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.