Saturday, 28 June 2014

Hemerocallis Again

The Hemerocallises are at their peak at the moment. This year is particularly good for vegetation because of the weather - the rain and sun exchanging in regular intervals made it rather luxuriant. 

As you know, the individual flowers last only for a day, but they have still many flowers to open and I expect them to flower for at least one more week.

These two are planted in 2012. Last year they had only one flower. Some cultivars take years to grow into a big clump and flower abundantly. The one on the photo above is called 'Amadeus'.   

This is the beautiful 'Avant Garde'. 

Friday, 27 June 2014


I have just finished making the red currant jelly. The six bushes of red currant are quite enough to have some fruits to eat and also to make some jelly. I got six jars of jelly out of 1.5 litre of red currant juice.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Bugs Don't Bug Me

Some people think that they need to kill every little creature that crawls in the garden. Yes, some make damage (so do we, don't we?) but, there is also many gardening helpers among them. Even the creatures we call pests have some task in this world. The beetle above is Carabus (Procerus) gigas, the largest European ground beetle. This year there is quite a lot of them running around. Let them live - they primarily feed on slugs and snails.

This is Cetonia aurata, the Rose Chafer. The beetles nibble rose buds and other ornamentals and love the fruits as well. But, I let them be because they never make any severe damage to my plants. I see them mostly feeding on paeony or other flowers.

These two mating beetles are shield bugs, Graphosoma lineatum. I noticed many different shield bugs on the umbels of Apiaceae, e.g. lovage, dill, or fennel. It seems that they find the strong smell of these plants especially attractive. They mostly stay on flowers.

The Stag beetle, female 

The Stag beetles, Lucanus cervus, once common fliers in June, became so rare and are on the global list of declining species. I remember when I was a child, there were many of them flying in the evening. The larva feeds on tree sap and decaying wood and adult does not feed but depends on the fat reserves. It takes at least four years for larva to became an adult. My garden borders with the town park and sometimes I have these rare visitors landing on the plants, like this female on the rosemary bush. It is pretty big specimen; it seems that growing conditions over the years od development were quite well. 

Monday, 23 June 2014

Herb List 1

Wooden wall of my garden shed proved to be an ideal place for drying herbs. It is warm and airy and takes only a few days for bunches of herbs to dry.That's what we want, don't we? If they are dried quickly they preserve more flavour. 
Some of my herbs are:

Salvia officinalis 'Icterina'

Purple Basil

Melissa officinalis, lemon balm


Mentha piperita, pepper mint

Rosmarinus officinalis, rosemary, trailing

Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor', sage

Salvia officinalis, sage

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Thunbergia alata, Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan (I just love the English common names!) is a new plant in my garden. I bought it at the flower show some month ago and planted into a pot because all the trellis were already busy with some climber. It is growing surprisingly well. Maybe I should make new trellis and replant it underneath. This plant may reach 2.5 m in height.

The flowers in the middle of the garden: Delphinium, rose, polygonum, hostas, hemerocallises, heuchera. Some have finished flowering the other are flowering just now.

The lemon tree has so many flowers but I don't think I will have as much fruits. Some of them are already fallen off. The tree keeps as much fruits as it can bare.

'The rose 'Felicite Perpetue' slowly finishing the show. It need some pruning his year. I have an idea of making some additional support because it is so vigorous.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Containers and Installations

A mix of seasonal flowers is planted into a clay cone held by iron tripod. Looks so vintage!

This one is from the last year.

I have rescued this old garden chair during the garbage collection. We are supposed to pile up such things that don't go into the trash bins in the front of the house on the day announced by waste disposal service. People sometimes throw away the things in a pretty good conditions for all possible reasons. This chair, of course, cannot be used for the purpose but certainly serves good as the planter holder. You know, one (wo)man trash is another (wo)man treasure...
I planted the flowers into an old enamel wash bowl, added some twigs and - voila!

The broken clay pot may be reused unless it did not brake into too many small pieces. I have planted mini succulent garden in this one.

Vegetable Garden Update

I harvested the peas. I was surprised by the amount of peas I got from 1.2 m square patch - 3.5 kg! It is very healthy too, no worms or any diseases at all. I have made some for lunch today and put the rest of it in a deep freezer.

 I got only four seedling of fennel; never thought it is so tricky to grow. It was very slow to germinate. I red that the viability of seed drops as it grows older so, it is best to sow fresh seed. Maybe in my climate it is the best to sow it directly on site. Anyway, I am looking forward to these four.

The French beans germinated poorly in the beginning. Now it looks quite good, though, it should be a little bigger than that. The cold spell in May stopped the growth of many plants in the garden.

Baby kohlrabi

Swiss Chard and Mangold look healthy

as well as kale 

and broccoli.





Monday, 16 June 2014

Tomatillo - Cape Gooseberry

Last year my 'grow tomatillo' trial completely failed. I sowed the seeds too early and besides, May and June were pretty cold and rainy - obviously, not at all ideal growing conditions for this tomato cousin. I have had exactly four seeds left from the last year and got exactly four healthy seedlings this year.

They are doing rather well and are flowering right now. As you can see by the morphology of the flower, it belongs to the same family as tomato, pepper, potato or aubergine - the Solanaceae or nightshade family.

I am growing it for fun, not expecting a big crop of fruits but still hoping to have enough to make a green sauce. I know it is much used in the Mexican cuisine and am rather curious what it tastes like. I have found a recipe HERE.

 Hopefully, I have enough plants to cross-pollinate because single plants are self-incompatible. 
I cannot wait to see the fruits. Tomatillo, Physalis philadelphica, has similar husk around the fruit as the relative we all know, Physalis alkekengi, Chinese lantern, but it is green in colour.


They look really stunning when planted in large clumps.

'Elegant Candy'


'Olive Baily Langdon'

The  gorgeous, almost black 'Ed Murray'.


Saturday, 14 June 2014


This climbing rose is a hybrid between 'Golden Showers' and 'Lichtkoenigin Lucia'. It is sold under the name 'Poka', 'Lord Byron' 'Twilight Glow' or 'Scented Dawn'. The flowers are pretty big, having 35+ ruffled petals and beautiful scent.

It is a very vigorous rose, well resistant to diseases. My bush is about one meter in diameter and two metres high. The first flowering wave is gone now but after I have cut the faded flowers off, the rose developed many new buds and soon it will flower again.

This rose actually blooms in flushes throughout the season. This apricot colour is really wonderful. The shade fade away as the flower matures. The flowers are grouped 5 - 7 at the top of the shoots.

I am giving 10 out of 10 to this rose!

Purchased at Virag roses.