sites. The gist of most is that you cut the leaves off, take the plant out of it’s pot, or dig it up, rinse the soil off of the roots and then store in a frost-free shed (or similar). The plants shown on line all seemed to have a lot smaller rootball than my plant and it’s taking a long time to dry out enough to store. I’m going to try it in the loft with the Dahlias (when I lift them), Begonias and Eucomis.
The above Eucomis comosa grew really well this year but, disappointingly, only one of them flowered. I tipped them out of their pot a couple of days ago to dry them off and was shocked to find that they had virtually no roots. It didn’t take long to find the culprits
Since spring 2020 I have found so many of these ****** things, mostly in the compost bins, but also in the borders and in a few pots. I watered the compost bins and pots (I’m hoping that the Eucomis one was the only one I forgot) with nematodes and am hoping that the plague is over.
I’ve seen so few butterflies in the garden this year and most of them have been Cabbage Whites. This was a lovely find the other day.
Most of the herbaceous plants have gone over now but a few of the Penstemons are still flowering.
The Beech hedge has struggled this year, a couple of the plants have died and others have had some die back. I had some root and bark samples analysed and nothing bad was found. I think/hope that the problem has been caused by water logging last winter after the drought of the previous summer. On the positive side the healthier parts have coloured up quite well as autumn has progressed.
The ferns continue to add a lot to the garden at this time of year and I try to take time to appreciate the different, sometimes quite subtle, leaf forms. This is Dryopteris affinis ‘Cristata The King’, still looking rather regal.
The hatches are battened down for Storm Arwen and all of my fingers are crossed that the garden won’t suffer any/much damage. Have a good weekend, whatever the weather. For those of us in the UK the storm should give us plenty of time to read the other Sixes at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/
It’s been a dry and fairly warm (for the time of year) week and I’ve managed to spend a bit of time outside. The leaves have been falling rapidly from the Birch tree and need to be collected and bagged. In the past I have mixed the Amelanchier and Birch leaves in with the other material for the compost bin. Last year the number of leaves seemed much greater so I decided to bag and compost them instead. I wasn’t sure how long the process would take but when I opened the bags up last week to check progress I was really pleased with the contents. I can’t decide whether to use it as a mulch or mix it with compost for potting next year. While I think about that here are six other things from the garden.
Every year I vow to have less pots and every year I seem to gain more pots. My main gardening focus for the last couple of weeks has been to empty out the plants that I filled them with, cutting back and re-potting those that need to over-winter in the glasshouse and then re-fill the pots with layers of bulbs and top most with winter/spring plants. It seemed a shame not to re-use the pot if it had compost in and I did buy rather a lot of bulbs……. There might be a few more pots in other parts of the garden.
In the spring I bought a large tuber of Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz’. It was certainly larger than other tubers I’ve bought in the past. It made a really strong plant that flowered non-stop all summer. I was amazed at how large the tuber had become when I emptied the pot. The other stems have broken away from the tuber but I think it might be a while before this one does.
I showed the plants in this little border looking really good back in the spring and they have continued to do so all summer and autumn and, although a little chewed, they’re fading gracefully.
I grow annual Rudbeckia ‘Rustic Dwarf’ most years. This year they germinated well but then seemed to stop growing for a while. The cold spring weather halted them in their tracks, along with many other seedlings. It took them a long time to start flowering but it was worth the wait and they’re still (just about) going.
Further along in the border Salvia ‘Amistad’ has reached over five foot. I’ve not had success with this Salvia in the border before and can’t decide whether to dig it up and over winter it in the glasshouse. I also grew it in pots and those plants are now in the glasshouse.
A lot of the succulents have been in the cold frame for a while to help them dry out after all of the early autumn rain. Some are flowering and others are having a growth spurt. Crassula perforata didn’t grow much in the spring or summer but is making up for it now. It will have to move somewhere warmer soon as it’s not hardy.
The mammoth job of emptying the summer pots to refill them with bulbs and winter interest continues slowly but surely in the right direction. In the meantime here are six things that are still looking good in the rest of the garden with absolutely no help from me.
Several years ago we made an autumn visit to Westonbirt arboretum and the leaf colours were, of course, amazing. Most of the plants I coveted were far too big to even consider in our garden but I did, eventually, buy and make space for a Euonymus alatus. It’s about three years since I planted it.
