Six on Saturday: 27 June 2020

Here we are again. Another Saturday and so another episode of SoSers Assemble for us to Marvel at. It’s been one of those weeks, starting wet, middling hot and ending wet again. Whilst hordes flocked to the beaches, I just emptied a bag of sand beside the pond and stretched out with a bottle glass of wine on my own private beach. And I took my litter home with me. Then used the sand to raise some more stepping stones in the lawn. It’s funny how much the ground level rises. Twenty years ago, the stones were just proud of the ground (helps to get a clean edge with the mower) but now they’re about an inch below it. It’s also been time to lift the lawn edging a bit higher. I do this every 4-5 years for the same reason – the mower cuts the edge cleanly and this saves me a lot of time with the edging shears.

Meanwhile, our Commander-in-Chief has been marshalling the troops, as is his wont. Spies wishing to learn today’s troop deployments should head over to Central Command where all will be revealed. You can also check out the Orders of the Day should you wish to join in the melee. Or, if you are one of those types who wish to study the art of insubordination, you might want to keep an eye on the mistress of camera smashing. But be respectful lest a withering bolt from the Heavens rots all the elastic in your waistbands and you become unexpectedly unwrapped.

Here, at the last homely house in the village, life is much calmer. Which has afforded an opportunity to venture forth into the unknown on a quest to find the six rings of imagery which will resist the ever-earlier encroaching darkness as we move inexorably further away from the summer solstice.

1 Dierama

I guess people go hungry when they rely on angels to provide the wherewithal for a fish dinner, for the angels always seem to sit with their backs to the water and fish over dry land! The other thing about Dierama is that on any flower stalk you have a mix of open flowers, those waiting to open and those which have done their bit. So you need to look carefully before you do any deadheading as what you think is past it is actually what hasn’t got there yet!

2 Brunnera

Jack appeared early last year (I think – it may have been late the year before) as a surprise seedling. The parent had grown too big for its place and had been rehomed in larger accommodation. Already, this plant (which I asssume is Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ and not some mutant imposter) has grown to be as big as the former occupant so will have to shift later in the year. No flowers yet but the foliage is enough in itself to justify whatever amount of space it wants.

3 Alchemilla erythropoda

A. mollis is quite a large plant and can be invasive. A. erythropoda is a much smaller relative, around a foot high and lacking it’s larger relative’s propensity to seed everywhere. Foliage is more dense and will develop a reddish tinge if grown in full sun. An extra benefit is that whereas mollis flowers look dead when they die, erythropoda flowers develop an attractive bronze colour as they age and tend to hold onto this appearance for quite a while. It’s well worth the non-effort of leaving them in situ long after mollis has been cut back.

4 Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’

This dwarf evergreen Euphorbia should, according to the book, have maroon foliage with lime green flowers in the spring. OK, this was only planted last year and might not yet have got into its stride. So it’s got dark green foliage with “tops” like this on the stems. The “tops” have been like this since March – not exactly lime green. Nevertheless, it looks quite nice as it is. I’ll wait till next year before passing judgement.

5 Euphorbia ‘Tasmanian Tiger’

At least the foliage is right on this one (again planted last year). It’s supposed to have creamy yellow flowers but no sign of those yet. Not to worry. Maybe next year and, meanwhile, I can enjoy the foliage.

6 Sanguisorba and Solidago

I’ll end on a high. Perhaps an over-bright high? Sanguisorba ‘Pink Squirrels’ is what it is. My only complaint is that the pink tassels don’t seem to last long before they turn brown. But a lot of deadheading and a long succession of new flowers does the trick. I suppose I should prop it up a bit but I prefer the way it flops down over front-of-border plants without smothering them – The dense basal foliage doesn’t travel up the stems. There doesn’t seem to be that much difference between “Pink Tassels’ and ‘Lilac Tassels’ and I often wonder if they are actually one and the same.

Whereas Achillea ‘Cloth of Gold’ is a giant amongst Achillea, Solidago ‘Cloth of Gold’ is a foot-and-a-bit dwarf and, unlike the larger Solidago varieties, does not seed around willy-nilly. It also seems to flower for longer. Over a number of years, the clump has spread slowly but not excessively.

That’s it for another week. Now back to watching the rain. If it stops, I might finish planting out the summer bedding. If it doesn’t, there’s always wine. Have a good week.

4 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 27 June 2020

  1. Looks like you may have ended up with a beach party that would have needed breaking up, but that depends on how big your garden is, and just how much noise we would have made as you regaled us with your humorous banter. I think I purloined a piece of A. erythropoda when I visited a famous garden nearby. It looked like a weed, and it was growing in the grit path, so it ended up in my handbag, Honest govenor, I would never take something otherwise.

  2. Nice to read of an alchemilla that behaves itself. Your solidago is weeks ahead of mine and a brilliant color!

  3. Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ is a real eye-catcher!
    Otherwise, thank you for informing us about A. erythropoda because I had an A mollis but it had become too invasive so I had removed it. This one seems more quiet.
    Very nice last photo, John! Lovely colours & texture

  4. Pink Squirrels is on my lust list, this will not surprise you. I’m a big fan of dierama, although not only do they not actually catch any fish, they don’t particularly like water. Must have a word with marketing. If I were closer I would have visited your beach, I would have brought my own wine and twiglets and kept a respectable distance. x

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