I got out to do some much needed weeding on Monday afternoon, after a break of several weeks. The difficulty was deciding where to start. In the end I decided on the house end of the long bank.
The red-hot pokers had been swamped with sticky willie, now going to seed, nettles and brambles. I had cleared a path up the end of LB6 last year, but it was no longer visible. Two sacks of weeds later and the path is back. Another sack filled with cranesbills (possibly herb-robert) and the lamiums are now visible again.
I continued working my way along, cutting back the aquilegias which are now going to seed as I went. In the late afternoon Penny drove by on her way to Anne's to drop off some old wooden beams or such-like to be fuel for the open fire. I invited her to come for a coffee on her way back if Anne was busy - I wanted an excuse to stop. I had almost reached the large buddleia when Penny reappeared and I packed up for the day.
The buddleias are all starting to flower now. Anne couldn't believe how much new growth there was on the one I had brutally pruned earlier in the year. It gives me much more confidence in attacking them in the future.
The purple hebe has been in flower for a while now. The bees love it - you can hear them when you walk past. It also needs a severe pruning, but where to start...
The pampas grass has thrown up a couple of dozen 'feathers'. It is looking a lot better since I pulled out the old flower stalks from years gone by. It is also now confirmed that the plant at the corner of the rockery is also a pampas grass as it has now a single flower spike. I have a couple of other suspects in totally unsuitable positions which I will need to try to get out before they get too large.
I have many astilbes dotted around the long bank, which are now flowering.
They have loved this weather and are one of the few plants that are looking better this year than last.
I was pleased with this unplanned combination with the allium christophii I planted last autumn. These are flowering later than expected - the catalogue says June. I am expecting another 25 of these bulbs this autumn...
The roses are flowering, but are still suffering from the amount of rain we are having. Many of the flowers are rotting on the stems. I have buds on a couple of the new ones I planted - I am hoping for some colours other than red...
My new border along the trellis is beginning to fill in. I think I will call it my bargain border, as all the plants have been cheap or free donations from friends. I think so far it has cost less than £15 for about 30 plants...
Thanks go to:
Jean: 2*Podophylum, 2*Japanese anemone, Euphorbia Griffithii, Polyganum
Janet: Verbascum, Salvia?
Several of the hardy perennials from J Parkers, that arrived as tiny plug plants, are now flowering or getting ready to. I have had a good success rate with these - of the twenty mixed perennials for £1.90, only the two delphiniums and the hollyhock never made it. Ten of them have been planted in this border. The polemonium Blue Pearl is the undoubted star at the moment. The salvia nemerosa that was half price last autumn from Homebase also survived waiting to be planted for 6 months+ and is now in flower.
The catananche (Cupid's dart) seeds that I brought up with me and sowed last year produced half a dozen plants which survived the winter. These are now flowering. Hopefully I will get more seeds from these.
The Californian poppies that I sowed earlier this year are starting to flower. So far they are all orange. I did have a self-sown red one in one of the other seed beds.
The first of the Dutch iris bulbs I planted earlier this year is now flowering. There are quite a few more in bud, including some blue ones.
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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