ju1i3's blog

violas still going strong

the butterfly is enjoying the violas

butterfly on viola

viola

viola

viola

viola

viola

viola

just when I think about discarding a plant (deadnettle in this case), I notice bees loving it, they are also loving the violas and nasturtiums, pretty much the only flowers still in bloom

bee deadnettle

bee deadnettle

bee on phoenix nasturtium

the bees like to go right inside the flowers

bee in nasturitum phoenix

nasturtium with bee

I also noticed them on the auricula in bloom (middle shelf on the left)

nasturtium phoenix

rosemary seedlings

rosemary seedlings

this pot of seedlings is intriguing, the foxes knocked it over and some of the soil was knocked out exposing these seeds which germinated and starting growing, obviously a number of the same type of plant and I have no idea what! they were in the soil so a few more started growing out of a hole in the bottom, the larger leaved ones look like milk thistle, some look like a grass-type plant, will just have to wait and see

foxgloves have tiny tiny seeds, I shook out the seeds from that enormous foxglove in the back garden, I threw them into a couple of pots and have ended up with hundreds of seedlings, I've tried to split the seedlings into these small pots

foxglove seedlings

I had a wooden trough of muscari but it fell apart so divided the muscari into about 5 pots, while dividing them I found some bulblets, I'm used to seeing hyacinth bulbs with bulblets but never muscari bulblets before

muscari bulblets

end of August/beginning of September

Japanese anemone

a few days later, a spider has spun a web

the flower on that hosta with the enormous leaves, right above

hosta flower

a close up of the mahonia buds

mahonia buds

I'm happy I have flowers on these Phoenix Nasturtiums, especially as I didn't sow the seeds until July 2nd. Thompson and Morgan advised these were the closest to the Nasturtium Fruit Salad which I had problems with last year. They just look like bog standard nasturtiums to me, not sure what makes them Phoenix.

nasturtium phoenix

just similar to the nasturtiums by the front door below

flowering rosemary

I've had rosemary plants before but no flowers, this one I bought in flower Sept 2014 and it's been blooming on and off ever since. They seem fragile as branches break off if I even breath on it! Those little branches at the bottom right have broken off so I just put in the soil but they aren't growing, just turning brown.

rosemary

surprising rosemary seedlings as I've heard they are hard to germinate but I have no idea if they will flower and when (the Diet Coke is for scale)

rosemary seedlings

I've been unsure about these self-seeders. They generally look like centaurea montana which I've had off and on for a few years although they've never self-seeded. The two at the top have prickly-edged leaves. Why and are they the same plant?

a few days later and it's all become clearer! The current centaurea montana are growing in this flowerbed and I took the two pots with the unprickly-edged plants and positioned them under those in the flowerbed and I feel sure they are centaurea montana. Self-seeded to the left in the blue and white pot looks like another one which I will see how it grows.

As I was positioning these plants I saw a little shoot from the base of the globe thistle to the right which looks exactly like the prickly-edged examples in the pots to the right.

a close-up of the self-seeded globe thistles in the two pots to the left and the sprout from the base of the globe thistle to the right

I look forward to lots of centaurea montana and globe thistles next year.

Socks, finally looking at the camera, the apples to the right have fallen from the tree in the back garden, sadly they are not very good even for cooking as they cook down to mush in no time, I've been having to pick them up every day recently they've been falling so quickly.

a huge bumblebee on a second sunflower I have blooming in the front garden

Sowing the milk thistle seeds has been a great success, at least one seedling to each pot, most pots have more. The slugs have gotten to some. I need to be more vigilant. After the seed leaves there are the distinctive patterned leaves, prickly on the edge, so my idea that maybe the other centaurea-looking plants with prickly edged leaves are milk thistle is false.

milk thistle

I put the lupins on these shelves to keep them away from the slugs. The slugs are more wiley than that! They've made it up to the bottom pot which has another self-seeded plant it - something left by the slugs.

lupins in terracotta pots

Those lupins above and the violas below have this fungal growth on them.

exquisite pincushions

time for those exquisite pincushion flowers

scabious blue cushion

scabious

scabious Blue Cushion

scabious blue cushion

my first (possibly only one for this summer) sunflower with a bee

sunflower with bee

the bees are also liking the nasturtiums

nasturtiam with bee

nasturtium with bee

an update on the violas, it's hard to believe that only a few weeks ago these were tiny unexpected self-seeders which given space have grown and bloomed

this is another self-seeded viola, in the front garden

viola

two weeks later and the suspected milk thistle does indeed look like milk thistle with that new distinctive leaf, I also put that piece of acanthus in this pot and possibly a centaurea montana to the left

milk thistle

I did plant the milk thistle seeds which I was able to remove from a dried seed head and the germination has been excellent, I'm intrigued that the milk thistle I had a few years ago never seemed to self-seed

