Six on Saturday: Send in the locusts!

Don’t bother they’re here!  Well not actually locusts, the latest garden pest to arrive is the sawfly caterpillar.  I caught a crowd of them devouring my nasturtiums and radishes.  And following a tweet from Horti Hugo  I scampered off to check the gooseberries.  I couldn’t see a single caterpillar but the evidence was there:



I’ve cut my losses on the gooseberries this year.  Life got busy at the wrong time and I didn’t get that netting done so I picked all that I could and I will have to wait for next year.  The blackcurrants have been netted and at least there are plenty of berries there for us all to enjoy.



Pottering gardener alert:  I decided there was far too much leaf on the tomatoes in the greenhouse and my goodness, turn your back for moment and those side shoots put on a spurt.  The side shoots were removed and some of the longer branches were cut back.  I know this is usually done as the tomatoes ripen but I decided that it needed to be done now.  I did find several green tomatoes hiding beneath the foliage so I think I did the right thing.  The long side shoot at the bottom has also gone now!



Still no rain here and the hydrangeas are wilting.  Here’s my favourite one which is framed on either side the by striking foliage of the siberian irises.  They did get a good watering after this photo was taken and picked up nicely.



I am delighted to report my first dahlia flower – not one of those bright stunners but a rather subtle white and green affair.  It’s blanc y verde from a Sarah Raven collection.



The penstemons are coming through now.  I thought I had carefully recorded the name of this one when it was purchased, but no.  I think it was firebird but could it be garnet?  Maybe there is a pot somewhere with a label on it!



It’s still June, so I’m still featuring roses.  I really like this one because it is so different to my other roses.  It’s Jaqueline du Pre, a semi double Harkness rose.  I love the stamens.

For all the links to sixes from gardens around the world go to The Propagator’s blog – all the ups and downs of gardening and gyo will be on display.

17 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Send in the locusts!

  1. The Dahlia is lovely, very understated. So many pests this year! No rain here either and now it’s going to get hotter. The Penstemon looks like ‘Garnet’. It’s very reliable in my garden. Someone told me that the narrower the leaf the hardier the Penstemon.

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    • I’ve been racking my brains and I think it was garnet. But I might go hunting for the pot just to be sure. I’m dreading this week weather wise. We are on a water meter and there is not a drop left in the water butts. I think you are right about leaf and hardiness.


  2. Jaqueline du Pres is really gorgeous, and I think the first time a Northern Hemisphere has mentioned the name of a rose I recognise! It’s very fetching with those pink stamens.

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  3. The dahlia is very beautiful, the penstemons and flowers of hydrangea too .. and this last rose, lovely !
    About tomatoes, I remove the side shoots each time and as soon as the tomatoes are formed and green, I also remove all the branches until the first cluster, It gives light and energy and I continue while they grow up ( I hope it’s understandable)

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  4. I really empathise with your sawfly suffering. We rarely notice them – they’re so tiny and camouflaged according to their “host” plant they can be difficult to see even when you’re looking at a branch covered with them! At least you have a nematode option available. Berberis sawfly were the cause of Edifice 2 here; the only alternative was Provado!. Jaqueline’s stamens always get me thinking of clusters of little musical notes.

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  5. Sorry to read about your struggle with pests. Ugh. The Jacqueline rose couldn’t be lovelier. A sister in California shares your issue with hydrangeas drying out in the heat. She comically renamed her white ones ‘S’mores’ this year because of their marshmallow effect. Yours aren’t far gone, though!

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  6. It’s a good year for sawfly caterpillars – they are munching away on the gooseberries at Charleston and the other day I found a colony happily eating the leaves of my new Lady of Shallot rose. I picked the affected leaves off and put them in the bin – hopefully that has got rid of them! On a more positive note what a beautiful dahlia you have there.

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  7. Lovely six. I sympathize with your thirsty Hydrangea plight. For a short time, I was responsible for watering Hydrangeas planted in little dips along a south facing rock outcrop. Very bad choice, and almost impossible to keep the Hydrangeas hydrated.

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