It’s cooled off this week, after last week’s mini heatwave, and has been a bit wet. I took a few snaps in the back garden before reporting on my seedling progress. My ceanothus ‘Puget Blue’ is just coming into flower now which is always a highlight. Behind it you can see my bleeding heart flowering away, and the rosemary.
A bright splash of colour is provided by a yellow wallflower which is just as well as the forsythia was a bit short-lived this year. It came into flower late because of the “Beast from the East” cold snap in March, and then went over quite quickly with all the rain. I have pruned it quite harshly this week so it looks even worse now.
There are bluebells and bergenia flowering on the shady side of the garden. But my bluebells can never compare to the wild ones that carpet our local woods and were at their peak last weekend.
So a germination update: since last week three beans, three cucumbers, two butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), and two smoke trees (Cotinus coggygria) have germinated. Yesterday I pricked out 14 Korean mint (Agastache rugosa) and four cranesbill geraniums (mixed unknown varieties). Today I have sown some more tufted hair grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) and purple cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’) as I have not had any luck with the first batch. The wild cow parsley is flowering right now so I don’t think I have much chance of having flowering plants this year.
Yesterday I planted out my sweet peas which has freed up some pots, so today I could sow some more seeds. My “potting bench” in the conservatory is now looking rather crowded! I have sown the beans, cucumber, and squash that I bought a couple of months ago, and the remaining RHS seeds which were two grasses (New Zealand wind grass Anemanthele lessoniana and Chinese fountain grass Pennisetum alopecuroides) and devil’s bit scabious (Succisa pratensis).
I have had really good germination from the snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) and Korean mint (Agastache rugosa), four geraniums, and two puny quaking grass (Briza media). Everything else, eight other species, nothing! I only sowed half the seeds in the packs so I may have to try again. Maybe my loo rolls aren’t popular, or the vermiculite, I have no idea.
Many months ago I pruned some succulent houseplants and left the bits lying around with the intention of sticking them in some compost. I then forgot about them but was amused to find them looking still alive with roots searching for moisture. In the case of the echeveria, the original leaves shrivelled but new plump leaves have grown. It amazes me the survival skills of these plants, whereas with others getting a cutting to root can be a nightmare (looking at you, ceanothus)!
Sweet peas and blue grass (Festuca glauca ‘Intense Blue’)
Clematis ‘Romantika’, pink jasmine (Jasminum beesianum), bellflower (Campanula portenschlagiana)
Hydrangea serrata ‘Bluebird’
We went to RHS Wisley today and came away inspired, and with six new plants! I’m very happy because I got some plants that have been on my list for a while. I got a bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis), a decorative blue grass (Festuca glauca ‘Intense Blue’), bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’), a double-flowered, creeping chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile ‘Flore Pleno’), and corsican mint (Mentha requienii). Lots of plants that beg to be touched and sniffed! I also bought a replacement for my hydrangea that sadly died from waterlogging because I failed to put the pot on feet. I was hoping I could revive it but it’s definitely as dead as a parrot. I chose a Hydrangea serrata ‘Bluebird’ which is a lace-cap like I had before but the previous one was a H. macrophylla.