High Summer in the Garden, Basket Case, Fabulous Fuchsias & Death in the Greenhouse.


Its been a little while since I posted a ‘from the Garden blog’, but I wont bore you with the details why, but busiest weeks at work, having builders in , hot weather working have all played a part.

I’ve finally planted everything out that I’ve grown from seed, but then I’ve visited a few plant fairs and bought more stuff, as its currently very hot, and dry here with Temperatures averaging 80°C for the past 2 weeks now, and there’s been no rain for over a fortnight and none forecast for at lest the next 5 days, newly purchased plants wont be planted out until the weather becomes more amenable.

It must be high summer.!!

Annuals in Containers

Annuals in Containers

Because of last years warning from the weather people about 2012 being a heatwave year, I decided against any hanging Baskets or tubs, as I didn’t want to be a slave to watering every evening.  However as most of us know it became one of the wettest years on record.  So this year I made a conscious decision to ignore any weather forecast and do what I wanted.  I like Hanging Baskets & a few tubs about the place.

So earlier in the Spring this year I ordered some plug plants from several mail order companies, paid several visits to my local little plant Nursery and set about many sowing many packets of seeds, the result has been 8 Hanging Baskets and I’ve lost count of how may tubs I have.

I am currently a slave to evening watering, but I’ve got it down to about 1 hour 20 mins at the moment and with my headphones on the time usually flies by.

Hanging Basket.

Hanging Basket.

I’ve been very good with my Baskets this year, I’ve made a real effort to regularly water them and feed them, and I’m very pleased with the results so far.

I’ve grown quite a few plants for my Garden this year from seed in order to squeeze into gaps in between the Herbaceous and the few shrubs I have, however I’ve discovered I don’t have that many gaps that need filling due to my perchant to visiting plant fairs and making a *few purchases.

*Lots

Last year I had already decided on my most desired annuals, but then free seeds from Magazines and Seed swapping events meant many more variety’s of plants were added to my ‘to be sown list’.

Poppy Ladybird, a most desired plant by me.!

Poppy Ladybird, a most desired plant by me.!

Blue Cornflowers, another desired plant.

Blue Cornflowers, another desired plant.

Sunflowers just starting..

Sunflowers just starting..

I do love the Ladybird Poppy, and during my recent visit to the Malvern Spring Show, I saw big, single plants for sale for £2.99, I however bought a packet of seeds last autumn containing 150 seeds for £1.49 and I’ve got loads of plants and forming seed pods already for next year.

The sunflower in the above picture is a variety called Sunflower Shock O Lait F1 and Its a Trial plant from Mr Fothergills seeds that I am currently trialing, the packet says its a Bicoloured bloom, with no pollen and a long life as a cut flower.

Now it is pretty, but I think I prefer my Sunflowers as big traditional yellow flower heads that the Bees can make some use of.

Earlier this year when we were up to our knees in snow, I was watching some old episodes of Christines Garden on YouTube and during Series 2 – Episode 3 I saw Christine planting some interesting Nicotiana plants, after looking through a few seed catalogues I identified the plants as Nicotiana ‘Tinkerbell’ F1, and set about looking for seeds for sale, It turned into a bit of an epic chore as the only supplier I could find was Thompson & Morgan and they were totally sold out, after a bit of internet searching I eventually found a company called Secret Seeds   who had plenty in stock.

Here is the result.

Nicotiana 'Tinkerbell'

Nicotiana ‘Tinkerbell’

Unlikely to come true from seed, as it is an F1 Hybrid, but I will collect some seeds and give it a try next year.

I’ve also started collecting seeds from my Dahlia Merkii, which I originally got from seed via the Hardy Plant Society Seed List for members.  Now that I’ve collected plenty of seed I can send some back for this Autumns seed lists.

Dahlia Merkii

Dahlia Merkii

In the Greenhouse My Sarracenias are loving this heat, but I’m getting worried that I am nearly out of rainwater, as I live in a hard tap water area I can only give them rainwater to survive on.

Sarracenia Purpurea

Sarracenia Purpurea

The direct sunshine has made many of the plants really colour up and most of the pitchers are full of insects.

Sarracenia

Sarracenia Juthatip Soper

The above plant is available from Hampshire Carnivorous Plants 

I hope to blog a bit more in depth about my Carnivorous plants in due course.

With no end of the heat in site and so far no battering summer storms, my blooms are looking very good and there are plenty of flowers.

july pictures 045

Fuchsia ‘Mandarin Cream’

I’ve been working on a project at work recently helping to restore and improve a Hardy Fuchsia Collection, so I’ve been doing lots of reading up and research, and I’ve been surprised to learn that what I thought about fuchsias is not necessarily the case.  I’m hoping to visit a nearby Fuchsia Show at the beginning of August, so hopefully there will be a blog as a result.

Fuchsia 'Lady in Black'

Fuchsia ‘Lady in Black’

I think I’m preferring Fuchsias to Dahlias these days, much less hassle, no slugs and more flowers per plant.

Until next time, keep cool.

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