Six On Saturday: Taking the rough with the smooth

It’s an emotional life being a gardener.  This week I have experienced frustration with the slow growing dahlias, sadness for the agastache that didn’t come through the winter and anxiety over the lack of rain.  Fortunately there have been plenty of joys too.  Here’s six good things from the garden.


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The monthly look at the border.  From this angle the delphiniums are blocking the view of the roses that are just coming into flower.  Everything is filling out very well and for the moment the water butts are providing enough water. As I enjoyed all the new growth I was struck by how I have, almost without exception, gone for height on this border.  Not much gradation going on here, but I like it.  The brown patch is still awaiting inspiration and so for the third year will be home to the annuals grown from seed. I’m thinking about trying libertia chilensis (grandiflora) here – more height.



Now for the detail of the main border.  This is allium ‘Mount Everest’ which in itself it lovely but there’s a little disappointment here as I planted 12 bulbs two years ago and topped them up with six more this year.  Flowering result this year: four.  They do grow tall but the flower heads are quite small.  I suppose any larger and they would wobble on their long stems.


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Behind the delphiniums lurk rosa ‘Wisley’ and ‘Gertrude Jekyll’.  This week ‘Wisley’ gets to be the star.  The roses were planted three years ago and this year they are excelling themselves.



Behind the ‘Wisley’ roses are a clump of ‘White City’ irises.  Again they have been in the ground for three years, having come to me from a division of a friend’s clump.



Climbing up the back fence, in shade in the morning but catching the sun by the afternoon is ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’.  This was planted out last autumn and I am impressed by it’s the speedy progress and generous flowering.  A winner.



The not quite open irises featured last week have burst forth and are stunning.  These also came from a friend’s garden and I have promised to pass them on again to two more friends.

So this week’s little homily is there’s good and bad in life and in the garden but keeping the good in focus is what’s important!  I looked up the meaning of homily and I rather liked this definition: advice that is often not wanted.

It’s another long weekend in the UK and I shall be helping out at a local plant sale on the Sunday. Also on the to do list are planting out the overwintered pellies into the summer containers and prepping the veg beds for the beans, courgettes and cucumbers.  I shall also be peering optimistically at the parsnip and carrots sowings, and undoubtedly doing some watering. Happy gardening to all.  For the links to more SOS postings go to The Propagator’s blog and feast your eyes on what’s on offer.

18 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Taking the rough with the smooth

  1. The more years pass, the more the flowers of allium decrease in diameter .. I will have to change them? or add fertilizer ?? I don’t know. Your whites are nice because we see less often
    Good luck for tomorrow, good sales and lots of purchases without breaking the bank!


  2. You are quite right, it is always a little bad and hopefully a little more good in the garden. Lovely roses and your delphiniums look fabulous. Libertia is a great choice, it would be in flower now and give some great early colour (I know white isn’t really a colour but hey!).

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  3. I love how the path has grown in now. Your decision for height is a good one – hopefully next year we’ll see the libertia adding itself to the mix. That should be quite nice. Wisley has stolen my heart. Do bees visit roses that are that dense in petals? If so, I want one! Sorry about your losses. That’s never fun, but it does make more room for more plants!

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      • I’ve read that pollinators have trouble w/some of the more complex blooms that we’ve developed, but haven’t a clue how complex is too complex. I suppose if there’s so much else in the garden for them, we can have a few for us, though.


  4. That Wisley rose is beautiful. We have one that’s similar but I did my usual trick and lost the label. You have a lot of colour in your garden.

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  5. The border is looking fantastic! What a difference a month makes in the gardening world. I love the colour of your irises too. I have planted loads of Alliums but only a few ever seem to flower. What is that all about?

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  6. I’m excited to 6 or 7 delphinium seedlings this year. I hope I can keep the slugs away. I also have l. Chilensis seedlings. Lots of lovely colour in your six today, enjoyed seeing. I must get an alfred rose, I have admired a few of those.

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  7. Emotional, but worth it. Those who do not enjoy gardening are missing out. Anyway, that white iris is rad, and one that I have not heard of. It looks taller and lankier than any of my four white iris. (Two of mine might be the same.) It looks like Iris pallida in white.

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