I seem to be accumulating drafts of blogs that never make it to being published. Nothing like a deadline to concentrate the mind. The weather is very much in blog finishing mode, endless drizzle. It always amazes me how much drizzle it takes to fill my water tanks; everything seems to be soaking wet but in reality there hasn’t been much rain at all. The garden is looking a bit bedraggled, some things have flopped and likely won’t come back up again. Plenty happening though, here are six snapshots.
Begonia row. One day I’ll read the rules to find out if I should be doing one picture per item or one item per picture. We have a row of Begonias in the corner of the conservatory that gets the sun last. I keep thinking about propagating them and trying them outdoors but nothing’s happened yet. There isn’t much about Begonias that I don’t like. They are ‘Glowing Embers’, some red thing, ‘Connie Boswell’ and ‘Ebony & Orange’.
Salvia corrugata. I planted this out last year and left it in the ground, hoping and expecting that it would survive the winter. It didn’t. Fortunately I had taken cuttings early in the year (which I haven’t done this year, reminder to self) so I had this one locked and loaded. Fabulous colour.
Fuchsia ‘Quasar’. I’m not mad about these huge flowered fuchsias but have to admit to this being pretty hard to ignore. Besides, it’s basically the same colour as ‘Delta’s Sarah’ which I like very much so it makes no sense to switch from love to hate just over size. You’ll not be surprised that it’s an American variety. We planted it in the garden a few years back and it survived quite well, rather against expectations. The trouble is it has a weeping habit so the flowers just dragged in the dirt. It’s back in a pot where it belongs. The right hand flower is six inches from sepal tip to sepal tip.
I may have mentioned that I was given a new propagator for my birthday. I set it up and have been monitoring the conditions within. I’ve just put in a single tray of camellia cuttings, plus a tray of Hortag which I’m keeping wet. The biggest issue so far is that if it gets direct sun on it, the temperature goes through the roof very quickly. I’ve moved it onto the bottom shelf of the staging and put more shading on the glasshouse roof. I’m looking to even out both temperature and humidity and it’s interesting how closely the two figures mirror each other. Getting there.
There are certain things I find myself saying every year like it seems awful early for Cyclamen to be starting to flower. I don’t record the day of the first bloom of anything, perhaps I should, but there’s quite enough to be depressed about already without adding to it. I have a few primroses out too, which is definitely not right.
Dahlia patch. I have Dahlias in four places in the garden, this being the biggest concentration. There are eight in this bed and they nearly all got away well in the spring with very little slug damage. Now they’re getting into their stride flower wise. One at the back is still only six inches tall, having been browsed unremittingly by the slimy ones. It is the closest to a clump of Agapanthus where the slugs hide by day. They head for the nearest Dahlia and don’t move on until they’ve demolished it completely, which in this case they haven’t quite managed. It is at least providing a diversion for the rest of them. Everywhere else in the garden they’ve been chomped without remorse.
I did a bit more cheating and put five of my seedling dahlias in the featured image. They’re doing really well up on my allotment, almost untroubled by slugs. There are a couple of really good ones amongst them, so I may be able to sort out my colour coordination shortcomings with some of my own plants. The bigger problem up there is voles. There are holes everywhere. I chopped the blighted tops of a row of potatoes yesterday, vole holes all down the row. I haven’t looked to see what’s left below ground. Two steps forward, one back, this gardening malarkey.
We’re all in the same boat, drawing attention towards the successes and away from the failures. I see the Prop’s comments are already at 22, that’s 13 sets of six plus The Prop’s own. It won’t be quite 84 reasons to be cheerful but it won’t be far short either. Enough to dispel a fair bit of gloom.