My gardening week has seen much watering but also lots of joy at the beautiful flowers in my garden pots, borders and greenhouse. I’m sharing a picture of my sweet potato vine and relieved that my Wisteria survived our building works. I’ve also taken pictures of ‘Love in a Puff’ and ‘Love in a Mist’. Lots of love but very differnt plants.
In a week of slightly strained international relationships I rejoice in the spirit of community embraced by gardening bloggers from across the world. Six on Saturday has the power to do that and it’s wonderful to read about everyone’s garden exploits and to share pictures of their successes and failures.
The come-back kid
Some of you may recall that this Wisteria was looking a bit bedraggled a few weeks ago. I knocked out the air bricks through which it had grown for support to replace it with a more attractive yew hedge. The builders had then surrounded it with cement mixers and rubble. It is now supported by a beautifully welded steel frame. I wasn’t the welder of course – such skills are beyond me.
Here it looking beautiful again and giving us a second flush of flowers to enjoy and is sending out many whippy stems that I will soon prune off.
I will be planting up the bed over which it gracefully arches but not until the autumn, when I can dig over the bed below without breaking my tools and when I can move the plants back here from their holiday home in the veg patch without fear of them being killed by drought.
Pleased with my pots
I’m glad I haven’t planted up many pots as it’s difficult to keep on top of the watering when container gardening in this hot weather. These were needed, however, to brighten up a corner near the greenhouse. It was looking a bit new and sparse.
Some of the plants I grew from seed and others I bought as plug plants. It’s amazing the range of plants that you can buy as plugs and if you want a range of plants in your pots, it’s probably easier and less wasteful than growing from seed.
Included in these pots are a short Sunflower called Helianthus debilis ‘Vanilla Ice’, Snap Dragons – Anthirrhinum ‘Lucky Lips’ and Zinnia ‘Red Lime’ all grown from seed. Tumbling over the front of the pots is a Phlox suitable for containers called ‘Creme Brulee’ which were bought as plugs.
All these plants can have cost no more than £6 in total making the pots and compost the most expensive element of the arrangement.
Love in a Puff Cardiospermum halicacabum
At the back of the container grouping is this pot with attractive rusted metal support. Growing up it is another plant bought as a plug earlier this year.
Commonly known as Love in a puff or Balloon Vine, the plant has an attractive, airy quality. Most notable about this plant though is the green papery seed pods. I think they look like acid green paper lanterns and are in stark contrast to the absolutely teeny white flowers.
Love in a Mist
This is another pretty plant grown from seed this year. It’s a Nigella but different from the usual attractive peacock blue. Nigella ‘Mulberry Rose’ produces a mix of pale and dusky pink tones.
I understand that Love in a Mist self seed easily. So far I’ve been trying to deadhead these to prolong flowering but when I finally let them go It’ll be interesting to see what happens. I’m doubtful if they come true from seed but you never know.
Sweet Potato flower
Last week I shared a picture of the sweet potato plant in my greenhouse and promised to share a picture when it flowered. The very next day this beautiful flower greeted me when I went in to open the vents. Part of the Ipomea family, the latin name for sweet potato is Ipomea batatas and it is easy to see the resemblance of the flower to its more troublesome tearaway cousin – the dreaded bindweed.
These flowers only last a day and are much smaller than bindweed, the fluted flowers only being 4cm long. A succession of these have been flowering all week and it’s holding its own amongst the other ornamentals in my greenhouse.
I have had two plants this size for a number of years and they have never looked healthier or happier than this year. In the past I have overwintered them in my old greenhouse, which was barely frost free. Whilst they did green up every year, the flowers were always a bit sparse. This year I decided to bring them on for longer in the new greenhouse before moving out and have now decided that they look so happy I’m keeping them in my crystal palace.
Oleander can take very hard cutting back. This I have done every year to maintain the bushy shape and now I realise I could have taken cuttings from these. Next year it’s on my list of things to do.
Six on Saturday is a weekly link-up – take a look at the comments at the base of host The Propagator to see more ‘sixes’ from other keen gardeners from all over the world.