Home Index Web Stuff Copyright Links Me Archive

JEARRARD'S HERBAL


1st July 2018

Aruncus dioicus .
Heat. It is the only thing you would have noticed in the garden all week. It has been impossible. Most of my spare time has been spent watering but it is impossible to keep up. It has also been uncomfortable. I have been watering at 8pm and it has been too hot to stay in the greenhouse for long. Ridiculous weather.
The forecasters started to make strange sounds about the possibility of rain this morning but I didn't have much hope. When I woke up the ground was damp. Not wet, but certainly damp. Most importantly the temperature has dropped a little. They have issued a yellow warning for extremely heavy thunderstorms in one or two places so I have my fingers crossed, it sounds heavenly.
In a moment that might seem foolish, I planted out a couple of hydrangeas in the garden. Anything to reduce the number of plants in the greenhouse, they were both pot-bound and struggling. One of them immediately looked happier, the other wilted. I'm hoping that the cooler weather will revive it and I will water it again later.
Nearby, Aruncus dioicus has been prospering. It is tough enough to take on the weeds and still give a decent show. I have liked it for a long time - my interest in Astilbe is almost entirely based on their resemblaqnce to Aruncus - this cheering white blob loomed out of the undergrowth as I was weeding the herbaceous border during the week. It has been too hot to do much, but I have made some progress.


1st July 2018

Dactylicapnos scandens .
There are always surprises. I raised a lot of Dactylicapnos seedlings a couple of years ago and they have hung around for a while. The fragile leaves and stems were a problem, they got tangled together in a group and it was impossible to plant them out without destroying them. As a last resort I put this one in a big tub on the south side of the greenhouse, along with a Clematis viticella form. I thought that it would be too dry and too sunny but it was another of those things that had to go somewhere.
It is tougher than I thought. It hasn't been watered this year but it has grown vigorously and is flowering well. It would be taller if I had given it some sticks to climb. I had a bright idea about fixing some strings along the greenhouse wall for it to clamber over and although it is unlikely to happen it was enough of an idea to stop me doing anything else. Now the plant makes a pretty blob, reaching up a few feet and then falling back in a heap. The clematis is under there as well.
If I had been planning it, I would have used a purple clematis and been very stylish. As it is I used 'Alba Luxurians' because I couldn't think what else to do with it.


1st July 2018

Disa Riette 'Clone 2'.
The Disa are flowering in the greenhouse. It has been a difficult year for them, the cold weather (I am having dreams about cold weather) caught them as the flower spikes started to form. They weren't damaged but they are shorter than usual this year and there are fewer flowers.
I had a bench full of these Riette seedlings (Watsonii x uniflora) that have flowered for the last three years. In the end I selected a handful to represent the range of variation and have given the rest away. 'Clone 2' has been surprisingly vigorous and I'm glad I kept it though it was good luck rather than good judgement. Another one, that I rejected last year, has produced six flower stems and has been hurriedly given a clone number and brought back into the fold.
It would be easier to give them names - they would be easier to remember - but temporary names have a way of sticking and then it's difficult to get rid of the clones that don't make the grade.
They have been getting very hot and a little smelly in the greenhouse. A thunder storm now would be ideal. It would give me a chance to flush through the water tanks and get rid of all the stinky sludge that has accumulated. Even as I mention it, I can see the sky lighten and the chance of thunder recede.


1st July 2018

Hemerocallis 'Burning Daylight'.
Last week I set out to weed the herbaceous border. I have made a start but watering has kept me away on some evenings. I have cleared all the space along the back and cut back a couple of shrubs that were spilling forward. The next stage is to remove all of the weeds and all of the plants that don't justify the room they occupy. The plan is to be ruthless and edit the whole thing down to the successes. There is no point having the space cluttered with sad looking scraps that suffer under the regime of total neglect that is their inevitable lot.
Hemerocallis have been a success. In some ways that is a good thing, in others it is unfortunate. The border was originally planned as a way of planting out a large collection of Day Lilies. I put a few common ones in as a trial planting, and they have prospered. I would like to replace some of them with more spectacular cultivars but for now they will remain. Once I have edited out the rubbish and can see what the border looks like, I will be able to see what I want to keep and what I want to change.
For a couple of years it has been very clear that 'Burning Daylight' will be staying. It has made compact clumps, the bright orange flowers produced freely just above the leaves. The name is perfect for the colour and it has suited the week as well.
Once the border is clear I need to get back to planting out Hedychium, another genus that has run riot in the greenhouse. I need the space back, this weather is making me ruthless.