Every year it happens. I don’t know how but it does. In my meticulous planning, that it turns out isn’t so meticulous, I forget to plan for August and September colour. That’s not the reason you are looking at a feature image of a dandelion right now, I chose it because I realised that the images on my blog can make it seem like my garden is perfect. Believe me, the front garden still looks like a scene from ‘The Land that Time Forgot’ and my poor newly planted Yew hedge is battling weeds akin to the Battle of Mordor. The cottage garden is far from perfect but every gardener knows that gardening is perpetual, it needs constant nurturing even in tiniest of gardens, plants will grow.
This week’s Six on Saturday is focused on some garden confessions, please join me in the comments so I don’t feel like I’m the worst gardener in the world!
This year is the first year I have grown Dahlia’s and I have to confess I have fallen in love with them. I had no idea what I was doing at the start of this year but the wonderful gardeners over on Twitter (Hugh Peter Karen, Lucy & Co.) all helped me nurture these beauties into flower. I didn’t plant them early enough and next year I will start sooner as they are really only hitting their glory now, which is a whole month or more behind everyone else. It started with just one or two blooms but now the back bed is falling over with them. This is a cactus dahlia called ‘Veritable’. I know that’s right as I bought these myself. I’m still learning about my inherited plants so forgive a slip here or there.
The second of my six is also a dahlia because this beauty has consistently flowered since it’s first bloom back at the end of May. I have only two cactus dahlias and this is my second ‘Nuit D’ete’. I stupidly planted this at the back of my back bed but the flowers are so dark they need the stark white of my other dahlias and snapdragons to really pop. I need to label this and move it’s position for next year because right now it’s hidden and I have been using the blooms as cut flowers inside and they have been lasting weeks! In case you couldn’t grasp this, I have been converted into the dahlia lovers club. Watch out because in a year from now I’ll be aiming for the presidency of the club!
If you follow the blog you know I have a love-hate relationship with our Rugosa. It needs ot be divided but I love its colour. I do not like that the wind attacks it and in full bloom, it looks like hundreds of tiny tissue paper squares have been stuck to the shrub. Like the teenagers of Bettystown have teepeed my front garden. But the flowers lit up by the calm summer sunshine are beautiful. Like globes of angel fire. I wasn’t joking, it really is love/hate. At the moment the rosehips are ripe and the last of this year’s flowers are just blooming. I’m terrified of digging this up, in fact, I’ll be calling for help.
Forgive the slightly blurry image but the weather was changeable in the garden this morning and these were hard to shoot. I have a rather horrible tomato confession – I didn’t stay on top of removing side shoots or topping them. I have what only can be described as the Tomato Forest from Hell growing in my greenhouse right now. Some have gone over from neglect but I have tomatoes falling out my ears. My neighbours are hiding from me when they see me coming with a harvest basket. If you have ever wondered what a tomato garden from hell looks like I’ll pop some images up in my stories on Instagram over the next few days. I swear sleeping beauty could have been guarded by these things. Briar Rose, Hah, has nothing on my tomatoes right now.
These are my purple Tiger Chillies. They are perennial and they are tiny but full of punch. They are edible as well as looking beautiful as a border in my greenhouse. These are all that stands in the way of those tomato beasts taking over. I lost all but one of my pepper plants so I am amazed at how well these have done. My greenhouse got neglected for a bout a month this summer because of how life played out and I forgot just how quickly it all gets out of hand. I should have continued my morning coffee in the greenhouse becasue at least I could have stayed on top of it.
Butterflies & Wildflowers
I’ve already confessed to my front garden being overgrown but can we take a minute to celebrate the humble wildflowers? I can’t bring myself to type weeds because really their role in my garden is just as important as those plants I choose to grow. My garden is humming with bird and insect life and it makes me smile. We took a visit to Rathebeggan Lakes and during our walk, we saw insects I haven’t seen since I was a child. Dragonflies and butterfly species I can’t even name and it reminded me just how much we have lost in our gardens. I’ve always wanted a garden that supported life as well as one that is pleasing to my eye at least. I used to fret when the weeds took over but this year I watched as the bees fed and butterflies drank from the leaves. We finally have ladybirds in the garden for the first time since we moved here and it made me smile to know that even though to most my garden is a mess, it has supported so much life.
That’s it from me this week, I’m off to have a much-deserved coffee. I hope you enjoyed my little ramble through the cottage garden. 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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Lovely update on the garden Nadia, had wondered how you guys got on over summer with the new glasshouse, Dahlias, etc.
I know I’ve been quietish on Twitter. It was a little bit manic. The new glasshouse is fantastic to have. I actually spent yesterday out there sowing for winter/spring and figuring out where we are going to pop the heat sink. Also looking into horticultural bubble wrap to extend the season out there. You can feel the chill. I also figured out that pigeons love to eat dahlia leaves so once I stopped feeding the birds the dahlias were looking a lot less tattered lol! The back bed filled in well but we are still slowly loosing the Elaeagnus at the back so our plan is to replace it and pop up an evergreen clematis. …we think…. still pondering.
A beautiful post, but the one which resonated most was the wildflower. As an immigrant, I see things in UK gardens that only grew in fields when I left home. And then the native ‘weeds’ here are new & interesting & hard for me to resist. After the drought, when it came time to mow the front, we had ragwort growing, which I absolutely adore for its fragrance. I asked someone else to mow the front because I wouldn’t’ve been able to cut them down. So there’s my confession to add to yours. Hope your vet visit turned out ok.
I had a Dahlia ‘Veritable’ and collected seed from a ripened dead head last year which I sowed this spring; its seedlings are flowering on my allotment now. The parent plant however, didn’t survive the winter. I don’t remember what the flower was like, I don’t seem to have taken any pictures and the National Dahlia Collection catalogue has pictures of most of the 3 or 4 thousand that they have, but not that one. I have another, called ‘Hayley Jane’, which looks just like yours, could I have had two very similar ones? They were easy from seed and threw up some interesting and varied progeny.
Did you lift the parent plant or leave it in the ground? I have to lift them and store them overwinter.
I’ve never grown Dahlia from seed. I tried this year but mine didn’t survive transfer.
I know Lucy(?) On twitter had an issue with similar dahlias this year. But I imagine from seed you wouldn’t be sure of what you’re geowing till it flowers, where as tuber propagation is usually best. I’ll tag Hugh/Lucy as they are my go to Dahlia experts.
Oh Nadia, your garden sounds just like the Old House garden! My whole greenhouse is full of tomatoes and cucumbers and my vege patch is like a jungle! I was away for a few days whilst we had rain and…boom! Jungle!
Lovely 6…..I love Dahlias too but the slugs have enjoyed a feast last night so I’ve lost one.
I had a terrible cucumber year this year I chose the wrong variety. I had an issue with slugs but the birds helped me out. Ugh though pigeons did try to eat my Dahlias 😣
It all looks great to me. If this is the worst, then I want to see the best.
Thank you but my front garden is really such a mess. I need time to get out there and lay some plastic or weed suppressant. I have bags of bark chippings to go down to help but again there has just been no time lately. I’m literally at the vet’s replying to you from my phone 😂😂
I’ve never taken out the suckers on my tomato plants and still get respectable harvests. Given all the gorgeous dahlia photos in the different sixes I am definitely trying some next spring.
The Dahlias have pretty much made my garden this year. I’m definitely going to buy more for next spring. I also haven’t ordered any spring bulbs eek!