How quickly these weeks roll around, with little enough sense of anything getting done. I seem to spend my days being busy but have nothing to show for it. At the moment it’s raining so I have an excuse. Six on Saturday is a good filler of time when it’s wet. Our host, the Propagator, is back from his hols and if Devon is enjoying the same weather as Cornwall, he’s not missing much.
Apple tree pruning. The RHS website says summer pruning of apples is for restricted forms such as cordons and espaliers but I use it for my family tree, not wanting it to get much bigger. They advise pruning in the third week of August, or late August to reduce the risk of secondary growth. I was still getting secondary growth so have taken to doing it in two bites, shortening to 4-5 inches in August then to three leaves above the basal cluster in early September. I took the first bite yesterday, perhaps should have left it a week longer.
Eucomis ‘Aloha Kona’. I bought this back in March from Avon Bulbs having grown and liked another in the series, ‘Aloha Leia’ a year or two earlier. It’s quite short but striking. Unlike ‘Aloha Leia’, it doesn’t have a pleasant perfume, in fact it smells rather like Eucomis montana, which is not a good thing, unless you’re a fly sniffing out carrion.
Allium senescens. I don’t think this did much last year, having been planted autumn 2019. It’s looking very pretty now though and has been flowering for quite a while. There’s an A. senescens subsp glaucum that I shall look out for, or that might tip me over into a small order from Avon Bulbs, who list it. It’s a type of chive, so edible too.
Sedum telephium. This is a native plant; it grows in some of the lane banks around here, sometimes in quite shady places. It has proved the most successful of the taller sedums for us. ‘Herbstfreude’ is a hybrid between this and S. spectabile. This is tall, 2 feet or more, and a flopper.
Agapanthus ‘Northern Star’. Good Agapanthus abound but this one still stands out. Dick Fulcher held the National collection for many years and raised a good few hybrids. This was the one he got a PBR on to secure his retirement. Loads of blooms of a very good colour that last well.
Dianthus ‘Old Blush’. A couple of years back a gardening friend gave us a cutting of a malmaison carnation. At the time it meant nothing to me, I’d heard of them, but knew nothing. I now know that they have an exceptional scent, of cloves. I know that it’s a very old variety, and looking at Allwoods website it looks a very good match for the variety ‘Old Blush’. It dates from pre 1857. And that’s all I know. It’s in a large pot and is thirstier than any other plant I have, so it’s often dry which may be why the flowers haven’t opened fully, or that may be how they always are.
There’s as many again left on the cutting room floor, but that’s how it goes at this time of year. Plenty for visitors to see when we’re open tomorrow, even if it’s starting to get that overblown look. Have a good week.