Saturday, 8 June 2019

First-Summer Adjustments

Much needed rain in the Doodle pool.
My parents raised us to garden - the orchard, the vineyard, the acre of veg patch,  my mother's passion for flowers, my father's love affair with trees.

A childhood like that, plus 20 years in the British Isles, yet gardening here keeps me humble.

This week's Dunce Dynamic, which may've involved a slight bit of plant murder, was learning there are indoor & outdoor cucumbers.  You just gotta ask, why?  Who needs indoor cucumbers?

Anyhoo, it's #SixOnSaturday time, so here's Six adventures in my newest garden, every one with a lesson inside it.

1.  Crooked Cherry.

It's a well guarded secret that the Crooked Cherry is my favourite in our tree collection.  When its leaves began to curl, I hoped it was a self amputation of the crooked part, but the curling spread.  No sign of pest or disease above ground, so I decided to re-pot it.

Maniacal Helper.

Other things grow in my tree pots to facilitate bug movement & so the Crooked Cherry housed a Welsh poppy, a nigella & a valerian, volunteers all.  When my Maniacal Helper pulled the tree from its original pot, the valerian's tap root had grown like a boa round the poor Cherry's root ball.

So now Crooked Cherry is in the pot on her own, pot mates at her feet, as it should be.

Crooked Cherry & friends.

I quite like this arrangement, which is totally accidental - tall pots behind, short pots in front, volunteers in the ground, anemones where they were when we moved in.  Now, let the Crooked Cherry live!

2.  Birds.

With no mature trees in the garden, I hooked the bird feeders to the wisteria trellis.  Not only did we have the expected (& tolerated) sunflowers growing in the shady border, but the pigeons ate my woodwardia fronds & trampled all over the bergania leaves.  So I got this.

Current solution.

It's a no-tools assembly, so my kinda feeding station.  Since we're having big winds today, it stays in the box for now.  Bummer.

3.  And speaking of Woody . . . 

I bought a woodwardia fern because allegedly its new growth comes out scarlet.  For some folk.  Last year, (Woody's first with us) his new growth was more burgundy than scarlet, but really an eye catcher.  This year, however, his new growth was copper.

Until now.

A little bit of red in that frond at 11:00.

I'd wondered if the copper colour were because Woody gets more sun in our new garden or because he was now in a pot, but this latest frond has a distinctly red tone to it, as compared to the others on the right.  I recently fed Woody & it could be that these fronds developed before & after the feeding, but I can't be sure that's true.

Anyone have any ideas?

4.  Heliotrope update.

Very soon after arriving, the leaves on the lower stems of the heliotropes turned brown.  I clipped off the brown leaves & discovered new growth had already started at the base of these leaves, so whatever ailed these poor babies, it came with them.

Four of the plants got planted outside.  Two were kept in the potting shed until their new pot & pot mate arrived.  The ones outside seemed to've stopped growing, so we played chicken for a little while, me standing on the footpath looking worried, they sitting in the bed, pouting.  Eventually I lifted & potted them, then put them inside the shed.

Comparing the heliotropes.

Here you can see the difference between the 2 plants that were initially kept inside the shed & one (now in the smaller pot) that was planted in the bed.  You can also see the new growth, most obvious on the right hand plant, making them look like skinny dudes wearing ruffled collars.

This week, I got a rake of plants delivered.  Because of the heliotropes (& perhaps the indoor cucumber), I've potted them all up & they'll do shed duty until their roots get the knack of things, regardless how healthy & hardy they're supposed to be.

5.  Big news on the flame front.

I do garden rounds twice a day, in addition to actually being out working in the garden, eyes usually open.  It always amazes me what I haven't noticed happening right in front of me.  As in, buds on the top part of the Flame Flower.

There's a million of 'em!

Even better, what's on the bottom of the vine.

Further along than just buds.

We gonna have flowers & soon!

6.  Mystery Plant

I've got 5 of these thangs, which I shared here when they were smaller.  Not even the most fluent Latin speaker amongst y'all could tell me what they are.

Now that they're bigger, does anyone have a clue?

What's my name?

Look at that spacing - would nature do that?  (I'm trying to talk myself outa believing they're weeds.)

Well, that's my Six.  Be sure to drop by The Leader of our gang Mr Prop who's welcoming rain to his own Six.  In his comment section, you'll find links to gardening Sixers from all over the world.  Great fun!

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Replies
    1. I compared it w/some other lunaria in the garden & you're probably right, which is disappointing to me. I don't particularly like it but since my maniacal helper does, I'll transfer them into a bed. Good eye!

  2. Don't talk to me about ferns ... yours is (almost) about the size of my tree fern that normally should have measured 70cm ...
    Nice Flame flowers : A success !

  3. O no, Fred! Is it new or did bad things happen to it?

    1. If you don't have read my Six, do it and you'll understand my misfortune... a bad seller

  4. Crooked Cherry. Good name for a band.

    1. Coming soon to a garden centre opening near you!

  5. The flame flower is looking healthy and buds! Exciting. I think I've said it before but that mattress spring climbing thing is ingenious.

    1. I'm very excited about it, having wanted one for so long. And next time you have an old mattress no one will take off your hands, you'll know what to do.

  6. Flame flower yipppeeeee! Love it. Also big fan of heliotrope, although my sense of smell veers from non existent to absolutely rubbish, I still love the idea. I won't be able to smell these anyway, but you will which is the main idea. Happy sniffing!

    1. Oooo, I'd forgotten about the scent. I'd wanted them to go w/my histrionic rosemary, so the smell is an added bonus. And I'm tickled pink about the flame flower. Maybe by next week, they'll be open!

  7. I didn’t know flame flower, but I’ve checked it out online, I can see why you’re pleased with yours which I’m guessing is going to cover the wall eventually. It looks as though it’s making good progress.

    1. It does look to be a speedy grower but I was lucky enough to get a very healthy plant to start with. I lived next door to one once that grew clear to the guttering on that house - the woman was prone to the overgrown design in gardening - so it can stretch pretty far.

  8. Your posts do make me smile. As does the bed spring trellis. It will look beautiful when that climber flowers.