Monday, 19 September 2016

August lily time.

I am afraid I have let things in the garden get very much out of hand this year, the main reason has been some of the atrocious weather we have been having, we have not experienced a full 7 days of rain-free warm sunshine throughout the whole summer. The other thing is that my 91 year old mother fell and broke her hip and due to complications is still in hospital over 10 weeks later, those of you who have had to do it will know how disruptive long term hospital visiting can be.

Heptacodium miconioides
At the bottom of the back steps Heptacodium miconioides, a relative of the honeysuckle, contrasts well with the dark leaves of the Cotinus.   

Abutilon hybrids.
I quite like these Abutilon hybrids although the flowers are sometimes difficult to view, the leaf shape is interesting and although classed as HHP they are easy to raise from seed as annuals as these were.

Begonia basket
 This is one of two identical containers which was left out last winter, both the begonias and the fuchsia, which has few flowers due to lack of attention, came through the winter and lived to bloom another year.

Main border
A view away from the house down the main border. I am always short of border colour at this time of the year so added a few dahlias with mixed results. They were all started in pots in the porch but probably didn't get enough light which, combined with the poor weather when they were planted out, has caused them to flower very late.

Dahlia 'Café au Lait'
Two things about this dahlia, I had no idea the flowers are so big and secondly until I Googled it after I had bought it I also had no idea that it is currently so popular but I do have to say I quite like it.

 Not Dahlia 'Mel's Orange Marmalade'
Purchased as 'Mel's Orange Marmalade' I don't think this one could be more opposite.

Lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker'
Here is a thug being put to good use, Lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker' can be rampant especially in a damp spot but here it grows slowly in dry shade with the little yellow flowers lighting up a dull corner. Notice the mildew on the berberis it is there every year.

Gentiana tibetica
 Here is one for the bin, the flowers opened just once this year on an exceptionally sunny day and to be quite honest the plant didn't look all that different the flowers being a rather insipid greenish white.
Hydrangea aspera 'Villosa Group'
You see many specimens of Hydrangea aspera 'Villosa Group' in Scotland where it is very popular. Mine has come into its own in the third year from planting after the flowers were hit by frost last year. ideal for a woodland setting but does not like to dry out.  
August was the month for lilies and the healthy ones never fail to please.

August container group.

Lilium 'Anastasia' and Meconopsis walachii.

Looking past 'Anastasia' to Lilium Honeymoon in the background.

Lilium 'Honeymoon' with Lysimachia ephemerum in the foreground.

Chelone obliqua
Chelone obliqua this turtlehead adds some colour to the autumn woodland, the plant is very tough and could become invasive in a spot that really suited it.

Strobilanthes wallichii
Strobilanthes wallichii sometimes known as the Kashmir acanthus is a very hardy Himalayan plant which adds late colour to the garden.

Anemone tomentosa 'Robustissima'

 Anemone tomentosa 'Robustissima' may be a "thug" but it does light up a corner of the woodland, and as you have probably noticed most of the plants I grow have to be tough.

Rosa omeiensis pteracantha
Here's one you don't see every day, Rosa omeiensis pteracantha, sometimes known as the Barbed Wire Rose, is a Chinese import from Himalayan conditions this wild rose carries these exceptional, brightly coloured thorns on the new growth.
Front view.
Growing Cannas for the fist time I am quite pleased with the results, these are not tall growing varieties and have achieved what I wanted. The Surfinas also have done surprisingly well. 
Canna 'Cannova' F1

It would seem that I have been describing and suffering from too many pests and diseases this year.

Lily virus
Time for the bin.
The pictures above show Lily virus, it could be Lily symptomless virus, mosaic virus or even Tulip breaking virus take your pick, all of which are spread by aphids. There could even be a touch of Botrytis in there! Solution bin or burn.


  1. Long term hospital visiting can also be extremely tiring, my sympathies and I do hope your mother is now on the mend. I had to smile when I saw Rosa omeiensis pteracantha.. that might make a few of my little furry friends stop and think. I need enough to make a hedge!!

    1. Thank you for your kind words rd. You might like to know that Rosa omeiensis pteracantha can be used for hedging :-)

  2. I am so surprised to hear you have had poor weather! So now I know where all the rain has gone the last 3c months! Nice to see your lilies, I suspect they are all gone by now? My lilies flowered in July and first half of August – but again, we have had amazing weather and quite high temperatures both day and night – the lilies vanished quicker than normal this year. I also have lilies with leaves looking like that, the same lilies looked like that last year too but still flowered so I haven’t throwed them away – not yet anyway.
    I love dahlias and had many in my previous garden – here in my clay garden they have not done well and I suspect I will only be able to grow them in containers. I have also had cannas in flower for the first time this year, I am looking for a dark red flowered one to complement my two pink – but mine has bright green leaves so I would like one with dark leaves. I am not so interested in tomato red flowers which there seems to be plenty of so I am still looking….
    I hope your mother is doing better soon, I know how disruptive long term recovery can be :-)

  3. Hi Helene, I always said you live in the sub-tropics! We have had the temperatures and in actual fact it has been a good growing season, but not good for working in or enjoying the garden. Lilies tend to accumulate virus infections year on year, in my case it came to the point that the buds were infected and rotting off which was a step too far, interestingly, as I know you grow lilies from seed, this is the only part of the plant that is not affected so the the seed can be used. As far as the Cannas go my Canna 'Cannova' F1 must fit the bill. Thanks for your kind words but I am afraid things are looking no better as far as Mum is concerned.

  4. It sounds as though you have had quite a difficult summer, one way or another Rick. I hope everything is improving for you and your mum.We too had a poor early summer , but August and September have been glorious. Glad you are enjoying cannas , they are lovely and I find them quite reliable. I agree with you about Abutilon, and I, too, intend to grow them every year as annuals, as they grow so easily and quickly from seed.

    1. Thanks Jane, things are not looking too good for Mum in that she may have to be placed in a nursing home but we will see what develops. I have really appreciated the cannas but although the summer has had good growing weather, warm and wet, the wet factor has not made the garden as enjoyable as it could have been.

  5. Hi Rick, Hope your mother is on the mend. The one thing about arriving here from Aberdeen is, its hard to complain about the weather, in fact we would have been referring to this as a pretty good Summer. What about those begonias coming through the Winter in a basket and blooming again this year, I find that remarkable.

    1. Hi Alistair, I was really surprised about the begonias but they have been really good, just shows how mild it was! I was pleased to read that you have taken the opportunity to move back to Scotland, I am sure you will both be happier there, particularly as your family here are itching to move.

  6. Hi Rick, hope you are well enough and just taking a break from the blogging stuff. Alistair

    1. Hi Alistair. Thank you for your kind enquiry, so sorry I have not been back to you but a series of family crises have meant that the garden has been completely neglected which has led to the lack of posts, to be honest I have not even been reading my favourite contributors either. I hope to return in 2017 and in the meantime wish you and yours all the best for the New Year.
      Sláinte Mhaith.

  7. We are missing you Rick I hope things are ok. Even if your lovely garden is looking neglected it will make a good story.
    Best wishes Roger

  8. Hi Roger, thank you for your message, I am publishing a post today for the first time this year and hope to get back on track for at least the time being. I haven't even been keeping up with reading everyone's blogs including your excellent posts which I will be returning to over the next few weeks.
    Best wishes Rick