Roses, cosmos and various annuals are still growing, but the main colour in the borders is now being provided by dahlias and the rudbeckias featured in last week’s post. A couple more dahlias have good strong buds, and they should flower in a few days. Fingers crossed.
However, the garden is looking a little bit weary now. It’s had a lot to contend with this year. The unusually hot and dry spring, followed by a cold and wet summer, then a hint of August warmth combined with torrential downpours must have been as problematic for the plants as for gardeners.
This Tuesday’s rain hit the ground and flowed like a fast-running river from the back of our house out onto the street while we stood with our youngest grandson under the canopy at the front, watching it in amazement. The sound of the rain was incredible. But weather happens, let’s get on with the Saturday conversation about plants.
Dahlia ‘Daisy Duke’
D. ‘Daisy Duke’ was grown in the garden last year from a new tuber and overwintered in the garage.
I managed to get a couple of cuttings from her in spring (I was pleased about that as I’m normally not successful at taking dahlia cuttings), and they’ve grown on in pots elsewhere in the garden. They were destined for other people, but Lockdown stopped me from passing them on. They will reach their new homes at one point, though it’s beginning to look as though it might be as tubers…
D. ‘Daisy Duke’ is currently the most prolific flowerer in the garden, and perhaps next spring there will be one or two more offspring to join her in the borders or in the half-barrel in the front garden.
Buddleia ‘Hot Raspberry’
This dwarf variety was delivered in spring as a tiny plant in a 9cm pot and I wondered if it would look like anything this summer, but my goodness, how it’s sprouted. I have it in a container on the patio, and it has already reached the height indicated in its description.
The bees seem to love it but have to admit, I haven’t spotted any butterflies on it so far.
Gladiolus ‘Black Star’
This is the first time ever, that I’ve grown Gladioli. There are about 15 bulbs in the pot and they’ve grown taller than the description on the packaging. It is, by today’s measurement, 1.5m (5ft) tall, top-heavy and the strong winds we’ve had this week have blown it over twice. It’s survived. So far.
In sunlight the flowers glow – it’s the first thing the eye lands on when viewed from any point in the garden and that’s not a good thing. In overcast light it’s more muted, and as daylight fades the colour appears dark and brooding.
It’s lovely, but in sunlight it’s a bright red and competes for attention in the garden. I’d be happy to try a softer coloured variety next year, one that compliments the other planting, rather than dominates.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’
H. ‘Limelight’ is a little bit scrawny this summer and it’s taken much longer to come into flower. The other hydrangea in the foreground is, I believe, Blueberry Pie. It’s looking a bit skinny this year too, and it makes me wonder if they’ve been affected by being moved earlier in the season.
Perhaps they’re in need of a good feed, or maybe if they’re moved into a sunnier spot in the garden that would improve them. Or would a second move just add stress to the plants…
This is a lovely, bright African Marigold, mahogany-crimson, fading to strong orange. It’s apparently a great companion plant for tomatoes as it protects them against greenfly and whitefly. I don’t grow them beside the tomatoes though, Genovese Basil is doing that job; instead, the tagetes are in borders and in a couple of pots where they add a good splash of colour.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus repens
I mentioned on the 8th August Six on Saturday that I was planning to do a border revamp, which meant that a few large plants would have to be taken out, including the over-large Japanese Anemone that’s been allowed to romp wherever it pleased.
We made a start on Wednesday. I cut the anemone back and John started digging out the roots. We also took out two large, hopelessly munched hostas, with a third to follow, and have now cleared an area 3m x 1.8m, at the narrowest point 1.2m. We’re debating whether to take out Sambucus ‘Black Beauty’ which seems determined to grow horizontally rather than upright. I think it will go.
This ceanothus, or Californian Lilac, is the first new plant for the border, and a second plant, a Syringa, ordered at the same time has been delayed until the end of September. Apparently the Syringa allocated to me wasn’t up to standard which means I’ll have to wait another five or six weeks for delivery. Tulips, camassias, alliums and a couple of herbaceous perennials are on order to add spring colour.
That’s all for this weekend. I’m starting to wonder if I’ll be able to find six plants to use as we head into autumn and winter! Thinking cap on.
Enjoy your garden this weekend, I hope it’s a sunny one for you – don’t forget to check out everyone else’s Six on Saturday!
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