Tags

, ,

Blue summer flowers

Blue summer flowers

Last week was my birthday, and I was given a lovely basket of flowers. By yesterday they were looking very sad, so reluctantly I decided they had to go. I went hunting round the garden to find something to replace them, and cut some agapanthus and some plumbago, along with some purple plant I’m not sure of the name of. I was thinking how good it was to have the agapanthus and the plumbago, since nothing else flowers at this time of year, but actually when I come to look more closely I do have other flowers. Currently there are, as well as the agapanthus and the plumbago, both blue and white of the latter, zinnias, portulacas, geraniums (not as good as in the early summer, but still a few flowers), marigolds, busy lizzies (impatiens), celosias, petunias, verbenas and begonias, I think they are what used to be called bedding begonias, but I’m not sure of the proper name for them. Admittedly, the plumbago and agapanthus are the only ones which don’t get watered and still survive, if the others were not watered they wouldn’t last more than a couple of days at this time of year. Still, it does show that it is possible to have flowers during summer in our climate. Currently most of the flowering plants are in pots or tubs, and get watered every day, but I am going to work towards having drip irrigation in the garden beds, and see what flowers I can actually grow in the ground. The only difficulty then is preventing them from being trampled on or dug up by dogs, or eaten by snails in winter. Our climate changes so much, from being baked hard and dry all summer, to being lush and green in winter, and it’s difficult sometimes to have things which cope with both extremes. Even having trees creates problems, particularly the natives which are evergreen. They provide welcome shade in summer, but in winter the foliage underneath them doesn’t get much sun, and stays damp for weeks at a time, so it is a perfect haven for snails etc. The snails aren’t native, so I really should just exterminate them, but I’m not good at killing things, even lowly invertebrates. Unless, that is, they’ve just demolished my prized lilies or something like that!
Having Googled, I find that the begonias are begonia semperflorens. Mine I bought as a punnet of seedlings about two or three years ago, and they are still growing in the same pots. They look pretty sick in the winter, but flower most of the rest of the year. Same goes for the impatiens, they are growing in a bigger pot, and I think some of the plants there now are probably self-set seedlings from the originals.
I also found that the purple plant is Tradescantia pallida purpurea, I had a feeling it was some kind of tradescantia but wasn’t sure. It also grows readily, so long as it is watered, and the snails don’t get it in the winter. I have it mostly in hanging baskets, and it needs protection from frost, and ends the winter looking a bit tatty. Pull off the dead bits though, and it perks up and looks good again, and if you put the broken bits in some moist compost they will take root and grow, so I now have at least 3 pots of it, and have given away others. I took a photo of the flowers in a vase, and also a shot of the beatufiul sky blue of the plumbago

Plumbago auriculata

Plumbago auriculata

Advertisements