I’d love to share with you, photographs of my trolley full of fabulous plant acquisitions from my first visit to a garden centre since the start of lockdown – but alas my shopping list remained unfulfilled! I couldn’t possibly leave empty-handed, so I bought a Heuchera and a small packet of Iris reticulata bulbs.
It was pouring rain throughout this milestone visit, but my day did brighten when I met my sister there. I haven’t seen her (other than on Zoom) since early March, again due to lockdown. She brought me a dahlia from her garden, ‘Peach Brandy’ which also brightened up my day, but I failed to brighten hers as I forget to bring along the one that I had for her. It calls for another visit of course.
We were the only two customers in the plant section, or to put it another way, the only two people mad enough, brave enough or desperate enough to be plant-hunting in heavy rain.
The main item on my list was Rhododendron ‘Black Magic’ but the garden centre didn’t stock that variety. If any of you are familiar R. ‘Black Magic’ and think it’s not a good buy, then please let me know, because a very large nursery just 25 minutes drive from home has it in stock and I’m planning to be there next week. Or perhaps you have it and think it’s wonderful, in which case I’d also love to know all about it.
I’m repeating myself this weekend because I’m featuring a couple of plants that have been shown before. One is an update, one is a farewell until next year. The first is just because the sun shone.
We had a brief interlude of sunshine mid-week during what has been a very wet and very windy period of weather. The rudbeckias were glowing. I know they won’t go on forever, and they were looking so fabulous that I put my tools down and went indoors to collect my camera.
Below is a side view of the border, with Dahlia ‘Kenzo’ and Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ in the background.
Verbena Bonariensis ‘Lollipop’
Until recent years I would have fled the garden in the presence of anything remotely bee or wasp-like. I can clearly remember being stung as a child and the pain on my hand as I ran screaming, to my mum & dad.
However, if you want to be in the garden, and more importantly, work in the garden, then you have to learn to share your space with those important little insects. And as the years have passed, I’ve begun to realise that they don’t mean me any harm and so far, we’ve worked side by side without any major incidents. I do give wasps a wide berth though! I have Verbena of various sorts in the garden and this is ‘Lollipop’ a shorter version of Verbena bonariensis, though this year it has grown much taller than it should. They survived our last wet winter, and if they do the same this year, I’ll cut them back hard in early spring.
Farewell Cosmos, Calendula & more
I’ve started clearing out annuals and so far have removed most the Cosmos, Calendula, Tagetes and Cerinthe. They would have continued to flower for a good few weeks yet, but the weather hasn’t been kind to them, and the majority of flowers were looking sad, faded and untidy. They’ve been great but it was time for them to go. I’ve particularly loved Cosmos ‘Double Click Mix’ for its pretty ruffled blooms and range of colours – I’ll definitely be growing this again next year.
Rosa ‘Teasing Georgia’
This climber has a lovely fragrance and large strong flowers that are deeply coloured in the centre and lighter on the outer petals. Although the sun is hitting it in this shot, it’s in a spot that is mostly shaded and I’m not getting the best from the plant. I’m mulling over whether to attempt to move it at the end of winter or buy a new one for a sunnier spot. I wonder how difficult it is to move a climbing rose…
Rosa ‘Princess Anne’
This rose has been a great flowerer throughout the year, but now it’s producing blooms only occasionally. It has done well all summer and I’m sure there will be a few more flowers before the winter arrives. Brrr… Many of my roses have been badly hit by black spot this year, and this one is beginning to show a few affected leaves now. Treatment will be administered in regular doses next year!
Clematis ‘Fond Memories’
I have two of these that were growing in the same difficult area as R. ‘Teasing Georgia’ above, and this year had given both up as a lost cause. They were just about to go to the compost bin when I changed my mind and put them into pots to try growing them in a sunnier spot. One hadn’t flowered at all last year and had barely any growth, the other wilted early on, so I thought I was slightly mad for even attempting resuscitation. But I was wrong, as both grew well and produced a few flowers. They’re still a shadow of their former selves, though I have high hopes that next year, back in the ground in a sunny spot, they will be heaps more floriferous.
I hope you’re all healthy and happy, have a good weekend everyone and don’t forget to check out all the other Six on Saturday posts from 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.