It was the best time to spend a week on the Suffolk coast. High temperatures, blue skies and lazy days. But the worst time to leave the garden. First the best.
A stop at the Beth Chatto gardens was made en route. I wanted to purchase Convolvulus cneorum, also known as shrubby bindweed. It seemed strange to be looking for a plant with convolvulus in its name when most of us are digging out its less popular relative. But Christopher Lloyd planted it with Erigeron karvinskianus and if it worked for him I’m going to give it a go. It seems very popular in Suffolk: I found it growing in the holiday garden alongside bindweed and I was soon spotting it everywhere. The silver foliage looked wonderful in the sunshine.
If I maybe allowed to stretch the rules, here’s one I would like to have in my garden. It’s the scabious ‘Stafa’ planted here with knautia macedonica. This is a photo from the Beth Chatto garden.
So there I was having a lovely time on the coast, enjoying the cool breeze coming off the North Sea, vaguely aware that temperatures were soaring elsewhere, when idly checking in on Twitter I come across a conversation between The Propagator and Fred, a French gardener discussing drip feed systems for the greenhouse tomatoes and the constant watering required elsewhere. I had soaked the greenhouse plants before I left, left seedlings in trays of water and given the garden as much of a soak as I could. What would I find on my return? The plant here – which I confess is not in my garden – is marram grass.
Well the hollyhocks seemed to have enjoyed the heat. These have been grown from seed gathered from the old allotment plot. I thought I had collected the deep burgundy ones. Last year’s seedlings came up yellow and this year’s are white. So far not a burgundy flower among them. But they are very impressive.
In the greenhouse, the tomatoes had just about held on, the chillies and basil were drooping and an optimistically sown tray of tagetes had shrivelled to a crisp. I was relieved to see that the only two euphorbia seeds to germinate had made it through as had some potted on Ammi visnaga – who where very tardy in their germination. I had recently been given two young plants of Japanese cucumbers which had also just survived.
The best news was that the blackcurrants, which grow on a shady side of the garden are just ripe – so the job for today is picking them before they go over.
I’ll also be doing a week’s worth of dead heading – the roses look a sorry sight, plenty more watering and planting out the japanese cucumbers and my new bindweed! Visit The Propagator to see what other SoSers are doing this weekend. Enjoy the sunshine.