Six On Saturday: Out of control

It’s never a good time to have a twinge-y knee but this mixture of plentiful rain and some sunshine has sent the garden and its weeds into overdrive. Storm Evert blew through yesterday and the hollyhocks were swaying about like seasick passengers on a cruise ship in roiling seas. I nipped out in between the downpours to take some photos. These give you a selective view of the garden. In truth the long border is mass of geraniums that are still waiting to be cut back along with knautia, alchemilla mollis and of course a good selection of weeds. Here’s the good side of the garden for this week.

One

A few weeks back I had a good moan about the zinnias having been eaten by the slugs. Fortunately a small group of them survived and are now in flower. It’s such a shame that they are a slug favourite, I think they do a brilliant job of giving late summer colour. These are ‘Purple Giant’ and ‘Orange King’. I really am giving up dahlias but I will probably sow zinnia seeds next year.

Two

I am always a little amazed at the price of some 9cm plants from online suppliers. But having nurtured these echinacea pallida from seeds sown at least four years ago I can understand why. I can’t remember how many seeds were sown but I only managed to get three though to plants. They spent probably two years in pots until they looked strong enough to cope with those rougher plants in the garden, they flowered last year and look so much better this year. But I hear that echinacea are short lived. Time to sow more seed.

Three

These standard echinacea I did buy in 9cm pots and they have been in the garden for four years. It sounds as though this is a good span. They look pretty settled to me and I can’t believe they are going to disappear any time soon. They are not too crowded out by other plants which may help. Live long please!

Four

Agapanthus is another plant that costs an arm and a leg at the garden centres. After seeing an impressive group of dark blue ‘Midnight Star’ at Hidcote some years ago I decided that I must have some here. I bought some 9cm pots at the aforementioned arm and a leg price and waited for the impact. Three years on I think we are nearly there. They are fronted by achillea ‘Antique White’, a pity bench purchase from a few years ago.

Five

Echinacea is a bit of theme this week. I love these ‘White Swan’. I grew some from seed which are coming along well but I think this group is from a 9cm pot. I will definitely sow more of these to keep a continual supply for the garden.

Six

As posted earlier in the week on Twitter, the potatoes grown in a container were upended and the ever-pleasing job of rummaging for the treasure began. I grew Belle de Fontenay this year, which are classed as second earlies/main crop. Four small seed potatoes were planted in a 17 litre container which was half filled with compost. This was topped up as the leaves came through. I was very happy with the haul of 3kgs, some smaller but a good proportion were of a generous size. The best advantage of growing like this is that there’s no danger of leaving the odd potato in the ground to grow on next year. I might be a convert. I have two rows growing in the ground which will be dug up as and when needed.

More rain is forecast, at least the water butts are full and are being put to good use for watering in the greenhouse. Something has been eating the peppers but I have picked the first one, french beans are cropping slowly, tomatoes just beginning to ripen, courgettes coming through at a good pace and the loganberries and blackberries also just ripening. Don’t mention carrots this year, virtually no germination, the onions might get a little larger and the rocket which has been a steady producer has succumbed to flea beetle. Storm Evert brought down a few apples which reminded me the trees are in need of a summer prune as does the grapevine which is truly out of control. While it rained I watched the RHS video on what I should have been doing. Here’s hoping things are good in your garden. The Propagator has posted sunny holiday snaps and will still manage to host the links to other SOS gardens. More sun needed here please so that I can make a start on gaining control again.

11 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Out of control

  1. You also present this week an agapanth but the flower stems are much higher than mine. The colour is about the same.
    Very nice echinaceas and beautiful results for your potatoes (almost 1 kg potatoes per 1 potato planted) Another advantage that you haven’t mentioned is that growing in containers can perhaps prevent blight? ? …( by moving the container of course if possible)

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  2. So glad your potato harvest was a success after container growing, I agree, and it’s so easy! I very much like your echinaceas, though I have to confess I thought something had gone wrong with the petals of the first one, lol! Zinnias aren’t a bad substitute for dahlias.

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  3. Gee, agapanthus is almost too common here. Ours are all traditional light blue, and are likely a mix of various cultivars and seed grown plants that had been purchased throughout the the Twentieth Century. Eventually, at about the turn of the Century, someone realized that there is no need to purchase any more. If I want to add some, I just take them from where they should be removed or thinned. However, I added the first white agapanthus this year, and they are all the same cultivar. They went into a neat and contained row in front of the chapel (cathedral) here.

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  4. The Agapanthus was definitely worth waiting for. The blue is very royal and the white Achillea in front delights me because the combination is same as my county colours. 😜
    I’ve tries zinnia from seed. Only a few came good, but I’m delighted they did.

    Like

    • I really do like them and at this time of the year they give some sturdy colour. The pallida is very delicate and I feel I should have many more to make an impact. So perhaps I’ll sow a few more seeds for the future!

      Liked by 1 person

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