early July 2016

my 7 cat wonders of the world: 1. Socks' purr, 2. his tuxedo bits, 3. Victor's huge lion paws, 4. Victor's soft fur (5, 6 and 7 and more pics, recording to follow)

Socks with a purchased nepeta. Still trying to grow from seed/grow on self-seeded seedlings.


Maybe I'm being too pessimistic about my nepeta. Now that I have removed the sea holly seedlings (see below) from the pots I have the nepeta with plenty of room and after a feed I hope they will bloom. Polly Pocket certainly enjoyed sniffing it today. I also had a pot beautifully in bloom a few weeks ago. Not sure I took a pic but will look. I found a few seedlings when I was replanting it and they are around the edge of the pot on the left.


This self-seeded pot also has a decently sized nepeta with buds. I can either start a new large pot of nepeta with it or add it to one of those above. The tall plant on the right looks like honeysuckle, small plant bottom left looks like sea holly, underneath centre a viola and top edge verbascum? maybe the same on the left edge.

Sea hollies were one of the "4 perennials for £12" from Meadow Farm Nursery on Hayling Island (just a day trip this time). I bought 3 and when I got home I thought, right, now is the time I MUST research how to get better results. They need a deep tap root so I figure in the ground is essential rather than in a pot. All those small self-seeders are in pots - maybe that's why they aren't blooming, although this one is blooming and it's in a pot but I am going to find room to put it in the ground now. One of the things that sold me on these is how large and established they are - really thick tough stem which I think slugs will find challenging to affect so another reason I am happy to put them in the ground.

sea holly

the stems have this brilliant purple/blue from certain angles

sea holly

I'm feeling very brave. I put all the sea hollies from the pots in the ground. One that bloomed last year, on the far left I managed to break off the tap root by accident when I removed it from it's pot. I hope it will recover. I figure the slugs can't destroy the established plants although they did attack the seedlings/small plants but I hope those will grow into larger plants before much more destruction. I did cut back the blooming stems last year but I'm thinking that was wrong. How can the stems get so tough and thick in only one season? I figure the ones I just bought are older than this year. Looking online for definitive advice but can't find it. Will keep looking. The 2 sea holly small plants on the right are amongst the globe thistle seedlings. I hope they all have room here. A different paint colour for the fence is now required!

sea holly

my problem above is the sea holly recovering from a broken taproot, my problem below is the recovered leaves being eaten by slugs, I want to cry

sea holly eaten by slug

they've also eaten some of those nepeta seedlings - and leave that distinctive slug trail

the pot of nasturtiums is looking better and better, I see slug trails and damage on the leaves but the flowers don't seem to be seriously affected


3 water lilies this year, I don't think I had any last year, this one in bloom and 2 buds

water lily bud

water lily bud

my one delphinium this year but what a delphinium


a week later the cornflowers are looking magnificent, my developing auricula theatre (it's a work in progress) in the background - with a surprise auricula in bloom

I am heart-broken by this poppy (Pink Fizz). I have struggled to get the poppies to this point: sowing the seeds, repotting twice, getting them away from the slugs, only to see this one with numerous buds whither and die! Why?

dying poppy

it's most frustrating that the flower actually developed, I pulled it open to see it, it sure wasn't going to open on its own

wilted pink fizz poppy flower

other poppies in the pot still look good although only a few, fast diminishing, plants from 2 packets of seeds (Seriously Scarlet and Pink Fizz both Papaver somniferum varieties from Thomson and Morgan)


then a few days later some proper flowers appeared

pink fizz poppies

This pot of nasturtiums has been amazing. I was going to move it but it had wrapped a tendril around a honeysuckle branch on the right near the shelves so it was determined to stay right there. It must be happy because it has been blooming like mad. This pic is from a week ago but it has even more flowers now I think.

nasturtiums and borage

one of my few slug-surviving cornflowers, how do wildflowers (in the wild) survive if the slugs love them?


A lone viola flower this year. I haven't planted any seeds for a while and I haven't been nurturing any self-seeders so this has done it all my itself. (small foxglove plants behind and a deadnettle with a pink flower)