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

My Garden This Weekend – 10th August 2014

Dahlia 'Chat Noir'
Dahlia ‘Chat Noir’

I haven’t been in the garden this weekend apart from to take some photographs.  Sunday has been wet and windy thanks to residue of hurricane Bertha once she had blasted across the Atlantic.  We have had very heavy downpours and it is much cooler which I for one am grateful for.  The garden should certainly have benefited from the rain.  On Saturday I 2014_08100007missed out on the good gardening weather as I spent all day at the local horticultural show – exhibiting, stewarding and generally helping out.  You can see some of the horticultural delights on our society website here.  I didn’t enter much as life has been a little hectic recently and I didn’t want to cause myself more stress than I already had.  I entered five floral classes and won two thirds and a highly commended and I entered a scarf in the handicraft section and won a second.  Not as good as last year but all things considered not bad.

I have been pondering the border along the top of the wall.  Recently I have mentioned that I am going to remove the Delphinium and go for something that will have a longer period of interest.  I recently saw an article in one of the glossy magazines (Gardens Illustrated I think) about a garden in Holland and I was struck by the planting in the borders which had a strong colour palette with a lot of foliage interest.  I have started planning the border with the above purchases of sedums, stacys, imperata and lily grass.  I think the colours will work well with the roses and abelia at the beginning of the border.  Once I have removed all the delphiniums and improved the soil I am going to work my way down the border planting a block at a time in an attempt to get some harmony and interest. Who knows it may work.

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The heavy rain has been a good test for the pond.  Although this is a rather grandiose title for what is essentially an old tin bath.  The long term intention is to use it as a collecting pond for the downpipe off the shed but we just haven’t had time to put the guttering up and I have no idea when we may get around to this.  However in the meantime I have added some zantedeschia and a white lobelia.  The zantedeschia have thrived especially when the weather was hotter.  I need to do some research into whether I can leave them over winter or not.  We also need to re-site the bath so that it doesn’t lean towards the shed! I am sure it was straight when we placed it but maybe it has settled strangely into the gravel.

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The Big Border is looking good and full at the moment and the asters are beginning to flower.  I am leaving this border alone for the coming year apart from adding some interest along the opposite edge and filling a few gaps.  I also think I need to tie the Euphorbia into the planting better as it looks like a sore thumb so maybe some more silver is needed?