Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – May 2020

It’s been a while since I posted a Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (GBBD) post but with my renewed blogging and a sunny morning I thought I would post away.

My approach is slightly different to my previous approach.  I have always taken close up photos of flowers especially for this meme but today I have pulled back a bit so you can see the context the plant is growing in, this is purely because my plants have matured and I am rather pleased with some of the combinations.

I’m starting in the front garden with the mad Euphorbia characias which is collapsing all over the place at the moment.  I adore the chartreuse green of the flower heads and it creates a perfect foil for both the aquilegias (above) and Iris Langport Wren (below).

Also in the front garden is one of my climbing roses.  I’m fairly new to climbing roses as the paving around the house was put by the builders right up to the walls so I have to grow the roses in large containers and only realised this was possible a few years ago, having read that roses didn’t do well in pots.  I do like the way that the orange red flowers of the rose work with the bricks.

Another pleasing combination is the wild yellow flag iris which grows in the small bog garden with the flowers emerging through some self-sown bracken (just as I was thinking the bracken really needed to go).

I’m also enjoying the allium flowers which are growing through the sage and contrasting with the sage flowers.  I can’t claim this is a deliberate planting its more a case of the alliums sowing themselves around and finding much better companions that I would give them.

Last up this month is Lathyrus aureus which I love at this time of year.  I really enjoy the orange flowers which like the Euphorbia provide a good compliment to the purples and blues of the aquilegias and irises.

For more GBBD posts check out the links on Carol’s May Dream blog

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – May 2019

Iris Langport Wren

This month the stars of the garden are the various irises and aquilegias.  I have always loved Irises of all sorts.  My love affair started with bearded irises such as Langport Wren above.  Over the years various varieties have come and gone from the garden, mainly due to too much shade, but Langport Wren has ben a stalwart.  Now my garden is more sunny and I have more open border space with good drainage I think I might think about adding some more varieties for next year.

 

Iris Pacific Coast Hybrid

By contrast the Pacific Coast Hybrids are fairly new to me.  The one above I grew from seed and I thrilled it has two flowers this year.  I think they should be know more in the UK as they do very well in dry and shading conditions such as under decidious trees or around conifers.

Dutch Iris – variety unknown

The Dutch Florist irises are also coming into their own.  I add a pack of two each year and have learnt that you need to plant them amongst the late summer perennials so the new foliage of the perennials hides the long gangly stems.  They are like rockets of colour emerging from the undergrowth.

Dutch Iris Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon is this years new addition and I am really pleased as it appears most of the 20 odd corms I planted will flower.

There is a lot of blue in the garden at this moment and this Aquilegia is the most amaze azure blue, it really is a vibrant as the photo indicates. All of my aquilegias come from various seed packets from various seed exchanges so aren’t named varieties and you get some amazing ones but also some not to good.  Another couple of favourites below.

I’ve previously shared my sea of blue camassias which have just gone over but now the cream ones are flowering.  They aren’t as prolific at multiplying and are more elegant than the blues; I like the contrast of the cream spires against the foliage.

Sweet Cicely

Sweet Cicely is another plant that looks fabulous at this time of year.  A wonderful confection of frothy white flowers above the sweet aniseed smelling foliage.

This Centaurea plant sits quietly on the corner of a border but at this time of year is awash with vibrant lilac flowers – so pretty.

In the front garden, which I am trying to remember to include more, the Libertia is drawing attention to itself with its papery white flowers.  The only trouble with Libertia, as far as I am concerned, is that the flowers translate into seeds which translate into a mass of seedlings which get everywhere and are a pain to extract but there are worse problems in the world.

And finally, my first Alliums to flower this year.  I have quite a few types of Allium flowering all through the summer.  I can’t remember the variety of these but they are good doers and come up year after year and the leaves aren’t too large to cause a problem in the border.

Those are my May highlights – for more Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts visit Carol at May Dream Gardens.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Lathyrus vernus

I’m starting this month’s GBBD post (possibly the first one this year) with a favourite plant at the moment which I think is very overlooked, Lathyrus vernus; I also think the photo is rather nice.  This is the pink version but the most common is a blue/purple version.

Lathyrus vernus

If you don’t know it then I would recommend it to you.  Part of the pea family, a low growing perennial which appears at this time of year, flowers and then disappears so good to plant around late summer perennials to keep the interest going.

Just by the Lathyrus vernus is this herbaceous clematis (I have no idea of its name) which picks up the colour well, albeit it unplanned.

Narcissus Beautiful Eyes
Narcissus ‘Freedom Stars’ – probably

The garden has had a lovely display of Narcissus over the last month which is still going strong.  I added quite a few new varieties to the main border, having identified that it looked a little flat this time last year.  They have made a real difference and I want to do the same in some other parts of the garden for next year.

