Tomato plants should come with a health warning. Oh they look all innocent enough in their little pots, waiting to be planted outside in big pots where, hopefully, they’ll spend the rest of their days flowering and producing tomatoes. But over the past week I’ve become rather wary of them. Last Monday, when I was removing the first young tomato plant from it’s pot, I felt a sharp pin-prick type sensation on my finger. Puzzled I looked down and found a bee on the root ball. We looked at one another for a while, both a little baffled, before I gently placed it on the lilac. After seeking out a bit of sympathy from her indoors (I felt my first ever bee sting was worthy of some fuss) I carried on where I’d left off and planted all but one plant which I’d promised someone at work.
On Wednesday morning before heading off to work, I nipped outside to collect the aforementioned tomato plant, casually bending over to pick it up. While I was straightening up I felt a slight twinge but didn’t give it another thought. But as the day wore on the twinge became less twingey and more oooh-ee, by evening rather aaargh-ee and by the middle of the night decidedly oooh-aaaarah-ee (though slightly less yokelly sounding). My back is still giving me some grief but keeping active seems to help ease the pain so there’ll be a bit of light gardening over the weekend, even if it is only squishing aphids. And that leads me to my first SoS…
1. Oh yes, ’tis lupins again! A few of them are flowering away nicely now, though it’s a constant battle keeping on top of the sap sucking pale green aphids that enjoy them so much. Yet they seem less of a problem when compared to the sap sucking black aphids that are appearing everywhere; on the garlic, the chives, the philadelphus, red campion and dahlias… But back to the lupins. Some of them are actually looking rather well.
However, is it wrong to feel a little dismayed that so far the only lupins that have made it to flowerhood are all purple? Don’t get me wrong, I like purple. Very much. Still, I’d have quite liked the odd yellow or pink one. That’s the problem with a packet of mixed seed, you never know what colours you’re going to end up with. I also have a suspicion that the one below might actually be a cutting I took from the more sturdy Persian Slipper variety rather than one grown from seed.
2. Next up, a mystery plant. I think my wife spotted this at the East Lambrook nursery section last year but I can’t find a label. Does anybody recognise it?
Here’s a close up.
3. The pyracantha is looking rather ropey at the moment. Some of the flowers are fine.
But others are not.
It tends to look a little sickly during the winter but usually perks up at this time of year. I’ve started watering it each evening in case it’s down to a lack of rain (it grows right up against the fence) but in the back of my mind I’m thinking fireblight. I hope not.
4. These metallic looking spiky alliums appear to have benefited from mulching as they’re much taller than they’ve been in previous years. I really need to add some later flowering varieties to the garden.
5. Back in 2013 I purchased one meagre looking ox-eye daisy. These days I spend a fair amount of time pulling it up from here there and everywhere. I don’t regret introducing it to the garden though. The flowers are lovely and the insects like them. I only wish they’d stand up straight and unsupported as they do when you see them in meadows and on verges.
6. And finally… A geum. Mrs Bradshaw. We have two and they’re doing well this year, adding a splash of red around the place along with some poppies.
She looks rather nice next to the orange perennial wallflowers that are still going strong weeks after they first started flowering.
And they were my Six on Saturday. For more Sixes on Saturday, from all around the world, take a look at the site of the chap who started it all over at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.