Six On Saturday: Pesky blighters

It’s moan time. I have given up shrugging at the munching of the thalia and now I’m pretty cross. Number one pesky blighter is of course the slug. I collected seed from the delphiniums, sowed them, saw them through to germination, nurtured them over winter, watered them through dry April and set them off into the world last week. Within a night they had been grazed to the ground. This season’s sunflower sowings have had their leaves turned to filigree lace. The one hosta I have in the ground, surrounded by 5cms of Strulch but has suffered similar munching. But I was truly enraged when I saw a squirrel about to eat a rosebud. The lilies are up so I am also on vigilant watch for a second wave of lily beetle. I am going to making up a garlic solution today and will be spraying it liberally. I can only try to make a stand. Fortunately there are six good things in the garden to cheer the mood.

One

The roses are beginning to open, which is always a joy. This one is Gertrude Jekyll. Truth told this did not seem to have settled well into the garden but this year, four or five years on, it looks full of buds.

Two

These are the white flowers of Libertia grandiflora valiantly standing up against the euphorbia melifera. I planted four libertias just as the melifera seedling arrived in the garden. The melifera has dominated the spot and the libertias are fighting for the sunshine. Only one has made it to flowering so I am going to live dangerously and move at least two of the libertias to a sunnier spot. Now. This weekend. They have no flower spikes showing so I am going to risk the upheaval. Fingers crossed, as usual. The foliage is evergreen and the white flowers are a beautiful strong white.

Three

The clematis on the arch is in flower. It’s a montana wilsonii, which has made it to the top of the arch and is now gracefully twining its way down the other side. There it will meet the climbing rose Madame Alfred Carrière. Let the battle commence!

Four

The second batch of camassias are in flower. I think this variety is cusickii. A delicate paler blue than my other camassias which are now almost over.

Five

And next to the camassias, the siberian irises are just opening. I think these are my favourite irises, which is a good thing because they do clump up very vigorously for me.

Six

The very reliable geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ is in flower which gave me the excuse to leave this corner of forget-me-nots for another week.

It’s in and out time for the trays of seedlings in the greenhouse. I have two more pot grown mange tout germinations which means I can claim to have been successful with successional sowing! The first strawberry has been picked so summer must be very close. Enjoy your gardening this weekend and if you can tear yourself away stop by at The Prop’s garden gate for a chat with the other SOSers.

Six on Saturday: On the cusp of good things

It really does feel like the garden is teetering on the edge of its summer explosion. A much needed shower of rain arrived on Wednesday. Brief, not enough, but gratefully received. There are rose buds everywhere, delphiniums have won past the slugs and the alliums have started to open. But it will be a few weeks before take off. Here’s six things from the garden now.

One

The front garden here really needs some attention. One side is almost permanently in shade and is very dry and I tend to leave this side to its own devices. This is the best time of year for it, the bluebells can cope with the conditions and over five years the sweet woodruff has also found its comfort zone.

Two

Also thriving in this difficult spot is Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Bevan’s Variety’. Very tolerant of dry shade and a good deal of neglect!

Three

Last year I added a lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’ to a shady spot in the back garden. Within seconds the slugs had devoured it and later in the year I ploughed through the spot to plant a heuchera. Amazingly this year it has arisen phoenix-like from the ‘flames’ and has flowered. Perhaps it has now settled in enough to enjoy its challenging space.

Four

I am always looking for things to plants to plant in shady corners and sometimes the answer is right in front of me. The tellima grandiflora does well in this shady spot and now its been in a few years I am going to try dividing it after it finishes flowering. Tellima is billed as a prolific self-seeder but I can’t say I’ve seen any evidence of this so far. Maybe dividing it will shake the seeds into life.

Five

The allium ‘Purple Sensation’ has just appeared. This has self-seeded in the borders but it will be a few years before those get to flowering size. I need something to follow the tulips that will flower with the alliums, maybe its more alliums in different shades. Suggestions welcome.

Six

The forget-me-nots are going to seed and I have been gradually clearing the borders. Here’s one last corner where they do a good job of filling in the space before the geums and geraniums take over. The ubiquitous bluebell, iberis and osteospermum also oblige with gap-filling.

I seem to have sown far fewer annuals than last year and two trays of cosmos are showing very limited signs of life. I have had more success with zinnias and calendulas and they will do the job quite well. I’ll be sowing more carrots and parsnips today, and the daily ritual of taking seedlings in and out of the green house has begun. On the cusp, teetering on the edge, can’t wait, but I will have to!

Don’t forget to join The Propagator for his weekly blog and to see over the garden fence into many other SOS gardens. Have fun.