Six on Saturday (2 June 2018)

After all the rain last week I’m going to start with a water plant for my Six(ish) on Saturday. The dwarf water lily has just stared flowering. It’s the only water plant that has done well in the tiny wildlife pond which was put in about 4 or 5 years go. I think the problem was not enough sun combined with the determined efforts of Mrs B (a female blackbird) to have a deeper and more satisfying bathing experience by sitting on the submerged marginal plants. However, the water lily has always thrived and usually flowers right through to October. Last winter I relocated the pond to a more sunny spot and it’s looking clearer than it’s ever looked before, possibly thanks to the addition of frogspawn from a friend at work (the tadpoles seem to be keeping the algae at bay with their constant grazing) and possibly due to the addition of some extra plants which have actually survived more than a few weeks now that they get more sun and I’ve made a deeper bathing area to keep Mrs B happy.

This clematis was already in the garden when we moved here back in July 2012. I’ve no idea what it is but it’s tough and seems to thrive where it is. I’ve added new clematis plants to the garden and none of them do as well as this one.

Graham Thomas has just started flowering. I’m not entirely sure I’ve cracked how to prune climbing roses. The three main branches all come off a rather spindly looking one. The pruning books always provide diagrams with multiple stems coming up from the ground and I’m pondering whether to chop the main stem right back next year and see what happens (though if this sounds foolhardy please, somebody, stop me!)

Common Valerian. One of the first gardening books I purchased was Alan Titchmarsh’s ‘Wildlife Gardening’ (part of his ‘How to Garden’ series). He felt this plant deserved to be better known and I agree. It’s a lovely, graceful thing, a little like cow parsley and a little like verbena. It’s beginning to spread a bit now (initially through splitting but now through self seeding). This one is ahead of the rest and is hidden at the back of the border behind the Prunus cerasifera Hessei next to the shed. After I’d battled to get round the back of the shed to take this picture, stepping over bags of compost and a multitude of spare pots, I was greeted not only by this view of the flower but also it’s rather lovely scent. Highly recommended.

Ahh, lupins. They look lovely. However, as my battle to protect a dozen or so lupin plants grown from seed last year continues, I can’t help thinking they’re a pain in the metaphorical arse (and physical arse if you don’t fasten your shoes properly before doing a little weeding, stumble as a consequence of poorly fastened foot attire, desperately attempt to avoid falling on to said young lupin plants and instead fall posterior first into your former herb bed and head first into your little propagating greenhouse thingy which you’ve been a little wary of after finding a false widow spider in it the previous autumn). However, this is Lupinus ‘Persian Slipper’ and it’s a bit of a hard ass as lupins go. It seems to survive the slugs and snails and so far, touch wood, hasn’t been got by aphids.

I’m going to cheat with my sixth thing. I was worried there didn’t seem to be the usual buzz in the garden as normal. However, bees and hoverflies were enjoying the Oxalis (above) and the beautiful but thorny Pyracantha (below) this afternoon. The Oxalis is looking good at the moment, though I know it will enter a sickly looking phase a little later and I’m going to have to resist the urge to pull it up. The Pyracantha was planted against a trellis fence to provide a bit of privacy from the neighbours, and after a bit of training (and the odd bit of cursing when got by a thorn) it’s beginning to do just that.

Want to join in with the Six on Saturday posts but not sure how? Then take a gander at the site of the chap who started it all over at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

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6 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (2 June 2018)

  1. Sorry, I couldn’t help smiling when reading about your near miss with the lupins! As for the rose, I have inherited one that also grows from a very weedy stem. I have ‘layered’ shoots along the fence, and there are flower buds, but I too wonder if I should cut it right down to the base / root stock.

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    1. I still haven’t planted most of the young lupins! They may spend their entire lives on the swing seat (which I find is the safest place for seedlings) though the aphids found them today. I think I may risk the rose pruning next spring. I can let you know how it goes.

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  2. Ha ha, yes, I’ve had a few similar falls in the garden, or been busy in one area only to find I’ve trodden on something precious and squashed it. What a good idea to train the pyracantha against a fence.

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  3. That is exactly what I would do with your rose – a hard prune always stimulates more bushy growth, and if you have one stem dominating then I would take that back to 20-30cm. If you have lots of stems, then take out the older thicker ones, and this will keep encouraging the shrub to produce new vigorous shoots.

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