Six on Saturday. 21.7.18

  1. My garden is a hateful, odious, repellant place to be at the moment. Everywhere I look is crisp, shrivelled or lank foliage accusing me of failure. I can take no pleasure in it. So, to cheer me up, here is a picture of a friend’s new Schnauzer puppy (Morris) running to bother my dog ,Pepper. It is in the garden, but that is all I can say of its horticultural connection.

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2. It should be the time for Crocosmia “Lucifer” to bring not only light (Lucifer was “The Bringer of Light” before he was thrown out of Heaven), but fire to the borders. Mine came up, did a pathetic turn for three days and then frazzled away. How annoying then to see these in a client’s more shady and moisture retentive spot. I’m happy for them, I really am.

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3. Pots are extra hard to keep going in the drought. I am fed up of lugging watering cans around. When you get a lovely display of Gladiolus (or Acidanthera if you want) murielae out of it, I suppose it is just about worth it.

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4. Echinops just chug on, being great, laying themselves open to bees, retaining their height and stature and poise on no water whatsoever. They are one of the plants to turn to in these or any other conditions. I love them.

5. These lilys, Stargazer, were nursed through the Winter having been given to me as a 50th birthday present. Not naturally in my “colour swatch” as designers say, they are the brightest thing around at the moment. The smell is just the right side of nauseating. I have only found one lily beetle on them too, who sadly passed away , so that is a bonus.

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6. So, I am going around looking for plants that love the drought. In the community garden on Attlee Terrace whilst walking the dog, I saw this. Myrtus communis, Myrtle. It is covered in beautiful fragrant blossom, swarming with insect life, the foliage is very healthy and gives off a pleasant, slightly medicinal smell. Just loving life. It looks a bit like privet most of the year, fairly nondescript (meaning, I hadn’t noticed it before!). I remembered talking to a lady at the Sydney Botanic Gardens at Christmas who said that Aussie Myrtle has been disfigured by rust. Another of the pest and disease problems rife because of globalisation. Still, if these are to be our Summers in future, you could do a lot worse for a shrub. I took cuttings.

10 thoughts on “Six on Saturday. 21.7.18

  1. Most of grow some plants that are borderline hardy, resigned to losing them in an exceptional winter. Perhaps we should look on exceptional summers in the same way, though it’s harder because the plants are dying in full growth, not when dormant. It would be a mistake to limit ourselves to plants that will survive every flavour of extreme weather we ever get.

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  2. That myrtle is lovely. I think all your red beetles have come to mine for a visit. My lilies were so wonderful last year & this summer, sticks of death. Dogs are definitely SoS members, altho you more frequently see cats here.

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  3. Cheer up Tim. You will be moaning about the snow come December! I must admit it is somewhat of a concern as what to plant in these odd times. I, desiring a Mediterranean garden with some southern hemisphere exotics soon realised that my soil and indeed the climate here suits bog loving plants most. Having reconciled myself to that thought and rewriting my plant list, we now have this. Mmmm… what is a gardener to do? Build a huge glasshouse over the entire plot might work 😀

    Have a happy week Tim 🙂
    PS At least the S&S seem to be less visible this summer.

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  4. I think we are definitely going to have to grow more plants like Echinops in the future. Interesting that it is a good year for Myrtus communis. I have one which I thought I had killed by cutting it back too hard over the winter, but I noticed today that it is springing back to life. It must like the weather!

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  5. Goodness! You must not be so hard on yourself. The weather that is so dreadful there is normal in other parts of the world. We just deal with it, like some of the plants in the garden will do. My crocosmia finished a long time ago. I pulled up the foliage last week, and should have done it a month ago! We have some at work that is still green, and a few that are blooming, but it is a completely different situation. Those that are done were much prettier and prolific while they bloomed. It was worth an earlier finish.

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  6. It doesn’t seem to matter what one plants, the weather these days is a trial and causes havoc in the garden one way or the other. My garden is full of hardy plants out of necessity, but even they are suffering from the severe frosts we’ve been having so you’re not alone in despairing. The good thing is that plants are always full of surprises and there’ll probably be more survivors than you expect.

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  7. It is quite a battle to keep the garden looking good this year, every season seems to be extreme. I’ve consigned a lot of the annuals to the compost heap to give the perennials a better chance. An interesting five plus one though.

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