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

David

Six on Saturday

Here in the Cotswolds we are still blessed with good weather and after the recent rains we now have warm sunshine which is promoting new growth and repeat flowering.

Erysimum ‘Apricot Twist’

Most of the perennial wallflowers have finished and been cut back but Apricot Twist just keeps going. Difficult to place and a bit sprawly in habit but delicious nevertheless.

Hesperantha coccinea

The first of the Kaffir lilies are appearing and will continue right up to December if it stays mild. It’s the strong winds they don’t like and soon become tatty. I have acquired two more varieties this year, the pure white ‘Snow Maiden’ and ‘Pink Princess’ which I am hoping will flower this year.

Salvia mycrophylla ‘Trelissick’

This shrubby Salvia is one of my favourites and has been going strong for many years in the well drained sunny border. It is cut back hard each spring and responds with 18″ of new growth and months of pale cream petals from pink blushed buds and a dark, sometimes almost black calyx.

No, not mustard and cress, but thousands of white Foxglove seedlings in the ground beneath the mother plant. This has happened all over the garden this year but, sadly, they will have to be reduced considerably leaving just a few to mature. For some odd reason which I cannot fathom, white Foxgloves do better here than pink ones and although some do hybridise, I always have patches of pure white ones.

Lunaria annua

This purple Honesty was given to me by a friend this year as I wanted to establish some in the wilder parts of the front garden near the road. It was spectacular in flower and is now hopefully seeding itself around to give me lots more in the future.

Physocarpus ‘Lady in Red’

This Nine Bark is rewarding me with more lovely new red growth despite having been moved twice this year! It went from small pot to big pot to garden but didn’t lose its stride. A good ‘doer’ as they say.

One more for luck. This Dahlia has been an absolute bee magnet since early July and shows no sign of slowing down. Moist rich soil has produced six feet of growth and dead-heading produces non-stop flowering.

That’s all for this week. I hope you enjoyed my Six this Saturday. I will enjoy reading what others are up to.

Good gardening

David

Six on Saturday

Those who have read this blog recently will know I have developed a strong liking for Tradescantia virginiana and T. andersoniana hybrids like this one, ‘Concord Grape’, which is one of the most popular and easily obtained. Easy to grow too, almost any soil will do as long as it doesn’t dry out. It’s not fussy about position although prefers dappled shade.

They all have these bright yellow anthers which are very visible on the flowers which open in the morning and are usually gone by lunchtime, particularly in sunshine. The strappy mound of grass-like leaves can be a bit untidy but you can’t have everything!

I don’t think anybody will be surprised to learn that in an RHS trial, dahlias were found to be one of the most pollinator friendly plants but that the single flowers were better than all the others and particularly favoured by bumble bees. This hybrid in my garden is covered in bumbles all day long and is worthy of it’s place in my garden for that reason, mongrel or not.

Hydropod cuttings update. Most of the cuttings I have propagated in the Hydropod have done well and gone on to make sturdy little plants. Some have even flowered already like this Salvia microphylla ‘Red Bumble’. The standout winners though have been Penstemons, Erysimum and Diascia personata.

The Alstroemerias are still going strong and producing more flower stems despite the change in the weather. These flowers opened during the torrential rain on Thursday so are not looking their best, but they are still quite stunning set off by their dark foliage.

Not much of a picture I know, but a bit of an experiment for me, rose cuttings. My climbing David Austin rose ‘The Generous Gardener’ was ripped off it’s trellis by high winds and snapped in several places so had to be cut back. I think it will re-grow but, just in case, I thought I would try my hand at some cuttings. This is the recommended ‘Gardener’s World’ method so I will report progress in due course. It may take a while!

Never one to shy away from problems in the garden, this just shows that even the toughest of shrubs can die on you for no apparent reason. This Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ was coppiced for several years until I decided to allow one leading shoot to grow into a main stem to form a small tree. It looks like this was a mistake! Most of the new growth has turned brown and has died. The fresh new growth from ground level is fine so it looks like it will have to be coppiced again next year.

Let’s end on a high note, the pure white Japanese Anemone which is well behaved in my garden, unlike the pink ones which tried to take over and had to be forcibly removed. The dainty white ‘Honorine Jorbet’ enjoys a dry shady north facing spot where little else will grow and shines out even on the darkest of cloudy days.

That’s it for this week’s Six on Saturday.

Enjoy your weekend

David