The tulips are just starting to flower.  There are a few variegated ones which will be opening in the next week but I thought I would share this rogue one. It doesn’t bear any resemblance to any of the other tulips I have added so I am assuming it is a rogue bulb that got into the wrong bag at the bulb merchants – however, it is rather gorgeous.

Muscari ‘Valerie Finnis’

Last of the bulbs that I thought I would share this month – Muscari ‘Valerie Finnis’.  I’m not the biggest fan of the general Muscari as they spread everywhere and produce a disproportionate amount of foliage but ‘Valerie Finnis’ is very different.  I love the pale blue flowers and it seems to be fairly well behaved in terms of foliage.

Hertia cheirifolia

Just by the Muscari ‘Valeria Finnis’ is Hertia cheirifolia which I added last summer.  I bought it on a trip for its grey succulent foliage so the flowers are a bonus.

A couple of my epimediums, they do have labels but they are buried well beneath the plants.  I do like epimediums, their foliage is a great foil for other plants during the year and then at this time of year there is the added bonus of these dainty flowers although sometimes you could be forgiven of overlooking them.

Magnolia stellata

A finally, my little Magnolia stellata.  I have had this for years and it just sat there doing nothing, so I moved it a few years ago to a different location with more shade, better drainage, and less competition and it has rewarded me with a growth spurt and now I can see a flutter of white flowers from my living room window.

I hope you enjoyed my highlights for this month and thank you to Carol for hosting this wonderful meme.

 

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Feb 2019

My selection of blooms for February include a lot of flowers that were flowering last month.  It seems to me that spring flowers last longer than those in the summer.  I wonder if it is something to do with the temperatures or whether they flower longer to give them more chance of being pollinated by the pollinators which are scarcer than in the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of clamps of Eranthis which are slowly clumping up.  I did have Eranthis schwefelglanz which is a pale Eranthis but I haven’t spotted it so far which is disappointing.

Narcissus ‘February Gold’

My first daffodils or narcissus are flowering – Narcissus ‘February Gold’. I planted these bulbs back in the Autumn in a new area where the compost bins were previously.  The flowers are more delicate than I anticipated and I am really pleased with how they look, I will definitely be adding more next year.

Iris unguicularis ‘Walter Butt’

Probably the last bloom on the Iris ungicularis looking a little chewed but still providing a welcome splash of colour at this time of year.

One of the many clumps of snowdrops around the garden.  I am really pleased with how big the clumps are now; I will probably do a little splitting of clumps in a month or so once the flowers have finished.

Galanthus ‘Wendys Gold’

One of my more specialist snowdrops – Galanthus ‘Wendys Gold’ – different because of the gold ovaries and markings on the inner petals.

And a selection of my favourite hellebores

A hellebore seedling

Hellebore Anna’s Red 

So these are the floral highlights from my garden.

For more garden bloggers blooms check out May Dream Gardens, where Carol kindly hosts this meme.

 

 

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

Euphorbia rigida

When I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden.  I have already posted this week about the snowdrops but they aren’t alone in bring dashes of colour to the borders. In the front garden the star is the Euphorbia rigida – its my favourite Euphorbia, well probably.  I love its acid yellow flowers against the glaucous leaves.

The first hellebores are already in flower and definitely a few weeks ahead of previous years probably due to the warmer weather.  They do seem a little washed out in their colour this year but that’s probably just my imagination.

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’

The Witch Hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’) has just started flowering and there are definitely fewer flowers than last year.  I suspect this is because it was so dry and witch hazels really benefit from moisture in the summer to help them form flowers.  I did water it from time to time but obviously not enough for a stunning display.

Jasminum nudiflorum

I’m quite pleased with the photo of the winter jasmine as my photos always seem to be out of focus due to the smallness of the flowers.  However, as there are so many flowers this year a photo showing more of the plant has proved to be quite interesting.  I know lots of people don’t like this plant but I cut it back very hard each year and this keeps it in check and not too woody.

Rosemary is at its best at the moment, covered in dainty lilac flowers and the odd pollinator looking for food.

Eranthis hyemalis

As well as the snowdrops, the Eranthis hyemalis  are starting to flower.  I do love these little bursts of sunshine in the border.

Iris unguicularis ‘Walter Butt’

The other gem in the border is the Iris unguicularis ‘Walter Butt’ which is fragile tissue like petals which seem to disappear as fast as they appear due to the wind and rain we have had recently.

