Posted in gardener's jottings

June is not flaming so far

“the best thing one can do when its raining is to let it rain” ~ Longfellow

With June, the Covid-19 lockdown is being slowly lifted, enough for garden centres to open. The summer plant pots are full so its all a little late for my current needs though looking at the plant list, I’m going to need more autumnal plants to fill the gaps.

The month so far has been unseasonably cold with no let up in the rain. Good for the potted garden after May’s scorching days but miserable too. In between the rain I’ve managed to get out to grow on the geraniums and verbena into the wall trough planters. Bought as plug plants they are still quite small though the verbena are already flowering. I notice a robin has been visiting them daily to remove strands of the (ugly) coco liners.

On the other hand it was a good thing I planted ‘Berries ‘n Cream’ in the adjacent Ajuga pot as mid flowering the leaves & new blue Bugle blooms became badly distorted. I’ve assumed an aphid attack and have cut these back to soil level. In the the bare spaces, a couple of geraniums now reside.

Another sign of my pessimism is this big pot of woodlanders cum shade tolerant plants. I had a very small pack of seed and fearing poor germination added another pack. These were sown in every decreasing circles and most of it seems to have germinated!! Best of all are the blue-purple flowers that match the pot – I have not been able to identify them though I’ve done many searches.

Fragrant flourishing Nemesias

Optimism is not my strong point and after the winter, the lovely scented Nemesia ‘Wisley Vanilla‘ had just a couple of straggly stems remaining. Had I waited, I’d have seen the flourishing comeback of this favourite fragrant plant. But instead I added more Nemesia – Berries & Cream‘ though they do work well together.

Also I really love blue flowers and made an impulsive purchase of the blue star creeper Pratia pendunculata. Given its own small trough, it is spreading out nicely and for all its diminutive size, is definitely a star plant.

When the rain finally stops, I’m aiming to shoot more plant portraits to fill the Gallery

Posted in gardener's jottings

A lot of Maybes this May

In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy.
~Robert Brault

The Covid-19 lockdown has continued into this busy growing month of May. Since the outlook for getting to garden centres at the peak of this season already seemed bleak, as well as the likelihood that many plants will have struggled to survive in the weeks of closed businesses, I opted to send off for plug plants.

Firstly, six Oxalis vulcanicola and Nemesia ‘Berries & Cream and last week, forty baby plugs of geranium and equal amounts of verbena (from fuchsiaplugplants; mentioned gratis as I was happy with both products and service).Virtually all survived the transplant into their nursery pots.

On the subject of annuals, here’s an update on the few easy seeds I planted this year from my rather paltry stock. The ‘Tall Mix‘ of Nasturtiums hardly germinated and so I’ve only 3 of these, though together they should make quite an impact in the ‘Odds& Ends‘ square planter. More successful are the blowsy ‘Salmon Baby’ nasturtiums, grouped in a pot of their own. Sadly once again the seedlings of the Dactylicapnos macrocapnos – the Bleeding Heart vine dampened off (as they did last year). And of the 8 ‘Love in a Puff’ seeds I’d collected, three germinated into strong little plants, still being cosseted in the ‘Gro-Zone’ tiered greenhouse.

These annuals are for the trough wall planters which were already here in the garden. I dislike seeing the coconut matting liners and hope these plants will help to hide some of it. Alas I could not get hold of hanging ivy-leafed geraniums which would have done a much better job here.

And to rub in how much I regret not hanging on to plant labels, this succulent brought from my London garden, I’ve still not been able to identify (despite numerous searches). Residing in the hot spot of the ‘Stone Wall’ garden, it is flowering its socks off. Can anyone ID?