Six on Saturday – 29/08/2020 -Lablab, my favourite botanical name

It’s the last weekend in August and the garden is already starting to take on an autumnal appearance. Tree leaves have started to turn yellow and even red, thanks in part to how dry July and August have been but also in response to shortening days and cooler nights. Some perennials are looked quite bedraggled while others – asters in particular – are starting to shine and still others are pushing out unexpected late season blooms. Coreopsis comes to mind. What also comes to mind are all the gardening chores that need to be done – suitable gardening days in September and October are hard to predict given autumn weather patters. It helps to have a list, and it’s immensely satisfying to cross off item after item. Lift and divide bearded Iris – check. Lift and divide the humongous Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’ that’s encroaching on the patio – check. Plant spring bulbs – check. The list goes on….

But now, it’s time for Six on Saturday, a weekly gardening round up hosted by The Propagator. Check out his site to see six things in gardens around the world.

First up is this lovely grass. It’s likely an annual and I’m sure its name has the word ‘red’ in it somewhere; it popped up in a few spots and I’m loath to pull or cut it.

One of the things re-blooming right now is my Tamarisk – it’s a tall (almost three metres now) shrubby thing with feathery foliage and tiny pink flowers along the ends of branches, usually in early summer. It’s covered in flowers again and, unlike the first time it bloomed, it’s now covered in pollinators looking to shore up their reserves before winter.

My garlic chives seem to be a bit late this year – how about everyone else’s? It’s another great late season pollen producer. I scatter seeds here and there to provide white accents.

Another unknown visitor to my garden (I seem to have quite a few this year, eh?) is this delightful red flower. Although the plant seems quite large (about 18 inches, 45 cm tall), with many branches, it flowers just a few at a time – just a few cm across, opening with the sun and ending at dusk.

The Hyacinth Bean Vine with the FABulous Latin name – Lablab purpureus – has finally started to bloom! It’s grown much taller than I expected, waving high over the pea tutoir I started it against and now successfully encroached on an adjoining tomato trellis. The flowers are an incredible assemblage of violet/purple shades – almost impossible to describe. They’ve been covered in bees, morning ’til dusk; it’s a pity the beans they’ll produce are, basically, inedible.

Finally, I thought I’d have some fun with Photoshop: two similar Zinnias, one resulting triptych. I hope everyone can enjoy this lovely last August weekend – stay safe!

32 Comments

  1. Even seeing your Tamarisk makes me quiver. Down here, it’s known as salt cedar, and it’s as welcome as an axe murderer. It’s beyond invasive; it’s noxious. It’s beautiful in bloom, and gives us some of our prettiest fall color, but… well, it’s just not welcome. Getting rid of the stuff is horribly difficult.

    I wonder if your species is the shrubby one that’s not considered invasive. Ours can grow to thirty feet, and it spreads like wildfire.

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    1. Oh my gosh I had no idea! I’ve seen quite large ones here, up to 15 or 20 feet, but I’ve never heard them called invasive. Perhaps it gets too cold for the seeds? What I just read about them is also troubling – they secrete salty bits (‘salt cedar’) that inhibits growth of other plants around them, and they are water hogs, with deep roots searching for the water table….neither of these characteristics are very welcome. I may soon have a hole in my shrub border!

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  2. My garlic chives always bloom late August and into September. I am proud of mine, as they grew from seed and started with only two plants! I mean, I am proud of them for their growth, not myself for growing them, as they did all the work.

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  3. That grass is just stunning. Yes I think it is a fountain grass. Such beauty in simplicity.
    Good idea to have a checklist, Chris. In past years I’d leave the big tidy up to first week in November, but this year I’ll do it slowly, bit by bit most days from now on.

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  4. That grass looks like foxtail grass. It is yet another invasive that self-sows like crazy. The seeds have barbs on them that can embed themselves in the soft mouth tissues of dogs, horses and cattle, causing infections. I just today caught my dog munching the grass of one, which I promptly yanked.
    The Linum is such a lovely thing!
    My garlic chives just started blooming this week, too, which does seem a bit late, but it has been so dry. Thankfully, we’ve had a couple storms Thurs. and today that total over 2″ – a good start!

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  5. My hyacinth bean did not even bother growing. I did not really want them anyway. I just grew them because I found the dried seed in a client’s garden. Of course, now that I tried to grow them, but got nothing, I am annoyed, even though I did not want them.

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    1. 😆😆😆 They’re kinda gorgeous, foliage and flowers, and bees love the flowers, and I imagine hummingbirds do as well, but when you can’t eat the beans…..Then again, some/most of those attributes are missing in the Clematis I grow…..

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