Saturday, 4 July 2020

Onward, July!

1.  Chocolate Daisy.

Both the flower & scent of this plant  are reason enough to grow it, not to mention its sage coloured foliage.

And wouldn't you know, it's got a lovely seed head as well. 

2.   Rhodochiton Vine.

First year in our garden, & I didn't think the purply pink bells could delight me more.

Until they did this.

Rhodochiton's a tough little vine that's survived the high winds & drought.  Best of all, the slugs aren't a bit interested in it.

3.  O, Veronica.

I don't think Veronica did this last year, so'm not sure why she'd doing it now.

A yellow achillea hangs 12" or more above it, but surely doesn't warrant such an extreme recoil.  Interpretive dance, maybe.

4.  Russian sage.

Just starting to flower.  

The particular green of its foliage . . .

. . . sets off well, the pink dianthus next to it.

5.  Verbena hastata.

The v. hastata's coming into bloom.

All grown from seed off the original plant that didn't survive our wet winter.  

Any suggestions about getting keeping it alive this year?

6.  Wild plum.

Usually, the wildlife's stripped off all the plums at this stage of the summer.

This lone plum's size surprises me.  

That's it for this week.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

End of June

Hard to believe we're nearly halfway through the year, but here we are.

1.  Monthly measure.

The empress tree was 12" when planted on 27 April.

So we're averaging 6"/ month.

2.  Bee stalking.

Since I first noticed bees excavating my pots, I've been stalking them for videos.

This week, I finally caught one carrying its bit of leaf to the hole.

3.  Cornflower.

The lack of rain during No Mow May kept the mower in the shed until this week.  Our singular gem from all that not-mowing, one trampled cornflower.

This self seeded from last year's edible flower box, which we didn't repeat this year.  I stuck a plant support around it for protection, gave it extra water.

It's still a bit of a shorty, but it does look happier. 

4.  Poor canna.

Something less successful are my canna lilies.  As an experiment, I left them in the ground over winter, heavily mulched.

They've all struggled with my abuse only to become S&S snacks despite my best garlic spray.  This is the smallest at only a few inches, although I'm happy to see it, having assumed it to be dead.

This autumn, all the survivors'll get lifted & lovingly cossetted over the winter.

5.  Pretty weed surprise.

Last week, I featured a self seeder that'd captured my heart.  This week, there was a little pink surprise at its base.

Last year, this trough contained rain lilies, which I thought I'd moved to the flower beds.

Missed one!  This pairing is quite nice, actually.

6.  Jasmine in waiting.

That's it for this week.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 19 June 2020


<= <= <= Mlle DoodleFace, the reason we have a #1 & #2 this week.

1.  Doodle Pool, Part I.

The pool is essential kit for Mlle DoodleFace, but it's not the most attractive thing you can have in the garden.  Last year, I decided to tart it up with water plants.  Bit of a crazy idea, even by my standards, but it's turned out well.

This is Season 2, The Doodle Pool.

The split bamboo has always been in it as a life raft for passing wildlife.

I'd seen a photo of Creeping Jenny in a floating planter, the fronds spreading on top of the water.  Mine've always sunk, but this year, they're invading the bullrushes to the right.

2.  Doodle Pool, Part II.

Water lily on the left.

Water lily on the right.

Both lilies've produced more leaves & flowers this year, so must be happy.

3.  Honey garlic.

The honey garlic's formed turrets of seed heads.

The flowers are striking but the seed heads are out of a fairy tale.

4.  Pretty weed.

These've self seeded all over my garden, so I let one show its stuff.

I quite like it, although it seems like something that could soon take over.

Does anyone know what it is?

5.  Tale of 2 roses.

I missed pruning some new growth from the (presumably) dog rose rootstock of our yellow rose.

The dog rose stems & foliage are very different, so not sure how I missed it . . .

. . . but it does create an interesting look.

6.  Visitor.

Our 2nd summer here, I've found our first toad, this one being in the open front garden.  Where it came from is hard to say, as there isn't open water nearby.  Maybe someone raised tadpoles then released them.

As the back garden is walled in, I'd thought of collecting tadpoles for the Doodle Pool, but was concerned about being over run by inbred toads.  Any thoughts?

And with that image, I leave you for this week.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Keeping It Interesting

Six on Saturday is a weekly diary hosted by The Propagator & contributed to by gardeners all over the world.  For links to other SoSers, check out Mr P's comments & the Twitter hashtag, #SixOnSaturday.

For your edification, 6 things in the garden that were new or unexpected.

1.  Bee update.

Last week, I posted a video of a bee excavating one of my pots.  When I later planted the pot's seedling, 2 leaf cylinders dropped out.

These, I very gently buried in the loose dirt next to the seedling, in hopes that I haven't killed the bees inside.

2.  Hebe.

Several weeks ago, I moved a hebe from a pot into the ground.  I hadn't thought transplant shock was a worry when taking plants from a pot, but before long, the hebe looked truly dead.

Just in case it was playing 'possum, I left it there & set some small pots around it to hide the ugly.

Now, new growth.

3.  Smoke Bush.

I featured this some weeks ago because it'd produced buds for the first time, & man, there were a lot of them.

While the bush itself looks healthy, the buds subsequently shrivelled up.

The reading I've done indicates smoke bush don't like to be too well fed, so here may be the problem.  Hopefully I'll remember that next year.  Still a beauty, but I'd love it to flower.

