Waiting for chicory and a yellow ‘after eight’

dahlia after 83

My ‘end of the lawn, clever colour combination’ border is not quite going to plan. It is supposed to be a kaleidoscope of pink and and blue with a smattering of white and very little is going to plan.

There are seven components:

Persicaria orientalis or kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate. I have never grown this before but it has been on my list for years. This giant annual can reach more than 2m. I was surprised when the seedlings had small, upright spikes of flowers when the plants were just 20cm high but since planting out it has grown and not produced another flower! I know it is a late bloomer but I am starting to panic!

Dahlia ‘Twyning’s After Eight’. It is always a risk to grow seeds of a cultivar that should be propagated vegetatively and I did not expect all the seedlings to be the same as the parent. I hoped for mostly dark leaves and white flowers like ‘mum’ but really didn’t expect, or want, yellow flowers!

Tinantia erecta. This was another one that was new to me this year and when the plants flowered at about 15cm high the small pink flowers seemed to be in proportion. But now the plants are 60cm high the flowers seem almost insignificant. I am not too sure about this one. Is it subtle or just a weed?

Chicory. Having planted rosettes that everyone thought were dandelions I have been defending the coarse appearance of these for months. Now they have erupted into big green clumps that look like lettuce gone to seed (which they almost are). I can see buds but I wish they would hurry up and open those first blue flowers.

Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’. This was the mother ‘stock’ plant that I used for cuttings this spring to grow on about 40 youngsters for another part of the garden so I put it right in the centre. It was a mistake and it is a bit lost.

Atriplex hortensis ‘Rubra’. This red-leaved annual that can become a bit of a selfsowing weed has done what it does best – rocket up with thin, claret stems covered in claret leaves. I think the colour is a bit too ‘sharp’ to go with everything else.

Nicotiana mutabilis. This great plant has been going strong for well over a month. I hope it still has plenty of steam left by the time the other components get going!

dahlia after 82

What the dahlia should look like – though with darker foliage

dahlia after 8

Yellow was the last thing I wanted!



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5 Comments on “Waiting for chicory and a yellow ‘after eight’”

  1. derrickjknight
    August 21, 2015 at 7:39 am #

    Gardening can be full of surprises which you describe in an entertaining manner

  2. Meriel
    August 21, 2015 at 6:02 pm #

    Sorry for your evident disappointment in your border. I potted on your kind gift of Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’ and it is still amongst my patio pots and doing quite nicely. I love the flower & colour. I have been away quite a bit & it is safer from excessive drought where it is. I would be sad to loose it. Thanks again.

  3. Frogend_dweller
    August 22, 2015 at 11:24 am #

    I am growing Persicaria orientalis for the first time too. I planted it in two different gardens and I’ve been getting more despondent each time I check for flowers. However, as of last week I have two in flower (admittedly in the warm walled garden). So don’t despair, they are coming!

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