SoS: Last Post December 31 2022.

This, of course, is the last post for 2022. Probably the less said about the past year, the better. All we can hope for really is an improvement.

In my garden, which was wet and soggy for most of the year, there has been a dramatic turnaround. Several weeks of not terribly hot , but dry and sometimes windy weather has turned a lush green oasis into a desiccated not-quite-dustbowl in which plants are struggling and we are watering. It’s almost like a return to the drought of 2019 but nowhere near as hot.

During a sortie into the garden this evening I managed to find a few blooms worthy of including in a six. Number one, above is Echinops. I’ve had this growing in the garden for some years, after I saw it in photos of UK gardens looking bluer than blue, gorgeous and needing to be included here forthwith. Sadly, there have only ever been a few flowers, nothing that could be called a drift. I love it though, just wish it would be more prolific.

Nothing seems to upset Agapanthus, a white one seen here with Gaura which has closed its doors for the night.

A friend recently gave me a clump of Eucomis or pineapple lily. The clump was so solid I couldn’t divide it, so it was planted whole. Hopefully it will still grow well and not be too crowded. It doesn’t seem bothered by any kind of weather and has sent out blooms in the last week. They’re still quite small, despite the way they appear in the photo.

Rtibida columnifera or Mexican Hat Plant. Not a column really as I didn’t realise I would have to provide a stake. It’s leaning drunkenly to one side. I believe it has the ability to become a nuisance in the garden, but so far it hasn’t spread anywhere, and its kin were eaten by snails, so it’s the only one I have. How much spreading can it do? We’ll see!

Rosa ‘The Prince’, really the only rose that’s flowering just now, accompanied by some allium sphaerocephalon, both looking a little the worse for wear. Most roses in the last few weeks, and there haven’t been many of them, have been very small.

Leptospermum, perhaps ‘Starry Night’ though I’m not entirely sure. This one blooms around Christmas every year.

Those are my six for this week. I’m joining with Jim from Garden Ruminations. As ever, if you wish to see what other gardeners are doing, do pop over to his blog here and check them out.

Weather to day: partly cloudy. 14 – 30 degrees C.

Happy gardening everyone, and happy new year. May you and your gardens bloom and prosper in 2023.

33 Comments Add yours

  1. n20gardener says:

    I keep wondering if I could grow eucomis. I worry about my clay soil and wet winters. Lovely to see some flowers in the sunshine! Happy New Year .

    1. Jane says:

      The Eucomis is in clayey soil, and we certainly had a wet winter, so perhaps it would be worth a try in your garden. I’m keen to see what it’s like as the flowers mature. It’s at the front of the garden, so I hope it’s isn’t going to be too tall.

  2. Jim Stephens says:

    It’s a fascinating contrast between what you have posted and what my lot are growing near Brisbane. Not a huge difference in latitude or altitude and both pushing the boundaries of what will grow but in different directions. The simplistic view from 12000 miles away!

    1. Jane says:

      Indeed, Jim. It’s much more tropical up there, (being 850 km north of us) as you would know, and rains more regularly. Under normal circumstances they don’t get that desiccating dryness that we often get. I think I’ve been led up the garden path (😉) for the last couple of years by our weather, and planted a number of things that will struggle. Hard lesson learnt! Back to repeating plantings of things that can survive.

  3. fredgardener says:

    Bravo for the eucomis that I grow in a large pot here and that I lift up each autumn to replant in the spring. Otherwise I lose them.
    Amazing flowers from Mexican Hat Plantet : I hope you can win the battle against the snails. Happy New Year 2023.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Fred. I’m pretty pleased with the Eucomis. Perhaps that will be one to divide (if I can) and plant around the garden. The snails are are not such a problem now that it has stopped raining all the time.

  4. Noelle says:

    Red roses for Christmas is surely a treat. The shrub is doing magnificently. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Noelle. That rose is my best performer (it hasn’t even got the dreaded black spot) and all the others are miserable with very small flowers. It’s a delight to see it.

