It’s been another week of mixed weather, but by Tuesday morning after several days of heavy rain, I couldn’t bare looking out of the window at my sad, bedraggled roses any longer and I grabbed my jacket, wellies and waterproof hat and went out to deadhead and tidy everything up.
It dried up after lunch, and so did I, and by evening the plants had lifted their heads (or what was left of them) and began to straighten up. I’m always pleasantly surprised at how quickly they recover.
Last week, our host, Mr Propagator, commented, ‘your hostas look wrong, they aren’t munched to green lace’. Well, I’ve decided to rise to the challenge to see whether I have the best green lace – or Mr Propagator. 😁
Just before I get to my choice of six plants for this weekend, I want to take a moment to wish family, friends and blog readers from over the pond, a Happy Independence Day. I wonder what lockdown celebrations will be like for you this year but hope you all have a happy holiday.
Rosa ‘A Shropshire Lad’
A Shropshire Lad is a climber, and I think this is its third year in the garden. I have two, entirely by accident, but while this one is growing up an obelisk in the sun, the other is in a more shady position and doesn’t produce as many flowers, or leaves. It’s a lovely, perfumed rose.
Rosa ‘Dame Judy Dench’
New in the past few months, Dame Judy Dench, is being grown in a container. She’s been hit hard by the rain this week but has still managed to look good. Beautiful apricot-orange colour – and very large flowers.
The perfume from this philadelphus is normally very heavy and sweet – but since it bloomed I haven’t been able to identify any perfume at all. As with other flowering shrubs this year, there has been no, or little perfume when temperatures have been low, as they are at the moment. Maximum today will be 15℃ (59℉) which is slightly up on Friday’s temperature. Perfume or not, I love those white flowers.
Last year I put in five of these plants along the front of the patio, and I’m really delighted that they’re now growing so well. It grows to a height of 90cm (36″), flowers from June to August and creates a beautiful splash of rich colour.
Rosa ‘Valentine Heart’
Another firm favourite (I have a lot of favourite roses!). Again, I have two of these, but that wasn’t by accident this time. This rose has strong, upright stems, unlike some others in the garden that bend with the weight of rainwater. It’s a floribunda, with gorgeous frilled petals and a sweet perfume. Adorable.
The hostas in a photograph on last week’s blog post were relatively untouched by slugs & snails. However, those hostas were the lucky ones, the number one garden pest just had so much to feed on elsewhere that they hadn’t yet arrived in that border.
Those of you following this blog might recall that I mentioned that I use Strulch under my strawberries, and as an experiment, I thought I’d try it below a few of my hostas too, in the hope that it might deter slugs and snails from munching them. Did it work? Well, see for yourself.
This hosta in the image directly below actually isn’t as bad as it normally is at this time of the year. I’ve lost track of the number of snails I’ve lifted out of this one, and to fully confess, I’ve been giving it regular helpings of ‘Sluggo’ too.
I love hostas and I wouldn’t like to eliminate them from the garden, but I think the only way to keep them clear of slugs and snails is to be diligent in searching them regularly and physically remove the pests – or grow them like this one – in a pot, on a raised patio. The snails in my garden have mountaineering boots, so there’s no guarantee that they won’t get up there; the roughness of the wall won’t deter them if there’s a feast ahead. But for a while, I can enjoy a near-perfect hosta.
That’s all for this week – stay safe wherever you are, and enjoy your garden this weekend!
ABOUT SIX ON SATURDAY
To join with other garden enthusiasts from around the world, just take six photographs and post them to Twitter and/or your blog each Saturday. You can get all the details from The Propagator who kindly set it all up.
All photographs copyright of Catherine Wood unless otherwise stated.