Six-on-Saturday – Seed To Flower

31st July 2021.

I’ve repeated to myself that July and August are for enjoying the garden; time to relax and do very little work. This year, I’m busier than expected because I grew so many plants from seed. I’m noticing that, although I’m delighted with my new plants, I am spending more time dead-heading than is good for me. If dead-heading were an Olympic event, I’d be on the podium for sure!

Here’s a selection of six that really please me, even though some are a bit needy… I’ll call them Six Seeds on Saturday. Each one is given a rating out of 10. A teacher of mine once advised that everyone should include the phrase “Up hill and down dale I sped rapidly.” when writing an essay, no matter what the topic! So, follow along as best you can. You’re with me? Ar aghaidh linn up and down, over and back, as this is the last Six-on-Saturday for July…

A h-aon: Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia is not needy at all! Known also as Black-eyed Susan, the flowers are about 6-8cm and easy to care for. This one is Rudbeckia Toto. Please don’t anyone tell me it isn’t, because that would mean I’ve got my labels mixed up. Anyway, I like Toto as a name. It reminds me of Japan and the Olympics. The plant has been awarded AGM status (Award of Garden Merit) and it’s easy to see why.

I adore the two-tone colour combination. I’m thinking also that my favourite begonia last year is quite similar. I still have that Begonia but I’ll not show it this week, because today is all about seeds I’ve sown this year. Score: 9

A Dó: Gaura

Gaura lindheimeri ‘The Bride’

Another perennial, the catalogue says that Gaura is a plant whose flower has a very long season. In fairness, I cannot vouch for that yet, but it’s another one that takes care of itself. It grows beautifully among other plants and pleases me greatly. Heavy rain can knock it sideways but it seems to recover well. I may support it with a bamboo stick or two. Score: too soon to tell.

A Trí: Dahlias

Oh lordy! I’ve got about ten or twelve dahlias flowering from seed. Some look like gangly pre-teenagers, all foliage but very few flowers. And yet, I like them! They will strengthen over the winter and emerge from puberty to excite the senses next year! They are perennials, but will need to be protected from frost between November and April mid-May.

I love the doubles because the flower stays for much longer. The singles are a bit of a pain, needing dead-heading every few days, and for the life of me, I regularly confuse flowers that are finished with new flowers that are on the way. I remind myself of the barber who ignores a customer’s instructions! Snip, snip. Oh, sorry! Score: 6. Maybe 8 next year?

A Ceathar: Nasturtium

I’ve sown three varieties and all are doing very well. I will say one thing, though. I’ve used these to fill any gaps that I noticed after all other plants were put in position. At times, they look a bit lonely here and there, but in my experience, they really shine in September. Fingers crossed. Next year, I may do an entire window box with one variety, en masse as it were. Better still, the seeds will drop and germinate in position next year giving a much more natural effect. Score: 8

Peach Melba

This one is just getting going. Let’s see how it looks in a month. Peachy!

Empress of India

The Empress of India is a reliable plant, erect and proud. It seems to be one of the very few reds that I’m able to photograph well. For that alone, I give it 10/10 as befits royal status.

Tom Thumb looks shook because I moved it from vegetable bed to this pot only last week. Again, I’ll be hoping it will fill out enormously in September. Bit like myself!

A Cüig: Asters

I’ve never grown Asters before. I’m assured they will come into their own when summer annuals begin to fade. Watch this space. I’ve got a variety called Mixed. Yes, that’ll be interesting. Score: 5 perhaps. Maybe 4. I hope I’m wrong.

A Sé: Echinacea

Dreamcoat

I planted ten seeds of Echinacea Dreamcoat, seven germinated, three died for lack of care, three are missing, and this is the only one left. The jury is out, but I’ll be rooting for the underdog. Score: 10/10 simply for the fact that I’ve succeeded in breeding it. The bees will agree it’s a top class addition.

That’s my Six Seeds on Saturday. I do have many many more, and consequently I’ve brought extra work upon myself. Hang on, it’s not really work when I enjoy it. But wait… The flowers are stunning but I’m not sure I enjoy tending to the needy ones. I’m all confused.