I bought plug plants of three Alstromerias in the spring. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to plant them so grew them on in pots and then eventually part-sank the pots in the ground. They’ve all grown well but one was rather shy to flower but is finally going to put on a show – as long as the hard frosts hold off for a bit longer. I was going to dig the pots up and overwinter the plants in the glasshouse but am now thinking I’ll leave them be until the spring and then plant out properly.
I have quite a few grasses in the garden but find them very hard to photograph so they don’t often appear in a Six. The Hakonechloa is looking so lovely at the moment, trailing over the sleeper that it had to have its moment here.
The Roses on ropes and posts in the front garden have just about ceased for the year but R. ‘White Swan’ is having a little flower burst. The leaves have been a breeding ground for snails and there seems to be a tiny snail or three under each one.
The rest of the front garden is sliding into autumnal decay.
Back to the back garden and there are a couple of the larger pots that I’m reluctant to empty out yet as there’s still quite a bit of colour in them.
The forecast for the weekend looks fair so I’m really hoping to get the bulk of the bulbs planted. I just need to keep my head focussed on the job in hand and not get distracted by all the other things that need doing out there. Sounds so easy…….
There have been several overnight frosts this week which have just about called a halt to the late colour in the summer pots but at least it’s been dry (damp today though). The next week or so is forecast to be a bit warmer, over night at least, so there’s still going to be plenty of gardening time 🤞. Here’s a look at what’s been going on in the garden this week.
Because it’s been quite mild the half hardy perennial climbers have been performing well in the glasshouse, along with the Achimenes and scented leaf pelargoniums. This means there hasn’t been any room to put the half hardy perennials from the patio pots in there to over-winter so I haven’t emptied most of the pots. This means that I haven’t been able to refill the pots with layers of bulbs, and round it goes. The frosts have given me the kick that I needed and, reluctantly, I have had to start clearing the glasshouse.
I’ve lined the side with polycarbonate for a couple of years now hoping that it gives a bit more protection for the over wintering plants stood on the ground.
One of the climbers I’ve tried in the glasshouse this year was Asarina purpusii ‘Victoria Falls’ which I grew from seed in the spring. The packet said they would grow to 45cm/18″. Rather than have them trailing I decided to try them up some short canes. Quite quickly I had to add some taller canes and the plants ended up growing across the shading on the roof, making about six feet. They’re behind the Rhodochiton in the photo so can’t be seen easily. They trailed downwards as well and have flowered prolifically all summer long. Once the top growth had been cut off I was surprised to find that the plants had produced little tubers. I’ve potted these up and have my fingers crossed that they will survive the winter.
Now that there was room under glass I could start to clear the patio pots and plant some bulbs. The bigger pots have layers of Tulips, Narcissi and Crocus/Irises and are topped with winter bedding plants for immediate colour.
The tall grasses always look so good at this time of year, especially with the evening sun on them. Just caught this one.
A few weeks ago I showed Epiphyllum anguligar flowering for the first time. I guessed that the necessary pollinator wouldn’t be available so I couldn’t resist using a paint brush, not really expecting a result. The flower had collapsed within 36 hours but is still hanging on by a thread. Rather excitingly there seems to be a seed pod developing behind it.
Lastly, another plant from indoors. Following on from some comments on other Sixes last week, this Christmas Cactus is, presumably, a Thanksgiving one, along with the darker flowering one that will probably make a Six in a couple of weeks time.
I’m working today so there won’t be any gardening done – tomorrow hopefully. Have a good weekend and don’t forget to check in with our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ to see what the other Sixers have been up to this week.
At times it’s been a very wet and windy week. There has been some sunshine though and the night time temperatures have held up well for the time of year. The windy weather has just about finished off a lot of the summer pots so this weekends task, weather providing, is to empty them out, cut back and pot up the half-hardy plants for over-wintering in the glasshouse then re-plant the pots with layers of bulbs. I’ve got some Bellis, Pansies, Violas, Primulas and dwarf Wallflowers to top them off with. Sounds so easy but takes me hours. Enjoyable hours though.
In the meantime, here are this weeks slightly soggy, rather windblown six things from my garden although the sky temporarily cleared as I was taking the pictures yesterday afternoon. The deluge arrived in the early hours of this morning!
The Melianthus major was very straggly after last winter so in the spring I cut it back hard and it produced several good shoots. I don’t think that it’s been hot and sunny enough for it this year so it hasn’t made a huge amount of growth but looks good though.
