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

 

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.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – October 2016

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I’m amazed at how much colour there is in the garden at the moment, especially as there seemed to be very little back in August.  Of course some of the colour is courtesy of the autumn leaves and various berries but there is still a significant floral contribution. This hydrangea is one of those supermarket finds from a year or so ago which to be honest I had forgotten about until I got to the top of the garden today and spotted it.  Such a lovely combination of dark leaves and flower – I think I need to find a better location to show it off better.

Salvia involucrata boutin
Salvia involucrata boutin

Part of the reason I struggle to get to the top of the garden is this Salvia which is going for world domination – its huge.  So much so that I have left it in situ the last few winters with just a mulch to protect it roots.

Salvia 'Phyllis Fancy'
Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’

I actually prefer Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ as the flowers are more delicate and I like the two-tone effect which brings a special light to the border.

Aster lateriflorus 'Lady in Black'
Aster lateriflorus ‘Lady in Black’

Although the majority of the asters have been moved to the front garden there are still a few adding to the colour in the back garden.  I think Lady in Black is my favourite aster, it has wonderful dark stems and whatever the weather it remains upright, just wafting around in the wind.

Symphytrochium novea-angliae 'St Michaels'
Symphytrochium novae-angliae ‘St Michaels’

Symphytrochium novae-angliae ‘St Michaels’ is a good strong purple and I like the larger daisy flowers; I also like it as it is named after a local hospice.  This is also doing well in the RHS trial of Symphytrochium novae-angliae which I am acting as recorder for at the local Old Court Nursery.

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I do like Japanese Anemones, this pale pink one is a new addition to the garden and lightens a very green border.

Kirengeshoma palmata
Kirengeshoma palmata

The Japanese Anemone is adjacent to the Kirengeshoma palmata – that pink and yellow combination abhorred by many but to be honest I quite like; well if it’s the right pink and the right yellow.

Colchicum 'Dick Trotter'
Colchicum ‘Dick Trotter’

The second group of Colchicums are flowering.  I bought the corms for these at the Malvern Autumn Show last month.  I do think Colchicums are underrated, yes they have large leaves but they bring so much colour to the garden at this time of year.

Cyclamen hederifolium
Cyclamen hederifolium

As well as Colchicums there are Cyclamen hederifoliums flowering around the garden.  I particularly like this group and the way they appear to be lining up behind the leaves.

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Another discovery in the depth of the back of the garden – a begonia of some sort bought from a charity plant sale, which seems to be thriving.  I love the way the flowers add pin pricks of colour amongst the foliage.

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Finally, high up above the back planting the Abutilon is flowering.  I can’t remember the variety but I do like the way the flowers look like they are made out of silk and velvet.

Thanks to Carol over at May Dream Gardens for hosting the GBBD meme each month.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – May 2016

Lamprocapbos spectablis ‘Valentine’
Lamprocapbos spectablis ‘Valentine’

Every gardener I know seems to be saying this last week ‘Goodness hasn’t the garden shot up this week’ and yes we have been blessed finally with warmer temperatures which coupled with the rain has given plants a real boost.  Needless to say having moaned about the cool spring for weeks and weeks those same gardeners are now moaning that they can’t keep on top of things!  Personally, with my more lackadaisical approach I don’t worry too much about weeds or that the last bit of lawn needs cutting – they will all be dealt with as and when I have time.  At this time of year I am spending more time looking and spotting familiar friends reappearing or studying new acquisitions to see how they grow. So for this month’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post I am going to showcase my favourite flowers this weekend.

Trillium albidum
Trillium albidum
Trillium grandiflorum
Trillium grandiflorum
Unknown Trillium
Unknown Trillium

I am completely obsessed with the trilliums that have reappeared this year, there are two more but they aren’t flowering yet.  To be honest I had forgotten about two of them so did a ridiculous little dance when suddenly I spotted them in the border.  I can’t work out what the bottom one is, it might be that the flower will develop more and be easier to identify over the next week.

