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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