Six on Saturday 01/08/20

We don’t seem to get two days the same weatherwise at the moment. On Tuesday night the temperature in the glasshouse was down in single figures, yesterday afternoon it was over 45 degrees in there. Poor plants. There’s a few showers forecast for this morning and it’s quite breezy. Again.
We’ve braved going out into the world a bit more this week (only to outside places with few people around). A lovely long beach walk and a visit to Cerney House Garden were both very enjoyable. The Non-Gardener is slowly starting his work again but I can’t see when I will be able to start mine 😔. On the positive side, that gives me plenty of time in the garden, most of it dead-heading at the moment. I’m building up to a visit to a garden centre or, even better, a nursery! Definite withdrawal symptoms and things are starting to run out.

For the last few weeks I’ve been showing the garden by area but this week normal service is resumed, focussing in on individual plants.

  1. Let’s start with a Clematis. This is ‘Diana’s Delight’ and I planted her last year. I wanted a shorter variety for this trellis but I am hoping that she will get a bit taller (never satisfied, as the NG says). The main flowering was in June but there’s a second flush of flowers appearing.

2. Last week I showed Gaura lindheimeri with Verbena bonariensis, this week it’s teamed with Achillea millefolium ‘Cassis’. This is a pairing to keep an eye on I think – the first seeds quite freely and the second runs well.

The Achillea is a lovely soft crimson colour, not as pink as this looks

3. Dahlias have done better for me this year but some of the ones I planted in the borders have suffered recently in the damp weather. How much can a few slugs and/or snails eat in a night!!! Dahlia ‘White Onesta’ hasn’t fared too badly.

4. I have two Agapanthus, both deciduous and in pots. One is quite a dainty one and the other is much stronger growing but both are unnamed. The smaller one started life in a pot, never had more than two flower stems and so was planted in a border. After five or six years with no flowers at all (and not a lot of growth either) I dug it up and put it back in a pot. There followed one or two years with no flowers, then progress with three stems but last year I was disappointed to only have two stems again. I wasn’t holding out much hope for this year but there’s 11 stems. Woohoo!

The second plant is stood in the garage side border. This is it’s third year with me – one stem last year and two this year (they wouldn’t both fit in the picture). The flower heads are about three times the size of the above plant, although they don’t really look it in the photo as it’s in with the big boys.

5. I wanted the glasshouse to be a bit more flowery this summer and have a few ornamentals growing in there. This is the first time I’ve grown Impatiens repans. It was one of my few on-line purchases (a gardener can only go so long with no new plants), was slow to get going but is making up for it now. I’m growing it as a trailer in a shadier part of the glasshouse. If we have a prolonged hot spell I may have to move it outside.

6. The gardening season has started to change over the last couple of weeks with Cyclamen hederifolium popping up at the border edges. I love these little flowers and, after many years and a little help, they have spread around the borders really well. Some of the seed heads from last years flowers have still to open (you can just make out some of the coils) so the new flowers seem a little early to me but I suppose it is August.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to catch up with all the wonderful gardens thanks to our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 25/07/20

It’s been a mixed week weather-wise, rather cloudy, some sun and a little rain – all in all a little disappointing for the time of year. However, there’s been plenty of time for gardening, dead-heading is the main job at the moment. Over the last few weeks I’ve been showing the ‘bigger’ picture of my small garden. This week is the week that I run out of garden to show you: there’s just the front garden left. The photos were taken between rain showers so aren’t great, sorry.

  1. Years ago I planted a mixed hedge between us and our neighbours. It’s been left to its own devices for a few years and I’ve started some cutting down recently as it was getting a bit tall and wide. There’s a privet hedge at the top of the garden and roses on ropes and posts by the road. The front garden has to look after itself most of the time and the planting has evolved rather than been planned. It’s mostly left-over plants. The only additions this year are the Ginkgo tree, hiding in the centre (ish) which has been growing on in a pot for a few years, Ricinus communis and some Cosmos. The annuals are self-seeders.

2. Gaura lindheimeri and Verbena bonariensis both seed around, especially the Verbena and a lot of seedlings are pulled out in the spring. They make a good pairing though.

