Six on Saturday: Phew!

Phew…what a scorcher it was yesterday! Phew! What a hectic afternoon it was on Thursday! Whew! What a relief it is to have some rain today! Take your pick…

On Thursday afternoon we had our only (so far) booked group visit to the garden, the first time we have had such a visit before our general openings. The organiser made a provisional booking when she visited in February, confirming it a few weeks later with an expected group size of around 20; this was followed up on Tuesday of this week with a  revised estimate of 33, necessitating roping in extra support, calling in some of my ‘special’ chicken mugs to ensure there were sufficient, and modifying plans for plant sales. It meant a very hectic couple of hours on Thursday, but a good source of income for the National Garden Scheme as the group had pre-booked refreshments and spent a moderate amount on plants too. The roses were certainly on form and their fragrance hung in the air on the pleasantly sunny and warm afternoon:

Thankfully it wasn’t as hot as yesterday, when temperatures reached nearly 35°C by late afternoon, although you can see from ur weather monitor that it was pretty warm inside too, reaching 29° by the end of the day in our kitchen with the always-on Aga. The upside was that we were due rain all day today, although it has mostly been persistent showers rather than anything heavier. Temperatures have dropped to 12 or 13°, more than 20° less than yesterday, although it is still exceedingly warm in the house where the heat seems to have been retained.

Deadheading and staking roses were on the schedule for today, although I took a busman’s hYliday to visit (wet) open gardens in a nearby small town this morning, and progress was limited because of the weather. They will still need deadheading and staking tomorrow…

Yesterday’s heat was probably the last straw for the Winter Sunshine sweet peas in the greenhouse which, although still covered in blooms, are producing them on increasingly short stems, making them difficult to use in a vase. Now that my outdoor sweet peas are getting going, this may now be the time to remove the former, enabling me to get my tomatoes into the greenhouse border instead. I usually wait till after our main garden openings, this year on 22nd and 26th June, but I may take the plunge and pull them out before then.

Next to the greenhouse, in the cutting beds, one or two more annuals are beginning to show colour now, particularly the clary sage, like ‘Oxford Blue’, below. Incidentally, I have made a second sowing of zinnias which are growing at the rate of knots and will hopefully still produce many weeks of flowers in due course. It seems as if the demise of my others may have been damping off, perhaps due to a relatively cool April.

Finally, despite the dampness of my rambles around the garden today, I managed to notice the often overlooked ‘stinking iris’, Iris foetidissima, flowering in the woodland edge border – more often than not it is the autumnal berries that catch my attention rather than the flowers.

I wonder what our host, Jon the Propagator, and his guests will be featuring on their blogs today? Do pop over to Jon’s blog and find out.

 

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17 Responses to Six on Saturday: Phew!

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Iris foetidissima is naturalized to a minor and not so invasive degree here. I had thought that it was native! Well, actually, it does happen to resemble native species. Is the fragrance objectionable? I do not notice it.

    • Cathy says:

      Supposedly it smells ‘beefy’ when the leaves are crushed, but I haven’t tried it (yet…)

      • tonytomeo says:

        I should try. I have not handled any in many years. I put some in my garden in town because I thought they were another species. I divided them only once, and then removed them the following season. I do not remember an aroma.

  2. Rosie Amber says:

    I hope that your visitors enjoyed your gardens as much as we do.

  3. Pauline says:

    Thank goodness for the rain! We had lots yesterday, all evening and during the night so I’m sure the garden feels a lot better. I’m sure your visitors enjoyed your garden with all your roses and sweet peas and I’m sure your garden appreciates the cooler temperatures!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, it was wonderful to have rain, although we only had about 8mm, but the garden really appreciated it and of course things have put on a further spurt since then! I have had lots of roses to deadhead and stake since then though! Yes, the roses were indeed glorious and will still be in full bloom for our main openings trhis week

  4. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Roses seem to be doing particularly well this year and yours look beautiful despite the rain. The weather is so variable and I am confused by it so I presume the plants are too. I’m glad the group visit went well for you.

    • Cathy says:

      The roses are certainly spot-on timewise for our visitors (sometimes Rambling Rector is over early in June) – the COVID year when we decided not to open they were all over before the end of June, well, first flush that is. Weather is looking good for Weds and Sun thankfully 👍

  5. Cathy says:

    Oh, you were lucky it wasn’t that hot on your open day Cathy. We have got that weather here today, and are indoors with the curtains and blinds drawn and windows closed! Like most German houses ours is well insulated and we manage to keep it a fairly cool 22 or 23°C indoors provided it cools down overnight. Do you grow the perennial sweet peas as well?

    • Cathy says:

      Oh gosh, I can’t imagine what it must be like to be inside like that with everything closed…. 🙄 What would the houses be insulated with, generally? I have had perennial sweet peas but they outgrew where I had been growing them so I took them out – they flowered well, but it always seemed a shame to have no fragrance…

      • Cathy says:

        Most houses are built with ‘double’ walls of breezeblock type bricks, but there is also a trend to building with wood again these days. Unfortunately our house has some kind of cladding – we weren’t keen when we found out, but it does help a great deal with keeping the heat out in summer and in in winter!

  6. Now that was seriously hot Cathy! A friend who visited GW Live had to escape by noon as she found it way too hot but fortunately she was there on the Thursday as well. It didn’t get up to those dizzying heights here but still it was rather warm and muggy on Friday. We escaped though without the rain yesterday other than a few spits and spots. Good to hear that the group visit went so well and will be thinking of you this week. We were considering an excursion in your direction but the rail strike has sadly put pay to that notion 🥲

    • Cathy says:

      I was guessing that Friday’s GW programme was not filmed on the Friday as it didn’t look as if people were sweltering – that temperature would certainly put a ‘damper’ on any enjoyment of an event, Did your friend enjoy it? Shame about the rail strike, as it would have been lovely to see you. We have no plans beyond the 2nd opening yet but perhaps we can meet up somewhere again …? Thanks for your kind thoughts

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