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alp

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Good morning to a bank holiday Monday!

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Dark now, but I reckon not for long. Air is cool and fresh. Very pleasant indeed.

Went to this messy garden centre yesterday in Brentwood and bought this fuchsia - big flower which was the reason I bought it as I don't have this colour combo. 50p is OK.
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This is only half of this dahlia plant! Fantastic show!

I wasn't a big fan of roses because of their thorns. So now, I have stripped this one and Arthur Bell of the thorns and turned them into standards. Very pleased with them. I had another one in another spot. Turning plants into standards just gives me more space.

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Family photo of this delicate rose. Alas no scent!
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Black and Blue salvia which I kept losing because of winter!
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Next to the Black and Blue is the Lobelia Tupa ... It's a world wide wait for it to throw up flowers. Hope they (I have about 10 of them) will not miss the party. Nottinghill Carnival is in full swing!

For once, I took 2 reasonably clear or in-focus photos of this Salvia Solomon's Dance.
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Before I forget, there is a photographic competition and @Zenj and @Perki : Please have a go. I think you're allowed 5 entries. Just for a laugh. I might dig up some of mine.
 

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alp

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Last night, I watched the finale of The Secrets of a Psychopath on CBS Reality in which a well-educated architect into BDSM exerted control over a vulnerable woman whom he treated as a piece of slave meat. He specially bought a master and a slave phones so that he could escape justice. However, god moves in mysterious ways, some BDSM gear and her body were found within 3 days of each other. The way he had been breaking her down and belittling her was terrifying. Though convicted, he's appealing against his sentence. Evil does exist amongst us!

It was so hot yesterday. I managed to take more cuttings, including this Salvia Amante. This was introduced this year in Hampton Court and Rachel de Thames introduced it Lover - what the name meant. GC had tons of these, but apparently, they didn't sell well.

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It's like one of the Wishes series.

Mine is leggy and tall.
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Will water all my plants later. Can't wait for tomorrow to come.
 

alp

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I was looking for my keys and my glasses for nearly 6 hours yesterday. In the end, I found the glasses right under my chin, clipped to my dress. They bunch of key was left upstairs when I removed the curtains for washing. Signs of getting old!

Woke up and started going to the washing machine to continue the other half of the curtain washing, only to hear some kind of rain. :unsure: ! Couldn't believe it as we went to the allotment yesterday to water all the plants and now it's raining. Not heavy,and the ground is not even totally wet. But hey, don't knock it.

Yesterday, I got the delivery of the skunky Fritillaria Imperialis and they skunked the whole of the lean to. The foul smell was quite potent. Not so cheap as buying them in gcs. Now I have 6 and will plant them out as soon as the drizzle stops.

Sweet surprise to see this coreopsis, which I thought was another Gallardia
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Gallardia is indeed a sun symbol! Big, bold and cheerful!

A lovely double hibiscus - first time flowering! Like a chiffon.
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Salvis Sensation Pink is very happy!
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So is this Agastache.
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From the allotment

This is perhaps Ivory - a packet of Ivory and Ebony. It will be dug out as I really don't have room.

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I wonder what this pink salvia is called.
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Gaura seemed to be collapsing on the ground.
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Beautiful Achillea
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Blue Bayou
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I can see the end of the tunnel - a flower spike from one of my Lobelia Tupa! Yes!:joyful:

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Ah! Half of my dahlia delight. This is this is the ebony whilst the white one is the ivory!
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Very pleased! Saw it at 8pm and there wasn't enough light to photograph it. Boy, was I pleased!

Remember seeing Perki's Fritillaria Imperialis. @Perki Could you please tell me what you plant above or around them please? How did you prepare the soil please? Wonder if @Zenj had any experience growing the smelly beauties as well. Thank you in advance.
 
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alp

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I think I know what those pathetic looking salvia is

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Jean's Jewel or Salvia Coccinea. Only mine didn't look half as good. I actually bought 3 Jean's Jewel plants and I thought they all died.
They might still be. Sometimes,
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Doesn't look like Jean's Jewel???

This is the salvia seeds I bought from T&M

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Probably another case of what you see is not what you get.
 

alp

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Ah, the dahlia is actually a Honka Black! I've got to label it probably.

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Verrone's Obsidian! I remember that! Very pleased!
 

alp

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A very cool night even though yesterday morning was terribly humid around 11am. I was dripping pearls of sweat. Dug the hole already created by fox and put in a small pot to house my ensata iris and put some of long suffering astibles. It has been so hot here that one was nearly dead and another showed leaf scorch! The water will evaporate soon, so I am not worried about them inside a small pot of water.

The skunky smell emanating from the Crown Imperialis was just too much. I did a bit of research and now I might have to find some tulips to plant nearby. Come spring, I need to stop the slugs eating my stuff.

My roses are doing very well. The same rose with 3 flowers and now it's floribunda

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Hibiscus Syr Ardens - 3 flowers and one has turned deeper in colour. I remember I bought H Spectacbilis just because the woman said it changed colours 3 times a day! How daff was I?
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Another of my favorites
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Salvia Black and Blue.

