Last week, I complained that it was too hot not realising that it was only warming up and that this week would be more like the gates of hell than an Irish garden. We had one afternoon with 28.2C [82.76F] and others almost as hot. Ireland had its first experience in twenty years of what meteorologists describe as a Tropical Night – one where the temperature didn’t drop below 20C [68F] – and its first ever Amber Hot Weather Warning, a warning that the heat has the potential to impact on a person’s health! There were occasions when I felt under heat stress but it passed. Thankfully, this Saturday afternoon is very pleasant at 18C.
Plants reacted differently to the conditions of the past week. Some went into rapid decline while others seemed to relish the heat. A number of hydrangeas went into limp-leafed collapse and had to be revived with a few full watering cans – ‘Anthony Bullivant’, ‘Wim’s Red’, ‘Burgundy Lace’ and ‘Hot Chocolate’ all suffered but have all come back perfectly well.
‘Tis an ill wind that blows no good, it is said and the hot weather is just what our neighbouring farmers needed to ripen their fields of barley and the view out over the garden fence is an attractive one at the moment.
Looking back into the garden the barley scene is reflected in the patch of high grass which has quickly turned colour so it won’t be long until I need to cut it. Before that, I must save seed from the Yellow Rattle and I’ll spread it later in the year. Much of the seed has fallen already – perhaps, nature knows the best time to do such things – and will, no doubt, lead to good germination and a good covering of Yellow Rattle next year. It has helped over the years as the vigour of the grass has certainly been weakened and the wildflowers have done well as a result.
This patch of Rodgersia aesculifolia performed exceptionally well this year. It was planted here some time ago when the trees here were young seedlings. Obviously, the trees have grown over the years and the ground beneath it becomes very dry in summer but this year we had good rainfall at the right time and the rodgersia did better than it has done in years – I am toying with the idea of taking it out and replacing it with epimediums. However, the heat of the last week has proven too much for it and it has succumbed to heat and drought – notice how some of the foliage to the front had been burned by the sun.
Plumbago auriculata is a native of South Africa, a shrub or climber in more suitable conditions which is not winter hardy with us. We have it in a large pot and take it into the glasshouse for the winter. It is doing especially well this year as we repotted it in spring into one of those large black plastic pots which have handles on top so moving it is now far easier than previously. It is a particularly beautiful blue which I like very much and I look forward to it coming into flower each year. It also serves as a memory of a dear departed friend who gave it to us before he went to live in a retirement home in the U.K.
Leucanthemum ‘Hazel’s Dream’ is a particular favourite of mine – and featuring again this week as it did last week. The eponymous Hazel is Hazel Woods, daughter of Paul and Orla, of Kilmurry Nursery, near Gorey Co. Wexford. Hazel is now part of the nursery team and I’m sure will introduce many more beautiful plants. The flowers of ‘Hazel’s Dream’ are large, semi-double, and a beautiful clear white. They move in every light breeze which is very eye-catching and, as it is a plant of excellent health and vigour, is very easy to grow, propagate and increase in the garden. It is one of those as-good-as-it-gets plants! An absolute topper!
Finally, for this week’s round-up of the gardening week, a walk around the garden. I have tried to arrange the photographs in a sequence as close as possible to the route I took around the garden – Windows will arrange them alphabetically by my labels but I numbered them to get around that.
I’m sharing this blog with a group of fellow bloggers who contribute to a “Six on Saturday” theme which is hosted by “The Propagator”. To read more contributions go to The Propagator’s entry for today, scroll down to the comments and you will find other bloggers have posted links to their Saturday entries there. Lots to read!