Friday 4th June 2021

No need to water the garden today. Nature is doing it all for us. Copiously. Which means that we are allocated under-cover jobs. As opposed to undercover jobs – although that does sound a lot more exciting. We’ve even got the right coats.

But what could we possibly need to spy on at Garden House?

Well, look what we found in those boxes…

Oh, I say, Moneypenny

In these situations, it’s always reassuring to know that someone is at the ready to take notes

Plant ident.

This week we looked at plants traditionally found in cottage gardens. Nowadays, no matter whether your style is formal formality or informal florals, these can be used in all sorts of schemes.

Gladiolus byzantinus

An architectural herbaceous perennial with attractive sword-shaped leaves. Comparatively fleeting in its flowering period, but the almost neon quality of the magenta flowers make it a desirable plant. Self seeds freely in some gardens.

Geranium phaeum ‘Lisa’

A Mourning Widow Geranium, with very beautiful foliage – the leaves are paler in the centre, which has the effect of lighting them up. Good in both deep and dry shade, making it a must-have plant for many gardeners. Cut to the ground at the end of June after flowering and you will be rewarded by fresh growth. From the Geraniaceae family, these are one of the Cranesbill genus – so named because of their seedheads.

Erigeron karvinskianus

Herbaceous perennials. These little beauties are a joy. Where they are happy, they seed and flower profusely all over the place and provide little cushions of delight throughout the garden. Good as ground cover, they will grow in cracks in paths and patios and look especially good around walls and steps, softening hard landscaping. Masses of white daisies gradually turn pink, contrasting with their bright yellow centres; they flower from May through to October. Cut back to encourage fresh growth during the season.

Geranium sanguineum

Low-growing with delicate ferny foliage, this Geranium variety looks good growing with shrubs or Roses or towards the front of a border. Dead-heading prolongs the flowering period. Good for attracting all sorts of pollinators as the flowers are rich with nectar and pollen

Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Black Barlow’

A double form of Columbine, or ‘Granny’s Bonnet’, which admittedly isn’t particularly good for bees and other pollen lovers, but is reliably perennial and doesn’t cross with other forms. Upright in habit and behaviour (like your granny), it grows to around 90 cms. Flowers are a deep purple-black in colour. Good foliage too – the leaves are grey-green and divided. Lasts well as a cut flower. Likes semi-shade and any soil.

Jobs for the week

Clear out the Potting Shed

Use the opportunity of a rainy day to shape up, clear things out and make everything shipshape. Find your inner Marie Kondo, if you will.

In every job that must be done there is an element of fun.

Sort out boxes of seeds

You find the fun, and snap, the job’s a game…

And every task you undertake

Becomes a piece of cake…

Did somebody say ‘Cake?’

Thank goodness. I’m exhausted with all that writing.

Time for a flask of delicious tuna juice

Work in the conservatory

But be careful in there

Check on the succulents and other ravenous pot plants. Re-pot as necessary. Mind your fingers.

Work in the greenhouse

Pricking out. Potting on. Labelling. Gritting. Watering.

A laugh, a spree…

Reorganise the library

Fearsome

Pelargonium Prefects Perfect the Pelargonium Palace

Feed the Pellies according to the seaweed creed. Remove dead, diseased and damaged plant material and generally tidy them up. Check for aphids. Kill them. But in a kind, gentle and organic way. Undercover training has prepared you for this.

Hope for dry weather next week

Now that. Is a stunner

Anyone sense a new obsession coming on?