Primula palinuri

Primila palinuri is something of a miracle.  I grew this plant from seed some years back and it has lived in a pot wintering in the greenhouse. However, with my new approach to the garden I decided back in the Autumn to risk planting it out as the plant never looked that well and I thought it might benefit from the move.  Primula palinuri grows in a rocky location in South Italy so I decided that it could probably withstand low temperatures if it had good drainage.  Despite the yellowing around the older leaves it is already looking at lot healthier and I love the farina on the flower which I’m sure it didn’t have in the greenhouse. Having just looked it up to ensure I spelt the name right I have discovered that it is on the Red Threatened List in its native South Italy so now I am concerned I planted it out!

For more Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posts check out Carol’s blog May Dreams.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Sept 2018

Tithonia

The Tithonia are the stars of the Big Border at the moment.  I am really pleased with them having grown them from seed.  They were planting out just before the heat wave and then just sat there until the heatwave broke.  They have quickly put on growth and are now flowering their socks off.  I may just grow them again next year.

I’m also really pleased with the Knipofia ‘Popsicle’ which were added this year.  They are now on their second batch of flowers which is a real bonus and not a feature of my other Knipofia.

I am also incredibly thrilled with this Nerine.  I don’t know its name but the colour is so vibrant and fabulous.

The Japanese Anemones are as reliable as ever and provide a nice elegant backdrop to the rest of the plants.

But it’s not all fabulous, the Kirengeshoma palmata have suffered this year.  The leaves have crispy edges and the flowers have been very slow in opening and appear washed out compared to previous year.

I do like this aster but for the life of me I can’t remember its name or even buying it.  If anyone can identify it I would be grateful.

Coming back to the orange theme the Grevillea victoriae has just started to flower which is good news as it shows the shrub is doing well.  It has started to really shot now and the flowers are finally higher up the plant than previously when they seemed to be hugging the ground.

Thalictrum delavayi was a surprise to find at the back of the woodland border, it seems very late to me but I’m not complaining.

And to end I thought I would include a few more bulbs as I do love bulbs. So here are two Tulbaghia; the one above is Tulbaghia violacea ‘Alba’ and the one below is an unknown Tulbaghia bought from a plant sale a while ago.

I hope you enjoyed my floral highlights for September.  If you are Glen over at Drillgardens.com I hope you don’t decide to steal this post like you did last months – we shall see.

thanks as ever to Carol at May Dreams for hosting this lovely meme.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – August 2018

It seems I have a growing collection of Agapanthus in the garden more by luck than design.  It probably is because I have a weakness for all bulbs and at this time of year its seems to be either Agapanthus or Crocosmia.  Over recent years they have been moved to the big border which is in full sun, slopes and has a large quantity of gravel in, so good drainage.

Most of my Agapanthus are anonymous, but I am pretty sure that the one above is Agapanthus ‘Alan Street’.  I need to liberate it a bit as it has been overshadowed by something else and the stems are quite bendy.

I have included one of Echinacea  partly because I am pleased that it seems to have established itself now coming back for a number of years but also because I  think it is interesting the impact the drought has had on the flower formation.  I have a number of plants where the flowers and stems are just short this year presumably because they haven’t had enough moisture.

I also seem to have started to collect Knipofia; I like the contrast their vertical spires bring to other flowers. I used to despise their gaudy flowers and tended towards the more subtle varieties such as Knipofia ‘Toffee Nose’ which has finished flowering this year.  But this year I have added a couple of the Knipofia  ‘Popsical’ as they are excellent for pick up the orange of the Crocosmia and tying the border together.

Also new to the garden this year are a couple of Agastache. Again the Agastache ‘Apricot Sprite’ helps to pull the border together with the Kniphofia and Crocosmia and the Anemanthele lessioniana.

I’ve also added a couple of Agastache ‘Black Adder’ to provide a contrast to the oranges.

So these are my August floral highlights. Thanks to Carol for hosting this meme – check out her blog for more GBBD posts

 

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – July 2018

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

When I started taking photos in the garden this morning it didn’t feel as though there was a lot in flower.  My garden feels like it is in a bit of a lull between early summer and late summer which I am sure the lack of rain for the last month hasn’t helped.

Unknown Crocosmia

The roses and geraniums are over, although many of the roses are building up for a second flush, and now we are moving into the stronger colours of the crocosmia, agapanthus, asters, kniphofia and rudbeckia; but we aren’t quite there yet.

The number of agapanthus in my garden are slowly growing.  They are all planted out in the borders, apart from the white one above which is in a pot..  I have to admit that I’m not sure about the varieties as I have had some of them for years.  Most of them are in the big border which is the sunny past of the garden and relatively free draining plus the slope helps avoid them becoming too water logged over winter.  One of the benefits of my neighbours removing all the trees along the fence line is that my agapanthus now grow more upright.