I also want to grow for Britain - to this end, I bought tons of salad seeds, celery, beans and all sorts.

Love this story of self-sufficiency

I'm not sure I would like to use hydroponics though. The relationship between soil and plants is vital. I have to say, to be successful growing fruit and veg is a hard task - diseases, pests, dirt and drought, excessive rainful ..
 
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alp

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No. one for rhs photo competition? My money on it! Very nice photos and interesting animals. Some are so elusive!
 

alp

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Had another bonfire yesterday. Read on the forum that some American contingent burnt his soil to sterilise it. I so wanted to do so. Last night, I burnt all the ivy from the neighbour. Ray, new neighbour complained that son left 2 piles of ivy on his ground. It's difficult as the ivy went under the felt of our workshop and my son couldn't pick them up on his ground. One even went into the air vent of the workshop. Any way, when he heard my explanation, he realised my predicament. I offered to take his ivy to the tip, he said he would burn it. It seems to me they like sitting outside and a bit of bonfire doesn't worry them. Because of their friendliness, and surprise, surprise, the heat, we actually sat outside on my metal garden table and chairs and had our meals. It was a lovely experience. The air fresher, cooler and since most of my garden is laid to lawn, it's just so much more relaxing than being cooped up inside the living room. We had a BBQ a few days ago and now a bonfire. I managed to burnt 1 dead Australian Bottlebrush with its matted compost (7L), one dead peach (12L) and a dead thorny gooseberry (10L or more). I hope to recycle the soil. The pile is still smothering inside the incinerator now.

Wonder if all the stakes for plants are gone in Wilko as they were reduced to half price last Sunday!

***************

Another reason why I don't like soilless farming. Friend told me how all her children have turned vegans and I didn't say a word. Her daughter was in the same class as my son. And a teaching assistant showed the whole class video to pontify the virtues of vegetarianism. In the video, lambs were used to show how they were and hey presto, there were quite a few converts. Imagine you were 7 years old and all your classmates said it was cruel to eat meat! That's exactly the scenario.

Luckily, no such trouble for son as he declares: There is no greater pleasure than eating meat!

There is probably nothing wrong with veganism, it's just pure hard work to strike a balance and I'm too lazy for it. I really love meat, especially a bit of marble in sirloin - à point or even "bloody"! I had one of those on Bank Holiday when son was out. He's doesn't like beef cooked this way.

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Summer is no more, but I love this range of temperatures. More sane! My plants are still smarting from the searing heat!
 
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alp

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Woken up by funny noise at 3pm.

Went to the allotment 5pm and
Prince George is flowering for the first time this year.
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Lobelia Tupa is doing very well.
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Some pink Salvia macrophylla light Pink
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This could be Dyson's Joy!
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When I saw neighbour's yellow gladiolus, I thought mine would be too late. No and I wasn't very keen on them until I saw Zenj's beautiful blooms and look what I have got now. Very pleased.

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My prized Dahlia Deer Antler Cacti big beauty!
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Blue Bayou dahlia
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This argyranthemum has been flowering non-stop!
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My biggest joy is this Dahlia Honka Black, or 'Verrone's Obsidian' ! Most wonderful! if you look closer, you can see the stripes cutting across the petals. Very interesting!
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Also come home with tons of toms, some to be ripen near the window seals. But this Honka Black really is a source of immense joy and I will be very happy if my Lobelia Tupa is flowering in full bloom!
 

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alp

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A day of bargain hunting round 5 or 6 nurseries. Went to Squires, Hilliers (turned out to have taken over Wyevale), Wyevale in Upminster, Quite a few of them. Have bargains from Wyevale - trees for £1 each. Got some more Viburnum p Mariesii, Kilimanjaro, a Deutzia Magicien. As long as the flowers are as pretty as Zenj's, I don't mind he's a French or English magician! LOL!

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Been to Wisley. The whole facade has been changed.

Will upload about 20 pics a day, so bear with me!

The front has moved to the right hand side of the old entrance. It was ever so cloudy when we arrived and it was actually chilly!

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Lovely old building with generous pond!
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Below is the long new Wisteria Walk!
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They have gone big on standards Hibiscus - blue, pink and red..
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Wonder if this is the darkest agapanthus! Anybody knows?
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My usual helpings of topiaries - Just love them.
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A beautiful penstemon
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Green Jewel Echinacea
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I'd would to get hold of these tall sanguisorba
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Helenium Riverton Beauty - so fresh and cheerful! What's not to love?
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This is on my bucket list! Romneya Coulteri
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Salvia Candelabrum - shame they don't seem to have seeds and they are sooooooooooo sticky! A wonder nevertheless!
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A most wonderful day!
 

alp

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Summer is gone!




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But it's alright as I love this kind of temperature!

Wisley's gems continue

My photo is no good. This boulevard is very long and bordered by lovely herbaceous beauties - Heleniums, grass, agapanthus,
Penstemons, Salvias..




















