Six on Saturday 24/07/21

What a difference 24 hours makes. At the moment it’s literally 10 degrees cooler than this time yesterday. Here in North Somerset we had quite a lot of rain last night which, combined with a gusty wind, gave the plants a bit of a battering. Most (I’d love to say all) of them are supported though so the bowed heads and split centres will, hopefully, come back up. I started taking pictures for todays Six in the sun yesterday and finished them in the rain this morning.

  • I mentioned last week my love of large leaved plants so first up is a new addition to the garden last autumn. After a slow start because of the cold and wet Ensete murielae ‘African Breeze’ is living up to expectations. It’s another plant that will become too big for my garden but that’s nothing new.
Beautiful spiralling as the new leaf unfurls
  • I have several varieties of Eucomis that have all provided regular meals for the SnS this year. Several flower spikes of E. bicolor have been eaten through as they emerged so there isn’t such a good show this year. I keep them in pots down by the shed and glasshouse as the flowers have a smell rather like rotten meat. Definitely not one for the back door step! I guess this smell is to attract flies. The stems have gone wandering more so than usual this year and I haven’t found a good way to support them.
E. bicolor.

I’ll get around to painting the shed one day. The individual flowers don’t really get noticed but are very interesting

  • The front garden is very much left to get on with it. Like the rest of the garden, it’s mostly herbaceous plants and some self seeding annuals. After reading Sarah Raven’s new book I recently added some Salvias as companion plants to the Roses but when I looked yesterday they are being swamped by the neighbouring plants. I will have to get my machete out later and regain a bit of control. The front door is north facing and had a Clematis either side, one of which grows up through a Pyracantha. C. viticella ‘Alba luxurians is a very enthusiastic plant, so much so that a few years back I removed as much of the root as I could as it was much too large for the space available. There must have been enough left in the ground for it to have another go at world domination and I’ve been very happy to see it appear each spring. I may have to repeat the exercise again though. When the flowers first appear the sepals can’t quite make up their mind if they want to be a flower or a leaf. As more flowers appear the white becomes more dominant. There’s a Pyracantha in there somewhere.
Getting there.

On the other side of the porch for over 20 years was C. alpina ‘Francis Rivis’ but, sadly, it didn’t make it through last winter. A new planting opportunity for the autumn.

  • At the base of the Clematis is Corydalis lutea. This plant borders on invasive and every spring I pull out hundreds of tiny seedlings from the surrounding gravel but at this time of year I can forgive it everything.

I’ve tried to grow other Corydalis but don’t seem to have the conditions (skill?) to keep them from one year to another.

  • Only the tough survive in the front border and the next two are definitely tough!
Lysimachia clethroides

This spreads by underground runners and needs a firm hand to keep it in its place.

Rudbeckia lanciniata

This Rudbeckia seems to revel in the heat and laughs at the cracks in the ground all around it. It has reached over seven feet tall this year and last nights rain hasn’t made it flop over. It’s somewhat out of scale I suppose but the bees and hoverflies love it, the SnS ignore it and the seedheads persist well into winter. What’s not to like?

The rain seems to be holding off for now so I’m going to take the opportunity to do some repotting in the glasshouse in the cooler conditions. It’s almost been out of bounds in there this week with the temperature getting up well into the 40’s every day.

Have a great weekend, I hope the weather is kind, wherever you are. Keep in touch with our host to see what’s going on in other Sixers gardens.

13 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 24/07/21”

  1. I have exactly the same Ensete ‘African Breeze’ and mine is potted too. I bought it in the spring and it’s already the 4th time that I have enlarged the size of the pot so fast it grows. It has already made 8 leaves since I bought it … ( You can see it in the background in my Six in the last photo).
    Rudbeckias are a hit here too. Mine are orange and shorter because yours are so tall !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow that Rudbeckia is tall! I bought a dwarf kind, but like my Helenium it didn’t like our wet winter. I have a purple clematis (Étoile Violette’) behaving like yours this year, I wonder if the cold April and wet May have confused them?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had been thinking about trying some Eucomis on the terrace which is South facing as I thought they looked nice and exotic. I’m glad you told me about the smell though. I think I’ll pass on them after all. The Ensete leaves are fabulous and bold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Personally, I wouldn’t have them near where I’d sit. The smell can be quite strong and they attract quite a lot of flies. Apart from that, a great plant😂
      I don’t seem able to comment on your site but your borders are looking great. I love the zingy colours


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