My first Six on Saturday is Roselily ‘corolla’ which after a very long wait just looking at buds, eventually flowered in a spectacular fashion this week!
As promised here are the photos – aren’t they beautiful!
They are so different to other lilies, for a start they are pollen free so won’t stain anything that touches them. Also they have a very delicate light fragrance, which will please those who love lilies but dislike their heady perfume.
My second is pumpkins!
At first I though someone or something had thrown an apple into my pumpkin patch until I looked closer and found baby pumpkins. I’ve never grown them before and it’s only a little thing but I felt really quite excited.
Third are my Sunflowers.
I have always had this idea allotments should have sunflowers and am surprised there are very few to be seen on our allotment site. I raised a number of plants from seed, some are in my daughter’s garden and I planted the rest on my plot. Much to my annoyance, and ignorance I suppose, they were cut off at the pass by snails, leaving me only 2 to rescue. They are now enormous, standing proud for everyone to see, so it’s sunflowers 1: snails 0. Today, this little bee was feeding away, totally oblivious of me taking photos of him.
Fourth is Scarecrow and sweetcorn.
Along with sunflowers, I have this idealistic view that scarecrows are part and parcel of allotment life – again they are far a few to be seen. I know they don’t scare anything but they are a bit of fun. I made mine out of a pillow, and when I asked my granddaughter to name her she said “GRANNIE”!!! 🤣🤣🤣
What started as eight tiny sweetcorn plants are starting to reach for the sky, nowhere near as tall as some on other plots but they will get there. They appear to be the one vegetable thriving in this unusually hot, dry, summer.
My fifth Six on Saturday is Poppy (Pom Pom Shaggy somniferum)
This is one of only three wonderful shaggy poppy flowers that were successful and have more than made up for only being three. I sowed a whole packet of seeds direct into the raised bed I dedicated to flowers hoping for a big display. However I will collect the seeds with better luck next year.
Last but not least is blackberries.
At the back of the plot is a resplendent thornless blackberry growing along a very rickety fence. I have read that even the best flavoured thornless blackberries don’t quite have that aromatic sweetness associated with the true wild blackberry, but I bet they still taste good. There are so many of them I will be making lots of jam very soon.
Yeah! This week for In a Vase on Monday I am displaying flowers, not bought from a shop, or cut from the garden flower patch, but a little posy chosen from pots on my patio. Whilst I was deadheading and I thought to myself there was no reason why I couldn’t arrangement a few in a small jug.
I dug out a very pretty Royal Albert China cream mug from the cupboard – the pattern is called ‘moss rose’ which in itself is floral and eminently suitable.
I arranged the posy in the jug very carefully and, because I have OCD tendencies, I tried to make it look symmetrical, but it didn’t work because with a handle one side and a pouring lip the other, the jug itself is not a uniform shape. Then having visited the many contributions to Rambling in The Garden’s weekly meme and seen how clever people are in their displays, I did a little rearranging.
The more I looked at it, the more I realised that with the handle on one side, it would look a more interesting composition with the Angeliona pointing out the other, a bit like a teapot spout, even though I say it myself, I’m quite pleased with the finished article!
The flowers used are Verbena ‘peaches and cream’, Angeliona ‘raspberry’ the colour picks up the roses on the jug, Achillea ‘terracotta’ (although looks more yellow to me!) and Lewisia Cotyledon. Oh and I put in a few sprigs of Nemesia ‘Wisley Vanilla’ for added perfume.
I hope you like my non-symmetrical posy. For some great ideas on arrangements please pop over to The Rambling Garden.
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.
There are days, especially when it’s too hot to do anything, retirement can be BORING!!! Maybe I’ll write a blog post about retiring and moving into a new area at the same time – I don’t recommend it.
This morning I Googled ‘Best Garden Centres’ near me and an independent nursery called Meadow Farm Nursery on Hayling Island popped up. With nothing better to do today, I killed two birds with one stone and went garden centre and local beach visiting.
I did wonder where I was going down a narrow road and negotiating a bin lorry, then a single track road but found Meadow Farm Nursey – delightful independent nursery and very soon was drawn into buying plants, I couldn’t help myself!
Lovers of Full Sun pot
1. Alternanthera – Purple Knight I bought two of these and read that it is a tropical plant and the colours are even stronger in full sun. Ideal for my baking south facing patio.
2. Nemesia – Aroma Rhubard and Custard. I always though ‘Wisley Vanilla’ was highly scented but the sweet fragrance of this plant wafted through the car all the way home, especially in the heat.
3. Angelonia – Archangel Raspberry. I came across Angelonia recently and have a white one in one of my posts with Black Velvet Petunias. It is another drought tolerant plant originating from Mexico.
So with new plants placed within a larger container (also new) and yet to be potted up, here is my ‘Lover of Full Sun’ pot sitting with the other patio pots and although joining the party late looks very much at home.
As for my visit to Hayling Island, well I found it a case of “Move along there, nothing to see”, but I did have a nice honey and ginger ice cream and there was a much appreciated cooling breeze off the sea.
At the risk of repeating myself, having moved into a flat, albeit with a patio, I am without a garden and the allotment is not ready for flowers until next year. I am, therefore, buying flowers for my home rather than using my own flowers for In a Vase Monday. Having said that, shop flowers can be an absolute delight, as was my recent purchase of ‘Alstroemeria’. Bought from Waitrose when the buds were tightly closed, I had no idea of the colour, although suspected them to be pink.They turned out to be a beautiful display of purple, white and pink. This short post is about what is in the vase and not the vase, which is a plain glass Lily vase, or the display design – they were just placed (plonked!) in the vase on my sideboard. Also known as a Peruvian Lily or Parrot Lily they are supposed to symbolise friendship, devotion and wealth making it a great flower to give to a friend. I love alstroemerias, especially the way some petals are plain and others have a broken stripe pattern. Thank you Rambling in the Garden for hosting this Monday meme. Please visit her blog and take a look as her wonderful and clever ways of showing off flowers.