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/

12 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 30/05/20”

  1. My allium christophii have replaced the Purple Sensation ones in their flowery beauty, even if A. Purple Sensation are still beautiful when their colours have turned …
    Beautiful moth and caterpillars close-ups.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a handsome moth. I can’t say I see them in my garden often but they must be around. This week I’ve been enjoying watching dragonflies at my pond which is thoroughly engrossing.

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  3. I’m encouraged by your Allium cristophii self seeding, I have a small clump doing well and would welcome a few more, perhaps I’ll try to collect seed and help them along. I’ve not seen privet hawk moth for years but we usually get a few caterpillars of elephant hawk moth on our Fuchsias; they don’t seem to eat much, in spite of their size.

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    1. I’ve actually been digging some Alliums out as I think they’re a bit out of control. Trouble is I haven’t quite managed to throw them away! My Fuchsias have also attracted the elephant hawk moth caterpillars but I’ve never seen the moth

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  4. I hope your rain dance is effective.
    It’s not much fun watching your plants shrivel. I’m in the same boat here.
    I get those mullien caterpillars too. I need to go and hunt them down today. That verbascum Is a lovely colour

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I usually see those caterpillars on the ragwort plants that are in the lanes. I hope they don’t decide to land in my garden! They do a great job of eating everything! BTW this weeks SOS (6th June) link is not working.

    Liked by 1 person

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