Finally, some rain. You could almost hear the garden breathe a sigh of relief as it fell from the heavens, although I fear it came too late for Clematis ‘Freckles’ and several Phlox that have been burnt to a crisp. Anyway, after a rhyming Six on Saturday last week, it’s back to the old standard prose today, and we start with the ever changing flowers of a shrub that last featured at the end of July…
1. The standardised Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise.’ I was afraid its blooms were going to change from white to crispy brown, skipping the pinkification stage altogether in the heat. Hopefully the rain and cooler temperatures have turned things around.
2. Lythrum or Purple Loosestrife (although it looks more pink to me) has been flowering for a month or so now. It was accidentally dug up and plonked in a pot with a Buddleia ‘Buzz’ a couple of years ago. Every spring I intend to untangle it from the Buddleia and plant it in a border but, for reasons unknown, I never get around to it. Luckily it doesn’t seem to mind.
3. Last month my wife spotted a hedgehog on the housing estate and a few weeks ago I spotted what looked like hedgehog droppings in the front garden. I’ve since cut a hole in the bottom of the side gate in the hope one may venture into the back garden. In the meantime I’ll have to make do with this Juncus ensifolius (‘Flying Hedghogs’) that grows in the mini pond.
4. Next up, Dahlia ‘Dark Angels Mixed,’ a ‘here’s one someone else grew earlier’ bargain purchase made last year after something of a Dahlia disaster. Dug up and overwintered in a pot, this dark leaved beauty has just started flowering.
5. Poor old Hibiscus ‘Marina Blue’ the Second (the sorry tale of its predecessor can be found here) really struggled in the heat despite getting watered on an almost daily basis. It was planted back in the ground in early spring (having spent the previous summer in a pot) and I suspect hasn’t had a chance to get settled in root-wise. Despite being rather sparse of leaf it has been flowering for a week or so now. Currently tied for first place with the Prunus Incisa Kojo-no-mai in the slowest growing shrub competition, it may actually need a spot of pruning next year.
6. And finally… The Zinnias out in the front garden have certainly perked up since the rain. Unfortunately so have the snails, and they’ve always had a particular fondness for Zinnias. I’ve been carrying out a snail patrol at 10pm for the past 4 nights, collecting a pot full of the beshelled slugs each time.
Now it’s quite possible I’m collecting the same snails each night. Apparently snails have homing tendencies and, soft hearted thing that I am, I’ve merely been chucking them on the green opposite the house. Given the speed with which they manage to climb out of the collecting pot I wouldn’t be surprised if they managed to nip back across the road and into the garden within the space of an hour. Alas, this plant has started to look very nibbled of leaf.
Anyway, 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.