Six On Saturday: Returning to the fold

I have climbed back up the slippery slope to not posting and made it to the top. I’d like to say that I have spent the last few weeks dining out, drinking in pubs and jetting off to sunnier climes, but no. The best I have done to kick start the economy is have a hair cut and make two visits to the garden centre. Compost and twine now purchased, garden blogging can re-commence.  Here are six things from the garden for your delectation.

One

Growing from seed is definitely a case of winning some, losing some. Here is a slow winner.  This is echinacea pallida.  I sowed seeds three years ago, probably a half tray full and managed to get three to 9cms pot sized plants.  They were planted out last year and this year I have the first flowers.  Very dainty.   I like them and would like more.  It could be a slow process. 

Two

Also grown from seed and happily in the garden for a few years now the ‘Black Cat’ scabious is back and looking velvety dark again.  I need a few more of these too, as a few a moved to a new location resented the intrusion and are no more. 

Three

Hollyhocks, from collected seed and now liberally spreading themselves around.  These I have to keep an eye on as they do get everywhere.  

Four

This year’s annual sowings have started to flower and first out of the blocks is cosmos ‘Dazzler’.  Always reliable but I am never happy with where I have planted them out.  

Five

The magenta phlox have taken up the baton for the second half of summer.  I always have a sinking feeling after the peak of the garden in June but the phlox opening up signals that the next wave has arrived.

Six

More mid summer magenta from the penstemons, this is ‘Plum Jerkum’.

That’s the six. I have been busy cutting back the June extravaganza of ‘Brookside’ geraniums and the delphiniums.  The g. psilostomen is trying to convince me that it has another few days of flowers to give but really it is past its best and has to be cut back too.  Nice to be back with The Prop, who has some beauties in his six of the week, all very colourful.  Much to be enjoyed. 

Sunflower Challenge: Week 14 July 09

It’s all over.  The race has been run and the sunflowers are exhausted.  There is no growth to report this week.  The petals are falling and seeds are forming.  This will be my last sunflower post.  Good fun while it lasted and last year’s seeds had an outing.  Home compost was used and pots from the shed were found.  All in all a no cost project that gave a focus to the week.  I couldn’t always post on Wednesday and Thursday became my day of choice.  So here it ends. 

Last week there was more wind to contend with and number five fell head first into the water butt.  I belatedly decided that a brick would help to keep things stable. 

 

 

 

The plants have languished in the final week and the finishing heights are  Number One: 97cms – Number Two: 114 cms – this one was the first to flower and is now dropping its head very determinedly.  It could be on its way out.  Number Three: 150cms, Number Four: 162cms and Number Five : 180cms. 

Thanks for the idea  @GardeningGent.  I shall be there on twitter for the judging day on August 16th.  Looking forward to seeing those with a little more stamina! 

Sunflower Challenge: Week 13 July 02

Just pretend it’s Wednesday, even if it is Thursday.  Here’s the latest news.  Following the heat we had some very windy days here and calamity came a knocking.  Knocking all pots over.  Fortunately no damage was done but the sunflowers had to spend a good few days huddled in a corner out of the worst of the winds.

They have all flowered and one or two are looking a little frayed around the edges.  I fear this bonny crew will be finished before judging day.  

And here’s this week’s heights: Number One: 97cms – Number Two: 114 cms – this one was the first to flower and is now dropping its head very determinedly.  It could be on its way out.  Number Three: 150cms, Number Four: 162cms and Number Five : 180cms. 

Challenge details

Judging  day: Sunday August 16th,  Categories are: Tallest, Largest Flower, Best Looking, Most Bees on a Flower at the Same Time, Strangest/Funniest and Best Junior Entry.

This has come from a great idea put forward by @GardeningGent.  Sow sunflower seeds on April 1 and then report weekly updates. Mine are from a variety unknown seed packet left from last year.  All seeds were sown in peat free compost and then moved on to 10 litre pots filled with home made compost and a sprinkling of Fish, Bone and Blood. 

