Six on Saturday (29 June 2019)

While I don’t mind a mini heatwave I wasn’t prepared for the accompanying blustery winds that battered the beleaguered buddleia last week, breaking off yet more budding branches and leaving the blasted thing looking rather bare. It was a show last year with beautiful blooms aplenty. Alas, it won’t be this year. In a desperate bid to minimise further damage I chopped some of the remaining branches back a bit so that they weren’t caught by the wind quite so much. Ah well. There was still a brisk breeze on Friday when I took many of these photos and it posed a considerable challenge with my first Six on Saturday…

1. These white scabious/scabioas/scabiousesses were dancing around in the evening sunlight with reckless abandon.

They’re a batch that were grown from seed last year and I suspect are putting on one last final hurrah before they call it a day (they don’t usually last more that a few summers). A new batch are ready to go in.

2. Last winter I tried growing some proper garlic bulbs rather than the stuff we get from the supermarket. I grew some in troughs and some in the ground. I dug them up last Saturday and they’ve been drying out on the garden bench during the day and… Pardon? Where do we sit out if the swing seat is being used for seedlings and the garlic is occupying the garden bench? Ah, I planted out most of the popular slug and snail treats last weekend, reserving a few zinnias and dwarf dahlias in case of emergencies. We now have half a swing seat to sit on. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, garlic. The bulbs in the troughs did marginally better than those in the ground but on the whole I’m rather disappointed with my harvest. Most of them are on the small side and a few didn’t split to form individual cloves. Still, I’ve used the really poor ones to make a garlic concoction to water the dahlias with in an attempt to deter slugs and snails.

3. A thyme next. I’ve no idea what variety this is but it’s proved far tougher than any other thyme I’ve attempted to grow in the garden. The leaves have a slightly citrusy scent and the bees love it.

4. Earlier in the year I acquired some stipa grass from the old ancestral home. I’ve put two plants in the south facing front garden as part of a minor revamp, selecting more plants that can cope with the heat during this time of the year. This grass was looking particularly good in the evening sun and hopefully will go on looking good as the year goes on. I’ve no idea where I’m going to put the others yet.

5. Cornflowers are a plant I’ve never managed to grow before. Sown directly onto the ground, a few would germinate only for the seedlings to vanish soon after. This year I grew some in a pot before planting them out in the new extended patio bed. They’ve actually survived and are flowering away in all their lovely deep blue cornfloweriness.

They have grown rather tall though and getting to the patio is a tad tricky. But the view from the garden bench is rather nice (or would be if it wasn’t being used for drying the garlic).

6. And finally… lilies. These started off life in a pot 9 or 10 years ago. They were plonked in the ground when we moved here and had a new lease of life. However, over the past couple of years they’ve had fewer and fewer flowers. A good mulch last autumn appears to have done them the world of good though and, whisper it very quietly, not a single lily beetle has been spotted on them this year.

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.

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32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (29 June 2019)

  1. The garlic looks fine and, I am sure, will taste excellent. Even though you are sitting next to the garlic, the view is lovely and not a vampire in sight. (I may have referred to them recently, but it must be true, not a single one!)
    Lupins are looking good. I used to grow them but I don’t know why I stopped – time to try again.

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    1. I almost bought a pink and a yellow lupin the other day but thought better of it. They’re lovely but do seem to need quite a bit of cosseting in this garden. The garlic does seem to keep the vampires away!

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    1. The garlic spray hasn’t worked so far on my dahlias but I applied it in the evening whereas the hosta people’s website that I got the recipe from suggest applying it late afternoon. I’ll follow their advice & see if I have any more luck.

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      1. I’m trying nemaslug for the first time. Nematode worms that pray on slugs. Normally trust the gardens natural predators to keep the balance but planting mass hostas and dahlias I wanted a bit more protection this year.

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      2. I tried that for a couple of years but was thwarted by the dry weather eacj time (I applied it in April). I’ll give them another go next year.

