A grey day so far, cool too. Everything that needed it had a good watering and feed yesterday, and there seems to be a lull in the vegetable production, though salad leaves of several varieties are still going. In the front border, I’ve deadheaded all the peonies; they only lasted a couple of weeks this year and no sign of further buds – perhaps the clumps need splitting, a job on the list for autumn. I’ve also managed to beat the birds to the alpine strawberries and have a few handfuls in the freezer. When I have enough, we’ll eat them with some ice-cream.
Right, time for my Six on Saturday selection – six things in the garden – suggested by The Propagator and the highlight of the gardening week (along with Gardener’s World on the tellybox).
It’s honeysuckle time in the shady borders at the back of the house (under the trees).
Clematis alpina. Again in the shady border. This time last year the buds were just opening; a few years ago and they were in full flower.
Heuchera ‘Marmalade’ has been flowering for weeks in the very shady corner by the compost bins. ‘Berry Smoothie’ on the other hand is now a long, thick stem with a couple of leaves on the top. I’m contemplating cutting the stem off a couple of inches above the soil and seeing if it re-generates.
We talk a lot about borrowed landscape, so here is a shot of my (good) neighbour’s hebe which lines the top of the wall behind the lavender border. The two colours match almost exactly my lavenders ‘Munstead’ and ‘Hidcote’ in tone and shade. We’re getting a new neighbour on that side in the next few weeks. I hope she’s into gardening and will give the shrubs along our dividing wall a good prune back. They are 6 feet tall on her side but the drop from her garden to ours is a similar height so I can’t trim them on my side without using a stepladder to get onto the lavender border.
The perennial sweetpeas have really taken off. Plenty of flowers; if only they were scented, but the bees love them anyway! I watched this bee for several minutes, crawling from one flower to another determined not to miss any nectar/pollen.
On Thursday, between showers, I tackled the fuchsia in the lavender border, which has been smacking me in the face each time I get into the car (not that often, but still annoying). It only had a tidy-up last autumn and I meant to go back and give it a severe prune (in case of heavy snow) but never got round to it. I am paying the price, as it had grown very dense, so I removed all the lower branches and cut others back to let in more light to the sedum Autumn Joy (I know it isn’t classed as sedum anymore but I can never remember what it is now), just to the left. I put some of the offcuts into a bucket of water in the back garden for the bees.
Now I must decide which of the thicker trunks I should remove altogether, or whether to cut it hard back (down to eight inches around the base). A combination of both probably would sort it out, it’s very forgiving. Maybe even an attempt at cloud pruning!
I’m spending what’s left of Saturday morning cataloguing my seed delivery from Kings Seeds.