Thank goodness for the garden. A place to retreat and sigh a contented ‘aaaaaah’ after the nine to five stuff has gotten a little too ‘aaaaragh.’ A little patch of green (well, greenish and crispy brown at present) to forget your troubles for a while and switch off. The resident wildlife has also provided some uplifting moments this week. My wife discovered a young frog that had somehow made it’s way into the conservatory. It raised a chuckle and some brief concern when we discovered its leg had got tangled in some fluff and cotton (we really must hoover under the bureau more often). Thankfully it all ended well and ‘Froggy’ (my wife’s choice as she formed a bit of a bond with him) was released back into the wildlife border.
And I discovered a young toad, ‘Ted’ (my choice), late one evening outside the back door. It was a moment of great excitement as I didn’t know there were any around here. It was too dark to take a photo so here’s an ancient biro sketch of a toad (made in 1996) that I knew would come in handy one day. Alas, we’ve still not had any proper rain, although the forecast is looking promising for tomorrow (fingers crossed). Some plants are coping well with the dry weather, others not so much, and that leads me to my first Six on Saturday.
1. A Phlox. A white one. The leaves get alarmingly droopy at times but thankfully recover fast after an emergency watering session. Supposedly fragrant but I beg to differ.
2. Sticking with Phlox, here’s another one, growing up through the foliage of the Sambucus nigra ‘Golden Tower.’ Also scentless but rather pretty.
3. Weirdly, the Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise,’ usually the first to wilt during a prolonged dry spell, has fared much better than in previous years. The flowers are developing nicely.
4. Alas, the foliage of the Sweet Peas is looking suspiciously mildewy in places, no doubt due to the heat. Thankfully they are still flowering away. They’ve been grown in large pots this summer and trained up the sides of the new swing seat so that their fragrance can be enjoyed whilst gently swaying back and forth.
5. Most of the Cosmos are still alive (a huge improvement over last year), including ‘Antiquity.’ Its flowers fade with time, producing a variety of shades of burgundy and pink on the same plant.
6. And finally… Agapanthus, looking a bit dark and moody in yesterday’s evening light. This plant (known as Aggie) has developed a predictable pattern: it flowers every other year. It first bloomed in 2018 after a mere wait of 5 years. In 2019 there wasn’t a bud in sight. 2020, flowers aplenty. 2021, nada. I suspect you won’t seen Aggie again until 2024.
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. Right, I’m off to look up a support line telephone number to help me come to terms with the end of Neighbours (Take That fans like my sister got one I seem to remember back in 1990s when they split up). Teatimes are never going to be the same again.