Friday 3rd July 2020

How very exciting!  Over the course of the day, some Friday Groupers visited the garden in socially-distanced small groups. And found that summer had definitely arrived

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Everything’s looking good

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And we aren’t the only ones to have been Zooming recently. Look at this –

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– and thisimg-20200708-wa0008-1

and these20200703_144816

 The first Act of summer is over20200703_143817

And Act 2 is about to commence20200703_143805

Take your seats

The succulents have already reserved their seating

The show must go on20200703_145708

and it does
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Act 2’s happy ending20200703_144424

What a performance! Take a bow…20200703_143954

Act 3 to follow in due course

Meanwhile, unseen activity is going on quietly in the wings20200703_145015-2

Did fruit and veg make an appearance?

But of course!img-20200708-wa0016

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And Currant affairs too20200703_144200-1

It wouldn’t be Friday Group without a Plant Ident. 

Salvia Amistadimg-20200709-wa0002

Introduced in 2012, a wonderful Salvia growing to around 1 m. Flowers until November and can remain in the ground over winter. Fabulous purple/blue flowers which look great in a vase, if you can bring yourself to cut them. A warm, sheltered site in full sun suits them best. Deadhead regularly to encourage more blooms. Cut back and mulch in autumn – they will survive most winters, except the one after you have invested in twelve of them.

Salvia microphylla ‘African Skies’20200703_160113

The microphyllas have smaller leaves, but are tough and generally hardy garden plants. Small light blue flowers are produced in quantity from summer through autumn. Dead heading prolongs the display of all Salvias. Prune in late autumn and mulch at the base. Grows well from cuttings.

Salvia microphylla ‘Nachtvlinder’20200709_172110

Translates as ‘Night Moth’. Soft violet/purple flowers. Very hardy in Brighton. Quite a shrubby microphylla and, again, easy to propagate. Take non-flowering cuttings from side shoots, remove the lower leaves and plant in compost. They will root in a few days. Sarah Raven recommends Salvia microphylla as a good underplanting for Roses to discourage disease and blackspot – referencing this cultivar in particular. Fairly drought tolerant once established.

Salvia greggii ‘Royal Bumble’20200703_160022

This one has containers buzzing – due both to the vibrancy of the red flowers and the fact that Salvias are rich in nectar and pollen and will attract insects. This one can tolerate a little shade, though Salvias are usually best grown in full sun.

Salvia ‘Love and Wishes’img-20200709-wa0003

Aromatic leaves, dark stems and striking magenta/pink flowers. Like ‘Amistad’ it’s a stately spectacle, attractive to insects and pollinators, and will flower from June to November. Got one? Get more.

Then there were some socially distant weeding tasks to be done

They look busy

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Hmm, not so much…

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Oh dear. The pressures of lockdown?

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Colour co-ordination

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Aeoniums , Angelica and Salvias

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Fiery torches of Libertia

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Fiery colours of Gazania

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Hot stuff

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We’ll be back

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