3. The front of the house faces virtually due north but the road end of the garden bakes in the sun at this time of year. The soil is quite heavy clay and large, deep cracks appear when rain is in short supply. The roses enjoy the sun but would do better with more water, I’m sure. They get a good water, feed and mulch in the spring then they are on their own. They peaked earlier than usual this year but there are still a lot more buds on the plants. R. ‘Graham Thomas’ is having a rest but ‘White Swan’ and ‘Crown Princess Margherita’ are in bloom.

4. Rudbeckia lanciniata has taken a couple of years to establish but is starting to thrive. I like the green cones and the bees etc love them

5. Lysimachia clethroides can be a bit of a thug, readily running in all directions but is easily contained. I chop it back to a size in the spring then let it go again. I must deadhead that Cosmos! Not easy as there aren’t any paths as such – wasted planting space!!

6. The porch is north facing and over the years I’ve tried to grow all sorts of things in it but everything just grows outwards and ends up very leggy. Ferns work well on both sides and this Hosta was happy once I stood the pot on the ground instead of up on a step.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour around the estate (🤣) over the last few weeks. Normal service will be resumed next week. I’m very late participating this week and am currently listening to the rain and thunder so will head over a bit earlier than usual to check out some other Sixes courtesy of our host at

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Have a great weekend.

Six on Saturday 18/07/20

Don’t the weeds grow fast at this time of year? I try to cover as much of the soil as I can but it doesn’t always work. Mind you, a lot of the ‘weeds’ are Forget-Me-Nots and Verbena bonariensis (apologies to our host for complaining). I’ve carried out a severe cull this week. In last weeks Six I showed you as far as the second arch so this week I’ll take you through the arch to the main part of the garden, it even has some grass!

I love all sorts of plants but I really love herbaceous perennials. This border has quite a lot of bulbs in for early interest and also some Hellebores. There are a few shrubs but it’s mostly herbaceous plants.

  1. Through the arch and to the left. This part of the border runs alongside the glasshouse and faces north. The Amelanchier makes it a very dry area.

The main part of the border faces South. This part of the garden is actually in front of the house and there used to be a Leylandii hedge. It was kept to about seven/eight feet tall and lasted for about thirty years. It started to gradually die back and we removed it four years ago and replaced it with Beech. We live in a cul-de-sac so it’s quiet anyway but the new hedge is growing well (and needs a cut) and the garden is becoming private again. Hooray!!!

This part of the border is backed by a mixed hedge running along the drive. It seemed a good idea when I planted it but is quite hard to manage as the shrubs need pruning at different times of the year. I’m considering replacing it with Beech but that would mean several more years with the garden being exposed. This is a very dry part of the border.

2. Now for some plants. Kniphofia ‘Timothy’ is glowing in the border at the moment. When I’m on a slug and snail hunt this is the first plant that I check.

3. Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’ (I think) is a lovely plant – hardy, tall, long flowering season, a magnet for bees etc and SnS don’t bother with it. However, all is not perfect this year as it has been affected by fasciation. A couple of stems are badly affected and most of the rest have a bit of fasciation at the tips of the flower spikes.

4. Many years ago I grew a golden hop over one of the arches. It didn’t produce flowers and was eventually removed to make way for another plant, (the trouble with a small garden ). A few years ago I bought a dwarf version to grow through a Clematis (‘Etoile Violette’ I think but the label has been lost somewhere along the line) on an obelisk in the border. This is NOT a dwarf hop! I’ve dug out some of the root, cut some shoots back and still it grows. I like the combination though and I get the hops.

5. This Aster always flowers early and continues to do so for weeks and weeks. It’s slightly past it’s peak but had to wait until I reached this border on my tour.

6. Last one for this week is Francoa sonchifolia. The flowering stems have been blown around a lot with the recent high winds. Such a pretty flower when you look a bit closer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks tour, thanks for reading. There’s just the front garden left for me to show you next week. It won’t take long.

