…so let’s start with one of them that is, Rosa ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’ on a stem accidentally broken off when I was tying in a nearby clematis. It certainly proves that it pays to study the plants in our garden closely as I found that not only does it have the most exquisite fragrance but its petals all have a deep scallop in them, creating the effect of even more petals. Checking on other roses, some have a hint of this too, but nowhere near the extent of this particular rose – and it’s not something I have particularly noticed before. I am surprised that it is not mentioned in David Austin’s description of it, as to me it is a real feature, as is the fact the buds start off a dark coral colour before magically transforming to true pink once they open fully: a truly enchanting rose.
Definitely not pretty is the apparent return of mildew on Busy Lizzies (below left), after enjoying 5 or 6 years of new resistant varieties – I have not heard it mentioned anywhere yet but this is clearly and sadly what it is. I am not sure what has happened to a number of my seed-sown zinnias (right) either but I am confident it is not slug damage. I have made a very late second sowing but will, I think, just have to accept that there will be fewer zinnias gracing the cutting beds this year.
It’s my own fault as I tend not to enter the fruit cage between early season mulching or feeding until fruit is ripening, but there is now sawfly on the redcurrants, munching their way through the leaves. I did use a neem oil drench over winter the year before last, but forgot last year. Usually, the fruit is not too badly affected by the leaf damage and I will make an effort in the next day or two to pick off what I can to limit any further damage.
You might want to close your eyes and miss this next one out and admittedly I too feel like shedding a tear as I gaze at this, the Lanky Lodger on his way to the bin…a very sorry sight indeed…
I could say he was on his last legs, gradually disintegrating, but he has spent a lifetime sitting down, which might explain the lack of muscle as he has never used them. The Golfer certainly looked at me aghast when he saw the above picture, bemoaning he would have no-one to wave to when he went for a walk around the garden, and I did briefly consider if there was any way he (the lanky Lodger, not the Golfer) could be revived but no, it was only ever going to be temporary installation because of the way he was constructed. I would like to do something else similar in due course, but with just a chickenwire framework, perhaps.
The last two of my six for Jon the Propagator’s weekly meme are on a more cheerful note, with the first of this year’s seed-sown blooms in the cutting beds, Calendula ‘Sunset Buff’, the half-open flower cleverly (the variety, not my photography) showing off the contrasting obverse and reverse of the petals at the same time, and the first dahlia, ‘Happy Single Juliet’ – not the most perfect bloom, but a bloom all the same.