Six on Saturday

I definitely didn’t buy it so this beautiful Iris sibirica must have found its way here in a pot of something else as often happens. Delightful happy accident!

Neillia affinis, or Chinese ninebark, is a tough deciduous shrub for the mixed border, often overlooked, but it does well for me.. By no means a stunner like Abelia but I enjoy the late spring pink flowers and it’s relaxed habit.

This little rock garden plant sits in this pot year after year and does this in May and June when the sun shines. As soon as the sun goes in, the flowers close up tight. I have no idea what it is called but the ‘leaves’ look like a succulent. Lives outside all year round and seems to able to take everything life throws at it.

The Red Valerian, Centranthus ruber, is in full swing and I am pleased to have the various shades of pink as well as white growing wild in the garden. It seeds prolifically in the gravel paths and margins but pulls up easily so I don’t mind. It is one of those miracle plants that doesn’t seem to need any soil or nutrient to grow. You see it billowing out of limestone walls all over the Cotswolds at this time of year and, on closer inspection, it is thriving on absolutely nothing at all!

The Erysimum ‘Apricot Twist’ continues to astonish me with it’s flower power and persistence. Possibly the hardest working plant in the garden, it literally never stops flowering!

There is a danger in writing a gardening blog, that people believe all areas of your garden must be perfectly maintained at all times which, of course, is never true! There is always a neglected corner where nature runs riot. Out of view, away from prying eyes, this is mine! I call it my comfrey patch but in truth it is my compost corner, a jungle which I hack my way through every few days. I’m sure we all have one, don’t we?!

Have a great weekend

David

Six on Saturday

It has been so cold here in the Cotswolds that we still have the central heating on! Never known a cold spell last into early May before. Everything is at least three weeks behind where it should be at this time of year. This Euphorbia cyparissias doesn’t seem to mind the cold and is adding colour to an otherwise green scene.

The recent late frosts have killed all the emerging Wisteria flowers! Despite the plant itself being totally hardy, the flowers are not and are easily damaged by cold winds and frost. I am bitterly disappointed as it is usually a highlight of early May for me.

The Camassias have not performed as well as usual this year with far fewer flowers. I will feed the bulbs for a few weeks before the foliage dies down and will then lift and divide them because it may be due to the bulbs being too congested. The brown leaf tips are worrying too. Perhaps a lack of nitrogen??

This Genista ‘Porlock’ is probably an escapee from a local garden and is actually in the hedge outside my garden but it is so beautiful I thought it was worthy of showing in the blog. Obviously a member of the pea family by the labiate flowers, it is a type of Broom with a faint but pleasant scent. I might see if there is an ‘Irishman’s Cutting’ I can take!

It has fascinated me that some plants always flower before others of the same species. This Aquilegia next to the house wall is the first to flower every year, weeks ahead of all the other hundreds in the garden. No logical reason why it should but it always does.

Years ago, I discovered Bowles Golden Grass, Milium effusum ‘Aureum’, in a local garden and the kind owner dug up a piece and gave it to me. Slowly but surely it has colonised several areas of the garden but in a good way. It likes the shady spots in amongst other plants, below trees and bushes, where it lights up the gloom with its bright yellow leaves.

I kid you not, this Erysimum ‘Apricot Twist’ has been in flower constantly for 12 months! I cut back some of the straggly growth in February and the new shoots are flowering alongside the flowers on last year’s growth which shows no sign of slowing down. These plants literally flower themselves to death over a couple of years or so.

Have a great weekend

David