They do say you should be careful what you wish for. My water storage is brim full, 3400 litres of lovely rainwater. I’d prefer it to stop raining now for a bit. It’s brought out the slugs in force. Thursday evening I found 36 on one foot tall Dahlia. (best not to ask) Before that I was chasing a rabbit around my allotment at 9.30, until he went full tilt through the new wire fence I’d put up between mine and the neighbouring plot just weeks ago. They’d mowed the grass on their side and ripped three big holes in it. I blocked them up with bunny on their side of the fence. He’d been making a meal of my peas, lettuce and runner beans; let him eat someone else’s.
Slugs notwithstanding, the garden was desperate for rain and most things are looking hugely refreshed. It’s been windy too, so it’s looking a little battered in places, but finding six things going on was easy enough. If it’s not happening now, it never will be.
Hydrangea serrata ‘Cap Suzin’. The various forms of Hydrangea serrata are rather less widely grown than the hortensias. I like them, they’re a bit more refined. They are less tolerant of full sun and dry soil than hortensias though and this one was struggling a bit with the hot dry weather in May. It’s now looking much happier and will get better still. It’s a French variety which is as good as any I’ve come across anywhere.
Iris ensata ‘Moonlight Waves’. In the corner of our filled in pond bog garden are two plants of Iris ensata, the Japanese water iris. This year this one is flowering well and the other, dark blue one, hardly at all. All very fleeting, blink and you miss them, but lovely while they are out. Very vulnerable to wind and rain though.
Campanula takesimana ex ‘Elizabeth’, to stick with the seed packet description from the Hardy Plant Society. These I grew from seed last year and when I planted them they were set upon with relish by the molluscs, to the point of all but disappearing. Happily, come this spring, they all came back up, I’d planted a group of the seed raised plants, and they are beginning to flower. Looking at the pictures a Google image search throws up, there are a lot of seed raised plants out there. ‘Elizabeth’, in its clonal original form, is supposed to be reddish-pink. Named after Elizabeth Strangman, which I would accept as a recommendation.
Fern of the week is Dryopteris wallichiana ‘Jurassic Gold’. This was new earlier this year so it’s still small. I’ve grown the species for years and it’s a big dramatic fern with black bristled crooks emerging in spring. I’d expect the same from this in time, plus gold new leaves in spring, turning lighter green by summer.
Alstroemeria ‘Flaming Star’. I’ve been considering replacing some of my Dahlias with Alstroemerias because they seem to get going earlier in the year and a couple of beds where I have Dahlias are still looking rather bare now in June. We have had a couple kicking about for years, one a dwarf thing in a big pot, the compost so low the Alstroemeria barely shows above the rim; the other this one, which is in the ground but doesn’t do well and barely gets a foot high. I dug it up and potted it. The ground was like concrete, I’m surprised it had even survived. Looking at Viv Marsh’s website it appears to be ‘Flaming Star’. I keep looking at his list and there’s always one or more that I want are sold out.
Seeds. I picked a few ripe seed pots from Papaver rupifagum ‘Flore Pleno’, the first seeds of the season. There are several others not so far behind. I have no need of more of any of them but will no doubt collect seeds anyway. Perhaps I should start a seed list. In the picture so far are Asphodelus albus, Stylophorum lasiocarpum, Geranium palmatum, Chelidonium majus ‘Flore Pleno’ and the aforementioned poppy.
Heavy showers are on the menu today and the sky is looking appropriately threatening. I could be doing some hunkering down. Plenty of SoS contributions to read, courtesy of the king of the geraniums and the comments thereupon.