Six on Saturday: 29 July

What a week. Rain, wind and more rain. I was wondering whether I’d make it here this week as I wasn’t going to risk destroying an expensive camera in the deluge. The Propagator, who hosts this meme over at his blog, had a stern word with the weather (and maybe did a stop-the-rain dance although no photographic record of that will exist) and it laid off long enough to get out and take some photographs yesterday. Incidentally, everyone participating in the meme links to their blogs in the comments over at The Propagator’s blog so a few visits there will give you plenty of added delights to view.

Now this meme is about what’s around on Saturday. Last evening I sat down with a glass of wine to write some descriptive text around the photographs I’d taken. Then I scheduled a post, in case, but determined to raise my carcass out of bed early (two days running is an effort; I was up before 6 am yesterday) to check that everything was still here.

Well scrub the photo of the lovely red poppy that had opened yesterday morning. The rain removed the petals thoroughly before 7am today. And scrub my final day lily pic for the same reason. Fortunately, I had some reserves ready in case, even if one was an accident (which is still looking good). I have not used all the reserves. Maybe next week ….

So here goes. I shall announce the results in no particular order.

 

There are two main types of cardoon, both Cynara cardunculus for the botanically-minded. The Cardoon group is grown as a flowering plant whilst the Scolymus group is grown for its edible flower buds and is better known as the Globe Artichoke. Mine is a Cardoon group Cardoon. It’s another example of my penchant for planting multiple plants together, in this case Cardoon-Hyacinth-Tree Lilies. The result is that Hyacinth flowers early in the year and the Cardoon grows up through her to take over flowering now and, theoretically the tree lilies should provide a backdrop to the Cardoon. But, as last year, the lilies came up blind. So they’ve been dug up and the Cardoon allowed to spread a bit more. Incidentally, this type of cardoon is supposed to have edible stems but I’ve never been tempted to taste them. The bees love the flowers.

 

This lovely lily bloom is here as a “thing” this week. She only opened yesterday and was de-anthered as is my custom. I then bent over to pick up some petals that had fallen from an older lily and, on standing up, caught this one and knocked the bloom off. She’s (I call all flowers “she”) now resting in one of those stem vases and I’m waiting to see for how long she survives looking up at the ceiling.

 

This is my little bit of Hampton Court. A “Black Hamburg” grape vine. Some argue that it’s correct name is “Vitis vinifera Black Hamburg Grape Grape”. Yep, that’s a double “grape” because it’s a “Vitis vinifera Grape” and the grape it bears is a “Black Hamburg Grape”. Those nice people at Hampton Court have decided that their vine is “Vitis vinifera ‘Shiva Grossa’ (syn Black Hamburg)” to confuse us all a bit more. I don’t grow it for grapes, though I do get the odd bunch. Rather, its function here is to provide shade to the breakfast room door as it grows out of a large container and over a pergola-like thing I’ve built to support it. Ideally, it should be in a greenhouse if I want grapes. Whether this bunch will develop remains to be seen and depends on how hot the summer is.

 

Golden Rod can be invasive. This little chap is Solidago sphacelata ‘Golden Fleece’, a dwarf variety. Growing about a foot tall, it stays put and stays small. Though larger varieties can be invasive self-seeders, mine have been here for a fair few years now without trying to take over. There are actually two plants in this photo. Supposedly attractive to pollinators, I never notice bees or butterflies on mine, only hordes of flies (OK, I do know that flies are also pollinators). Still, it’s a useful ground-cover plant and easy to propagate by division in spring.

 

This Hydrangea of unknown type is here because it gave me a surprise today. I’ve had it for about 18 years since it was an impulse purchase at a garden centre miles away to which I’d gone to get a part for the pond pump. In those 18 years, I’ve only ever noticed it flowering, from start to finish, in pure pink with a lighter centre. This year, for the first time I’ve noticed, the flower heads are opening a green-yellow colour and then changing to pink. Either I’ve had colour-blindness for 18 years or sommat’s happened to the plant. Well I have been feeding it this year, for the first time in about 17 years!

 

And finally, may I introduce you to Chesney. “Why Chesney?” I’d like to hear you asking so that I can answer that this (OK, this is a plant, not a flower, so I can call him a “he”) is my “One and Only” Cosmos*. Lovingly grown from seeds kindly donated to my seed bank by fellow blogger Gill Heavens (https://offtheedgegardening.com), and despite the ravages of slug-devouring nematodes on the local mollusc population, all other Cosmos plants were devoured in a single night. Chesney survived, only to be decapitated by a wood pigeon who took a fancy to the flower buds. I lifted him (the Cosmos, not the wood pigeon) and replanted him where he has overhead protection plus a surrounding wall of organic slug pellets. Now I have to wait and see if he’ll recover enough to flower. I’ll keep you posted.

Woodstock, as I have now named the wood pigeon, has become a regular visitor to the garden. He calls in early each afternoon for his handful of sunflower seeds. And does no more damage to plants. Totally oblivious to resident cat watching from not that afar, he just waddles around as if hoping for a bit of help to get his rather fat self back in the air. How do you tell a wood pigeon that whilst resident cat isn’t a bird-taker, there is another neighbourhood kitty with a reputation for being a mass-murderer?

With that thought, I’ll leave you till next week. Happy gardening.

*PS You have heard of Chesney Hawkes, haven’t you? There’s no need to answer that rhetorical question. Just look him up if needed.

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6 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 29 July

  1. Yes I have heard of Chesney and had a chuckle at you naming the pidgeon that! Lol
    My hydrangea suffered frost damage in May so has lots of scorched leaves. They have recovered and are flowering beautifully at the moment even in all the rain we are having at the moment! Interestingly we have loads of cosmos and all have survived this year which has been brilliant as they are flowering and flowering even in all this rain. Thanks for linking up John.
    #MyGloriousGardens

    1. The pigeon is named “Woodstock”; Chesney’s the one and only remaining Cosmos. He’s still there (surrounded by organic slug pellets). Now if only he’d flower …

    1. Downpours don’t actually cause damage; they give me an excuse to deploy my collection of plant supports. I hope you’re enjoying your break. See you back in the blogosphere soon. Slowly. 😉

  2. Good old Chesney! I admire your persistence, he is looking nice and chunky, looking forward to seeing him bloom sometime soonish. 🙂 (and yes I know who Mr CH is)

    1. I’m waiting patiently for some more buds to form. We’ll see. I’m all for giving him a chance.

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