Welcome to this weeks Six on Saturday. It’s been a fairly dreary week with a lot of drizzly, mizzly rain so there hasn’t been a lot of time spent in the garden. I’ve concentrated my efforts around the patio area. I planted several large pots with layers of bulbs weeks ago and have been waiting for the summer pots to finally go over so that the seasonal pot swap can take place. Lots of the half hardy annuals have been potted up to over-winter in the glasshouse. I’ve had quite a problem with Fuchsia Gall Mite this year, and Capsid Bug in previous years, both of which result in a lot of frustration and virtually no flowers on the Fuchsias. I had decided to ditch the plants and take a break so that the pests would, hopefully, go elsewhere. Easy to say, much harder to do. I used to have over 50 varieties and still have 25 – 30 and have compromised by getting rid of the worst affected and keeping the others. I’ve cut them back harder than usual and will be extra vigilant next year. Enough of the problems and on with my (slightly soggy) Six
- Every year I plant half a dozen large pots with layers of Narcissi, Tulips and Crocus or Iris reticulata. This year I’ve topped them with Pansies and Violas. I love their cheery faces.
- Most of my garden isn’t visible from the house so the small patio area is a real focus spot and I try to make the most of it. There’s a level change that is edged with sleepers and behind one of these I have planted Hakonechloa macro ‘Variegata’. This looks wonderful from April onwards and is still really attractive. It also adds movement to this corner as the leaves move in the slightest breeze. When it dies back the under-planting of Snowdrops takes over.
- A Fuchsia I am definitely keeping is F. ‘Lechlade Gordan’. I bought this last year and overwintered the main plant and some cuttings in the glasshouse. The plants have remained in their pots this year, grown really well and, more importantly, have resisted the Gall Mites. I’m going to try one or two in the ground next year. They aren’t showing any sign of dying back yet.
- Foliage comes more to the forefront at this time of year and Pulmonaria starts to stand out. I cut them back hard after flowering as the leaves tend to be suffering with mildew by then. I also cut them back again towards the end of the summer to get fresh leaves for the winter. Unfortunately, the common P. officinalis has worked its way into P. longifolia. That will take a bit of sorting out. I might try to start longifolia again from cuttings and then dig the patch over and replant. I might, honestly.
- My plant growing/buying eyes are much bigger than my plant growing area so I have to get inventive. Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ grows up a trellis and is still flowering well. So well in fact that I hadn’t noticed that its neighbour, Lonicera fragrantissima, has started flowering already. It’s been so damp that I haven’t noticed its beautiful fragrance yet.
- A fairly newly acquired Hedychium gardnerianum was overwintered indoors last winter and planted out in the spring. It’s grown well and several weeks ago I noticed a couple of flower spikes starting to emerge. The relatively mild weather means that they’ve been able to grow and this week the first one has opened. It doesn’t seem to have any scent but I think that’s due to the dampness again. Bring on some sunshine!
If the weather allows I’m hoping to lift the Dahlia tubers asap as the ground is so wet that I’m worried that they will start to rot (a problem I had last year).
I hope the weather allows you to get outside this weekend and if you need any inspiration (and who doesn’t?) then check in with our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/