More to come next Wednesday or possibly Thursday. 🙂 

Six On Saturday: Good things being delivered

It was the perfect week to be on holiday with nothing to do as it was too hot to do anything. The dead heading was left but there was no avoiding the need to water in the greenhouse. Tomatoes, melons, strawberries, lettuce and basil are all motoring along. Outside the green beans are being picked along with raspberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants.  Here’s the view of the garden this week.

One

I have to share this view of the allotment end of the garden although it’s not to my credit.  I had a few calendula plants in the garden a couple of years ago and if they are not ruthlessly controlled they run riot! Beautifully so, but I need to fight back.  I’m enjoying the splash of colour for the moment but an afternoon spent pulling them out is on the agenda and next year I will be hoeing them off, immediately, no ground given.  Honestly. 

Two

It is now four years since the move to this house and the garden borders are transformed.  Each year a new corner or two comes under scrutiny.  This year it was the passion flower draped arch and trellis.  I could see that a honeysuckle also entwined its way around the uprights but it never flowered.  One side of the passion flower has been taken down and the honeysuckle probably got a bit of a cut back in the process.  Perhaps this is why it has flowered for the first time.  It’s a great addition.

Three

The scented leaf pellies are back in their summer pots and are decorating the patio.  The peat free compost does dry out quickly on the surface so daily watering was necessary.  This one is ‘Prince of Orange’.

Four

The cheerful Shasta daisies seem to be twice as high this year.  They were started from seed about four years ago.  They grow up into the wild blackberries that are another corner of the garden awaiting some attention.  It looks like there will be a good crop there too. 

Five

Most of the delphiniums are going to seed now and need to be cut back but this one came through a little later.  It was a pot luck buy at a plant sale, just marked delphinium.  I’ve had it for three years now but it always only puts up one spike.  Is that a thing for certain types of delphinium ?  

Six 

To finish I offer this combination of blackcurrant sage and a penstemon  – could it be ‘Apple Blossom’?  The  sage looked a little sad after the winter but it responded well to a cut back and is now threading its way around the penstemon. 

Cooler temperatures for next week will see me back in the garden catching up on the dead heading.  The roses need to be fed to help them produce the next wave of flowers and I think I’ll have a nose around the late crop new potatoes.  If nosing around gardens is your thing then go immediately to Mr P’s he has the most divine photo of the rose ‘Generous Gardener’, it’s a must see! 

Sunflower Challenge: Week 12 June 24

I’m determined to post on a Wednesday, so here is a very hurried update.  I’m spending most of my time keeping them well watered in the heat of this week!  Two lovely sunny flowers to report and some meteoric growth.

 

 

And here’s this week’s heights: Number One: 88cms – Number Two: 115 cms, Number Three: 148cms, Number Four: 149 cms and Number Five : 171cms – the biggest leap forward this week.  

Challenge details

Judging  day: Sunday August 16th,  Categories are: Tallest, Largest Flower, Best Looking, Most Bees on a Flower at the Same Time, Strangest/Funniest and Best Junior Entry.

This has come from a great idea put forward by @GardeningGent.  Sow sunflower seeds on April 1 and then report weekly updates. Mine are from a variety unknown seed packet left from last year.  All seeds were sown in peat free compost and then moved on to 10 litre pots filled with home made compost and a sprinkling of Fish, Bone and Blood. 

More to come next Wednesday or possibly Thursday. 🙂 

Six On Saturday: Pinky, greeny, white flowers

Around time of year I’m usually on my way to Suffolk with a stop off at the Beth Chatto gardens. The gardens are open now but the trip to Suffolk is off. Which is a shame because a week on the Suffolk coast next week might be a blessed relief. Temperatures here are forecast to make 30 degrees. At least the garden has had a very good soak and the water butts are almost replenished. Here’s this week’s six.

One

I’m opening with this is mallow, or malva moschata.  I didn’t realise just how pretty it was until I took the close up.  Beautiful and it is a regular self seeder that fills a corner of the garden quite happily doing its thing with very little attention.

