I have been scraping burnt-on grease stains off the Aga this afternoon, but feel I have had to really scrape the barrel for today’s Six on Saturday post, the meme hosted by Jon the Propagator. At least I can start with something worth seeing, the only streptocarpus in the Coop that is flowering, S ‘Polka Dot Purple’. I began to build up a collection of them last spring, attracted by their long flowering season and ability to cope with temperatures down to 6°C. Although they overwintered well enough, they began to struggle early this year, first with an infestation of minute aphids and then with their watering regime. I ditched some of them and replaced some favourites, and am working hard to crack their aftercare. Two of the earlier batch which were kept are shown below, the one on the left probably on the way out, but the other perking up surprisingly well:
The size and weight of the branches of Rosa ‘Mme Alfred Carrière’ that sprawl above the ‘bus shelter’ are such that they need support, and one branch has been supported by a redundant tree stump for some years. In recent weeks it has had to be repositioned more than once and in doing so this week the Golfer found that the stump had become loose and was leaning at an angle; further investigation showed that the base had now rotted, meaning the stump was no longer of use as a support. It wasn’t till a day or two later that I realised that when the stump is removed, as it will need to be, I could move the comfrey which currently occupies the bed at its base, probably to the woodland edge, and give myself a further extension to the blue & white border…the garden continues to expand!
Also still taxing my brain is the ex-snowdrop border, although I have made progress this week and ordered some shrubs for it, albeit without a specific planting plan (hydrangea, nandina, sarcococca). I have also been toying with including a sculpture in the border and, finding it hard to visualise the scale of it, temporarily plonked an obelisk from elsewhere in the garden between the 2 existing obelisks (which will have clematis growing up them) to give myself more of an idea. It doesn’t really help but, having decided to include a sculpture, coming to a decision of what to have is not easy. I am not proposing to create my own this time, but to purchase one in stainless steel – without physical examples in front of me it is not an easy choice and I don’t want to rush it. It seems likely that the refashioned border will take on the name of the sculpture, whatever it turns out to be.
Having found a moment to order two new heuchera for the bronze heuchera bed, they were finally planted this week and the bronze effect is complete again, in time to set off the Acer griseum they grow around when the leaves began to change colour.
Our neighbours on the hedge side have had contractors in to cut the hedge today, and they came to our door this morning to ask if we could move one of our vehicles so they could cut ‘the corner’ of the hedge at the front of our properties. I was rather surprised when I went out later to move the vehicle back to find they hadn’t just cut the corner but had instead cut right the way up to our gate, ie ‘our side’ of the hedge! I am not complaining, as it saves us (the royal ‘us’, as it’s one of the Golfer’s tasks!) the effort…
Finally, finishing on another productive note, I will be off out to pick some raspberries when this post is complete. I only grow autumn fruiting raspberries but double crop them so, after picking over 17lbs in June and July, the second smaller crop is now ripening too. There will still be some blackberries to pick as well, this year ripening slowly over a longer period. Most of the raspberries and blackberries will end up on my breakfast muesli over the coming year.