Six on Saturday: Good Grief!

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.

Dahlias ‘Pink Petticoat’ and ‘Bishop of Canterbury’; Rosa ‘Kew Gardens’

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.

This entry was posted in art in the garden, dahlias, Gardening, Gardens, roses, sculpture, seasonal tasks, Six on Saturday. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Six on Saturday: Good Grief!

  1. A poppy? another garden surprise. Plants really do their own thing.

  2. bcparkison says:

    Do be careful on the roof.

  3. tonytomeo says:

    Oh, that hazel looks good. We grew them for a while, but discontinued them because of lack of demand. No one here knows what they are.

  4. There are so many unseasonable things going on in the garden, aren’t there? I picked my last outdoor(!) tomatoes this week. It’s all fun, but I am looking forward to a reset. Your witch hazel looks like it will be magnificent. Hope to see it again when it bursts into flower!

  5. Rosie Amber says:

    Don’t often see witch hazel in a garden setting, it looks good. Fingers crossed that the poppy makes it to bloom.

  6. Cathy says:

    The new sculpture is nice and sleek, adding interest without standing out too much… very nice! I have a few rust items in my garden and could imagine something similar in rust would also look good. I had a poppy bud try to open on Christmas Day once, in my old garden. Having seen yours, and with our mild weather, I will have to go and check my plants now too! LOL! See you later Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      Astonishing about your poppy! The other sculpture I was considering was even sleeker, and definitely more ‘arty’, but so much more expensive too! Yes, a rusty version would have been good, athough not reflective like this. I hacve quite a few rusty (intentionally!) things here too 😉

  7. Noelle says:

    The drought and then the rain and now mild weather has had a strange effect on plants. I wonder whether your poppy will open.

  8. Heyjude says:

    I noticed yesterday that my newest penstemon (Alice Hindley) was flowering. The ones I kept in pots flowered earlier, but this one is in the ground. I hope it survives.

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