So this happened again:
But luckily nothing that hadn’t already been blackened/slimed was affected. Nevertheless, there aren’t that many exciting flowers left in the garden. So this is a bit of a mish-mash for Six on Saturday, the inspirational meme hosted by Mr Propagator.
1 A New Toy
OK, I admit that my eye-sight isn’t what it was. I was having trouble last week deciding whether the salvias I’d just lifted were covered in tiny greenfly or just had furry leaf axils. After inspection by three other people (who could also do with glasses!), we decided that they were OK, but meanwhile I ordered a cheap jeweller’s loupe. When it arrived I discovered that it’s magnification is a bit high for what I want, but it does have an ultraviolet light bulb that you can turn on while inspecting tiny things. So, I’ve spent the morning playing with this magnifier, checking out a cross-section of the remaining flowers to see if any of them have fun UV landing markings for pollinators and the like.
And the answer is yes. Result! Geraniums have markings along the veins leading to their central nectaries, rudbeckia have glistening hairs along the petal edges. But the best one is cosmos (see photo inset), which has sparkling, cyan pollen in star patterns on the anthers and burning purple arcs along the stigmas (particularly obvious in the middle):
2 Recycled pallet = Useful, rustic trays
I asked Steve to cut up an old, wooden delivery pallet, so that I could use the released small pieces of timber to make trays. After a summer of procrastination, I got a hammer and nails out and got cracking. The wood wasn’t brilliant, but I am rather pleased with the boxes themselves. I imagine they will useful for cropping potatoes, carrots etc. They could also be used for dahlia storage or even as seed trays if I line them with news paper:
3 ‘Bull’s Blood’ Beet
We are gradually working/eating our way along the various rows of beetroot in the raised beds. This year I’ve grown Bull’s blood beet for the first time and found it to be a wonderfully ornamental vegetable. Definitely potager worthy!
A few weeks ago I sent away for some auriculas from the famous Barnhaven nursery (in Brittany since 1991 – I hadn’t realised that!). Part of the reason was an interest arising from their propagation at Wimpole, but also, after reading some notes on the extra certification required for plant material movements after Brexit 😦 !
So, I decided to act in advance of the red tape. I bought three: Mick, Larry, Greta!!! Don’t you love those names? Understandably, Greta is a Fancy* auricula, whilst Mick and Larry are respectively gold and light-centred varieties.
Meet the newly arrived Mick, Larry, Greta:
* A fancy auricula is one whose body colour is not black. They can have green, grey or white edges and frequently display a red or maroon body colour.
… Of the bin area. Bit boring, but after the damson trees were torn asunder by the early storms this year and then the neighbours replaced their fence, we decided to do some clearance and tidying work on this unused area. It’s not finished yet, but you can see that I will now have a trellis to grow climbers up and an extra half metre of border to plant up to the right. Round the oil tank, there will be hard-standing for a couple of cold-frames and lean-to plastic green houses (on the Christmas wish list – fingers crossed). As a bonus, the bins will no longer get stuck in the mud all winter.
6 Rhubarb, rhubarb … fungi
I was clearing up some of the melting rhubarb leaves last week when I noticed this forest of fungi. Anyone know what they are? I hope the rhubarb is unaffected!
That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to visit Jonathon’s blog.
Have a good weekend!