Six on Saturday 23/05/20

What is going on with the weather? It’s been three weeks since we had any rain (the very brief shower Thursday night doesn’t count). The ground is like concrete and almost impossible to dig and now we’re having unseasonably strong winds. Poor plants. I spent a day pulling out Forget-Me-Nots this week and the cracks in the ground are now very visible. Long established plants are doing alright thanks to all the rain we had in the autumn/winter but those that I’ve recently planted out, divided etc are really struggling. Watering seems to be a full time job at the moment. That’s the moaning done with. I’m thankful every day for the pleasure my garden gives me and for the hours that it keeps me occupied. Now, here’s this weeks Six from my garden.
1. The roses are beautiful at the moment but are currently having a battering in the wind. They grow on posts and ropes across the front of the house. This is what they looked like yesterday.

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‘Graham Thomas’. It’s actually more yellow than it looks in the photo.562785C4-BC95-4A14-8409-8648933D85F1

‘Crown Princess Margarita’, a lovely orangey apricot0DB1DF13-BC68-4E3A-AD12-BF67D596B126

‘Snow Goose’ just getting into it’s strideD2728A61-BBE7-40F0-944E-3E2E24A22595

There’s a couple of Clematis growing through the roses but I think that this one has gone into over-drive. There’s a rose in there somewhere!

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2. I have two little froggy ponds, one in the front garden and this one in the very back.  It’s in rather a shady spot but the plants are growing quite well. The variegated Iris is the star at the moment.2F970843-2A48-4D42-8F24-67CB9F61BE191BC7B811-8B51-4CF2-90F9-68B76C33B83A

3. Geum ‘Mai Tai’ had got a bit overwhelmed with Forget-Me-Nots so will enjoy the clear ground for a few days.38097BD0-8F7F-4050-881E-E7219A04034E

4. While a lot of Clematis are approaching peak flowering C. Alpina ‘Francis Rivis’ has been and gone and is now covered with beautiful seed heads.88F3C23F-57EF-4940-B1E3-D0D508DD0809

5. I’m not one for sitting in the garden but stopping for a cup of tea is one of life’s pleasures and a shady seating spot is provided by the table and chairs just visible in 2. There is also a table and chair in a sunnier spot by the back door but it’s a bit visible up the side of the house (we’re in a full-de-sac so not high traffic area!). Some sort of screening was needed. Last year the Non-Gardener put up some trellis then made a planter for the front (north) of house side. It is, of course, a wind tunnel so I’ve planted this with ivy to wind up through the trellis and have planted a Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ in a large pot on the garden side. Lovely view from the seat now.9F0A6CF8-71CE-4D96-911D-6950F87285DFC0664CF7-A5E1-44CE-ADD8-4DB8636E6CA5

The individual flowers are fascinating.
6. This Honeysuckle was an un-named reduced bargain a few years ago and I planted it to cover the arch through to the compost bins. It was such a disappointment to discover that it had no fragrance. There isn’t enough room to plant another, scented variety with it so I finally made the decision to replace it last year but, of course, I haven’t. It’s looking so wonderful at the moment that I can, almost, forgive it. It will need a good haircut after flowering or soon I won’t be able to get through the arch. Lonicera x tellmanniana I think. 67BAF627-C410-46E3-9A68-9956463F5DCF
I moved some pots etc around yesterday in anticipation of the windy conditions and all seem to be standing up alright at the moment. I think today is a day to be a gardening quilter instead (two perfect hobbies).

Don’t forget to check in with the chief Sixer at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ over the weekend (and into the week if you’re anything like me)

 

Six on Saturday 16/05/20

It’s been a bit like musical chairs with plants this week due to the cold nights that we’ve had. I had started to harden off a lot of plants but have been putting some of them back in the glasshouse at night to protect them from the cold. Then they’ve been put back outside in the day, along with other plants not so far along in the hardening off process. There was definitely a frost Tuesday night and the leaves of a couple of plants in the borders have been caught but they’ll be fine. The cold spell seems to have passed so I can start hardening plants off again. Now on with this weeks SonS; no nasty grubs this week!

1. I’ve grown Dutch Iris for many years and always treated them as an annual bulb as the dying foliage doesn’t have a lot going for it. A couple of years ago I decided to grin and bear it and leave them to die back. They’ve returned well for a couple of years but are a bit patchy this year but they do fill a colour gap left after the spring bulbs. I featured a yellow with white one last week. Here are the others. The blue ones have totally disappeared though.

