So. Much. Orange.

It’s been a while since I posted, which kinda defeats the object of a garden journal. There wasn’t much to say for late spring to early summer as I was mostly waiting to see how much I stuffed up. The answer is… a bit more than I would like, but it’s not a total disaster. The plants that thrived as seedlings have mostly translated to pretty vigorous showings outside. With one major exception – the African Sahara Marigolds. This is the second time that promising seedlings have turned into awful plants/blooms, and from the same packet. I am now convinced that either Mr. Fothergills’ ASMs are rubbish or I had a bad batch of seeds. Either way I have no interest in trying again. Why? … as the title says. “So. Much. Orange.”

As you can see from the photo, the calendula has been very successful despite being in a fairly shallow border. I had 9 plants which I placed in groups of 3. On reflection perhaps they were a bit close together but they have made for a lovely splash of colour. Even if it is orange.

Originally there were African marigolds all the way along the border but it became plain as they were blooming that all was not well (again). Instead of folding out into big boistrous pom poms, only the very outer petals unfurled and the rest of the bloom remained stuck tightly together. This is exactly what happened back at the bungalow last year, a problem that I put down to planting them out too early. I didn’t make that mistake this year so I’ve come to the conclusion there’s something wrong with the seeds I had. Ultimately, it’s proved for the best as the calendula are producing enough orange for the entire garden.

Enough about orange, what about … uhm.. yellow?

I had a packet of Rudbeckia ‘Rustic Dwarf’ from my Garden Answers magazine subscription. I chucked quite a few seeds into pots back in February and boy.. they did not disappoint. I left a tray out the front of the house for people to take as I had far too many germinate. They all went within the day, which was nice.

Whoever decided these should be called ‘dwarf’ needs their head testing. None of the plants are less than about 3ft tall. Unfortunately as I took out the African marigolds I had to replace them with bedding plants from various garden centres and it’s all a bit uneven out there now. Lessons learned, I’ll pay more attention to max height and width for next year. I’ve shuffled a few smaller plants out from under the rudbeckia and calendula.

Rudbeckia in the border. Looking down the garden.
Dahlia, rudbeckia and plhox iin the border, looking back up towards the house.

As you can see from the above, the dahlia is also .. orange. I didn’t know which of the three ‘Border Mixed’ tubers I had planted and I’ve been waiting patiently for months to see what colour it would be. It finally popped up and announced “f*ck you, I’m orange”.

At least it’s broken up a little by the Phlox and lobelia, both grown from seed. Back when we were living at the bungalow I bought a few lobelia plants and they were nothing like these. Small, sickly and never got much bigger than they were when I bought them. The ones I’ve grown from seed are producing masses of flowers, as are the phlox plants.

The sunflowers I grew from seed and planted out about 4 weeks after they germinated are outstanding. The leaves are MAHOOSIVE and blooms much bigger than the same seeds were at the bungalow. They were all grown in the same pot though. Clearly putting them in the soil has led to much more robust plants. They’re meant to be single heads but one has 9(!) blooms forming.

The lovely Langholm weather has beaten down the wildflowers somewhat, but they’re doing fine. Just a bit more horizontal than I would like, but this area is going to have a wildlife pond in so I’m not precious about how they’re growing.

Wildflowers 1
Wildflowers 2

On a final note, below is a ‘How it started <– > How it’s going’ comparison. Overall, we’re getting there. My potting shed has turned up as well, so we just need to clear out and tear down the current one. That’ll be fun. Lewis worked really hard getting all that gravel out of the border, building the bench set and loads more. For that I am very thankful. 🙂

How it started  - How it's going. A side by side comparison of the garden from when we moved in, to now.

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