Six on Saturday – 14 July 2018

I will subtitle this post “The Good, the Sad and the Ugly.

In reverse order (this may make your skin go funny) …

1. The Ugly – Social Pear SawflyThere is (was) a small hawthorn shrub on my allotment. A couple of days ago I discovered it absolutely covered in what looked liked cobwebs full of black eggs and orange caterpillars. I looked up ‘orange caterpillars’ and found they were Social Pear Sawfly and like to feed off hawthorn and cotoneaster, as well as pear and cherry trees. Once they have completed their feeding they go down into the soil where they pupate and emerge as adults in the following spring. The best way to eradicate them is to prune out the branches. As this was covered and the hawthorn in an odd place anyway, I carefully cut all the branches, bagged and binned them.

2. The Sad – Sweet Pea Bud DropI know I’m not alone this year with sweet pea problems, although I have never had much success with growing them in pots. They have always been prolific in the flowerbeds in my last garden and I grew them successfully for years. I started my sweet peas late this year, but they were doing ok, a little slow and short but ok. Then all of a sudden almost overnight all the buds turned brown and the bottom leaves died and it is called bud drop. There a numerous reasons for this apparently, (i) overwatering (ii) the wrong fertiliser, I used ordinary liquid fertiliser instead of a tomato feed, (iii) too hot, would you believe and (iv) watering with too cold water. I was tempted to pull them up but then read that they can recover if I cut them down to the base and don’t feed them, they might recover – we shall see!

Now for the good –

3. The allotment – Bee on Flower Just occasionally I manage to capture what I consider is a good ‘bee on flower’ photo. This little bee was totally oblivious of me as he clambered all over the pumpkin flowers.

4. Morning Glory ‘Grandpa Otts’I just love this plant, and there is no colour touching up on this photo. Morning Glory Ipomoea purpurea, usually an annual, is a close relation to Convolulous (bindweed) which is a perennial weed. My allotment is burgeoning with bindweed with its white flowers, so it seems strange to grow Grandpa Otts from seed yet spend most of my days pulling up the white stuff.

5. Ipomoea x sloteri ‘Cardinal Climber’This is another member of the Morning Glory family that I am growing on the allotment. It is looking good in contrast to Grandpa Otts growing next to it. It has totally different leaves to the usual Morning Glory, the bright green leaves are triangular, with deep, narrow lobes that give them a lacy appearance.

6. Roselily ‘corolla’I am hoping that I am going to get lots of photo miles from this flower. Until I was given 2 Roselily bulbs earlier this year, I had never heard of roselilies. They are in a pot on my patio and been in tight bud for weeks on end. I was almost beginning to despair and seriously thought of cutting them to place indoors in a vase. So pleased I didn’t, because this morning I could see they are about to burst. They are doubled flowered lilies with a light perfume and I am really looking forward to seeing them in full bloom, which I will share with you. That’s my Six for this week, don’t forget to pop over to The Propagator Blog for other Six on Saturdays.


  1. I’m surprised you can cut down sweet peas & they’ll grow back up. Amazing what you learn. Do you know if the red beetle munches on the roselily? It’s truly something open, according to the link. I’d love to see it in white as well. Can’t wait ’til next week!


    • I’m surprised sweet peas grow again but it’s worth a try. Fingers crossed the nasty red lily beetle has not visited yet but I suspect t it doesn’t discriminate and a lily is a lily as far as it’s concerned. The roselily is beautiful and I’ve taken lots of pics 😄


    • They really were that colour too, no camera effects required. My daughter and son in law who were very dubious about my planting something akin to bindweed with its white flower, are really smitten with Grandpa Otts.


  2. It’s almost as if there’s a type of sawfly for every plant. And when they arrive, they waste no time and their host defoliates overnight. Sorry to be even uglier but I’ve read that once they attack one of your shrubs, they’ll be back next year – that certainly happened to me with the berberis sawfly variety. At the other end of the scale (OK, post) roselilies are new to me. Thanks for the link. I’ve added my email address to Suttons’ “when we have it” list. I’m looking forward to next week’s “it’s open” photo.


    • Hopefully I’ve nipped the sawfly in the bud, destroying them before they turn into flies. I know from dealing with them on my roses in last years, that it’s a cycle and once the larvae hatch the flies lay their eggs in the soil ready to appear again in the spring – and so it goes on, nightmare! The roselilies are looking so pretty, daily photos taken.


  3. Goodness, I always though Sweet peas were trouble free plants to grow. The rose lily is interesting, so I hope you post a photo of it fully out next week.

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