Bag-tie time

Bag-ties are appearing in the garden as the seed heads appear and the blooms disappear. I will be able to find the plants when all the flowers have finished. I was pleased with my pot of Antirrhinums grown from seed this year. The seed I had gathered germinated well and now I am choosing my preferred light shades although I am sure the bees will have assured that the seeds are a good mixture of colours.

My yellow Cosmos self-seed everywhere, much to the pleasure of the bees, but I like to choose some of the more lemon shades and the doubles, as I think the orange is the predominant colour and might swamp out the variety. Anyway, it is always handy to have seeds ready to throw down if a space is free.

I did the same thing with the coloured Cosmos last year as this dark pink is the colour that tends to predominate from the self-seeded plants.

I should have thinned the self-seeded Cosmos but they are doing such an excellent job of shading my Caryopteris that I have let them be.

There was a beautiful tall Eryngium with bright blue flowers growing near us which I have been admiring and I managed to obtain a seed head.

The seed head is reminiscent of an artichoke but the hard outer coat was difficult to open, even with secateurs. Once inside though, I was so surprised with the softness of the downy seed heads. The seeds seemed to have been arranged within with such tender care, like eggs in a down lined bird’s nest.

The first seeds germinated after a few days, some in a pot and some outdoors. The seedlings are stocky and open like little solar panels during the day and close up in the evening. I will be planting these three on into larger pots as they develop tap roots that cannot be disturbed. Whether they survive to be planted out in the spring is to be seen but if it takes the Eryngium will survive if next summer is dry and hot.

Another plant with formidable roots is our Wisteria which is happily re-flowering in the heat.

The flowers attract the bees and especially the carpenter bees and the bumblebees.

It is also attracting the short-tailed blue butterfly,  Everes alcetas, Provencal Short-tailed Blue. I hope you can see the little tails although this one is female and so not blue. I would like to have caught the blue male but he refused to come low enough for me to get a shot.

The Japanese anemones and the fuchsia are spared the hottest rays of the sun behind a north facing wall which has spared them the searing rays that have burnt other plants leaves.

The heat is continuing and I often find myself in the garden very late at night savouring the cooler air. This year there have been several glow worms in the front garden. I was concerned that the drought might have had a negative effect on their numbers so I was happy to see them but too tired to get a good photograph. I have better photographs of them here if you are interested. We often find them during the day in the garden too, so it is a good idea to know what they look like.