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.

Six on a Saturday 30.6.18

It’s a lovely day out. We’ve got a school Fair to go to. Then hoping to do a bit of weeding and then maybe get in a few of my seedlings.

1. Unknown rose

This rose came with the garden. After the first year I cut it back quite severely and have fed it better since and it is now giving an abundance of pink flowers. It repeats flower and last year was still flowering well into Autumn.

2. Charles de Mills

Charles de Mills was bought back in April. In its first year I’m not expecting much, but got a few flowers to get a taste of what will hopefully come in great numbers. The closely packed petals give an interesting slice off appearance. I don’t think there quite as nice when they fully open, but a good addition to the garden.

3. Poppies

I don’t remember planting poppies of this variety. I remember scattering the standard red variety, but not these. So either I’ve remembered wrong or got some self seeders. Either way they are very nice. A rich plum going well with the sweet peas and lynchnis. However in the heat the petals are not lasting long.

4. Obelisk

The obelisk of sweet peas is looking good. The sweet peas were looking a bit pasty, but after adding some slow release feed they are looking lusher. The peas are flowering well now with lots to come.

5. Hebe

The front garden has a line of hebes that have all probably grown past their best. However they ate low maintenance needing no watering most of the year. Ideal for the front garden. Some are flowering less, but one variety is still giving a burst of white flowers that the bees are all over.

6. Salad leaves

I had this plastic window trough spare. I used it last year for salad leaves to pick off. I thought I do the same. I don’t grow much edibles, but do like to have something each year to enjoy. These are a David Domoney mix I planted just a few weeks ago and taking off well. It contains a mix of two tender Italian leaves: lollo rossa and lollo bionda. It grows quickly then can be used as cut and grow again salad leaves. While it won’t provide a mass amount of salad it is nice to have a few home grown pleasures in Summer.

While the garden is still a random mix it is gradually taking shape with plants working in better combinations. The borders are filling out, so next year can start looking at how each plant works with its neighbours.

 

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Six on a Saturday: 22.6.18

After several weeks of seeing everyone else’s roses flowering, the roses have finally flowered up North. The weekend is set to be a scorcher so going to be doing some watering. For the participants guide to six on a Saturday look here. Check the tag on twitter for a peak into lots of lovely gardens and veg plots.

1. Cottage maid

This was an new addition this year. This is a single flowering rose with a raspberry ripple effect on the petals. After a few days the ripple is fading leaving it looking like a pale pink, almost white flower. The smell was commented on the label as strong, but I can’t say I’ve noticed much, but my nose is blocked a bit currently.

It’s an old rose potentially growing to a good height, but I will probably keep it down. It will only do the one burst of flowers, so something to appreciate while it’s there. Looks like it’s going to give a reasonable display for it’s first year.

2. Yellow rose

The first year I took over the garden this was a poor performer. Last year after some feed it was a bit better. It grows out of another shrub, growing nice straight spires out if the foliage. After two Summers of lack lustre performances I was considering removing it. Almost everything else around us red, pink or shades of blue. It is just about the only yellow. But after giving it a good chop last year it’s come back stronger with lots of lovely large blooms.

The buds start as tight little flames.

Then opening to a bright sunshine yellow.

Before moving onto a rich, buttery creamy yellow.

3. Lychnis coronaria-rose campion

Rose campion is one of my favourites. It gives lots of little vibrant pink flowers. The hoverflies love it. It gives a good period of flowering. The hairy silver leaves makes it disagreeable to slugs and snails. They also provide a contrast to many of the surrounding plants. It has started to self seed with several small seedlings coming up from last years seed offerings.

4. Honeysuckle

Along the fence in the shady corner honeysuckle grows up the fence. It has been thriving there. It grows up and through the lilac. It smells beautiful, although I’m probably the only person who smells it when weeding underneath it. When sat on the bench you can get a good whiff of it. The first flowers are now opening.

[Imgur](https://i.imgur.com/DxjSWeW.jpg)

5. Plant supports

These plant supports were selling off at £3. I didn’t have anything particularly in mind, beyond maybe the new roses, but they had a massive reduction on them and I like a bargain.

