August already! Wow, time for another Six things, in the garden, on a Saturday. Could be anything, a good plant, a pest, a predator, an interesting flower, a good harvest, anything at all. Go on, join in! Here are my Six for this week.
1 – Bramley apples. This mature tree isn’t actually in my garden, it’s in next doors. About 40% of the tree overhangs my veg plot so we usually get a decent crop. Last year I invested in a long-pole fruit picker, albeit a little late to benefit fully from its reach. This year I’m expecting a bumper harvest, especially as the long pole allows me to reach over the fence and scrump a few of his apples! Before you get all scandalised, he is not interested in the fruit but is interested in the spiced apple chutney we make, a few jars of which find their way to him.
2 – Dianthus ‘brilliancy’. I grew these from seed, a packet picked up for pence in an end of season sale. I sowed them last summer and they overwintered in trays in the greenhouse. I nipped off the top of these plants two or three times as they were growing on which has encouraged them to be fairly bushy plants. I had 80 of these, almost all of which are now planted out. It is just starting to flower in numbers and will give good front-row service around the garden and in containers.
3 – Astilbe, var unk. Weirdly, all my astilbe are going crinkly brown around the edges of the leaves, and the flowers have been less good this year. Perhaps they are just past it, I’ve had them for a number of years. More likely they haven’t enjoyed the dryish weather this year.
4 – Lobelia speciosa ‘fan burgundy’ – I bought three of these, amongst others, off the pity bench in my local garden centre a couple of weeks ago. They were greatly reduced, for no obvious reason. I’ve taken some cuttings (more plants!) just in case. My biggest problem is finding somewhere to put them. I may leave them in pots till next spring, perhaps moving them up to a larger size along the way.
5 – Rudbeckia. These were grown from pack of mixed seed last year. When they were ready to plant out I didn’t immediately have anywhere to put them so I popped them in a large pot on the patio. They didn’t exactly thrive in there, but they did ok. This year, I have a lot of flowers, different shapes, colours and sizes and it looks quite pretty, more by luck than judgement. I don’t think the pot is adequate accommodation for them so I’ll be looking for a spot in the borders later in the year. I’ll be collecting some seed from the best flowers – I particularly like the red ones and the striking yellow and black patterned ones. Who knows what I’ll get when those seeds germinate, but that’s a part of the fun.
6 – Anemanthele lessonia, or pheasant’s tail grass. I have several clumps of this dotted around the garden, both front and back. I originally had one plant which has self-seeded liberally. This might be a problem, but the seedlings are quite distinctive – I just pull them up and stick them in a pot to make the next clump. For reasons that are not totally clear to me, I also grew some more from a bought packet of seed, compounding the self-seeding problem. It’s an evergreen grass, and has dark green, brown, purple and brown tinges to the leaves which makes quite a striking effect, I think. The biggest one is a bit sprawly now, and I think has lost the best of it’s colour. I think I’ll dig it up at the end of this season.
That’s my Six, what are yours? Please, join in, more the merrier. If you do, please just add a comment below with a link to your post, and maybe add a link back to this blog from your post.
Don’t forget to check back later in the weekend to see if more links have been added.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, I’ll be back next Saturday with another Six.