Six on Saturday: batten down the hatches (10 August 2019)

Just as the standard buddleia was finally starting to recover from previous blustery batterings this summer, along comes a perfectly timed storm to do yet more damage to the davidii. I’m hoping it’ll have toughened up a bit but we shall see. I’m also a bit worried about the Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ which was planted last month but has yet to be staked. And what about the fences? Will they still be standing come the evening?

Ah well. We’ll just have to wait and see how the garden fares. Knowing things were on the turn most of these photos were taken earlier in the week when the weather was more clement.

1. Cosmos ‘Fizzy’ has taken ages to get into the swing of things but now, finally, we have flowers. This one, growing in a pot with some Rudbeckia and dwarf Dahilas, is in fine fettle; bushy, tall and feathery rather than short and scratty like some of the others in the garden. I’ve had to keep an eye on the black fly though as they seem to have added this plant to their menu.

2. The Zinnia have also been slow to get going. Last year they were in full flower by mid July. Initially I thought this was down to planting most of them in the borders rather than in pots. However, those in pots have proved just as lackadaisical, some doing their usual trick of withering away for no obvious reason. Still, better late than never. I’ve tried a few varieties this year. Half the fun with Zinnia is watching how the flowers unfurl. This one (‘Whirligig’ mixed, free with the Garden News magazine) started off like this…

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… and now looks like this…

This one is ‘Sprite Mixed’, peeking from behind the garden bench, oddly untouched by slug or snail.

3. Miraculously, some of the Wilko Dahlias that were planted as tubers earlier in the year, have also seen off the slimy plant assassins of the night. Perhaps watering them with a garlic concoction actually worked. They’re a lot shorter than I thought they’d be but hey-ho. Like the Zinnia, it’s fun watching the unfurlage. This was one of the flowers last week…

And this is how it looked on Thursday…

4. Around this time last year I was surprised by the early appearance of the cyclamen. Well, they’ve taken me by surprise again.

5. Next up, an anonymous Allium. This is much smaller and paler than ‘Millennium’ which featured last week. Purchased several years ago, it originally grew in the front garden where it tended to get swamped by the other plants. Last Autumn I moved it to the back garden and it’s doing much better.

6. Hmm. It’s becoming apparent that most of my choices over the past few weeks have been of pinkish-purplish hue. Time to shake things up. Brace yourselves…

Some of the Wilko Minibel tomatoes finally ripened. I say some, it was actually just two. As you can see from this photo not many of the flowers have developed into fruit. They were picked soon after this photo was taken earlier in the week, chopped up with some yellow Tumbling Toms, sprinkled with salt, pepper and torn basil leaves, drizzled with olive oil and served on toast. And rather delicious they were too.

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.

24 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: batten down the hatches (10 August 2019)

    1. That’s the one! I think it worked better when I applied it in the afternoon (as they advised) rather than the evening (which I did first time and discovered slugs and snails munching on them early that night!) – I guess it dries on the leaves better. It also seemed to work on some of the zinnia. Having said that it could have just been the dry weather that discouraged the snails and slugs!

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    1. Now the dahlias are flowering and are holding their own again the slugs and snails I’m feeling more positive about them. Last month I was wondering whether it was worth the effort!

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    1. August was also always sunny and warm during my youth! I’m not a fan of some dahlias but I do like the single varieties and these. Not sure I can be bothered digging them up come autumn though.

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  1. Love the Dahlia. My Zinnias haven’t done a lot this year (they didn’t go overboard last year either) so I don’t think I’ll bother with them again. I always love a Cosmos and have grown ‘Purity’ and ‘Lemonade’ this year. ‘Fizzy’ is definitely on the list for next year.

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    1. I’ve seen Lemonade. Very pretty. Quite a few zinnia are doing that die back thing this year. Very puzzling.

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  2. Very nice cosmos. I tried Xanthos this year and will be going back to ‘purity’ going forward, but I may give Fizzy a try too if I can get seed. Similarly with zinnias. I tried a more sophisticated colour – Queen Red Lime. Disappointed. Back to bold and beautiful Benarys giants next year!

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  3. Fizzy is fabulous! I have the bog standard pink, deep pink and white ones this year, but they are flowering a treat! I like the Xanthos colour too so maybe I will try some different ones next year. Haven’t bothered with Zinnias, too much of my garden is a café for the S&S. Your tomatoes on toast have made ME hungry now!

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    1. I’ve bought some half price cosmos seed for next year – deep pinks for a some nice vivid colour (most f mine this year have been white). Will definitely grow Fizzy again though. The zinnia and dwarf dahlia I put in the front garden have all been eaten by slugs and snails!

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  4. Zinnias are great! I grew them for the first time last summer and was very pleased with their hardiness. I must look out for one like your Whirligig. Have you tried beer traps for snails? They even work with cheap low alcohol beer so you don’t have to use the good stuff.

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    1. I have – using Sainsbury’s basics lager! I’ve been pretty poor at using them this year for some reason though and only the slugs fall for it. The snails round here are either too intelligent or teetotallers!

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  5. Zinnias late here too, just getting going as are the tomatoes. I do love tumbling tom – why have I not grown them for a couple of years?!? This year I have golden sunrise which doesn’t have quite the same taste. I like that pale allium too.

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    1. I used to grow Sweet Aperitif which were nice but Tumbling Toms are more suited to pots. I wish I could remember what the allium was called!

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  6. Really enjoyed your ‘time lapse’ photos of the zinnia & dahlia. The zinnia especially change so much as they bloom, then form the seed head. Long bit of interest in them & well worth fighting the S&S. I used covers this year until they got big enough to fend for themselves but am very interested in the garlic wash, so will check it out. I also feel obliged to steal your tomato recipe. A bit of Parmesan, too, I think.

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    1. Ooh, I hadn’t thought about Parmesan. Be careful not to accidently spill any of the garlic concoction on you (especially when it’s several weeks old). I did. Very stinky.

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  7. Just made it to read everyone’s posts! Hope the garden has survived this week. I’ve lost a few of my sunflowers just before they were about to bloom. Love your cosmos and zinnias. Wilko is great! You little devil red and yellow tomatoes. What next. Enjoy the rest of the week. We’re in London at the weekend but will be reading all the sos on the train. 😊

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