In like a lamb and out like a lion describes this week. I need better weather, I have things to get on with. Rainy days are good for blogging and bad for things to blog about.
Bulbs have been to the fore this week in that Tony Tomeo sent me lots of Amaryllis seed, thank you Tony, plus I received both my bulb orders and have planted around half of them so far. Not a single bulb in my six though.
Having reported last week on the beginnings of dismantling my tunnel I can report that by the end of saturday it was down completely and by the end of sunday it was back up again on my allotment, barring the doors and re-sheeting. I bought timber for the door frames and cut it to size on thursday and will assemble it when the weather improves. Then I need a warm calm day to get the sheet on. Looking at the forecast there’s not much prospect of that in the next fortnight, which is annoying as I need the space to put plants in for winter protection.
Fuchsia ‘Olga Storey’. We grow lots of Fuchsias, both in pots and in the ground. Without a doubt this is one of the best of them. We have a plant in full sun out the front, lots of flower but a bit of bleaching of the leaves due to getting too dry, another in a big pot behind the house, getting a few hours of sun in the afternoon and good for both flowers and foliage, and a third that gets almost no sun, very good for foliage, not many flowers. It seems fairly impervious to both rust and capsid, big problems elsewhere. Whether you can get hold of it from anywhere is another matter entirely.
Fuchsia ‘Lady Bacon’. ‘Lady Bacon’ is a form of Fuchsia magellanica with white sepals. This seems to be a recurring mutation in Fuchsias with red tube and sepals and purple corolla. ‘Logan Woods’ is very similar and we recently bought a variety called ‘Arauco’ which is the same at half the size. ‘Lady Bacon’ will make a large shrub and develop attractive peeling bark.
Sue splashed out on a Vitopod propagator for my birthday, mostly so she could take over my propagation greenhouse. In the summer it was getting enough light on the lower shelf of one of the benches and I was intending moving it to the top when winter came and light levels dropped. Trouble is, even quite short spells of direct sun cause the temperature to soar but covering it would mean too little light much of the time. In the end I left it where it was and fitted a couple of grow lights above it. They’re on a timer and are supplementing daylight rather than extending it, so they burn 72 watts during the day when it mostly comes from our solar panels. The lights also put out a little warmth so the heated base will be on a bit less. It might still need some fine tuning but seems OK at the moment.
Impatiens omeiana ‘Ice Storm’. One of a few forms of I. omeiana that I have. This one is in a large pot but it’s a large plant and there always seems to come a time when I take my eye off the ball for a day or two and find it hanging limp down the sides of the pot. It sort of recovers but I really need to rig up an automatic watering system for it and its mates, they are definitely worth it.
The tunnel space project. Where once there was a tunnel there is now an unholy mess. The tunnel was 10′ x 15′, the area still covered by Mypex, including the row of plants up its left hand edge. On its own that would be a decent planting space but there is much more. To the left is a soil bank between us and our neighbours, topped with a length of hedge and a shorter run of fence. I want to replace it all with a fence, which will gain us about three feet where the hedge is. I’ve spoken to the landlord of the next door house, he’s happy with that.
The pile of plastic is the tunnel sheet, the old doors and numerous bags of sand from my defunct propagation unit. Just behind it is a Magnolia and on the bank behind that, a Camellia. The dahlia patch has performed badly this year and is in the mix too. The paved path in the foreground has Nerines down both sides which have mostly been terrible this year so they’re included. Even the plum tree at the back may find it’s not as indispensible as it thinks it is, it’s not in the best of health.
Sue wants another glasshouse and an area to stand plants out on in summer.
Lots of people have whole gardens that are not this big. Is a small strangled arrghhh permitted? Maybe it’ll look less daunting on a sunny day. Did I mention that we’re signed up to NGS to open the garden next summer?
And that folks, is where I am this saturday. The first thing I need is an scale drawing of the whole area, which will be easier now the tunnel’s gone. It would help if it stopped raining too. It gives me an excuse to stay in and check in on other peoples saturday sixes, via Jon’s comment section as ever. Have a good week.