Six on Saturday 2020 29-08

If anyone had told me a few years ago, that I would be out in the garden in the pouring rain, cutting back plants and lifting others from a muddy border I would have laughed and said, “Me? No, not me”. I’ve always been a fair-weather gardener but in recent years I’ve come to realise that you can’t always wait for dry, sunny days.

The border revamp is fairly well underway and this week we’ve removed Sambucus ‘Black Beauty’ and Lavatera ‘Rosea’. It was a wet, messy, muddy job with my husband doing all the heavy digging (he wasn’t enjoying it!) while I was tasked with removing all branches and stems to clear the way. It was lovely to get back into the dry and warm house at the end of the day and get the wet, muddy clothes into the washing machine.

Planting (hopefully) starts next week. but for the moment, here’s my selection for Six on Saturday.

Dahlia Rebecca’s World

I’m really pleased to see this dahlia come into bloom. It’s far prettier in real life than on the plant packaging. This is, at the moment, the one and only flower, but it has several other buds that look as though they’re almost ready to open.

Lonicera periclymenum ‘Chic et Choc’

This is a small (1.2m/4ft) honeysuckle that can be grown in a container or as a small shrub. I have it on the patio in a large pot, growing up a cane wigwam. From a small 9cm plant delivered in spring, it has grown rapidly, providing a good number of flowers (which are beautiful). It’s described as being highly fragrant, but the cool summer weather here hasn’t brought out the best fragrance of any of the plants, except the roses which seem to emit perfume whether it’s warm or cold.

L. ‘Chic et Choc’ should flower through September, and I expect that it will eventually find a spot in a border within a few years.

Dahlia ‘Chat Noir’

Ohh…gorgeous. D. ‘Chat Noir’ has very long stems and I can visualise those beautiful flowers in a vase. It will be a larger plant next year and I might then be tempted to cut a few stems for the house.

Just as D. ‘Rebecca’s World’ has only one flower this week, this is also D. ‘Chat Noir’s’ very first bloom. I’m quite smitten with this one. It’s growing in a container this season, but next year it will be planted into the ground.

Rosa Kew Gardens

This rose has been shown in a previous post, but I thought I’d pop it back in this week as it has managed to withstand yet another storm, and several days of heavy rain without any noticeable damage. I’d love to say the same of the other roses as most of them haven’t fared very well. If we can get a calm period of weather they’ll recover fairly quickly, but meantime Rosa ‘Kew Gardens’ is looking good.

Hydrangea ‘Pink Annabelle’

Forgive me if I have a moan. Online photographs of H. ‘Pink Annabelle’ looked so lovely that I bought her, and planted her where I could see her from any of the back windows. But she hasn’t lived up to my expectations. At her best she looked like this.

Her best has now faded and she is…well…beige and very large. Perhaps she will look better next year when there will be a longer succession of flowers, but I suspect that she’ll have swapped places with another variety by then.

I want to remove the flower heads because they’re too visible from the windows, but I won’t as they just might look wonderful when Mr Frost comes to visit (no don’t get excited, not the Mr. Frost) I’m talking about Jack.

Faded Hydrangea heads have a beauty all of their own, add a crisp coat of frost and they can look magical. Maybe ‘Pink Annabelle’ will turn out to be the star of the show.

When the forecast tells me that Mr Frost will be visiting, the camera will be ready, warm clothes laid out and cosy boots will be sitting at the back door for a swift exit at first light to the garden.

Strawberry Plants (Misted Tips)

I’ve been growing my strawberries from runners produced from existing plants for many years, but this year I made the decision not to grow from runners, and remove all the existing plants. The problem was that I had three different varieties of plants, which were meant to grow during June, July and August. In reality, they all cropped at roughly the same time, and I eventually lost track of which variety was which.

Not wanting to miss out on a reasonable harvest of strawberries next summer, I decided to try out misted tip plants.

Misted tips is a method of strawberry plant production used to maximize the first crop of berries in the year after planting. It’s said to improve the crop by up to 100% compared to planting bare root strawberry runners in the autumn. Time tells all, watch this space.

They arrived two days ago, but the weather has been so bad that I couldn’t get them planted. I’ll be doing that today – because the sun is shining and it’s going to be a lovely weekend!

The plug plants are a good size, with a strong root system, but I’ve noticed that several of them have active runners attached. I’m wondering if it would be wise to pot on the runners?

