Six on Saturday 24/10/20

The garden looks different every day now – colours are changing, leaves are falling, late flowers are emerging and space is opening up. It’s been quite damp this week but there’s been a bit of sunshine as well so the autumnal colours can be appreciated. I ordered some more ferns for the Fern Wall which arrived very quickly and have been repotted so now I just need the Non-Gardener to build the final section. No pressure! 🤣 Anyway, here’s my Six for this week. Don’t forget to visit the other Sixes courtesy of our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

  • The tomatoes and peppers have been cleared from the glasshouse, I’ve not had a great year with them. The space is needed so that I can start to bring in the more tender plants for the winter although, to be honest, most are still looking good outside at the moment. I used to grow tomatoes in a border in the glasshouse and, as the years went by, I would dig some of the soil out and replace it with compost ready for the next years crop. Eventually, the border became very depleted and I switched to growing in large pots stood on the old border. When I cleared them out this year I found little patches of this fungus in the ground around the outside of the pots. It looks like it belongs under water.
Greenhouse coral
  • I grew Eucomis bicolour from seed several years ago and kept them in pots for a few years. Then I planted them out and the ones that weren’t eaten by SnS did so well that their large leaves flopped over adjacent plants. A couple of years ago I put them back in pots and there they have stayed. Their period of interest is really long and even now as they fade the ‘pineapple’ tops are still fresh and the mottled stems are beautiful.
Eucomis bicolor
  • In the back garden Froggy Pond is Iris pseudacorus ‘Variegata’ which, sadly, goes plain green as the season progresses. The pond is tiny so I restart this Iris every year to keep it under control. I’ve been waiting for the seed pods to split open which they must have done in the rain on Thursday.
  • Melianthus major is still looking good on the patio. I’ll move it into the glasshouse when a frost is forecast. My only complaint is that the lower leaves die back during the summer. Is this what they do normally or am I getting something wrong? I grew some short Cosmos in front of it to cover the stems.
Melianthus major
  • Time for some autumn colour. Some of the Michaelmas Daisies have passed their peak but ‘Purple Dome’ has been very slow to get going this year. Slow to grow and slow to flower. I think I’ll move it next year because it should be a lot taller than it is. It rained just before I took this picture and the flower centres are little puddles.
Symphyotrichon novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’
  • A few years ago we visited Westonbirt Arboretum and the Euonymus alatus were looking glorious. I bought one the following year and it is growing slowly. Very briefly it turns a beautiful red.
Euonymus alatus

It looks as if it is going to be quite wet here this weekend and I don’t think that I’ll be working in the garden much but who knows! Have a great weekend, whatever you have planned.

Six on Saturday 17/10/20

Brrrr, there’s definitely been an autumnal nip in the air this week but we have also had some lovely sunny days. It looks like a cloudy but dry weekend so, hopefully, plenty of gardening. There’s still a few (rather a large few!) bulbs to plant and I’ve finally managed to get hold of some wallflower plants although I don’t actually have any room to plant them at the moment. The local growers have, apparently, really struggled this year – along with the rest of us at times. Let’s get started with this weeks Six and don’t forget that there are plenty of others to see at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