Uvularia
Uvularia

Another woodland delight that took me by surprise but not for long and I soon remembered what it was.  Such a pretty dainty flower and I do like the way the petals twist.

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On a larger scale in the shady side of the garden the rhododendrons are flowering, these two are my favourites.  If I ever am lucky enough to have a larger garden with the right soil I will definitely indulge myself with lots more rhododendrons especially those wonderful ones with furry leaves.

Sweet Cicely
Sweet Cicely

Moving out of the shade into the sunshine the first of the umbellifers is flowering, lovely Sweet Cicely, such an pretty flower.

Allium cameleon
Allium cameleon

Allium cameleon is in its second year in the garden and already bulking up well.  It is a short, front of the border allium, much daintier than alliums such as Allium Purple Sensation.  I really like the way the flowers are blushed with pink.

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One of those bigger blowsy alliums just starting to open; I can’t remember which but I suspect it is Purple Sensation.  I do love alliums in all their varieties and have them flowering in the garden right through to high summer.

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The sea of camassias which have dominated the Big Border creating a delicious blue haze for the last few weeks is coming to an end.  It is only the very top of the stems which still have flowers and I can’t bring myself to remove them until they have lost every single flower.

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My favourite Aquilegia, its a seedling of the mckenna varieties with the long spurs at the back of the flower which I much prefer to the more chubby looking aquilegias which I think are varieties of the native columbine, whereas the mckenna varieties come from the USA.   I have lots of aquilegias, I went through a slightly obsessive period of growing them from seed and interestingly certain colours predominate.  I think I will weed out the ones that don’t appeal so much and maybe try to increase the mckenna varieties.  There are some who argue that over time all aquilegias revert to the muddy pink variety.  This just isn’t true what actually happens is they loose their original aquilegias and the muddy pink ones are seedlings which tend to revert back.

So those are the stars of my garden this week for other gardeners blooms pop over to Carol at May Dreams and check out the links.

 

GBBD December 2015

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The mild Autumn is certainly causing some surprising combinations in the garden this December.  There are a number of flowers which seem to have been in flower for months and it is almost as though they have been frozen in time like Sleeping Beauty. Here we have Gladiolus callianthus which are putting on an excellent display at the top of the garden. They are a welcome surprise this year as I tipped a number of pots of bulbs out on to the top border as there was no sign of life and they had hardly flowered last year.  Then lo and behold lying on the top of the soil they started to grow and they have been wonderful for months.  They are meant to be moderately hardy but I think I will risk them outside over the winter and see how they get on.  I suspect as they come from the mountainous regions of Africa that they might be a bit hardier than we think especially if they have good drainage and don’t get too sodden.

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Salvia involucrata boutin has also been flowering for months and like the Gladiolus seems frozen in time.  The plant which is some 4 years old is huge now so I won’t be lifting it this year but am relying on cuttings and a thick mulch around roots.  I’m glad I decided not to lift it as it means I have enjoyed the flowers for a lot longer than normal.

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Alongside the hangers-on are the usual seasonal delights.  The number of shrubs, especially those that flower outside of Summer are increasing in my garden.  They often have small delicate flowers which come into their own when there isn’t much showy competition.  Here we have an Abelia, variety unknown, which is very popular with the pollinators when we have a sunny day.  I enjoy the combination of the pale flowers with the burgundy stems and calyx.

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The  Jasminum nudiflorum seemed to come into flower early last month and the flowers are just started to go over, no hanging around for them like the Gladiolus and Salvia.   I think this rain soaked bloom looks almost transparent in some lights.

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Euphorbia rigida, albeit a small and young plant, is already illuminating the front garden.  I really like the combination of the glaucous leaves and the acid green flowers.  Just behind this plant is Salvia armistad which I haven’t lifted and is still just about in flower and the deep blue/purple flowers contrast wonderfully from afar with the Euphorbia.

