Never in a million years would I expect to see a plump bud on a herbaceous poppy almost halfway through November! Usually flowering in early June, this poppy then dies down disgracefully before producing fresh foliage later in the year, all of which it has done, but never another flower. Still, we know the weather this year has thrown up some oddities, so this is just another of them. Will it get as far as opening?
Without frosts so far, dahlia foliage is still green and healthy but I realised today that any remaining buds on the plants are now sulking, stamping their feet and saying “enough is enough!”. The most recent blooms are now generally deformed on opening, and fully-open blooms are quickly becoming soggy, so even without the frost it looks as if their season is over – unlike the roses, where any new blooms are still mostly perfect, albeit a little smaller than usual.
Despite an earlier loss of leaf from the extreme heat, many witch hazels are now unexpectedly smothered in buds. Lack of rain in summer usually seems to limit their flowering, so I am not sure how this has come about but perhaps it’s the timing of the rain that is critical and it will be interesting to see if their time of flowering is affected. Below is witch hazel Hamamelis ‘Rochester’, still partially clothed in leaves:
Garden tasks have sadly been limited this week because of other commitments, but I did manage to clamber onto the shed roof to begin pruning climbing rose ‘Cécile Brunner’, hampered by the conjoined honeysuckle. This rose flowered at its very best this year and deserves a bit of attention and less competition, so the honeysuckle is being cut right back, although I have a long way to go with it yet:
I managed to get most of the Coop bubblewrapped this week, but have run out of clips and still have the ends to do. Although intrigued by Monty Don’s use of canes to support his bubblewrap, I find the plastic ‘ali plugs’ quick and easy to use, and relatively cheap as well, supplemented by little bulldog clips on the edges and door:
And finally, the sculpture for the obelisk border arrived this week, all the way from Poland. It is made from sheet stainless steel and therefore hollow, which is why it was that much cheaper than one of the alternatives I was looking at, but it is nevertheless perfectly satisfactory and will reflect its surroundings and the light in interesting ways.
Thank you to Jim of Garden Ruminations for hosting this Saturday meme, and do now consider popping over to his blog to look at other Saturday Sixes.