I planted Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Dancing Snow’ in the spring to try to lighten a north-facing rather dark corner to the side of the Birch tree. The damp summer has helped it to settle in well and the white flowers certainly lit up the corner. The flower heads faded to lime green and now have soft pink tones that echo the Parthocissus ‘Henryana’ on the trellis next to it.
On the other side of the trellis, Geranium ‘Brookside’ has flowered all summer long. It’s a little bigger than I was expecting but will definitely be staying. The Ricinus leaves above it look lovely with yesterdays sun starting to descend behind them. It’s in completely the wrong place (the Ricinus not the sun) but is a self-seeder from last year. The seed must have spent the winter in the compost bin and ended up in this bed when I mulched it. It’s actually done better than the plants I grew from new seed.
Several years ago I was given this Mahonia by a friend. It was a small plant grown from a cutting and was labelled as ‘Pamina’. I’ve not been able to find a great deal of information about it on an English website. The flowers are fairly typical Mahonia aquifolium flowers but for the first time it has produced some ‘grapes’.
The effects of last weeks cooler nights are showing in the glasshouse with the climbing plants foliage (not so) slowly dying off. The Rhodochiton atrosanguineus is still flowering abundantly and there are a few seedheads developing. I’m not sure that there’s time for the seeds to ripen though.
None of the above has been very autumny except, maybe, the Hydrangea, so here’s autumn planted outside of the north-facing front door.
The forecast isn’t great for the weekend though it has finally stopped raining, for now anyway, so there might not be much bulb planting done, sadly, but they’ll wait a little longer. Maybe I’ll make a start clearing out some of the pots in the glasshouse which will then give me somewhere to work out of the rain. Whatever your weather I hope you have a good weekend. There’s more Sixes at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ Enjoy.
I usually take my pictures for my SoS on the Friday but somehow, even though I was out in the garden yesterday afternoon, I failed to realise that it was Friday. We’ve been out this morning so here is a very late offering for this weeks Six.
The glasshouse thermometer recorded an overnight temperature of 6.6 degrees on Tuesday and an even lower 5.4 on Thursday. Things are definitely starting to look a bit scruffy in the herbaceous borders and the time has come to do some major cutting down/clearing out to make room for plants I’ve been growing on and for bulbs. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of autumn colour in the garden this year but the Parthenocissus henryana is slowly beginning to colour up.
The leaves on some of the Hydrangeas are changing colour but not on this un-named one by the fern wall. The drying flower heads keep their form very well though.
Last year I planted a rooted cutting of a plant I was given (and grew) as Bidens scabiousifolia in the garage border. I don’t think this name is correct but can’t find another name. Can anyone help? It was fairly rampant there so I removed it last autumn. It must be one of those plants that grows back from a tiny bit of remaining root and I kept meaning to remove the resulting growth. And then it started flowering. It’s now over six feet tall, beginning to run again and is definitely coming out. I will, however, keep some in a pot over winter and make a point of planting it anew each spring.
The Dahlias are definitely past their best and heavy rain and strong winds earlier in the week caused quite a bit of damage. However, there is still quite a lot of colour and the dark red single ‘Verone’s Obsidian’ is out shining all of the others. It was one of the first into flower in early summer and hasn’t stopped since. The bees also love it.
Last winter I planted a small Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’ in a large patio pot with bulbs underneath. I’d intended to plant it in a border in the spring but it had thrown up so many offshoots that I was a bit worried about ‘releasing’ it into open ground so I left it where it was and added some trailing Persicaria and Ivy around the edge. I’m glad I left it as it has looked really good, if a little congested, ever since.
Another patio pot to finish with. I bought six Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ plugs five (?) years ago. They did well and when I emptied the pot I found they’d made little tubers which I over-wintered, not really sure if they were big enough to survive. I’ve had them ever since and the tubers are now hand-sized. This is one plant in a 14″ pot and it has flowered non-stop all summer. I’m not complaining but I really need the pot for some bulbs!
Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’m hoping that tomorrows forecast rain doesn’t happen so that I can garden in the dry 🤞
We had our first rather cool night this week, 6.6 degrees C in the glasshouse so colder outside but by the end of the week the overnight temperature in there was 12.4 degrees. It’s also been another dry week and I’ve been tidying through the borders, removing some of the annuals (Cosmos, Zinnias, Calendulas etc) and cutting a few perennials back but it seems that there’s still no room for bulb planting. While I wait for the room to magically appear here are five things from the garden and one from inside.
