It has hardly been sun-bathing weather but the long weekend has turned out much finer than anticipated. I even had lunch in the garden today (Bank Hol Monday!). Compared with previous years the most predominant feature of the garden is how green it is. I have hardly had to water - except taking the landlord of a pub with wonderful flowers" advice and watering regularly with Miracle Grow (regularly for me being I managed 2 fortnights in a row).
After a slow start the dahlias have started fulfilling their promise and my efforts in pinching out the growing shoots and flowers seem to have resulted in shorter much bushier plants with plenty of buds. Not all of them are out yet so I have yet to assess the success of the pinks, reds and whites colour scheme. Next year I must find a really deep purple - I know they exist. I am growing Arabian Night again - a gorgeous deep red - but it suffers from weak stems which mean the flowers flop over. Must find an alternative next year.
|Extraordinary - lunch in the garden!|
|Dahlia White Star|
My replacement Prince Charles clematis and the deep pinky-red tulip-flowered Princess Diana (yes, it WAS an accident) I have planted in deep pots and placed in the (erstwhile) herb/rose garden, the pots shaded with old roof tiles. I am hoping this way I can feed them well and stop the ants getting too badly into the roots (I put ant powder in the base of the pots!). So far, so good.
As everything has been growing so fast there's been a lot of cutting back to do and on Saturday I went round to my neighbours and did a massive cut-back of things which were growing over from my side. It looks a whole lot better and will help prevent the fence from being forced apart by too much ivy, hops and R. Kiftsgate. I have now really learned my lesson about fast-growing plants to screen things. Treat these situations with patience and caution. Time passes very quickly in gardens.
This also applies to the tress and shrubs I have planted. I have been having a serious review and decided that the hazelnut tree will have to go, the Judas tree needs a major cut-back and one of my hibiscus also needs removing. It's flowers are really pretty - a deep mauve-pink late in the summer - but it has grown so tall that I never see the flowers, only when they have died and drop off onto the grass where they quickly decay into a soggy, sticky mess. I will keep one and cut it back but give the garden a bit more light from the other.
I'm hoping this reduction in tree-dominance will give me more light and encourage the roses to grow a bit better too. Eight foot echinops are dramatic and make lovely heads for cutting but I'd rather be able to have a better crop of roses at eye level.
One climber which is very well-behaved is the eccromocarpus scaber I grew from seed last year - which miraculously over-wintered. I would put it down as a must-have in any garden!
The aquiledgia seeds from Martine in France have started germinating and I planted some seeds of astrantias today. Am also experimenting with French beans in Grow bags in the greenhouse.
Wildlife note: Have seen the mice scampering about around the garden again and had to break hard to avoid a big hedgehog crossing the road nearby on Saturday night. A big splendid fellow.