Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July 2011

I’ve decided that I’m thinking of my garden in high summer as being subtle and understated (badly planned is another way of looking at it). There just aren’t that many things flowering their socks off, apart from all the calendulas I talked about in the previous post, which are spectacular.

Not that subtle and understated, then. So I’ll open with one:

They’re the old classic C. officinalis mix ‘Art Shades’, and some are not at all what I’ve been expecting. How about another?

I have never ever seen one like this (someone’s bound to tell me they’re very common, I expect – if so, can you let me have a name?), and I’m definitely saving the seeds.

Some of my marigolds are in pots on the road side of the house, like the first one. There’s a sort of step against the gable end where enclosed pipes run which makes a very convenient seat for parties of walkers heading up the hill – if I don’t put pots on it. I don’t mind one or two walkers, but when I get fifteen heavily laden schoolkids peering in my little kitchen window – I wouldn’t have thought me making coffee was that interesting, myself –  and knocking things over with their giant rucksacks, I object.

Enough with the grumbling (it’s Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme expedition time, which is when the problem is worst), because I’ve got sweet peas by the back door, and they’re fantastic.

Mostly purple, but a) huge, b) wonderful against a blue sky and c) with the strongest scent I’ve had from a sweet pea in ages. They were a gift, so I’ve no idea which sweet pea they are, but I’m saving seed here too.

The meadow is heaving with life. There are all sorts of things including lots of bees, butterflies and crickets – and when the weather is fine (which it has been until, oh, about three hours ago), it’s really noisy. Despite the din they make, though, I’ve been unable to actually see a cricket. They’re somewhere in here, among the bird’s foot trefoil, clover, hawkweeds, grasses, daisies and self-heals.

The fuchsias, which I would really like to form a proper hedge at some point, are fully recovered from the winter and six feet high. They’re nothing special horticulturally, but they’re special to me, and they’re gorgeous.

I’ve never lost that childlike inability to pass a fat fuchsia bud without popping it.

And the jasmine by the main water butt has now reached roof height, and is also flowering. I think there will have to be some major surgery this winter (it’s grabbed the downpipe in a passionate embrace, and that cannot be allowed to continue), but for the moment I’m just enjoying the scent every time I fill my watering cans.

This is by the path into the middle garden, where one of my new clematises – C. viticella Mme. Julia Correvon – has burst into bloom. I’m really pleased; it’s years since I’ve had a clematis (well, not if you count all the ******* old man’s beard that constantly tries to take over), and this is just what I wanted.

The other, which is C x triternata rubromarginata, is thinking about it. Maybe next GBBD.

Along with the sweet peas, I was given an antirhinnum. Well, three. I was careful to ask about colour before I accepted, mind: I don’t mind looking gift horses in the mouth, but I do mind acid-yellow antirhinnums. Happily these were white, and the insects love them as much as I do.

I didn’t notice the small fly when I took the shot, but it’s one of many – though not so many that they destroy my pleasure in the flowers. Their texture is beautiful, luxurious even.

In the bottom garden, more flowers are on the point of breaking. The Echinops ritro, for instance, is wonderful – lots of flower spikes.

However, it’s too close to the agapanthus, and far to close to the back of the greenhouse, so it’s getting moved this autumn. I’m going to be making a new bed, and it will be an ideal place for this, I think. Um –  maybe. The agapanthus is definitely staying put, though. Nearly thirty flower spikes this year… and almost, almost out:

Oh, and there’s lots of lavender – almost forgot about that. So the top garden smells of sweet peas and warm meadow, the middle garden smells of jasmine and the bottom garden smells of lavender.

Smellovision, please!

(And thanks to May Dreams Gardens for hosting, once again.)


20 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July 2011

    1. kate Post author

      I’ll shout the name out loud if I get one – and let’s hope it comes true from seed. Won’t know till next year…. Happy GBBD to you, too!

