End of summer
I’ve been absent from this blog in body and mind. For some reason I haven’t really felt like writing on here. Not for a lack of things going on. But I often find summers as such. There’s too much fun to be had in the Real World and too much going on to spend time in the virtual one. Especially given the summer we’ve just had. Wowee, what a glorious one it was! I spent quite a few hours in my garden and I hope you did too.
Talking of the garden, there’s a chance that we might be moving soon. It is a planned thing. Something we sort of decided before we moved here. It has meant that I’ve always had an odd relationship with and a slight detachment from our current garden. On the one hand wanting to have fun and make my mark on it (read: carry out my every horticultural whim); but tempered on the other knowing that it wasn’t ‘forever’ and that we might move in the not-too-distant future (read: not sinking a fortune in it and not frightening off any prospective buyers).
But things can’t stand still because of what might or might not happen and this summer I’ve most enjoyed the new dahlias I planted in a couple of my raised beds earlier this spring, purposefully for cutting. After visiting Great Dixter last autumn I was determined to grow some. It’s been wonderful bringing the assorted colourful blooms indoors. So cheering.
The cultivars I selected were: D. ‘New Baby’, ‘City of Leiden’, ‘Bishop of Auckland’, ‘Chat Noir’, ‘Rip City’ (tubers which I ordered and paid for from Sarah Raven), ‘Fascination’ and ‘Honka’ (potted tubers given to me courtesy of Plantify). I planted all of them in situ as soon as I received them back in early April, chucked a thick layer of mulch over them and crossed my fingers. Foliage started appearing around the end of June/beginning of July with flowers towards the end of summer.
…and ‘New Baby’…
…have stood out in performance. They have flowered well and the blooms are of a lovely form and colour. They also have nice, long stalks for cutting. Sadly two of the tubers I received (‘Rip City’ and ‘Chat Noir’) didn’t produce anything – had by frost perhaps? Whilst ‘Jowey Mirella’ came out looking like this…
…So I didn’t really end up with any of the deep, black-red flowers I was after. ‘Bishop of Auckland’ did appear but the blooms have been sparse and the plant has seemed very slow to get going. Unsurprisingly, the potted tubers I received from Plantify were quicker off the blocks initially than the bare tubers from Sarah Raven, but most of them pretty much caught up eventually.
The other thing that’s been a big hit in the garden this summer has been Acidanthera murielae (or Gladiolus murielae). I planted the corms up in a big terracotta pot on the patio in April. The first beautiful white blooms appeared in July and it flowered on long, arching spikes throughout the rest of the summer. The large, strap shaped leaves looked gorgeous too catching the evening light. Two thumbs up.