At last – rain, glorious rain! After a couple of false starts during the week it finally arrived on Thursday night. I could hear the garden cheering. There’s more forecast for us for the weekend so, hopefully, the water butts will fill and I will finally be able to give my potted acid loving plants something better than the hard water they’ve endured for weeks on end. I’ve had a wonderful time in the garden this week catching up with all of the dead-heading, staking, cutting down etc that hasn’t been done due to a manic July. The stronger colours of autumn are coming through now, altering the look of the borders. Without further ado, here are my six for this week.
1. A cool coloured plant to start with before the autumn heat selection. Clematis viticella ‘Alba Luxurians’. I grow mostly viticella type Clematis because I had a huge problem with wilt many years ago. This one grows on the north facing front of the house through a Pyracantha. It had got very large over the years and so I removed half of the root the year before last. The early flowers are never sure if they’re leaves or flowers but as time goes on the flowers get whiter and the petal shape sorts itself out.
2. The Allium ‘Christophii’ seedheads last well into the winter but they tend to fall over at this time of year as they dry and detach from the bulbs . I take some indoors but they are so structural it’s good to have them in the border as well. It’s taken me a while to come up with a solution – push half the length of a 12” thin green cane into the ground by the bulb then feed the rest of the cane up the hollow stem of the Allium (I cut the bottom couple of inches off of the stem first). Others have probably been doing this for years but I can be a bit slow……
3. More by luck than planning this Lobelia x speciosa ‘Hadspen Purple’ (a new variety to my garden) looks glorious with Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Emily McKenzie’ (what a mouthful).
4. Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ was hit badly by the SnS earlier in the season but the clump has come back really well considering. I’m hoping to divide it in the autumn. The flowers are an insect magnet. More ‘Emily McKenzie’ in this part of the border.
5. I’ve had a mixed year with Dahlias. The SnS hit some badly before the droughtish weather arrived, I haven’t been able to water some of them enough and their flowering is greatly diminished but some have done well despite everything. This one is ‘Nuit d’ete’. It’s a really dark, velvety red, the photo doesn’t really do it justice.We’re in Falmouth for a few days and I’m hoping to persuade the Non Gardener to visit the National Dahlia Collection garden. They suffered badly with the awful weather and were, sadly, unable to supply about two thirds of the cuttings that I’d ordered. I’m hoping to buy some plants instead! I wonder if he’ll notice them in the car?
6. The first flower of sunflower ‘Wahoo’ featured a few weeks ago. It’s getting into its stride now. There are more buds forming further down the plant. The bees love it and spend ages on the flowers and get covered in pollen.
So that’s another week and another Six. It’s quiet work-wise so I’m hoping for lots more time in the garden next week. It may be a small garden but I’ve managed to make it lovely and labour intensive! I hope you get to spend some time in yours as well. Don’t forget to keep checking back to our host’s site to see the other Sixes and add more plants to the must try list.