Six on Saturday

Autumn has arrived in style and the Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’ is putting on her beautiful display. I always marvel at the way shorter days trigger dormancy and leaves stop making chlorophyll causing them to change colour and fall off the tree.

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ has been rather shorter in stature this year, only 150cm tall, probably due to the dry summer we have had and the adjacent hedges and trees sucking up the available moisture. They don’t need much water but if dry, they don’t wilt like other plants, they just don’t seem to grow as tall.

The Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ have been extraordinarily good this year and we have taken armfuls of flowers into the house and given bouquets to friends and family, but still they go on! Twisting and pulling rather than cutting does seem to stimulate more and more flowering shoots as the advice suggests. It’s a bit like pulling rhubarb!

We have a squirrel problem. They are always on the bird feeders and are costing me a small fortune in sunflower hearts which, incidentally, have increased in cost by 50% since Brexit! However, the new ‘Squirrel Buster’ feeder really works and the squirrels have given up and gone somewhere else for their daily fill. I would highly recommend it, very well made, sturdy and weatherproof. £30 well invested!

The very last Phlox flowers nestled amongst the agapanthus foliage. It has been a wonderful year for garden phlox and they have given me a lot of pleasure, although I am gradually reducing them or banishing them to less front and facing positions. I love the flowers but hate the foliage and their weedy appearance. Too old fashioned and a tendency to get mildew unless constantly moist makes them a bit-part player nowadays.

In just three years this Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ has gone from a self sown seedling in a 9cm pot to a 3m tall giant! What a performer. It must be its common hedge cousin genes which makes it so prolific. I stupidly planted it close to the driveway so it’s going to need hacking back in the early spring. Knowledgeable gardening friends tell me that ‘coppicing’ produces better foliage but less flowers so maybe a more selective approach is in order!

That’s my six. I look forward to seeing yours.

Have a great weekend

David

Six on Saturday

Late to the party today due to some real, actual proper gardening. All day, since 9am, non-stop. Loved every minute and enjoyed the endorphins it brought me after so many weeks of waiting and planning.

The flowering currants are looking good today although still some way to go before that Ta-dah! moment.

This lucky Lady found a home with its own water supply for the winter. Several of her sisters unfortunately disturbed today but those that were awake got relocated to a new home.

Very pleased with my rose cuttings which have all seemingly formed roots and are sending up new growth. Those that know about such things tell me to leave well alone until next winter and then pot them up separately ‘bare rooted’ and they should flower in 2022. Am I alone in marvelling at such a thing? Even now, I get a huge kick out of bringing cuttings to life.

.My first time using Strulch as a weed suppressing mulch and I have started with my strawberries. The mineralisation process of the straw is supposed to inhibit slugs and snails so this was a good place to start! I have another 5 bags to go so watch this space for opinions and results.

The new shoots of Sambucas nigra ‘Black Lace’ are stunning before they unfurl into leaves.

Myrtle got hit by the frost. Her new shoots will be snipped off and she will look as pretty as ever in a new outfit next week.

The thick layer of composted bark fines I used to mulch the Silver Birches has not deterred the spring bulbs which have had an extra 75mm to push their way through. Another couple of years and it should be spectacular.

Have a great weekend and stay safe

David