  • The Amelanchier dropped its leaves without them really colouring up and the Birch tree is heading the same way, sadly. Four years ago I bought a tiny Gingko biloba from a sale table and grew it on in a pot. With the dry spring that we had here I decided to plant it in the front garden as I thought that it would do better in the ground. Despite periods of drought, high winds etc it has done quite well and the leaves have now turned a lovely golden yellow.
Gingko biloba. It needs to grow a bit as the surrounding plants are rather tall by comparison
  • Where do plant labels go! I know this Michaelmas Daisy was labelled, it’s one I bought on a visit to the National Collection at Picton House a couple of years ago. It’s planted at the front of the border but is very tall this year!
Symphyotrichon ?
The flowers open pink and quickly turn white with pink tips
  • Heucheras have performed well this year and I bought a couple of new ones at the Malvern Plant Fair at the beginning of September
Heuchera ‘Wild Rose’
Heuchera ‘Orangeberry’
  • I had intended to redo the border by the glasshouse this spring as there is quite a lot of bindweed growing through from next door. However, with events I decided not to as I didn’t know then when, or if, I’d be able to buy new plants. I’m itching to get going now but it seems a shame to strip it out when there is still quite a lot going on.
Sideways view of a border on the edge of control
  • The main border wraps around the small lawn and still has quite a bit to look at in it.
North facing part of border, very dry under the Amelanchier
East facing section
South section
South-west/west facing. The unknown aster can be seen right of centre
  • With the colder nights the leaves of this sedum have really coloured up. The chimney pot came from my Nan’s garden, via my Dad’s and the beautiful pot was a birthday present last year. Lots of memories.
A real autumnal splash of colour

Thanks for reading my Six, have a great weekend and stay safe.

Six on Saturday 10/10/20

Like most in the UK we’ve had a very mixed week weather-wise and so I haven’t got a lot done in the garden this week. I’ve taken the last of the tomatoes and peppers down in the glasshouse and so have some space to start moving some things in that need some protection for the winter. I have also moved a lot of my succulents under temporary cover from the rain but I was late doing this and some are looking a bit ropey. The glasshouse thermometer says it went down to 4.6 degrees last night so I need to get a move on this weekend. So……. here are my six for this week and you can catch up with other Sixers choices at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

  • I’ve mentioned before that most of the garden isn’t visible from the house as it wraps around the side of the house and is, mostly, at the front. With lockdown and not being able to resume my workshops I spend a lot of time sat in the room with no name (dining room extension/conservatory/garden room?) looking out of the patio door down the side of the garden. This is a boundary with a long run of fence panels, a lot of which I have covered with evergreen shrubs and some climbers. However, there are two panels behind the Birch tree border that stubbornly refuse to be covered. It’s north facing, and very dry because of the tree. I have managed to establish some ferns in the ground (mainly Dryopteris varieties and a large Cyrtomium) alongside Hellebores, a Hydrangea and some Fuchsias. The latter are on the hit list as they have been very badly affected by Gall Mite. During lockdown I decided that a fern wall was the way to go and the Non-Gardener very obligingly built the first set of shelves which I duly filled. The second set of shelves are filling up and there will be one more, narrower, set to follow.
Fern wall and unknown Hydrangea
  • Choosing the ferns is the easy part, I haven’t gone for anything that gets over 20″ or less than 12″ and nothing that needs a lot of moisture. They’ve mostly done well but some of the Athyriums have struggled due to my lack of giving them enough water I suspect. I love them all but some stand out
Pteris nipponica

Dryopteris sieboldii
Reverse of D. sieboldii leaf showing the sporangia
Pellea rotundifolia
  • I have quite a few ferns around the garden as well including one of my very favourites. I like it so much that there is one in the wall as well.
Dryopteris polyblepherum, glossy and almost furry!
  • I showed this grouping in the spring and it still looks as good
Heuchera ‘Binoche’, Athyrium Felix-femina ‘Frizelliae’ and Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’
  • Moving away from ferns the Tricyrtis are lasting well
Tricyrtis formosana. I have plans for this fence panel next spring
  • Back to the start location to finish. Beneath the Birch tree is a Fuchsia that never gives me any problems and it will definitely be staying.
F. ‘Lottie Hobbie’

Have a great weekend, whatever the weather. I’m off to plant bulbs, pot up the latest batch of cuttings from the Hydropod, sort succulents……….. the list is, thankfully, endless.

Six on Saturday 03/10/20

The rain finally arrived, and then some! It rained all day Wednesday, was patchy on Thursday, back to rain all day Friday and today looks to be the same (tomorrow’s not a lot better). I usually take my pictures on Friday afternoon or early Saturday but not this week. I have just dashed out and this weeks Six are things accessible from the gravel path.

