It has been so windy this weekend that taking pictures for ‘Six on Saturday’ (and doing any gardening) has been a bit of a challenge. Luckily there has been surprisingly little damage. My other challenge has been limiting myself to just six as there are so many beautiful things emerging in the garden. Anyway here are my six for this week.
One: Anthericum liliago major (St Bernard’s Lily)
We saw this plant in the white garden at Bourton House Garden in the Cotswolds a couple of years ago and just had to have one. It is lovely and has established very well. Next year I think we will have a go at dividing it and spreading it further around the garden. If you get a chance to visit Bourton House Garden is excellent.
Two: Eleagnus commutata
This deciduous Eleagnus has been very successful growing in the long grass at the edge of the shrubbery. It is currently covered in sweet smelling yellow/cream flowers and fills the air with scent even on a windy day like today.
Three: Angelica archangelica
These plants have been a long term project. One of those spectacular, tall architectural plants that take a bit of time to grow. They are biennials and I originally sowed the seed early last year planting them out in the early autumn. This year they have come of age and the bees and insects absolutely love them. They are tall (nearly 6ft) and magestic plants that stand up well despite the strong winds we have had this weekend. I am pleased with them but I think my wife is less impressed!
This tree was originally grown from a small seedling. It took a little while to get going but now each year it is covered with masses of white, fragrant, pea-like flowers. It is something we always enjoy but beware it does have some seriously dangerous spikes.
Five: Dutch Iris ‘Red Ember’
As growers and former event florists I think we are both fans of dutch iris and typically grow the mixtures which are blue, white and yellow. This year we tried the variety ‘Red Ember’. It has a rather lovely exotic colour and I wouldn’t be surprised if we grow it again next year. What we do need to do I think is decide what other plants would complement it in the border at this time of year. Any views welcome.
Next for something completely different. Greenfinches (Carduellis chloris) have been in trouble in recent years and their numbers have declined across the UK due to disease. A recent decline in numbers has been linked to an outbreak of trichomonosis, a parasite-induced disease which prevents the birds from feeding properly.
Over the last couple of years we have heard the characteristic calls of greenfinches but they have remained high in the trees and rarely ventured closer into the garden. This year we seem to have a group of three (perhaps juveniles) that have been skipping around the shrubs in the garden together. Worth a place in the ‘six’ for this week I think.