Picture Snaps 2

I ducked out between rain showers recently to grab some pictures of the garden as it races and grows out of control before my eyes.

We first start with the sundial, which was found lying somewhere in the garden a while ago and hence “inherited”. It hasn’t been working for the last week or so as it’s been wet and overcast, and I probably need to change the batteries. As I don’t wear a wrist watch nor have my phone with with while gardening, I actually use the sundial to see roughly what time it is; if it’s sunny. Being a fair-weather gardener means I actually do see it working more often than not and yes: we did have to alter it for daylight savings time at the end of March.

I never really understood the caption.

A few posts ago, I wrote about replacing the weeds and scrappy grass in the verge with “bomb proof” Erodium Perlagoniflorum. This being being the only thing that might be tough enough to survive such hostile conditions. I was waiting for it to go to seed, whereupon I would collect and sow it. Rather frustratingly, shortly after I wrote that post, most of the plant appeared to die back and now looks like this:

Which isn’t going to win any prizes at plant shows. I don’t recall Erodium dying back like this before, it’s supposed to be evergreen. I’m wondering if it was due to the incredibly hot, dry May/June we had. I’ve missed out on collecting the seed because the seed pods are supposed to dry, twist and then throw their seed outwards, however, the pot just by the plant is full of little Erodium seedlings. I’m wondering if I can collect these, perhaps grow them on a bit and then transfer them to the verge. It’ll be interesting to see if it reshoots and re-flowers again, later on in the year.

Next we have the back patio steps that I paid some attention to earlier in the year when I re-made the side, improving safety while stopping soil from coming onto the steps. The clumps of loosestrife I had to dig up for this work were replanted back in the same area but further underneath the hedge. They’re all flowering with a bright beacon yellow (when it’s not so dull outside).

Normally the loosestrife would have covered these steps by now but the rock pieces are holding them back nicely at the moment. I’ll have to see to the ones towards the top as well as the runners that have somehow managed to get in between the steps. This is one plant that I definitely do not want to let loose in the garden. It’s barely confined to this area as it is.

Speaking more on “invasive” plants and keeping them confined, the off-sets of Acanthus Spinosus that were were given to us by the parents are slowly establishing and beginning to fill out a small area at the back of the Landing Pad.

The long-lasting spires of flowers have been going for weeks now and there are definitely many more now than there were last year, when they were first planted. Acanthus will spread if they like the conditions, but the soil here is very dry and it’s also rather shady for most of the day so they are having to work hard. I expect their long questing roots will eventually hit the water table and then they’re take off but they have no where to spread to, being contained within this border section for now. The Landing Pad also grows some interesting mushrooms in the autumn as well as being a place for emerging or gathering stag beetles.

As the summer (in quotes) progresses, the garden is growing increasingly lush and beyond it’s border boundaries. Paths have almost disappeared in places and certain plants are just going wandering around. This Clematis Jackmanii, planted on the left side of the arch is growing through a Ceanothus, over the top of a rose and flowering on the far right side as it makes its way into the fruit trees. It’s also hooked onto the magnolia on the far left.

It’s having such a good time that I can’t face cutting the flowers away to clear the headroom – you’ll just have to duck while walking through. It won’t be long before you’ll have to sweep it aside like a curtain.

Finally we have the original stand of Crocosmia in the corner border.

While the supports are working well, it looks like they’re not high enough. At least the whole lot hasn’t flopped on to the grass. The camera can’t capture the particular red of the flowers and they look washed out. You’ll have to believe me when I say they’re a lot more striking in person. It’s just a shame there’s so much leaf for the amount of flower you get. If there was a Crocosmia this red that flowered more and was perhaps half the height, I’d consider replacing this stand. As it is though, it’s a favourite of the other half and so it’s going nowhere. A some point (not sure when). I will have to clear the whole area, dig up and sort out the corms and replant deep again, so that they become decongested and have a chance of staying upright a little more.

While the garden is over its flowering peak, there’s so much still going on that I can’t write about it all and whole groups of plants have flowered and gone by the time I even think about taking pictures. The recent cool wet weather has slowed things down but also means I’ve not been outside much to progress work on the Willow border and that’s increasingly on my mind at the moment as I’m desperate to get the compost heap decanted, the soil levelled and topped up with all the bulk bags of material we’ve had sitting on the drive since nearly this time last year.

10 Comments


  1. Erodium Perlagoniflorum ….. do dig about in case you have an ants’ nest underneath. The crocosmia Lucifer is a good one. I have it planted right next to where I get out of the car. Can’t get enough of it even though it’s a short season. So I’m with your partner!! Enjoy it all.

    Reply

    1. That’s interesting Mrs Mac, we’ve noticed a lot of ants due to the dry weather (when we had dry weather). I can at least try and rescue the seedlings. The Crocosmia’s season is so short, I might dump more potash on it to get it to flower more if possible; it is definitely staying though.

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  2. That clematis is just stunning. Amazing to see how your garden is maturing. Enjoy!!

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    1. Thanks Lynn, but you should check out Jason Kay’s Clematis Jackmanii if you want a truly stunning wall of clematis, he’s written about his recently.

      Reply

  3. I love it all and there’s no need to write about it all. Sometimes the best thing to do is just enjoy it without documenting or analyzing. Just soak it in. :o)

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    1. Hello Tammy, I had wondered about whether I could just leave out all the writing, but then people would be wondering, “why on earth has he taken a picture of a sundial, what does it mean, how is it significant, can I hang the washing out today?”

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    1. Thanks Jason, the crocosmia has grown right over the path and we always have to brush it aside now. The bees are all over it too. I think I might need to beef-up the supports to stop it flopping over so much so that we can actually walk past it.

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  4. I’m a lover of yellow, so I particularly like the loosestrife bordering the stairs. Like you, I’m always trying to find the best strategies for keeping plants like this one from flopping over the stairs and pathways they are supposed to be bordering.

    Reply

    1. Loosestrife will run everywhere, I think they flop over this path as they are reaching for the light. The hedge shades them out most fo the time. I used to have a low bamboo “railing” but I’ve not needed it this year as the loosestrife have flopped over the stones and not the path – yet.

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