  • I’ve mentioned before that my Fuchsias have had quite a problem with Fuchsia Gall Mite for several years now. It started in the hardy bush types and I eventually removed them as they weren’t flowering at all. I also had many (around 50 at the peak) half hardy varieties and the pesky mites have gradually appeared in them as well. Pinching out the affected shoots is all well and good but you end up with plants with no flowers for a large part of the season. I have discarded the worst affected over the last couple of years and this year I’d (just about) made the decision that I would stop growing them for a few years but on Gardeners Question Time last week the curator of RHS Wisley said that they have found that there tends to be a couple of bad years and then it balances out a bit. There is also some evidence that the treatment for Red Spider Mite may help. My indecision has increased! The cooler weather has slowed them down and I have some flowers at last. Fingers crossed that the wind and rain don’t do too much damage.
F. ‘Mrs Popple’, a hardy variety
F. ‘Thalia’
Unknown variety
  • I have several Honeysuckles in the garden including this one on a post by the glasshouse. I think it’s Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’. It’s an early blooming variety which means that virtually every year it flowers just as a plague of aphids arrive, ahead of the ladybirds. Or maybe that is just in my garden. I’ve thought about removing it but it shares the spot with a very healthy Clematis ‘Margot Koster’ so not so easy to do. The recent weather must have suited it and it’s having a very good go at flowering again.

As you can see in the above photo the Amelanchier near to it has lost most of it’s leaves. It’s a late to leaf, early to drop tree.

Amelanchier Lamarckii ‘Ballerina’
  • In the bed opposite the glasshouse door is a pleasing red, white and blue combination – well it was the other day, I wish I’d thought to photograph it then!
Unknown Canna, Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ and Dahlia ‘White Onesta’
  • On the left of the above picture is a small Beech hedge growing in front of a trellis. On the other side of this is a “climbing” Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’.
The only way I can grow this vigorous plant is upwards!
Individually, the flowers aren’t much but seen en masse they give a lovely frothy effect
  • The Ricinus have flowered well and have plenty of seed heads which provide a lovely shot of colour but I don’t think that they will ripen this year
The shed is level, honestly, I must have straightened up the plant
  • The heads of the Michaelmas Daisies are bowing down with the weight of the rain in the flowers but they should 🤞come back up again. The shorter varieties fare better in this weather. This variety is supposed to be about 18″ tall but mine has never reached that lofty height, preferring to grow more horizontally.
Symphyotrichum ericoides ‘Yvette Richardson’

That’s this weeks soggy six. I was going to unveil the Fern Wall, the summer project, but it looks very bedraggled (although I’m sure the ferns are loving the rain) so will keep that for next week. Rather a lot of bulbs have recently arrived and I’m going to make use of a rainy day by making a plan as to where they are all going to go (largely in pots) and in what combinations. That sounds such a good idea😂.

Have good weekend, whatever the weather, and add to the ‘plants I must have’ list by checking in with our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 26/09/20

There’s been a very chilly feel to the air this week and the night-time temperature in the glasshouse has been down in single figures most nights. The forecast rain failed to materialise, bar a few light showers and I am still doing quite a lot of watering. Leaves are starting to change colour, although some trees seem to be dropping their leaves before any change has happened – stress I suppose. My garden (the Non-Gardener insists that it’s nothing to do with him 🤣) is definitely in autumn mode now.

