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.
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.
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.
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.
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.