Six on Saturday

A rather quick six this morning as I have to prepare for our gardening group meeting this afternoon. We are hosting a talk and demonstration by Harriet Rycroft, formerly the Head Gardener at Whichford Pottery. In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy the scarlet flowers of Hesperantha coccinea which are just beginning to flower alongside the Alstroemerias. Talking of which…..

The Alstroemerias are much happier in the ground and in the only bit of ‘moist but well drained’ soil in my garden. They were not happy in pots but have since recovered well and are flowering away merrily now. I have Indian Summer, Summer Break, and Summer Sky.

Not a great picture due to the low sun this morning but cheerful happy faces of Viola and Cyclamen welcoming visitors by the front door.

The narcissus are planted up in their terracotta pots and topped with horticultural grit to deter the rodents and cats. It also prevents the compost splashing up the render! The pots sit on the gravel margin so they have good natural drainage.

The clumps of perennial garlic chives, Allium tuberosum, are brightening up the cottage garden border. We never use the leaves, far too strong for our taste, but I grow them for their wonderful pure white flowers which go on for weeks in late summer. Although they produce masses of seed, they never seem to spread like a lot of alliums do.

Salvia greggii ‘Red Bumble’ still going strong and will flower up to the first frosts. I love these shrubby salvias and have found the best way to prune them is in two stages, like roses. I cut them back by a third in December and down to fresh growth in April, roughly two thirds in all. It seems a bit brutal at the time but it keeps them tight and a good shape, and they flower better for longer.

Finally, an extra pic of Dahlia ‘Star Wars’ in the foreground. A new one this year chosen by my son-in-law for its dark, almost black foliage, and eye-popping flowers with dark centres.

Have a great weekend