Go go gadget green fingers
|Planning my planting with a sausage roll...|
The problem with the garden is, it’s a lot of work and we haven’t always put the time in, so now we do need a few big jobs doing professionally.* However, I’m still pretty pleased with my flower beds. Thanks to a few perennials, like two rose bushes and several types of day lily, the core of the planting is fine, and nowadays I mostly just need to stick in a few annuals to fill in the gaps. I don’t think my larkspurs will come back this year, but hopefully at least one of the hollyhocks will have survived. The snails have had the irises, which is annoying, as I’d hoped they’d settle in and spread.
Anyway, annuals. I’ve grown ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ dahlias in the past, from tubers. They never seem to survive the winter, possibly because snails eat them (thinking about it, I suspect I should have ‘lifted’ them in late autumn and put the tubers in the shed). This year I’m going to have a go at growing ‘Bishop’s Children’ from seed (the packet at the centre of the photo), which have the same lovely dark foliage but blossoms that go beyond the original’s scarlet and cover all sorts of hot and warm shades.
Phlox ‘Tapestry’ (the packet under the sausage roll in the photo) is something I’ve wanted to grow for years and years. I’m sure they were listed in that original gardening notebook! The colours possibly aren’t quite hot enough to fit in with my planned colour scheme, but they look so pretty in the seed packet image I’ve always longed to grow them anyhow, plus I love things that smell nice. I tried to grow some years ago and failed, but I’m giving it another try this year. Apparently phlox, which are native to the USA, were loved by the Victorians and had another resurgence of popularity in the 1950s. I've seen them described as 'old fashioned' in Good Housekeeping from the 1930s. Whatever time period people associate with them, I'm sure to have the right vintage vase.
I’ve grown rudbeckia from seed in the past, and bought gaillardia plants before now too. Mr Robot likes rudbeckia, so I’m having another go at that for him, and I spotted gaillardia growing in India, in the gardens at Ellora Caves and around the Bibi ka Maqbara, so I decided to pop some of those and some marigolds, a very Indian flower indeed, in too. I’ve also ordered a few things I’ve never grown before but that I liked the colour of, a blazing blue salvia, and a linaria, or toadflax, in red and yellow. All those should stop the pastels of the phlox from dulling down my garden too much.
I've possibly left the planting a little late, but given the recent snow I think a lot of things would've been killed off if I'd planted them sooner. If you've got a garden, do you have any favourite flowers?
*The lawn needs returfing, and the small veg patch/shed end needs a full overhaul. We tried building a shed ourselves, but it’s not been the most successful one on the world, so probably best to get the next one put up by an expert. So the only edibles in my garden this year are tomatoes and herbs on the patio.