Wishing you a great weekend, I’ll be staying safe in my garden (best place to be!) and wondering how I can fit all the wonderful plants I see in other Sixers gardens courtesy of our host at Six HQ

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 11/07/20

It’s been a very damp and dreary week and quite windy at times. The plants are looking very lush, although some have been bent by the wind, but they could do with some sunshine now. Luckily, that’s just what’s forecast for the weekend. In last weeks Six I explained a bit about the shape of the garden and showed you what was to the left of the back door. This week I thought I would show you what is to the right.

  1. This part of the garden is behind the garage and runs down the side of the house and garage. It’s not very wide and leads to the glasshouse.

This is my view from the kitchen window and when I planted the Birch tree I knew that it would eventually grow too big and would have to be removed. With fairly regular pruning I’ve been able to keep it for a lot longer than I thought. The bed below is very dry, shady and north facing. I’ve been trying to cover the fence panels for years with very little success. The solution has now been found but that’s for another Six. The bed itself has quite a lot of ferns that are now becoming established.

2. Last year I had ‘spare’ Fuchsias grown on from the previous years cuttings so I tucked them in to give some late colour. They, surprisingly, survived the winter and are doing well.

1a. Back to the view. On the right hand side of the path is the end wall of the garage with this bed.

Many, many years ago the rubble from an old path was buried here so the bed is quite well drained! This is usually seasonally planted but last year I decided I’d revamp it this spring to a more permanent scheme. That plan went out of the window, of course, as I wasn’t able to visit a nursery/garden centre so it’s a bit of a mish-mash. PS. That isn’t bindweed climbing the Pyracantha it’s a leftover Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’. It’s far too dry for it but worth a punt. The slugs are enjoying it.

3. I plant two 16″ hanging baskets, one was in last weeks post and the other is visible in the first photo. The wind whips round this corner so it’s not an ideal spot for a hanging basket but when does that ever stop us. The back of the basket is attached to the wall with two wires to stop it pirouetting! I bought the Begonia “Apricot Shades’ as little plugs last year. They made a reasonable basket and I overwintered the tubers in the loft (first time of trying). The colour hits you in the eye a bit but I quite like it. The other side of the basket is a bit more battered as it’s taken the brunt of the recent windy weather.

4. Through the arch to the left is another bed that was earmarked for a spring makeover. I started removal works in the winter but ………. so again, it’s a bit of a mash up this year. I’ve a busy autumn/winter ahead of me.

5. I have Geranium ‘Rosanne’ further down the garden in a very shady place and it flowers surprisingly well there. Flushed with success I bought G. ‘Bloom Time’ last spring (maybe the previous autumn?) and planted it here. It’s in the process of border domination

6. I haven’t had very much success with my RHS seeds but did have several Adenophera bulleyana germinate. Once they’d grown into reasonable sized plants they went into the borders. The S&S loved them! This one is the only one that has managed a comeback and I was quite surprised that it flowered this year. Whether it manages to make a second year remains to be seen. It’s planted among the Cosmos in photo 4.

4a. Through the arch and to the right is a border along the side of the garage wall. It’s west facing, quite sheltered and absolutely bakes in a hot summer. I used to grow mostly Dahlias for cutting here but I’m not very good at mono-culture (you’ve probably guessed that from the planting densities in my borders). The plants at the bottom of the picture are a few stragglers growing on before being shoe-horned in.

Next week I’ll take you through the second arch. That’s enough talking about the garden. The sun is shining, the wind has gone for now and the plants are calling. Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend whatever you are doing and don’t forget to catch up with all the inspirational plants and ideas courtesy of our host at

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 04/07/20

Another week of mixed weather, although we haven’t had a great deal of sunshine here. Last weekends gusty winds didn’t do too much damage although the Birch tree lost a lot of leaves. It’s forecast to be another windy weekend and it’s mizzly here at the moment. Come back summer, all is forgiven.
Last week Granny showed a long view of her garden and it was lovely to see it. I always enjoy seeing the bigger picture of other Sixer’s gardens and Jim’s videos take it a new height. Even though it’s small I can’t actually see much of the garden from the house as we live on a corner plot so the garden runs narrowly along the side and the larger part is actually in front of the house on the opposite side of the drive to the front garden. Inspired by the above I thought I would show a different view of it each week and then focus on some of the plants in that area. Sounds like a good plan anyway.

