ju1i3's blog

autumn colour

The scent of mahonia at this sometime dark and dismal time of year is exquisite. Mahonia is unobtrusive and easily forgotten until you happen to walk past it and get that scent and you remember why it is so welcome in the garden.

mahonia

Victor at the back door caught my attention as the sunset was so bright, it shows how surrounded by terraces of houses the sun is not consistent in my garden and they'll be times like this showing what it could be like

As things have quieted down in the garden I thought I would have another go with the echium and monarda seeds, esp as the seed company had given me replacement packets as I didn't have any germination with them the first time. The larger egg carton below has 11 germinated echium seeds (possibly not visible here) - hardly seedlings as they are so tiny but I can see green coming out of the seed. I only did the smaller carton at the top yesterday so awaiting germination of the monarda seeds.

I mistaken posted a pic of my "last" scabious flower the other day but now I have 2 more and some striking iris foetidissina seeds.

here's another view of the scabious flowers with a magnificent first-year foxglove (they're biennial so will bloom the following year), it's huge so looking forward to that next year - I love foxgloves!

I've moved a self-seeded centaurea montana (scraggly one to the left), as far as I've noticed I've not had any self-seeding before this year. I love them  so looking forward to more flowers next year. I've also moved the globe thistles so the centaureas should have more room.

centaurea montana

 

I can now see the self-seeded anemone is Harmony Orchid from the plants I received for Mother's Day earlier this year.

anemone harmony orchid

violas still looking good

self-seeded violas

this purple viola self-seeded next to this Melton Pastel knautia (I haven't grown them from seed before so looking forward to seeing how they turn out but so far good germination and growth and little slug damage)

dead-heading the nasturtiums (Phoenix) really has worked to keep the flowers coming and I'm very impressed with another grown-from-seed success

Chinese lanterns

chinese lanterns

chinese lanterns

In trying to sort out some pots for tulip bulbs I thought I should do something about this pelargonium. It self-seeded from a plant I had a few years ago. This has been growing over a year, not sure exactly. That bare stem doesn't look very promising so I thought I'd cut it back and see if flowering can be encouraged.

pelargonium after pruning, there are also a couple of snapdragons in that pot, a foxglove and I think a scabious under the foxglove (just looked again, I think both of those (under the foxglove and near the edge of the top of the pot) are the early rosettes of horseweed), also the ubiquitous nigella seedlings

I don't remember where the calendula seeds came from, maybe a special offer, although not my favourite they've added some early autumn colour.

calendula

last scabious of the summer

This is the last scabious of the summer.

scabious

I am loving the rosemary flowers.

rosemary flowers

status update on the cyclamen coum (large brown bulbs, one is visible in lower left pot): all have flowers and at least some leaves, one was covered with leaves but slugs ate every single leaf, one on the right has a mass of stems close together along with some self-seeded snapdragons and another self-seeded plant in the middle, liverwort, violas and an unknown plant in the pot on the left, self-seeded nigella in the pot at the top

cyclamen coum flowers

a closer look at some seedlings in early October

This morning I noticed this pot by the front door had an abundant number of seedlings - more than I realised.

Some of the seedlings only have the basic 2 seed leaves. Some have the 3rd true leaf which shows definitively what kind of plant it is. That 3rd feathery leaf is distinctive of nigella. There is a distinctively leaved milk thistle at the bottom and another seedling of it to the right.

Until I uploaded this pic to my pc I didn't even notice the very small-leaved dark green seedling at the bottom to the right. In the middle it looks like deadnettle.

nigella seedlings

At first I thought it might be pellitory-of-the-wall. I picked some (below left with the red stem) from next door and placed it next to the unknown seedling and immediately I can see they are completely different.

trying to organise more bulbs

I've been trying to organise more bulb forcing - but I'm doing it in the garden so this is one of those times when the garden outdoors meets the garden indoors (see further info and pics at my other site). Some of the pots I am leaving outside as the bulbs (eg narcissus and muscari) did better there than inside last year.

I always use fresh bulbs for forcing. They need that extra energy. I try to plant the spent bulbs in the garden but it can be difficult if the ground is frozen and I don't have room, especially with the long roots on the bulb which requires a lot of digging to make room for them.  These are some bulbs that were left in the syrup tins which I used as pots last year. Even though they are dried out some life is left in them - green shoots and green on the bulb. I am going to attempt to bring them back to life. It does show how bulbs want to grow, especially hyacinths.

there are green shoots on the hyacinth and muscari bulblets

the muscari bulbs have a lot of bulblets

I have planted all the bulblets in fresh compost

muscari bulblets

After a disappointing season last year I decided not to do the large Dutch crocus but I had some of the larger species crocus which will probably work in these vases so I'll give them a try. I find the crocus need the water in the vase right up to the bulb to spur it into action. They aren't as cooperative as hyacinths!

