We woke to light rain this morning, which lasted long enough to lay the dust. Might freshen things up a bit I suppose. I’m doing a themed six this week, reflecting on fillers, the plants shoved in to fill gaps left by the demise of the early stuff.
Zinnias. I only grew these because someone passed on to us some of the free packets of seed that come with Gardener’s World magazine. I sowed them back in April with no thought of what I was going to do with them. Eventually a space presented itself when a monster foxglove finished. The Zinnias needed a home so in they went. Zinnia ‘Jazz’, mixed colours it turns out. Very mixed. There’s a sweet shop vibe about the colour mix that I’m not blown away by. They’re the sort of thing children would love, I think. I know nothing about children. The plants are stiff and no matter how careful I was to avoid rows, looked like they were in rows. I doubt I’ll grow them again.
Cosmos. This is my third year of Cosmos, year one having yielded about three plants and one flower. Last year was good, though an early sown lot only grew half the height they were meant to. This year I have plenty of growth but less bloom than I would like. I like Cosmos, they blend in effortlessly and keep on going for months. I tried yellow ones this year, some from bought seed, some from liberated seed. I ended up with four plants from the latter, none from the former.
Marigolds, French type, variety ‘Bolero’. I added these to a small seed order from Real Seeds, more to make up the order to something sensible than anything else. I was mainly intending to dot them around my allotment, which I did. However, a tray of them came ready as another gap needed filling so in they went to join Dahlias and Eucomis. I’m not sure they are of a colour that would ever go with anything, they’d probably work best in isolation. Bright though, and flowery. I probably won’t be allowed to grow them again, even if I wanted to. There are three yellow Cosmos flowers in there if you look hard enough.
Sunflowers. I think the mistake I made was to go for a subdued colour type, they’re mostly so subdued they look like black holes. Coarse, falling over, disappointing flower display. I shan’t be repeating them. They look like something shoved into a gap.
Penstemons. A bit more trouble, in that we Sue has raised them from cuttings but worth the effort. They blend in perfectly in almost any company and flower their heads off. I prefer the smaller flowered, finer leaved forms but they’re all good. They’ve slightly gone over and I’m dead heading in hopes of another flush.
Fuchsia gall mite. I’m about to load up the car and take several bags of heavily infected Fuchsias to the council tip. The Fuchsias have had a terrible year, with heavy damage that I initially thought was capsid (some probably was) but turned out to be flea beetle. And tortrix moth. Now many of the damaged shoot tips are going down with gall mite. Depressing, but there probably isn’t much point struggling on with very susceptible varieties.
The Propagator is off on his hols. Expect his six next week from a guest house in Maidstone, or a tent beside the M20. In Cornwall the locals hunker down and seek out the less well known places when the schools break up. Well, I do, most people are vastly more gregarious than me.