Six on Saturday – 10/7/2021

We had one of my sisters staying this week, so instead of sorting my saturday six on friday, they have been done this morning. It rained all night and the garden is drenched. It’s drizzling still but hopefully will brighten up so we can do a bit of preening for tomorrow’s opening, which yet again is forecast to be wet. More irrepressible cheerfulness and stoicism will be called for, from visitors and garden owners alike. Here then are six soggy garden moments.

One.
It has been great to see the look on our garden visitors faces when they first see the back garden open up. The road in, the front garden and the side of the house all serve to lower their expectations. This is the first glimpse of the back as they round the corner of the house, with the Astilbes in our filled in pond starting to open.

Two.
One of the real pleasures of opening the garden has been how nice everyone has been and how instantly a rapport is established when you share a passion. One lady asked if I had any seeds from the garden, which I had. She suggested I have them out for sale, which hadn’t occurred to me; took several packets home with her, took what she wanted and posted the rest back, along with some of hers. Another lady offered to swap succulents with (not for) Sue and turned up yesterday with this tray of plants. She left with a similar hoard of goodies.

Three.
Begonia luxurians. I may have mentioned it before but I bed out a range of Begonias in the shady part of the garden, then lift and pot them for winter. This Begonia luxurians is out for its third year and is flowering over six feet high.

Four
Stachys macrantha ‘Superba’. In over five years this has never made it into a six, flowering as it does in mid summer when it is eclipsed by almost everything else. It’s made a real effort this year so it’s earned a moment in the spotlight.

Five.
Linaria x dominii ‘Carnforth’ is the name on the label I printed out for this, though I settled on it before seeing it flower and haven’t checked it since. It appears to be a hybrid between two native species, L. repens and L. purpurea which is found in various places around the country. I think I may have seen it growing near Polperro and thought it was a non-native garden escape. It remains to be seen how enthusistically it seeds around. It seems unlikely now but I may rue the day I accepted it as a gift.

Six.
At the top end of the garden is the area where all was in a state of flux just a few months ago. The change since then has been dramatic and with the Dahlias just starting to flower, it can only get better. It just shows how with annuals and fast growers like Dahlias, you can get a good result remarkably quickly, without simply cramming in mature plants from the garden centre. In time the annuals will probably get elbowed out by permanent stuff but it has been a real pleasure to grow annuals like snapdragons and marigolds for the first time since childhood. We printed off and laminated a copy of the earlier picture so our visitors can see the difference.

Spot the difference: 16 April 2021 and 10 July 2021

Hopefully things have dried up enough to get something done. Sue wants compost for her new acquisitions; I need to remove more gone over foxgloves and plug the gaps.
I’ve yet to look at another six post, no doubt there’ll be loads of links in the usual place.

28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 10/7/2021

  1. I’m surprised you had time to do Six-on-Saturday at all with such a busy week with a visitor and your Open Garden. I’m pleased, but not at all surprised, that the garden visitors were so impressed with all yours and Sue’s plants. I hope you enjoyed the experience. Meanwhile, back at your post, the Lineria and Stachys are a pretty shape with flowers all up the stems but that begonia is magnificent!

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    1. I just went out and measured the biggest leaf on Begonia ‘Torsa’; 12 x 16 inches. The bulbils of it that I saved last year are at last starting to grow, so I’ll plant the big plant properly, at the moment it’s plunged in its pot. Your name is on one of of the babies, for when you have a garden to grow it in and assuming you want one. I’m not sure ‘lush’ is quite going to cover it.

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  2. Seems to have been a great success, and I am sure your garden was much appreciated. Congratulations to you and Sue, your garden is in top form.

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  3. It’s looking great, particularly the new area by the greenhouse extension. Not that the rest doesn’t look great, but the difference in such a short space of time is remarkable. Glad you’re enjoying your Snapdragons!

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    1. I’m pretty chuffed about how well everything has grown in the new area but I’ve seen good growth on newly broken ground before. Keeping it going in subsequent years is the challenge with our high winter rainfall and silty soil. I’m enjoying all the annuals I’ve grown; I must leave room to grow them in future years.

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    1. I’ve not cut the big Begonia down at all, though some of the smaller plants we have of it have been cut back and have grown back fine. I was curious to see how big I can get it. Even at 2m it stops people in their tracks. I keep feeding it!

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  4. “Spot the difference:”? There are too many. Obviously, the greenhouse is larger, and some of the pavement is gone or obscured, and there is a new bench. Otherwise, I can not list all the new plant material!

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  5. I always love a peep at your garden. The astilbes are gorgeous, I wish I could grow them. I am very impressed by Begonia luxurians, I have a small one but I can’t imagine it ever looking like that. I’m going out to give it a pep talk. Linaria does take over a bit but I would risk it for that lovely ‘Carnforth’.

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    1. We had a somewhat pot-bound and tired Begonia luxurians three years ago plus some young plants we’d propagated from it, and rather than chuck it out, thought we’d give it a chance in the ground. We were amazed at the transformation. It has to be lifted before the first frost though. I’ll be collecting seed of the Linaria if you want some later in the year.

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  6. I’m delighted all went well on your open days – a great relief to you and I’ve no doubt but that the visitors enjoyed the garden very much. The display of astilbes is outstanding.

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    1. Open day number 4 today and it rained again. Only the first one was dry. I’d rather have it dry, even at the risk of the Astilbes looking worse. I’m very admiring of garden visitor’s fortitude!

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  7. The slidey photo is a triumph and what lovely differences they are. That would be one to amaze your visitors with. Speaking of which how lovely it is to have visitors who deliver gifts. I have never seen seeds at NGS visits and what a good idea it it. I was very excited to see your stachys ‘Superba’ having featured stachys officianlis this week myself. Yours is vey magnificent. Now am I going to be swayed and look for ‘Superba’ for my empty space…?

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    1. Betony is a very common hedgerow plant hereabouts and if it ever appeared in the garden I’d be happy to have it, but I don’t think I’d deliberately plant it. It’s an on the cusp plant. I printed off the first comparison picture and was giving it to people to compare. The ‘now’ version changes daily.

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    1. There’s a bit of a sense of Act one, Scene two being finished so we’re rushing about changing the set before the curtain goes up again. Mostly we’re enjoying the experience but some help from the weather would be nice.

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  8. Those astilbes are looking very good. I have a couple, small ones bought a couple of years ago which are starting to fill out a bit this year. I just needed something colourful for the woodland border which is very shady and damp. I cannot get over the difference in your new area in just a few months!

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  9. Do you plunge the B. luxurians in its pot or is it in the ground? Mine survived its vine weevil attack in the autumn but isn’t putting on a lot of growth – still just one stem. It’s outside but in a pot. What a lovely tray of succulents, they look like jewels

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