Blogs everywhere on Midsummer day proclaim that from then on the
evenings will be getting shorter - not true!
The evenings continue getting a little longer for several days
afterwards, and conversely the earliest morning occurs a few days
before midsummer's day.
In Newcastle it doesn't quite get dark at this time of year, nautical
twilight does not end. Nautical twilight corresponds to when there is
still enough light to see the horizon even when there is no moon so
that mariners could still reliably navigate by the stars.
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The mystery plant that I grew from seed, that was supposed to be
Salvia × superba has now flowered. There was little reason to
suppose that it was any kind of Salvia although I had come to
suspect that it was. I've looked through many pictures of different
species and of course it is much easier with flowers open as most
pictures focus on the flowers.
Anyway the attractive distinctive blue pattern on the flower lead me
to Salvia forsskaolii. All the other attributes of the plant match
up, in particular the large basal leaves which are quite unusual for a
Salvia, and look quite foxglove like on the young plant.
The way the flowers open is quite strange. On the lowest whorl of
flowers two flowers on opposite sides of the stem open. The next
whorl up two more flowers open, again opposite, but at right angles to
the ones …
I had given up on this plant and marked it as died over winter in my
But today I noticed it had returned.
There are a few plants that are well behind where I expected them to
be, but at least there has been some sign of them.
This is the fourth summer season I've been here and this is the
first time that the Cordyline has flowered.
It is very much bigger that it was when I arrived and I was thinking
of cutting down the tallest trunk. Glad I didn't get around to it!
Strangely there is a much smaller Cordyline nearby that is also
flowering, I've never noticed any in flower before.
Unfortunately the flower was positioned so that it was somewhat hidden
from me. The flowers didn't last all that long, but while they did
they were swarming with bees.
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Did I say last week that
no rain was forecast? Yes I did
but the very next day the forecast
changed and now we've had more rain during the week
that the whole of April and May combined and
a good chunk of March if not all of it.
Anyway the plants are now smiling and very happy.
So time for Six on Saturday hosted by The Propagator.
This is the orchid by the back door that has been here since before I
I've just looked back on pictures from the first year and it was
quite a small flower head back then.
I think it is not as large as last year.
This geranium came with the garden, I believe
it to be Geranium × magnificum.
This is a division of the original that I made a couple of years ago.
It is now much bigger …
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You can compare with last year.
The average temperature was 12.3C with a minimum of 0.1C and maximum of 27.3C.
So no frost days, and there were days that were very warm for the time
Another very dry month with only 8mm of rain all month. Surprisingly
that was spread over 10 separate days.
For comparison, last year there was 55mm of rain.
There was even less rain last month.
The month started out with the tulips and daffodils being
the main points of interest and they were all finished by
the end of the month.
The forget-me-not's are great at providing some early colour
but there were far too many this year and I started
removing them much earlier than usual.
The Ligularia 'Zepter' that I moved from the back
to the front to replace the L. przewalskii that died over the
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There has been hardly any rain for two months
now, and no rain forecast for next week either.
I have heavy clay soil so it is usually very damp, but there
are now some cracks which I've not seen here before.
Here are six things from the garden today.
I Have a few foxgloves that seed around, this
is a particularly fine example.
I have three Lupins in this patch.
The large purple one at the back is a random
Russell hybrid from Aldi.
The red one is L. 'My castle' (brick red) and the
blue one is L. 'Persian slipper'.
Very excited to see three new orchids appear this
They are all reasonably close together in the left back
corner area, so no where near either of
the other two orchids that I have.
I didn't notice anything here last year, but as they take …
This has now grown to a good size and is covered in flowers.
In contrast to the other Geums that I have this is low growing and
so doesn't flop over everything else.