Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – June 2011

Not a Wordy Wednesday, or even a Wordless one (which I am useless at), but my first attempt at a GBBD post: what’s in flower in my garden on the 15th of the month.

My first reaction was surprise – surprise that there wasn’t that much. And then I began really looking, and of course there was plenty. Well, it is June, even though at some points it has felt more like March. But the few roses that I have know it’s June.

The rose hedge by the kitchen path is covered, and it’s also throwing out suckers like mad as usual. I can’t reach many of these without dragging them down towards my secateurs with an old-fashioned shepherd’s crook. It’s good to see that old farming equipment still has a role to play.

Next to them, the hardy geranium that covers some of the stone retaining walls is beginning to be covered in its turn, with flowers – oh, and bees. They love it.

For someone who doesn’t like pink that much (once a bit of a Goth, for want of a better description, always a bit of a Goth, I guess), I seem to have quite a bit of it in my garden. But there is a relative lack of sweetie-pie, girly-girly pink, so I suppose that’s acceptable. OK, my osteospermums are pink, but they’re a rather in-your-face pink, and they look fab against the bronze leaves of my clematis montana.

Things are flowering in the veg plots and greenhouse, but the most stunning is the bronze sage:

And there’s been an outbreak of lime green. It does look amazing against the slate, and is almost luminous once the sun comes out.

But the alchemilla is nothing, nothing compared to the euphorbia. I moved this from my last garden nine years ago, and it is beginning to lose steam (it used to be gigantic; it’s much more manageable now), but what a colour:

In the bottom garden, not far from the euphorbia, is a path lined with rosemary and lavender. This was severely overgrown – you couldn’t actually see the path, let alone walk down it – so I hacked everything back rather ruthlessly.

I thought I’d gone too far, but I was wrong. You can hardly see the path again.

When I began thinking about the flowers in the garden for this post, I didn’t immediately think about the meadow. I can’t think why. Today, I heard the first crickets of the summer… And it’s not just the ox-eye daisies up here, either. The grasses are effectively flowering too.

There are a lot of hawkweeds and other wild flowers – docks, sorrels, vetches, self-heal, clover – but the number of orange hawkweeds has declined up in the meadow, though there are still many in the grass of the bottom garden. Here’s one that’s holding out, hiding under the smallest of the three birch trees:

When I first moved here, some of my friends drove a transit up from London for me. (I had to hire one just to move more plants – the car was stuffed and there were some in the removal van – which was a little bit demented, especially as many of them had been bought here in Harlech in the first place, and taken south to temporary exile.) Walking down the hill to the pub, one friend was entranced by all the lovely orange flowers but she didn’t want to pick one because they looked so exotic and wonderful: orange hawkweeds. And she was right.

I also find the fleabanes rather fab – a mixture of subtle, a little sinister and interesting to examine closely – and the bees really enjoy them (maybe they have slight Goth tendencies too):

Just beside these, the fritillaries are providing their final display:

Oh, I know – not really flowering as such. But I do like the seed heads anyway – and they were flowering beautifully in April!

(Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting the GBBD meme)





22 Comments Add yours

  1. You definately had plenty to blog about! Way more than me anyway lol! Gorgeous.

    1. kate says:

      Your photos say it all! (And I’ve never been very good at keeping quiet…)

  2. Mo says:

    From ‘nothing in flower’ to some great photo’s 🙂 Nice post

    1. kate says:

      It’s surprising what you see when you look for it! There’s me thinking, oh yeah, just the rose and geranium and maybe an osteospermum – and then I start lookimg at fleabane. Of course, I should probably have been working, but ahem…

  3. Larry says:

    Lovely blooms… I’m trying osteospermums for the first time this season… anxious to see how they hold up through the heat of summer… yours are a very nice color! Larry

    1. kate says:

      Good luck – my osteospermums seem to put up with just about anything – wind, rain, hail (yes, really) and occasional extremes of heat – so I hope yours will too!

  4. I love the hawkweed, stunning flowers. I’m a big fan of euphrobias now too, used to hate them, but I have several and wouldn’t be without them. I smiled at your description of having to hire a vehicle just for plants – I think when we move I will have to do the same…

    1. kate says:

      Aren’t hawkweed fab? Such an amazing colour…

      Be warned: my last-ditch realisation that I might want to move plants (dur) cost me 300 quid for the transit and about 150 for the removal van to make an unsceduled stop – the rest was going into store, but you just can’t do that to plants… Addiction, eh.

      1. Eek, don’t tell TNG – he keeps trying to point out that the economics don’t make sense, that we would be better off just spending half that money on new plants. I hate it when he uses logic on me…

        1. kate says:

          He might have a point (shhhh, sorry)… You see, the stupid thing was that I suddenly realised I’d sold my flat to someone who basically wanted my lovely garden as a dog’s toilet (this realisation dawned in the last couple of weeks; I might have backed out of the sale earlier). So it was tantamount to emergency rescue. Of course some plants were completely unsuitable for the new place and just vanished anyway.

  5. Scott says:

    Great post…love the shot of the daisies coming up in the grasses…so ideal!

    1. kate says:

      Thanks… It’s strange, but for the first couple of years of meadow rather than lawn, there wasn’t a daisy to be seen. They’re all around, but not here. In the end I had to introduce a couple, and then they took off… ? I don’t understand plants – almost as though they needed permission!

  6. RBell says:

    Really like that third picture of the osteospermums. And your euphorbia sure is doing well. Happy GBBD!

    1. kate says:

      Thank you — and happy GBBD too!

  7. I’m not one for pinks much though and yet still have some. Yours are at least icy and what a lot you actually have blooming. Very nice shots too – especially the fritillary. Your lavender disproves all the advice!

    1. kate says:

      I inherited most of the pinks… what am I thinking? Agh – I actually planted some. Well, the osteospermums, anyway, and some hardy geraniums… oh dear…

      I do like seedheads – glad other people appreciate them too!

  8. Juliet says:

    I love the orange hawkweed too, and we only get yellow ones here. I recently took a photo of an orange one in a National Trust garden I visited, and spent ages trying to identify it before friends told me what it was … doh.

    No p*nk here, apart from the Prunus we inherited … I was also a bit of a goth, but my hatred of p*nk goes back to childhood, when I had to take a sickly p*nk medicine which had nasty side effects. Yuck.

    Btw I’ve just posted a reply to your comment on my blog, with a website you might find helpful if you are thinking about village open gardens.

    1. kate says:

      I think I had the same medicine – bright pink and gloopy! Ergh… (I know a couple of teenagers, previously pink-obsessed little girls, who call p*** ‘the P word’. I’m with them.

      Thanks for the info about open gardens – there’s been some discussion of doing it as part of fundraising to support the local Pool (now in community ownership)…

  9. Kate, having seen that delightful hardy geranium in the “flesh” in your garden, I had to pop in and say how much I liked it, and how lovely your garden looked when I visited.

    1. kate says:

      Thank you — I thought (as usual) it was a bit of a mess! It’s the weeding…

  10. PS I have just read Juliet’s comment – are you organizing a village open garden tour then?

    1. kate says:

      It was being discussed, but not for this year. (I’m not holding my breath, though…)

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