The plotting blues

It was cooler at the beginning of last week so I spent a couple of mornings doing some much needed dead-heading, tidying and weeding but I have to say that it was rather half-hearted as I’ve got a touch of the plotting blues at present.

It’s damp and dull this morning, and the overnight rain was much needed although it won’t have really made much difference.  I’m sure that many gardeners will agree that it’s been a difficult growing year so far having been too cool, dry, hot or windy.  It’s not been too wet, and in fact it’s been noticeable just how dry this year has been.  That has meant there’s been no problem with slugs or snails but there’s been plenty of others, including blackfly infestations and poor germination.

Pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis)My plotting blues will soon be gone as there is still lots to come.  I’ll be lifting the first of my favourite Charlotte potatoes, it won’t be too long before I’ll be picking the first blackberries and I’m looking forward to seeing the dahlias and gladioli flowering.

I usually have a look at the site stats for this blog most days and over the past few weeks there have been numerous referrers from one of the comments on this Mumsnet post looking at The Plot Ponds, which I did on 31 march 2011.   I never cease to be surprised, and delighted, that my blog is referred to like this.

Happy gardening, and have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 42 Comments

Tree Following, July 2015 – A fig tree

Fig tree Jul'15

From a distance it looks like there’s been little, if any, change to the fig tree from last month except that it’s perhaps rather more leafy.

Close up it’s interesting to see the colour and shape of the branches, as seen in the left-hand picture below.

Fig tree branches Jul'15    New fruit forming on fig tree Jul'15

As I mentioned last month most of the fruit had dropped but it’s noticeable that since then new fruit is already starting to form as can be seen in the right-hand picture above.

Jo on her blog The Good Life recently did a post Spreadeagled asking for advice about her fig tree.  Please read it and if you can advise on what she should do then she’d be grateful if you would leave a comment there.

See Lucy’s Tree Following post for details of what this is all  about, and this post for links to other Tree Following posts for this month.

Have a good weekend!

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Posted in Flighty's plot, Lawn loungers, Lawn lounging | Tagged | 13 Comments

Tree Following, July 2015 – Liz’s Stewartia

At first I thought that there would be nothing to post about my tree, the Stewartia, for July because it had its moment of glory last month. Since then it has returned to being just one of the various trees that add structure to my garden here in Lexington, Kentucky.

What to report?  Well there was a garden tour in town recently where I found in a garden, one of nine, two Stewartias and in another two more that were planted at an entrance to an allee (a walkway lined with trees or tall shrubs). Needless to say both gardens were most impressive.   Back to my tree and here it is showing the fruit forming and a few of the leaves in close-up.

Liz's Stewartia Jul'15-1

Below left has a backdrop of a limb from an old silver maple that fell during a recent storm, with Dulcie inspecting.   The other one shows it at sunset.

Liz's Stewartia Jul'15-2     Liz's Stewartia Jul'15-3

See Lucy’s Tree Following post for details of what this is all about, and this one for links to other Tree Following posts for this month.

My thanks to Mike for letting me guest post, and to Lucy for hosting Tree Following.

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Posted in Flighty's plot, Lawn lounging | Tagged | 20 Comments

Nasturtiums and sunflowers

The nasturtiums that are scattered around the plot are now starting to flower but I’ve a lot less plants than last year.  Here are orange and red ones.

Orange nasturtium  Red nasturtiumThere aren’t as many sunflowers as I had hoped for either, and the tall singles are anything but with the tallest being below waist height with correspondingly small, palm sized, flower heads as seen here on the left.  The other one  is an Autumn Beauty which is taller, about 4/5 feet, with a dinner plate sized flower.

Tall single sunflower  First sunflower 'Autumn Beauty'

Neither types have really germinated or grown well due to the cool, dry and dull weather that we’ve had for much of the year.

There was some rain during Friday night, along with a lot of thunder and lightning, but I’ve not been to the plot since to see how everything is doing. Thankfully next week looks like being cooler, around 20C (70F) at best, which suits me as I should be able to do some now much needed plotting.

Have a good week!

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Over the past week…

or so I’ve seen two less common birds on neighbouring plots. One was a Moorhen which had strayed onto the site from the adjacent Newton Farm Ecology Park pond where they live.  The other was a Mistle thrush which I’ve seen a couple of times.

Small Tortoishell butterfly on the blue lavenderComma butterfly on the blackberry bush


On the plot I’ve seen a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on the blue lavender, whilst on the blackberry bush was a Comma.

Pink-rose love-in-a-mist


Among the familiar blue and white love-in-a-mist (Nigella damescena) flowers I spotted this pink-rose one.  I rarely see any mention, or see pictures, of this colour.  Both pink and rose are listed as colours for the popular variety Persian Jewels Mixed, and is available as other varieties including the interesting looking Chiltern Seeds best seller Mulberry Rose.


Creamy-white California poppy



A couple more of the cool creamy-white California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) have appeared among the bright orange and yellow ones.  I really like these so will be growing more next year.


Have a good weekend!

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This year’s Flighty’s favourites,

the pot marigolds (calendula officinalis),  are doing really well both on the plot and elsewhere with friends both here in the UK and as far away as New Zealand and the USA.

Orange, yellow and 'biscuit' pot marigolds


I’ve been taking lots of pictures to see just how many variations there are of the the basic orange, yellow and buff (or biscuit as I call it) colours. Hopefully I will put together a montage of them to show here later in the the year.



I rather like the the two-tone ones.

Orange and yellow two-tone pot marigoldsI’ve found one or two that are creamy-white or pale pink.

Creamy-white pot marigold   Pale pink pot marigoldLater in the week the temperature looks like being over 30C (around 90F) at times. That’s way too hot for me so all I’ll be doing is pottering and watering for an hour early morning. Hot orange pot marigoldStay cool, and have a good week!

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Posted in Flighty's plot | 28 Comments

As well as being…

too breezy and cool for much of the the past couple of months it’s also been too dry with very little  rain.  That has meant that the ground, which is clay, is beginning to show cracks like this .

Ground crack (1)  Ground crack (2)

Runner beans


It’s been a bad year for blackfly, and despite pinching the broad bean tops out then repeatedly spraying them it looks like I’ll be pulling them up to add to the compost heap.


I’ve been checking the runner beans daily and so far they’ve not been affected.


The chicory plants over by the log pile/wild flower area are now flowering.

Some chicory flowers

Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

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Posted in Flighty's plot | 28 Comments