Not so gladdy

Gladioli

This rogue gladdy appeared in a batch of Mirella

I’ve developed a soft spot for gladioli over the years, both for exuberance and for their later summer flowering, but they can be somewhat trying for a mere amateur! The tawny bed is home to two primulinus hybrids bought years ago from Bob Brown, Hastings and Mrs M Rowley. Hastings, a sandy orange is increasing nicely, Mrs M Rowley is a rich claret but less floriferous. Being primulinus they are small flowered and therefore less vulnerable to wind and rain. They also fit better generally into a ‘soft’ herbaceous planting.

Last year I decided to do a bit of a cutting garden thing with some sale gladdies bought from Sarah Raven ( I like a bargain). White flowered Bangladesh, deep purple-red Espresso and Green Star. Some Espresso went in the bed above and didn’t flower last year. This year Espresso flowered nicely, all was well until some wind and rain and they were felled one by one. So I enjoyed them in a vase inside instead. I presume these fall into the 2-300 category. The 500’s are the very biggest gladioli and 100’s the miniatures. In the upright chaos of the tawny bed the slightly larger flowered glads look less awkward than in other garden contexts when viewed through a mist of fennel, Verbena bonariensis and a general scramble of Cornus Midwinter Fire leaves.

Some of the gladdies from last year in the veg plot came up amongst this year’s potatoes, despite the fact I thought I’d cleared them all, and now the potatoes are finished small cormlet spears are pricking through the soil.

There’s not a lot of choice of primulinus and smaller flowered gladioli in general bulb catalogues. I’ve had The Bride before but thought I’d try G nanus Mirella this year. Sorry, I’m not liking the wan orange tinted red flowers (just coming out by the white glad) – off to the compost heap! The unknown white glad above was in the batch of Mirella.

I am enjoying the rich red of the Lobelia cardinalis planted this spring along with the fat dark pink spikes of Persicaria Dikke Floskers.

Not a great tomato year

Marigold Tall Scotch Prize

Marigold Tall Scotch Prize

I have grown marigolds in the greenhouse with the tomatoes to try to deter whitefly. Despite the marigolds we have quite a few whitefly unfortunately. Marigold Tall Scotch Prize certainly is tall but not very pungent.

This year I’ve grown tomatoes Tigrella, White Lady, Pantano, Costoluto Fiorentino and Brandy Boy. The greenhouse isn’t in full sun so the tomatoes have grown rather lushly. So far Brandy Boy and White Lady haven’t set anything so that’s probably it now. Tigrella and Pantano have something worth harvesting when ripe and my old favourite Costoluto is a big disappointment.

And now for something completely different

Platycrater arguta

Platycrater arguta

A pretty little shrub from Japan, you can sort of see it’s a relative of the hydrangea. Bought from Pan Global Plants last year. A mole has undermined it a couple of times which doesn’t help establishment but I’m crossing my fingers.

Carmichaelia

Carmichaelia

Came as an unlabelled plant so not sure which Carmichaelia this is. Hailing from New Zealand Carmichaelia have flat leathery branchlets some of which put out little leaves and lightly scented flowers. Unassuming.

Carmichaelia petriei

Carmichaelia petriei

On a visit to Cornwall in May we discovered a fantastic small nursery Lower Kenneggy Nursery which left me drooling and feeling highly acquisitive, I had to keep my ‘I want it all now’ tendencies firmly under control. This was one of my purchases, flowering now.

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