SoS: January 21, 2023. Summer Garden.


It’s been three weeks since I last posted a Six and during that time the weather has been hot (over 30 degrees every day), and windy and the garden has dried out. It’s almost as though we never had all the rain which fell frequently for three years. The hoses have been working overtime but all the watering we do doesn’t really compensate for rain, and much of the garden is traumatised. On Thursday night however, we had a storm which brought 16mm of beautiful rain and now things are looking a little happier. Today is almost like a return to La Niña, which I thought had deserted us out here in the west, whilst still wreaking havoc in other parts of the country.

Looking for six in the garden wasn’t so easy today. Many plants seem to be excessively leggy, a result, I think of very rapid growth in the spring. Next week I will begin my summer cut back of the garden and I will have to wrestle with Gargantua ( very large mulcher) in order to tidy up all the pruning.

In the meantime, here are six from a weary garden:

One: The Eucomis flowers have emerged. I posted about this plant last time, and the flowers have progressed since then. I’m enjoying them and this is certainly an undemanding plant which wasn’t bothered at all by our hot dry weather.

Two: Gaillardia, also known as ‘blanket flower’. I thought (hoped) the name might mean that it covers a lot of the garden but I read that the name is a reference to the bright and vivid colors reminiscent of the traditional textile patterns of certain groups of First Nations Americans. I haven’t had this one very long, so it’s quite small, and I will be glad if it does a bit more blanketing.

Three: The flowers of Agastache ‘Sweet Lili’, long a resident of this garden, has appeared in previous posts, and why not? Very reliable and tough, she is a sterling performer.

Four: Another Agastache, this time ‘Arizona Sandstone’ a smaller version, but also tough, and flowering all summer.

Five: Sedum spathulifolium ‘Capo Blanco’, but I will use its much easier name ‘Silver Blob’. I plan to take some cuttings of this and grow more to dot along the edges of the garden. It doesn’t like a lot of water though, and needs to be well drained.

Six: One perfect small bud from Rosa ‘Perfect Harmony’, aptly named.

As ever, I’m joining Jim from Garden Ruminations and the Six on Saturday crowd of dedicated gardeners. Do pop over to his blog to read more gardening tales.

Weather today: Mostly cloudy. 15 – 27 degrees C. Happy gardening everyone.🍃

23 Comments Add yours

  1. fredgardener says:

    6 nice things added to your Six this week and thumbs up for the eucomis! They are really eye-catching! Courage for the dry weather… I’m sending you some… snow

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Fred. The snow melted on the way here as it’s now raining.😉

  2. Jim Stephens says:

    I rather neglected my various Eucomis this winter, left them in the ground when I meant to lift them, left them out in pots when I meant to bring them under cover. Seeing yours in flower is making me regretful.

    1. Jane says:

      The Eucomis has been the star of the show this week, Jim. It’s a tough plant, so hopefully your neglected (not really, I’m sure) ones will put on a show during your summer.

  3. I love the eucomis too! I am also a big agastache fan and yours look great. Such a lovely rose. I hope you continue to get just enough rain to perk up your garden and just enough sun to perk up the gardener. x

    1. Jane says:

      Raining today Gill. I must sound like a person who’s never satisfied! The Eucomis has been a delightful surprise as I had no idea what the flowers would be like when I was given it last year.

  4. Heyjude says:

    It’s always a delight to visit Mudgee. The Eucomis are delightful, I haven’t tried growing them, but am tempted every time I see them on the blog posts. I’d love to send you some of our rain in exchange for some of your heat!

    1. Jane says:

      It’s now Sunday Jude, and beautiful steady rain is falling. 😊I’m sure you could grow a Eucomis. Mine is in clayey soil which was wet for months. Worth a try, anyway.

  5. Despite your weather, the flowers in your garden are looking good. I normally have winter flowers, but a freeze took them all. It’s nice to enjoy yours.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, your freeze was quite unprecedented wasn’t it. I hope your plants recover.
      I chose the best flowers I could find, of course. Some of the others don’t look as good.