While clearing around the patio pots I found some very ripe berries from Fuchsia ‘Lechlade Gordon’. They’d split open when they fell and I could see some seeds inside. I’ve never tried growing Fuchsias from seed so decided that maybe I should. I squished the berries in a bowl of water and the seeds fell to the bottom. They’re quite dust like and are now safely stored until the spring.
I’ve three ‘L. Gordons’ in pots, all cuttings taken last September. They’ve flowered a couple of times this year and two of them are starting to do so again.
Another Fuchsia that has done well is ‘Lottie Hobbie’. I’ve been growing this for many years but the cooler, wetter weather this year means that it has been able to reach a larger size than normal. It was late to flower but has more than made up for that. It has also been unaffected by the Gall Mite.
On the other side of the trellis is the bed that I stripped out in early spring and dug over to get rid of the encroaching bindweed and brambles. Most plants were re-planted, including Salvia uliginosa. It was a bit beaten down by the wind and rain a few weeks ago but still looks good.
It might have got a bit chilly in the glasshouse but the Achimenes have finally come into full flower.
as has Impatiens repans
The Dahlia bed continues to provide lots of colour although a couple of the plants have decided that enough is enough for this year. I’m planning on lifting the tubers this year and planting Narcissus bulbs deeply in the border. The tubers will be re-planted next year and, hopefully, will then remain in the ground. I got this idea from Sarah Raven’s book A Year Full of Flowers.
I know this is supposed to be six things in the garden but there was a very exciting happening in my indoor plant world this week (I know, I have a sad life). I’ve been growing the Ric-Rac plant (Epiphyllum anguliger) for three years and this week it flowered. Just the one flower but pretty spectacular.
It looks like the weekend will be dry here but there’s rain forecast for next week and I’ve still got part of the succulent tower to dismantle and re-pot. Best get moving!
A speedy Six this week as I’m working today so here are six plants that are looking good in the garden this week.
Earlier this year the blooms on this Honeysuckle were ruined by an infestation of greenfly. It happens most years and I regularly threaten to get rid of it but there’s a Clematis (‘Margot Koster’) growing through it which would make it difficult to do so. However, this year the Honeysuckle had another, successful, flowering period in August and it’s decided to have yet another go.
On the other side of the Honeysuckle arch is the side wall of the garage. This is covered by a Solanum jasminoides ‘Glasnevin’. I’ve had to admit that this is too big a plant for this wall. It’s been here for five/six years and I cut it back virtually to the ground every spring as well as some pruning during the summer. Growing through it is a Cobaea scandens and an Ipomoea ‘Morning Glory’ plus Clematis ‘Blue Angel’ and C. ‘Dr Ruppel’. It’s a bit of a jungle in this border and there will be changes made for next spring.
Hebe ‘Sandra Joy’ got very leggy last year so received a prune once the weather had warmed up in the spring. It’s grown well but it’s been a long wait for some flowers.
The fern wall has filled out well this summer. The wet cold spring meant that it took the plants quite a while to get going but it’s looking very lush now and has achieved the aim of covering the fence panels.
One of the slowest ferns to get going has been Coniogramme emeiensis but the yellow and green banded fronds are well worth waiting for. I’m not sure how long it will be happy living in a pot and it may have to be planted out in the border below.
Chasmanthium latifolium is a grass that comes up reliably every year. It sits quietly in the border until September when the long spikelets emerge and then it all turns a lovely buttery yellow colour.
Final choice this week is a Michaelmas Daisy. This is a mid height variety and very dainty looking.
After a mixed week of rain, wind and some sun it seems that there’s now a bit of a lull in the weather which will, hopefully, give me a chance to get out there and do some tidying up. The box of bulbs are still looking at me accusingly – none have been planted yet as the pots and borders are still too full.
The bulbs have arrived at last! I’m sure I didn’t order all of those! Where on earth are they all going to go? After seeing the weather take its toll on the garden this week it was so wonderful to open that box of positivity. I tried to be fairly organised when ordering, working out the varieties needed for the various pots but there are some impulse buys as well, especially Tulips. There was only one substitution and the bulbs look in great condition so I’m very happy. I haven’t anywhere to plant most of them yet as the pots are still full of summer plants but it’s October already and it won’t be long before the big clear out starts. Meanwhile, here’s this weeks look into my garden.
