Bloomin’ Lovely

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Just look at this perfect specimen! Well, so far so good; my first and only Redlove apple. I just hope it continues to thrive and I eventually get to eat it, as it has been nurtured and cared for when I should have sacrificed it for the sake of the tree.

I suppose July and August are the times when you should be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labours and we’ve certainly had the weather for it. We have enjoyed cabbages, which I have decided to harvest young as they taste much nicer. We have had a good crop of strawberries but they seem to have come to an end now. There is nothing nicer than going outside first thing in the morning to collect a handful of juicy blueberries to throw on your breakfast cereal.

By the way, if you click the images, you will get a bigger picture.

I just love this oriental poppy although it doesn’t hang around for long and the flowers end up a soggy mush if you’re not quick to catch them before they fall.

It looks like a delicious frothy dessert sitting on a matching saucer. Last year I planted some ladybird poppies and I am hoping that they will make an appearance again this year. There are a few smaller plants dotted around and I am hoping they turn out to be them.

This is my gorgeous Peaches and Cream hollyhock, given to me by my good friend and gardening guru Raewyn. I love the contrast of the fluffy, frilliness of these flowers compared to the openness of the cream hollyhock (see previous post). They have all been hit by rust but it hasn’t affected their floral display. I have another hollyhock which is yet to flower; I think it is a deep red one.

I spent this morning digging out lilies from the shady corner and planted 6 gaura, Whirling Butterflies and 2 Siskiyou Pink. I should have had 6 of each but they got held up in the post and some didn’t survive. It is my intention to put some hostas in the corner with the heucheras.

The following three images go along the back border:

Here we have the apple tree, sambucus, agapanthus, dahlia, salvia “Wendy’s Wish”, cosmos, “Swan Lake” rose and cream hollyhock… …leading on to the buddleja, eryngium, corydalis flexuosa, lots more cosmos and the new rhododendron “Rainbow” and centaurea montana… …after the hibiscus comes more dahlia, heucheras, poppies and pansies. The jasmine “Clotted Cream” is flowering quietly behind them all.
The nicotiana are growing well and seem to have produced these huge green leaves almost overnight. The osteospernum continue to delight and short-stemmed lilies with the long stems contine to produce some beautiful flowers. The tomatoes are now going from strength to strength in their lovely self-watering pots. The flowers are just beginning to appear. The blueberries are slowly turning purple, just enough each day for breakfast! These are my patio pots containing my favourite dahlia (I don’t know its name though), amaranthus “Greenthumb” and “Foxtail” and artemisia. The amaranthus spikes are soft and furry.

I am concerned that my potatoes haven’t flowered yet and the foliage is collapsing. The peas continue to fatten but I am never sure when to pick them as it will take a fair few to make a meal. The beetroot are probably about right for picking now before they get too big. The celery is doing well and we have only a few cabbages left. The salad leaves have just about finished and I don’t think I will sow any more just yet. The nasturtiums make a nice border to the raised bed but I haven’t tried eating them yet.

And finally, my poor neglected hanging baskets are beautiful despite intermittant watering from me.

October 2010

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They called it an Indian summer but that meant it just stopped raining! Night time temperatures went as low as 3 degrees. Towards the end of the month we had the coldest October night on record.

1st October:
Aconitum, anenome, fuschia, dahlias, pansies, verbena, penstamon, pink phlox and purple geranium all still in flower. Apples still on tree.

No sign of cyclamen germinating, might try them in the grow house. Cuttings doing well, throwing out new leaves.

7th October:
Aconitum looking better everyday as more flowers open. Purple penstamon and verbena still looking good. Standard fuschia and two others flowering profusely. Dahlias hanging on in there although I have lifted some. White mildew covering foliage of black leafed dahlia. Pansies still nodding their little heads.

Steve dug the rockery and I planted it up with some silver leaved plants, heucheras, aliums and miscanthus. The soil is very poor and full of roots and stones. Have added some manure and bonemeal in an effort to improve it.

Disaster with the Christmas potatoes. 2 sacks doing well, one attacked by blight. Very disappointed.

Steve added another water butt with overflow.

14th October:
Ordered raspberry canes plus 3 astrantia – Moulin Rouge, Major Florence, Venice and rudbeckia – Cherry Brandy.

21st October:
Frost just about finished off remaining flowers. Dahlias lifted and put in garage for storage. All potatoes succumbed to blight.

Ordered 2 raised veg beds 1.20 x 2.40 and 1.20 x 1.80 and some vegegrow soil. Cuttings doing well but no sign of seeds germinating.

28th October:
Rearranged Chelsea border, spacing things out more and bringing shorter plants to the front. Split verbena, penstamon and actea. They will either die or come back looking gorgeous. Took some cuttings of gaura but not sure if they will grow.

Raised beds arrived and erected. Just waiting for soil to come on 4th Nov. Then will have to plan what to grow in them.

July 2010

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This month is very dry and we have a hose-pipe ban.

The red climbing rose and buttercup rose are both in full bloom (I didn’t kill it after all!). Fuschias, iris, lillies, dahlias and gaura are all putting on a beautiful show.

Steve widened the left-hand border and Jean named it the Chelsea Garden (rather tongue in cheek!).

Jean and I once again visited the RHS flower show at Tatton Park and came home laden with new plants. These included eryngium, some lovely ladybird poppies and Jean bought me a present of some bunny tail grass.

I’m not sure when to harvest these vegetables especially as we are going on holiday to China for 3 weeks at the end of the month. I  pulled up some carrots just out of curiousity and was thrilled to find them plump and straight.

My sister, Lorra, gave me a courgette plant which I have grown in a pot on the patio. It has produced endless courgettes which I have tried to make use of but to be perfectly honest, I just don’t like them. Lots of tomatoes are appearing on the hanging basket.