Sidalcea 'Elsie Heugh'

This is the plant that I bought at the tail end of last year with a single flowering stem which managed to have a half open flower before the winter cut it back.

This year it has returned as as a much bigger plant with plenty of flower spikes. Here are some of the first flowers. They have a fine delicate frilly edge.

These flowers are lasting well, which is very unlike Sidalcea 'William Smith' which has flowers that seem to last a day or two.

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Geranium wallichianum 'Crystal Lake'

This is my last Geranium to flower. It is a sprawling type and doesn't have a lot of room to spread.

I was suprised and delighted at how great this looked, and I think that the photo isn't showing it quite as splendid as it looks.

Photo 6567

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Six on Saturday, new year's eve

Weather as seemingly always is sunny with no rain in sight. The lawn amazingly is still looking quite green, so some moisture is still down there. But I have not tried to cut it short since the dry spell started, there are some shockingly brown lawns around where they have been cut very short.

Today I watered even some of the more established plants as well as the new ones.

This is the eve of my first Six on Saturday, so here goes...

1. Helenium 'Mardi gras'

This is new this year and was only planted in May but is the first of my Heleniums to flower.

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2. Monarda 'Prairie night'

This is an interesting flower and a lovely colour too. It is a great plant. It is not staked but it stayed standing during the very high winds we had a while back. It also hasn't appeared to suffer …

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End of June round up

There was very little rain this month, I think it has only rained once. It has been dry for a long time now, although not always accompanied by hot sunshine. The last two weeks have all been very sunny, on many days the sun was shining all day and most days there was at least some sun.

For this months round up, we will start with what is flowering, you can compare with June last year.

Flowering

Pictures of many of the plants that were flowering at some point during the month. More can be found in the other blog posts this month.

Knautia macedonica 'Melton Pastels'
This flowered well during the month. Many flowers, well liked by the bees too. I would not really describe the colour as a pastel shade...

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Centaurea
For some reason this flowers much later in my garden than anywhere else. It finally had its …
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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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