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2. The perennial cornflower needs to be kept in check as it seeds rather prolifically but is a beautiful colour.

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3. I grew some Acer palmatum from seed quite a few years ago. A lot were nothing special but I kept four to grow on. One died a couple of years later, one grew quite quickly and was planted out. It thrives, despite my alkaline soil. The other two have moved around the garden in pots for several years. An ‘advantage’ of no work and lots of gardening time is that I’ve had time to think about these ‘problem’ plants and both now have permanent new homes. There wasn’t quite enough depth of soil (Clematis and Honeysuckle roots) for this one so the N-G made it a bottomless pot. It’s in the shade of the Amelanchier and beneath it are a couple of plants that were on the patio for some winter interest but that now need a shadier position, Polystichum polyblepharum and Heuchera ‘Caramel’.

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4. Another winter patio plant now planted in a shadier spot is Heuchera ‘Paris’.

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5. The Alliums are emerging. This is ‘Purple Sensation’ with ‘Christophii’ following behind.

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6. A Clematis I bought for a new trellis last year. This is ‘Diana’s Delight’, a newer, shorter variety. I hope it gets a bit taller though.

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I’m going to chance the weather now and start to plant up the patio pots today with some hardier plants. Fingers crossed we’ve had the last frosts. I hope the weather’s kind to you this weekend. Don’t forget to check out the other Sixes at

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 09/05/20

Another week of staying sane in the garden. I think it’s working, although the Non-Gardener May disagree. The good weather means that everything is growing rapidly and  it’s been getting so hot in the glasshouse, despite shading. I’ve moved a lot of plants outside to start hardening them off. It’s a shame that the temperature is going so low tomorrow and Monday night, I’ll have to put the Dahlias back inside as the cold frame is full of other things.

1. Back in March I emptied compost bin 3 to use as mulch and then turned bins 1 and 2. During all of this emptying and turning I took out over 200 of these rather (totally) disgusting things. These were the first few – I was using a flower bucket by the end!

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They turn into Rose Chafers and I saw several flying around in the garden yesterday. They are a beautiful metallic green colour, which doesn’t show in this photo. They’re not too fussy about what flowers they eat as this one is in a tulip.

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2. As the Chafers are emerging so are the roses in my front garden. The first to flower is ‘Crown Princess Margareta’

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Whilst deciding which flower to photograph guess what I found!

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3. Foxgloves seed around the garden and every year I hope that a good number will be white. First one open is……  not white. Still beautiful though.

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Then a visitor arrived

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4. The Dutch Iris have enjoyed the heat and have shot up in the last couple of weeks. The white and yellow ones are first to open

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5. I bought Nandina domestica ‘Obsessed’ in autumn 2018 to have in a pot on the patio through the winter. I planted it out in the ground the following spring. It’s taken a while to settle in but the new growth this spring is quite striking

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6. The warm weather has meant that a lot of flowers have gone over quicker than normal, including the biennial wallflowers. However, Erysimum ‘Apricot Delight’ shows no sign of stopping. This plant flowered from March until November last year so I didn’t cut it back. Although it’s flowering it’s head off it is quite a scruffy looking plant so I must do some cuttings, if I can find any non-flowering shoots.

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I’m off to do yet more watering, the rain we had seems a distant memory already. Have a great weekend. Don’t forget to check in with our host to catch up with other Sixers – https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 02/05/20

After all the sunshine we’ve had recently this week has been a bit of a shock – we’ve had a reasonable amount of rain, it’s been quite windy at times and it’s been a lot cooler. More like April/early May I guess. Overall, the garden looks a lot better for the rain and the plants in the glasshouse are enjoying the lower temperatures. It’s the time of year when there’s plenty to choose from so here is this weeks Six.

1. The tulips haven’t stood the wind and the rain very well  and these are the last ones standing – ‘Green Spirit’

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and this was mis-named as ‘Cream Beauty’ but I think it’s ‘China Town’.

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2. The Wallflowers have done well this year and the sun has really bought out their heady perfume. I was worried after Wednesdays heavy rain as most of them were almost flat on the ground but they’ve bounced back.