I just noticed these seedlings yesterday growing on the moss on a step from my patio to the rest of the garden. They are the same as the seedlings in the pot (previous blog entry below). Still no idea what they are.

the bees are still loving this corner of the garden, these late flowers are keeping them going: nasturtiums, violas, deadnettle, just about all I have left in bloom

violas still going strong

the butterfly is enjoying the violas

butterfly on viola

viola

viola

viola

viola

viola

viola

just when I think about discarding a plant (deadnettle in this case), I notice bees loving it, they are also loving the violas and nasturtiums, pretty much the only flowers still in bloom

bee deadnettle

bee deadnettle

bee on phoenix nasturtium

the bees like to go right inside the flowers

bee in nasturitum phoenix

nasturtium with bee

I also noticed them on the auricula in bloom (middle shelf on the left)

nasturtium phoenix

rosemary seedlings

rosemary seedlings

this pot of seedlings is intriguing, the foxes knocked it over and some of the soil was knocked out exposing these seeds which germinated and starting growing, obviously a number of the same type of plant and I have no idea what! they were in the soil so a few more started growing out of a hole in the bottom, the larger leaved ones look like milk thistle, some look like a grass-type plant, will just have to wait and see

foxgloves have tiny tiny seeds, I shook out the seeds from that enormous foxglove in the back garden, I threw them into a couple of pots and have ended up with hundreds of seedlings, I've tried to split the seedlings into these small pots

foxglove seedlings

I had a wooden trough of muscari but it fell apart so divided the muscari into about 5 pots, while dividing them I found some bulblets, I'm used to seeing hyacinth bulbs with bulblets but never muscari bulblets before

muscari bulblets

end of August/beginning of September

Japanese anemone

a few days later, a spider has spun a web

the flower on that hosta with the enormous leaves, right above

hosta flower

a close up of the mahonia buds

mahonia buds

I'm happy I have flowers on these Phoenix Nasturtiums, especially as I didn't sow the seeds until July 2nd. Thompson and Morgan advised these were the closest to the Nasturtium Fruit Salad which I had problems with last year. They just look like bog standard nasturtiums to me, not sure what makes them Phoenix.

nasturtium phoenix

just similar to the nasturtiums by the front door below

flowering rosemary

I've had rosemary plants before but no flowers, this one I bought in flower Sept 2014 and it's been blooming on and off ever since. They seem fragile as branches break off if I even breath on it! Those little branches at the bottom right have broken off so I just put in the soil but they aren't growing, just turning brown.

rosemary

surprising rosemary seedlings as I've heard they are hard to germinate but I have no idea if they will flower and when (the Diet Coke is for scale)

rosemary seedlings

I've been unsure about these self-seeders. They generally look like centaurea montana which I've had off and on for a few years although they've never self-seeded. The two at the top have prickly-edged leaves. Why and are they the same plant?

a few days later and it's all become clearer! The current centaurea montana are growing in this flowerbed and I took the two pots with the unprickly-edged plants and positioned them under those in the flowerbed and I feel sure they are centaurea montana. Self-seeded to the left in the blue and white pot looks like another one which I will see how it grows.

As I was positioning these plants I saw a little shoot from the base of the globe thistle to the right which looks exactly like the prickly-edged examples in the pots to the right.

a close-up of the self-seeded globe thistles in the two pots to the left and the sprout from the base of the globe thistle to the right

I look forward to lots of centaurea montana and globe thistles next year.

Socks, finally looking at the camera, the apples to the right have fallen from the tree in the back garden, sadly they are not very good even for cooking as they cook down to mush in no time, I've been having to pick them up every day recently they've been falling so quickly.

a huge bumblebee on a second sunflower I have blooming in the front garden

Sowing the milk thistle seeds has been a great success, at least one seedling to each pot, most pots have more. The slugs have gotten to some. I need to be more vigilant. After the seed leaves there are the distinctive patterned leaves, prickly on the edge, so my idea that maybe the other centaurea-looking plants with prickly edged leaves are milk thistle is false.

milk thistle

I put the lupins on these shelves to keep them away from the slugs. The slugs are more wiley than that! They've made it up to the bottom pot which has another self-seeded plant it - something left by the slugs.

lupins in terracotta pots

Those lupins above and the violas below have this fungal growth on them.

