Six on Saturday – 25/6/2022

Our first opening for NGS was yesterday, the second is today. Just four hours each day, 1 till 5; yesterday it rained for 3 of them. Last year people had pre-booked so they had to be stoic, this year they mainly didn’t come. Perhaps they’ll come today instead.

The time spent “getting ready” has not been spent in the planted bits for the most part. Instead it has gone into clearing the paths and other hard areas of dozens of waifs and strays (plants in pots) and assorted debris; pots, canes, tools, wheelbarrows, hoses etc. Stuff we step over but which garden visitors won’t want to pay to see.

The NGS website allows us nine pictures to show what we have on offer. Some other gardens that I’ve looked up have only one or two; perhaps they don’t want to give too much away, good or bad. Ours mostly show the garden at its mid-late summer peak and were taken in 2020. I should look through pictures I took last year for more recent material but have tried to take one or two already this year.

One.
This is current, from Thursday this week. It is more or less the initial view of the garden when people arrive at the back of the house. The plants in the foreground are in what was a pond until we filled it in. It never worked as a wildlife pond, too many frogs. This opening’s visitors will see the Iris looking good; in a fortnight they will be over but the Astilbes and Filipendula will be at their peak.

Two.
One of the NGS pictures I really must change is the end to end view with the poly-tunnel still in it. I took a similar shot, well several, yesterday, but haven’t swapped out the old one yet.

Three.
Shortly after five the rain stopped and a couple of hours later the sun was shining. Both flavours of martagon lilies that I grow were basking in the early evening glow. ‘Guinea Gold’ and ‘Manitoba Morning’.

Four.
I sowed seed of Campanula takesimana ‘Elizabeth’ that came from the HPS distribution in April 2019 and planted out several plants that I’m sure initially flowered in a range of colours; well, some darker than others. They’re all the same now and doing rather well. It was catching the morning sun today so I took its picture again, this being as far as I got with this post yesterday evening.

Five.
No doubt most visitors will notice the Campanula, but I wonder how many will give a second glance to the plants on the opposite side of the path. From AGS seed in 2020 these are Arthropodium candidum ‘Purpureum’. Actually, when they came up there were purple and green seedlings and I grew on some of each. They’re easy from seed and produce plenty so I will leave them in the ground at the end of this year to see if they survive the winter. They are at the edge of my bamboo clump, so have some overhead protection and will never be wet at the roots. But: the name is wrong, it should surely be Arthropodium candidum ‘Brunnei’ cos that ain’t purple. They’re sporting masses of flower spikes too; I’d better tell you since you probably can’t see them.

Six.
I seem to think I read recently that there is no evidence for Ellen Wilmott ever surreptitiously scattering seed of Eryngium giganteum in other people’s gardens. Another gardening myth to add to the pile. It has been self sowing in the same spot here for many years, occasionally needing a bit of curtailing to spare other plants. So many plants are given such a massive visual lift by the right light you could wonder which contributes the most, plant or light.

It’s all done, we only have to wait until one o’clock, twiddling our thumbs the while. I might go plant some lettuce, make myself useful. I haven’t seen The Propagator’s post yet, is he off on another marathon I wonder. It’s where the links are, this I know, without checking. Roll on beer o’clock I say.

31 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 25/6/2022

  1. Hope all goes well for the visit, yes all those pots and things we step over very happily and seem to airbrush from one’s mind. It is a little like preparing for house visitors, parts get dusted that are often neglected, well in my house at least.

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    1. There’s a lot goes on in a garden, tidying it all away every time would be a nightmare and silly if I’m the only one who sees it. That’s the initial rationale, then it’s downhill all the way.

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  2. I know the feeling, waiting for the public to turn up, will they come, won’t they? We opened for the NGS for 5 yrs from 2007 until I deveolped a muscle problem which meant I couldn’t garden for much of the time. Once when it was pouring down only 9 people turned up but one couple were from Sweden, they knew all about the NGS from a TV programme so decided to stop when they saw the signs, it made our day., they stayed and talked plants for hours! Hope everything goes well for you today and the rain gives you a miss, your garden is looking very beautiful, so neat and tidy!

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    1. More people would have been nice, I think. Too many more maybe not so nice. We had one couple on holiday from Guildford and another from Lincolnshire; I don’t think there are as many European tourists here as there used to be.

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    1. On the measure of number of plant names written on scraps of paper for people, and directions to the best of our local nurseries, people liked what they saw. I wish I had a better understanding of how to get the best of good light, so very often the results fall short of what I think should be possible.

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  3. I have had a similar variety of campanulas in the past but they lasted 3 years and unfortunately they didn’t survive. Do you think resowing them every year?
    Very pretty martagon lilies. Have good time with the NGS opening

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    1. I’m thinking I will try to collect seed from the campanula, though I’ve seen similar but much better coloured varieties in the garden centre. Just collecting seed is an insurance policy of sorts.

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  4. Your garden is looking incredible, as always. I am particularly interested in the Arthropodium, whose coppery color works so nicely against the golden bamboo. Very interested to see the flowers when they come out.

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    1. When the wind stops blowing I must try to get a picture of the Arthropodium flowers but be prepared to be underwhelmed. I’m pleased to say it was noticed and enthused over by one of our visitors.

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  5. Your Martagon lilies look like the ones I have, though mine were unnamed. The recent windy weather from the north has finished them off unfortunately, I do like them a lot and I hope they come back next year. I hope you had a good turnout today, been sunshine and showers all afternoon here, but then being further west, up a hill and close to the Atlantic it often feels like we live in a different country to the rest of the UK.

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    1. I’m getting the impression that the martagons are less attractive to slugs after the first year though I don’t know why that should be. I’m planning to add 10 each year until I have a sizeable drift, it remains to be seen how that works out. We didn’t get very many in spite of it miraculously staying dry throughout.

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    1. Thank you. They seemed to enjoy themselves and it’s always a pleasure to show off something you’re actually quite proud of. One lady who came today lives three doors down and had no idea there was such a big garden behind our house; quite indignant she was.

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  6. I hope you had better weather today and the visitors were able to enjoy your garden. I liked seeing the photos on your NGS. The views across the borders work well. The one with the bench just showing in the corner was my favourite. Beautiful photo of the Eryngium, and I’m glad Ellen didn’t really sprinkle the seed around as it seems such an odd thing to do, and possibly very unwelcome.

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    1. I can only imagine how badly I’d react if I caught someone scattering seed of something they thought was wonderful around my garden. I think I’d almost rather have them steal something. The story that she did that is a potent slur if untrue.

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  7. Garden Tours seem like so much work. I attended a few as is expected of a garden columnist. I found them to be fun and interesting, although my favorites were the simplest sort that were the least popular. I could not imagine inviting so many guests into my own garden though! Of course, I do not garden like those who share their gardens. I suppose I would want to share if that were important to me.

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    1. I am pretty determined not to garden like those who share their gardens either. It was very much a case of being our private space for 30+ years that we then opened up to others and that’s how I want it to stay. On the other hand, people are paying to see it so a bit of effort to smooth the rough edges is called for and if that means it looks better then we are as much beneficiaries of that as the visitors. 8 openings of 4 hours is a tiny percentage of the full year, I’m mainly gardening for myself.

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    1. We were only open on Friday and Saturday so we were rather hoping none would turn up on Sunday, nor did they. I think you meant Saturday and we would have been happy with a few more, though we were happy with the number we did get too.

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  8. Good to hear that Saturday went well. What a treat the visitors had, there is so much to see. The irises look perfect and would definitely draw people towards them. The martagon lilies are also looking wonderful. I haven’t seen a flower on mine yet!

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