  1. If I step out the back door and look to the left this is the view of the actual back garden – a patio area with a step up into a triangular area. There is a little froggy pond up here with some resident frogs but no tadpoles this year (by contrast, the froggy pond in the front garden is over run with baby froglets). The golden privet in the corner is in full bloom and getting rather large. I’m sure the neighbours would rather I gave it a prune. These photos were taken yesterday afternoon and there were three suet balls in the feeder a few hours before!

2. The fence on the right faces north(ish). On the far side of the pond is a little bed with some shade lovers in including this Heuchera ‘Binoche’. The white bits all over the ground and plants are the fallen privet flowers. It was also just starting to rain, hence the spots on the leaves.

3. I gave up growing Hostas a few years ago as they always ended up with tattered leaves. In a moment of madness I succumbed to an offer last year for five un-named Hostas. Three seem to be the same variegated variety, there’s a plain leaved variety and one with a much smaller habit than the others. Amazingly, they are all doing well so far. The frogs and hedgehogs must be doing a good job. This is the dwarf one.

4. The soil beneath the shrubs lining the fence is, not surprisingly, full of roots and quite shaded. There are a lot of Snowdrops in there that make a lovely early spring show together with some Hellebores. They are followed by the Lamprocapnos (behind the Hakonechloa in the first picture) and then Anemone japonica ‘Pamina’. Last year I visited the beautiful garden at Kiftsgate and bought a couple of plants, including Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii’. I have a spot for it in the (mainly) herbaceous border but it needed to be a bit bigger before taking its chances in there. I have stood the pot behind the Anemone in a space left after I heavily pruned the Garrya elliptica. It’s done really well and I love the flower shape and colour in the border. It’s very tempting to permanently plant the Hydrangea here but as the Garrya grows back it will cause the Hydrangea to lean forward so I’m fighting the temptation!

5. The little bed on the opposite side of the gravel path spends a lot of time in the sun. It’s amazing the difference in conditions over just a couple of feet. It also has a mains sewer pipe running underneath it so the soil isn’t very deep in places. I tried some Echinacea purpurea ‘lostlabelus’ here last year and they did well and overwintered. They have survived an early attack by SnS and the flowers are beginning to show. None are fully open yet but they are fascinating to look at at all stages.

Nearly there!

6. In the same bed, near the step down to the patio is the first Penstemon to flower this year. I’ve always called it ‘Garnet’ but the RHS have it as P. ‘Andenken an Friedrich Hahn’. I’ll stick with ‘Garnet’! It’s narrow leaf shows that it is a hardy variety. The chimney pot behind was from my Nan’s house and used to be in my Dad’s garden. Memories.

That’s my zoned six for this week, I hope you enjoyed it. Maybe we’ll step out and look right next week. I hope the weather allows for some gardening for you (or sitting and looking at the garden) this weekend. Our chief, The Propagator, plays host to all the other Sixers so don’t forget to see what they are all up to at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 27/06/20

It’s been a very mixed week weather-wise with rather extreme temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday. Quite a lot of the plants, both in the ground and in pots were showing signs of extreme stress. A couple of cooler days has certainly helped and, hopefully, they’ll all recover. The thermometer in the glasshouse recorded 47.8 degrees on Thursday! That was with the door, four roof vents and five louvres all open. The forecast rain has arrived this morning (yesterday’s, Friday, didn’t) so that should help with the recuperation process. Luckily, photos taken in yesterday sunshine. It’s hard to choose just six things at this time of year and there’s a couple I’ve postponed hoping that they’ll look just as good, if not better, for next Saturday.

  1. This honeysuckle started life many years ago as a cutting from an un-named plant. It is the most floriferous of my honeysuckles and the evening scent is amazing. It has also escaped the blackly infestation that has affected the others.