  5. Heyjude says:

    New Year wishes to you too Jane, it’s tough being a gardener as we never quite know what nature is going to throw at us. My garden is wet and soggy at the moment and I am surprised that any of my spring bulbs are surviving, but there are promising signs.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Jude. I hope your bulbs survive as they are such a joy. I know you often put yours in pots which seems a sensible approach. My narcissi all did well after sitting in boggy soil for months, but many of the species tulips have disappeared, and I don’t know if I’ll replace them. I think the ones in pots will be ok.

  6. You still have a nice selection of plants blooming. My Mexican Hats always hang over, so I try to put them on the edge of the bed. They do not reproduce very well for me either.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, I chose the best ones! If the Mexican Hats proliferate, I won’t put them at the front of the garden again.

  7. Lovely plants, especially the Mexican Hat. Have a good New Year, you will be in 2023 by now.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Granny, yes it was 2023 at the time of your comment. Best to you too.

  8. Rosie Amber says:

    Happy New Year, The Mexican Hat plant looks fun.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Rosie. I’m quite taken with that plant too, it makes me think of the Mexican Hat Dance.

  9. Happy New Year. I love the Echinops and have tried it, to no avail.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you. Bad luck with the Eucomis. It does seem like a tough plant, but we had a very mild winter last year and very little frost, so it remains to be seen how it fares in the cold.

  10. Kris P says:

    Hmm, there’s been talk here of a shift to El Nino conditions here in 2023, although one climate scientist I respect has said it’s too early to conclude that. I hope your temperatures stay on the pleasant-tolerable end of the summer spectrum. I love the Echinops and the Leptospermum. I planted Echinops in my garden this fall but sadly I’m not feeling very hopeful about their prognosis at the moment.

    Best wishes for a very happy – and cooler and less windy – new year, Jane!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Kris. I most sincerely hope you have more rain this year after all the struggles you’ve had for such a long time. I will be interested to know how your Echinops fare. The Leptospermum flowers on that particular specimen were a bit sparse this year, but still very welcome.

  11. I hope the Mexican Hat Plant makes it and perhaps spreads a little, in a polite and controlled manner. All the best for 2023.

  12. Jane says:

    ‘Polite and controlled’: I do like that! We could wish that for a lot of plants. All best to you too, Graeme.

  13. Pauline says:

    A lovely selection of plants, so different to our winter flowers! We too seem to have had non stop rain for such a long time now, everywhere is so soggy! Hope 2023 is a bit drier for both of us!

    1. Jane says:

      I will probably sound like a person who doesn’t know what they want, but we’re back to wishing for rain again now that the sogginess has well and truly dried out and temps are into the 30s every day. Perhaps my new modus opera didn’t should be to carefully take note of what has survived these climatic anomalies and plant a lot more of those plants.

  14. The Prince is wonderful, what lovely blooms. I grew the Mexican Hat once, years ago and I remember it to be a bit feeble, yours looks much more substantial. It didn’t come back the next year. I might try it again. Hope you get some rain very soon. Happy New Year to you Jane, I hope it is a good one for you and yours x

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks, Gill. Clouds are rolling over and only a few drops fall. I wish I could let go of my weather obsession, but it’s almost impossible. These are things that try even the most sanguine gardener.
      I probably should have pinched the shoots of Mexican Hat early on to make it bush out. Never mind. There’s always another season!

  15. Hope you get some more rain soon. The weather seems to have been all or nothing for a lot of us this last year. Let’s hope 2023 weather is on a more even keel.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you. We have had a lot of hot weather since I posted this but received some rain yesterday, thank goodness.

  16. Happy 2023 to you too! I love the Eucomis is lovely. I rediscovered my burgundy plant, which I thought I had lost, and I’m delighted to see that it has a flower spike! I like the Echinops too. I’m tempted to try and grow some.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Megan. I have a burgundy Eucomis as well, yet to produce a flower. Good luck with the Echinops, it may like your climate better than mine.

  17. annamadeit says:

    I love that little Ratidibida! I’ve never grown it, but I think it’s just delightful whenever I’ve seen it. If I ever have a sunny garden, I will be sure to give it a try. Hope 2023 is a better year!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Anna. I’m really enjoying the Ratidiba, and hoping it will spread around a little. I read that it’s quite an aggressive self seeder so I may have to eat my words later!

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