One. So much in flower, picking six becomes difficult. OK, a bit of lumping together: Dahlias, I grow a few, but then again…
Such flamboyance, such joie de vivre. Dahlias, especially en masse, have an unrivalled capacity for putting smiles on peoples faces, even mine. Some I leave in, some I lift, then put back into any available space.
Two. By way of contrast, I collected seed from my plant of Polygonatum mengzense f. tonkinensis HWJ573 many weeks ago and sowed it in a pot. They’re coming up. I feel quite unreasonably pleased with myself. I should dig out a picture and show you what a wonderful plant it is, but I’m not going to. You’ll have to make do with 2mm high seedlings.
Three. I have many favourite flowers, pretty much as they open each year they take on that mantle for a few days. Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ retains the title for a few weeks every year, such is its quality. It flowers for ages, it’s a good warm colour, the bees and butterflies like it more than anything else I grow, the slugs go for it less than my other Heleniums. It’s also very photogenic.
Four. It’s time I included a Fuchsia. Don’t think I have in earlier posts. This is ‘Delta’s Sarah’, which is hardy enough for the top growth to survive most winters here such that it can get quite big. I’m giving it a little support by tying it to an archway. It opens lilac-blue and turns pink.
Five. Our next door neighbour is very elderly and we manage his front garden as an extension of our own. A few years back we came by a very poor specimen of Hydrangea paniculata with just one spindly stem about 3 feet tall. We planted it in his garden and took a few inches off the top of it, then pruned the subsequent shoots back to a couple of buds each winter. Now It’s a nice little standard that is just the right height to show over the hedge. I don’t know which of the many varieties of H. paniculata it is.
Six. Another hydrangea, but very different. This is H. serrata ‘Fuji-no-taki’. It is very small, still only 18 inches high and wide at most, with masses of greenish white very double flowers that pretty much cover the bush. It always looks worse in close up photos than in the flesh, the nibblings are easily overlooked in the garden. It gets very little direct sun where it is, which seems to suit it.
I’m going to relent and give you a picture of the Polygonatum after all. It still has berries on it; they’ve been there since last autumn, and I picked off quite a few for seed. The newly emerging shoots are superb and it doesn’t seem to get attacked by either slugs or sawflies. I can definitely find room for more.