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  2. Strangely, my lilies have so far been ignored by the beetles too. I planted my garlic in October and won’t harvest for at least another month. Maybe leave it a bit longer next year if you grow it again.

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    1. Thanks. I may try that next year. It was looking decidedly ropey – flattened and yellowing. One bulb looks pretty good – not sure why that one did so well!

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    1. Thanks. Strange about the lily beetles. We usually get quite a few. I’m wondering if I should have watered the garlic a bit more often.

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  3. Before I continue reading the Six on Saturday, I was cleaning the garlic in the garden: they are not ready yet but this year, like you, heads will be small … Same for the onions that has been infected with onion fly (curled leaves)
    I will leave them a bit in the ground .. wait & see…

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    1. Thanks Fred. The garlic foliage had been looking a little poor for some time – flattenened and yellowing. I’m wondering if I should have watered it a bit more often. There a few proper size bulbs but not many. Hope yours do okay.

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  4. I haven’t dug up my garlic yet, it is in a pot and I keep having a poke around and they don’t seem to have split yet. The tops are looking yellow so don’t think they will do too much more, but I live in hope. The cornflowers are wonderful and look great with the lupins and poppies. And I think I know where all your lily beetles are, I would send them back if I hadn’t squished them! 🙂

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    1. Hope your garlic gets it act together soon and splits. Feel free to direct the lily beetles back to me next year – I live at… oh dear, technical issues…

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  5. The lily is lovely! I have a few Asiatic lilies but they always get munched on by S&S. I really ought to just compost them, but it feels a bit mean. Maybe I’ll repot them and grow them indoors for next year. Though given they don’t even have a scent I’m not sure I can be bothered. As for garlic spray, my snails aren’t in the least put off!

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    1. No, the garlic spray hasn’t worked. Slugs and snails were munching on the treated plants when I went round to see how it was working late one night! I’m going to apply it in the afteroon as suggested by the hosta people (maybe the garlic gets a chance to dry onto the leaves more?) rather than in the evening as I did. I’m not hopeful though!

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  6. I don’t know what it is with garlic. The first time I grew it, in my previous garden, it was amazing, but ever since, I have only managed tiny bulbs, and some that don’t divide, like yours. I have some in now, and it looks as though it’s going to be the same. That’s a lovely view from your swing seat even if you have to stand to enjoy it. I planted some lupin seeds following your lupin pics recently and they are now germinating.

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    1. I hope your lupins do okay. They are lovely though they have tested my patience at times! We had the same experience as you with garlic. The first time we tried it (using standard shop bought garlic) it was a big success. Since then it has never done so well. Very odd.

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  7. I have given up growing garlic because I was told it wasn’t garlicky enough. Lily beetle needs daily squishing but it’s worth it. That is Lilium regale isn’t it? Gorgeous.

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    1. As usual I didn’t keep a record of what the lily was. I’m rather poor at remembering these things!

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    1. And I remembered to prop them up this year before before the wind struck. Alas the lilies will need moving as I discovered that sheets on the newly repositioned rotary washing line hit them on a windy day. Thankfully the lilies are okay, though my wife was more concerned with whether there was pollen on the sheets!

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  8. Different garlics ripen at different times & from what you’ve written, it sounds like yours were ready to come up. I think the splitting/not splitting into cloves has something to w/the winter weather, not so much how you treat them. The garlic farm website has info on growing. Yours look like they should taste good, even if they haven’t split. The S&S around here love nibbling on our cornflower, so maybe that’s where yours went in previous years. They’re looking fantastic now, tho. In fact, all your tall plants are looking good despite the wind. Hope the budd gets over its humiliation.

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    1. I think you’re right about the garlic – more a winter thing than a too early to dig up thing. Slugs and snails did polish off some of the young seedlings in a pot before they were plonked on the swing seat come to think of it. They’ve been a real pain this year.

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