Hot Hot Hot Hot

Actually, today isn’t that hot, but it has been. And the good weather is coming back – oh yes it is – and may even get better: Derek, Wales’s Weather God, has been tweeting about a potential heatwave. But for now I am consoling myself with the thought that at least the water butts are full again.

The plants, on the other hand, are hot. Hot hot hot:

Dahlia Procyon

so hot you can almost warm your hands on them, or at least this Dahlia is. It’s Procyon, and isn’t at all bad considering that it cost me 75p in Wilkinsons. When I spend, I spend.

The bottom bed, which I intend to be a hot bed – well, warm shading to hot – is beginning to work it.

beauty

There’s still a lot of bare ground, but it is only the second year, and we did shift a lot of things round last autumn and again in the spring, so they’re sulking. But the Crocosmia Lucifer isn’t, and neither are the Heleniums. Those are bunching up beautifully, and I have the makings of a good clump of Moerheim Beauty (in the foreground). I’d intended to move the Agapanthus (Agapanthi?), but they’re staying put. All this heat needs some cool blue.

I aimed to fill up the edge with some marigolds. Last year I had some big African marigolds which went on for ages and were quite tall; this year I got some French ones for the front. I’m thrilled by how variable they are, and how delicious:

marigold

I love the way that the paler orange underside to the petals almost seems to outline the darker fronts on this one, and on this:

zap

and then there’s the girly frilliness of this one,

marigold 2

and the form of this one:

marigold 3

I’ve always been a bit sneery about French marigolds before, but never again. And I’ll be growing them next year, maybe in a more prominent place and in greater numbers. I’d better get some seed in. They are, for interest, simply described as ‘Durango Mixed’, and I’ll say they are mixed. Wilkinson’s, again, possibly at the same time that I splashed out my 75p on the Dahlia.

From an all together higher class of supplier (*adopts lofty tone and sticks nose in air*), come these lilies:

Hiawatha lilies

They are Hiawatha from Peter Nyssen last year, and though they’re only short this year, they will get bigger. They’re not in the hot bed, but are giving extra warmth to my middle bed, where they go brilliantly with the Monarda (a sulkee – but a survivor – of the Spring Move).

I have a love affair of long standing, but it’s with a bit of rough. Oh, all right – it’s red geraniums.

geranium

I’ve got to have them, and this year I put pots and pots of them along the kitchen path, the path from the road to the door that everyone uses (front doors are largely ornamental, of course; for a long time mine wouldn’t even open). The path is in shade for much of the day; not only is it cut down into the slope of the ground, it also has the house on one side and a retaining wall topped with a rose hedge on the other. I thought the red geraniums would warm it up a little, which they do. They’re also quite protected here (by the standards of my garden, that is), and don’t suffer too much damage in the rain. But boy, do I need my water butts to be full. Every year I swear there won’t be so many pots, and every year there are… and they even increase. Sigh.

Finally, there’s the other interpretation of ‘hot’, of course:

ta dah

This is another of the 75p dahlias. It’s Tsuki Nori No Shisha and on reflection it might have been £1.00. Not bad, especially considering that the flower is bigger than a saucer, and that it gives the middle bed a real zap.

(It also hides earwigs, but to quote Some Like It Hot – and I evidently do – ‘nobody’s perfect’.)

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12 thoughts on “Hot Hot Hot Hot

  1. croftgarden

    Wow! You are truly smitten with the hot look. I do hope that you don’t get heat exhaustion. I do like tour frilly marigolds.
    We had our heat wave on Wednesday. It’s now wet and windy, but we desperately need the rain and I need time to catch-up on the domestic trivia. Seamus the postie (we’re not big enough for a weather god) reckons that winter is just around the corner!

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      If it wasn’t for all the greenery, heat exhaustion would be a distinct possibility (that, and the wind off the sea). Nippy today. However, I’m still holding out for a heatwave towards the end of next week. We’ve got your wind and wet – thanks a lot – and I’m not believing Seamus at all!

      Reply
  2. Pauline

    That certainly is HOT, just as well you have the lovely white dahlia to calm it all down! We have been having it far too hot for my liking, thank goodness rain is forecast, the garden certainly needs it !

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      All I can say, Pauline, is be careful what you wish for. Last week I was moaning about empty water butts, wilting plants, etc, and this week I’m trying to work out why I haven’t got a working umbrella and where on earth I left my socks.

      Which just go to show that gardeners are never satisfied, I guess…

      Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Thank you – and I am so in love with that dahlia. I may need to get more (though that could be a bit much)…

      Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Good for you – I wish our lidl did dahlias! (My pear tree came from there, though, at the vast price of £3.95.) There’s nothing wrong with having an eye for such a gorgeous bargain…

      Reply
  3. wellywoman

    You know you may have converted me to French marigolds. I really dislike them used as a bedding plant or in pots but I can really see them working in a hot border context. In fact they’d look really good in my hot beds at the moment. Damn … why didn’t I think of that? 😉 Isn’t Derek great? Unfortunately when they switched off the analogue transmitters we started to get our regional TV from Bristol so no more Derek. 😦 My dahlias are just coming into bloom a whole 6 weeks earlier than last year. What a difference a year makes.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      With my dahlias, it’s only the ones that I bought this year that are flowering now (I’m not sure that qualifies as English grammar at all); the rest are still either just leaves or in tight buds, but I still think they’re earlier – about a month, perhaps. If mine weren’t behaving similarly I’d blame it on a lack of Derek.

      Hee hee on the French marigolds – I’d always avoided them too. I was really disappointed when I saw that was all that Wilko’s had in stock, but now I’m really pleased instead. I suppose it juts goes to show that you should never be prejudiced. Except against Rhododendron ponticum, that is.

      Reply

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