Greetings on this bright, but exceptionally blustery, day. It is hard to take photos for ‘Six on Saturday’ when the plants are dancing in and out of the spotlight! Nevertheless I am joining Jonathon’s team of Sixers again to share six things, in the garden, this Saturday. Check out his post to see gardening highlights around the world.
I’ll start my six with:
1) Dutch Iris ‘Lion King’
Iris x hollandica ‘Lion King’ is a real looker and there can be no doubt where its name came from. The funny thing is I don’t even remember buying the bulbs (must have been one of those purchases that sneak into your basket at sale time), hence it was a surprise this week when the flowers opened. Fortunately, I grew them in pots, which means that I’ve been able to transplant them into a bare, newly-dug area at the edge of the patio.
2) African Daisy ‘Purple Sun’
I love daisies and this on-theme, orange to purple Osteospermum is a favourite. It over-wintered in the garden with no trouble and is currently loaded with sunset-coloured blooms.
The clumps of chives in the vegetable patch are in flower. They look beautiful and are covered in bees. It seems a shame that I grow chives, but only occasionally pick a few leaves for sprinkling on salads (mostly potato!). So this year I resolved to do more with them. For starters, the flowers are edible too and look very effective decorating open sandwiches … cream cheese baguette anyone?
Yesterday I picked some of the flowers, leaving plenty for the bees, to make chive vinegar. It is simply a case of packing a small jar with flowers and adding warmed white wine vinegar to cover them. After a few days the vinegar goes a lovely pink colour (sooner if you bother to warm the vinegar), which can be used in delicious, lightly onion-flavoured, salad dressings. I am sure the pickled chives flowers will be fun addition to salads too.
There are several flowers that insist on growing all over the vegetable plot, specifically: forget-me-nots, aquilegias, opium poppies and foxgloves. I am more along the lines of a potager rather than rigorous vegetable grower, so I let them continue in patches, happy to enjoy their beauty and especially glad to see the busy bees visit them. I move the self-seeds of the foxgloves all over the garden, but the ones that seem to do best are always there in the raised beds. Here they are, near some of the afore-mentioned chives.
Zantedeschias are such elegant plants. I always thought that they would only grow in moist soil, but I’ve grown colourful Calla lilies in pots that always seem to be dry and my parents have a huge patch of the hardy white Arum lilies in their dreadfully dry front garden. So they seem pretty rewarding no matter the conditions. What I hadn’t realised, until I was gifted a plant that had out-grown its baby pond, was that they will even grow submerged in water. This one arrived last autumn and looks so cool against the decking that I will be looking for more … now that I can go to garden centres again.
6) Allium unifolium
I love the colour of this allium, but it seems to be a bit inclined to grow tall and flop. I’ve got them in the wrong location, since they are writhing all round the table on the patio, which means that they tend to get walked on 😦
However, they have fallen over a sea of desiccated wisteria flowers (pot-pourri perhaps?), which looks wonderfully romantic!
That’s it for today. Hope you are all well and enjoying your gardens!