Seems like the less I have to do, the harder it gets to do it. In busier times I would have done my Saturday six on Friday so it was locked and loaded for launch. I started this yesterday, got as far as number four. Then this morning we popped out earlyish to get more compost from Bodmin garden centre and picked up a couple of Diascias and another Leptospermum because the one we have has been so good this year, see below. Then, since we were quite near, and it would have been stupid not to, we popped across to Lockengate and Treseder’s nursery. A bunch more plants just had to come home with us, needless to say. He had a sign up saying “by appointment” and a note below saying “very quiet, come in”. So we went in and he turned the second sign over. There was us and another couple; that seemingly made it busy.
The sun keeps on beating down, adding to the weirdness of life. I’m quite surprised how well the garden has stood it so far, though the stress is beginning to show here and there. All that work I did over the winter to increase my water storage and there’s nothing to store. I tried to order some irrigation parts on Wednesday only to find they’d had so many orders on Tuesday they’d suspended taking orders till the end of the week.
Sunny weather means more watering and less weeding. It has also meant getting on top of the untidy areas. I have washed a lot of pots this week. I desperately need to get up to our local tip with at least a car full of garden rubbish, and that’s just the stuff I can’t shred and/or compost.
The bright sunshine is pretty hopeless for taking photos, except in early evening, when it is beautiful. Every day I seem to grab the camera and take the same lot of backlit plants again. Let’s start with one of them.
Stipa gigantea. This loves this hot weather and is the best it’s been for years. From a photographic point of view it is best to catch it with the grass flowers catching the sun and the background in shade. Unfortunately, from ground level, the grass being tall, the background from almost every angle is of houses or equally well lit plants. I took this with the telephoto lens from upstairs in the house.
Did I mention that I’d been doing some pot washing. This was Tuesdays haul and the biggest of the week but I think I’ve done at least some on every other day as well, at least as many again in total.
Leptospermum rupestre. I put this in my six just two weeks ago, when it was just getting started on its flower display. It peaked mid week and was alive with honey bees for about three days. There are fewer flowers now and far fewer bees, but some local beekeeper has at least partly manuka honey this year. The bees have moved onto the Campanula beside it.
I’m going to include at least one fern a week by way of giving them a plug. This is Araiostegia parvipinnata BSWJ1608 which was collected by Bleddyn Wynn Jones in some water drenched jungle canyon somewhere like Vietnam. When I had it in a pot the rhizomes crept over the edges of the pot and displayed their golden bristliness to great effect. Now that I have it in the ground the rhizomes are nowhere to be seen. It seems happy enough, has come through three winters unprotected so far and is spreading moderately, even in very dry conditions. It’s growing in dappled shade, which is good for the plant and hopeless for taking pictures. It is at least tripinnate, so fine and feathery. I’m sure it would be much happier in much moister conditions but that might not be a good thing, it’s plenty happy enough where it is. I’ve another bearing the name Araiostega pulchra HWJ1007 but it’s possibly identical.
This was this morning’s haul. Three Hostas, two Leptospermums (‘Nanum Kiwi’ and ‘Sprectro Bay’, in case you’re interested), Rogersia ‘Bronze Peacock’, two Salvias, a Cleome and three Diascias. There’ll be space for all of them just as soon as we’ve managed to kill something else.
Did I say something earlier about the early evening being the best time of day for the light here. Here’s a short clip that hopefully shows that off. It’s not really dusk, it’s earlier than that. Yoshikazu Iwamoto, Dusk; a fragment of, before you ask.
And so, with noon upon me, I finally get it done. It being my contribution to The Propagator’s Six on Saturday global phenomenon. There’s a bunch of us, you’d be very welcome to join in.