My goodness, it’s been too long since I participated in Cathy’s nice meme at Rambling in the Garden!
My cut flowers this year got off to the very best start ever – all growing so beautifully in the greenhouse during late April and first part of May. I put it down to using different compost – but it was also coolish but sunny up until the beginning of May (unusual for us), and that could be more of a factor. Mostly my plants have not grown well in my 11 years in this garden, which has been a shock and a disappointment after 35 years gardening and finally coming to rest at Chatillon!
Unfortunately, it was downhill from May. I was late getting planted out and and garden was virtually over for the season – including the roses – at the end of May, beginning of June. I’ve never seen anything like it. Incredibly depressing (although I plan to blog about heat-tolerance). So, in spite of the fact that my cut flower seedlings were beautiful, they just didn’t grow when they were planted out in mid-June. I’d already missed the decent growing weather. No amount of watering can compensate for cooler temperatures and some rain.
About a week ago we had a spell with a fair bit of rain, so things perked up a lot – et voila!
The centrepiece is a lovely wee rambling rose called ‘Ghislaine de Feligonde’: main flush of flower in May/June (May this year, normally June!), but repeats sporadically and then has an autumn flourish. The rose was introduced during the First World War – a perfect example of breeder marketing, since the story given out was that the rose had been named for an aristocratic lady who battled her way through to ‘No Man’s Land’ to tend to her (equally noble, but wounded) fiancé. All just to tempt the rose-buying public. The real Ghislaine was only about 2 years old at the time the rose was introduced … the toddler does have, however, a tenuous real historical link to the rose breeder. I wonder if her parents paid him to name a rose after her?
I hope she had a happy life, because her rose is a little sweetie and very popular in France.
Zinnias (the ‘Queeny series’, with lovely rusty flushes of orange and green, plus ‘Benary’s Giant Lime’) are beginning to pick up their skirts and run for it – hopefully they’ll still be going in October/early November.
What I like most about them (apart from the scrumptious colours) is how they all wear different little hats at their centres – courtesy of such a huge variety in the arrangement of anthers and stigma.
The snapdragons have been sending me messages for a few years now. I’m not sure if you are aware how much moaning I’ve done on these pages in the past about things that don’t ‘work’ for me any more – and particularly herbaceous perennials that are so problematic?
Well – the antirrhinum penny has finally dropped. They love it here. They often come through our winter unscathed – how, I’ve no idea, given the low temperatures – and are completely undettered by the heavy clay soil.
They even seed themselves and are not at all bothered by drought! I’m going to try planting them out in autumn this year (remember how I opened – I didn’t get this year’s seedlings in the ground before the heat and dry conditions started up in mid June). Plus – when they are self-seeded, they look as if they ‘belong’, like wild flowers! Even the whites (‘Snowflake’) and pinks (‘Apple Blossom’), which are my favourites.
Even wild carrot (Daucus carota) is in short supply – what hope have I ever got of establishing ‘Purple Kisses’ (I’ve been trying for several years now – I suspect it’s a case of ‘seduction by name’).
The dahlias have been an unmitigated disaster this year – so small, growing so slowly, in spite of me starting them off in pots in March. There’s still time for them to redeem themselves, I hope.
But finally I have a flower of ‘Café au Lait’ – I cannot believe it’s the first of the season at the end of August …
… and my other favourite, ‘Totally Tangerine’.
I tried a new one called ‘Crème de Cognac’ this year and I’ve had the odd flower on it – but the stems are so short it’s useless. Later on, perhaps? Eagerly awaited (and new to me) ‘Nicholas’ and ‘David Howard’ have mere buds on them. I can’t believe it … it’s the end of August. ‘Thomas Eddison’ once again refused even to start shooting. Has anyone else had this problem with him? Usually dahlias can be relied upon in this garden when nothing else is going on, not Mr. Eddison.
Adding a touch of blue and purple to my vase are the Callistephus ‘Duchess Mixed’ and Salvia ‘Mystic Spires’. I should add that this is the first year that all of my annual seed has come from France, in our post-Brexit world. I was very happy to find new suppliers, even if the gardener didn’t manage to live up to the promise!
Go on over to Cathy’s blog at ‘Rambling in the Garden and see the other delights on offer.
14 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday. 29 August 2022”
What a gloriously bountiful vase, Cathy, and you wouldn’t guess that your plants have struggled this year to look at it. What you have described is similar to what I have experienced here, with dahlias just not doing anything during the heat and my zinnias not enjoying being planted out in a cooler May. The second sowing of zinnias has surprisingly caught up and they are doing well now, and now that the extreme heat is over the dahlias have perked up again and are gaining both height and flowers. Some of my other annuals were over and done with far earlier than usual too. I used to have TE but sold him at one f our open garden events I found his blooms too big, but I do have another variety that has just sulked and is still no taller than a few inches. All weather related, I think.
How very interesting to compare notes like this Cathy – and I see that Kris P has a similar dahlia problem on the other side of the atlantic. I do like TE … a far nicer purple than Karma Lagoon, although that’s such a good doer here. You should see the garden now (I don’t actually do much watering, since its too large). All brown … but the nights are cooler and I have hopes for the autumn!
As gardeners I suppose we always have high hopes other we wouldn’t do what we do otherwise!!
Beautiful flower arrangement and scrumptious zinnias! Beatrix
Thanks so much Beatrix!
Oh, your zinnia are enviable as well. If the garden had been any more productive, there would be too many of them. (I really take good care of those in one of our landscapes, but no matter where they are here, they are not overly happy.)
Zinnias were a late love of mine … I don’t always do them well!
Well, I would not kno if you had not said so.
I love the combination of warm colored blooms, Cathy. Your ‘Queen’ series Zinnias look 100 times better than most of mine. I envy your success with snapdragons too – I finally found varieties in the ‘Chantilly’ series that will bloom during our cool season here if planted in December. (They’re goners when summer heat arrives.) I too have had trouble with dahlias this year. I’m currently waiting out a number of holdouts hoping they’ll bloom before the mildew sets in.
So interesting – both you and Cathy (at opposite sides of the world!) are reporting the same dahlia problem. Lets keep our fingers crossed for later on … Here it will be the frost that stops them.
Late season bounty is gorgeous, I hope it lasts a long time. How interesting about the snapdragons…I keep trying to remember to plant some. Your Euphorbia picture is fabulous.
Thanks! Unfortunately the heat made the vase wilt overnight! I’ve sort of rescued it now …
Beautiful selection of flowers with an interesting colour range. It has been cold, wet and windy all summer, but we had a tantalising brief Indian summer which produced a late flowering. I’m just staring to experiment with dahlias and although late to flower they seem to flourish. Tempted to try some Zinnias next year. Thank you for the inpiration.
I am so late with my blogging. I hope you saw the recent dahlia post. Zinnias are wonderful. Look at Sarah Raven’s mixes – I love them.