    1. kate Post author

      Thanks – and me too.. On the jasmine, I’m not sure (it was in a pot – and it still is, amazingly, even though it’s huge – which the previous owner’s executors left behind, probably because it was too heavy). I think it’s just the common jasmine, Jasminum officnale. There aren’t a lot of flowers, but the smell… mmmmmm

  1. elaine rickett

    I think that at this time of year we are all grasping at straws trying to find something to photograph. It does make you take a closer look at everything though. You seem to be doing fine with colour in the garden, mine all seems to be going over – not very good planning on my part.

    1. kate Post author

      I’m so glad there’s someone else in this position – thank you! And anyway, seedheads have their own beauty, as your blog shows…

      (I’ve been envisaging lots of posts groaning with glorious roses – which I cannot grow very well at all – and heavy with high-summer colour.)

  2. Janet/Plantaliscious

    I think I’d be tempted to put spiky plants in those pots to deter unwanted bottoms parking themselves! Gorgeous sweet pea, I love the really deep coloured ones, though have learnt that it pays to grow paler ones to offset them in a vase. That’s a beautiful clematis, and I love the white snapdragons – please tell me that as well as popping fuchsia buds you also make snapdragon flowers “talk”?! Both things I learnt from my Nan, who is the reason I grow both… Happy GBBD!

    1. kate Post author

      (I was thinking of wiring the pots into the mains. Crisp packets, tucked lovingly behind them. Grr.)

      I’ve got a couple of pale sweet peas in there, but not enough – that would really make a difference. I mustn’t forget to plant some next year, or even this autumn. OK, I have to ask. How do you make snapdragons talk? I’ve missed that one and I have to know!

        1. kate Post author

          Rather like squeezing a toddler’s cheeks! I shall give it a go (and wait for the men in the white coats)…

  3. Laura @ PatioPatch

    Reassuring to hear that your summer garden is understated too although from where I’m looking, still a good amount of floriferous display. I love the Calendua too – looks painted – and wow to those sweet peas.

    1. kate Post author

      That calendula’s just a one off, and I really, really need more – I can’t quite believe it myself. As it ages, the dividing line between the cream and the orange is slightly less distinct, but it still looks artificial. I must go and put a tie on it so I know which seed to set aside!

  4. Piglet in Portugal

    I love all your flowers. 🙂

    I have now decided to get rid of many of my perennials as they take too much water and water is expensive. Succulents and cacti grow well – have you tried them?

    1. kate Post author

      Thank you!
      I’m sure you’re right about the perennials. I’ve got more succulents in pots this year than normal (I’ve been lazy with my containers, so there aren’t as many overall), and they do really well – I’ve noticed the difference when it comes to watering already. I think we’re all going to have to think about this issue much more as time goes on….

  5. hillwards

    Lovely calendula. Your new clematis is beautiful – and I love the echinops! That has been on my wish list for a while now, I almost picked one up at the Crocus open day but I had already spent my budget by the time I saw it…
    We have a pot of white snapdragons by the door that I grew from seed, I love them. And have the same inability to pass fuschia buds without “popping”; it drove my mum to despair when I was growing up…


    1. kate Post author

      Thank you – and I can only encourage you echinops-wards; I’d been promising myself one for ages, and in the end was so broke I got a teeny weeny baby one. Boy, has it caught up!

      With you on the fuchsia – everyone else was trying to get to the beach; I was intent on popping every single bud in the hedge. Sand? Pah – boring!

    1. kate Post author

      Thanks – just as well GBBD was last week, though, because our weather has changed and we now have cool and humid. Ok, rainy. I could swap!

  6. Juliet

    The Calendulas are beautiful – I love them too.

    You may be looking in the wrong place for your crickets though – we trimmed our Prunus a couple of weeks ago and had to rescue several crickets from the branches we were putting in the green bin – no idea why they were in a tree or indeed how they got up there (I know they can jump quite high, but … ).

    Sorry for late comment – I’m playing catch-up with my blog-reading again.

    1. kate Post author

      Am amazed by your crickets – presumably you have super-springy bouncing crickets? Never had those here – but then I’ve never looked….. am away now to check!


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