Monday, 19 June 2017


Suddenly with the hot weather I'm having to water anything I recently planted.  This means I have to remember where it was, which is harder when you are filling in odd gaps in a mature garden than when you are planting an entire border and just need to water everything.  I dragged the hose down the steps by the conservatory, across the top lawn and down to the very far corner at the bottom of the back garden where there are the new shade loving plants.  Then I had a moment of panic that I could not find my hairy leaved saxifrage.  Surely something could not have eaten it in its entirety already?  The panic ended when I found it not where I thought I had planted it, but somewhere objectively more sensible.

One of the hydrangeas were starting to wilt in the heat so I watered that as well, and the early flowering red pulmonaria that had collapsed.  Since the hydrangea is about to flower and the pulmonaria has finished flowering for this year, the hydrangea's need is greater, so long as the pulmonaria does not actually die, but it seemed churlish to leave it wilting when I had a hose there.

Seeing the purple flowering primula that should have been orange reminded me that I had better dig them up while I could still tell which they were.  The flowers were fading, and if I'd left it to the end of the week I don't think I'd have been able to identify which were which.  The leaves are identical to the apricot ones, which was how the confusion arose on the nursery in the first place.  I wasn't really very sure what to do with them once I'd dug them out, but potted them into two litre containers in a mixture of John Innes and multipurpose compost.  I am not awfully optimistic about their prospects long term in pots, since vine weevils are very partial to primula, but I don't have another damp and lightly shady area to put them in the ground.  For now they are having to make do with the shade cast by the potted Nordmann fir outside the greenhouse.  I don't really want them in the display of shade loving plants outside the conservatory, since now they have finished flowering all they are going to do for the rest of the year is grow increasingly tatty leaves until they die down entirely.

The leaves of the dahlias in the dahlia bed are still not the right shade of dark green as seen on my visit to the field of commercially grown dahlias for cutting, or as painted by the French Impressionists.  I gave them a sprinkling of 6X poultry manure, having bought some the last time I called at the Clacton garden centre, and began to water that in.  I gave some 6X to the climbing rose 'Meg' that is still not throwing up any new stems despite previous doses of fish, blood and bone and bouts of watering, and watered around the rose, and watered the clematis on tripods that it is slightly unreasonable to expect to live at all in such light soil.  I watered all the pots.  Tomorrow I must get the hose in the meadow working and water the hellebores and Teucrium I planted from pots and the primroses I split, and in the back garden I need to water the extra Verbena bonariensis and Linaria purpurea 'Canon Went' I added to the island bed, which basically means watering the bed, since I'll never spot all of them otherwise.  The asters and the clematis that only went in last year will be grateful anyway.

I am not honestly a fan of heatwaves.  I know it is ungrateful of me, when people go on holiday to get weather like this, but if the thermometer could just hit the low twenties and stay there that would suit me fine.

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