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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.