Californian poppy

Last year I concluded it was mostly a waste of time to plant annuals early in the house. So this year I planted Zinnia and Californian poppies directly into the containers. Other seeds were either planted in cells straight outside or germinated indoors (I did get a better germination rate) and then quickly moved outside. All this was well after the frosts had passed, at the end of April and beginning of May.

And here we have the first Californian poppy flower. Last year the first picture of an open poppy was on the 2nd of July but it may have been out for a day or two already.

So there we go, planting in mid March as I did last year provided no earlier flowers.

Photo 6523

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Sudden death of an Actaea

My Actaea pachypoda 'misty blue' was seemingly doing fine, when I got it the leaves were hardly open but they quickly grew and there were three flowers. Then recently one small leaf wilted, I immediately watered it well of course, but rapidly more and more leaves fell and eventually the whole plant seemed to be gone.

There seemed to be nothing to lose, so I dug it up to see what might be going on. The roots were all moist but very congested, I tried to break them apart the best I could before replanting it. The roots were very tough so this was not easy.

I will leave it for a while to see if there is any new growth but I am not hopeful.

Its not easy to see in the photo as the dead leaves blend into the soil, the bulk of the dead leaves are slumped …

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Six on Saturday 16 Jun

The dry spell continues even though it rained today it was hardly enough to wet the surface of the soil, never mind giving the plants a decent drink.

Since the garden is usually very wet I've planted many plants this year that do not like to dry out. Since they are not well established, this is the worst time for this lack of rain, so I am watering more than I would normally do.

Yesterday storm Hector hit. Since the garden is not that large, the fences provide some shelter, but the wind whips down the gap between the house and the next which affects all the new plants on the left side of the garden.

A couple of Lupin flowers and some leaves were torn from the plant, the new Phlox has a broken stem at ground level, and a Polemonium had its flower stem flattened.

1 Orchid

This …

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Orchids

The two orchids have returned this year. Last year the one by the back door had a short flower head and looked distinctly different to other one, but this year the back door one is much taller and perhaps more impressive than the one beneath The Tree.

This orchid grows wild in the area, so I am assuming that it wild and not deliberately planted but obviously I don't know for sure. The one at the back door is right next to the paving which would not be somewhere that I would plant anything.

I spent a long time last year trying to decide if they were Northern Mash Orchids, or Southern Mash Orchids. It looks a bit more like the SMO, but on the other hand this is too far North for it. Also the SMO is supposed to be a taller than these are. They are so variable …

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Sunday in the garden

Spent the day making sure everything was watered and planting most of the annual Lobelia along the edge of the new bed before going away for work for a few days.

There are a couple of new things to note.

Ligularia bud

This is the L. przewalski from Penlan.

Photo 6436

Geum 'Mrs J Bradshaw'

This is a new Geum this year, its an old and well known variety and having seen it I'd say it would be hard to beat.

Photo 6438

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HPS seeds update

I planted all the seeds I received from the HPS in cells outside. Many of them just looked like dust so I wasn't too hopeful anything would grow.

Nothing happened for a long time, but there are now three of these which have appeared in the section for the Potentilla delphinensis.

The leaves don't look like a Potentilla, but I searched 'potentilla seedlings' and I am somewhat confident that they are, but we shall see.

Photo 6433

There are a variety of other things growing, but I believe they are all weeds as they are growing elsewhere too, although I have not identified what kind of weed they all are yet.

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What a difference a week makes

I was away for the week and on arriving back I was surprised at all the changes.

Foxgloves
The foxgloves by the side of the house were just rosettes last year but this year they all are growing flower stalks. Before I went away I thought this was going to be yellow or cream, but turns out it is completely white with a small amount of darker markings inside. Photo 6409
Geranium 'Versicolour'
A couple of flowers opened on this new geranium. It is not quite what I was expecting, thought it would be paler with more distinct markings. Photo 6414
Orchid
The orchids are almost fully out. I will do a separate post on them later. Photo 6415
Osteospermum 'Lady Leitrim'
This is one of the new plants, it had buds when it arrived but it opened out today. It seems it only opens when sunny or warm enough. Photo 6416
Geranium
This is my favourite Geranium …
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End of May round up

This is a roundup of what happened in the garden this month. You can compare with May 2017 last year with some additional May 2017 pictures.

The garden is still behind where it was last year at this time.

Tulips
seem a distant memory now, but were very colourful.
Tiarella
these were a great success. Very welcome flowers at this time of year. The flowers are just about finishing along with the month.

Tiarella

Ipheion
will be getting some more of these for next year. Photo 6282
Bluebell
there were two that actually looked like the English bluebell all the rest did not. Since most were presumably hybrids, it is likely that the remaining two were also, they just had more of the features of the English variety.
Geranium
I moved one of the pink Geraniums from the back where it got a bit lost to the front. This was a great success …
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