Allium sphaerocephalon

Bulbs as probably my favourite plant group and the big border is home to all sorts which bring colour throughout the year.  I am particularly fond of alliums and have one variety or another flowering throughout late spring to late summer.  Allium sphaerocephalon is actually in the front garden and is left over from when I had borders and a lawn.  It pops up here and there with its long stems and pointy flower heads which waft around in the breeze.  These two are intent on being together, no matter how many times I untangled them for their photo.

I’m not a huge fan of Phlox, I find them a little fussy and their big flower heads feel a little incongruous with the rest of the plants in the garden.  However, this is Phlox paniculata ‘David’ which has the most heavenly scent.  I bought it a number of years back from Wollerton Old Hall and the scent was so strong on the way home it was almost intoxicating.  Sadly whilst it reappears dutifully each year it is very slow to bulk up.

Having said I’m not mad on the big flower heads of the Phlox I do like Hydrangeas, although it’s the dry flower heads that I have a real weakness for.  This hydrangea lives in a large pot on the patio and is flowering its socks off yet again this year.

Kangaroo Paw (Angiozanthos’
Kangaroo Paw (Angiozanthos)

Also on the patio are two large pots of Kangaroo Paw (Angiozanthos) which I am hugely proud of having grown them from seed some years back, so you have two photos so I can show off.  This is the third year they have flowered – I just love the strangeness of them.

Aloe striatula var. caesia

I also love the flowers of the Aloe striatula var. caesia which I bought probably 4 years ago.  It has come through a number of very old winters here outside planted in the ground.  The only thing I do to protect it is to cover it with fleece if a long period of cold is forecast.  It grows in a narrow border along the front of the house in full sun.  The border is predominantly gravel and builders rubble which helps with the drainage allowing me to grow a few more exotic looking plants.

Finally a trio of perennials which are adding a little sparkle ahead of the main late summer display.

Agastache ‘Black Adder’
Kniphofia ‘Toffee Nosed’
Digitalis ferruginea ‘Rusty Foxglove’

Thank you to Carol over at May Dreams for hosting this meme, which may well be the longest running garden related meme.

 

GBBD June 2018 – Its all about the roses

Rose ‘Chinatown’

Having wandered around the garden taking photos of what is in flower for the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post I realised that the roses were stealing the show this month so I have focussed entirely on them.

Rose ‘Blush Noisette’

I think this is a good year for roses.  We saw so many bushes smothered in flowers on our trip to Somerset and Wiltshire this week that people were commenting on the abundance and quality. I’m guessing it must be something to do with all the rain we had in the Spring but whatever the reason is I am thrilled with my roses this year.

Rose ‘Ophelia’

In previous years my roses have been a less than floriferous despite me feeding them and pruning them carefully.  This year my pruning was less carefully but also not as drastic as in the past and I think that might also have helped.

Rose ‘Lucky’

A lot of my roses are in one border along the top of the wall. However, as I don’t like rose only borders my roses are planted amongst herbs such as lavender, sage, bay, sweet cicely, and parsley which work well at hiding the ‘legs’ of the rose.  I also have other perennials in this border to add more interest including geraniums, aquilegias, penstemon, foxgloves and allium.

Rose ‘Eyes for You’

The combination works well with the foliage of the herbs providing a good foil to the flowers and also providing interest after the roses and friends have flowered.  So far this year there has also been little sign of black fly.

Rose ‘Handel’

In recent years my rose collection has grown due to roses seen on garden visiting trips.  The Rose ‘Hot Chocolate’ I saw in a garden near Cork, Ireland and Rose ‘Blush Noisette’ frequently appears in the gardens we visit.   This year no new rose has been added to my wish list after my garden visiting which is probably lucky as I have no idea where I would put another one.

Rose ‘Hot Chocolate’

Thank you to Carol, over at May Dream Gardens, for hosting this meme which she has hosted for ever making her Queen of the Meme.

GBBD May 2018

Sweet Cicely

Whilst I was away having a jolly time in Austin the garden was busy getting on with life and a new cast was waiting to surprise me.

The first Aquilegia flowers definitely signify the imminent arrival of summer. Sadly over the years the number of long spurred Aquilegias seem to have diminished, something I must redress as they are my favourite.

The Camassias peaked but are still just about holding their own. They will soon be joined by the Alliums and Dutch Iris.

I realised when I was wandering round the garden that a lot of the blooms this month were from shrubs; I hadn’t realised I had so many shrubs.

Lathyrus aureus

On a smaller scale I’m really enjoying the orange flowers of Lathyrus aureus and Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

Thank you to Carol, who I was delighted to meet for the first time last week, for hosting this monthly meme.