6. The view from above

The garden is looking good, almost up to the zenith of Summer flowering. Alice’s bedroom has the view of it. The ox eye daisies are looking good on mass from above. Up close there a mass of stems trying to spill in every direction. My staking efforts straining against the mass. But it has given me plenty of cut flowers for the house. The hydrangeas are starting to bloom and the hollyhocks are almost set to flower. Alice gets the best view of it all from above.

Hope you all enjoy your weekends.

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Six on a Saturday 16.6.18

It has been a windy week. Despite the strong sea winds my garden suffers from the fox gloves are still standing proud. The hollyhocks I’d already staked luckily. But a number of plants have suffered and the leaves are looking the worse the wear for the weather. The garden is currently in a state of anticipation of things to come. The roses, the hydrangeas, the hollyhocks, the teasel is all set to flower. But hasn’t quite happened despite the signs for the last two weeks.

1. Cobra lily

This strange looking plant is a cobra lily. It’s the first year growing one, so have no idea if it’s coming up right. The picture on the packet shows a dark striped flute shape. Then at the base planted black mondo with the idea that it would be a striking combination. Watch this space to see if the lily develops more. While its meant to be hardy I’m not sure the wind this week has done it much good.

2. Campanula

Each year these star shaped flowers have regrown out of this post. I think it’s a type of campanula, but not something I planted. It is lovely though in flower and the bees love it.

3. Aquilegia

After setting up foxglove seeds ready for flowering next year I’ve also set up a tray of aquilegias. I’ve got some that self seed already, but I’d like to introduce a few more to increase their numbers. I’ve gone for a more flamboyant variety with two coloured flowers.

4. Weigela

I’ve picked up a cheap weigela from Morrison’s. My neighbours has been flowering and is looking beautiful. I’m planning to start in a pot on the patio then see how it grows.

Next doors.

5. Pollinators

The garden is awash with insect life now. Bees are out everyday. Damselflies are coming in bigger numbers. Hoverflies are loving the daisies and marigolds. It’s a clear sign that things are warming up. The weekends have still been cloudy, so still not many butterflies. Sat out in the garden there is now the hum of insects to listen to.

6. Mud kitchen

The biggest addition to the garden this week is Alice’s new mud kitchen. Made for her by her grandad and my father in law to be. She has been loving mixing and smashing the soil. I’ve made a mix of play sand and compost for her cooking. Truly something special for her made by family. I have noticed many of the nearby pots now have a top dressing, but never mind getting her outside and involved in the garden.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my six. Got a few garden jobs to get on with quickly as it looks like rain is coming.

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Six on Saturday 9.6.18

While many of the sixes are now featuring roses my buds are staying firmly shut up North. But still plenty of visual delights on offer.

1. Foxgloves

One of my favourites is now in flower with many self seeded along the border. Planted for the pollinators the bees have been all over. I know many people proffer one colour, but I like an eclectic mix.

2. Lupins

Another cottage garden and Chelsea favourite. These were decimated by slugs last year, but defences have worked better this year.  While I only have one growing this year it has multiple heads coming up.

3. Ox eye daisies

Last year I grow these from seed. I now have far more than I need. I’ve divided some for my school garden and still been left with vast swathes. They are supposed to be one of the best flowers of pollinators with a mass supply of nectar.

4. Fruit

The dwarf apple had a large number of fruit forming. I will need to pick some out soon if they don’t drop naturally to encourage less, but bigger apples.

The dwarf cherry is also fruiting. It’s not going to be a feast, but might have enough to add to a single bowl of cereal. That is, if the birds don’t get them first. The starlings have been checking it over.

5. Marigold

A lone marigold left over from last year has flowered under the camellia.

6. Preparing for next year

Already starting preparation for next year. While I’m sure plenty will self seed I’d hate to be without, so foxglove seeds have gone in the propagator. Then got a few other biennials to sort. I’ll get them started in the trays, then pot on, then transfer to the border later in the year.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my six. A bit overcast today, but the garden wildlife is starting to come out in more. Enjoy your weekends!

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