2. I bought three Zantedeschia tubers two years ago at Malvern Spring Show. When I repotted them last year they had all split into small tubers and so didn’t flower very much. It looks like it’s going to be a good year again this year.

Zantedeschia ‘Picasso’
Z. ‘Red Charm’

3. I waited until number three but, at last, here’s a Clematis and her name is ‘Alionushka’. She’s an integrifolia variety so doesn’t twine. I tie her onto wires as she climbs and easily scales a six foot fence panel.

4. A lot of plants are flowering earlier than usual, including this Hydrangea. No name and not one I would have necessarily chosen but a lovely present a few years ago.

5. Following the early flowering theme – last year was a bad year for Dahlias for me. Those that didn’t succumb to the drought then had to cope with an exceptionally wet autumn. Several had rotted in the ground by the time I tried to lift them and the surviving tubers were quite small. Despite this, the survivors are doing really well this year and some are flowering already, including ‘Verone’s Obsidian’ in a pot on the patio. It didn’t flower last year but was worth the wait. My amateur photographic skills don’t do it justice.

6. I haven’t had much luck with Alstromerias in the past. They’ve provided tasty meals for the SnS. I couldn’t resist this one last year and decided to keep it in a pot. It didn’t seem very happy (nothing worse than a miserable plant) this spring, despite a re-potting so I planted it out and crossed my fingers. I’m sure the very dry weather has helped but ‘Dana’ is very happy. I haven’t managed to persuade myself to pick any yet though.

That’s it. Another Six chosen. I hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks peek into my garden. It’s a damp and breezy forecast for today so gardening may be limited. That should give me some time to see everyone else’s choices (I didn’t manage to finish last weeks Six until Thursday. What was I doing? How will I find time to work again, once the opportunity is there?) courtesy of our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 20/06/20


As Jim so wisely said last week, we need to be careful what we wish for. The rain finely arrived here on Wednesday afternoon. It was torrential for a while accompanied by hail, thunder and lightning. It then rained for most of the night and virtually all day Thursday. The garden looks rather bedraggled at the moment and I’m sure that I can hear the slugs and snails munching on my plants. I’ve stepped up the evening patrols but I’m not sure how much of an effect that has. It makes me feel better though. Having had all of this time to garden means that I’ve staked most of the plants and so they stood up to the bad weather quite well. Given the forecast I took some photos on Wednesday morning for this weeks Six.

1. Clematis have, on the whole, done well this year but, as mine are mostly later flowering varieties, they are flowering very early. This is C. ‘Blue Angel’ plus one with a forgotten name.

2. I bought this one, labelled as C. ‘Piilu’. Sadly, it isn’t but it’s very pretty and very floriferous.

3. This is C. Integrifolia. It’s a herbaceous variety and I grew it from seed. It took years to make a good size plant

That’s enough Clematis (not really as you can’t have too many of them) but on to number four.

4. Geranium pratense ‘Black Beauty’ has the great combination of beautifully divided dark leaves and large (for a Geranium) blue flowers. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to spread very quickly. It survived the winter wet though, unlike several of my hardy Geraniums.

5. Along from the Geranium is Eryngium bougatii ’Pico’s Blue’. The stems are rather lax but the leaves have lovely silver markings.

6. When I went to the RHS Spring Show at Malvern last year I bought another Eryngium, E. zabelii ‘Big Blue’. It’s a stronger growing variety and the flower heads are larger and deeper blue in colour. It’s also very spiky!

The weather is improving, hopefully and there’s plenty of weeding to do here. Where do they all come from! I suspect the problem is that my home made compost doesn’t get hot enough to kill the seeds.
Have a great weekend, I hope the weather is kind for you. Keep in touch with what is going on in the other Sixer’s gardens via our host

