Six on Saturday: Rain (20 July 2019)

Finally, some of the wet stuff. Well, quite a bit of the wet stuff actually. Two water butts completely replenished and the third now half full… or half empty, depending on your outlook on such things. The rain has flattened the cornflowers and the slugs and snails are no doubt celebrating the downpours by having an all you can eat buffet, probably starting with the dahlias before moving onto the zinnias and finishing with a few strawberries for dessert. However, the garden certainly needed it. The lawn was beginning to look rather parched, the beds were bone dry and in an attempt to save on the old tap water for the pot plants I’d resorted to collecting our shower water with a bucket. However, a few plants have been thriving in the dry weather which leads me to my first Six on Saturday…

1. The annual Rudbeckias supplied as plants from that free nursery up in North Wales. They’ve survived neglect (I left them in their module tray for months, often forgetting to water them), the odd mishap (they were trod ) and since planting, a mini drought (which my lack of watering as seedlings no doubt prepared them for), but they’re looking rather well at the moment.

And the flowers last for weeks. I’m going to make enquiries regarding the variety and sow some of these myself next year.

2. Physostegia virginiana ‘Miss Manners’ next. I almost lost her last spring when she was swamped by the Sour Grapes penstemon. She was moved and survived but didn’t flower particularly well. This year Miss M’s putting on a much better show, sending up several spires of flower buds…

… that have just started to open.

3. As have those of the crocosmia Lucifer. I was rather ruthless with this in the spring, digging up all but a few plants as it was threatening to take over the bed. Still, I’m sure it’ll stage a comeback over the next year or two.

4. While I’ve had success controlling Lucifer (for now) the same can’t be said for the Jasmine. Despite hacking it back every year it grows back and rampages up, through and over the trellis fence on one side of the garden. I’ve never quite figured out whether it was planted on our side of the fence originally or the neighbours’. It’s great at providing privacy and the heady fragrance of the simple yet elegant white flowers is lovely in the evenings. But by ‘eck it’s a thug.

5. The Verbena bonariensis has been flowering away for a month or so now. It’s more prolific in the sunnier front garden but it has seeded itself around a bit in the back too. There’s no sign of the lollipop variety I purchased last year though which is a bit disappointing.

6. And finally… Brachycome Surdaisy Strawberry and Calibrachoa Calita Special Blue Star (two plant names I will never remember in a million years). These were bought a few months ago as cheap plants to add a bit of cheerful and surprisingly colour coordinated cheer to the new shelf near the side gate.

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.

17 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Rain (20 July 2019)

  1. Your treatment of the rudbeckia is, obviously, spot on! I must try that. Your post this week has added at least 4 more plants to my “Must-have-one-of-those” list. (I do have verbena bonariensis….all over the place.) Lovely Six.

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    1. The Verbena bonariensis got a little flattened in the back yesterday after a few strong gusts of wind – it’s spindlier than its siblings out the front. The rudbeckia has been a pleasant surprise. I hope my mum kept the packet of seeds!

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  2. I was hoping for some rain downpours today to fill the empty water butt on the side of the greenhouse but the sun has just started to come out here! Your rudbeckia looks better than mine so you’re obviously taking the right approach. All beautiful flowers in your garden and hopefully the slugs clear off soon or start charging for the lunches!

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    1. I spotted a newt leaving the pond yesterday evening so I’m hoping it’s been snacking on the smaller slugs. Hope you get some rain to fill the water butt soon.

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  3. Nice six, and I smiled when you described the jasmine. For several reasons perhaps the only gardening Himindoors does is cut down the jasmines…when we moved in the was an absolute thug, not only did he cut it back, he dug it out completely and its trunk is the ‘sculpture’ on our garden wall that looks like a large reptile! It is the scratching post for all the neighbourhood cats that walk along the top of the wall.

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    1. Digging it up must have taken some doing! Good idea to make a feature of the trunk – sounds really interesting.

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  4. Don’t the S&S eat your Rudbeckias then? I have been put off them as I am trying to plant things that the munching molluscs leave alone. I quite agree with you about the Jasmine. Mine is only just going mad as I cut it back loads last year and removed a lot of stems. Seems to have worked, but boy is it a lot of work! I love #6 – the Calibrachoa are fabulous and the two together make a lovely pot. My ‘lollipop’ has flowered, but unfortunately obscured by the musk mallow which I need to remove now as they have almost stopped flowering.

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    1. Not so much as a nibble on the Rudbeckias. I’ve never had any luck keeping the pereannial variety going though – they always vanish. I don’t think the neighbours cut the jasmine back much (if at all) which isn’t helping. I’m never sure how much I can chop off on their side without breaking some neighbour type etiquette.

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    1. Its on the east side of our fence and the west side in the neighbours’ garden. It has a lot going for it (pretty foliage and scented flowers) but it definitely doesn’t subscribe to the less is more philosophy.

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