I Spoke Too Soon!

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!

26 thoughts on “I Spoke Too Soon!

  1. So sad to see your Rodgersia in a state of collapse! I have one in the Fernery that is quite shaded and it is a bit smaller than usual but the one at the small pond in the back Garden is doing better than ever, I had to cut it to the ground after the late frost earlier in the year so I am delighted it is doing well. I am also very grateful for a proper name for one ot the Day Lilies that I also have! It was one I got from Jacinta a few years ago and I now have it in the Hot Border and when I moved it there I didn;t get all the roots so now I have two fine plants! You must have recovered the lilies from the infestation you told me about!

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  2. It honestly sounds like an Australian summer. But we are acclimatised and many many houses now have dual aircon which makes life totally bearable. And because in my state, our power is hydro-power, a renewable resource, we feel okay about running it on the super hot days. I feel for you with the garden though – it’s an awful feeling watching plants wilt by the second. But it still looks as beautiful as ever. Being a lover of white gardens, I’m in love with the Leucothemums and the Veronicastrums and have noted them. Cheers, Paddy.

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  3. Despite the heat you manage to show us some beauties in your garden. So sorry for the rodgersia … I’m back from vacation and mine looks halfway like yours. All of the upper leaves of the plant have grilled. Fortunately, the new leaves on the underside look healthy. I gave it a lot of water ( same for the Gunnera …) .
    Do you think yours will recover?

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    1. The rodgersia is gone for this year. We don’t water except to save a plant from dying – the rodgersia will come back next year. We have our own water well so we need to be careful with water usage. We would never put on a sprinkler and leave it run, for example. We spot water with watering cans for the plants in danger of dying.

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  4. Yes we heard the news about your ‘moderate’ temperatures, sadly here we have been having tropical nights each night for a number of days. The heat got to me a little and more so to my small garden. I’ve enjoyed reading your post this week, and viewing the whole garden via your slide show. I must commend you on your very attractive vegetable garden. I am sure the rain will soon help in the garden.

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  5. So impressed by the veronicastrum. How long have you had them? Mine, three or four years in are still pretty pathetic, they are not in full sun so maybe that’s the problem. Hydrangeas here were scorched – clearly in too much sun! Hope you have some rain to help with the watering.

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  6. Gosh that is hot. We’ve had a few 28C days here but not too many. Some rain for a few days has been forecast but it seems to be rain tomorrow, but never rain today. So we are still waiting. The walk around your garden was most enjoyable. The plumbago is such a stunning colour.

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    1. We have also had promise of rain on several days but it never arrived. Elsewhere there were dramatic thunder storms during the week, north of us.


  7. I think my wife has that plumbago as a house plant but it hasn’t flowered since it was moved to a shadier spot. I must see if I’ll be allowed to take it outdoors for the summer (if I promise to remember to water it) – it’ll solve the sticky spent flower residue issue too if it’s the same type. It is a beauty. As is ‘Hazel’s Dream.’

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    1. The plumbago is a biggish plant at this stage, about a metre and a half high. We cut it back for winter storage and it puts on about a metre of growth each year with good watering and feeding. It flowers on the current year’s growth.

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  8. In Brussels, summer temperatures regularly top 30 degrees, but this is an odd year and we’ve had more torrential rain and flooding. Hope it cools down for you! It’s been a stunning year for Leucanthemum I think – mine has never flowered so well and for so long. I agree that it’s a great plant. I love those barley fields, and the way you’ve reflected it back in your own garden.

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  9. I like the idea that you have plumbago growing over there where a 20 degree night is a thing of wonder and exception 😉 Not that we have very many, but certainly some every summer. It is not quite often enough to have us put in air conditioning.
    Anyway, your plumbago looks lovely for the dandling and soft treatment it’s getting. And your leucanthemum is beautiful too!

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    1. Yes, we would consider 20C at night an introduction to the gates of hell; far too hot for our comfort. The plumbago wouldn’t survive our winter frosts but we manage with this regime of winter protection followed by a summer outing. It’s a very pretty colour and worth the effort.


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