My Garden This Weekend – 6th September 2015

Bomarea salsilla
Bomarea salsilla

With assisting my youngest and his girlfriend move into their new home and attending a fireworks championships at nearby Eastnor Castle yesterday evening, time in the garden has been a little restricted this weekend.  But with a late season sun, hinting at the possibility of an Indian Summer, it was lovely to find a couple of hours today to spend outside.

There is so much to do especially because the recent cool and damp weather has encouraged both ornamentals and weeds to put on significant growth.  In addition I have the ‘pressure’ of a visit from esteemed blogger Cathy of Rambling in the Garden tomorrow evening on her, and her husband’s, trip to the area.  I did, albeit it briefly, panic about the work that needed doing but then I told myself that Cathy is a regular gardener like me and knowing I have a demanding job she will understand and appreciate the odd weed or three.  So instead of running around looking for weeds, tweaking and tidying I picked a border and had a leisurely couple of hours weeding and planting.

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The first Colchicums are flowering and for a change this year I have managed to spot them before the slugs do and protect them with a small application of slug pellets.  I like colchicums, I know many gardeners are bothered by the leaves which follow the flowers, seeing them as large and ugly but I beg to differ. If you think about the location you choose for your colchicums and when the leaves will appear, spring and early summer, you can plan your planting so that the leaves fill a seasonal gap left by other plants.  For example they would work well with hellebores and I think Beth Chatto argues they work well with vinca. I like them so much that today I planted out three additional varieties which were lurking on the patio having been bought on impulse last year. In went: Colchicum davissi, Colchicum byzantinum and Colchicum Nancy Lindsay, named after the daughter the inspiring Norah Lindsay, an early 20th century gardener and designer, who should be known better.

Zinnia 'Queen Red Lime'
Zinnia ‘Queen Red Lime’

I am really pleased with the zinnias this year.  I think I have finally cracked growing them but I think the two varieties I have grown this year are particularly good.  Both varieties are from Chiltern Seeds and I have decided that I will definitely be buying the same seeds again next year despite my decision to really restrict annuals next year.  The only additions will be Rudbeckia and Cosmos.

Zinnia elegans 'Benarys Giant Scarlet'
Zinnia elegans ‘Benarys Giant Scarlet’

The other plant that is fascinating me at the moment is the Bomarea salsilla in the top photograph.  I bought it back in June at the plant sale at Stocktonbury and it has been in flower since.  However, there are only 3 flowers as it seems that the plant produces one flower cluster at the end of each shoot.  It is a member of the Alstroemeria family and is a climber which apparently will reach heights of 3.6m.  I have to decide where its eventual home will be, at the moment it is growing up a temporary cane tripod in the Big Border.  I have planted a tall dark leaved aster behind it which seems to be showing the beautiful flame red flowers off well.

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I am really fascinated with the seed heads of the Bomarea salsilla. The capsules are slowly getting larger and bigger and I am hoping that they will ripen so I can try to grow some more from seed.

Hopefully we will have some more warm days and evenings so I can do a little catching up on weeding and planting out.

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna says:

    Have no fear Helen – having met Cathy earlier this summer I can reassure you that she is a pussy cat and will not notice the weeds. I’m sure that you will get on like the proverbial house on fire and have much to talk about. Zinnia ‘Queen Red Lime’ is a most beguiling colour.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Anna
      it’s a lovely zinnia as it starts a delicate lime and as the flower grows and opens it becomes more a lilac. Quite beautiful

    2. Cathy says:

      Pussy cat, Anna?!! Never been called that before 😉

  2. Helen, do collect seeds from your zinnias – it’s so easy and they are good to sow right where they’ll ‘live’. Mine seed themselves nicely when I forget to deadhead. Save your gardening funds for the special stuff 🙂

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Ginny
      I will have a go at collecting the seed. Zinnias aren’t hardy here so I have to start them under glass before planting out in early summer – thanks

  3. Yvonne Ryan says:

    You must watch out for ‘lurking’ plants – you don’t know what they could get up to behind your back!!! eek!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Yvonne
      Those lurking plants creep up on you when you aren’t looking, very troublesome

  4. Chloris says:

    I am growing zinnias for the first time this year, I love them. The flowers last for ages. Now about the Bomarea, is it hardy? It is so beautiful but I had no idea you could grow it outdoors.
    How lovely meeting Cathy, she and the Golfer were here this summer too. It must be fun to travel round the country meeting blogger friends.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Liz
      I believe the Bomarea is hardy but now you have me wondering so I will have to do some research but I am sure it was sold to me as hardy but needing a sunny, well drained spot.

      Helen

  5. I love your Colchicums, mine have just bloomed in volume and that has made all the difference in my attitude this weekend. It made sitting on the porch swing in the sun and looking out on the garden all that much more special…Have a wonderful Indian Summer.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Charlie
      I think Colchicums are lovely, and fascinating. More people should grow them.

  6. A garden visit is always daunting as I think us gardeners only see what needs to be done rather than enjoying the beauty of what is done. Love the zinnia!

  7. Cathy says:

    I think I managed to dutifully kept my mouth shut about any stray weeds or outstanding jobs that needed doing, didn’t I? Only joking of course, as the visit was to meet YOU and see your garden, not inspect it (or you…) 😉 Lovely to see both, of course

  8. I’m sure you will find the “esteemed blogger” to be a kindred spirit as well!

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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