exquisite pincushions

time for those exquisite pincushion flowers

scabious blue cushion

scabious

scabious Blue Cushion

scabious blue cushion

my first (possibly only one for this summer) sunflower with a bee

sunflower with bee

the bees are also liking the nasturtiums

nasturtiam with bee

nasturtium with bee

an update on the violas, it's hard to believe that only a few weeks ago these were tiny unexpected self-seeders which given space have grown and bloomed

this is another self-seeded viola, in the front garden

viola

two weeks later and the suspected milk thistle does indeed look like milk thistle with that new distinctive leaf, I also put that piece of acanthus in this pot and possibly a centaurea montana to the left

milk thistle

I did plant the milk thistle seeds which I was able to remove from a dried seed head and the germination has been excellent, I'm intrigued that the milk thistle I had a few years ago never seemed to self-seed

a week into August

a week after the views below, this is the sunnier side of the patio, I'm finding that the honeysuckle is allowing slugs access to my seedlings so I've taken to moving the pots to the other table each night

close-up of the violas: chicky chicks on the right, next to it a self-seeder, to the left another couple of seedings I found in a pot of something else and replanted them in their own pot

viola chicky chicks

rhubarb

last year or the year before, I had a plant that really needed dividing - they make it look so easy on tv but it's not - I divided it into a few pieces which I planted but I found this on top of the soil the other day so planted it up in a pot to see if that revived it, I'm not even sure if this is the right way up, as with so many things just have to wait and see what happens

a view further along the left side of the garden in the sun

a couple sea hollies to the left, globe thistles to the right, scabious barocca in the middle and another scabious in the blue and white pot, I struggled to grow sea holly from seed so bought 3 plants from the garden centre, only 2 have bloomed

close-up of the globe thistles, the bees are loving them, here's 3 on one flower

globe thistle with bees

I must be going mad! the bergamot seeds have turned out as this:

oenothera

oenothera versicolour? this entire seed tray is full of the small plants

I got so many plants from the one packet of seeds I was able to fill up the trough next door

what perfect garden views

one of the best garden views: violas in Victorian terracotta pots, some of my recently sown nasturtiums doing well and a cat!

close-up of one of the violas above which along with the other two viola/pansy in the front row self-seeded

viola

and that tiny one to the right, Viola Chicky Chicks

Victor comes, from his home round the corner, every day now

why even try to grow sunflowers when you have hollyhocks and artichokes making a spectacular view, the sunflowers are in the bottom right of this pic, being dwarfed by the taller plants - and they need watering! hollyhocks and artichokes cope quite well with little water, facing north

facing south

when those tall plants are looking good, the sunflowers are drooping, why struggle with them?, you can get caught up with how tall they are and see Monty Don is growing some on GW, it's great to come to terms with what works and what doesn't in your garden

a great view is the number of germinated seeds of these knautia melton pastels, every pot but one has at least one tiny seedling

knautia melton pastels

I have noticed some of the plants in the front with red leaves, I'm curious what causes it and if there's anything I can do about it, this is a self-seeded honesty, I have lots of those in the back with green leaves

looking under these red leaves are green leaves on the same plants so I'm even more intrigued

red leaves of honesty

this large thistle-like plant has appeared in this pot below, I think it might be chickory which I grew from seed a few years ago and only got 1 plant from the seeds, I compared a leaf here with thistles I have next door but it doesn't match so I think this is chickory, a seed must have been dormant in this pot, when I first grew it it reminded me of a giant dandelion, to the right a foxglove

chickory

a better view of the pot

agapanthus

another plant destroyed by slugs, I rescued a piece of this acanthus and put it in a pot

acanthus

studying these seedlings they appear to be the same sort, going left to right in size, the only thing I can think of right now is milk thistle which I had in the garden so it makes sense that it might have self-seeded but the leaves aren't quite right yet, will wait and see

milk thistle seedlings

as the milk thistles appear to self-seed I decided to collect some of the seeds and try to grow them myself, below the dried seedhead and to the right a couple of the seeds

milk thistle

this self-seeded agastache is doing great in the gap between the paving slabs

garden highlights at the end of July

I just love pansies/violas, here is an update on the viola chicky chicks with various colours of flowers appearing, that's a self-seeded verbena bonariensis at the back, I find violas/pansies some of the easier seeds to grow

viola chicky chicks

I bought these agapanthus in bloom a few years ago, I had a pot full of agapanthus plants grown from bulbs which never bloomed so I planted them in the garden as I didn't want to waste a pot and they still haven't bloomed, so for me buying  agapanthus in bloom has been a guarantee they will bloom in the future

agapanthus

I was trying to photograph the butterfly, bottom right, but it hasn't come out very clearly but the sea holly to the left and the scabious to the right make a nice view of the back garden

moving to the front garden, black knapweed

knapweed

artichokes making a spectacular show, as usual, in the front gardens, in the background are some thistles in bloom

artichoke plants

next door even more spectacular, especially considering the small "wild flower" plant it was sold as

artichoke plant

a group of self-seeded honesty, must be good conditions for them here, a pink flower of one just visible to the right

honesty seedlings

an unknown plant from the free perennial seeds given away with purchase of other seeds a few years ago, it's taken some time to get to this point

Socks in the sun

my experiments with Strulch are over, doesn't stop slugs but after they've eaten all my plants, it makes a nice comfy cat bed, this is Victor, a neighbour's cat

lupin damage

lupin damage

lupin damage

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