Six on Saturday-28.7.18

This weekend I am off to hear the banns being read in church for my upcoming nuptials. So off to enjoy the in-laws to be garden. They have a lovely cliff side garden. Last time I visited the pond had just been re-dug and had attracted newts, so be interested to see progress.

My own garden had become quite crowded. The ox eye daisies had gone past their best, as had a number of geraniums. So they have been chopped back. Some are already giving new flowers, but lower to the ground. They were growing very thick, so now it has revealed areas that have been concealed for a month or so. Quite a lot of bare ground that is tempting to fill.

1. Heuchera

I bought these two last year and had growing in pots for some colour over Winter, but it was too sunny a spot. I added them under the acer. They have recovered well. This area is all about the foliage ferns and heuchera give all year colour.

2. Cyclamen

This was grown inside. After the flowers were best their best inside I planted it out. It’s given a second burst of flowers. I don’t know what variety it is, so don’t know if it will survive the Winter. A pleasant dash of colour for now though.

3. Hebe

This Hebe suffered badly this Winter and I considered removing it. It has just about recovered, but it’s growth is a bit patchy. Hopefully it will sort itself out. The flowers are bee magnets.

Luckily I took cuttings, which are now putting on growth. They’ve been easy to get going and keep going. I’d like to establish a few more to take a few for the school garden.

4. Fern-polypodium vulgare ‘Bifido multifidum’

I’ve bought another fern for the fern patch. Common polypody is a hardy evergreen variety. It likes free draining soil and prefers loam or chalky soil. As I have neither I’ll need to mix in some sand and grit into it’s planting hole to give it good drainage. Currently I have tongue and feathery shaped leaved ferns. So this will add a bit of variety with its more rounded leaves. It’ll need watering through the Summer to get settled in. The leaves from the trees above will give it a good mulch when they shed.

The ground is hard as rock right now. So I will hold off on planting and soften up the ground for a week or two watering it well. This is the patch it will be added into.

5. Love in a mist

These were sown directly into the soil and are growing up through the Charles DeMills rose that has finished flowering. The feathery foliage is a photographers dream for soft focus shots. Stunning!

6. Rain

Finally we got rain. All the singing and rain dances have worked. A day and night of on and off storms yesterday has refreshed the garden. The lawn looks lusher already. Our wash water has been keeping the hydrangea going. The tomatoes have been a daily task. But for one day I can have a rest. So we’ve gone from worrying about drought, to now worrying about flooding.

Hope you all enjoy your weekends and all your gardens have benefited from the promised rain of the weather forecast.

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Six on a Saturday-21.7.18

As a teacher I have now broken off for the Summer holiday. A chance to get out and enjoy the garden and get it back into order.

1. Cineraria

The cineraria is now in flower. I mainly grow this for the contrast of the silver foliage. It’s an evergreen so gives interest through the year. When it flowers it tends to spread out pretty untidily over the lawn, but the insects seem to like the small flowers.

2. Hollyhocks

The hollyhocks have finally flowered. The hot dry weather seems to have been perfect for them. The first to flower are a patch that self seeded from last years. These are the more traditional hollyhocks, but have some hollyhock carnival varieties still to flower.

3. Ophiopogon-black mondo

I have a few patches of black mondo growing in pots. It is starting to spread and hopefully can be divided at some point. While often referred to as black grass it isn’t actually a grass. Currently it is in flower with its small delicate white flowers stretching out from the leaves.

4. Verbena

I grow verbena bonariensis from seed this year and planted out a few weeks back. Last year this was still flowering in many gardens late on in Summer when a lot of other flowers were fading. The first flowers are opening. The dense spikes are ideal for butterflies. I’ve already seen the small whites coming onto these.

5. Borage

Down near the bench I allow a patch of borage to seed. Its star shaped flowers are loved by bees. It can become an untidy miss, but it keeps flowering for a good period and the bees love it. The flowers are edible and can be used as decoration on cakes or salads.

6. Succulent

For one of my end of year presents at work I got a succulent. Possibly some variety of aloe, but not really my area of expertise. I’ve brought it home for the holiday, then take it back in. I’ve been trying to add some more plants to the classroom for the kids to look after. I’ve also selected a number for the ability to improve air quality as my classroom can feel a bit stuffy. Then the positive effects of having greenery are well known.

So that’s my six for this week. The garden is full of life with the insects spoiled for choice. Enjoy your weekends. I will now be enjoying my break and getting the garden back in order after a couple of busy weeks of neglect.

Six on Saturday-14.7.18

A the garden is seeing a lot of the taller plants coming into flower. The lawn is holding on. The shaded parts still looking lush, while the centre is looking dryer and dryer.

1. Fennel

The fennel is growing good and strong currently. I grow it for the umbel flowers that are good for butterflies. I’ve got a few smaller plants to put in the border. The feathery foliage makes a good contrast to the dark leaves of the camellia and hollyhocks around it.

2. Unknown perennial

Bought for me last year. It lacked a label. It has been on the verge of flowering for weeks and is now putting on a good show.