Two

The hydrangeas which were gasping for a drop of the good stuff are very happy now.  This one is hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blushing Bride’.  Being one of the Endless Summer ranges apparently it can flower on new and old wood. Something I did not know before today.  

Three

The lilies that are in a pot by one of the pergola legs opened up last weekend. Just in time to provide some scented evening distractions.

Four

From Cornwall to France the Yuccas have been flowering and here I offer a flowering cordyline.  Which by coincidence came all the way from Cornwall some twenty years ago.   It has lived in a pot for all those years, with a belated move to a larger pot about three years ago.  It has never flowered before and I don’t know if it will again but here it is for now. 

Five

This clear white geranium is sanguineum ‘Album’ used in the northern corner of the garden and is finally in flower.  

Six

And just around the corner is this inherited geranium.  White with beautiful pink veining. It was quite a large clump so I divided it up and dotted it around the garden on the shadier side and it has done well in all locations.  I wonder if it could be ‘Kashmiri White’.  

I’m going to be making the most of this cool weekend to get some gardening jobs done.  The last stragglers of the annuals to be planted out.  There are tomatoes to be looked over – those side shoots are sprouting fast and the second sowing of french beans to be put in the ground.  Enjoy your gardening jobs and look in at  The Prop’s Place for his six  (I have fallen for sidalcea ‘Rosaly’) and all the links to other good gardening blogs.

Sunflower Challenge: Week 11 June 18

It seems that I like posting on Thursdays.  It seems I often get distracted on Wednesdays.  I don’t why but if it works, it works.

There was an interesting development on Monday as number two plant tipped its flower head forward and by Wednesday the flower had begun to open.  I hope it hasn’t peaked too soon.  There’s a long way to go until August 16th.

Here’s this week’s heights: Number One: 70 cms – a surge from the 48cms of last week,  Number Two: 110 cms – this is the one that has almost flowered, Number Three: 140cms, Number Four: 137 cms and Number Five : 15 4cms – another one that has had a surge  in growth.  

Challenge details

 

Judging  day: Sunday August 16th,  Categories are: Tallest, Largest Flower, Best Looking, Most Bees on a Flower at the Same Time, Strangest/Funniest and Best Junior Entry.

This has come from a great idea put forward by @GardeningGent.  Sow sunflower seeds on April 1 and then report weekly updates. Mine are from a variety unknown seed packet left from last year.  All seeds were sown in peat free compost and then moved on to 10 litre pots filled with home made compost and a sprinkling of Fish, Bone and Blood. 

 

More to come next Wednesday or possibly Thursday. 🙂 

Six On Saturday: Looking good on the surface but work to be done

I like to think that by June I’m on top of the garden. That I’ll just potter around dead heading and pulling a few weeds but essentially I will be sitting back and enjoying the balmy days and sweet perfumes. Not last week. The temperature dropped, the winds blew and there was some entirely unsubstantial wet stuff that pretended to be light showers. This all amounted to enough to keep me inside but enough to turbo charge Continue reading

Sunflower Challenge: Week 10 June 11

Yes, I know it’s Thursday, honest I do.  The bin men come tomorrow so it’s a marker day.  Wednesday should also be a marker day as that is the day for reporting progress to @GardeningGent.  Sorry for going awol but it was cold and wet yesterday and other jobs were calling louder.  I hope this minor divergence does not disqualify me. 

Great excitement to report on the challenge. Continue reading

Six On Saturday: Beautiful blues (and pinks and whites and oranges)

Having had a few days off at Sofa-on-Sea, I am returning to the fold with six from a parched garden. So much promise of rain, so little delivered. The water butts, and I have several, have run dry, the lawn is cracking and yet the bindweed just doesn’t give up. The greenhouse has been emptied of seedlings and young plants and those not yet planted out are now finding cover under the pergola.

One

First something lovely in blue. The anchusas were grown from seed Continue reading