25th June 2017

Midsummer – and record June heat – perhaps I need to tell BBC Wales that Porthmadog is not the permanently hottest spot in the country, with a mere 30! – when  i recorded 31.3 in Ceredigion !! Scorchio! Not good for plants, particularly the inside sweet peas, in full flow by now and gently crisping away at the tips……… just a Forth bridge watering operation.

 

Equally  the drought delayed annuals are needing watery help and the dahlias are magnificent but thirsty 

I am turning into, as is the curse of the middle aged  – my parent, – in this case my Dad, a weather addict, recording the weather daily; but it is now so crucial that I can put up with the nerdiness and this year we have had a serious spring drought , only 16mm in April when we should have had 90-100. and only slightly better in May.

I danced with wobbly joy when the rain arrived  – but this is nature and of course tucked up safely in suspended animation during the long dry spell; were the molluscs  – out they moved from the banks and hedges sweeping in great armies across my infant plantings……………and taking out the first row before they encountered deadly poison. I am quite unapologetic about slug pellets  – I don’t much like them but I cant really see myself digging in trench scale beer ponds or ramparts of crushed eggshells. I will definitely try nematodes in the tunnel, but outside? 

The cut flower field is coming on well and have been cutting down the metre high grass on the banks to try and make look a bit tidier and less accidental – 

Lupins, Roses,  Cosmos, Sweet Williams, my 4ft high overwintered Cornflowers, Pinks and Sweet Peas all going great guns and Snapdragons, Clary and Scabious about to start.

In my own ‘garden’ the hacking out of planting holes progresses well and I have been happily paddling about trying to get the stream actually flowing……….my ‘shrubbery ‘ by the is still entirely virtual but I keep pulling out ivy a metre at a time and I may get some of it planted by…….autumn/winter/spring?!

My newest varieties on the perennial side are proving their worth – Salvia Scabra (below) is a lovely chunky little plant with very tidy leaves and endless spikes of tubular shell pink flowers and some of the lost label consequences of Storm Doris, are also flowering so naming can be done! e.g. Scutellaria  – stems of tiny bicolored snapdragons and one of the several new Nepetas – the rather elegant n. Stewartiana  ( who was Stewart??!) elegant , much taller and less bushy than Six Hills Giant with bluer flowers!