Six on Saturday – 28/8/2021

I took a few pictures yesterday but didn’t write this on Friday evening as I usually do, so I went out again this morning with the sun just high enough to catch a few things in the garden. There’s a whiff of winding down, flowers going over, foliage starting to look tatty. Most of the strong colours, oranges, reds and golds, seem appropriate and blend in well, which makes the odd jarring thing stand out the more. I have a couple of pots of red and white begonias that just aren’t right at all. Anyhow, Saturday again, The Propagator has no doubt done his Pied Piper thing, bringing into line we sixers from around the planet. Here are mine.

One.
Talking of Begonias, we have a fair old collection in the conservatory, flowering their socks off or leafing their socks off, according to flavour. I don’t really know why we seem to be planting out various tender varieties as bedding then keeping the bedding varieties inside. Might have a rethink on that next year.

Two.
Astilbe. It seemed like a good idea at the time to spread the flowering season of our boggy bed by includinga couple of late flowering Astilbes. When the majority flower, the impact is slightly reduced by there being a couple of spots with no flower, now they’re flowering somewhat forlornly amongst the dead flower heads of the earlier lot. This one is such a good one though, replacing it with another earlier flowerer would be hard.

Three.
Nasturtiums. For the first time in half a century I’m growing Nasturtiums, and they are bright and cheerful and I love them. But, but, but, they attract butterflies, the wrong sort of butterflies. In theory the caterpillars will provide food for birds, but I’ve seen no evidence of that. In theory the caterpillars will eat the rather lush foliage so the flowers are better displayed, but they’re eating the flowers too.

Four.
Helenium. This must have had a name with it at some point, probably stuck on the side of the pot. ‘Ruby Tuesday’ looks like a serious contender but I don’t really know. It’s compact almost to the point of being lumpen, but I can’t complain about the amount of flower.

Five.
Begonia luxurians. One of the things that is shown to great advantage by the early sun is this begonia. I wish I could say that it’s positioning was the result of careful study but it was just a happy accident. Potting it for the winter gets harder every year.

Six.
That top corner again, I did a before/after comparison picture back in July but that view is now blocked by a rampant dahlia. This is what it looks like now. I’ve repeated the July 10th shot below.

Right, must get this posted and get on. I have a leaky pond to fix, not mine fortunately.

29 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 28/8/2021

  1. The garden’s looking great. I’m admiring your Dahlias with envy – the few that I have are battling with slugs and snails on an unprecedented scale! Most of the other plants remain unscathed, so perhaps they’re acting as a sacrificial crop of sorts.

    The late flowering Astilbe is looking great. It might be all on it’s own flowering-wise but I it looks a picture all the same.

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    1. I’m convinced slugs come out of their hiding places and attack the first edible plant they come too, only going further if that plant is removed or completely eaten. Planting something just as a sacrifice might be worth trying, maybe I should conduct an experiment.

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  2. This red begonia is much more eye-catching than mine presented this week. In addition you have a lot of flowers on this photo! Very pretty !
    Surprising to see a flowering of Astilbe again because mine is already deflowered for a long time.
    Impressive before/after on the last photo! WHAT A CHANGE

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    1. We bought three weeping red bedding begonias and they’re all slightly different, so presumably seed raised. We’ll try to overwinter them but I’m not confident they’ll survive. All my Astilbes except that one and one other are long over.

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    1. Nasturtiums have been good at growing over and through other things, a look I like so long as they don’t overwhelm the support, but I think poorer soil might have given me smaller leaves and more flower. It also seems to me you can get away with their bright colours if they’re mixed in with other things rather than a big separate blob.

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  3. Lovely, bright, autumnal colours. I too risked trying nasturtiums after many years. As reported, they were just fodder for blackfly. The before and after photos are most interesting.

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    1. It’s asking for trouble to say it, but I’ve had no blackfly on the nasturtiums, didn’t get much on my broad beans come to think of it. I like the WordPress image compare thing, I’d use it more often except it’s so difficult to take two identical shots months apart.

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  4. What a change in your garden in a short time! It looks lovely. I like your helenium even if you think it’s almost lumpen. (Poor helenium) I’m very much looking forward to mine coming into flower.

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  5. That Begonia luxurians is a topper; looking fabulous with you. Is it hardy or do you lift and store over the winter? What is the dark foliage behind the helenium? Actaea? Looks very good.

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    1. The begonia has to be in before the first frost or it’s toast. It’s getting trickier, must be 6 feet now. The dark foliage is Dahlia ‘After Eight’, which like most similar things, is a good foil for other things while being over rated for it’s own supposed merits. It’s almost black but is reflecting the morning sun.

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  6. I just had to play around with your before/after shots, what fun. Fab begonias and dahlias. I too have yet to see the birds pecking up caterpillars from the nasturtiums, though the wasps may take a few.

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    1. The image compare is the best feature of the WordPress block editor as far as I’ve discovered. I should use it more. I’ve hardly seen a wasp; I picked 10kg of plums today and didn’t see one.

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  7. I see what you mean about the Astilbe. I didn’t know there were later flowering ones! Strangely although the white butterflies have been the most common in my garden this year I have not yet seen any caterpillars on my nasturtiums. Unusual for them to eat the flowers.

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    1. I’m not sure the flowering lag between the early and late Astilbes has been so pronounced before, I must look at pictures from previous years. The one in the picture is very late into leaf as well, I must look into its pedigree.

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    1. I’m pleased to have pulled off such a display without resorting to buying big mature plants but do I go for the same look next year or start to move towards something more solidly perennial? My soil always seems to grow stuff very well in the first year then slow down, compaction from winter rain being the culprit mainly.

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  8. Good Day!
    Your dahlias are impressive. I still think of them as a warm climate perennial, which should be happier here. Astilbe is impressive also. We got a few this year, and they are performing even worse than I expected them to. They dislike aridity.

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    1. I know nothing of the natural habitat of Dahlias, other than a handful of supposedly hardy, high altitude species that have been introduced in recent years. They seem to be very happy here, even self sow somewhat, so they can’t be far out of their comfort zone. I’m not surprised about Astilbe being unhappy with you, they are happiest in boggy conditions even here.

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      1. Dahlias are from mountains of Central America. They seem to know what winter is, so should not be too tropical.
        Astilbe roasts during warm and arid weather, even down by the creeks. We can put them in damp situation, but can not change the humidity.

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  9. The begonia looks fabulous. I see your Astilbe problem, but I did the same thing with daffodils and am now faced each year with a later variety spoiled by the dead heads of the earlier one.

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    1. You may have suggested a solution to the Astilbe issue. If I divide the late one and planted bits between the early varieties, then deadheaded them as soon as they’d finished….. The late flowerer is also very late into leaf, it might get overwhelmed by the early ones.

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  10. I’m enjoying the wide shot with everything in it, the grass (from last week?) looks wonderful in the light and that tender begonia is a triumph. Plum picking here this week too, doubt we’ll get such a crop but that suits me, we found a bag from last year still in the freezer!

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