I was working through my list of garden tasks today and had just about finished deadheading, with tying in of clematis to follow, when I spotted this unusual visitor in the blue & white border. It took a fair amount of perusing our butterfly and moth book and a searching conversation with Google to determine for sure that it is was a Scarlet Tiger Moth. Mostly found throughout the south and west of England and Wales in damp wetland areas and coastal sites and flying in the daytime in June and July, sightings have increased further north and into the Midlands in recent years. They often lay their eggs on comfrey, which we do have in our garden, but it is far from being a wetland or coastal site!
Having paused by the blue & white border for longer than intended, on a whim I decided to cut out the stems of rose ‘Snow Goose’ that had finished flowering. Planted against the wall, it had been covered in blooms earlier but had become top-heavy and needed attention. A repeat-flowering rambler, I must have neglected to cut it back last year, but nevertheless have often thought that it wasn’t the best rose for this location anyway. It didn’t take long to cut it down to size and, seeing how well the Trachelospermum asiaticum was doing underneath it, I am now seriously considering taking the rose out altogether…a decision for another day.
The decision has been made about the aconitum, though, and that will be out as soon as it had finished flowering…
A whim is a dangerous thing when one has time on one’s hands, and last week I cut down the honeysuckle on one side of the lychgate, albeit on the basis that similarly severe attention given to another honeysuckle following aphid infestation produced lush new growth the following year. Hopefully, the result will be equally successful, and in the meantime it looks so much better without all that woody growth.
Tomorrow Rambling Rector will be tackled – but not on a whim as this is a routine maintenance task by which time we could have filled our garden refuse bin three times over!
And finally, ‘being thick’…many gardeners may not appreciate just how chuffed I am with my outdoor sweet peas, but this really is the first time I have grown any that are anything other than barely flowering spindly specimens. Instead of trying to grow them on the fence down the side of the cutting beds they have their own bed and purpose-built supports, and are rewarding me with prolific blooms and the thickest of stems, the latter a sure sign of healthy plants.