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Giant Oriental Lilly

19/7/2020


Today I oversleep…this is very unusual but might be because of having to attend to a late-night buzz from grandad and then having to wait for Pip (the cat) to return from a night-time wander. My attachment to the cats (my babies) is so great, I couldn’t possibly go to bed until they are all safely in and the cat flap is shut!

After getting grandad up, I head off outside very pleased to see that we have had some rain. One of the first things I notice is one of the giant lilies, I think a ‘Giant Oriental’ has opened its first bloom. I started these lilies in pots and then planted them out into the garden. The reason for this is my success rate with lilies (bulbs) planted straight into the garden is not brilliant and I wanted to see they were growing before planting them out. Having done this, I then thought it wasn’t such a good idea, I suspect the Martagon lilies will do nothing this year as a result. The remaining Goliaths and Regales will not reach their full height (1.5-2.5m!) but their blooms still look enormous. This first bloom is bigger than a trumpet bell, more of a flugel horn bell size. Hopefully, in future years, they will reach their full height as well as producing giant blooms.

I start the day by planting out penstemons into the two Manuka beds that already contain existing penstemons, adding to the range of colours. I also plant out six salvia patens…into the two small Manuka beds which contain the beautiful white passion flowers that climb over the arch. I remove a tray of grasses that I have grown from seed and rescue two blue/grey Festuca Glauca that are the only ones still growing. Unfortunately, the remainder have finished and gone to seed, I did not plant them out in time. However, I’m not too disheartened because nearly everything has been planted out and the cold frames are almost empty. I still have some Tagetes which wills serve as companion planting for the next tray of later cabbages and cauliflowers due to be planted out in the big vegetable beds presently being weeded. I have a few osteospermums and a tray of Veronica ‘Rose Tones’ but I cannot remember how they were supposed to look! (I will have to find the seed catalogue!) inside the tunnel there are a few other bits and pieces, mainly salvias, but considering the thousands of plants that I sowed (and I’m not exaggerating) I think I have done quite well, because almost all of them have survived and are now in the garden – no wonder it is so colourful!

Today, we have invited a friend over for tea, cake and a garden walk because it is her birthday. This was very enjoyable and relaxing, and everyone enjoyed being sociable, particularly Bella, but she is not very good at social distancing!

After our friends left, I carried on weeding the big vegetables beds that I started weeding yesterday, and incredibly, I did get Meave out to help me, briefly! She says she is more interested in bricks (a likely story) but she did make a lovely lunch where she stuffed some of our giant mushrooms which was delicious. Aideen was expected to eat this as well – her education in mushroom eating continues – and she ate quite a lot of it, but she’s still not sure!



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