Love these soft warm cloudy days, unfortunately so does downy mildew and all its other furry friends. The garden is going through that slightly awkward betwixt summer and autumn phase, a bit tatty and dog eared and still lacking the golden autumn colours that light it up. Not that I’m in any hurry for autumn to rush, happy to tolerate tatty for a while yet.
There are occasional blooms on the roses, and still new buds on the most remontant ones, Sparrieshoop never stops. I’ve restrained the secateur hand from dead heading roses like the lovely Mrs Oakley Fisher , the Moth and the Kenmere Red, better to leave the big fat hips to develop. However nothing compares with the fabulous Rubenesque hips of Madame Grégoire Staechelin, I know we can’t fit her into this garden but I wish…
Rosa virginiana, whose ‘hit the ground running’ habits force me to keep her confined in a large pot next to a large agapanthus, displays her shiny red hips against the healthiest of foliage, very refreshing when most of the others are succumbing to the trio of rust, black
spot and mildew. Bloomfield abundance (also abundantly healthy) is threatening to take over both the house and the empty block next door, regular hacking is required to clear both the entrance to the spotted dog’s kennel, and human access to the lower deck!
Really pleased with the way the paving gardens beside the lower deck are developing, lots of quick infill but that can be filtered out as desired plants grow. The hot dry conditions are great for treasures from M, thymes, oreganos and dianthus. Agastache ‘sangria’ with its yummy lemony fruit salad scented leaves is looking good for the first time.
Asters, dahlias and the late sown lime green nicotianas (thank you Catherine, they last ages in a vase) are blooming their happy heads off, but my limited range of asters, ie.; the marvellous Monch, Aster laterifolius “Lady in black”, and some gap toothed old lilac fellows from my mother’s garden, needs improvement. I’m already making headway, just picked up a nice little clean white flowered chap from the Flower Room.
In the Lower right border geranium Nimbus is still flowering, and happily thugging both the new deep maroon penstemon behind and the pathetic Rosa speragina next door. Speragina must be removed to a pot for TLC forthwith, (damn, end of long weekend and she still languishes under Nimbus) — my last attempt to grow Nimbus was a miserable failure so I wasn’t prepared for this outstanding display of thuggery, (I suspect the first plant was a ring-in). I had the same experience with a purchase of geranium pratense striatum, was ordinary pratense and not a very good colour at that. That reminds me, the beautifully lace patterned Mrs Kendall Clarke is being thugged by phlomis bovei maroccana and offspring of penstemon Huskers Red. She seeds herself around just enough for comfort but again I forgot to mark the plants when they were flowering, impossible to pick out from normal pratense now.
My two new dwarf crab apples have produced a nice little crop, gorgeous big oval Jack Humms, but suspiciously small dark red Gorgeouses, mmmm, another ring-in? . It’s intended that they will be espaliered along the left wall (sadly not a six foot double brick ‘walled garden’ wall but a two foot concrete retaining wall) of the vege garden, we shall see.
Golden hornet is showing off lovely golden bunches of crabs, looks terrific next to the orange dahlias with, new this year, purple verbena bonariensis, (thank you Jacqui) weaving between them. Golden hornet has barely grown in the three? four? years since it was planted and remains an elegant sapling, unfortunately the Flying fruit disposal service will probably put the lovely little crabs on the menu any day now. How do the British retain the darn things on their trees through winter? they have birds … and squirrels.
Mentally compiling a list of plant removals and transplants; miscanthus, roses, grasses, trees!……
Cyclamen popping up everywhere — joy! My favourite, Cyclamen graecum grown from seed
The Spotted dog, overseeing as I do one-eyed battle with this new old Macbook and Wordpress.