Six on Saturday (6 August 2022)

Another week and still no rain. Actually, no. I tell a lie. We had the briefest and lightest of showers on Wednesday where the rain pretty much evaporated on impact and that was that. Buying new plants during this drought would be foolhardy given the amount of watering they’d need initially… and yet I still found myself returning from Taunton Flower Show yesterday afternoon with several new purchases. However, I’ll save those for next week’s Six on Saturday (oh the suspense). Today? Today we start with brown and crispy.

1. Now brown and crispy isn’t usually something you’re aiming for in a garden during the summer… unless you’re wanting to collect seeds. A few of these seedheads from Aquilegia ‘Yellow Shooting Stars’ have been plonked in an envelope and labelled. I really need to get a move on and sow the Sweet Williams and Foxgloves this weekend if I want them to flower next year.

2. For the first time ever I managed to successfully overwinter Agastache and Verbena hastata (they were dug up and placed in the mini greenhouse). However, those that were were replanted in the sunniest borders (including this ‘Black Adder’) have really struggled over the past three or four weeks, requiring watering on a regular basis to reverse leaf droopage. I have a feeling I should have replanted them much earlier in the year so that they could get more settled in root-wise. Ah well.

3. When we moved here 10 years ago I spent a few years getting shot of an orange variety of Crocosmia that was taking over the garden. I think it may have staged a sneaky come back (it certainly isn’t the other variety of orange Crocosmia ‘Ping-pong’ I introduced a few years ago). It is pretty though.

4. Another plant that has a tendency to run a little too rampant is Linaria vulgaris (common toadflax). First sown from a packet of seed around 6 to 7 years ago out in the front garden, it’s not faring too badly in these arid conditions. It’ll need a spot of ‘editing’ at some point.

5. The pinkification process of the flowers of ‘Miss Belgium’ is now complete. This Hydrangea has coped well with the dry spell, no doubt helped by its shady position.

6. And finally… Zinnia. There have been but two Zinnia casualties so far, yet they’ve been down to the heat rather than the slugs or snails for a change (one of the few benefits of all this dry weather I guess). With the exception of Zinnia elegans ‘Envy’ (the green one) these are Zinnia haageana ‘Jazzy Mixture.’ They’re shorter, bushier and, for the second year running, far more slug and snail resistant than other varieties.

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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31 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (6 August 2022)

  1. I was unsuccessful growing toadflax from seed this year, I don’t think any germinated. Still lots of colour despite virtually no rain. I think we had that shower too, just after I’d put the washing out.

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  2. I too am finding it tricky keeping newly planted things going, they don’t have the root systems to sustain themselves and need almost daily watering. Your Zinnia collection is looking great, do they need regular watering?

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  3. The Common Toadflax is an uncommon wildflower here and there is a roadside patch reasonably close to where I live. Believe it or not, it has attracted interested viewers from quite a distance.

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  4. Liking Ms Belgium. I’m a fan of crocosmia. Very invasive some of them but they’re easy to manage. Zinnia flowers think are pretty. We definitely need the rain desperately. Keep watering.

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  5. I have now added toadflax to my Wish List. Anything that survives this warmer weather is ‘in’ as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think I’ll mind if it spreads (with a border that is only 30 feet by 3 feet, it will be easy enough to remove any excess. The zinnias are very pretty, I shall make a note of them.

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  6. Well done with the Zinnias, none of mine germinated this year which is no bad thing. I also like your Linaria, I think I sowed some in a container but only one or two actually germinated. I might try again next year as they are very pretty.

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  7. Your crocosmia leaves look nice and green whereas nearly all my leaves are brown. (Isn’t that a line in the Mamas and Papas song California Dreaming?) The toadflax must be a close relative of my snapdragons. Lovely Zinnias.

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      1. But the actual song is California Dreaming although it has the words “on a winter’s day” in it. I had the original LP and played it endlessly in my student accommodation. Anyway, don’t argue with someone who has to admit to being considerably older than you! πŸ˜±πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‰πŸ€”

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      2. You’re right, it’s definitely called California Dreaming (the Carpenters also did a very early cover of it). Sorry – I meant they were singing about brown leaves during the winter – you don’t expect brown leaves in the summer. I think I have a Mamas and Pappas greatest hits CD somewhere from my uni days.

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  8. Those toad flax are a nice yellow, they always attract my eye along verges, and each year I try to remind myself to collect seed, but at 25 miles an hour, yes that is fast for Somerset roads, it isn’t easy. Next time I am on my bike, I shall be able to stop and find some.

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  9. The crocosmia is rather nice looking. I made an effort to eradicate some from a border here (although not entirely successfully). The named variety I’ve replaced it with isn’t so happy. I didn’t realise they were tricky, but they don’t like the position I’ve given them. I do love ‘Black adder’ but it’s always died off over winter here.

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  10. It seems so strange to read of dryness and difficulties in keeping your garden going while we are enduring large amounts of rain and a garden nearly turned into a bog! I love your Jazzy zinnias and will keep a lookout for some similar when the weather gets warmer.

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