Dry weather has meant there is a sudden lack of slugs in the garden. The end of nightly hunts with the salt cellar has left me wondering what else there is to do. What is the meaning of gardening without a couple of slugs to spear? I've deadheaded a few flowers which lead me to wonder if I'm using the garden in order to express inner violent tendencies and would be locked up if it wasn't for repeat flowering perennials. The Olympics have also distracted me from the garden. We live in spitting distance of the stadium (not that we could get tickets for anything *bitter!*). Sour grapes have faded to smugness as team GB are now firmly ahead of Le Photographe's country in the medals table.
Anyway, I've digressed as this is a blog about gardening and not a commentary on the state of British athletics. Although gardening is relevant to the Olympics as apparently Sarah Price's planting in the Olympic Park is well worth a visit. I'll definitely go and have a look at the gardens but you need tickets for the Park to see them (did I mention I didn't get tickets?) so it will have to wait until after the games. I just hope that Ms Price knows what she is doing when it comes to late season planting.
I digressed again! Sorry. I'm going to be good now and write about gardening. Plant of the moment is Knautia Macedonia. I love this plant and always wait eagerly for it's first flowering. I planted three of them two years ago, recklessly placing them in the eastern bed when the label said full sun. As punishment for not listening, I lost two of them in the first winter but one of them has soldiered on. Having a north facing garden has meant that I never know if it will re sprout until June when I give thanks to the miracle of nature and start smothering it with liquid feed and cutting back anything else that might impede it's progress. Once up and running it ticks a few style boxes for a small garden: repeat flowering, reasonably slug resistant and adds a bit of height to the border. I first discovered it in the pages of Garden's Illustrated which also must elevate my garden a bit in the prestige stakes.
There have however been two disappointments about this plant: a tendency to powdery mildew and poor results when it comes to seeds. Powdery mildew is easily dealt with by a dash of non organic, non biodegradable, eco unfriendly toxic chemical spray that I squirt shamelessly about the place. Seeds however are a bit of a mystery. Instead of drying off to a nice tufted seed head the flowers sort of just mould away to nothing in autumn. To be honest, I am not brilliant with seeds. Come spring, I'll think, 'Great, let's plant some seeds!' I'll congratulate myself when they sprout but seedlings are like toddlers: take your eye off them for a second and they misbehave by growing white mould, outgrowing their pots or cavorting with weeds. Seeds need constant attention and are not for a slap-dash gardener like me, in fact I don't think they are suitable for anyone with a day job.
Good writing should flow and be succint but if you've got this far you'll know that I'm guilty on two counts of jumping from topic to topic and going on about a lot of random stuff so thanks for coping if you're reading this. My last word for today is that if anyone has an Olympic ticket they don't want then I am your most willing recipient. I especially like athletics.