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Finally an unknown Primula.  There are a lot of primulas in my garden, with the numbers increasing year on year as I am a sucker for the Barnhaven Primrose website.  This one is a straight forward lilac Primula vulgaris and probably due for dividing in the Spring.  It is one of the first real spring flowers to open and makes me feel optimistic that Spring isn’t really that far away.  I have a couple of different snowdrops that are producing flowers but not open enough yet to include and the Iris unguicularis which I featured a few weeks ago is still producing flower after flower which is making me very happy after waiting for a few years for it to establish.

So those are my floral December highlights.  For more Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts visit May Dreams.

GBBD August 2015

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I seem to have missed a few months of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day but with two weeks of annual leave ahead of me and few plans I find myself finally with time to join in.  The garden is entering its second phase of summer colour with echinaceas, rudbeckias, crocosmia and asters all opening.  The zinnias are just opening, a week later than I had hoped as they were grown for last week’s show!.

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I quite like zinnias and I think I might grow them again next year as well as cosmos which I haven’t grown for years and suddenly find myself missing.

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The other annual that I am loving at the moment is this nasturium which is making a bid for world domination from the window box.  I think this variety has a nice velvet tone to it.  The packet of seeds were some old Thompson & Morgan trial seeds I found in the bottom of the box so sadly I don’t know what variety they are.

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A new addition to the garden is this Chinese Foxglove.  The stem above is one of the shorter ones but the spires are just going over.  It has flowered for a month or so and adds a nice contrast to all the daisy type flowers at the moment.  Its tender so I will have to dig it up and pot it up for the winter or maybe risk it in the ground with a heavy mulch to protect it.

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The Primula florindae has been wonderful since early July.  It has had 3 stems of flowers, with two reaching 3ft tall.  The strangest thing is I don’t remember where it came from or planting it.  I can only assume I tried growing it from seed and discarded the compost and then it decided to show its face.  I have three or four young plants which I bought this year not realising that this was growing in the garden so hopefully I can create a nice display for next year.

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I thought I would share one of my clumps of violas.  I have a growing fondness for them as they are such good doers, flowering for months on end and all you need to do is dead head them and every so often chop them back to prevent them being too scraggly.  The one above Viola cornuta Clouded Yellow is almost at the point of needing a good chop back.

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And I have cyclamen flowering.  I think this is Cyclamen hederifolium but I’m not very sure at all.  They too have been flowering for a week or two and I wonder if the low temperatures this summer have confused them.

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Finally in complete contrast to the diminutive cyclamen I thought I would share the first flower on the brugmansia with you.  Sadly you can see the flower has suffered from the unseasonal weather but hopefully the other buds that are fattening on the plant will benefit from some nicer summer weather.

For Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts from all over the world visit Carol at May Dreams

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – April 2015

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The last couple of weeks have given us the occasional bright sunny days with temperatures just nudging 20C.  It seems like the garden has had its touch-paper lit and the plants are rushing forward.  Every day there seems to be something new opening or germinating.  Today’s thrill is the first Anemone pavonina opening its flower.  I bought three plants last year from Stocktonbury Gardens, taking great care where I planted them and carefully not removing the seed heads so they might self-seed.  They can be hard to establish so I was grateful for the mild winter and the fact that all three have reappeared and have flower buds.

 

Narcissus Angels Tears
Narcissus Angels Tears
Narcissus Sophies Choice
Narcissus Sophies Choice

There is still quite a variety of narcissus large and small flowering in the garden but my two favourites are Angels Tears and Sophies Choice, both quite elegant and pale.

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Tulips are rare in my garden as over recent hard winters they have been dug up by the badger so I no longer plant them in the borders.  However, there are one or two which the badger didn’t get and which flower year on year.  Tulip ‘Jan Reus’ is one of the few flowering in my garden at the moment.

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Iris bucharica is another new delight.  It’s a Juno Iris which aren’t generally easy to grow in the garden, prefering pot culture, but Iris bucharica is the exception and will grow in the border so here’s hoping that they will reappear next year.

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I had forgotten I had Leucojum vernum in the woodland border so it was a delight to see it reappear.  Hopefully one day it will start to bulk up.