I think they will root quickly, but will it take some of the vigour away from the mother plant? If anyone has any knowledge about this I’d love to hear from you.

That’s all from me this weekend, all that remains is for me to wish you all a happy last (meteorological) weekend of summer – hopefully enjoying your gardens! Don’t forget to check out all the other Six on Saturday posts from all around the world. Details below.

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

23 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 2020 29-08

  1. Both those dahlias are stunners. The single blooms of Rosa Kew Gardens are very elegant. Wet and windy weather can certainly leave the blooms of a lot of roses looking the worse for wear. I hope the Hydrangea grows on you! I ordered a Black Tower Sambucus earlier in the year that I ummed and ahhed about getting for ages. By the time it arrived I’d seen lots more photos of it and wasn’t as keen. I suspect I’ll give it away sooner rather than later.

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    1. I’m sure the hydrangea will look great in summer when it’s a bit more mature, I just don’t like it as it fades. Decision has been made to move it in late autumn – Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ will be moved into its spot and Pink Annabelle can go elsewhere.

      The flowers on S. “Black Beauty’ were always a treat, so when your Black Tower flowers you might love it. Mine has been in that spot for some 15 or so years – it was time for it to go.

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  2. Me too , I have been growing strawberries from runners and every 5 years you have to renew all the plants as you do. I think it’s soon the right time to mine too ! About 40 plants to purchase…
    And gorgeous H. ‘Pink Annabelle’ !!

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    1. I planted mine up this morning – I have 24 and there’s room for another 12. I’ve given over some space to my blueberry plants which have been in pots, so less room for strawberries.

      Ahhh…you’re a fan of H. Pink Annabelle? I might love her more when she’s more established, but she’s being moved at some point in October. Decision made. 😁

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  3. Me too, as well. My one and only dahlia you will see in my post this week. Pretty honeysuckle, I used to have one by the front door at our previous house which had a lovely perfume. Unfortunately, it became too heavy for the trellis and collapsed exposing masses of black fly up the stems.

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    1. I’ve seen your dahlia – and it’s a beauty. Will you grow more next year? Perhaps I should be watching out for black fly on the honeysuckle 🤔

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    1. Yes, that’s it – I just hope I don’t get any blooms that look a little bit strange. If they were all like the first one I’d be delighted.

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    1. I’ve been wearing rubber gloves in the garden through much of our summer – until I noticed a nasty rash on the backs of my hands. It also itched like mad. When I stopped using the gloves it cleared, so don’t use yours too much, just in case. I only wear them occasionally now.

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    1. They were new to me as well, until recently. I’m hoping they’ll live up to the sales hype and give me a larger crop than a ‘normal’ first-year crop.

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  4. Lovely dark colours this week, my favourite! Though I am still not going to grow Dahlias! I have a lot of renovation to do as several climbers have got out of hand. I don’t think I have seen even one flower on my honeysuckle, but it grows on the shady boundary so I wonder if that is the problem. Come spring I am going to cut it back to 60cm and see if it rejuvenates. Now I have no more space to plant in every plant has to earn its keep or go!

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    1. Why don’t you grow dahlias, Jude? I hope your honeysuckle flowers for you next year, as it seems as if it’s on its final warning. I’d hate to feel you had to give it the chop. 😁

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        1. Understood. I’ve removed several hostas in the past few weeks, I couldn’t bear to look at them any longer. The snails have won again! 🐌

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  5. A beautiful little honeysuckle Catherine. I have grown ‘Chat Noir’ in a pot too this year and think that she is fabulous but she will definitely be getting her feet in the ground next summer. My pot wasn’t big enough for her. I have always grown new strawberries from runners either grown on by me or passed on by fellow allotment plot holders. I would be perplexed if faced by new arrivals with readymade runners 😄 Maybe a call or email to the supplier might provide the answer?

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    1. I had a couple of dahlias in pots last year, Anna, and they grew so tall that the became top-heavy and the winds took them over more than once. Lessons learned, so most of them this year are in the ground, and just a few in bigger pots.
      When I unpacked all the strawberries there was only one pack that had runners attached, so I decided just to attach them into small pots, and I’m sure they’ll root shortly. The mother plant should then have enough time to recover for next summer. And with a bit of luck, I’ll have another few plants. 😁

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    1. Oh, you’re so right – the border is such a mess after this week’s rain. I can cope with mud in the garden, but somehow, some of it always seems to find its way into the house.

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