Tag Archives: Cosmos Psyche White

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – June 2017

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Whilst many of my roses are already coming to an end, I’m delighted that the Rose ‘Flower Carpet’ are just bursting into bloom.IMG_2652

Other roses include R. Jacques Cartier, here with Diascia personata

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R. St Swithun

and R. Pat Austin, here with Achillea Terracotta, as in Monday’s vase.

A few peonies are hanging onIMG_2692

and a similarly flowered poppy has arrived of her own volition.IMG_2687

A plant I’ve rarely featured is this Phlomis italica – a lovely soft pink in the Swing Beds.IMG_2685

Talking of pink, plenty of Pinks in the Lavender bed, with Erysimum ‘Red Jep’ in the bacjground. I’m excited that four cuttings I took of this Erysimum earlier in the year have now taken, but I think I should take a few more – I love it!IMG_2673

In pots the Clematis ‘Princess Di’ is now flowering together with the Perlargonium ‘Surcouf’.  the Princess looks happier than she’s ever been, I’m not sure whether that’s because I’ve been more assiduous with the watering, or whether the Pelargonium is so large it’s now shading the princess’ roots.IMG_2672

This is a rather loud combo by the steps up to the house – a Diascia, Heuchera and Calibrachoa.

The Gazanias in the old bath are such good doers – and are far more forgiving about forgotten watering than many other inhabitants!

Also in pots, would you believe four different dahlias blooming in June!

I haven’t quite worked out which is which as they’ve taken me by surprise, but assuming they’ll still be featuring next month, I should have worked it out by then….IMG_2674

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Annuals are starting to get going, like Cosmos Psyche White,

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Malope

and C. Antiquity.

Three lots of blue spires, the sister’s Penstemon (grown from a cutting, discussed here), Lavender, edging the steps and (I think) Veronicastrum

And to finish a couple of plants not yet blooming, but fingers crossed they will be by next weekend’s opening – Allium sphaerocephalonIMG_2691

and Agapanthus.  Wish me luck!

With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD.

Seedy spreadsheets!

Today marked the beginning of seed sowing for 2017 with nine varieties sown.

Despite being more restrained with my purchases this year, leftovers from last season mean there are still over 80 seed packets vying for my attention and consequently a spreadsheet is called for.   And, as I already spend plenty of time working with spreadsheets, it has taken a week or two to knuckle down to preparing it, but now it’s done and I’m off!img_1553

There are old favourites like Cosmos ‘Psyche White’ above, Malope trifida ‘Vulcan’IMG_8530

and Molucella laevis,

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but I’m also trying again with one I’ve always struggled with – Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’ (why can I grow all sorts of other Nicotiana but not this one?)

In addition there are some new varieties including Nasturtium ‘Jewel Cherry Rose’ which I saw growing at Sarah Raven’s when I went to her ‘Feast’ in 2014 and a new Helianthus on me, H. ‘Double Dandy’, described as ‘soft brown and crimson’.  We’ll see!

On the veg front, again some stalwarts such as Courgette ‘Romanesco’ and mini Cucumber ‘La Diva’

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but also new varieties Courgette ‘Blanca di Trieste’ and Cucumber ‘Crystal Lemon’ as well as Sweet Pepper ‘Alma Paprika’.

However, I’ve realised today that I haven’t bought any new tomato seeds and, although I have some left from last year, I think further purchases are called for.  There really is no hope!

What are you growing from seed this year?  And what wouldn’t you be without?

Annual round up

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After a weekend of leaf collecting, veg patch dismantling and (tardy) bulb planting, I thought I’d hark back to sunnier, summery times and give a review of some of the annuals I’ve grown from seed this year.

All the seeds mentioned here were from Sarah Raven, except The Aster chinensis Hulk, which I think was Thompson and Morgan.

Above and below is the gorgeous marigold, Calendula offiinalis ‘Sunset Buff’.  IMG_3378

As well as the ‘Sunset Buff’, I grew Calendula ‘Neon.’  I’ve never grown calendula before, but I have to say I love these two.

I’ve been lucky enough to grow them either in my raised cutting beds, or my borrowed neighbours’ garden, as I would struggle to fit these colours into my rather pink scheme.

With regard to their use for cutting (the main reason I was growing them), they have been good, but I’ve struggled to get very long stems and also struggled with mildew later in the season. They were only planted in March, so I’ve planted some seed this autumn, in the hope of having more established plants earlier on next year.

Another orange plant grown in my ‘borrowed’ garden has been provided by my Tithonia, Tithonia rotundiflora ‘Torch’.  This has been incredibly prolific this year with the blooms making such a cheerful, bold statement.  I do love this plant but wonder where I’ll be able to grow it next year as it does reach quite a height and spread and, as mentioned before, orange isn’t always the easiest colour to include in a planting scheme.  I do have plans for a new orangey/bronzey themed bed, but the Tithonia would be too tall.  

A genus I’ve grown lots of before is Cosmos, but this year as well as the lovely Comos ‘Purity’, so prolific and so, well ‘pure’ (clue’s in the name…)

I also grew Cosmos ‘Psyche White’. These are very similar to ‘Purity’, but have semi double flowers, which are like a fun mutation of ‘Purity’.

