I popped up the allotment first thing, earthed up spuds and planted more seedling dahlias. Rain is forecast and the clouds are gathering. A good downpour would be ideal this weekend, just before things start to get seriously stressed. What with newly planted stuff on the allotment and all the pot stuff back here, I’m spending a lot of time watering. At least the slugs have been slowed down a bit.
From the shady section of the garden, and very definitely one of my favourites. Polygonatum mengzense f. tonkinensis HWJ573 has only put up one stem this year, but we’re talking quality, not quantity. It’s 20 inches tall and has clusters of flower buds emerging at each leaf axil. They will be no bigger or showier when they’re out but they are followed by berries which turn scarlet. There are still one or two on one of last year’s shoots in the picture. I also have a bunch of seedlings. And it seems pretty much slug proof.
On Tuesday I called in to one of the garden centres on the fringes of Plymouth, just for a few bedding plants and a mooch around. I didn’t expect to find a bench full of Bletilla striata. Four different named forms, well filled 2 litre pots, at £7.99, which I thought reasonable. Seizing the moment, or succumbing to temptation, I bought three, ‘Kuchibeni’, ‘Blue Dragon’ and ‘Shi-ran’. I blame the SOS’er from last week who put up pictures of hers. Then I had to find somewhere to plant them.
Melittis melisophyllum ‘Royal Velvet Distinction’ was also mentioned last week, by sedumsdahliasandhayfever. I’ve had this for a couple of years and it’s having a good one this year. There is a lane near here where the wild form grows in the hedgerow. The grandiose ‘Royal Velvet Distinction’ leads you to expect a massive improvement on the wildling, but it’s not so very different.
Tulips are gone, all over, died down and forgotten. Pots of all shapes and sizes are accumulating at the front of the house to take their place and then some. Violas are providing colour for now.
Back to the shade for another woodlander. This is Disporum viridescens, which is happily spreading and has these small white flowers in spring. It has an understated, refined quality that would work better if it was able to colonize a sizable area.
This was a complete surprise that I only noticed yesterday. It’s come up from a carpet of Cardamine trifolia and I couldn’t find the beginning, let alone a label. It’s pushed up about six feet through Fuchsia and Holboellia to reach the light.
I’ve earthed up my potatoes, now the weather can do what it likes. I can go in and out between showers at home, it’s trickier on the allotment. It’ll give me a chance to check on the Saturday sixes as they come in. Links as ever in the comments to The Propagators piece.