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3. I have two ‘Froggy’ ponds, one in the front garden and this one in the back. The front one is full of tadpoles but the frogs didn’t visit the back garden this year. However, the Caltha Palustris I planted last year is looking small but perfectly formed.

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4. On the right of the above photo is Dicentra formosa ‘Langtrees’ (I checked the RHS site and it doesn’t seem to have changed it’s name yet). Elsewhere in the garden is straight D. formosa.

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5. I have several Heucheras and some have come through the winter really well and some still look rather sorry for themselves. H. ‘Dark Storm’ is in the first category.

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6. The glasshouse is bursting at the seams with new plants. I’ve grown Cobaea scandens for the first time this year. The first true leaves look like wonderful curled claws as they emerge. I’m not sure where I’ll eventually plant them, I just wanted to grow them. I’ve heard tell that some people plan what they need to grow for certain locations in the garden. I ought to try it one year😂.

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The weather doesn’t look too bad for the weekend, sunshine at the moment, so I’m sure I’ll be gardening for a lot of it. It’s the only way to stay sane in the current mad world. There’s roses to tie in to start with and lots of staking to do.
Have a great weekend, stay safe and have pen and paper ready to add to the list of plants to get as you read the other Sixes at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 25/04/20

With so much time for gardening you would think that I could get on top of all of the things to do out there but with ‘unlimited’ time I seem to create more jobs than I complete. After a day of rain last week not a drop has fallen since so a lot of time has been spent watering. The heat is making flowers go over quicker than usual but Tulips are still a big feature in the garden at the moment.

1. I move the pots of Tulips around as they start to do their stuff/start to fade away. I’ve put all of the Tulips in one this week as there are so many other things to choose at the moment. By the back door this week from left to right – ‘Burgundy’, ‘Slawa’, ‘Lost Label’ and ‘Cream Cocktail’. Note the interloper in with ‘Burgundy’, I’ve had this happen with a few of the pots this year.

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‘Slawa’ is a lovely rich colour that his picture really doesn’t do justice to.

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This pot of T. ‘Lasting Love’ is by the glasshouse and is indeed lasting very well. One day I’ll learn how to take photographs of red flowers. These are much deeper in real life.

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2. I grow mostly viticella type Clematis as I’ve had a bad problem with Clematis wilt in the past. Type 3 Clematis are also easy to care form as they get pruned hard each spring.  I bought the following, named, plant three years ago in the autumn. The following spring I duly cut it back. It grew well but didn’t flower. Last spring it was cut back again and, given the not ideal conditions, it grew to quite a size but still no flowers. Bells started ringing and so this spring I didn’t cut it down. Da dah!

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Obviously mis-labelled and obviously a type 2. Can anyone identify it for me? The main problem now is that I grew it up a willow obelisk. They only last a few years but that’s not a problem with a type 3. Sadly, I’m going to have to cut it right back to replace the obelisk and so no flowers again next year. 😔 The Beech hedge behind is in its third year and will, hopefully, give me a private garden again soon.
3. The roses on ropes and posts are full of buds.

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4. Geum ‘Flames of Passion’ is a wonderful colour but this particular one is nowhere near its given height of 45cm. It’s in quite a dry spot so maybe I’ll move it in the autumn. The self seeded primrose in front of it will have to be moved as well, far too dry and sunny there.

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5. At the front of the house I’ve planted a mixed evergreen hedge between us and next door. Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’ has erupted into flower this week. I love the smell of this shrub and will definitely have to reduce its height quite a bit after flowering.

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6. Last for this week – Carex elate ‘Aurea’. A beautiful sedge. Enough said.

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The Dahlias have come on really well in the heat but it’s too early to put them in the ground (bound to get a frosty spell if I do) so today I’m going to move them up a couple of pot sizes to buy more time. Thank goodness for the local garden centre delivering compost.

When you’re having a rest from your own garden check in with the other Sixers courtesy of our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 18/04/20

It’s Saturday! It’s hard to keep track of the days at the moment but they’re going by quick enough as there’s plenty to do. It’s also raining 👏👍😁 (sorry Paul!). I’ve spent a lot of time recently watering the pots of bulbs etc and the water butts were starting to get quite low. I don’t think much will actually get through all of the foliage and into the pots but anything helps and the borders are definitely looking the better for it. We had a few night frosts at the start of the week but the days have been lovely and bright. There’s so much to choose from at the moment but it’s all coming on so quickly that I wonder what will happen later in the season. Keep sowing and taking cuttings, I guess. Knowing rain was forecast for Friday (didn’t really happen) and Saturday I took my pictures in Thursdays sun
1. It’s Tulip time. They have looked wonderful in the sunshine but it’s going to be a short season. This one is T. ‘Cream Cocktail’. It looks a very yellow cream in the sunshine so I looked on line to see if it was the right one. When the flowers are closed it looks paler and like the pictures.

