Soggy Saturday

Resigned to a wash out weekend, I am sat in the kitchen watching the rosy red apples on our neighbours tree bobbing around in the breeze. I think so far we only have the edge of Storm Alex as the rain and wind are not as bad as forecast. In reality I could have gone to work this morning but with the forecast predicting 95% chance of heavy rain all day I poured a coffee and hunkered down.

I have some thinking to do about shrubs to plant in our front garden to make it more bird friendly without losing all the grass and displacing our resident population of grasshoppers.

There have been new additions to the back garden this summer including a Cotinus ‘Golden Spirit’, even looking wonderful in the rain.

I admit to have fallen in love with this shrub and its purple cousin just recently. I have as readers of previous blogs will remember, a strong a version to yellow and if I needed purple foliage in a garden used to turn to a Corylus avellana purpurea but the Cotinus and the way the sunlight plays through the plant have completely turned my head. I did use a Golden Spirit in a design once where I was trying to inject some lime green into a zingy border. I know it does look more yellow at times but it worked well. Now it will sit happliy in the new Pink, White and Yellow border I am creating at home.

Creating new borders does give a plantaholic the opportunity to shop. I have never been quite sure what I felt about a Fatsia japonica. the leaves are so architectural but they often end up looking sickly and squashed in a forgotten corner. a fate it is destined too it being one of only a handful of plants that will tolerate full shade.

‘Spiders Web’ has caught my eye for quite a while now and until last week I had managed to resist, still torn between love and hate. Now I just have to decide whether to wrap it up and leave it in the garden or whilst it is small shall I bring it into the house and use it as a house plant for the winter?

Allium tuberosum-Garlic chives

A few flowers are still out on the Garlic chives. Im not sure whether they are grateful for the rain or not.

Finally sussed it! You know on the glossy gardening magazines when you see pictures of a whole group of flowers together, like in the photo opposite, and yet,you know that it shouldnlt be possible. The Thalictrum and Verbena, for instance in this example will be much taller that the Geranium and Salvia flowers. But, if you wait until the end of the season the geranuim and Salvia are reaching up a high a they can and the lowest flowers are out on the taller plants and hey presto you can get a picture of perfect planting partners.

I have enjoyed the combination in this pot all summer. using perennials in pots for summer colour instead of beding plants started after I was commisioned to plant 5 large pots with perennials for all summer colour. i came home and made one for myself too. The different flower shapes and shades or purple have been a joy all summer and the bees and butterflies have thoroughly enjoyed them too. Now,I can either, feed the plants where they are and leave them to do it all again next summer or I can add them to a border in the garden and start again with a new combination next year. Decisions descisions!

Stipa ‘Pony tails’

One of my favourite grasses looking lovely even when soggy. Just thought I would put the wet pictures in to prove I did actually go outside today and take some of my Six on Saturday, on Saturday in the rain. dedication or what!

Calliteara pudibunda Pale Tussock Moth

And finally a deviation from plants. Found this little fellow on a wet day eailer in the week when weeding under the beech hedge. Such a fabulous caterpillar. They are often found on the ground at this time of year looking for some leaf litter to pupate in. so good job I put him back under the hedge. They are apparently more common in the south of England so another sign of global warming and the weather getting milder if this species is now surviving as far north as the midlands. I did read online that they are commonly found amongst the hops and were were called ‘Hop Dogs’ by the pickers, which I found rather endering. Their brown hairs, found sticking up at the end like a tail can cause an allergic reaction. especailly if like the hops pickers you come into contact with several of them. lucky I had my gloves on then.

Hope you enjoyed my Six on Saturday and a little update to my gardening world. I will try and get back to writing regularly again soon. Until then, be thankful for the rain, if only for the rest time it allows and Happy Days in the Garden x

13 Replies to “Soggy Saturday”

  1. I bagged one of those Fatsias a couple of weeks ago, and was wondering whether to keep it indoor for the winter. That caterpillar is quite stunning.

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  2. That is one amazing caterpillar! If I got the right one searching online, they turn into amazing moths. One photo looked like a bat! “Pony Tails” is very pretty in the rain.

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  3. The observation about light shining through purple cotinus leaves is such a good point. If you buy a plant in a garden centre just on its own merits, without thinking about where it’s going to go in relation to background, light and its neighbours, it’s sheer luck if it works well. I’m wary of purple foliage, a little can be a great foil, a lot is usually just dull.

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    1. It can seem dull, I think that is why I prefer the cotunus to the hazel, giving up the catkins for the sunshine seems a good trade off. I do like the dark and dramatic though and don’tvery often find dark foliage dull. I think it is best pairing dark foliage with white flowers or other purples instead of yellow leaved plants which just make it seem darker to me.

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  4. i have a fatsia, although not the spidery one you have (i like it!). it was the feature of the shady corner but hasn’t grown as quickly as the things around it – i may need to move it. annoying as my mother has one and it is huge! been there for donkeys, mind.

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    1. That’s a shame re your Fatsia. Have you tried chopping the competitors back a bit and feeding the Fatsia. I’m sure you have. Moving it is always risky but with a little tlc you should be ok. Good luck.

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