It’s hot, hot, hot….. what the garden looks like on 5th August 2018

Plants in my garden are matching the heatwave! These sunny rudbeckias were sown last summer and planted out in autumn. They make much stronger plants grown as biennials.

These are Rudbeckia hirta Glorious Daisies , also known as cone flowers, from Mr Fothergill’s Seeds. Bees and butterflies love them. They are easy to grow and last a week as a cut flower.

They remind me of sunflowers. I love the yellow petals and the deep chocolate cone centre. To get them to flower as annuals, sow seeds in a 3″ pot of good quality seed compost in February/ March. Place in a propagator at 18C. Prick out as soon as there are two true leaves. Prick out into individual 3″ pots to give the plants room to grow. Grow on in a frost free place in bright light, but not direct sunshine as the tender new leaves will scorch. Plant outside in a sunny sheltered position at end of May. They will flower all summer long.

If you have a very sheltered garden, you can overwinter them. To grow them as biennials, sow them in summer and plant out in early autumn into soil that has been well prepared. Incorporate lots of good garden compost, well rotted manure and leafmould. This will improve drainage over the winter when it’s the wet that tends to kill plants rather than the cold.

As temperatures are regularly hitting 28C to 30C these rudbeckias really shine out and match the sunny weather. I’ve not watered these, but any planted since Christmas would need a thorough soaking once a week.

To add to the sunshine look, I’m trialling the new Thompson and Morgan sunflower Sunbelieveable Brown Eyed Girl. These are making lovely short stocky plants suitable for containers. They arrive in the post well packaged and soon grow into 50cm plants.

I’m also growing various sunflowers from Mr Fothergill’s including Evening Sun which has a stunning range of colours. And bees absolutely adore them.

These last a week in a vase and make a lovely centrepiece of any cut flower posy. Calendulas are also doing well on my plot despite the heat and dreadful drought. I am only watering containers and succulent crops such as runner beans and courgettes. Everything else is relying on good winter mulching with home made compost and Plant grow fertiliser. We haven’t had any rain since May.

Regular readers know that I always cut my flowers for my MIL Joan and my Mum Marion. This summer has been a particularly difficult one, health wise, and sunshiny flowers have been much needed.

Calendula Snow White and subsequent seedlings are a firm favourite. I post photos of my posies on IAVOM which Cathy hosts on Mondays. Thanks for joining me on a ramble round my rather hot and parched garden. Let me know what you are growing in your garden the first week of August.

Thanks to Helen for hosting the End of Month View.

32 thoughts on “It’s hot, hot, hot….. what the garden looks like on 5th August 2018

  1. They rudbeckias are especially lovely against the cool green of your grass. I usually forget to sow biennials but have just had all the seed packets out to see if there was anything I could sow this month and there’s surprisingly quite a lot – including Calendula ‘Snow Princess’. I really hope to have more flowers next year, this year has been disappointing – and it won’t be long before we have to think about sweet peas and tulips! The year is going so quickly!

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    • Thank you Caro. Surprisingly, the grass there has remained green. We have our own water treatment as we are not on mains drains, and the pipes run all through the garden. It’s only really noticeable in a drought. I’m sowing foxgloves, Sweet williams, cornflowers, calendula, wallflower sooty. Just deciding if there’s anything else. Haven’t even looked at bulbs yet. But time is whizzing by. Must do an order soon. Saving my own sweet peas and waiting for the autumn ones to flower. Just cut down the summer ones. Thanks again for stopping by. xx

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      • I also have nigella and orlaya on my sowing list for this month. Sweet peas won’t be sown until September/October. I’ve been eyeing up tulip bulbs but can’t decide on colours yet for my little hedgerow garden but will wait until the cheap packets arrive in Morrisons for the communal gardens. xx

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  2. I’ve never been terribly fond of sunflowers (except in large fields) but those you’ve posted are very different- and stunning. I had no idea that they came in any other colour apart from the usual yellow. All your flowers look as though they are coping really well with the hot weather.

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    • Thank you Jane. The veg plot and cut flowers are coping well. The trees though have lost half their leaves and the silver birches are really struggling. Thanks for getting in touch. Karen

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    • Thank you 😊 Mike. Phew I’m fed up with the heatwave though. Makes it so difficult with the elderly relatives at the moment. Their house is like a sauna. Lucky the garden is surviving without watering. I’m just too busy to do anything at my home. Hope you are keeping well. xx

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  3. Rudbeckia really are the stars of the late summer, aren’t they? I hadn’t realised they could be grown as biennials but I have had them over winter so I should have realised. Good tip! I’m impressed that your garden is surviving without watering, mine is really struggling and I will be applying more mulches and compost but there is never enough to go round. Love the calendula – adding it to my list!

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    • Thank you 😊 Alison. I’m madly making more compost for the areas not doing so well here. Potatoes have been poor. French beans though have not needed any attention. Mulching has made the difference.

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  4. I have rudbeckias in my garden, but the perennial ones – R fulgida Sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ – and like almost everything else this year, they’re close to PWP (permanent wilting point). Can’t say I’ve felt great about the garden this year, but was cheered up to see your plethora of lovely, sunny sunflowers – thank you!

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  5. Karen the photos are magnificent. The Rudbeckias hirta Glorious Daisies I love, they are beautiful. They also remind me of miniature sunflowers. In addition, bees and butterflies are very fond of it and they hold up well to 30ºC. Thompson and Morgan send the plants very well packaged. The new Sunbelieve Sunflower Brown Eyed Girl is beautiful. The colors are fantastic of the Sunflowers of Evening Sun, I like them very much and also last a week in the vase. I love the Marigold with the Butterfly photo. The Snow White Calendula is wonderful. This Summer with the health problems in your family, I know that the cut flowers for your Mother and for your Mother-in-law have been essential, like a balm that makes you forget the pain. It’s a very nice blog, Karen. I hope your father-in-law is better at the hip. Memories and love from me for your Mother that I hope is fully recovered. Health and love for your whole family. Karen for you the best, love and health. Take care. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

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