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2. Lamprocapnos spectabilis is looking as beautiful as ever. If it has a fault it’s that it dies back in August, leaving a gap in the border (pre-planted pot at the ready). However, last years hot, dry summer meant that it set loads of seed and I’ve got seedlings popping up all around the plant (there’s one at bottom left and a tiny one bottom right). A small garden only needs a couple of these plants though.

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3. Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ is a lovely splash of colour in a shady spot. I just wish it would grow quicker!

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4. Clematis ‘Guernsey Cream’ buds all opened this week. This is growing on a north facing fence behind a Birch tree so not ideally situated but lovely to see from my kitchen window.

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5. I garden on alkaline soil so Rhododendrons, Pieris etc have to be grown in pots and watered from the water butts. The severe lack of rain last year meant that they were very regularly watered with tap water, often with a dilute feed for acid lovers to try to compensate. I needn’t have worried as they’ve come back well (apart from the Azalea that died!). This Rhododendron can’t support the weight of it’s own blooms and is a bad shape. I’m going to take the plunge and cut it back hard after flowering followed by the “You have two choices” talk.

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6. I’m hoping the Tulips will last for a few Sixes (🤞) so have limited it to two this week. This is T. ‘Verandi’. It’s a slightly darker red than the photo would have you believe.

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I continue to be so thankful for my garden (I think the Non-Gardener is as well as we are both at home 24/7 – the joys of the self-employed). The rain is easing now so I’m off to the glasshouse to prick out some more seedlings, then find room for them!
Take care, stay safe and keep in touch with the other Sixers courtesy of our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

 

Six on Saturday 11/04/20

Like many of you I’m spending a lot of time in my garden. I’m not necessarily working at full speed, but taking time to appreciate the plants and the wildlife. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated it as much as I do now. I put a camera out most nights and this week a fox has visited and a hedgehog has come every night. I’m hoping it’s the same one as last year as he went straight up to the place where I put a dish of food. I’ve also seen a Peacock, Red Admiral and several Small White butterflies. It’s such an exciting time of the horticultural year and also quite difficult to choose what to include in this weeks Six.

1. The Amelanchier blossom erupted at the beginning of the week. With no traffic or plane noise the sound of dozens of bees up among the flowers for hours each day has been amazing to hear. The blossom lasts for such a short time, sadly. On Monday the tree looked like this

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Yesterday, though it was still alive with bees, the grass below was white with dropped petals and the tree was looking more green than white as the leaves emerge.

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2. By the north facing front door is Clematis alpina ’Francis Rivis’.

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3. Last winter I grew Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ in a pot. As the weather got hotter I wasn’t sure that it would survive (or have a deep enough root run) so planted it in the ground in a shady spot. It’s not ideal as it’s quite a dry spot (I don’t have any damp areas, sadly)  but the wet winter suited it.

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4. Sitting on the back door step drinking a cup of tea is one of life’s simple pleasures. The back garden is a small triangular ish shape (most of my garden is to the side and front) and this is the current view to my left

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5. Talking of Tulips, (good link), these are ‘Whispering Dream’. I’ve not grown this variety before but must try to remember to order them again as they’re gorgeous.

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6. Epimedium x rubrum (I think) is a low growing variety with leaves on very wiry stems. I cut the old leaves off in late February so that the flowers can be seen. The new leaves seem to have come through a bit quicker than in past years and are swamping the flowers already

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The new leaves have a lovely bronze tinge to them

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Sneaky extra but it’s next to the Epimedium so doesn’t really count – as I was taking the above pictures I noticed this bee on the Pulmonaria

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I’ve Cosmos seedlings to prick out today before it gets too warm and a tree to plant. Plus loads of watering! And lots of pots still to wash! I’d better stop looking around so much and get on with some work. Keep sane and keep gardening. When you need a break have a look at what the other Sixers have picked this week at

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/