This morning I was startled awake by the sound of breaking crockery, followed by a noise of scuffing through dried leaves. Were we under attack by thieves or stumbling drunkards??? I peered out of the window, but could see nothing, even though the leaf-rustling continued. I pretty quickly realised however, that we were being dug up by badgers AGAIN and this time they had knocked over a stack of empty terracotta pots at the edge of summer containers. This is the first time that I have heard them rooting round and causing damage. Throughout the summer we have repeatedly found our bedding and new plantings uprooted and holes in the lawn of a morning. As destructive as they’ve been, you really can’t blame the poor things, because it has been ridiculously dry. They are only looking for food, juicy morsels to eat in what little damp ground they find. Unfortunately that damp ground is concentrated in our newly created shade bed and re-worked fountain surrounds. It has been frustrating to have re-plant all the ferns, dogwoods, hellebores, foxgloves etc. every week or so. They are not exactly making progress, but mostly they are hanging on in there.
Sadly, the bedding has been gradually trashed and I am at the point of giving up there.
So, on to the ever-expanding Six on Saturday meme (definitely an R >1!), heroically hosted by The Propagator.
1 A Squash Haul
My first ‘six’ has been forced on me by the aforementioned destructive digging by visiting badgers. I’ve been watering the squash plants regularly to get the fruit to swell as much as I can, but excavations around their root area means that I have been forced to harvest them this week. Admittedly they are not going to keep us going all winter, but they have been fun to grow and there are a few more squash to come in the protected raised vegetable plot. The big orange ones and acorn squash are from saved seed from supermarket purchases last year, so I know they will be tasty.
2 Begonia ‘Bonfire’
These two plants were bought in a frantic search for summer container material a week after Lockdown No. 1 ended. Now I am not a big fan of bedding begonias, but I love these. Their shapes are fabulous and the leave pattern is so attractive, plus they’ve been flowering prolifically since they were purchased. Definitely on the list for next year!
3 Nicotiana mutabilis
Once these tobacco plants get going, there is no stopping them. They hold their ever changing pink flowers aloft on a delicate branches. They are about 5ft now, but should kept going for a while. fingers-crossed!
4 Salvia greggii ‘Royal Bumble’
I am always on the look out for pretty salvias and I’d not seen ‘Royal Bumble’ until this year. I love the way the flowers seem to glow, so I immediately took a few cuttings (early July) and these are those cuttings now in mid-September, already in flower and looking brilliantly red.
5 Sunflower ‘Magic Roundabout’
This year’s new sunflower experiment was ‘Magic Roundabout’: An averagely tall (1.8m/6ft), multi-headed, multi-coloured variety. I’ve enjoyed watching the flowers start off with a strong inner rusty ring that gradually fades with age to more pastel shades. Compared to the other sunflower types I am growing, it was slightly slow to flower, but it is busy multiplying flower heads now.
6 Fuchsia ‘Hawkshead’
Such an elegant flower don’t you think? This year I grew on six plants from cuttings taken in September a year ago. They’ve been in our summer pots and now I need to decide how many to keep for permanent planting in the garden. They are so trouble-free, I can probably squeeze three in? Must remember to ring fence them though!
So, those are my Six. Do pop over to Jonathon’s blog to see what everyone else is highlighting this week.
Have a Good Weekend!