I’m late this week as I have been at my Embrodierers Guild meeting so photos had to wait until I got home, and then I had to wait for another heavy rain shower to pass. All of which meant that the plants were a little weather beaten and I was a little soggy by the time I had my six photos.
I’m starting with this peony, which I think is Bowl of Beauty. I was so excited when I spotted the flowers opening this afternoon. Its been in bud for weeks and just sat there and I convinced myself it was another red peony as the buds were quite dark. I have a number of the big red peonies but a few years back I invested in a couple of none-red ones as I do like a peony. However, I suspect I planted them too deeply as there were no flowers. This peony was relocated last year I think and I was careful not to bury it too far down and I am sure this is why I have been rewarded with flowers.
Just to show you how over grown the garden has got here is the central Big Border from the bottom path. Yet more dead-heading to do and if you look closely to the left of path you can see the Papaver ‘Patty’s Plum’ fading poorly, but it seems to work with the roses so I think I will leave it. The red splash towards the back is an oriental poppy and I am going to move that once it has finished flowering to the front garden where its big leaves will be less dominating. I expect, knowing oriental poppies, that some root will stay behind and in a year or so it will be back in the Big Border.
This is the the Big Border from the middle path. The Geraniums have gone mad over the last week and I finally have that overflowing look I was hoping for. I added a few lilies last week to add a bit of glamour.
Back to the plants here is my largest Allium, possibly Purple Sensation. I love the metallic look of the flowers, they remind me of some sort of lighting installation.
The Allium also gives a useful size context to the Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ which is swamping the area behind the bench. I left the bench in the photo for size reference and to shame myself into painting it. I think the Hosta is finally the right plant for this spot as I have been looking for something which would have enough presence to fill the space and be seen behind the bench but not a tall plant which would over shadow the bench.
Finally, a not particularly briliant photo of my white Ensata Iris, which is slowly increasing year on year and makes me very happy.
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I haven’t posted about my garden for a few weeks due to my travels but despite the rain over the last few days I have managed to spend a few hours outside, weeding and tidying. It is always amazing how much the weeds grow when you turn your back for a week. In my absence the Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ has flowered; flowers which are welcome in the shady woodland area. This plant is especially popular with my cat as I have discovered that she likes to sleep under its leaves on a sunny day.
Another surprise was the discovering that the Cautleya spicata robusta is flowering as is the Abutilon ‘Kentish Belle’ behind it. I did plan this combination so I am pleased that it is working well. The Melianthus major does seem to be swamping the Cautleya and I would have previously thought about moving one of them. However having seen Hester Forde and Carmel Duigan’s gardens in Ireland last week I have realised that I can plant more densely, although of course it will mean more management.
I decided last week that I need to add more grasses to my garden, particularly after visiting The Bay Garden. I have used grasses before but I think now I understand better how they can lift a planting, adding movement, and light. I have started with adding a Stipa tenuissima to the edge of the Big Border so it softens the edge of the border alongside the steps. Here it catches the late afternoon light and yesterday looked magical, although today it looks rather sodden. Also in this border I have added a Chocolate Cosmos whose flowers I am hoping will bob around amongst the Stipa, and a Campanula lactiflora. The Campanula is only a couple of feet tall as the nursery woman I bought it from had been experimenting with doing the Chelsea Chop on Campanulas to see how they responded. It seems a good idea as the plant is flowering well and isn’t flopping everywhere or in need of staking. I will have to remember to do the same thing next year. I have pulled up most of the spent opium poppies and Ammi majus but I have left one ammi as I would like to collect the seed – hence the messy plant draped across the plants.
I have also added a Anemabthele lessoniana to the corner of the Rowan Border. I think the bronze tones pick up on the Digitalis ferruginea, and there is a bronzey flowered day lily here which has just finished flowering. Yesterday I planted out some Oenothera ‘Sunset Boulevard’. The only problem is linking this combination with the purple phlox which I am loath to move as it does well in this position and is the start of a group of phloxes which have taken a while to establish. However, I would also like to add a Rose ‘Hot Chocolate’ to this space and this may bridge the gap between the two groups. It is a sumptuous red rose with a touch of bronze in it; I discovered it on the last day of my trip and it is definitely on the ‘get’ list – ‘get’ you note, not ‘want’!!
Aside from rushing around planting plants ahead of the rain I have finally sorted out the path behind the former Bog Garden. This path is a real problem in the winter and during wet periods at other times of the year. There seems to be a spring which runs down the slope just by the bench causing the start of the path to be sodden. The other problem is that this path is important during the winter as I try to avoid the grass path as it is very slippery. The solution has been to buy some paving slabs which almost look like cut off logs and then I surrounded them with wood chip. It looks so much neater and is far more practical now.
I leave you with a new acquisition – Gladiolus flanaganii. I couldn’t resist the flowers and it is meant to be hardy so we shall see; with my grass head on, I think it might look good with some Anemanthele lessoniana.
Oh and this is my 1500th blog post!!!!