I am sure that like me you will find it hard to believe that the above bed is the same as that shown on 7th June, albeit from a different angle. On this baking hot day it looks gloriously colourful, with sweet peas in the background, Cosmos ‘Candy Stripe’ and now also C ‘Purity’ in the middle, red Alonsoa and dwarf Sunflower ‘Choco Sun’ in the foreground, with Rudbeckia ‘Goldilocks’ just coming into flower on the left. This is a good comparison to refer to when planting out in future years, a reminder of just how much growth can be expected in as little as 6 weeks at this time of year. It applies not just to seed raised annuals but to dahlias too, which are now bushy and all in bud, like one of my Karma dahlias whose label must be buried, and a Bishop’s Child seedling, now in its third year:
The bed nearest the greenhouse has colour too, although not as comprehensively, with a pretty flower on annual dahlia ‘Dandy’, those uninspiring marigolds, the godetia, and green tassels of Amaranthus ‘Green Cascade’ on the left:
In the same bed, Larkspur ‘Sublime Deep Blue’ is desperate to be included in a vase, whilst cornflowers are flopping about and will just be included in borders next year where other plants will support them, and bushy plants of Aster ‘Milady Mixed’ (middle picture) are still not quite flowering:
I am delighted to welcome back Sunflower ‘Ruby Eclipse’ after last year’s disappointment with saved seeds; neighbouring ‘Italian White’ and ‘Earth Walker’ are not far behind although none have reached great heights, barely reaching 5 feet tall which in truth is a very nice height to be 😉
Also continuing to fill out are Cosmos ‘Xanthos’, uncertainty over the colour now nearly overlooked by the number of blooms on each stem, where they cluster together, and a red amaranthus in the same bed as the sunflowers, and Antirrhinum ‘Admiral’s Purple and Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’ in another.
Others not yet flowering are the zinnias, although they were sown considerably later so perhaps they can be forgiven, Ammi visnaga, annual Dahlia ‘Sprite’, Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ and a couple of Tithonias, the only seeds from the packet to have germinated.
I try to deadhead most days, feed with comfrey tea once a week and water every few days during a dry spell. The amount of weeding required is minimal, and annual weeds are easily pulled out by hand. Right at the bottom of the garden, this corner gets sun for much of the day, and is an ideal spot for the greenhouses and the cutting beds. My rambles tend to head directly down there at this time of year with a slower and more circuitous ramble on the return leg, with every day bringing new surprises – Ruby Eclipse today! Whether blooms are cut or not, there is such joy to be had from mixed beds like this, with plant combinations we might not have considered elsewhere in the garden, and somehow a greater opportunity to learn from their growing habits. And with yesterday’s vase under my belt, I am already considering potential contenders for next week!