What a week of weather! We’ve had very hot, sunny, humid days (and nights, minus the sun), some overcast humid days, thunder and lightning and some heavy rain. The garden has stood up to it quite well although the hanging basket of begonias suffered in the heavy rain. It was too hot to be working in the garden on several days so I’ve plenty of dead heading, tying in etc to do this weekend between the showers. The Solenostemon cuttings from last weeks Six have all rooted and need potting up. The hydropod certainly speeds things up.
The garden seems to have stepped into early autumn this week with the first Michaelmas Daisies showing colour (not counting ‘Monch’ which has been in flower for a couple of weeks) and the Amelanchier leaves turning and dropping already but I’m going to try to prolong summer for as long as possible with this weeks Six.
- I’ve tried several times, without much success, to grow Echinaceas but last year I managed to do so. They came through the winter and have made a good sized clump this year. I’m going to try some root cuttings in the autumn because they’re not a long-lived perennial.
- Clematis viticella ‘Etoile Violette’ scrambles through a Pyracantha in the back garden. It looked beautiful before the downpour made the flowers hang their heads 😢 but I wanted to show it before it passed its best.
- Another Clematis, this time C. orientalis ‘Bill Mackenzie’ – the orange peel Clematis. I have it growing in a limited space so cut it back virtually to the ground every March. It started flowering at the beginning of May and is still covered in flowers with the addition of the beautiful silky seedheads which persist well into winter.
- Last week I showed Eucomis ‘Oakhurst’, this week it’s the turn of E. bicolor. I grew these from seed several years ago but wasn’t sure if they would survive the winter so kept them in a pot and overwintered them in the glasshouse. After a couple of years of doing this I decided that they could take their chance in the ground where they did quite well and were totally hardy (in North Somerset anyway). However, (you’d guessed that there was one of those) the fleshy leaves were a magnet to slugs and snails and the large leaves flopped all over adjacent plants so I dug them up and put them back in a pot. They don’t smell very nice, although the flies would disagree, so live by the glasshouse.
The individual flowers are lovely and the spotty stems are something else
- Last year I grew some Patrinia scabiosifolia from seed. The germination rate wasn’t great but I planted the resulting plants out when they were large enough. Then the drought arrived and, despite my best efforts, they disappeared without a trace. Or so I thought. This spring two of the plants have reappeared and are coping well with this years drought/deluge weather. I even managed to plant Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ to coordinate with this one without knowing it. Hoverflies love the flowers.
- There were several contenders for number six but a plant that has fascinated me this week is Cobaea scandens, the Cup and Saucer Vine. This is the first time of growing this climber and I’ll certainly grow it again. It has very attractive foliage (for an annual climber) is self clinging and has repelled the aphids, unlike a lot of the other annual climbers I grew this year. Although described as an annual climber the RHS site says it is a perennial. Is this just in its native Mexico or has anyone had it survive the winter in the UK? Tiny flower buds have been visible in the leaf axils for a couple of weeks then last week they started to rise up on long stems
The newly opened flowers are a greenish/white colour (there wasn’t a newly opened bud this morning when I took these pictures). This one opened yesterday.
Over the next couple of days the purple colouring creeps through the flowers
until they turn a rich purple colour.
We’ve had more rain in the night and it’s very mizzly at the moment but, thankfully, quite a bit cooler so I think I’ll be starting with the cuttings in the glasshouse. Thank you for reading my Six, enjoy your weekend whatever you have planned (I’m still mostly hiding in my garden) and don’t forget to make time to check in with our leader at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/