What a dull as dishwater day, weather-wise at any rate. In other ways it has been interesting day watching local gridlock develop and tempers flare as a result of cars forming ‘orderly’ queues for petrol. It was certainly a bad day to have arranged for an MOT test at the garage!
Back in the garden I decided it was time to harvest and clear some of the mildew stricken squash plants, so the patty pans and tromboncinos and half the courgettes are now gone. It’s beginning to look bare! 😞
Let’s cheer up with some Six on Saturday hosted by Jonathon, aka ‘The Propagator’. For an even bigger mood booster, head to the comment section of his post for links to other Sixes.
1) The Borlotti Bean Reveal
Another sign of autumn is when the climbing beans on the wigwams suddenly lose their leaves. We’ve had really good crops from most varieties this year and I am now drying the rest for seed. However, apart from watering the borlotti beans I’ve not really bothered to checked on their progress. That all changed this week when their leaves began to drop and suddenly there are pretty pink pods everywhere. Happily, they have been quietly getting on with things behind that screen of leaves.
2) Abutilon ‘Aphrodite’
I bought this Abutilon with birthday money about a month ago, so the plant is quite small … and still in it’s pot. However, it is already flowering nicely:
The question is whether I protect it in the greenhouse over the winter or plant it out this autumn? I am leaning towards the former.
3) Dwarf Pomegranate
Now this was protected overwinter last year and even so it took a while for it to come back into growth. Happily, it is now loaded with flowers, but I don’t have high hopes of fruit forming this late.
This small bush is about 5 years old (from seed), so it is another exercise in patience.
4) Beautiful Oregano
I’ve been experimenting with using more decorative forms of herbs recently and I am now growing some really pretty versions of oregano. This one is Origanum ‘Amethyst Falls’, which I particularly like for it’s pink-tinged, hop-like bracts behind the flowers:
The ‘hop’ part is not as large as on O. ‘Bellissimo’ or O. ‘Kent Beauty’, but the flowers seem to be in better proportion and the plant should certainly grow taller than O. ‘Kent Beauty’. I’ll report back next year when they’ve settled in and got a season growth on them.
5) Pink Strawberries
Our pink-flowered strawberries have gone bananas over the last couple of months. There are runners everywhere! And now the plants are having a second glut of flowers and, surprisingly, fruit. I’ve never noticed actual strawberries on the plants before. I just use it as an ornamental edging.
Don’t ask the variety though as I nicked it from my Mum’s garden and have no idea.
6) The Tussock Encounter
So, by now you may be wondering what the Tussock Encounter of the title refers to. Well, it is simply that at coffee break at Wimpole, as we sat underneath the orchard apple trees, there was suddenly some shrieking from a member of staff as something wriggly drop on them. This turned out to be a very fluffy, bright yellow caterpillar. It had four thick yellow tufts along its back, black concertina-ed segments that only show when it bends and a stiff reddish tail tuft. Nobody knew what it was, but there was concern that the hairs may be an irritant.
It turned out to be a caterpillar of a Pale Tussock moth (Calliteara pudibunda), which will turn into a super cute moth, with incredibly feathery antennae. The hairs can be an irritant, in fact some people can have very nasty reactions. Luckily that was not the case here.
Interestingly, they were once commonly found on hops growing in the south east of England where the pickers referred to them as ‘Hop Dogs’! 😊
So, that is my six done!
Hope you are enjoying your weekend, not sitting in petrol queues, but getting plenty of gardening done … before the weather turns next week.