- Look at it. Nice flower, eh? But that is only a small part of the story. Pelargonium Ardens is a temperamental, flouncy, spoilt and capricious little so and so. I have waited years (5) to get to this stage. Repotting, moving, watering, feeding, protecting. I was on the point of giving up. Then, on Wednesday, this single flower. It is not worth the effort. Yet. But it is the hope that kills you, right?
2. Another underwhelming flower. Yellow rattle, Rhinanthus minor. Hundreds of them growing in the churchyard meadow that we sowed in January. I was a bit sceptical about their chances, but fair play to them, they are doing their job of sucking the life out of some of the lush grass we have there. I will be collecting seed and spreading it around for next year.
3. Candelabra primula, grown from HPS seed last year. Now happily ensconced in a small bog garden in Epping. That is the thing about the HPS seed scheme, you can give all sorts of things a go and then try to find somewhere to put them. You also feel different about plants raised from seed versus ones you bought. This is too garish for my tastes, but the clients seem to like them!
4. Papavar somniferum, the opium poppy. Such a great plant. I have learnt to be strict with them though. There are two forms grown in the churchyard, Alba and Lauren’s Grape. Luckily, the white one opens first and is pollinated before the plum so cross fertilisation is avoided . This means it is easy to rogue out the few that come through as a muddy purple. I do weed quite a lot out and once I have collected seed will pull out the rest. It is nice to have standing seedheads, but I have got too many other plants jostling to go in the spaces.
5. Chelsea Fringe walk. We had a great Chelsea Fringe event two weekends ago. There were over 50 on the two walks including the main man of the Fringe, Tim Richardson (pictured listening to Stavros hold court). The newly fenced wildlife pond was a big hit and is starting to fill out a bit. We made enough money from plant sales to buy a new wheelbarrow for the churchyards too. Worth the effort.
6. Salvia Caradonna. It is everywhere this week. These are two gardens I planted over the last two years and I noticed just how versatile and companionable this plant is. Complimentary, contrasting, whatever you need, it has got it. All you want is a hot, free draining, sunny spot and it is happy to get on with it, coming back reliably.