Thursday’s Feature: Calamagrostis

Today I am joining Kimberley at Cosmos and Cleome for her Thursday’s Feature, where we look at a plant close up each week.

I LOVE this grass!


I only discovered it last summer, and immediately planted more. It is forming lovely big clumps and I would love to add even more later this year. Is that too monotonous, using one grass as a feature? It has pinky brown flowers that wave around in the slightest breeze, (it was very breezy when trying to get a photo!), creating the effect of a cool wind even when it is hot and muggy. I think it is the movement that I love most. Or is it the shape. Or the colour or the height. (About 1.2 metres). Or the fact that the slightest change in the light makes it change colour, like here…


I love the name too, despite having no idea how to pronounce it correctly. Calama as in calamity? … According to Wikipedia ‘The word “calamagrostis” is derived from the Greek word kalamos (reed) and agrostis (a kind of grass).’

It clearly loves the conditions offered this year: warm, damp and yet in a well-drained south-facing rockery with poor stony alkaline soil. We will see how it performs next year, if we don’t get as much rain in spring and early summer.

(Click on any image to enlarge)


I ordered both Calamagrostis varia and Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’, but they both look the same to me now. Or maybe I was sent the wrong one, which would not be the first time… So any help with ID would be appreciated. Have you ever grown this beautiful grass?


Thank you for visiting!


In a Vase on Monday: Dancing

The mosquitoes are dancing like mad at the moment, as are we it seems when fighting them off! But the grasses and taller plants in my garden are dancing too, as the warm and damp weather suits them just fine.

My vase for Cathy’s meme (Rambling in the Garden) today is courtesy of my sister, who is staying with me for a holiday. She braved the biting insects (with the assistance of Autan insect repellent!) to pick some dancing flowers and arrange them on the patio. Once the photos were done we both came indoors and closed the doors again!


Here is a list of the “ingredients”:

Linaria purpurea, Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel), Centranthus ruber, Lysimachia, Erigeron (Fleabane), Heuchera, Crown Vetch, Calamagrostis varia, some sycamore foliage and a single pink Antirrhinum (Snapdragon).

Hope you all have a happy and mosquito-free Monday!

The Tuesday View: June 28th 2016

Today is a little cloudy and showery, but it is always interesting for me to look at my rockery in detail in different light conditions.So here is my Tuesday view taken at around 11 a.m. this morning.


The lavender is flowering beautifully attracting lots of bees, and the Linaria and roses are adding to the summery feeling. Left of the red rose you can see the grey foliage of the Russian Sage, which will start flowering next month. And bottom left the orange day lilies are looking good among the Aruncus.

Hope you can join me again with your views this week!


In a Vase on Monday: Midsummer Delights

Monday vases have become a kind of ritual, and if I have time on Sunday to dither over them an extremely pleasurable ritual it is too. A big thank you to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden once again for hosting this lovely meme!

I am offering three vases this week (yes, three!), as my sister is with me for a visit at the moment so one was destined for her room, one for the hall and one for the dining room.

Vase 1: the rose ‘Alcantara’, flowering at the top of my rockery, along with the pink rose ‘The Fairy’, some grasses, Hypericum, Lavender and Alchemilla.


Oh, and some wild Fleabane and a Nigella seed head…


Vase 2: the red rose again, with grasses and Heuchera flowers to add some height…


And a close-up of the rose ‘Alcantara’.


Vase 3: The rose that I nearly got rid of two years ago… it is blooming like mad again!


With deep pink Lychnis and Alchemilla (I just can’t resist it at the moment)..


And some Vetch – such a pretty plant and as always infesting my day lily bed!


Have a great Monday and do join me again with a Tuesday View tomorrow!


Thursday’s Feature: Evening Primrose

This Thursday I am featuring a plant I often overlook. However, this year it has seeded itself in a rather prominent position at the front of a flower bed and is demanding attention!

Oenothera odorata ‘Sulphurea’


This perennial does not die down completely in winter but it still needs time and warmth to start producing its long stems, which have buds all the way up them. It starts flowering in June and will continue to flower all summer, even until October if it is mild. It is a very hardy plant – coping with extremes down to -28°C.


The cup-shaped flowers open when it is not too hot, and although it is called Evening Primrose I find it often opens flowers in the morning too. They are short-lived, but just as beautiful as they curl back up. This creamy yellow one turns pinker as it fades. Quite a remarkable colour.


Oenothera are noted for their importance for pollinators such as hummingbird hawk moths, and many of the common ones – Oenothera biennis – grow nearby on undisturbed ground. I have only seen a few bees on mine this year though…


This one is supposed to smell wonderful in the evenings. Unfortunately I haven’t ever detected more than a faint fragrance. It is still an enrichment for any garden though, but it will settle where it is happiest and not necessarily where you originally plant it!

I am linking in to the Thursday’s Feature meme at Cosmos and Cleome. Do visit Kimberley there to see what she has featured this week. And do join in!

The Tuesday View: 21st June 2016

Summer has officially arrived. Yippee! Um, where is the sun?

Here’s the view today, with little change I think, except that there is only one peony left…


… and I am zooming in on the red rose for Cathy (Garden Dreaming at Chatillon) who asked about it last week.


It has just started flowering and has so many buds it will be a real show soon.


Last week Dorris at Dig with Dorris asked about the ‘posts’ in the background. I must explain. Directly behind the trees/green fence in the background is a well-used public footpath. In the spring we had to have some of our trees cut down as they were growing over the gardenand disturbing our acer and other plants. The fence is quite high and as the machine needed to do the job had to stand on the footpath it could only cut them down over the fence to about 3 metres high. We intend to remove what was left standing as soon as we have a plan for an attractive piece of fencing there. Then the area will be planted with shrubs. The tree ‘stumps’ have started sprouting new leaves in places, but their days are numbered!

Join me in showcasing the same view of your garden each Tuesday to watch the seasons change.