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One such is Anemone!
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Strayed into the tropical area - a white pompon with a hint of lilac!
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Not so spectacular as DrCase's - but the pink is so delicate!
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I must buy one of this toad orchids - so full of interesting details!
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One of the Salvia kisses and wishes!
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Have no idea of its name, but ever so interesting!
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Another on my hit list!
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Dahlia Honka Fragile - for some reason, this year's Fragile is a bit short!
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Dahlia Vancouver - like a splendid Chrysan!
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Dahlia Dandy or collarette
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This is a yellow one, like my Blue Bayou! This one is a bit stressed, but a beauty nevertheless!
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This organic adornment is made of granite, unlike the cheap resin or moulded horrors I usually see in GC!
 

alp

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Wyevale has reduced a lot of plants to £1. Roses to £1 and if branded, £3 to £4. Anybody wanting to do the garden up should be silly not to go there to have a good look.


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This flower is sooooo exotic and unique and beautiful - Wish you were there, just to see it!
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Cobea
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Greenhouse in Wisley and the lovely stretch of water.
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Beautiful orchids
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What a shame - the flowers are so shy!
 

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Wonderful pictures alp a place I must visit one day.

I just come across your fritillaria query after looking back through, very free drainage dig in lots of sand or grit if you have heavy soil , sit the bulb on its side on a layer of sand inch deep , I then throw a handful of sand on top aswell, full sun ( best ) but will take a bit of shade. They say plant them on their side so the concave doesn't fill up with water but apparently they right them self upwards anyway eventually
 
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alp

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Perki Instead of sand, I used shingle as the advice said GRAVEL. Ooops! I think they will live. After that, I realised that I needed some companion planting. A mad rush to find my discarded daffs and especially tulips as they both like heat. Yes, I turned them all sideway. Where I live, there is very little or nearly no chance they will rot as it is dry, dry, and dry and still more! Thank you for the advice. Yes, make it a day to see Wisley and actually, they have a flower festival on 4 to 8 this month. If you could make it, it would be very good. I am sure you would love it. A lot of money has been sunk into it. Son said he hated the new slabs which looked like concrete poured with some silly holes on the surface. Very mean and lack vision.
 
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Tulips are probably the best planting companions I can think of. They are quite a statement plant and command attention so I wouldn't worry to much about other plants . keeping the slugs off young shoots and lily beetles off them can be a chore .
 

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Ah, yes! Slugs had mine the year before last. I must google when roughly they flower as I had to remove one indoors because of slug damage to another one and the whole lean to was SKUNKY! LOL! I thought some compost was contaminated and my epiphany came after johnny canoe told me about the smell! LOL!

I hurriedly planted the bulbs because they fouled the whole of my lean to! I could even smell it outside the patio door!

I might get some more as the blasted foxes had dug another hole, ruining my agapanthus alba seeds! Very annoyed with these nuisance midnight callers!

Go to bed now. Good night, everyone!
 

alp

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Good morning to an autumnal autumn! Sounds stupid, but oh so apt! Summer is no more! Personally, a very pleasant summer for me as I think I'm one of those whose core temperature is high or I sweat too readily. An allotmenteer, an Indian lady, said her head messed up when it's hot and she came even later than us to her plot. I think about 8pm when we were getting ready to leave.

Using the mac is a nuisance but my laptop is having Windows upgrade, so I have messed up my upload a bit and now I'm at preview! Ooops
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This Iris called Midnight Caller was lost in its way and was actually flowering 30th August! Nature's sweet surprise. I'm confused too as every time I clicked Full Image, 2 of the same photos appeared. I'm off now. :unsure:
 

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alp

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Was very annoyed and heartbroken that the foxes were running amok in my garden. They had cleared a patch already and I put a pot where they had done the damage, ruining my plan to collect agapanthus seeds. But yesterday morning was so much worse. Two of the Lobelia Tupas were snapped right at the base and they were moved to the lawn like two brolleys. One of my dahlias was already very late and I had to chuck a few slug pellets there to give the new shoots a chance. It has been a very disappointing year as most of my dahlias are struggling and some have no leaves, some with leaves but no flowers! Sadness all around! No. The foxes had another idea and the shoots were no more. :mad::mad::mad::mad: I remember there was a roll of chicken wire which fenced the trial fields and I think I need that. We ran a green wire fence around the most damaged area and I chucked a bit of coffee grinds all over it. I had never had this problem until this year, probably because of the hens which I now have only 2. One morning, one black one just laid in the cage with rigor mortis already set in. At least, he didn't have to fight. Now I have only two. Repotted some Viburnum Plicatum Mariesiis into new pots. I sowed Salvia Hains and will sow some more later. Cleared a few trays of dead plants. Cleaned the area near the water tap. Going to sow some Echinacea Pallida.

Some more photos

Lovely exotic plants in the greenhouse
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What a beautiful display!

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What handsome cones!

Whenever I looked at am Hydrangea quercifolia , I asked myself what my fascination for this plant was, as my plant has not flowered at all! Now this reminds me why - double flowers!
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Hope it will flower for me sometime in the future!
 
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