I imagine, as many of you do, that now is the time to take stock of what has worked and what hasn’t. We as gardeners are a picky lot and anything not coming up to standards generally has to go. For me this year it has to be Lupins which I hadn’t grown for many many years. I grew them as a result of free seed on a magazine but although they were lovely healthy plants I found them too big and ungainly and they left an enormous gap when I cut them down after flowering. Not that a gap is ever a problem to fill. I think I would like something a little less blousey and more choice. Another large plant was Sweet Rocket ,Hesperis Matronalis, I won’t stop growing this as it flowers so prolifically and the perfume is delightful but I just need to find a better place for it as it grows so tall. There lies the problem…. Where !
The Hemerocallis were dreadful this year, not so much with the dreaded gall midge but more with the lack of flowers. If anyone has a solution that might help I would be grateful. The roses have and still are fantastic. I moved about a dozen or more last year, fed and mulched them and they have repayed me in bunches.
Plants that I have enjoyed this year are the Roscoea, I now have 6 different plants which started flowering here at the beginning of May and some are still in flower today. Also we were able to sell three different ones this year.
Roscoea Purpurea. A tall long flowering type.
Roscoea Auriculata still in flower today.
A variable type this is Roscoea Beesiana, can appear pure cream. This is my favourite at the moment as they look more like orchids than the others.
Roscoea Brown Peacock, the under sides of the leaves and stems are brown.
Roscoea Gurkha Red Stem. A very unusual colour for Roscoea.
Some of my other favourites at this time of year are the Eucomis and Codonopsis
Codonopsis Tangshen bears small 2 to 3 cm long flowers, year after year this plant has bulked up well, although because the flowers are not showy, I still keep it in a large pot so I can view it closely.
And this is the best bit…the seed pods are stunning. I just wish I could preserve them and make some jewellery from them….
These two pictures are of Eucomis Bicolor…they couldn’t be more different in habit. The top one I grew from seed back in 2003, it is always tall, up to a metre, with lovely plain green long leaves.
This one is more chunky with spotted undersides of the leaves, which are also shorter and more rounded. But supposedly the same specie.
Ecomis Freckles has only been in the garden for three years but has already formed a healthy colony, looking great as an understory to Anemone Pamina and the diminutive flowers of Anomatheca laxa. All my Eucomis stay outside in the ground, coming up year after year.
And as a finale I always look forward to the beautiful clusters of the climber Dicentra Scandens. Being up in the air you get to appreciate the detail more. Then if you are lucky you may get the fat seed pods….
Sadly I didn’t this year but this is what I got last year, lots of drupes, they ripened and I gave loads of seed away.
So whether it’s big and blousey or small and dainty we will never be quite happy with our lot until we have achieved perfection …. and we all know when that will be !!!