3. Fuchsia

The first of the fuchsias is now flowering well. I took this one out of the border as it was getting swamped and put it into a pot. The contrasting white and pink flowers are quite attractive. Quite a few of the fuchsias didn’t survive the harsh winter, so happy this is a survivor.

4. Teasel

The teasel has featured earlier in the year. It has grown up above the fence and has an abundance of flowers growing tall attracting in the insects. While quite spectacular it has quite a large footprint in the border taking up a good metre square at the base. The leaves and stems have vicious spikes making it an unpleasant job tying up. Not sure if I’ll let it grow again. I’ll have to see if it brings in the birds later in the year.

5. Chives

My mum divided some of her chives. They were ripped apart by seagulls trampling them, but one has hung onto flower.

6. Rose Scarlet Paul’s climber

I planted two of these Tesco £2 plants to replace another climbing rose that was doing all its flowering above the fence and on the neighbours side. I’m going to try to train these so I get better flowering across the fence. The first flower has opened up. While this year I’ll only have a few flowers they are looking to be quite glorious. Proper Scarlett Harlots providing bright blooms on the fence. There are two clematis next to it that are going strong. They should intertwine well.

Initially opening as a dark bloom.

Still keeping a rich colour as it fades.

And that’s my six. Hope you enjoyed. I’ve got lots of dead heading to get on with and some of the ox eye daises and forget me nots are past their best. Time to trim and pull.

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Six on a Saturday-7.7.18

A further week of brilliant sunshine is leaving the lawn a bit parched, but seems to be doing better than surrounding gardens. I think my garden has a bit more shade for more of the day than neighbours.

1. Sempervivum

This red house leek has flowered this year. The small flowers stretch out from the main plant. This will then die off after flowering. Luckily the runners are established in other pots to replace it.

2. Nasturtium-dairy maid

These were grown from free seeds with a magazine. They’ve been well chewed, but a pleasant space filler. The pale yellow flowers are a nice contrast to the pink rose behind.

3. Lady’s mantle

I think this is lady’s mantle. My mum thinks she planted it, but it grows all over the area so may be self seeded. It offers foliage around the lavender and then small pale green, almost yellow flowers.

4. Peace lily

One from inside. This Peace Lily’s roots were completely pot bound having circled the pot several times. Its phototrophic growth had led to it growing hunched over on one side. I’ve potted it on and cut back to get it straighter again. Hopefully grow back again better for it.

5. A lick of paint

I’ve given the bench a lick of paint. A clean, a sanding, and a fresh coat of paint has done it a world of good.

6. Silver Y moth

The last week has seen a mass invasion of these moths. Apparently every few years there is an influx of these moths. The caterpillars live of nettles, which grow behind our garden. They are particular a feature on the East Coast where we live during these influxes.

Hope you enjoy your afternoons whether out in the gardens avoiding the football or in watching.

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Kindle monthly deals

It’s a new month and that brings new kindle deals. This month brings quite a few gardening books. While kindle isn’t an ideal format for gardening books where you often want the pictures many are cheap enough to be worth a try. Can always buy a hard copy if they prove good.

Organic Gardening: The Natural No-Dig Way

Charles Dowding’s books haven’t much of a reduction on them. I am still interested having seen him on Gardeners World a number of times. His gardening practises of avoiding digging to help soil health.

RHS Grow for Flavour: Tips & tricks to supercharge the flavour of homegrown harvests

James Wong discussing growing tips for edibles.

The Garden Awakening: Designs to nurture our land and ourselves

A gardening design book with a different focus. The focus being connecting with the garden and nature.

How to Grow: A guide for gardeners who can’t garden yet

A basic beginners guide.

How to Create a New Vegetable Garden: Producing a beautiful and fruitful garden from scratch

Another Charles Dowding book.

RHS Grow Your Own: Crops in Pots: with 30 step-by-step projects using vegetables, fruit and herbs (Royal Horticultural Society Grow Your Own)

These little RHS books don’t give massive detail. But they are usually quick interesting enough reads. I don’t have a dedicated veg plot, but I am growing a few things in pots. I may buy this one for some extra advice.

RHS Little Book of Small-Space Gardening: Easy-grow Ideas for Balconies, Window Boxes & Other Outdoor Areas (Rhs Little Books)

Continuing thus years trend for looking at small spaces.

Revive your Garden: How to bring your outdoor space back to life

This was only released by Nick Bailey a few months back. I was tempted at the time, as I like Nick’s contributions in magazines, and at 99p I’ll take a chance on kindle formatting.

RHS Little Book of Happy Houseplants (Rhs Little Books)

I’ve bought this one as well. I’ve been contemplating our house plants. Amy regularly buys herbs for the windowsill in the kitchen, then forgets she has them and they grow too big. Other than that she favours plastic looking plants I feel are hideous. I rather like cacti for their evolutionary adaptations, but not a great choice with a two year old in the house. However the benefit of having plants in the house for air quality and mental well being are well discussed. So I’d like to find something that meets my taste.

The Golden Age of the Garden: A Miscellany

A miscellany of garden writing.

Link party

A quick shout out for the glorious garden link party. The #mygloriousgardens brings together like minded gardeners to share their blogs. I was pleased to be selected for the featured blog for June. The list is here. Well worth a browse. To join in with July check it out here.