The arctic blast has well and truly arrived. The glasshouse thermometer is currently showing just over five degrees inside and three degrees outside. The forecast was for a bit warmer today (it’s currently Saturday afternoon) and I’d foolishly opened up the end vent and the top half of the door before I went out. It’s now all shut up and the cuttings covered with fleece. Sleety rain has also just started. Definitely a day for being indoors reading about other people’s gardens. I took pictures of my six earlier, before I went out when it was a bit warmer but breezy. That’s my excuse for a touch of fuzziness in some of them!
1. I’ve added a few Salvias to the garden this year. I bought some at the Malvern Spring Show but this one had managed to lose its name by the time I got home. However, Jim at Garden Ruminations mentioned a Salvia last week. I looked it up and it’s mine! Label immediately written. So this is S. corrugata. Very textured foliage and amazingly blue flowers which have only just started to open so I hope the frost holds off a bit longer.
2. I have been waiting for weeks and weeks for the one flower spike on Lobelia tupa to open. It finally has! I’ve grown this plant in the past and this isn’t quite as spectacular as I was expecting. It’s the first year though so I’m hoping for better next year. A common name for this is Devil’s Tobacco, not sure why.
3. The last Michaelmas Daisy to do its thing here this year is Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’. This is a shorter variety and was clumping up well until a nocturnal visitor ploughed through it a while back. Lovely purple though and nice open flower for the insects.
4. This plant was in a Six back in the summer but it’s still looking so good that I thought it deserved another showing. I haven’t room for Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ to spread in the border so I planted it in front of a six foot trellis and very loosely weave it through.
5. Not having a lot of space at ground level means that I grow quite a lot vertically, as above. In another corner climbing up some trellis and over an arch is Parthenocissus henryana. It’s said to be more restrained than other Virginia Creepers, only growing to ten metres! I prune it hard each spring as it comes into growth which, I suppose, has weakened it over the years and it doesn’t make much of a bid for freedom any more. The leaf colour really glowed yesterday but overnight they’ve started to fall so I thought it was this weeks Six or never. It shares the arch with an old ivy and on the other side of the arch is Jasminum nudiflorum. Both posts of the arch have rotted through and it’s only the plants holding the structure up now. I’m priming the Non-Gardener for a winter project. Then I have to decide whether to try to keep the same plants or have a change.
6. Another climber, this time growing in a large pot, although I have a suspicion that it may have escaped out of the bottom and gone through the gravel. It’s Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Variegatum’. It’s very slowly growing upwards and sideways under a window (around the corner). It doesn’t have many flowers sadly, maybe a downside to being containerised but, on the plus side, it doesn’t have a single bad-hair day and looks especially beautiful at the moment. This plant is around ten years old (I did say slowly growing) and has a top dressing each year now that it’s too big to re-pot.
It’s absolutely pouring with rain now so no gardening today. Fingers crossed for a drier day tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy looking at all the gardens on our host’s site