As well as the whites, I grew three pinks, Cosmos ‘Dazzler’, which is quite well known but was new to me and was good, but to my mind not as good asIMG_3776 - Copy - Copy

Cosmos ‘Click Cranberries’.  These very double flower heads were fabulous, and in such a stunning pink (it look wonderful contrasted with the Tithonia).  However, one problem was that sometimes the flower heads were so heavy they didn’t stand up in the vase as well as the singles.

The last Cosmos was C. Rubenza.  I do like the rather unusual colour which fades as the plant ages to a very dusky pink, but this one is shorter than the rest and therefore impossible to get really long flowers for cutting, if that’s what you’re after.

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I grew a couple of sunflowers – Helianthus ‘Valentine’ which was an attractive soft yellow and had realtively small blooms making them good for cutting.  Sadly, all my seedlings got eaten by slugs except one, so there weren’t many blooms to cut.  (I heard Sarah Raven suggest that it was as prolific as Cosmos but can’t say I found that with mine).

The second was Helianthus Claret.  I found these rather variable – you can see that the first picture shows the deep ‘wine-red’ colour I was expecting, whereas the next two don’t.  Although they were quite fun, and pretty prolific for cutting, I found it hard to put them with other blooms and didn’t particularly like just a vase of sunflowers.  I don’t think I’d grow them again.

Another plant I don’t think I’d grow again are Cleomes.  I rather like their spidery heads but I found them quite hard to arrange as cut flowers and certainly didn’t appreciate (or expect) their vicious thorns.  Ouch!

Something I would definitely grow more of are Zinnias.  They had a wonderfully productive year this year as it was warm and sunny, just how they like it, and they grow with long straight stems and last well in the vase.  I grew Zinnia ‘Genoa Mix’IMG_5362

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and Zinnia ‘Envy’.

Another favourite is Salvia Viridis Blue.  Although not that tall, I love the form with the wonderfully coloured flower bracts.  This is still going strong in the garden in November, as are

the Nasturtium Black Velvet.  These had a bad patch in high summer, but are flowering wonderfully now.  The stems are very short for cutting, but make lovely posies and are, of course, good picked and sprinkled on salads as they are edible.

This Malope, Malope trifida Vulcan, I hadn’t grown for years, but it did really well for me this year.  The petals have a beautiful silk like texture, which is gorgeous, but they can get easily bruised when cutting and arranging, so you do need to take extra care.

This Rudbeckia, Rudbekia ‘Cherry Brandy’ has also been great and was used in my ‘In a vase on Monday’ post on November 10th, as it was still going strong.

A couple more flowers I haven’t grown from seed since I had my allotment in London – Antirrhinum ‘White Giant

and A. ‘Liberty Crimson’

I loved arranging with both of these as they provided fabulous vertical accents.

To finish, my ‘greens’.  The first one, an annual aster, was supposed to be Aster chinensis ‘Hulk’, but goodness knows what it is instead.  I do rather like it though!

Secondly, Ammi visnaga white.  I grew this instead of the more common Ammi majus, but I think it was a mistake.   I found the flower heads were very dense and not so easy to mix with other plants.  It did look lovely in simple arrangements, for example with the white Cosmos, however.

My Amaranthus caudatus ‘Viridis’, was an absolute revelation.  Lots and lots of fresh green cutting material, with funky long (sometimes very long!) green tassels.IMG_3775

And to finish, one of my favourite blooms of any colour – Molucella laevis, or Bells of Ireland.  I just love the form of this flower and for the first time ever got good germination rates and managed to grow some pretty tall blooms.  OK, not the two foot ones you get in the florists, but then I probably wasn’t as assiduous with my staking as I should have been, and they were never going to grow that tall along the ground!

Of course the other things I grew plenty of from seed this year were sweet peas, but I think I’ve gone on long enough.  You can read about my sweet peas here.

I would love to hear about your favourite annuals.  Do you like mine?  Know better?  Tell me!

The good, the bad and the companionable

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In April’s End of Month View, I said “At the moment the seedlings would easily fill a plot ten times this size, so some difficult decisions will need to be made (or I need to find more space somewhere…)“.

Amazingly, the ‘good’ is that a some extra space has been lent to me by my lovely neighbours, J&A.  The area is 3.4m x 2.5m and the soil is wonderfully weed free, just a little stony.

Sunday was planting day, and I strolled up the road with my wheelbarrow full of the first wave of planting:

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Some time (and a couple of rain showers) later, my little plot was full up with Helianthus ‘Claret’, Helianthus ‘Valentine’ (just one, the slugs got the rest), Cleome ‘Violet Queen’, Amaranthus Viridis, Cosmos ‘Dazzler’, Cosmos ‘Psyche White’, Ammi visnaga, Antirrhinum ‘White Giant’, Antirrhinum ‘Liberty Classic Crimson’, Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ and Malope.

Not much to see – and I have to say some of the plants were looking a little shocked by the move, but hopefully they’ll settle in quickly.  I’m a bit concerned I’ve planted them too close together, but I expect you’ll understand when you read about the ‘bad’.

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So I’m afraid the ‘bad’ is very closely related.  Here’s the wheelbarrow I wheeled home.  Not exactly devoid of seedlings and I haven’t even mentioned the Molucella, Bupleurum, Nicotiana, Tithonia, Cerinthe, Calendula….  Where are they all going to go?

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But to finish, ‘the companionable’.  The plot is right next to J&A’s chicken run and the girls (and boy) did a lovely job of keeping me company with their clucking and cooing.  Shame this one seems to be suffering from an identity crisis.

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