On Sunday night Bristol VTS recorded wind speeds in excess of 50 knots in the Bristol Channel and that’s only about 6 miles away. Then at about 6.00am the heavens opened and the rain poured down. I didn’t have to go out of the door in the morning to see the first casualty – a hanging basket of Begonia ‘Apricot Shades’. They’ve grown really well again this year and had made a near perfect ball of apricot flowers. By Monday morning one side of the basket had keeled over. I tried propping up the stems but more bad weather during the week put paid to that.
On the plus side the annual climbers continue to put on a show. Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’ was in last weeks Six and this week I. lobata has suddenly made an appearance.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get all of the pots of succulents under cover before the rain arrived Monday morning. It then rained virtually non-stop all day Tuesday so by Wednesday their pots had been drenched. I spent a sunny Wednesday afternoon working through them and they are now all in the cold frame, protected from any more wet weather. I hope they get to dry out as I don’t really want to re-pot them all for the winter. On the positive side some are still flowering.
The taller Michaelmas Daisies were badly hit by the wind but are still looking beautiful. This is a mid-height one that is a far more delicate plant.
Persicaria ‘Indian summer’ is a plant that I keep thinking I’ll remove from the main border as it’s a bit of a thug and then at this time of year it comes into its own. The hoverflies love it.
The main border is beginning to look rather tired and I’ve started removing gone the over annuals and cutting down some perennial stems (ones without seed heads). A few weeks ago I mentioned the triffid Cosmos that had grown really tall and bushy but that hadn’t flowered. For a while they added something but when I was trying to straighten up wind-blown plants yesterday I decided they were blocking out a lot of the colour and had to go.
I didn’t have time to get through the whole border but took a few pictures to remind myself that it is October now and there is still quite a lot going on. Just don’t look too closely.
I need to make more notes about what to move/remove/divide in this border for next year but the forecast for today is very wet and windy (correct so far!) and only marginally better for tomorrow so I don’t think there will be much gardening done. There will, therefore, be plenty of time to see what’s going on in other Sixers’ gardens at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/
We had a lovely day at the Malvern Autumn Show yesterday. There were lots of nurseries with plenty of plants to tempt but I was very restrained in my purchases (even I have to admit that the garden is rather full). I also had an email this week to say that my bulb order has been despatched so I need to start making planting plans. The problem, as usual, is that the large pots are still full of summer plants and are still looking too good to empty. It’s a good problem to have though. Another problem I had this week was deciding what to put in my Six. I had an idea to focus on foliage but the tender climbers are putting on a show at last, the Dahlias are still looking great and the glasshouse residents have finally put on a display. In the end I have gone with the foliage.
I’ve mentioned before that I am drawn to plants with large leaves, I like the way the leaves move in the slightest breeze. It took me quite a long time to work out why I’m not very keen on Ceanothus – on the whole the leaves are too small making the plants seem very static. As the Non-Gardener would say – she’s weird. New to the garden this year is Ensete maurelii ‘African Breeze’. It makes me so happy every time that I walk past it. It’s another plant that broke my rule of no new non-hardy plants and I’m going to have to find room for it in the house over winter. I haven’t mentioned this to the N-G yet.
The Ensete stands in front of the shed with a pot of Eucomis bicolor and Colocasia ‘Coco’. The latest Colocasia leaf to open is 28″ long. When there is a breeze the leaves sway from side to side – mesmerising. It took a long time for the round tuber to come into growth but it was definitely worth the wait.
I’ve grown a few varieties of Zantedeschia for several years. The cooler, cloudier weather this year means that they haven’t flowered so well but they still earn a place on the patio because of their leaves.
While nowhere near as large as the above leaves Solenostemon leaves add a lot of colour for months and some varieties eventually get to quite a size.
Some Oxalis can be a real nuisance and I wasn’t sure about buying this one to use in a pot with a Begonia but I’m glad I did, so far anyway. It has flowered for months on end, dead-heads itself and trails really well. The leaves aren’t huge but are very delicate and are a lovely colour.
I had several contenders for number six and it’s been hard choosing one but I’ve gone with Nandina domestica ‘Obsessed’. The long leaves are made up of several leaflets. They are glossy green and the new growth is a fiery red. This colour seems to have persisted for the whole summer this year.