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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.

20 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: On the cusp of good things

  1. Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ will be ready next week here. After the tulips you can add allium christophii if you don’t have any or phlox or lupins while waiting for the others?
    Parsnip sowing done but nothing to the horizon for 10 days…

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  2. I love the last photo, so colourful. You have to admire the FMNs for filling in the gaps so nicely. I am pulling some out now to, but still plenty more to tackle! Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Bevan’s Variety’ is a beauty, not that I have anything like dry shade! Shade, yes, but usually quite damp.

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  3. It is always interesting to see what gardeners have success with under challenging conditions – such as dry shade. The alliums are gorgeous. I do like the idea of covering the “gap” in bloom time with another kind of allium – perhaps one with a contrasting form?

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  4. So, the Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ are not only reliably perennial, but self sow, and seem to be true to type? The name, Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ (without a species name) suggest that it is a hybrid, which means that it has more potential for sterility, reversion or genetic variability than a straight species. My Allium christophii and Allium schumbertii are straight species, so I hope to collect seed from them. These are gifts from Tangly Cottage Gardening this year, and are my first, so I do not know what to expect.

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  5. I started with A. ‘Purple Sensation’ but it barely survives in my garden. Christophii, on the other hand seeds everywhere! I do the same as Jude with the leaves. I find Waldsteinia ternate does well in dry shade, covering the ground well. It rarely flowers for me though. Evergreen ground cover in dry shade is enough for me though.

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