We’ve had a stressful week with a poorly dog and daily visits to the vet (arthritis and pancreatitis apparently). Hopefully Sadie is in the recovery phase now, but I will be glad when I stop having to visit that front car park/waiting space with its social-distance markings, odd grey ‘sitting blocks’ and sad, sad pet owners. I mean that literally, as I have witnessed a lot of heart break there over the last five days. There is little privacy for consultations. If you get called down the side driveway it is rarely good news. So our own garden has been a place of refuge, for the shortest of walks and lounging with the dog. It’s been too hot to garden anyway and the flowers are doing their stuff all on their own.
Here are six things for ‘Six on Saturday‘ that I’ve been admiring on my frequent meanders. Many thanks to Jonathon, The Propagator, for hosting this weekly meme.
1 ) Verbena ‘Bampton’
I took a single cutting from the one at work last year, so I am pleased to see that it is doing well. As an insurance policy though, I also ordered 6 plug plants (yes, another Lockdown purchase). They are all coming into flower now and I can’t say enough how much I love the atmosphere they create. The plants (like verbena bonariensis) all have a stiff, open structure, except that these have dark (almost black) foliage and stems, but still ending in pretty pale purple flowers. As they sway in the breeze, they are like airy candelabras tipped with sparkling fairy lights:
2 ) Olives
There’s been a sudden explosion in the number of hoverflies around this week don’t you think? Better than last week’s flea beetle invasion though (though they are still around, annoyingly stripping brassicas and ruining rose photos). Our olive trees have just burst into flower and the hoverflies are round them in clouds. Hard to photograph though, so I tried a shot against the sky. You can see several hovering, but there are plenty on the flowers too.
3 ) Digiplexis ‘Illumination Flame’
I am enjoying a third year of flowers from my Digiplexis ‘Illumination Flame’. This is a half-hardy cross between a foxglove and isoplexis canariensis. It has never looked a tremendously strong plant and I am not sure how long-lived they are, but they are showy and completely wonderful in flower.
4 ) The dragons are back
Sitting by the edge of the pond, with dog, has meant that I have had plenty of time to watch the antics of dragonflies and damselflies racing across the water. They like their lookout perches, so I’ve pushed a few hazel sticks into a planter next to the pool to maximise our chance encounters and photo opportunities.
This photo is of a male broad-bodied chaser, with a powder-blue body, yellow spots along the sides and a dark thorax. Easy to spot! Up until now I’ve been seeing golden females. Although there are other medium-sized dragonflies that it can be confused with, this type is distinguished by their chocolate brown eyes. Aaahhh, bless!
5 ) Cherry Sage
OK, so I’ve lost the label for this sage, but I believe it to be Salvia greggii ‘Cherry Red’. It seems to flower nearly all year long and is generous with it. I forgot to trim it in the spring and it has grown right across the path. With all these flowers, I won’t be cutting it any time soon. We will just have to step over it for a while.
6 ) Crop of the week – Blackcurrants
I’ve been putting up blackbirds whenever I open the gate to the vegetable patch for a few days now and it took me a while to put two and two together. There are two young blackcurrant bushes at the back there … and the birds have been feasting. Well, I’ve caught on and have the remaining currants to use. As yesterday popped up on Twitter as #nationalsconeday or #nationalcreamteaday or some such hashtag, I decided to make ‘summer berry scones’ from a National Trust (Ickworth) recipe using the currants. (They burst and ooze nicely as they bake.) Now we’ve run out of jam, so guess what’s next!
Those are my Six. Don’t forget to visit The Propagator’s blog for other selections.
Until next time!