Six on Saturday: 29/08/2020

It has been an unpleasant week for gardening. We had hardly recovered from last week’s Storm Ellen when we had Storm Francis on Tuesday of this week and, though not forecast, the damage was much greater. We had very heavy rain, with parts of the garden under water, and everywhere absolutely saturated. We had especially strong winds which caused some damage: there were twigs littered everywhere, several large branches down and one small tree, Cornus ‘Norman Haddon’, knocked over and beyond saving. It’s a pity to have to remove a tree which has grown here for over twenty years but, now that it has gone I feel that the bed is less cluttered and, perhaps, it’s loss may be a blessing in disguise.

The weather continues with particularly high humidity and very mild temperatures and these conditions have played havoc with soft fruit – plums and autumn raspberries are becoming infected with fungus even before fully ripe so that it is very difficult to pick and enjoy the fruit. Picked fruit has to be consumed very quickly or else frozen – there will be plenty of raspberries for jam and ice-cream!

On such weeks, one has to seek out the positive. It can be a challenging search but the effort on such occasions is generally rewarded. We just have to appreciate what we find interesting and beautiful and make the most of them, enjoy and treasure them and hope that next week will be better.

Click on the first photograph to start a slideshow:

The first of the colchicums had started to flower in the garden and I was determined not to lose them to the stormy conditions so I devised covers for them, somewhat makeshift, but they did the job well and the colchicums came through unscathed. I have grown colchicums in the garden for a good number of years and have added a number of different cultivars in recent years so was anxious that they continue to do well here. An old, well-battered plastic cloche, and a repurposed 7Up bottle served the purpose; the first covering Colchicum ‘Nancy Lindsay’ and the other Colchicum ‘Benton End’ (I haven’t researched the background but this one must have some connection with the artist, Cedric Morris who lived at Benton End). A small-flowered species, Colchicum parlatoris was left to the mercy of the elements but was well able for them and came through unscathed as it had a little shelter. You can see from the later photographs below that they came through well.

Click on the first photograph to start a slideshow:

At this end of the year – and it certainly feels as though the gardening year is coming to an end – any roses, which have survived the recent dreadful weather and continue to show a few blooms, are to be treasured. We may have a beautiful autumn and they may well have another flowering but at present flowers are quite sparse and those we have are especially appreciated:

Click on the first photograph to start a slideshow:

This is the season for hydrangeas; they would normally come into their best at this time of the year and they have, above all others, appreciated the recent rain (deluges!). It is a consolation to have some section of the garden looking well rather than being bedraggled, tattered, frayed and ratty after recent weather. We have a bed, about 20 plants, given over almost completely to hydrangeas and have a good number scattered about the garden also. Over the years, we have considered it one of the areas of the garden which give greatest return for least effort – a day in spring to deadhead and prune and that’s about it:

Click on the first photograph to start a slideshow:

On the other hand, dahlias have really and truly suffered in this recent dreadful weather. They have been well and truly battered and beaten by wind and rain. Mary has cut them back and has more or less given up on them for this year – what grows from now on will be an unexpected bonus. The wet conditions of the ground will make is a messy job to lift the tubers this year! A messy job! These individual blooms were snapped before she arrived with the secateurs:

Click on the first photograph to start a slideshow:

There are a few shrubs coming into their own at this time of the year, a little late season interest. Clerodendrum trichotomum has plans to take over the garden as it spreads vigorously by suckers but, with a watchful eye, they can be pulled out easily while young – but it is an never-ending task. Fortunately, it is an attractive plant, good flowers at present and these will be followed by a beautiful metallic blue berry. Ageratina ligustrina leaves me cold but it always appealed to Mary when we saw it in a local garden, Mount Congreve, and the head gardener there gave her a plant a few years ago which has done very well here. Amicia zygomeris is prone to frost damage here and we always wonder if it will produce its odd-looking flowers/bracts before it is knocked back for the winter. This year it has done well and we will appreciate it before we cut it to the ground later on this season. The flowers on Heptacodium miconioides are small while the leaves are held in an interesting and peculiar fashion which makes them very attractive. Nandina domestica looks well at the moment and, though Eucryphias have finished flowering their fallen petals are still attractive.

Click on the first photograph to start a slideshow:

To read more Six on Saturday blogs go to The Propagator’s entry for today: https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2020/08/29/six-on-saturday-29-08-2020/  ,scroll down to the comments and you will find other bloggers have posted links to their Saturday entry there. Lots to read!

25 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 29/08/2020

  1. Looking forward/not looking forward (means winter is coming) to my Colchicums pushing through – yours are wonderful! What struck me most was your first slideshow – all these bucolic, pastoral scenes and then the oh-so-space-agey bridge in the background! Great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a cheeky way to increase your Six-on-Saturday! Six slide shows. The views in the first first are stunning, what a lovely place to live. I’m hoping my other dahlias will flower but it may be that I will have only the one orange one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Colchicums are such a lovely surprise in my garden! I completely forget about them and then suddenly they are there! I love the Hydrangea border – mine are a bit disappointing this year after a late frost nearly finsihed some of them! Your garden is looking pristine despite the deluges!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The hydrangeas enjoy the rain but otherwise we have been cutting down so very much to clear up after the storms. Cutting and shredding is all we do, it seems!

      Like

  4. I’m sorry to hear the winds and rain wrote such havoc on your garden. It’s such a pain to clear up all the fallen branches and leaves. I enjoyed your lovely photos, particularly the view of the castle, which makes me want to get out my paint brushes, and all your lovely hydrangeas.
    I have a mystery rose in my garden,. It was number 2 on the list in this post on 11 July. https://www.hortusbaileyana.co.uk/2020/07/looking-lush.html

    I’ve often wondered if it was Frensham. Do you think it is?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really enjoy Paddy Tobin’s piece. I know now why the raspberries are hairy!

    On Sat 29 Aug 2020, 9:01 a.m. Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener, wrote:

    > Paddy Tobin posted: ” It has been an unpleasant week for gardening. We had > hardly recovered from last week’s Storm Ellen when we had Storm Francis on > Tuesday of this week and, though not forecast, the damage was much greater. > We had very heavy rain, with parts of the garden u” >

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Colchicums are beautiful, I can see why you needed to give them safe cover during the recent storms. I’m always amazed at how well roses recover after a bad period of weather, your photographs are lovely.

    The hydrangea bed is outstanding, the Playhouse view is the most beautiful, tranquil area.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The playhouse has now been painted black – I’ll apply the second coat this morning! Apparently, black is the new thing in the garden, I’ve been told by the head gardener!

      Like

  7. I am always surprised at how you are so ahead of me yet not that far away. There is no hint of colchicums nosing through the soil! My clerodendon got so damaged in May that I feared it would not recover but it has – but is too small and weedy to expect flowers – though the burning off of foliage has prompted the inevitable flush of suckers. The first flowers are opening on Heptacodium – a welcome sight – as you say it is not just the flowers but the whole plant that makes it so desirable. As for amicia – love it to bits!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s