Six on Saturday 07/05/22

It finally arrived! Rain!!! True, it was more of a long drizzle but wet stuff definitely fell from the sky. If nothing else, it washed the dust off of the plants and they looked much brighter the following morning. Sadly, it brought the slugs out as well. There hasn’t been any rain since and a lot of birds are visiting the water dish each day. I’m also putting out a dish of water for the hedgehog that visits most nights and the camera shows that he enjoys a drink.

  • The Tulips are, mostly, coming to an end. They’ve been a lovely shot of colour in the garden but I don’t think they’ve been as good as the last couple of years. Some varieties, ‘Slawa’ for example, have been weaker than before and the actual flower size of some seems smaller. Four of the pots have also had one or two flowers of a completely different colour from the variety planted. I know the bulbs all look quite similar but I find this disappointing. Anyway, enough of the moaning – I’ve still had an enormous amount of pleasure from them. Here’s a quick round-up of the best of the week.
T. ‘Cairo’ finally starting to open. In the background is T. ‘Moonblush’ (there were two pale yellow interlopers in this pot)

I’ve now bought the shed paint and just need to apply it to shed!

T. ‘Lasting Love’, a favourite from last year and will definitely be on the order form again.
T. ‘Aveyron’ – sadly four out of the ten bulbs have had small, incomplete flowers like the two below.
  • Two pots of Begonia luxuriens spent the winter in the glasshouse. One of them had flower heads forming but I didn’t think that they would survive. The plant in question is rather leggy so I thought I’d cut both plants back to, hopefully, make them shoot from lower down. I couldn’t bring myself to cut the potential flowers off though and they started to open yesterday. I’m a little underwhelmed though.
  • There’s so much new to see each day. The Foxgloves are rising as are the Alliums, seen here with Dicentra eximia.
  • While the lack of rain is keeping the slugs at bay other pests are not so shy.
  • The Amelanchier was covered in blossom a couple of weeks ago. It’s a very fleeting display and is followed by the emergence of the bronze coloured new leaves. There seems to be a problem this year though as the leaves on one half of the tree are very much smaller than on the other. Does anyone have any idea as to what could be wrong? I’ve always regarded this as a problem free tree.
  • Something happier to finish with. The Caltha in the little froggy pond in the back garden adds a real splash of colour to this part of the garden. But where does the duck weed come from?

The forecast is good, but still dry, for the next few days and I’m hoping to spend most of the weekend in the garden. Thank you for reading my Six and I’m sorry I didn’t read all of the Sixes last week but will do better this week. Promise. They can all be found at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

8 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 07/05/22”

  1. Lily beetles? Aargh! I am keeping an eye out on my Martagon lilies as they are about to flower. Last year they were munched to the ground immediately after planting – S&S I think, not the beetle. It seems a few of us have had mixed bulbs in our tulips selections. As I have mentioned I got 15 very beautiful yellow ones when they should have been pink and orange and not all the bulbs flowered. Maybe I crammed too many in one pot. Next year I shall give them more room, but 7 out of 15 is not a good ratio.

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  2. You are very lucky to have had rain, still nothing here… I like the photo with Foxgloves, Alliums and Dicentra eximia. And bravo for the begonia luxurians, I really have to order/sow one.

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  3. That’s not a happy Amelanchier. I would say you have a problem at the roots and the most likely culprits are Honey fungus – Armillaria spp., or Phytophthora cinnamomi. Have any other woody plants died nearby in the last few years, or been cut down and the roots left in?

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    1. 😱 I had problems with a beech hedge, planted about five years ago, last year. It’s on the other side of the lawn from the Amelanchier. As the season went on several of the plants developed dead branches and there were cracks in the bark that were covered with ants. Two plants appeared dead though they were alive at the start of the season. I sent samples of the dead bark, some live and dead roots, leaves and soil to the RHS and they couldn’t find a cause for the problem and specifically mentioned no trace of honey fungus or Phytophthora. The hedge is now coming into leaf and there seems to be another dead one. Others are leafing well but the cracks in the trunks don’t bode well for their future. I’ve just planted some more whips to ty to fill the gaps. The last couple of years have been ‘drought or flood’ and I wondered if this was the cause of the problem, especially for a new hedge. However, the Amelanchier has been planted for many years and it only seems to be one side of the plant that’s affected (so far!). Sorry, long reply.

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  4. I’ve had poor results with tulips this year as well – either blind bulbs, bulbs shattering and producing masses of smaller flowers and the wrong colours being supplied mixed in with the right ones. Lets hope it was a staff shortage/covid issue and next years will be better. Lasting love looks great though.

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