That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Get yourselves over to The Propagator to find many many more weekly gardening stories, and until next week, I hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill.


This Time Last Year

Excerpt from this weekend last year:

“Hiding the ugly plastic oil tank will be my number one priority … I know exactly the way I intend to do it, and when it’s finished the ugly plastic oiltank will be hidden from view. That’s the whole point. It’s on the way to being a top priority.”

[Observation: I’ve managed to change this corner entirely, that’s for sure. It now has a Budda, a water feature, a duck-egg-blue seat and an unique micro-atmosphere.]

Here’s the full article, a three minute read: Six Urgent Tasks

The Week That Was

Not garden-related, this is merely to keep a record of events for future reminiscing.

  • The heatwave is over.
  • Indoor dining opened up, but we will dine outside while summer allows.
  • My report about our first Garden Open Day is in both local newspapers. Worth the effort to finish a great event by recording it.
  • We used lots of petrol this week: Johnstown Castle on Wednesday and Kilmacurragh on Friday.
  • The ladies Olympic road race was amazing. Amateur Austrian cyclist & college maths teacher, Anna Kiesenhofer, beat all the professionals.
  • Táim ag léamh An Béal Bocht le Myles na gCopaleen. Irish language satire. Oh, how I’m enjoying that rare combination!

Pádraig

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31 comments

  1. Good morning Padraig, I am very impressed with the photos you have made using jars, water jug and the pocket watch. Is that trick photography or have you really done it yourself? Your rudbeckia from seed are amazing. I will try them next year and I no idea that nasturtiums came in other colours than bright orange. I’ll look out for them for next year too. Hope you both have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can see you are having a fine old time with your pictures, bottling the memories, and keep a watch on things. Yes to nasturtiums, I say, and as for rudbekias, not having them this year in the garden I am very much admiring yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m loving my PipCamera app, Noelle.
      First time here doing rudbeckia. Rhs magazine is just in the door and features recommendations for varieties and I’m going to add a few new ones for next year.

      Like

  3. interesting as I’ve always called Thunbergia, which I grow every year, Black Eyed Susan! The internet agrees with both of us though.

    Asters – I grow them from seed in single colours and plants in blocks. I’m sure you’ll see their merit next month and they make great cut flowers.

    Dahlias – I was a bit snobby about them, probably ‘up myself’ because I connected them with the gardens of elderly aunts back in the 1960s. However, they thrive in our shady garden so I’ve learnt to love them.

    Well done Sir on some great propagation. Growing something from seed (or even from a surreptitious cutting, actually especially from a surreptitious cutting ) is so much more satisfying than buying from a garden centre.

    Clive

    Clive

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Clive. That oul Internet is full of fake news!
      I’m thrilled to have so much flowering from seed, but I’ll need to review my volume next year! Criteria will be rigorously developed!
      Yes, the Asters will be great when other plants begin to fade.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Here, too, July and August are ‘supposed’ to be about relaxing and enjoying…Ha!!! I have a Rudbeckia that looks similar to yours, although I didn’t plant it. The individual flowers last for weeks and weeks, it seems. Kinda gaudy, but cheerful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By all accounts, it will be upgraded when it comes into its own in September onwards. Luckily, I’ve about six, one of which is not white. Hence, mixed is reasonably accurate.
      Would you go as high as eight? Eight seems like good score to grow again next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have only recently started growing more flowering plants from seed, after I had some success last year. My spring annuals were a disaster this year, but I think it was due to the higher than usual rainfall we had. I have just sown some more seed, and you have inspired me to persevere!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another person with successful nasturtiums…..not me. 🤬 I am a big fan of gauras, the ones I grew from seed grace the central bird bath flowerbed and come back every year. They last for months and months. The smaller, deep pink variety only lasted one season but looked very pretty. So, you will need to support the gaura if you have heavy rain but otherwise they are an excellent plant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Granny! I’m very pleased with Gaura, and I think I’ll grow one or two different varieties next year. They really are very dainty yet tough.

      Like

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