Nasturtium (Tropeaolum majus) are fabulous fillers this time of year, still looking fresh until the Cabbage White caterpillars do their thing (big round of egg laying going on for the past couple of weeks), and then another flush of leaves and flowers in early autumn. Sadly the butterflies don’t distinguish between the common and my more unusual doubles, Darjeeling Gold and Margaret Long. Continue reading “Let’s hear it for the humble nasturtium”
Some big showers moving through at the moment. Pity I didn’t get more plants in this morning. There’s more rain tomorrow so onwards in a minute. Now it’s tomorrow (Sunday) and the predicted rain is now splashes rather than downpour, I was rather hoping for some effortless watering-in of plants. The top layer of this clay based soil is lovely to work when wet and warmed by the sun.
On Friday I built a large squash/courgette bed. Made out of lawn turf and filled with well rotted horse manure. Surrounded on all sides with string and bamboo to stop the chickens scratching it all out. Very few brandling worms in the manure so presume their work is finished and they have moved on. Hopefully come the autumn I will break it down and it’ll make a nice mulch for the borders.
A wicked wind has been blowing from the south for the last few days, trees debris everywhere. My bargain Lady’s Slipper Orchid has been getting a hammering, her fat bottom lip is browned where its been hitting the leaf below. Yesterday the wind briefly abated as the rain came through. Today is grey but the wind has died down, hooray.
I have built two slightly raised beds for woodies in the shade, unfortunately the squirrels have buried nuts in the ground underneath so there are confused squirrels and minor excavations in many places. Its interesting to sculpt these mounds a bit to create pockets and change the moisture levels rather than just planting on the flat. The soil isn’t very woodsy at the moment so some plants may be a bit touch and go. I also discovered a very small earth brown toad in my diggings and plantings.
We caught a young red deer on camera one morning, must have jumped the stream to investigate the edible potential of the garden, it took a small mouthful of Rosa Kaznalik and appears to have moved on. We did see it ambling through a neighbouring field again last weekend.
The other day a mole broke cover in daylight and ran across the lawn, I presume the resident mole had faced it down and forced it up into the daylight.
We got a turf cutter in on the late May Bank Holiday so the main borders are all cut out and planted up with a fair amount of plants. The first bits of the borders to be planted in January this year are filling out. Lupins, foxgloves and hesperis are making a show, the first eschscholzia and nasturtium Milkmaid are coming out. (I start eschscholzia seeds in pots rather than direct sow and then move them on in clumps rather than trying to prick out individual seedlings.)
It’s fabulous to see the amount of growth my bare root roses from Peter Beales have made, Great Western in particular is full of buds. Some of the roses I have hoicked around in pots also seem to be recovering. The inherited roses here so far are generally pink and not very scented, the only one I know is Handel. Although I do admire a classic hybrid tea rose shape, generally I think they are a bit stiff in a garden setting, but great for cutting.
I fear the hibiscus and peonies that came with the garden may also be pink which isn’t a great fit for the blue/white/yellow bed where they currently reside. An ordinary philadelphus is filling the garden with scent at the moment, so will stay.
Maybe the dull day should be used to pot on some buddleja who do not have a designated home as yet in this garden.