Six On Saturday: Exuberance begins

Ping! Pow! Pop! That is what the garden has done this week. Sunshine and showers (and a small amount of hail) have turbo-charged the growth of the perennials. All is looking good for the summer time splash. The rainy days were a welcome change from April’s drought and gave me time to plan a tulip buying extravaganza to rival that of the seventeenth century. Forgive me, I am getting over-excited. Here’s my six.

One

Geranium phaeum.  One of my favourites for this time of year.  It reminded me of the move to this house four years ago.  The borders were empty and I brought with me a small selection of self seeders and spreaders to give me some bare bones to build on.  The velvety phaeum was one and it has done its job, I divided them last year and have a decent sized number now.  A reliable doer.

 

Two

I couldn’t bring it with me, but I always enjoyed the weigela that came with the old garden.  I didn’t know the variety but I thought weigela ‘Florida Variegata’ looked a good match and it is.  

Three

The plum trees have been pruned, one by myself and one by the expert.  Here they are.  Ailing plum is doing okay at the moment, the second one looks much better for the prune.  The photo is taken from the other side to give a better view of the open structure of the middle.  I can confidently say the blackbirds can swoop through the middle any time they want.

Four 

The Prop’s tiarella from last week prompted me to search out mine.  They are in a dark corner on the way to compost heap, squeezed in between the gooseberries and the blackcurrants.  What a delight, they shone through the gloom.  This is ‘Emerald Gaiety’.

Five

When I say the borders here were empty when we arrived I should say there was plenty of weed clearing to be done.  Amongst the weeds was a self sown aquilegia vulgaris, the common columbine.  I left it there and over three years it has settled itself into a very happy clump about a metre high.  It’s now too dominant for my liking and  distracts the eye from the nearby irises.  It’s time to find it a new home. 

Six

The last of the tulips have opened.  These grow in a corner that heads towards the shady cold north border so they are always the last to show up.  There should be a good show of ‘Angelique’ combined with ‘Spring Green’ and ‘China Town’.  But the combination is thinning out and needs revitalising.  Hence the great tulip search.  For this year there are just enough coming through to make a good display.  

Like Mr P I shall be potting on some seedlings this weekend.  Also on the to-do list is planting out the dwarf french beans, some more lettuce and rocket and the February sown sweet peas.  I shall continue to urge the three remaining lupins on to their next stage and take a look at the no-show Californian poppy seed tray, again.  Happy gardening to you all, I hope you get some time to catch up with the links on Mr P’s site.  It’s going to be a busy weekend.  

 

Six On Saturday: Flattened

It was a week of hunkering down.  The water butts filled up impressively.  I then emptied them by filling up all the watering cans and then watering the greenhouse.  It was mad, crazy, wet.  I was happy from Monday to Wednesday, a little peeved by Thursday and downright fed up on Friday.  But the garden did need it.  I reviewed the damage: slugs and snails feasting on the lupins and flattened roses but most other things just soaked up the magic water.

One

The flattened and rain soaked ‘Scepter’d Isle’.  The petals just fell off them as I deadheaded them.  The alchemilla mollis underneath was cut and joined the forlorn rosa ‘Darcy Bussell’ in a vase.  I was reminded of some beautifully crafted staking of roses at Waterperry gardens and again made a note to do better next year!

Two

The collection of small plants I bought at the Finchley Horticulutral Society plant sale were short enought to withstand the rain, and positively thrived on it.  These are alchemilla mollis alpina, tellima grandiflora or fringe cups,  geranium ballerina and erinus alpinus, also delightfully known as fairy foxgloves.

Three

I was pleased to see a mistreated geranium had forgiven me.  ‘Ann Folkard’ was planted five years ago in the old house, moved around several times there, came to the new house and has been moved around several times again.  I hope it’s  in the right place now, I’m going let it stay for a while and see how it fairs.

Four

Just before the deluge arrived the ailing choysia left.  I now have that most desirable of garden commodities – open space.  I wish I had worked out the plan of what to do next first but the urge to remove the choysia was too strong.  Normally I would fill the space with annuals but I don’t think they will do well in this north facing border.  On the other hand it is at the western end and I do have two or three trays of annuals looking for a home.