  • I have longed to visit Knoll Garden in Dorset and yesterday finally got there. It’s a naturalistic garden renowned for its use of grasses and hardy perennials, and also has some lovely trees and shrubs. It is such a peaceful and relaxing garden and I loved every bit of it. Oh, and there’s a nursery as well! Here’s a little taster
The Dragon Garden – from the legend of St Dunstan
Looking across the Lower Lawn
  • Back to my garden now. I planted Ricinus communis seeds back in the spring and they have all done well though some are a bit wind battered. I planted three quite close together at the back of the house. The soil is not very deep here and I thought it would restrict their height and that they would branch and grow together. They didn’t listen when I told them my plan and are now approaching eight feet tall and haven’t branched at all. Being so tall they ended up nearly horizontal in the high winds a couple of weeks ago, hence the ugly canes. They are a talking point though, even if completely out of scale.
Ricinus communis ‘Impala’
  • Several Clematis have been encouraged back into growth with the recent warmth, producing small clusters of flowers. I chose this one as I love the perfect points on each petal (technically they have sepals I think).
Clematis ‘Samaritan Jo’
  • The Michaelmas Daisies continue to flower
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘St Michael’s’
Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Flamingo’ – a bit weather-beaten!
  • A major feature of autumn are the seed heads and some of the Clematis ones are very attractive. This is a seed grown herbaceous variety.
Clematis integrifolia
  • I bought a few new (to me) grasses yesterday but an existing Miscanthus is looking really good at the moment. I bought it many years ago and it has slowly clumped up to make a beautiful, very well behaved plant at the back of the border.
Miscanthus ‘Silberfeder’

The weather looks fair for the weekend and I have quite a few plants to find homes for so I’m planning a weekend at home in the garden. Thank you for reading my Six and don’t forget to read how the seasons are affecting other Sixers’ gardens at https://thepropgatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 19/09/20

Rain seems a very distant memory and parts of the garden are showing signs of drought. It’s definitely been a year of all or nothing. The solar powered drip-watering systems have kept the glasshouse and the pots and tubs in good condition without a lot of supplementary watering being needed but some herbaceous plants in the borders are going over very quickly now. The forecast is for some rain next week but it doesn’t look to be any amount so I’ve filled the water butts with the hose as the watering systems run from them, not the mains. Despite the lack of water there is still a lot of colour in the garden so without further ado here is this weeks Six on Saturday from my garden.

  • I have a few different Salvias, some in pots and some in the ground. ‘Hotlips’ is currently going for border domination but the flowers are mostly plain white at the moment and I think this is going to be its last season in the garden. I’m sure I can make better use of the space. However, Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is looking really good (better than it looks in the picture) and is very hardy.
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ photobombed by Dahlia ‘White Onesta’

Also looking good is Salvia greggii ‘Strawberries and Cream’ in a pot on the patio.

Salvia greggi i ‘Strawberries and Cream’
  • In the same border as S. ‘Black and Blue’ is an obelisk with Clematis ‘Black Tea’ and C. Dr ‘Ruppel’. ‘Black Tea’ has flowered on and off but ‘Dr Ruppel’ hasn’t had a single flower until now.
Clematis ‘Dr Ruppel’
  • It’s been another bad year for me and Dahlias. I planted most of them in the borders and there’s too many hiding places for slugs and snails. However, D. ‘Honka Fragile’ has finally flowered. It’s just a shame that there’s virtually no leaves beneath! The canes were put in back when I thought the plant would actually grow upwards. I think I’m going to block plant the Dahlias next year. I used to do this and had a much better display then.
Dahlia ‘Honka Fragile’
  • I’ve grown Tricyrtis formosana for a couple of years. The SnS are very attracted to it as it comes into growth but it’s one of those plants that quietly sits in the corner then you suddenly notice that it’s flowering.
Tricyrtis formosana
  • I would like to grow more Hylotelephiums and was hoping to get some at the plant fair at Malvern last Saturday. Sadly, the only one I could see there was ‘Autumn Joy’, which I already have. The variety below is taller than ‘Autumn Joy’ and has larger individual flowers.
Hylotelephium ‘Red Globe’
as above plus four bees
  • Another sure sign of autumn is the appearance of Hesperantha (I prefer Schizostylis) flowers. This is the brightest variety I have.
Hesperantha coccinea

A bit more subtle is ‘Mrs Hegarty’

H. coccinea ‘Mrs Hegarty’

I’m getting itchy fingers! I want to start moving plants, redesigning areas, planting bulbs and all of the other fun things. It’s just a little bit early yet…..

