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May 2019



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Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

From my garden, that is. The chrysanthemums shown here were bought in Waitrose yesterday; I can’t resist green flowers.

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a disappointing gardening year. Look at Monty Don’s garden: lush, bursting with flowers. Look at mine: a pleasant enough green background but a sad lack of colour. This is caused partly by my own neglect, partly by the depredations of rabbits and deer but nothing explains the demise of so many plants.

Every year I grow geraniums (pelargoniums) in pots. This year I had to throw four plants away because the leaves were so manky and the plants so generally sick-looking. Usually I have some annuals, like cosmos, flowering until October. This year I’ve pulled most of them up already; they just failed to thrive. And what happened to my reliable penstemons? Some are OK but others, instead of flowering non-stop, have turned crisp and brown and are being grubbed up soon, to be replaced by the healthy cuttings I luckily took two years ago.

Some plants have done well, especially hardy geraniums. ‘Rozanne’ has never stopped flowering and ‘Brookside’ is on its second flush. All the others have performed as expected, too. Lady’s Mantle is only too successful, as are the wretched mallows. Verbena bonariensis has pleased me by seeding around. Gaura, one of my favourites, is happily waving about and a white one, which I thought I’d lost, has reappeared. Not all gloom then but I do hope for better next year.

Another Waitrose purchase was this viola basket.

I love the colour and you couldn’t buy the component parts for the fiver it cost me. It should brighten things up for a while. Begonias are not my favourite flowers but this pot was cheap and cheerful. When a sunny but chilly morning turned into a grey, windy and even chillier afternoon, I was glad to have bright flowers indoors.

Best of all, because it’s so giving and cost me so little, is this miniature orchid. I’ve had it for several years now and in May of this year I potted it on, savagely cutting off the roots. In no time new, spidery roots appeared and now there are two flowers stems which will produce more and more flowers for months. Find compensation where you can and plan for the future will have to be my motto.


My plants have been weird this year, flowering late, dying off early and then low and behold the roses bloomed again in early September as did the fuchsia, both better than the first time around, and a little viola began to grow and is in bloom now. I love violas and orchids. I do well with orchids and I have two the same as your one in the picture. it was one plant which got too big so I separated it. Potted plants really are an inexpensive way to bring colour into the home :)
It's been a strange season, for sure, but I'm not usually such a plant killer. I love violas, too. They need a lot of deadheading but it's easy just to pick the flowers off. I'm thinking of more houseplants and fewer garden ones! I planned to garden this afternoon but it's turned dark and miserable again so I'll have to force myself to do it.

Edited at 2016-09-18 02:02 pm (UTC)


Has the weather been any different? Cooler, hotter? Are you able to point to anything in particular that may have made the flowers not do so well? I should try an orchid. Such a pretty plant.
Our weather is so unpredictable and so variable from year to year that it's hard to pinpoint anything.

Orchids are so much easier than people think. Trouble free!