Five

The much awaited melica altissima ‘Alba’ arrived.  The final piece in the shady north border planting.  Now it all has to knit together, the weeds are doing that rather better than the plants at the moment.  The climbing  hydrangea is making good progress but the first flowers on the geranium sanguineums were dashed to the ground by the rain.

Six

The small and dainty dianthus deltoides stood up to the rain.  They are about 18cms high and edge the border very well.

A little bit warmth would do very nicely now but dark clouds are looming again.  The weeds are growing upwards and the slugs are growing fat.  It is summer solstice next week so I am optimistically  expecting a change in the weather!  I think rain will be the word of the week for other SOSers.  Take a look at The Propagator’s blog to see how everyone faired.

Six On Saturday: Red, white and blue

Oh go on,  indulge me!  It’s Harry and Meghan’s day and here’s my Six:

One

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I’ve planted up the containers.  I’m very predictable.  It’s always two geraniums and something else.  This year I have two trailing ivy leaf geraniums, this one is Merlot.

Two

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And the something else is a trailing bacopa snowflake.

Three

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And the first of the blues is Polemonium caeruleum or Jacob’s ladder.  I strayed from my plan to plant in blocks and just bought one of these.  I am now trying it out around the garden to be sure I find the perfect spot for it.

Four

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The second red is of course a geum, Blazing Sunset.  Bought last year at the Finchley Horticultural Society plant sale – which is where I shall be on Sunday, manning a stall.

Five

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The second white is a Cistus or rock rose.  There is a label for this somewhere,  but for now I am joining our noble leader in the var. unk. club! (I think it might be Alan Frapp).

Six

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The second blue was a difficult choice but I’ve decided to save my favourite one for next week… For this week it’s going to be Geranium himalayense ‘Gravetye’.  It’s just coming into flower and is doing a great job filling out the new border.

Okay, so maybe the blues are a little purple and one of the reds is on the verge of orange but I think you get my drift!

Happy weekends everyone, be it weddings, football, plant sales or gardening!  And save some time for reading all the other sixes as featured at The Propagator’s blog.

Six on Saturday

Thanks so much to everyone who gave me advice on the Euphorbia.  The RHS thought it might be poorly because of root rot due to wetness and also suggested, as others mentioned, cutting back the sad stems when the new growth comes through in spring which might persuade it to regenerate.  I think it might have picked up a little in the past week so I am going to remain optimistic.  Here’s my six for this week.

One

Geranium sanguineum var. striatum.  These were making such a good show on a visit to Waterperry Gardens, Oxfordshire in June that I bought some for myself.  They have established well and this pink flower shone out on a gloomy day this week.  Don’t know why it’s also known as Bloody Cranesbill, seems quite inoffensive to me.

Two

Some small scale seed sowing and propagation has taken place.  I finally potted on some of the Nigella damascena seeds which were collected from plants growing at the allotment.  I also collected some sweet pea seeds from the summer flowering.  They have just germinated.  It was a spur of the moment thing as I unentwined them from their supports.  I put them in a pot and hoped.  So far so good. Next in the row are the penstemon cuttings taken in August.  I took four, four rooted and so far four are growing on.  One was a little thin on the root growth but it seems to be making progress.  I should have taken more cuttings as an insurance policy.

Three

This aster is eye popping in the border where the colour is actually a little more subtle than this photo shows.  It’s another purchase from the Finchley Horticultural Society plant sale.  Who needs Chelsea? The cosmos is still flowering but in preparation for storm Ophelia I did cut back some of the larger stems for flowers for the house.

Four 

Some autumnal mushrooms have arrived in the garden.  Plants for free, yes.  But I’m not sure about food for free.  I don’t know anything about mushrooms so I will leave them where they are.  Something seems to be enjoying them, I suspect squirrels but could it be the birds?

Five 

Some golden leaves from the fig tree.  The colours are turning and the leaves falling but these figs aren’t going to ripen in this garden.

Six

My last one for the week is this climbing rose, Blush Noisette.  Beautiful soft pink flowers and hopefully many more to come.  It is growing up a south facing wall and it will be interesting to see how long this micro climate will help keep it flowering.

I hope your garden to continues to flower and be fruitful.  Thanks to The Propagator for hosting the wonderful Six on Saturday.  Read his blog posts and all the other Six on Saturday posts from around the world at The Propagator my plant obsession