  6. Kris P says:

    I’m sorry you’re experiencing that kind of heat, Jane, but glad you got some relief. Summer rain is virtually unknown here. We had nearly 3 weeks of steady, often heavy, rainstorms (“atmospheric rivers”), ending last week. It’s helped our drought status but hasn’t ended it.

    I planted Eucomis years ago here. The foliage comes back annually but I’ve never seen a flower – yours are beautiful! The Gaillardia I grow in my garden self-seeds lightly, which means it does spread a bit over time, although I wouldn’t call it a proper ground cover plant.

    1. Jane says:

      The heat itself is not so dad, Kris: it could be a lot worse. It’s just been bad for the garden. It’s now Sunday and it’s raining gently. So beautiful. How strange that your Eucomis has never flowered. I would have thought your climate would be perfect for it.
      I have a self seeded Gaillardia under my clothes line. It never gets watered and is often trodden on, and is doing better than the others!

  7. Beautiful Pineapple Lily. The prettiest one I have seen. Could it be all the water from earlier? Gallardia is native here and reseeds annually, the plants tend to get bigger but are not very organized. Agastache is supposed to do well here, I have not tried it..yours are beautiful. Hoping for rain here as well.

    1. Jane says:

      This is the first time I’ve had a pineapple lily, so I’m unable to answer your question. I also have a purple one and it hasn’t flowered at all! I love the Gaillardia, and I’ve seen online some with decorative petals…am keeping a lookout for those ones!

  8. hb says:

    Re: “Blanket Flower” — my single visit to Texas–out along the highways, the wild fields along the road were indeed “blanketed” with Gaillardias. A big surprise! Though I think it does refer to the “blanket” colors, seeing so many along with other native wildflowers was a thrill. It wanders around quite a lot in my garden, and appears from seed here and there, but isn’t a pest as it is easy to move or remove.

    Your Agastache is really lovely.

    Sorry to read you’ve had hot weather stressful to your garden. Summer is becoming something we all dread. (I no longer think it’s just me.)

  9. Jane says:

    Lovely to read about the Gaillardias in Texas, thank you HB. I probably sound as though I always complain about the weather. It hasn’t been bad at all this summer, just difficult for the garden after all the rain we had. Things are beginning to recover now.
    I like the Agastache very much. It has quietly done its thing for quite a few years now, and flowers for a long time.

  10. Us poor gardeners, if it isn’t too cold (like the UK) we are suffering with weather that’s too hot and dry. Your post transported me back to the sweltering days of last Summer. Manual watering never seems to compensate for lack of rain. The Eucomis are looking very good though.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, I probably sound as though I’m endlessly complaining. It’s raining today (30/1) and is quite lovely.

  11. Pauline says:

    Lovely summer selection to warm us up while we are freezing! Your Eucomis flower is beautiful, I must try again, in a pot this time, also like your Agastache, I feel warmer just looking at it!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Pauline. I have a Eucomis in a pot also, and it’s doing quite well. I fear it will soon outgrow its home, though.

  12. Your Eucomis is gorgeous! What a beautiful show of flowers! I really like the Agastache, both the pink and the orange. I have never grown them before,and wonder if they would tolerate our humidity? We had some scorching days too, but luckily most nights are still reasonable at temperatures below 30! I’m pleased to hear you received more rain.

    1. Jane says:

      Agastache seem to be tolerant of almost anything, so I think it’s well worth giving them a try. I’m loving the Eucomis, although it’s almost over now, just over a week since I posted that picture. I guess that will be all now until next summer, unless the purple one I have bucks up and has a flower…..

      1. I’ll have to try Agastache! I missed my purple Eucomis flowering, and when I looked for it I found that it’s flower stalk had fallen over. Silly me! I’ll take more note of it next season.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.