Sunday update

It has been a busy week. The sun has been shining and there has been a little rain – not enough to be useful but it helped keep new plants alive. But the week has been all about construction rather than planting – it is all about the future.

The never-ending job of paving at the back of the house, which is all about getting ready for the summer house, is finally done – apart from the pointing.

Another job done is the trellis that screens the new greenhouse. We chose post bases that are concreted-in here so one was placed every day and allowed to set before we progressed to the next. We now need a dry day so we can paint it. I am itching to get on with it so the actinidias, sitting in pots, can be planted and some seedling dahlias planted.

The other timber work was a pair of arches which frame the ‘long lawn’ at each end. This was complicated because things were done back to front here – the roses either side of the entrance were planted before the lawn was cut out and before the paving was laid and all this before the formal arches which have to line up with the house. Not the way to do it really. So it was a compromise between measuring and what looked right! We, foolishly, chose ‘bang-in’ spike post supports here which we know from experience, twist as they are banged in, especially in soil like this which is full of rocks, and despite our careful measuring, they went in at crazy angles which made putting in the upright stakes a real problem. But we got there in the end, but again they need painting.

Update on Silene ‘Sibella Carmine’

I mentioned this the other day, planted in a formal bedding area, but the photo did not show it well, as was mentioned in comments. I apologise for this and will correct it with these photos. It is proving quite remarkable at the moment and is covered in bloom. I am still worried about how long it will last but I can’t complain about the show so far.

What is pleasant about it is that it has a loose, spreading habit that is unusual in many bedding annuals and I think it has huge potential in herbaceous borders. I do not know if it will self seed but the flowers, which are losely semi-double, certainly attract bees – another bonus.

Talking of which, and I am sorry for mentioning streptanthus again (which is making me very happy), the bees seem to love the small, strange flowers. The plants are never without a few bumblebees buzzing around, and I am pleased to sees some pods developing so I should get some seeds to grow next year.

And lastly, I bought some plants from a nursery in the UK last autumn, impatiens among them, and in a pot of begonia, two seedlings appeared this spring. I potted them and they grew well and now one has opened the first flower. I checked back with the nursery to confirm its ID and they confirmed that it is Impatiens scabrida. They said that it is an annual and can seed around but I will risk that and plant one outside now. The other will stay in the greenhouse.

The nursery is Farmyard Nurseries in Wales. I emphasise that I have no link with them but they offer a huge range of plants, many unusual, and were very helpful when I ordered and answered my query about the impatiens within an hour (on a Sunday). Because of the B word they can’t deliver to Ireland now – or who knows? – but if you are in the UK you should take a look.

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6 Comments on “Sunday update”

  1. Jackie Knight
    June 28, 2021 at 8:03 am #

    I love the arches, all is looking good and established now.

    • thebikinggardener
      June 28, 2021 at 8:07 am #

      Thank you. Yes, it is starting to come together. The arches give some height and focus while the trees get going. I knew this year would be the year it started to look better but it is good to see it happening. I hope all is well with you.

  2. Angela Spray
    June 28, 2021 at 9:36 am #

    Spot on about Farmyard Nurseries, I discovered them last Summer. It stocked Diascia Hopleys which I had read about but couldn’t find anywhere in Herefordshire. A beautiful drive and knowledgable staff, made such a difference and cheered the soul.
    Love the archways.
    I have meant to comment earlier just to say how much I enjoy reading your blogs.

    • thebikinggardener
      June 28, 2021 at 9:38 am #

      I have never visited – just used the mail order service. I am glad you had such a good experience and hope to visit them one day. Thank you for your comments and hope the blog continues to be of use or interest.

  3. Annabel finnegan
    June 29, 2021 at 8:40 am #

    Oh wow! It looks fantastic! Nice to get wider angle pictures which give a better overview of your garden. Or is it me being nosy?
    The archways really make a huge difference. Well worth the hassle I think.
    My garden tends to be very flat (even though we are on a hill!) I should try to bring in some height in places.

    • thebikinggardener
      June 29, 2021 at 9:58 am #

      Thank you. Well yes I am taking more pics of wider areas of the garden as it looks better. I am trained to take pics for garden magazines where hard cropping is essential so you only show the good bits! I was tempted to buy some obelisks for the roses but all those I could afford were too small to look right and those made of tubular steel with plastic connections would be destroyed in the first strong wind here!

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