Expecting more rain, I went out straight after breakfast to pick raspberries and loganberries and decided to cut back the fruiting canes later that morning. There are many loganberries still on the canes, but mostly past their best and unpicked due to the heat or the rain or both, but I am more than happy with the 11lb+ already picked. As I cut them back I realised just how much the leaves had been nibbled by some unidentified critters – not had that before. Access to the first of the blackberries (these are ‘Loch Tay’) and the red and white currants are now very much easier.
Canes cut and trimmed and bagged, more reparatory work done on the stream and a slow ramble around the garden later, I had accumulated photos of several new delights. Flowering for the first time in the hot border were Rudbeckia fulgida, Tagetes ‘Paprika’ (grown so successfully from seed last year and therefore a definite ‘must’ for this year too) and a rather sorrowful Calendula ‘Citrus Cocktail’, also grown from seed and a substitute for C. ‘Art Shades’ which was on my Wish List. A complete surprise is Alstroemeria ‘Saturne’ which had done nothing up to now so perhaps will make up for lost time this year.
I have been aware of a profusion of promising buds on the Clematis jouiniana Praecox (right), which are now beginning to open in droves, not quite white but almost a pale and dirty lavender which sometimes shows up as a distinct flush, but to see what I thought was Clematis ‘Arctic Queen’ in flower was a huge shock – I have had it ostensibly growing on an obelix in the species snowdrop border for years but it has never flowered and I had no concept of what the flower was like. It had put on more healthy growth this year, and perhaps extending the border as I did once the snowdrops had finished and adding compost has given it the kickstart it needed – I am well pleased with this one! However, I now realise it is not ‘Arctic Queen’ which must be its stubby unproductive neighbour, but without another label a bit of research is required (or a knowledgable blogger…. please).