Still hot…is this Britain?!
Took the thermometer out into the garden this afternoon and it registered 31C in the shade and 47C in the sun – no wonder some of my slightly less sun-tolerant plants are drooping in the middle of the day, even though they’re moist at the root!
Shouldn’t grumble though: after the crushingly miserable “spring” and early summer we had, we deserved a good dose of sun, and we sure are getting it!
And in many ways, the garden has never looked better. Prolonged rainfall through last summer, autumn, winter and spring has meant that the soil has had its first proper soaking in a long time, whilst the exceptionally cold spring has held everything back meaning bigger, more plentiful blooms now that the warmth and sunshine is here.
I took a quick snap of the back garden this evening through the open patio doors:
There’s plenty I’d change – isn’t there always! – but plenty to enjoy too.
My first alstroemeria bud opened today, much to my delight. I bought 5 varieties bare root in the spring, nurtured them carefully in my coldframe for a couple of months before hardening them off and planting them in containers of multipurpose compost. They were all pretty small, so I put the 3 smallest (Cahors, Sedna and Uranus) together in one 12″ pot, and the other 2 (Sirius and Spitfire) into another. I still have no idea whether these pots will prove too small, but I didn’t want to plant them straight out into the ground this year in case they were swallowed up by my established plants, and these were the biggest pots I had available, so no choice!
I’ve been waiting to see which one would win the race to flower, and it’s…Sirius (no real surprise given that its the biggest plant!). The bloom is very pretty: pinky-mauve and quite exotic-looking, bit like an orchid. Hard to imagine that it’s supposed to be fairly reliably hardy in this part of the country, but I’ll have to wait and see about that!
I’ve had one disaster so far this season. I’ve been wondering why one of my new fuchsias dramatically wilted and died off in a matter of a day or so, even though it was being well watered. What had happened was that I’d moved the pot (containing 2 other varieties) from its position sitting on soil in a border and placed it on a smooth paving stone in another border without realising that the drainage was now being fatally impeded. I’d carried on watering as normal, and, put simply, it drowned. Somehow, the other 2 plants have survived, and I’ve put some gravel under the pot so that the water can escape – needless to say, I won’t be rushing to water that one for a while!
Live and learn, eh?