Epimedium Black Sea
Epimedium Black Sea
Epimedium Rose Queen
Epimedium Rose Queen
Epimedium x warleyense 'Orangekonigin'
Epimedium x warleyense ‘Orangekonigin’

I have a growing passion for Epimediums and the first are flowering with more to follow.  I love their dainty flowers and the way they waft above the foliage.

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Another new tiny delight is Dicentra cucullaria which I have started in a pot but I think will be fine in the border once I have looked up the right conditions for it.

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The honesty has started to flower.  I think this one is Lunaria ‘Corfu Blue’; I remember  sowing seeds for it but I don’t remember it germinating well but maybe I was too hasty in throwing the seed tray on to the border.

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I do though remember sowing Lunaria annua ‘Chedglow’.  I bought the seeds last year from Avon Bulbs at Malvern show, sowing them that weekend and I am very pleased with the plants.  I really like the dark foliage with the purple flowers.

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Primulas and polyanthus are flowering away with new ones putting in an appearance on a regular basis.  It seems that the polyanthus start flowering later than the primulas. I am particularly fond of the (Drumstick Primula)

There are lots of other small floral delights in the borders and I have included a few of my real favourites.

Omphalodes cherry ingram
Omphalodes cherry ingram
Anemone nemorosa 'Westwell Pink'
Anemone nemorosa ‘Westwell Pink’
Anemone Lipsiensis
Anemone Lipsiensis
Bergenia 'Bressingham White
Bergenia ‘Bressingham White
Sweet Cicely
Sweet Cicely

For more Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts visit Carol over at May Dreams

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day 15/2/15

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Forgive my soggy photographs it was raining heavily yesterday and I only had time first thing to take them (the afternoon was spent at a lovely talk by Anna Pavord).  Being Spring the theme for the flowers in the garden is generally tiny and pastel.  The primulas have been flowering on and off all winter since it has been so mild but now it is a little warmer the flowers are bulking up.  I think I should try dividing some of these plants this year.  I think this one is one they call Blue Denim or Tie Dye as I remember buying it some 5 or 6 years ago but the markings are not so distinct now so maybe not.

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I do like the colouring of the Primula below, it’s quite vibrant for February and there is obviously some polyanthus in this plant as the flower stem have grown taller this year than last, possibly revert back to its origins.

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Then we have the snowdrops which are slowly but surely bulking up.  It would be false to say I lift and divide them every year, it more a case that they get distributed as part of my weeding.  I have been working at getting them to spread along the back bank and there is now quite a nice display which you can see from the house.

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Of the ‘specials’ which are flowering well at the moment I thought the following looked worth of inclusion in this monthly post.

Galanthus Ding Dong
Galanthus Ding Dong
Galanthus Magnet
Galanthus Magnet
Galanthus Flora Pleno
Galanthus Flora Pleno

There are still a few to open their blooms and they along with the Eranthis which I wont bore you with again have been wonderful over the last grey month but now they are being taken over by the Hellebores which are starting to open.  The yellows always open first with the dark pinks the last.

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Hellebore Walbertons Rosemary
Hellebore Walbertons Rosemary
Hellebore Neon Star
Hellebore Neon Star

The daffodils I featured in January have finally opened and are just beginning to fade, there are other daffodil buds appearing but it will be some weeks before these early ones have any followers.

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Under cover Iris ‘Cantab’ is flowering looking elegant and dainty and I have enjoyed bringing pots inside so I can enjoy their flowers when they are peaking. But they have to compete with the blousey and exuberant Clivia which is new to me and I just love.

Iris Cantab
Iris Cantab

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For more Garden Blogger Bloom Day (GBBD) posts visit Carol over at May Dream Gardens.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – April 2014

Tulip Princess Irene
Tulip Princess Irene

I notice that I didn’t bother with a GBBD post in April last year and I think that reflects the lateness of the season; how different this year has been. The garden is already colouring up

Tulip Ballerina
Tulip Ballerina

and the tulips are quickly taking over from the narcissus.  Tulip Princess Irene is one of my favourite tulips and this year I have it in large pots on the patio.  I love the purple markings on the petals. Another favourite, which interestingly is also orange, is Tulip Ballerina which I am establishing in the front garden. I discovered today when I was weeding around the plants how strong a scent they have.   I have also rediscovered Tulip Jan Reus and its rich velvety maroon flowers.  These plants were originally on the slope but were relocated last year partly by the badger but also by the rearrangement of the slope for the workshop.  I think I might add some more of these next year and risk the ravages of the badger if we have a cold winter.