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 13/06/20


Rain glorious rain! The wet stuff finally arrived on Thursday. No huge amount of it but enough to make a difference. The plants have certainly enjoyed it and everything looks so much fresher. The borders are filling out, annual climbers are ascending at an amazing rate and flowers are starting to appear on the Cosmos, Hostas, Aster and even Dahlias. Exciting times! I’m sure they will all appear in future Sixes but in the meantime here are this weeks choices from my garden.
1. I’ve mentioned the Rose Capsid Bugs in a couple of posts this year. I found dozens and dozens of larvae in the compost bins and I’ve seen a few of the bugs on flowers, they loved the late Tulips. The other day I saw this and realised that there is a bit of an infestation. The shrub is Sorbaria sorbifolia and as I got near it to pick the bugs off I thought that a small animal must have died nearby due to the awful smell. Then I realised that it’s the Sorbaria flowers! It’s near the back of the border and I’ve obviously not been near it before whilst it was flowering. I picked off 14 on this visit and have removed over a dozen on subsequent visits.

It’s a very popular plant though – I don’t know what the little green one is.

2. Most Aquilegias have long gone but this one just keeps going

3. The Heucheras have suffered with the lack of rain but H. ‘Lime Marmalade’ is flowering well.

4. Several of my hardy Geraniums didn’t make it through the wet winter. G. psilostemon did survive, although reduced in size.

The leaves of this and G. Roseanne are being eaten but I can’t see by what. Some of them look like lace curtains.

5. Clematis viticella ‘Justa’ is a small variety that I grow up a post. It’s rather understated for a Clematis, but very pretty.

6. I grow some Roses on ropes and posts in the front garden and they’ve been flowering for weeks now. There are also a couple of Clematis that are supposed to gently climb through them. C. Viticella ‘Betty Corning’ is rather exuberant. There’s a rose in there somewhere.

Can we call this one 6a? Whilst taking the last picture I noticed this little caterpillar on one of the rose petals (he had several friends as well). Google tells me it will grow up to be a Vapourer Moth.

I’ve written this with the new editor and I’m now exhausted! The rain seems to have moved on (we could do with some more) so it’s a weekend in the garden for me. There’s a mountain of pots to wash for a start. How was there ever time for work.
Catch up with all of the Sixers at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 06/06/20

This week has certainly finished with very different weather than it started with. Watering still seems to be a virtually full time job though, trying to keep the recently planted plants alive until they can get established. Last weeks rain dance failed yet again, I’ll have to learn a new one. We had a bit of drizzle earlier in the week  but that’s the extent of the weeks rainfall. The established perennials seem, mostly, to be way ahead this year which gives plenty of choice for this weeks Six.
1. A couple of weeks ago I found myself looking at Surreal Succulents website and somehow managed to buy a few plants. They duly arrived brilliantly packaged and in excellent condition and are now grouped in a couple of shallow pans. The drizzle drops looked lovely on them the other day. This is Crassula perforata.EA0C9411-D502-4E60-9939-39D4BA8E5A95

And this is Echeveria chihuaheunsis ‘Raspberry Dip’. It was a bit windy for the macro lens but succulents don’t move much! 4DDCC1D9-5072-4AA8-829A-7A8864986AE4
2. Honeysuckles are starting to flower, although a couple of them have rather a lot of greenfly. This one, for whatever reason, is clean.FF73BD52-3FE3-4D21-8E8C-A66D1F9DFF81

3. I grow mostly the later flowering type 3 Clematis. This is the earliest that I’ve known ‘Margot Koster’ to flower. She grows by the glasshouse with an un-named Honeysuckle up a post and over an arch. From the glasshouse side of the arch –BDAFAC54-BD6F-419A-90B7-7A366D076C5F

and round the other side it’s escaping up the Amelanchier.99F373D3-CD65-40EA-BE7F-2571D5ACC3F2

The only thing worrying me is that with everything so far ahead what is going to be left to flower by July?
4. I don’t think that the Solenostemon have enjoyed the extreme heat and they’ve been very slow to get going. The leaves are amazing. This is ‘Peter’s Wonder’.6B5DA034-0DE8-4B3D-A2DB-0E17F28B975B

5. Erysimum linifolium ‘Variegatum’ has been flowering for months. I used to grow ‘Bowle’s Mauve’ but, although I love the flower colour (and longevity), I’m not very keen on the leaf colour. I must do some cuttings of this plant before it exhausts itself. The cane is a temporary support for a Ricinus that will, hopefully, come up behind.69DCA92D-31B7-4936-B211-00A8A6AD14A5