a week into August

a week after the views below, this is the sunnier side of the patio, I'm finding that the honeysuckle is allowing slugs access to my seedlings so I've taken to moving the pots to the other table each night

close-up of the violas: chicky chicks on the right, next to it a self-seeder, to the left another couple of seedings I found in a pot of something else and replanted them in their own pot

viola chicky chicks

rhubarb

last year or the year before, I had a plant that really needed dividing - they make it look so easy on tv but it's not - I divided it into a few pieces which I planted but I found this on top of the soil the other day so planted it up in a pot to see if that revived it, I'm not even sure if this is the right way up, as with so many things just have to wait and see what happens

a view further along the left side of the garden in the sun

a couple sea hollies to the left, globe thistles to the right, scabious barocca in the middle and another scabious in the blue and white pot, I struggled to grow sea holly from seed so bought 3 plants from the garden centre, only 2 have bloomed

close-up of the globe thistles, the bees are loving them, here's 3 on one flower

globe thistle with bees

I must be going mad! the bergamot seeds have turned out as this:

oenothera

oenothera versicolour? this entire seed tray is full of the small plants

I got so many plants from the one packet of seeds I was able to fill up the trough next door

what perfect garden views

one of the best garden views: violas in Victorian terracotta pots, some of my recently sown nasturtiums doing well and a cat!

close-up of one of the violas above which along with the other two viola/pansy in the front row self-seeded

viola

and that tiny one to the right, Viola Chicky Chicks

Victor comes, from his home round the corner, every day now

why even try to grow sunflowers when you have hollyhocks and artichokes making a spectacular view, the sunflowers are in the bottom right of this pic, being dwarfed by the taller plants - and they need watering! hollyhocks and artichokes cope quite well with little water, facing north

facing south

when those tall plants are looking good, the sunflowers are drooping, why struggle with them?, you can get caught up with how tall they are and see Monty Don is growing some on GW, it's great to come to terms with what works and what doesn't in your garden

a great view is the number of germinated seeds of these knautia melton pastels, every pot but one has at least one tiny seedling

knautia melton pastels

I have noticed some of the plants in the front with red leaves, I'm curious what causes it and if there's anything I can do about it, this is a self-seeded honesty, I have lots of those in the back with green leaves

looking under these red leaves are green leaves on the same plants so I'm even more intrigued

red leaves of honesty

this large thistle-like plant has appeared in this pot below, I think it might be chickory which I grew from seed a few years ago and only got 1 plant from the seeds, I compared a leaf here with thistles I have next door but it doesn't match so I think this is chickory, a seed must have been dormant in this pot, when I first grew it it reminded me of a giant dandelion, to the right a foxglove

chickory

a better view of the pot

agapanthus

another plant destroyed by slugs, I rescued a piece of this acanthus and put it in a pot

acanthus

studying these seedlings they appear to be the same sort, going left to right in size, the only thing I can think of right now is milk thistle which I had in the garden so it makes sense that it might have self-seeded but the leaves aren't quite right yet, will wait and see

milk thistle seedlings

as the milk thistles appear to self-seed I decided to collect some of the seeds and try to grow them myself, below the dried seedhead and to the right a couple of the seeds

milk thistle

this self-seeded agastache is doing great in the gap between the paving slabs

garden highlights at the end of July

I just love pansies/violas, here is an update on the viola chicky chicks with various colours of flowers appearing, that's a self-seeded verbena bonariensis at the back, I find violas/pansies some of the easier seeds to grow

viola chicky chicks

I bought these agapanthus in bloom a few years ago, I had a pot full of agapanthus plants grown from bulbs which never bloomed so I planted them in the garden as I didn't want to waste a pot and they still haven't bloomed, so for me buying  agapanthus in bloom has been a guarantee they will bloom in the future

agapanthus

I was trying to photograph the butterfly, bottom right, but it hasn't come out very clearly but the sea holly to the left and the scabious to the right make a nice view of the back garden

moving to the front garden, black knapweed

knapweed

artichokes making a spectacular show, as usual, in the front gardens, in the background are some thistles in bloom

artichoke plants

next door even more spectacular, especially considering the small "wild flower" plant it was sold as

artichoke plant

a group of self-seeded honesty, must be good conditions for them here, a pink flower of one just visible to the right

honesty seedlings

an unknown plant from the free perennial seeds given away with purchase of other seeds a few years ago, it's taken some time to get to this point

Socks in the sun

my experiments with Strulch are over, doesn't stop slugs but after they've eaten all my plants, it makes a nice comfy cat bed, this is Victor, a neighbour's cat

lupin damage

lupin damage

lupin damage

end of June/ beginning of July

The hollyhocks next door are looking magnificent. I think the garden next door (which I look after) has finally recovered from two lots of destructive building works in 2013 and 2010.