Tulip Jan Reus
Tulip Jan Reus

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I obviously like the brighter colours as you can see from this orangey red primula.  I am pretty sure I grew this from seed a few years back but I can’t remember what variety it is.

White Bluebells
White Bluebells

The bluebells haven’t quite opened yet but the whitebells are looking lovely as ever.  The clump never seems to grow and I wonder if the white variety is weaker than the standard blue.

Anemone nemorsa 'Vestral'
Anemone nemorsa ‘Vestral’

I seem to be developing yet another weakness, this time for Anemones.  The trouble is I see them at clubs and shows and forget I already have a number waiting to appear in the garden.  The one above is Anemone nemorsa ‘Vestral’ which was an early acquisition and is clumping up nicely.

Anemone x lipsiensis 'Pallida'
Anemone x lipsiensis ‘Pallida’

I also rather keen on the pale buttery yellow of the Anemone x lipsiensis ‘Pallida’ which I am pleased to say is also clumping up.

Variegated white honesty
Variegated white honesty

I am in two minds about the variegated white honesty.  The variegation on the leaves is wonderful and almost white in places but the flower spikes aren’t working that well.  These are grown from seed collected a few years ago and I don’t remember them looking like this which is interesting.

Dicentra Valentine
Dicentra Valentine

I am also taken with the Dicentra Valentine I bought last year at Malvern.  The strength of colour is quite breathtaking – well I think so.

Brunnera Jack Frost
Brunnera Jack Frost

I might like the strong colours but I also like the more subtle and dainty flowers such as the Brunnera Jack Frost.  I think we need them to act as counterpoint to the brasher flowers and at the end of the day some times the most beautiful thing is the smallest and most inconspicuous such as the every day viola which self-seeds all around my garden.

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For more garden blogger bloom day posts visit Carol over at May Dream Gardens.

Garden Blogger Bloom Day – September 2013

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I like September as the heat of the summer is over and aside from many other nice things it’s when some of my favourite flowers bloom.  This year I have grown Chrysanthemums for the first time.  I am probably one of those unusual people who actually likes  Chrysanthemums, not the dumpy ones you buy from DIT stores and garages but the tall elegant stems.  I hope they make a come back like Dahlias have and having grown them this year I was surprised how easy they were.  I can’t tell you what the one above is as the label is buried under the foliage.

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Japanese Anemones are always a sign that summer is on the wane and these thrive in my garden.  Strangely though the pink ones I bought a couple of years ago have disappeared so many they aren’t as robust as the white ones.

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Kirengeshoma palmata is another elegant plant that just isn’t grown enough.  My specimen grows in a shady border adjacent to the patio so I can see it from the living room even when it gets too wet or chilly for me to garden.

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My Asters have had a tough year due to me moving them around for the workshop project.  I have lost all the labels in the process so I have no idea which one this is but I like the delicate flowers.

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I am increasingly going off bright yellow in the garden but I do like this Rudbeckia which arrived of its own accord a few years back.  I suspect it seeded from some wild bird seed.  However, it arrived I prefer the flowers of this perennial plant to the annuals that I have grown for years.

2013_09140022logoI am also very chuffed with my Kniphofia, I think it is Toffee Nose, and unlike the Asters the change of location seems to have done it a power of good as it has never had so many blooms on it nor for such a long period of time.  Of course the warm summer may  have helped so we shall see.

There are also lots of Dahlias and Zinnias still flowering.  As well as Pelargoniums which are still hanging on along with a few annuals.  The cyclamen have started to flower now as well which is a sure sign that the season has turned.

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For more Garden Blogger Bloom Day post visit Carol’s blog May Dream Gardens.