Hot. Hot. Hot.
The mercury hit 31C today, and that’s plenty warm enough for me! Bit warm for some of my plants too: the nepeta, diascias and hemerocallis are loving it; the fuchsias, not so much!
In spite of having gardened here for the past 13 years, it’s on days like these that I still don’t feel I have a proper grasp of the soil and conditions.
Take phlox, for example. Everywhere I go I read that they like FULL SUN and a moisture-retentive soil, so I plant them where they’ll get the most sun and keep them well-watered, yet still on hot days they end up drooping by mid-afternoon. Why?? It’s not like I live in Southern Spain where the temps would be up in the 40’s – maybe phlox are cooler climate plants than I realise?
I took a stem cutting of one of my new phlox today. I wasn’t intending to, but I noticed that some rascally snail or slug had defoliated the lower part of the stem and in case it came back for the rest of it, I decided to snip it off and shove it in some seed and cuttings compost. It may or may not root, but I think it’s got a better chance of surviving than if I’d left it!
Saw the first flower bud opening on my ten week stocks today – a very pretty purple one, as it happens. I sowed them mid-April, so they are very slightly late, but not bad considering the horrendous spring we had.
Also, Hemerocallis “Lemon Bells” is gathering steam:
5 flowers today, and many more in waiting! I love that association with the nepeta, by the way: yellow + mauve really can’t go wrong.
Other than watering, watering, watering, and more watering, there isn’t a lot to do at the moment, so I try to spend time admiring the flowers. In bloom now we have:
- Phlox “Prospero”
- Hemerocallis “Stella de Oro”, “Lemon Bells” and “Egyptian Ibis/Georgette Belden”
- Clematis jackmanii
- Clematis from Raymond Evison, not sure what it is!
- Lysimachia punctata
- Nepeta “Six Hills Giant”
- Rosa “Bantry Bay” and “New Dawn”
- Knautia macedonica
- Lamium maculatum
- Begonias (tuberous)
- New Guinea Impatiens (just!)
- Thalictrum delavayi “Illuminator”
- Ceanothus impressus “Italian Skies”
- Dicentra alba
Some of these are just starting and some are nearing an end, but they are all contributing to a VERY floriferous July.