1) For us, the flowers of summer are lilies but you need to grow a range of different species to get them performing through the season.
2) Lepidozamia peroffskyana in Plant Collector this week – including how a Russian benefactor came to have an Australian plant named after him.
3) Grow your own garlic and keep vampires at bay. This piece also suggests that the conventional wisdom of planting on the shortest day and harvesting on the longest day may not always be the best advice.
4) Quite possibly the last in the short lived garden diary series done for the Weekend Gardener (unless a miracle happens and the magazine rises like a phoenix from the ashes of liquidation.
Tikorangi notes: Friday 24 February, 2012:
Summer came for three days this week. It was warm enough to entice me into the swimming pool where I looked up at the trees silhouetted against our blue, blue skies and reached for the camera as soon as I got out. I never tire of trees and skyscapes. The elderly pines make a pretty amazing sight even if the one leaning to the right is indeed leaning as much as it appears in the photograph below. One day it may lean beyond the point of balance.
Sadly there is no doubt that a full-on summer is simply not going to happen this year. Yesterday had the unmistakeable hint of autumn. Mark is bringing in grapes every day and muttering about how we had better eat the grapes before the melon harvest starts. Eighty something rock melons, he tells me there are ripening away out in his melon patch. He will have counted them. In the meantime we will not admit defeat and we will eat our way through the grapes. The only crop to rival them here is the green beans, which lack the romance.
The cyclamen are opening which promises an extended delight. The lilies are on their last legs – another torrential rain will spell the end of the auratums but within a few weeks, the autumn bulbs will be starting. That at least is some consolation for a truly disappointing summer.