6. To finish with, this is Astrantia major ‘Ruby Wedding’. It’s not as strong growing as the white varieties (for me, anyway) and doesn’t seed around as they do but is such a beautiful colour. It’s somewhat darker than in this photo.58C11684-E868-4ED9-B354-907F0507978A

I’ve just realised that there’s a bit of an unintentional colour theme going on this week.
Have a great weekend, whatever the weather throws at you and when you need a break from the sun/rain/wind you could spend it checking out the other Sixers gardens courtesy of our host at https://thepropagatorblog.worspress.com/

Six on Saturday 30/05/20

The hot dry weather continues and I continue to spend most of my time in the garden. You would think that everything would be up together and sorted but I just seem to make more work for myself. I love a high maintenance garden! I’m on a short break to share my Six then it’s back to the planting out. I’m sure that if I tell myself often enough that all of these plants will fit in then they will😂. Other than some Dahlia tubers and some little Solenostemon that were already ordered prior to lockdown I haven’t bought any new plants. I like to see what I’m going to buy. I’d previously decided to redo a couple of small, under-whelming borders but without the ability to go and choose plants they’ve had a stay of execution. This means that I’ve been propagating like mad and pricking out far more seedlings than I would usually.
1. In the front garden, just behind the roses (last weeks Six) is Stipa gigantea. This plant took a while to get in its stride but is now a good size and the flowering panicles are hitting their peak. It’s a tricky plant to photograph.D89E473E-3589-4909-8903-D29B3AD81E25

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2. The front of the house faces virtually due north. This means that the end by the road has sunshine all day long at this time of year. The soil is quite a heavy clay so, although the Stipa looks good in the photos, in reality the leaves are browning and the surrounding plants are collapsing – have I mentioned recently that it hasn’t rained for four weeks? The Sanguisorba is flat on the ground, the Brodiaea foliage has gone before the flowers have opened and the self-sown Foxgloves and Poppies…..

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Even the (Sedum) Hylotelephium is beginning to suffer. If the cracks get any wider the plants may fall through. I have done some watering in the back garden but the front has to take care of itself.
3. I expect lots of people are featuring Alliums this week but they are one of the plants that are really enjoying all of this sunshine. I planted a few A. christophii and A. ‘Purple sensation’ several years ago. The former are doing really well but the foliage is going over very quickly in the heat. I leave the seed heads on as they look great in the border all summer long but this means that they’ve been seeding around. A lot. It seems wrong to be digging them out but you can have too much of a good thing I’ve discovered. By contrast, A. ‘Purple Sensation’ has virtually disappeared.510A70CB-607B-474E-B22F-3594977C927E1BF9ABBA-4593-481A-A924-920FF951DB85B54AB675-0AFB-437A-8FA8-6B198C37E2CE

4.  Billardiera longiflora is growing in a partially shaded spot and is quite slow growing (for me anyway). Like most things in my garden, it has to compete with a lot of other plants. In the autumn it has quite large, purple berries. (I’ve since pulled the Campanula out of it).

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5. Spending so much time in the garden (I must get back to some quilting soon) gives plenty of time to watch the wildlife. I’ve temporarily run out of compost bin space and am using old green waste recycling bags to keep it in. As I folded the top down on one the other day I found this beautiful moth. A new one to me, it’s a Privet Hawk Moth and is the largest U.K. moth according to Google. Should I worry about my privet hedge?060743A8-535A-492D-B91A-B5A02C4EF772

6. These Verbascum phoeniceum are in their third year and looking really good. This was Wednesday.

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This was Thursday morning.5CF26573-B959-4122-AC2F-0141FCEAC772

It didn’t take long to find the culprits, mullein moth caterpillars. The birds weren’t very keen on them.

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Right, I’m off to do another rain dance. It’s quite a specific dance, just for nocturnal rain. Have a great weekend and when you need a break from your own garden check out all the other beautiful ones at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/