I’m sitting here in my dressing gown at 6 am as I type this morning. I’m beside an open window and the room is filled with the sound of the beach and nature waking up all around. It is very different to the normal Six on Saturday posts that you normally get from me. This morning I’m off to a photo shoot followed by a book launch so forgive my early posting and bleary-eyed ramblings but I just had to share this garden post with you before I leave. This week for my Six on Saturday I’m taking a look at two, very late to the party, dahlias, some harvests of tomatoes and a surprising strawberry harvest.
Dahlia & Dead Heading
This is Veritable a cactus dahlia that has very much come into its own rather late this year. I’m assuming it’s the weather as I have been listening to other, more experienced dahlia growers and they tell me everything is a little late this year due to the heat. The thing I have grown to love about this magnificent plant apart from those beautiful petals is just how long a flower will last. This one is the same exact flower from last week and yet it looks like it has just opened! I also never realised just how important deadheading is to dahlias. Mine have seem to take a growth spurt and as I remove a spent flower it seems to be replaced by two or more flower buds. They are also lasting a very long time indoors as a cut flower so I am definitely growing more next year.
Dahlia BlackBerry Ripple
I have two of these in my garden but this plant was attacked badly at the start of the growing season by aphids and pigeons so this is its first flower. It was quickly followed by another and fingers crossed it has more in there before the chill arrives. I am somewhat perplexed by the leaves on this one as they look a lot more open than they should and I’m wondering if that is to do with its parentage or the age of the dahlia. Either way, this little beauty is worth the wait.
These tomatoes are a determinate bush variety and I am astonished by the size and quantity of the tomatoes coming off them. My greenhouse has been saved from the jungle of last week. I moved two enormous courgette plants out of there so I could at least get in the door! These beauties are perfect for passata or pizza sauce and we have been filling up our freezer this week as much as we can but it’s hard to keep up. This could also have something to do with the Epsom Salts mixture they got. Everything in the greenhouse loved them!
These really are a delight. The flavour from these cherries really packs a wallop. Like you have been punched in the mouth by a tomato flavoured zinger. (remember zinger bars?) These have been easy to grow and they just keep on producing. I’ve had no problems with blight or scalding this year and for the first time ever I have no fruit splitting! I really recommend this variety, I got my seeds from Seedaholic, the link will bring you to all their tomatoes so you can nab any from my post today. Just a few of these with feta cheese and a freshly picked cucumber and you have summer in a bowl!
These cherry toms are unusual and I have a thing for growing black or purple fruit and veg. They taste sweet and their fruit is larger than Sungold or Gardener’s Delight. These wouldn’t stop swaying in the breeze so apologies for the slightly fuzzy shot. I’m also surprised by the harvest as quantity wise they are producing more than the Sungold cherries (which is a feat) and yet the plants are somewhat smaller. Bigger fruit, larger harvest on a smaller plant sounds like a win but these are growing around the top of my greenhouse now and are reminding me of the Little Shop of Horrors everytime I go into the greenhouse. I’ve even started humming the tune as I pick the tomatoes!
Strawberry – Mix
Okay, I can heard you mutter as you read the opening paragraph, well those of you that read it and didn’t skim the post for the photos…yes I’m looking at you Tom! What’s so unusual for a strawberry harvest in August/early September Nadia? Well, it all starts with the dreaded strawberry weevil and boy did I have a lot of those little buggers when I moved into the cottage. The decimated my strawberry crop and this is all that remains. 1 lonely plant under an apple tree in a container. Which probably saved its life!
The other remarkable thing about this plant is that it is producing both white and red berries. I initially had both a variety called Buddy which was great for big bumper harvests and some alpines which were small and white. This seems to be a hybrid of both with medium sized berries but with full red and fully white fruit. I will need to investigate this further an see if it throws up any runners before the end of the season. Fingers crossed!
That’s it from me this week, the sun is up and the bird are calling for breakfast. Thank you for joining me, it really means so much to me to be able to share the cottage garden with all of you. Do make sure that you pop over to The Propagator ‘s page to check out more wonderful gardening posts and why not search the #sixonsaturday tag on twitter too to fill your feed with beautiful blooms. There is also a participant guide here if you would like to join in too. Looking forward to catching up with all of your garden posts this week too!
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Hello Nadia,lovely Six. My dahlias are all late bloomers this year, presume the excessive heat slowed them down. Epsom salts you say?one to remember for next year, my toms have been a bit meh this year. Not terrible, but not prolific . Better than last year, mind, lost the lot to blight
Hello Jonathan! Epsom salts is something that my mother in law mentioned to me. She makes a weak solution about a tablespoon in a 5L watering can and uses it about once a week and her plants are huge compared to mine! I lost a huge number of toms to blight last year which is why we bought the greenhouse and look at the weather we had!
Both of the Dahlias are stunning but if I could only have one it would be Blackberry Ripple. My toms have also done well but your plants look so much healthier
This year the tomatoes have been really healthy but the weather has been warmer and drier but it is also the first year they have been in a greenhouse so that could be it either. I usually see blight on the tomatoes but it’s bee a good yield this year. Though building frames for them has been challenging lol
Gardener’s delight toms have been a success this year. They have reached to the top of my greenhouse and continue to grow towards the vents!! And so tasty!… otherwise you took a very beautiful picture of your dahlia cactus