Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – June 2014

Geranium pratense 'Splish Splash'
Geranium pratense ‘Splish Splash’

The garden is starting to don its summer finery and the geraniums are one of the key players.  I hadn’t quite realised that I had so many varieties as I have.  Most of them have been grown from seed at some point or another including some from a random mix of seeds so I’m not sure what variety the majority are but that doesn’t detract from their beauty.  Splish Splash is my favorite as each flower is different and that really appeals to me.

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The camera has made this blue just a little more vibrant than it actually it; it a more baby blue.  I do like how the blue flower works against the magenta/burgundy seed heads.

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The camera has definitely injected some electricity into the blue of this unknown geranium.

Geranium palmatum
Geranium palmatum

I have a number of the Geranium palmatum all grown from seed two years ago.  I am particularly pleased with these as the seeds were labelled something different not as glamorous.  I bought a Geranium palmatum a few years back and lost it in the very cold winter we had.  I must make sure I collect seed from these in case we have a cold winter this year.

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Geranium sanguineum striatrum
Geranium sanguineum striatrum

Two more unknown geraniums, both unknown varieties, but still loved.

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Some Campanula again grown from seed some three years ago and again variety unknown but the blue is very good.

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The Delphinium along the Cottage Border have started to flower. Yet again all grown from seed some years ago.  They are looking wonderful this year compared to last year when their flowers were snapped off by strong winds.  Some of them are around 6ft tall.

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Also adding vertical interest to the borders are foxgloves.  I have the ordinary Digitalis purpurea and Digitalis purpurea f.albiflora which self seed themselves around the garden. But my absolute favourite at the moment is Digitalis mertonensis (commonly the Strawberry Foxglove) below.  2014_06140045logoFor more Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts visit Carol at May Dreams Garden.

My Garden This Weekend – 7th July

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Having been away for a week and then recovering from jet lag and exhaustion from a full on trip and heavy workload before it has really been two weeks since I really spent time in the garden.  Of course, it is now very hot so I am working around it by gardening early morning or in the evening which I have discovered is a lovely time to be in the garden.

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There has been a major change to the garden in my absence with the arrival of my son’s workshop.  Despite sending me messages to say it had been installed he refused to send photos which was a little worrying.  Anyway I needn’t have worried as I think the shed looks great.  As my Mum says it gives the garden the character it has been missing.  There has been no real focal point and somehow by adding the greenhouse the dynamics have changes and the paths seem to work and it feel more cohesive.  The jury is now out on the colour the workshop should be.  My inclination is dark brown/black like the fence.  I think this would help the shed recede a little and would be a good backdrop for plants.   My Dad on the other hand thinks if I paint it dark it will stand out more – I am inclined to listen to my instincts.

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In the meantime the Digitalis ‘Dalmation Cream’ has been flowering its socks off.  I am rather pleased with the combination of the deep burgandy  spots against the Cotinus leaves.  The Cephalaria gigantea is also covered in flowers and proving very popular with the bees.  I am really pleased about this as the Cephalaria is one of the plants that got  moved rather late in the day and looked decidedly sad for some time.  Also unlike some of the small Scabious it seems to how its flowers better and there is no need to stake or support.

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I am particularly pleased with the Delphinium.  They were grown from seed three years ago but last year, the first year they should have flowered, they had their flower stalks unceremoniously chopped off by the winds.  This year I staked them very carefully and luckily they seem to have benefitted from it and are putting on a wonderful display.  They are Dwarf Delphinium which I didn’t realise at the time of buying the seed but I think has paid off as if the flower stalks were taller they would most definitely be snapped off.

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When I was in San Francisco one of the gardens had step-over apples, well that’s what I call them, but this expression was met with blank looks from the US bloggers, they call them espalier.  The ones I saw were much older than mine and covered in apples so I was keen to see how mine were doing in their second year.  On three plants I have probably 6 apples which isn’t that bad I think.  I spent some time today pruning back the side shoots; it took me ages to find advice on this but luckily Geoff Hamilton’s ‘Kitchen Garden’ came to the rescue.

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Finally, the roses are starting to flower and I will need to do some research to remind myself which variety  is which.  However, I do really like this pink one which has a good height and lots of flowers.

It’s nice to be home in my  own garden after visiting so many other gardens.  Ideas are already forming of things I can change and improve and the list of projects for the Autumn will probably get quite long.

The dreamy spires of Malvern

 

Waundering round the garden this evening I noticed how many of the plants had spire like flowers. This is my solitary lupin plant , the only one I have managed to keep alive of more than one year.  I have been told that they only last a few years so I’m going to attempt to grow some from its seeds this year.

This is selection of my taller spires – from the left: A floxglove, I think it is Alba which is just over 5ft tall. Then a traditional foxglove which is a little more subtle and smaller in stature.  I am trying to keep them apart as I am hoping the Alba will self sow.  Finally in this line up is a Delphineum – its around 7ft tall.  I dont know what type it is my son bought it for a £1 about 3 years ago at a plant sale and it had no label but it comes back year after year and the slugs seem to leave it alone which is a bonus.

On a completely different scale as the spires of this Veronica.  This is the best it has been in the 4 years I have had it.  The ants seem to like building a nest under it and I really dont know how to get rid of them.  This year though it’s looking lovely.

 

Finally my favourite flower in the garden at the moment.  This is a form of Evening Primrose.  I acquired the seeds through the CGS a couple of years ago and as ever with these types of seed distribution schemes the labelling was a little vague.  The first part of the name is normally right but the second word often seems to lose something in translation, so when I look them up on the RHS plant finder there is a big fat ‘No’. I thought this was going to be the typical evening primrose but it is only 3-4ft tall and each plant has lots of stems.  I love the contrast between the creamy flower and the burgandy stems.  I had planned to pull them out after this year as I was using them as fillers but I think they will definately be staying, though they may have to move nearer to the front of the border as they arent as tall as I had anticipated.

So those are my dreamy spires – why not do  post about yours?!