Have a great weekend and enjoy reading all of the other Sixes at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 12/09/20

Another calm week weather-wise but not so much time spent in the garden. Not sure why not. Anyway, I’ve been potting up rooted cuttings from the Hydropod and have put some more Penstemon cuttings in there. Cuttings seem to be developing good roots within about 10 days on the whole. To propagate plants, like sowing seeds, is a need I feel very strongly. I haven’t a clue what I’ll do with all of the resulting plants but that doesn’t matter. However, none of the plants in this weeks Six seem to need any help with propagation, they are all strong growers.

  • While a lot of the plants in my long border have passed their peak and are declining others are just coming into their own. I have several Michaelmas Daisies, most of which have a label by them with their name on. Sadly, this one seems to have lost his. Does anyone recognise it? It grows to about four feet tall and has long, slightly glossy leaves. The flowers are not as large as a lot of other Asters/Symphyotrichum. I grow mostly the novae-angliae varieties as they aren’t so prone to mildew.
Symphyotrichum ?
  • I am not a huge fan of most Solidago varieties but saw S. rugosa ‘Fireworks’ with the Michaelmas Daisies at Picton Garden a few years ago and liked its delicacy. I grow it next to the above daisy but have them the wrong way around as the Solidago is the taller but is in front. A(nother) job for the autumn sort through.
  • Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ is a very strong growing perennial sunflower. It needs no staking and usually grows to about six feet. Like many perennials this year it is taller than usual. The foliage is distinctly average but the flowers are a lovely soft yellow and go on for weeks and weeks, especially with some deadheading.
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’
  • To the left of the Helianthus is another plant that I bought on my visit to Picton Garden, Persicaria ‘Indian Summer’. It seems to be going for border domination this year and I am debating whether to remove it. I’m sure that there are better varieties although I don’t think any Persicarias are known for their reluctance to grow!
Persicaria ‘Indian Summer’
  • Another recent (last year) arrival the border is Bidens ferulifolia (I think). The delicate leaves and light airy flowers belie its rapidly spreading habit. It’s a keeper though.
Bidens ferulifolia
  • Anemone hupehensis ‘Hadspen Abundance’ is definitely abundant. The flowers are a dark pink and consist of three larger and two smaller petals (or are they tepals? I must check).
Anemone hupehensis ‘Hadspen Abundance’

I love the exuberance of this weeks plants but I’ll try to find some more genteel plants for next weeks Six 😂.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to look at all the other Sixes at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 05/09/20

For a change it’s been a very calm week weather-wise and the garden has appreciated the rest. The season has definitely changed here with autumn well under way. It must be autumn as the bulbs have started arriving! Anyway, here’s this weeks mixed season Six.

  • I’ve grown Salvia uliginosa for a few years and it normally reaches four to five feet high. This year, along with many other herbaceous plants, it has grown taller than usual and is currently around seven feet high! Being so tall it was badly blown by the recent storms and is looking a little unkempt.
Salvia uliginosa
  • After seeing Agastache on other Sixes last year I couldn’t understand why I’d never grown it. I bought a young plant late last summer, took a couple of cuttings and overwintered the original plant in the cold frame. It has been flowering for weeks and weeks and I keep thinking I’ll include it next week, then next week. Ideally, it should have had it’s moment here a couple of weeks ago as it is going over a bit. Definitely a keeper though.
Agastache ‘Crazy Fortune”

Only one of the cuttings made it through the winter but it isn’t variegated any more!

