Friday, 1 September 2017

September is here already.


Sunny start to follow what has been a rather mixed (but mainly wet) August. The giant sunflowers have finally opened (a month after the rest of the countries no doubt) - they do remind me of triffids and always seem too much effort and wait for not much of a result. Next year if we bother with them its back to the multi-headed coloured varieties. I'm a big fan of the darker bronze ones (though Jack isnt't) -  but at least there would be some contrast in flower colour from the Rudbekias which have gone rampant this year and will have to be split - split and split again. Saying all that though the butterflies  are having a great time feasting on them.



Roses have been great this year and are still producing flower after flower with little effort from us. All we do is feed every once in a while, dead head daily and give them a mulch of the rotted manure from the stables down the track. The two big performers have been 'Rosa super fairy ' on the south wall; this is  now in its first full year the aim being to train it around the windows.
The first rose we planted is a now two summers old  Gertrude Jekyll which is being trained around the west wall and into the porch area. If you are ever looking for a reliable rose for scent Gertrude is your lady - absolutely stunning.




We order our roses bare root from David Austin in the autumn and the new addition last October was a pair of Lichfield Angels which we planted in a new terrace  against a rebuilt  south facing stone wall - created when we had to move it back a few feet before it collapsed.  The soil  under the wild coarse grass is a rich loamy dark mix that turns to clay the deeper you dig. At first it appeared this pair of new arrivals were just not taking to this position. Eventually we realised the terrace was getting extremely dry and wasn't holding onto water very well (even after a downpour) so we mixed in a lot more organic compost and topped up with more manure from the stables. Both are now flowering profusely (in fact too profusely for the size of the plant so we take a lot as cuttings). Beautiful apricot tinged flowers and as long as the roots establish well before October it should flourish into a full shrub by next year.




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