Thursday 26 September 2013

A summer medley

Mon 1st July
Weather: Beautifully hot.

Kemal pointing at Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety'

I cleared the area near the Blue Garden and the cellar. I deadheaded Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety' and left the bushy foliage, which will stay there for the rest of the year until it dies back a bit in winter. I cut back Pulmoneria sp. leaves to make room for Adiantum venustum, staked some Campanula sp. that had gotten top heavy and had keeled over. Cut off Meconopsis cambrica seedheads to the foliage, cleared dead debris from the ground, taking out any brown yellowing bits. Cut back Brunnera macrophylla and Melianthus major. I put on the sprinkler round that area and systematically moved it around every hour. This is the time of year where a lot of 'freshening up' happens as some things die back and others start to grow. The weather has been so hot for the 'hot lips' on Salvia x jamensis 'Hot Lips', they have seared off!

Some of the things that have been growing very well around this area from June:

Dianthus deltoides in the trough.

Deutzia x rosea 'Carminea'

The wheels of flowers on the 'wheel tree' Trocadendron arailoides

The layers of Clematis on other trees & shrubs, all are from the Montana Group, the white one smells of white chocolate and is possibly C. montana 'Wilsonii' or C. montana 'Elizabeth', the deepest pink one is C. montana 'Freda'.

In the evening I went to a second of Kemal Medhi study tours around Dixter garden. Kemal is a neighbour of Dixter and was a good friend of C. Lloyd. He worked at Sissinghurst as a gardener during the time of Pam & Sybil as head gardeners and later on taught at Hadlow College. His tours consists of meaty pages of plant identification, but his aim is not to throw names at you, but for you to actually understand the plants used and gain a deeper understanding of the garden. They last for hours and go into the wee hours of dusk - wonderfully epic.

Tues 2nd July
Weather: Cloudy & overcast, a bit chilly in the morning & evening. Min. 14°C at night now and generally 20°C in the day.

A medley of chores - raking leaves off the lawn in the Blue Garden (fallen from the Phyllostachys nigra). Looking at how to judge & record the Hemerocallis trial we are doing. Some of them are a bit riddled with gall midge and is distorting the growth of the plant & buds.

Buds attacked by gall midges are picked off. 

I finished clearing leaves on the ground in the area around the cellar and pulled up any Bryonia dioica because they are a bit of a weed here. We have to extract the roots out as much as possible and they head to the burn pile rather than the compost.

I deadheaded Lupinus sp., weeded beneath the hedge where Hemerocallis trials are, and put some organic slug pellets down between them.

Weds 3rd July
Weather: Muggy, up to 20°C again. Cloudy & overcast most of the day with the sun breaking through sporadically. The evening light was lovely.

I had to take out some Dahlia x Cosmos 'Mexican Black' and Dahlia 'Witteman's Superba' out of the hothouse that had been grown on from cuttings, and have been growing very fast. Their foliage has fleshed out significantly in just a week. There are slight signs of spider mite so I thought it would be best to move them outside. I washed the spider mites off where I could, repotted them, some staked and put them in an open frame. Kemal tells us that Dahlia x Cosmos is written as it is, because people are not certain of their origin yet. If it is for certain that the resulting plant is a cross bred of two genera then they would usually have a new genus name and an x at the beginning of the name like x Fatshedera (a combination of genera Fatsia & Hedera).

Then we planted out some Lathyrus odoratus 'White Supreme' to float the bed next to the shop with scent and lots of them. We dug a hole for them twice as deep, mixed in mushroom compost at the bottom before planting and put a small peastick behind each one, to give them some initial assistance to clamber all over the shrubs & perennials there. The soil is quite poor there so we added some chicken manure, and also put some organic slug pellets down and watered them in well.

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