  • I grow a lot of Fuchsias, mainly half-hardy ones that spend the winter under glass. Having battled with Capsid Bug for the last couple of years the plants have had a rest from those pests this year and have been looking great. Sadly, Fuchsia Gall Mite has really taken hold in the last month and while cutting the stems back removes the affected parts it also means that the Fuchsias have no flowers. This is a problem that has been growing over the last few years and I think I’m going to have to stop growing them for a few years, but what to replace them with? A newer Fuchsia addition that hasn’t been affected is ‘Lechlade Gordon’. It has flowered well and the seed pods are very attractive. And the colour matches the turning leaves of the Cobaea behind.
  • The grasses come into their own at this time of year adding a lot of movement in the borders. Chasmanthium latifolium is commonly known as Sea Oats and has beautiful, flattened flower spikes. They don’t show very well here as it was a bit windy. I’m sure it will feature again.
Chasmanthium latifolium
  • The Hylotelephiums are starting to flower and every one is a bee magnet (apart from when taking photographs)
Hylotelephium telephium ‘Purple Emperor’
  • The plants I really look forward to in the autumn are the Michaelmas Daisies. I visited the National Collection at Picton Garden/Old Court Nurseries near Malvern a couple of years ago and added a few plants to my garden 🤣. One of the first to flower is Aster amellus ‘King George’.
Aster amellus ‘King George’

The weather looks fair here for the weekend and my plan is to go out there with pencil and paper and start to list plants to go, plants to move, where I might squeeze some bulbs in etc. Sounds a good plan but I’m sure I’ll get distracted by weeds, dead-heading, cuttings to take. The list is, thank goodness, endless.

Have a great weekend, whatever you are doing and don’t forget to make time to check in with our leader at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 29/08/20

Two storms and a lot of rain have taken their toll on the garden over the last couple of weeks and there’s a lot of sorting out to do this weekend. Every time I went out to take some pictures yesterday it seemed to pour with rain so this mornings pictures show a lovely sunny garden.

  • It seems sad in a way but summer has definitely ended in the garden but the richer colours of autumn are slowly taking over.’Emily Mackenzie’ is a later flowering Crocosmia, isn’t too rampant , isn’t too tall so doesn’t flop over and is one of my favourites. I love the dark markings inside the flower. With lots of time at home at the start of the herbaceous growing season I was able to put lots of stakes in the border and the plants have, on the whole, stood up to the recent weather well
C. ‘Emily Mackenzie’, Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ and Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’
  • Several of the Michaelmas Daisies are showing their colours now. ‘King George has been building for a couple of weeks. I don’t usually have to stake this lower growing variety and the weather has split the centre, sadly.
Aster amellus ‘King George’
  • The Japanese Anemones seemed to start flowering earlier than ever this year. Has anyone else found that a lot of herbaceous plants are a lot taller than usual? I grow this one to cover the stems of Clematis ‘Alionushka’ but it is taller than the five foot fence panel behind.
Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’
  • The patio area was particularly hit by the very high winds earlier this week. Although I took the large basket of Begonias down the plants were destroyed so I’ve cut them down low and put the basket in a corner to die back. Then I’ll overwinter the corms again. Other Begonias in the mixed pots were also badly damaged, as were some Dahlias. I think the later have time to recover, thankfully. Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ hasn’t been affected too badly though.
  • I’ve had this grass for quite a long time now but it has never done very well. Last year I moved it to the front of the long border and it’s now very happy. The picture doesn’t do it justice – I find it hard to photograph grasses.
Grass ‘Lostlabellus’
  • A casualty of the wind, this now prostrate Achillea looks quite good with the Geranium.
Achillea millefolium ‘Cassis’, Geranium x riversleaianum ‘Mavis Simpson’

The weather looks a lot calmer for the Bank Holiday weekend and I intend to spend as much of it as I can in the garden, making up for time lost to the weather. I’ve some ferns to pot on for my new fern wall and I’m hoping that the Non-Gardener might build the next set of shelves to put them on soon! I hope that the weather is kind to you and your garden, it’s still the safest place to be. Thanks to our host for enabling us to peek into each others gardens. Check in at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 22/08/20

It’s late Saturday morning as I write this weeks Six. A heavy shower has just finished and the sun is shining through a gap in the dark clouds. The garden is battered and bruised after Storm Ellen passed through yesterday. I have three quite large water butts (conservatory, glasshouse and garage) that were already full after the recent rain and it seems such a shame not to have been able to capture more. Sadly, the house downpipe is on next doors end wall so I don’t have access to any of the roof water but an autumn/winter project will be to (hopefully) double up one or more of the existing butts. Might have to rope in the Non-Gardener for that! While the garden stands itself back upright, although it’s still fairly windy for the next few days, I’ve retreated to the glasshouse for todays Six.

