Some Sunday smiles

A few (on-line) friends have been unwell lately and two of the them have been, or still are, in hospital so I felt that they would all appreciate some Sunday smiles.  

Candytuft 'Fairy' Mixed

 

This year in the long planter I’ve grown Candytuft (Iberis umbellata) Fairy Mixed  which I was expecting to flower in a range cheerful bright colours but as you can see they’re virtually all white.

Never mind they are pretty.

 

 

 

I always grow nasturtiums (tropaeolum majus) which I leave to self-seed every year. There aren’t as many as usual but among the bright orange, red and yellow ones are these nice creamy-yellow ones.

Creamy yellow nasturtiums

I mentioned the cosmos Velouette last week and here’s a picture showing the mix of colours and contrasting patterns on the lovely red and white flowers.

Cosmos 'Velouette' flowers

I hope that anyone who hasn’t been too good recently feels better soon.

Have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 19 Comments

Far too hot to plot

I spent most of Sunday and Monday mornings dead-heading my Flighty’s favourites pot marigolds.  With so many to do it did get a touch tedious but is a job well worth doing.

Pot marigold - 21  Pot marigold - 22

It was far too hot to plot on Tuesday so all I did was top up both ponds, water a few plants such as the climbing beans and tomatoes then have a good look round.  I was delighted to stand and watch a dragonfly flitting round for several minutes as it’s something I’ve not seen before whilst at the plot. They really are such colourful and fascinating insects.

Thankfully the forecast is for temperatures in the low 20sC/70sF through the weekend and into next week, and remaining dry, so I’ll should be back to doing some gentle plotting and more watering.

Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 26 Comments

Flighty’s plot, mid-July 2016

Recently I’ve spent most mornings plotting and it’s now all looking much better than it was a couple of weeks ago, and I’m feeling a lot less moochy.

The tomatoes Gardener’s Delight,  Golden Sunrise and Outdoor Girl all looked dire at one point but seem to have recovered with flowers on most of them, and even a few fruit on a couple of plants.  The red onions Red Baron which didn’t bolt are mostly soft and unusable but the white ones Sturon are looking okay.   I’ve been lifting some of the potatoes first earlies Red Duke of York and second earlies Charlotte, and the first earlies Lady Christl that I planted a couple of weeks ago are starting to show foliage.   I’ve been picking the broad beans Karmazyn, and the runner beans St George are finally heading up the canes as are the slower climbing French Beans Borlotti and Cobra. To fill some gaps on the plot I’ve sowed some beetroot Boltardy, carrots Autumn King and dwarf French beans Sprite.

The rhubarb, raspberries and strawberries have all finished but it won’t be long before I’m picking blackberries.

The red cosmos Veloutte have started flowering,

Cosmos ''Velouette'

White gladioli - 1as has the first of the lovely white gladioli White Goddess.

I’ve pulled up the dwarf white lavender plants that have never done well and now died in the recent soggy ground.

Last week I ordered some crocus Snow Bunting and daffodils yellow mini Tete-a-tete and the white Thalia.

It’s looks like reaching 30C/85F on Tuesday so I’ll be just pottering if does as that’s too hot for me.

Have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 24 Comments

Tree Following, July 2016 – A young oak tree

Young oak tree, Jul'16 - 1

I was pleased to find that the dead leaves that I showed  in last month’s post were just a small cluster on a spindly branch that that partially snapped.

Overall the young oak tree is looking green and healthy.

 

Young oak tree, Jul'16 - 2Looking closely I can see that each branch has new growth showing,  in some cases more than a foot in length.

 

Young oak tree, Jul'16 - 4

 

This picture shows both old and new growth.  Being a young, and still small, oak tree I’m able to see such details.

It also shows how the new pale leaves darken as they get bigger and older.

Thanks to Pat for hosting Tree Following on her The Squirrelbasket blog, and do have a look at this comprehensive post to see what it’s all about.

 

Have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot, Lawn loungers | Tagged | 18 Comments

Tree Following, July 2016 – Liz’s serviceberry

Liz's Serviceberry, Jul'16 - 1

These pictures were taken during  last week and unlike last month there’s not a berry to be seen as the birds ate them all over the course of a couple of days.  I had seen them ripening, turning from bright red to purple then nearly black as they matured. The taste apparently changes from rather insipid to delectably sweet.   I had intended trying a few since I know that people swear by them for making jam and pies.

 

 

Liz's Serviceberry, Jul'16 - 2Since early June the temperature here in Lexington, Kentucky has been around 90F/32C with periods of well over a week without any rain.   Despite that the serviceberry is a dependable and attractive tree providing some welcome dappled shade.

 

Thanks to Mike for letting me guest post, and to Pat for hosting Tree Following over on The Squirrelbasket blog.  Do have a look at her comprehensive post to see what it’s all about.

Posted in Flighty's plot, Lawn loungers | Tagged | 14 Comments

Sunflowers 2016

I’ll be growing sunflowers…  was the first post I did this year and this is how they’ve fared so far.

Just one Mongolian Giant survived the slugs and weather, but at a rather paltry five feet with no sign of a flower bud yet has proved rather disappointing.  I probably won’t be trying to grow any tall singles next year.

Sunflowers 'Valentine'

 

The Valentine ones haven’t fared much better with just a couple surviving and flowering. They should be around five feet high with five inch flowers but are just two feet with two inch flowers.  I like the lemon- yellow colour with a contrasting dark centre.

 

 

 

Dwarf sunflower 'Musicbox', golden yellow

I started ten dwarf Musicbox  off at home of which nine germinated and were planted out in a group.  I resorted to scattering organic slug pellets around these and despite some initial damage they all did well, and being just knee high they don’t have to be staked. I’ve been very impressed with the number of flower heads, some plants having into double figures.  I’ll certainly be growing this variety again next year.

 

Three dwarf sunflowers 'Musicbox'

The Big Sunflower ProjectAs I mentioned in that first post I’ve been posting pictures to The Big Sunflower Project‘s Facebook page and will continue to do so this year, and again next year.

 

Have a good week!

Posted in A good cause, Flighty's plot | 32 Comments

Catching up

I’ve spent the past four mornings plotting mostly catching up with the dead-heading, grass cutting, hoeing, pruning and weeding that needed doing.

Genista and hawthorn

This morning I cut down the genista and dying fire-blighted hawthorn leaving little more than the stumps to deal with.  Apart from a handful of thicker branches and trunk I burnt everything else.

I will tidy the area up at my leisure and think about what I’m going to do here.

 

This is what it looks like now.

 

Justs the stumps leftOn Monday I planted some first early potatoes Lady Christl that I had been given over at the horticultural society trading shed a couple of weeks ago.  Fingers crossed they’ll be ready to lift in early October. I’ll be happy if I only get a meal’s worth from each plant.

I’ll probably buy some beetroot, carrot and dwarf French bean seeds on Sunday and sow them early next week.

Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 24 Comments