Garden Warrior

Exotic plant lover & allotment newbie

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Six on Saturday (14/07/2018)

Still having issues with the WordPress app on my phone, so now trying to access it via Chrome.

My six on Saturday are as follows:

1. Canna x ehemanii

This has to be the favourite out of all my Cannas and it miraculously survived outdoors all winter with no protection. The first of what will hopefully be many beautiful pendulous flowers which should just get better as the summer progresses.

2. Dahlia merckii

Grown from seed earlier this year, this is the first tiny flower on a plant that is still less than 30cm tall.

3. Zinnia elegans ‘Peppermint Stick’

Unusual and possibly not to everyone’s liking I thought I’d try this out and so far so good .

4Cosmos sulphureus ‘Bright Lights Mixed’

Another new one for me this year and the first flower. Somewhat disappointedly I only managed to grow two plants from a whole tray so probably won’t be trying this again!

5. Canna (unnamed)

This is one that I grew from seed and decided to keep as I love the bright orange of the petals.

6. Cyperus involucratus syn. Cyperus alternifolius

I grow these rather than C. Papyrus as they are far less demanding and still look good .


Six on Saturday – 07/07/2018

1. Canna warscewiczii

I’ve grown these from my own saved seed with very good germination rates. They quickly clump up and flower in their first year from early an sowing (these were sown five months ago in February). Unlike other Canna, I have still not managed to overwinter C. warscewiczii successfully, but no matter when they produce abundant seed which is still viable after at least two years.

2. Agapanthus (unknown species)

I was given this plant by Carolyn Ramsamy last year when we caught up at Hortus Loci for the Perennial Hampton Court Show garden briefing. It’s doing really well having survived the winter and has approx 16 flower buds.

3. Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’ (bronze fennel)

A regular self-sower since I introduced a single plant into the garden a few years back. I love the delicate frothy foliage and the long tap root makes it an ideal plant for a dry sunny position. I definitely need to use it more in the garden.

4. Cephalaria gigantea (giant scabious)

Grown from seed collected from a local garden (with the Head Gardener’s permission) this is still in a pot whilst I try to work out where to place it. Living up to its name it can reach 2.5m making quite a statement in the border, it’s also good for pollinators.

5. Verbena bonariensis

Now a prolific self-seeder, it’s strange to imagine that just two years ago I wasn’t even sure that it would take in my garden. I don’t mind weeding out the extra plants when you consider that it flowers all summer long and just today has attracted Peacock, Gatekeeper and Cabbage White butterflies.

6. Persicaria orientalis (Kiss me over the garden gate)

Unlike the Verbena this has not been prolific in my garden, preferring it seems to self-seed in pots rather than the ground. This year my tray sown seeds failed so I’m left with just one plant somewhat awkwardly growing out of a pot of Colocasia. I’m still hoping that I can get it to establish in the garden as it quickly makes a tall addition to the back of the border.

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10 Reasons to visit an NGS Open Garden This Weekend

  1.  You get to nose around someone else’s garden – Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like having a good look around other people’s gardens? Unfortunately sometimes the gardens you most want to visit aren’t always open to the public.  Well this is where the National Garden Scheme might just come to the rescue, with approximately 3,700 gardens all over the country being opened for one or more days a year for the general public to take a look around.

    St Timothee – April 2018

  2. You’re helping to raise money for charity – The National Garden Scheme is the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the country, donating over £50 million so far for The Queen’s Nursing Institute, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Carers Trust, Hospice UK, Perennial, Parkinson’s UK and other guest charities.  Garden owners work tirelessly to ensure that their gardens look their best for the open days often despite the unpredictable British weather being against them.
  3. Cake! – Who can say ‘no’ to a slice of cake and a cuppa after wandering around a garden? For many visitors this is just as important a part of the visit as the garden itself and a chance to sit back and take in the lovely surroundings.
  4. Old friends – A date in the diary to look around a garden can be the perfect excuse to catch up with old friends who share your passion for plants and gardens.
  5. New friends – An NGS open garden can be just the place to meet new friends. Maybe you’ve been chatting to someone on social media for months, what better way to meet in person for the first time? Or perhaps you might strike up a friendship with the garden owner through your mutual love of all things horticultural?

    Ulting Wick – April 2018

  6. Plant sales – It’s a well-known fact that gardeners can never have too many plants. So any opportunity to buy another plant surely has to be a good thing? Many garden owners sell plants on their open days to increase the funds raised and give visitors the opportunity to purchase some of the plants that they’ve seen.  Quite often these won’t be the plants that you’ll find offered at your local garden centre, so keep your eyes peeled for something a little different.
  7. Tips and advice – Gardeners are by nature a generous bunch and open days give visitors the chance to ask questions about the plants they see growing and maybe learn some useful tips to deal with problems they might have back home in their own gardens.
  8. Inspiration – Wandering around other people’s gardens can be quite inspirational.  The smaller gardens can often reveal a clever use of space and solutions to awkward areas in your own plot. Perhaps you’ll take some design ideas home with you, or maybe a plant combination that you particularly love.  Whatever it is be sure to take plenty of photographs to remind you later on once you are back in your own garden.
  9. Open your garden – Who knows, you may even decide to open your own garden to the public.  If friends and family enjoy looking at your garden then the chances are that other people will too. The NGS offer plenty of support and guidance to people opening their own gardens for the first time.
  10. Cake – Did I mention cake? I did? Well that lemon drizzle cake was particularly tempting, it would be rude not to, oh go on then, (the diet starts tomorrow)!

First things first

I’ve been meaning to start a blog for ages, when I mention this to other bloggers their immediate response is “do it!”.

So this is my blog.

It’s probably no surprise that I plan to blog about my passion for plants and all things garden-related.  My interests lie in exotic plants as well as in more sustainable ways to garden, two styles that I am yet to fully reconcile in my small suburban plot.  I love visiting other peoples’ gardens, small and large and of course the RHS Shows.  I have a burgeoning collection of gardening books which seems to grow faster than I can read them.  Finally there is my newly acquired allotment which I took over at the end of July 2017.  I hope to share something of my passion through this blog and look forward to documenting the progress of my garden and allotment as well as the gardens I visit and the books I read.

© 2018 Garden Warrior

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