4.  Chocolate Daisy.

These were grown from seed last year in hopes of adding a new scent to the garden.  Although they were supposed to be 18" tall, they only reached about 6"  The flowers being so close to the ground made it difficult for me to get a good sense of their smell.

This year, the same plants are about 12" tall & a bit bushier . . .

. . . with more of these fascinating flowers on them.

Now I detect a subtle chocolate scent, overridden by a strong honey smell, which makes a really nice combination.  It'll be interesting to see how they perform next year.

5.  Columbine Different Drummer.

The yellow & white columbine've been blooming for weeks, the flowers about 3"x4" in size.  Then this lone fella appeared on one of them, a cuckoo in the nest.

When this odd ball flowering happened to one of my peles, the nursery said that sometimes a single flower will revert back to the plant's forebearer.  I didn't ask why this happens, so'm not sure if it's passed to the seed.  I've marked this bloom just in case, though I'm not convinced I like it.

6.  Sanguisorba.

Only planted last autumn, so first time seeing it bloom.  Here's the bud just getting some colour to it . . .

. . . and here's a flower about halfway opened.  Quirkly looking little thing.

That's it for this week.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 5 June 2020


Six on Saturday is a weekly diary hosted by The Propagator & contributed to by gardeners all over the world.  For links to other SoSers, check out Mr P's comments & the Twitter hashtag, #SixOnSaturday.

A wet winter & our clay soil cost me a few plants this year, so I've been glad of the ones that've renewed our friendship.

But let's start with the renewal of a garden species rather than a single plant.

1.  Miner bee (video).

I presume I can plant this seedling without disturbing the nest, but if someone thinks not, please let me know.

2.  Fuchsia.

3.  Water lily.

I'm amazed this grows in the Doodle Pool.  Shows how easily you can have elegance.

4.  Hollyhocks.

These were grown from seed 3 summers ago. 

I thought they were biennials, but apparently not, as they also bloomed last year.  Not that I'm complaining.

From the amount of buds, it's going to be a glorious display.

5.  Runaway Bride.

Last year, I got 2 very young hydrangea Runaway Brides.  While they didn't bloom, they did grow.  This spring, I put them in larger pots . . .

. . . larger being 10" tall by 10" diameter.

6.  Woodwardia fern.

I hoped against hope that Woodie'd survived the winter, but the fiddleheads stopped growing at about 2" tall.

Then this week without warning - bam! - they opened.

The metallic new growth'll turn green like last year's fronds in the background.

That's it for this week.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you again real soon.

Saturday, 30 May 2020


Six on Saturday is a weekly diary hosted by The Propagator & contributed to by gardeners all over the world.  For links to other SoSers, check out Mr P's comments & the Twitter hashtag, #SixOnSaturday.

Our witchy calendar says May is the month to dress your well.  As dry as this month has been, I'm very glad we aren't dependent on a well, dressed or otherwise.

While there's no rain forecast for the next fortnight, the garden this week has reminded me of hope.  Things which I'd given up on, have redeemed themselves.

So perhaps, too, we shall see rain.

Now let's do this thang.

1.  Dog Rose.

This self seeded in a flower bed around 7 years ago but'd never flowered.  I'd decided if it didn't produce this year, it was going to be guerilla gardened out of my life.

Apparently threats work with roses.

I'd expected white but am delighted that it's pink.

2.  Bramble buds.

Last year, the bramble from next door was left to cover the fence & provide support for the new hops until said hops matured.  This the bramble did, but it didn't produce a single flower.

With last year's bramble growth still in place, that was all the hops support necessary, so I determined if there were no berries on the bramble this year, I cut it at the base, leaving the dead wands in place as a hops trellis.

We've at least got flower buds - lots of them - so hopefully berries to follow.  Another plant that responds to threats.

3.  Bass guitar.

When El Punko's guitar died, it couldn't be fixed & no one wanted it for parts.  This week, he decided he was tired of it taking up room in his office.  I offhandedly said that it'd make an interesting trellis.

Later that same day, he-who-never-gardens surprised me.

There are rhodochiton, thunbergia, & Japanese anemone planted at the base of this wall, which he assures me won't clash with the brilliant red of that guitar.  We shall see.

4.  Deutzia purchased as raspberry sundae, but an image search says, no.

Not that many weeks ago, I shared the unthinkable on Twitter - that I'd fallen out of love with my deutzia.  The flowers were pale & lacklustre at the time.  Most unfortunate, as it wasn't the deutzia's inner self I loved.

But the flowers darkened, so now my zest is back.

I don't remember it doing that last year.  Let's hope I remember it next year.

5.  Ricinus.

I've lost count, the number of castor seeds I've planted this year with no results.  Even as we speak, there's a warm tray of them in the dark, thinking about whether to make an appearance.

Imagine my delight when I found this self-seeder growing next to one of last year's ricinus stumps.

The late ricinus had been shorter than others planted across the garden, so I decided to move this seedling to a better spot.  However, I couldn't extricate it, so lifted the ricinus corpse for better access.

The seedling came with it & seemed attached to its dead ancestor.  Even though these leaves don't look like new growth on an old plant, I decided to relocate them together rather than risk damaging the seedling's roots.

There shall be weird ricinus flowers in our garden this year.

6.  Honey garlic.

I'll close with the honey garlic, that speaks for itself.  (The videos loads faster if you full screen it.)

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you next time.