Six on Saturday – 1st June 2019

I can never decide if I like Papaver ‘Patty’s Plum’ or not.  The colour of the flower when it first opens is lovely and I can’t resist the tissue like petals but it does fade to a rather miserable brown as it dies.  Having said this my two plants of ‘Patty’s Plum’ are groaning with buds and I am anticipating the best ever show in the next week. There are two because being an oriental poppy when you attempt to move it you can more or less guarantee it will reshoot in the original position from some small element of root you have left behind. Interestingly, the red oriental poppy (name unknown) is always behind with its flowers and there are few obvious buds so far

Some of my alliums are behaving a little strangely this year by growing very tall with smaller flower heads than usual.  It seems to be mainly the alliums with flatter flower heads than the globe flower heads such as ‘Purple Sensation’ although they too seem to have smaller flower heads.  I can’t find the name of the variety above, its like Allium nigrum but has the pink inner petals so I am pretty sure it isn’t Allium nigrum.

I think this Thalictrum might be the  ‘Black Stockings’ admired elsewhere.  I am pretty sure these were grown from seeds some years back.  It is a nice Thalictrum as it isn’t too tall like some Thalictrums.

The Siberian Irises are also not flowering as much as in previous years and I suspect that they and the alliums have been affected by the drought last year.   I do love irises and this has been brought home to me over the last few weeks with all the irises I have included in my Six on Saturday posts.  With this in mind I’m off today to a Beardless Iris study day which hopefully will be interesting.

I thought I would show you some of my more extreme pruning.  The above is a Viburnum which had been neglected and grown tall and leggy with whippy stems – a victim of my lack of gardening over the last couple of years.  A couple of weeks ago I noticed the flowers had gone over so I got my secateurs out and drastically pruned the shrub.  It looked awful at the time but I was pleased to see that new leaves have started to appear so hopefully it will be reinvigorated soon.

I also meant to write a blog post last week about my tin bath pond but work got in the way so I am sharing a photo here.  I have had the tin bath for a number of years.  It was acquired with the intention of creating a pond; it sat on the patio for a year or two but for reasons I can’t remember now didn’t seem to work well so we (well my son) drilled some holes and I used it as a planter for a few more years. Then about 3 years ago I wanted to grow a miniature water-lily, as you do, so we (my son) filled the holes back in and we created another pond.  The lily has grown well over the last couple of years but a water lily on its own is not that interesting so last weekend I stopped at a garden centre which sells pond plants and bought a few bits and pieces to add interest.  I’m hoping it will be more colourful as the summer progresses.

For more Six on Saturday posts check out The Propagator’s blog

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27 Comments Add yours

  1. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    It’s surprising how quickly plants can recover from pruning. After I severley pruned/butchered our small tree I was ashamed to look at it. Nearly two months on and it’s beginning to look alright. I like your small pond. We have a miniature water lily in ours. Possibly one of the most expensive small plants I’ve purchased!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Oh dear, my miniature water lily wasn’t very expensive – just bought it at my local independent garden centre

  2. I think your allium might be ‘Silver Spring’

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Fab thanks, yes it’s Silver Spring. Will stick a label in on the off chance it is still there next year

  3. Thalictrums seem to have passed me by. I know prop is a fan. Will have to change that…..

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      They seeemd to be every where a few years ago, I suspect they were popular one year at Chelsea. Now I don’t seem them as much. They are fairly reliable, easy from seed and add height without being too dominant

    2. Thanks might give one a try…

  4. Jim Stephens says:

    I had Patty’s Plum and eventually decided I didn’t like it, just as well as it died without my help. I have to wonder whether if I’d had that as a seedling I’d have kept it or dumped it, Patty must have made a bob or two by making the right call, assuming it had a PBR on it.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Apparently she spotted it on a compost heap

  5. I have never grown thalictrum but have seen it included in a number of Six’s recently so think I must get one. There are a lot, if not too many, Verbena Bonariensis on the plot, would they be in competition with each other? I do like Patty’s Plum and tried to grow it in my Worthing garden but never had any success.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I don’t think thalictrum would compete with verbena. Thalictrum is more reliably perennial in my experience. I have had Patty’s plum for some years and this is only the second year where it is performing well.

  6. March Picker says:

    The plum poppy is subtle and lovely. I have subtler shades near my bright orange-red — something I need to adjust! Good to see your drastic pruning reaped good results. It’s challenging to take on.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      One of my bright orange red poppies has just opened so vivid. I don’t generally find pruning challenging until I finish and think oops!

  7. tonytomeo says:

    I would not have recognized that as allium. I am not very familiar with them though. I only recently started noticing them, as I want to try them as a bulb that may actually be perennial here where winters are so mild.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Tony Alliums are perennial here in the uk, even when we have hard winters so I’m sure they would work for you

    2. tonytomeo says:

      The problem here is not the severity of the frost, but the lack of chill. Bulbs that need chill do not get enough here. That is why I would like to try bulbs that may not need much chill.

  8. bcparkison says:

    I do love water gardens.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Me too, I did have a pond but it was in the wrong place and just didn’t work so filled it in. I do miss it sometimes

  9. Love your tin pond. The mimulus is v. pretty.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Thanks, I didn’t realise Mimulus liked water as I’ve only grown them in hanging baskets before

    2. We had a plain yellow one that walked around our 1m pond for years (until I got too enthusiastic in reducing it)

  10. Ann Mackay says:

    Love that Siberian iris, one of my favourite flowers. 🙂 I know what you mean about Patty’s Plum, but it is lovely just at the start…so I forgive mine the later brown. I wouldn’t be surprised if the drought had affected the allium flowers. My Japanese anemone flowers were tiny last year because the ground was so dry.

  11. I know exactly what you mean about ‘Patty’s Plum’ – I’m not even sure about its initial colour, almost as though the plum didn’t quite set! I’ve also got a red oriental poppy – just opening and I’ll probably include it next week, it’s “Beauty of Livermere’. I love the allium!

  12. That is a very good use for an old tin bath!

  13. Lora Hughes says:

    What a lovely allium. My irises are shorter this year, too, but I thought it was because I moved them. Maybe it was because of last year’s drought. Like yourself, I do love a good iris & yours is beautiful (as are the black stockings).

  14. Heyjude says:

    Your photos area delight. Love the poppy and the iris 🙂

  15. cavershamjj says:

    Cute pond. Do you find you get much wildlife in it?

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