I thought I misheard the radio when someone said next week was mid-summer. I checked and lo and behold 24 June is Mid-Summer’s Day in the UK. The longest day, also known as the Summer Solstice, is today 20 June with 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight.
Everything in our gardens and on our allotments are shooting away and keeping us busy. My Six on Saturday, focused on budding plants, are from my patio and the garden here.
1.Tomatoes – ‘MoneyMaker‘
I sowed a lot of vegetable seeds for the allotment this year but then lockdown happened and I was also confined to my home thanks to shielding. A number of veg plants are now outside the flat in bags. I have recently returned to my much loved allotment, so beans and sweetcorn are up there now. The tomatoes are at home and after giving away a number of baby plants, I kept 3 and planted them onto tomato rings in a grow bag. They are doing exceptionally well up against a warm south west facing wall.
2. Courgette (Just the one!)
I didn’t have much success with courgette seeds this year, but managed to keep one. I purloined an empty large square planter that had been put out in the bin area and decided it was ideal for one courgette plant to have on the edge of my patio. I did put a note on it for a few weeks to ask if the owner would let me have it,but as there was no response so it was finders keepers. Having the plant close by means, like the tomato plants, I can pick them every day within easy reach of my kitchen, rather than drive to the allotment.
3. Rose – ‘Chandos Beauty
I have a ground floor apartment and fancied the idea of having a beautiful scented rose growing below my bedroom window. I looked at our local independent nursery website to see what they had that would be suitable. When I buy roses always chose one with a strong perfume and a name to evoke memories. Back in the late 60’s I worked near Trafalgar Square in London and used to me my dad for a drink after work in a pub at the bottom of St Martins Lane called The Chandos, so I thought this one would be ideal. Chandos Beauty is a Hybrid Tea rose with repeat flowering light peachy apricot blooms.
4. Alstroemeria ‘India Summer’
The Alstroemeria is breathtaking and full of new buds and throwing up new shoots. I read that to encourage flowering they should be picked regularly but I am happy just to look at the fabulous colours of this plant left in situ. It adds wonderful colour to the flower border.
5. White Agapanthus
I had to clamber over to the back of the flowerbed to capture this because it was facing the other way. There are three buds on this plant so it will look spectacular when in full bloom. I love the stages of the opening agapanthus flowers.
6. Eryngium ‘Big Blue’
Buying bulbs from Wilko is always a bit hit and miss, they tend to be very dry and somewhat sad. I bought 2 Eryngiums but only one survived. It is now almost 4ft tall and full of buds, as well as black fly! You will notice a few black fly on the flower bud photo. Eryngium is supposed to be pest free, but the plant is covered in black fly so a good soaking of soapy water is badly needed today.
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