In less that a week time I will know if the Cosmos have qualified as a new National Plant Collection. If they have that’s great and if they haven’t then I have some great cosmos plants coming into flower, so either way its a win.
After the wet May June has started off dry and sunny, and it looks like it will continue. That means the stored rainwater is getting used on the hollyhock plot and the plants are getting bigger every day.
The hollyhock patch is coming back to life. The collection is in its second year and for me one thing I knew I had to do was let it essentially settle in, and see what plants came back. Now that could mean that the second year is worse than the first – but only by doing this could I see what would come back and what might only be around for a year.
Having said that, I don’t want to have a rubbish display, so obviously replacement plants had been sown, and I even planted the rough area next to the collect full of hollyhocks just to see what sort of display it might put on.
Of course we still have the are next to the house which is looking o pretty good. I’m sure with the damp, humid weather rust is only a gust of wind away, but we will deal with that when it arrives.
A day of rain soon fills the water butts up. Storing 20,000 litres will help the hollyhock collection, and the cosmos in water throughout the Summer months.
Lots of hollyhocks looking pretty good in the polytunnel. Not long before they can get planted out.
Sowing plenty of spares as suspect in the second year of the collection I will find that some of the varieties may not come back. All a learning experience – and logging what doesn’t will be helpful for future years.
The area where all the Cosmos will go is coming along. Just a few more bins to go in, then labels will go on the hazel rods cut to length. Finally I can then think about starting to sow in a few weeks time.
No joke that it was actually too warm in the polytunnel this afternoon.
Slowly getting ready. Compost in, labels in place, ready for the cosmos sowing. This week looks very warm – up to 15 degrees plus during the day by the weekend, which is quite a contrast to the last few days. Will look at the long range forecast which may convince me to bring the cosmos sowing forward a few days 🤔
What I have found wonderful is how innovative people have become in terms of using technology to push gardening and what they do to an audience that may not have normally considered it.
Today the snow has kept me inside – but I’ve finally decided to do it. Having gauged the opinions of people a few days ago – and got some quite positive comments I’m pressing the button so to speak.
OK – its not Gardeners World, but I decided to borrow one of their usual time slots – Friday Feb 26th 20:00 to do my Zoom talk on the National Plant Collection of Alceas.
I can’t guarantee there won’t be any mishaps, or that I can answer all the questions you may have about hollyhocks, but I know many of you said you’d definitely be willing to listen (which is hugely humbling).
Grab a brew or something stronger, get the date in the diary – and why not join me.
Do share this with anyone you think might be interested. 👍🏻👍🏻
Visit the talks section of this blog, or use the link below👇🏻
…. but these are my photos for entry to the RHS photo competition as I really should fly the flag for hollyhocks.
Nice pice as part of a larger feature on gardening in the Sunday Telegraph today on my hollyhocks.