hollyhocks

allium sphaerocephalon

Allium sphaerocephalon

planting the hostas in pots has been a great success, only 1 has slug damage and that was the one with the foxglove which I think they got up to get to the hosta, huge leaves and 2 flower spikes on this one

hosta buds

hosta bud

the purple colour of this salvia amistad is exquisite

salvia amistad

the teasels have just bloomed, this one has a bee just visible bottom left

teasel flower with bee

I tried to grow poppies for the centenary of the start of World War 1. It's been a complete failure. I was surprised to see this one actually growing in this pot. Of the thousands of seeds I broadcast I had about 2 plants.

poppy

the first water lily of the year, I can see a couple of other buds

water lily

these viola chicky chicks have been very fast to bloom, I see a foxglove self-seeding at the front there and what looks like verbena bonariensis at the back

viola chicky chicks

one of my unknown plants is mint (I noticed that unmistakeable smell yesterday)

mint

I picked a leaf from another mint I have to compare, now to find what kind of mint

mint leaves

I'm still having trouble with slugs, for some reason they attacked the pot of cornflowers on the right and left the pot on the left alone

cornflowers

some of the nasturtium (Phoenix) seedlings a week after the pic below, 21 out of 25 seeds in the packet germinated, quite a good result

nasturtium phoenix seedlings

these are the kinds of seed I love: the nasturtium in the terracotta pots, almost every pot has at least 1 germinated seed (out of 2 seeds I planted) and the bergamot which has germinated and grown very well, whereas the delphiniums in the black plastic pots under the nasturtiums have no seeds germinated at all

I seem to have massive success with seeds or very little, the bergamot seeds are doing too well - I have too many so have to do the painful task of thinning them out, I did try planting some of the seedlings I thinned out in the pots top right, I'll see how they do

bergamot

garden updates middle of May

I just have to show that foxglove again. I've never had such a large one - it has 4 stems on it

foxglove with 4 stems

Polly Pocket, with a foxglove in bloom on the right and some enormous hosta leaves

vipers bugloss, I love this purple flower, sold as small "wildflower" plants at the garden centre so less expensive

knautia Melton Pastels, I love these pinchushion flowers, so do the bees

knautia melton pastels

some new blooms

this salvia has recently bloomed in the front garden, there's also a purple aquilegia to the left and some green alkanet in the background and a chinese lantern to the right

salvia

I never know where my best foxgloves (example below on the right) will be until they bloom as I have them self-seeding all over the garden

foxglove

my milk thistles have managed to bloom, in spite of their tastiness to slugs

milk thistle

all my pots have nigella and snapdragons which have self-seeded (a lot also have pansies), there's actually an ivy-leaved geranium back there which was the original occupant of this pot

more pansies, not sure if these are Tasty Pansy or Pansy Tea Party but one or the other either self-seeded or plants coming back from last year

pansies

viper's bugloss (echium vulgare), I love these blue/purple flowers

vipers bugloss

as well as the viper's bugloss the "purple" pot has nepeta in bloom and sea holly (tall stem in the foreground) not in bloom yet

I can't believe all these plants self-seeding in the cracks of the patio next door: nigella, violas, forget-me-nots

and ceanothus!

ceanothus

tiny beautiful viola flower

viola

a view of the back garden

another view of the back garden showing the yellow rose right at the back, sadly it has no scent, unlike the dark pink one flowering so prolifically at the moment at the front

the beautiful fat round chive flower buds

chive lower buds

later when the flowers are beginning to bloom, the bees are loving them

chive flowers

the irises in the back garden and an aquilegia in the foreground

iris

Scrophularia grandiflora

slug destruction, not helped by Strulch

I planted these lupins, mulched with Strulch, with high hopes.

before

although the lupin on the left has already been seriously damaged I thought the pink on the right was ok

lupins

after

I found a slug on the flower, having worked its way up the stem destroying all in its path.

lupins with slug damage

on the positive side, the cats are loving the catnip (nepeta) which is in pots, I don't know if the slugs like it or not, will have to test it

before

I had this tray of seedlings on the patio and the slugs got to them. I was wondering if the ones with the seed leaves eaten could recover.

calendula seedlings

after

I took them off the ground and removed the slugs underneath the pots and the ones with the seed leaves eaten did recover and continued growing.

calendula seedlings

A delphinium surrounded by Strulch, completely stripped by slugs, looks like a skeleton. I think I have to call the Strulch a failure. I thought maybe they got to the lupins via surrounding plants but that is not the case here.

delphinium surrounded with Strulch

I should probably just stick to plants that the slugs don't bother like this cerinthe which is gorgeous, or leave vulnerable plants in pots.

cerinthe

in the hottest weather the calla lilies bloom

calla lily

the bees are loving the chive flowers

chive flowers

the pot at the bottom has all purple flowers: nepeta, viper's bugloss, sea holly, the last two are not in bloom yet, the pot at the top has nepeta

purple flowers

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