This week’s featured image is an Elephant Hawk Moth. I first saw one of these ‘live’ on 23 August 2020, and my second last Tuesday (21 September). Remembering someone said they ate fuchsia, I encouraged it onto a plant saucer and placed it under my newly established fuchsia hedge at the back of Raised Bed A. The hedge needs a good trim so I can spare plenty of juicy stems/leaves for such an exotic creature. Without further ado, here are my Six for this grey and murkey Saturday, shared with a wide-ranging group of gardeners around the globe via The Propagator.
Verbena bonariensis – the final curtain? I’ve already take some of the faded flowerheads and sprinkled them along the front border in the hope they will self-seed and grow.
First, a huge thank you – and a Gold Star – to Lisa over at Lisa’s Garden Adventure who identified my Christmas/Easter/Whatever cactus from last week’s SoS as a Thanksgiving cactus, Schlumbergera truncata, aka the false Christmas Cactus. As Thanksgiving in America is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, it should be in flower by the 25th of that month. I printed a label for it that goes all the way round the top of the pot!
Look what popped up in one of my pots while they were moved to the edges of the patio! Not one but TWO nasturtium ‘Labybird Rose’ plants. I just wish there were more (I sowed six seeds in this pot) as the colour is rather nice but a bit lost against the terracotta of the pot. They didn’t last long before something ate them.
Instead of the cool and cloudy mornings of the past week, this morning is a fine one. Greeted by the sun rising above the Potting Shed at 6.20 (the time I rose; the sun had been ‘up’ much earlier), we had an early breakfast and, as I type, my husband is sealing the final section of the lower patio. Thank goodness for the high pressure sitting above the UK and keeping rain away.
I’m keeping away from the smell of the patio sealant by finishing off this Six on Saturday post and reading other posts throughout the day. This month has been full-on maintenance and sprucing-up outside. There aren’t many flowers left in my garden – the obligatory fuchsia or ten, some of the surviving wilfdflower mix hidden beneath grasses. There’s an autumnal nip in the air of an evening and a touch of condensation in the windows in the morning. Let’s move along swiftly.
This summer, I moved the Christmas/Easter/Whatever cactus from the dining room to the sitting room. Both windows face the same direction – west-north-west – and both receive the same amount of late-afternoon sun (though at slightly different times due to overhanging trees), yet this is the best I’ve seen this plant for some time. It is dark green and glossy with plenty of new growth.
A wet and cold day here in North East Wales, and probably for most of the UK. Today’s forcast is rain until 1 pm, rain showers between 1 and 6 pm, light rain between 7 and 8 pm, and cloudy thereafter. Thank goodness I took these photos as the opportunity arose last week.
What better place to start than with this image of a Southern Hawker dragonfly I ‘rescued’ when she got stuck under the (clear) roof between the house and garage and caught up in cobwebs. I took this photograph balancing on a stepladder with the pole holding the sign in one hand and manipulating the phone with the other, while my husband cowered inside the garage door. I’d estimate her at around 3 inches long, wingspan similar – and those wings were noisy (you can hear the sound in this short video I found online. You’ll need to set volume to around 36% to hear it.)
This week, I have been wrestling with the dilemma of having so many images in the Media Library for this blog that I couldn’t upload any new ones. The solution, I thought, would be to set up a second blog – for my allotment – transfer over the previous posts, and share the link. I did all that, and it didn’t work! So I tried again.
The new blog is My Tiny Allotment and I have posted a TEST PAGE. (Which shows on my Reader as Eileen’s Tiny Welsh Garden , My Allotment Diary). I would be grateful if a few folk would try the link and let me know if it opens either in the comments below OR by ‘liking’ the post on the new site (no need to follow unless you want to – or, indeed, are able to).
Meanwhile, we have Six on Saturday images to share courtesy of The Propagator. (SoS has probably contributed a great deal towards this blog’s image storage woes, if I’m honest). I’ll try to be more selective in future.
I found some old photographs of the garden and thought it would be interesting to compare how it used to look with more recent images. Though we’ve been in the house since 1987, prior to 2004, I used a film camera and though I still have the negatives, I have no way to view them. Photographs after 2004 are digital but scarce as I lost hundreds when my previous computer died in 2014. But I have enough for this post.
The Front Border
When I was working full-time, my aim was always to stuff so many plants into my garden that there wouldn’t be room for any weeds to grow (and I wouldn’t have to spend precious time ‘doing the garden’. Not a lot has changed but I do have more time available. It appears that in 2005 my preference was for brighter colours and in 2021, I’ve gone for a more muted pallette (which, in reality, means I’ve finally got rid of all that orange crocosmia).
The week started with warm sunshine and cool breezes, Wednesday morning was spent at the allotment in sunshine harvesting my onions; Thursday, rain (as forecast) and a strong breeze (which wasn’t). Friday, sun. Saturday, rain (so far) and cool enough to require a lightweight fleece top – indoors!
Name that Plant – I found something online that looks very similar to this unidentified ‘ornamental grass’ my brother gave me last year – it’s Juncus Effusus, the common rush. It likes moist, poorly drained soil so I’ve stood the pot beneath a drip from the conservatory gutter.
Last weekend, the forecast was for thunderstorms and rain. On Monday, we were still waiting – but welcome showers arrived on Tuesday, stayed for Wednesday, all but disappeared on Thursday, and came back yesterday with fine drizzle and low cloud cover blanking out the house just 25 metres than our own. Fortunately, we are too far north so escaped Storm Evert’s strong winds. I hope those of you in its path haven’t suffered any damage to homes or garden.
It’s another grey damp morning, so my selections are from earlier in the week. Apologies if I’m flouting the rules set by The Propagator – but he’s on holiday and won’t notice!
Allium Drumstick – the flowers have lost their green bottoms and are beginning to fluff up. I’d have more of these if I had the room. Lovely colour too,
First – drumroll please – some good news. I have managed to pass Year One of my Open University masters’degree – a ‘Pass with Merit’ classification which means – when I stump up the cash – I can go on to Year Two (which will actually be a full calendar year and not eight months). We celebrated on Tuesday with a reduced price Indian banquet (in a box from Tesco) and a shared bottle of Magners! Now I’ve just got to come up with a brilliant idea for my 15,000 word project (dissertation) – suggestions on the back of a seed packet please.
I’ve started – so I’ll finish. While this morning’s weather was in two minds whether to send a shower or some sun in our direction, I wasn’t hanging around. I’ve painted that horrible breeze block wall beneath the lavender border. Now that we’ve finished sealing the drive, it was the final thing that had to be done. I’ve even painted the gate post (not that we have a gate). It’s only taken me thirty-four years to get round to it. Just the garage door to paint (Hammerite ‘Chestnut’) and the white surround, and . . .
It’s rather toasty here in sunny North Wales, so we have windows open and blinds closed and the coolest clothes we can find. My solar water feature is working overtime and the line of washing I hung out at 8.30 is already dry. It’s too hot for gardening, or anything other than sipping something cool from a long glass with a sprig of mint on top, reclining beneath a slowly revolving ceiling fan with a book. But I’ll have to make do with a cappuccino and a virtual stroll through your gardens on here instead – though I do have a ceiling fan in the conservatory which I shall be making use of later. For now, here is my contribution to this week’s Six on Saturday, brought to you courtesy of The Propagator.
I’ve shown the lavender previously but it really is at its best in this hot and sunny weather; it smells glorious and is usually covered in bees. Last week I mentioned that the colours blend with my beighbour’s hebe, so I’ve included a shot of the two together.
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).