Through the door
  • I use the glasshouse all year round and we keep the wood for burning in the coming winter under the end staging. A small area of the staging on the right is ‘heated’ (tube heater underneath and a Celotex lid on top) in the winter to keep it frost free but the rest of the over-wintering plants take their chance under fleece. In the spring it is full of cuttings and seedlings growing on with temporary staging to hold seed trays on the left. This is then replaced with large pots for tomatoes and an aubergine and the end staging holds pots of peppers. I’ve grown them for many years so feel that I have some idea of what to do. In the early days of lockdown I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get enough compost, like a lot of gardeners. A local garden centre, not my usual go to place, was doing home delivery so I ordered some grow bags from them. I don’t like growing the plants in these bags so empty them into the large pots to give deep root runs. I didn’t like the smell of the compost but went against my better judgement and carried on anyway. Where else would I get some more? The result is that the tomato and pepper crops are a disaster. I don’t grow many tomato plants and like a variety so buy small plants to grow on. They grew but were very spindly and lanky. Initially I put it down to the not ideal growing conditions but they then went very yellow, the leaves grew all twisted, the fruit didn’t set and some plants stopped growing altogether. I was slow to take this all in (lockdown brain) but I scraped some of the compost of off the top of the pots and replaced it and started a very, very regular feeding regime. They’ve improved slightly but not a lot. Maybe these were just (very) old grow bags but I was also reading the other day that there have been reports of residual weedkiller getting into garden compost.
The cane is thicker than the tomato stem, very few fruits

Thinking the crop would be a total failure I dug out a packet of seed that came with a magazine, sowed them very late and grew them outside. They’ve done really well. Moving on to the peppers, this one is nearly ready to cut

It’s just a shame that it’s the only one on the plant. The chilli pepper is a little better but nowhere near as productive as usual

  • Last autumn I made the decision to grow more ornamentals in the glasshouse as that is where my interest lies so I ordered some Achimenes tubercles to grow on the staging. I wasn’t sure if it would be too hot in there for them but wanted to try. There is an Amelanchier on the north side of the glasshouse which provides shade in the summer (more than I would like sometimes as it has grown a lot taller than I was expecting it to: pruning has been started in the last couple of winters to bring it down gradually). They are really getting into their stride now
A. ‘Caligula’. It’s a bit redder than it looks here
A. ‘Little Beauty’
A. ‘Harry Williams’ is a very tall variety. Bottom left is ‘Ballerina’ and top left is ‘Serge Saliba’
  • All the rain that we have had recently means that the bowls of succulents have become much too wet and I think some of the plants are showing signs of root rot. To give them a chance of drying out on Thursday I stood some of the taller ones under the outside table and moved others in to the glasshouse.
Luckily, the leaky patch in the roof just misses these pots
  • For years I have had a pot of Oxalis triangularis growing in the house. I’ve tried growing it outside in the summer but, without fail, it gets rust. It is obviously quite hardy as the little pieces that have been left behind in the ground have come up in following years but then succumb to rust. Last year I divided the main plant and overwintered a pot in the glasshouse. It hasn’t got rust 🤞. It’s on the floor to get some shade (and hide the wood). At night the leaves fold up and droop slightly.
  • I showed Impatiens repans a few weeks back and it is still doing well, coping with the heat. I also bought a cutting of I. niamniamensis which has the very apt common name of the Parrot Plant.
I. niamniamensis – so weird that they named it twice plus a bit more
  • And finally, if I turn around and look out of the split door, this is the border on the side of the garage. It’s about 10 feet long by 5 feet wide.
The late summer border

Time to go and pickup blown over pots, again, and pick up all the leaves etc from the patio and gravel path. I hope your weather enables you to get out into your garden this weekend. There’s lots of inspiration courtesy of our leader at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/