Friday 10th June 2022

Summertime – and the living is easy

Well, it is when it’s not like this…

We do love a spot of Great British Weather

Anyway, it’s looking good this week, which is just as well, because the garden has to be prepared for the Homelink Fundraiser which will be happening next week, on Friday 17th June.

But first the

Plant ident.

Today’s theme is:- the Rosaceae family. Simples, you would think. But you’d be wrong. Within this plant family, there are 91 different genuses. Each genus shares the same characteristics, but may not look the same; sometimes they are very hard to spot. Most are deciduous, but some are evergreen. They include Sorbus, Crataegus and Prunus amongst others. One defining characteristic is the fact that their flowers have five sepals, five petals and the stamens are generally arranged in a spiral. Many of the plants in the Rosaceae family produce edible fruits.


Firethorn? In the same family as Roses? Really?

Absolutely, dear reader. Count the petals on the flowers. There are five. Just one of the identifying marks of a plant in the Rosaceae family.

Who’d ‘ve thort it?

After the flowers, clusters of berries appear in the autumn; the fruits can be yellow, orange or red, depending on the variety. Below, the berries are beginning to form.

Cotoneaster franchetii

An evergreen/semi-evergreen shrub, which has white flowers in June, followed by orange-red autumn berries. Erect, with spreading branches, it has attractive foliage – the long leaves are clearly veined and are grey-green in colour. A good doer in the garden, providing many months of interest. Likes a fertile, well-drained soil.

Rosa canina

The Dog Rose. Wild, simple and utterly beautiful. Single flowers with five petals. A thorny climber which scrambles through hedgerows from May to August and then produces striking, oval, red hips. Insects love the flowers for their nectar and birds enjoy the autumn fruits.

Rosa ‘For Your Eyes Only’

From the wild, to a new style of bred Rose, one of a recently introduced group. This Floribunda Bush Rose has single, deep salmon flowers which fade to apricot, with a deep crimson centre. Thorny, hardy and can tolerate poorer soils. Useful as a hedge or can be grown in a pot or in the border. A.G.M.


Five petals? Check!

Strawberries. In the Rose family. A fruit-bearing plant producing clusters of fruit from a single flower. Pretty blossoms, but we are even keener on the fruit

Add cream and you have a match made in heaven.

Alchemilla mollis

To quote from the Crocus website: ‘Alchemilla mollis takes its name from the Arabic, meaning ‘little magical one’, as, in the Middle Ages, the water collected from its leaves after a morning dew, was said to have healing properties.’

Lady’s Mantle. A beautiful and useful herbaceous perennial. A stalwart in every cottage garden, and, come to think of it, in most gardens. Such an obliging, easy performer, popping up every year to display tiny, frothy, lime-green summer flowers and neat, pleated leaves which last all through the summer. Can be cut hard back and will appear again – and will self seed to the delight of some and the despair of others. (No matter, it is easily removed.) The leaves catch drops of water which look like quicksilver. Useful as a foil to other plants, particularly under Roses and mixed in with Geraniums. Likes sun to partial shade and has an A.G.M.

Jobs for the week

Work in the dry garden

There’s still quite a lot of planting to do. The very special crimson-flowered Gladiolus papilio ‘Ruby’ (it’s pricey!) has to go in, as well as the annual Nigella ‘Musical Prelude’. Scrape the gravel topping away, dig a planting hole, water the hole prior to planting, then plant, firm in well, water again and replace the gravel.

Rather like this –

Plant up pots

Two pots need to be emptied then planted up with the soft blue-flowered plants Plumbago (see below) and Salvia uliginosa, together with Acidanthera and its sword-shaped leaves. Going to be gorgeous.

Work on vegetable boxes near the greenhouse

Plant up Runner Beans and Lettuces

Those rabbits will be so pleased

Make wigwams for large pots

Rather like this one. No pressure.

No pressure? There’s so much pressure that this member of Friday Group has had to escape to the wildflower meadow for a moment of peace, tranquility and zen….


Potting on

Happily pootling, pottering and potting in the greenhouse.

Cutting back in the pond area

She’s in there somewhere

Some herbaceous perennials, like Geraniums, are becoming a little too enthusiastic in their growth and need taking in hand. Cut back those which are lolling about or have finished flowering. You can be quite draconian with your secateurs as the plant will bounce back in no time. Water well.

Work on cut flower bed

A lot of gerunds in this area today: weeding, assessing, cutting, raising, adding, removing. To find out more about gerunds, you need to sign up for a different class.

Take a moment to check out progress in the Dry Garden

It looks like it’s been here forever

Roll on those hazy, lazy, crazy days of summer

This kind of craziness is relished byFriday Group