Six on Saturday

Absolutely delighted with this self sown hybrid Dahlia which has just come into flower. A seedling picked at random from one of last year’s pots of overwintered tubers. It looks good enough to be a named variety so I have called it ‘Radiant Heat’ !

I have been very impressed with these Calibrachoa this year. I have given up on the big blousy trailing petunias in favour of these mini ones and they have proved to be a great success in the baskets.

There is no blue quite like this chicory, it is unique and very easy to place. It combines well with most other colours and is tall and statuesque, a good 2m and still growing. The flowers close at night so I assume it is pollinated by bees and other day flying pollinators. It is certainly a popular pit stop in our garden!

The heat on the patio was intense this morning, reflected off the stone walls and paving, but the roses, nepeta and veronicas are revelling in it. I will be on a 2 hour watering session this evening though. Good opportunity to combine with a cold glass of Sauvignon blanc I find!

There has been some recent debate on forums about the virtues, or otherwise, of Agastache. This ‘Liquorice Blue’ has been with me for years and is a valuable addition to the early summer border but some people say it looks like a weed, having nettle-like leaves and relatively insignificant flowers, For me, its value lies in its attractiveness to pollinators, particularly bees, which find it irresistible.

Just one of many roses gracing my garden at the moment. The air is filled with scent and the sound of buzzing busy bees. This one is ‘The Generous Gardener’ which has the most wonderful pink buds opening to creamy white flowers and a delicious citrus scent.

Finally, (and I know it is the seventh image!) is the evergreen Agapanthus africanus which has only just come into flower, 6 weeks later than usual. Summer has finally arrived!

Have a great weekend


My Garden This Week

016 The high temperatures this week have made watering the garden a twice daily challenge and this has highlighted a problem. Do I want to continue to garden in this high maintenance way? If I want colour, scent and variety in my borders then yes, I do. On the other hand, we don’t want to become slaves to the garden, particularly if and when grandchildren come along and we we want to spend more time away from home.

However, for now we both love the pleasure we get from this cottage garden style of planting, despite the work it entails.036

Sadly, the impressive Agapanthus africanus are now going over and will probably be cut down next week to make way for the potted Cannas and Dahlias waiting in the wings032

I have been very impressed with the drumstick Allium sphaerocephalum bulbs in the pots which are now fully open and attracting lots of bees. I must remember to buy more in September. I like the fact that they are much later to flower than Purple Sensation and Cristophii and so keep the theme going for longer.030

Argyranthemum ‘Donnington Hero’ acquired in the Plant Heritage plant exchange is in full bloom and if I can find any non-flowering shoots I’ll take some cuttings in case we have a hard winter.022

The basket of Sanvitalia ‘Million Suns’ is beginning to live up to it’s name and should be totally covered in flowers in a week or so if the hot weather continues.050

I am not a fan of Hollyhocks and so didn’t plant this one. However, I do admire plants that seed themselves and then go on to survive and prosper. This one came in from next door and has done itself proud. So far no rust. It gives height and stature to the border and a leg up to the Verbena bonariensis growing through it.054

I like this Ammi majus even though it reminds me of posh Cow Parsley. It gives the border height, movement and grace which few other white annuals achieve.029

It is a good foil for Echinacea purpurea and manages to get it’s head up above just in time!017

The Turk’s Cap Lily ‘Leichtlinii’ is just beginning to open amongst the Ammi and the Gaura. Not supposed to like my limy soil but doesn’t seem to mind.034

The Agastache ‘Apricot Sprite’ grown from seed has done well planted on top of the dwarf narcissus in the stone pot by the front door. I like the anise or liquorice smell of Agastache although I have since discovered that a lot of people don’t. I grew a lot of plants this year and couldn’t even give them away!027

This is the first sign of a new plant to my garden. Rudbeckia laciniata which I grew from seed last year and thought I had lost over the winter. However, it seems to be hardier than it’s delicate appearance would suggest.020

This Echium ‘Blue Bedder’ grown from a free packet of seeds has once again proved itself to be invaluable as a rich source of nectar for hungry bees. Reliable, drought tolerant, low growing and attractive front of border cousin of the usually enormous spires the name Echium conjures up.021

I love it when a plan comes together. This Verbascum olympicum planted with Verbena bonariensis certainly works well in the hot, dry poor soil and full sun.066

Finally, this is for one of my followers who has dovecotes in his garden. My advice is don’t get the doves ‘cos this is what happens!