In a Vase on Monday: Gold

Another week has flown by and it is time to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden once again with a vase of materials from our gardens.

Last week my vase featured soft silvers and blues, so this week I decided to bring some bolder colours indoors. The flowers used are mainly from the sunshine bed. The starting point however was some Golden Rod growing just outside our garden fence… a sure sign that summer is slowly coming to an end.

Various sunflowers add some more yellow and gold tones, while the Tithonia, Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Glow’ (gorgeous isn’t it?) and Echinacea ‘Flame Thrower’ provide some orange.

A couple of Zinnias add a hint of red – the seed packets said they would be pink and white, but I am so glad they turned out this colour!

The grasses are Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ and a wild grass which looks like the original grass Mr Foerster got his inspiration from. In fact it was seeing these grasses growing in the wild that ignited my growing passion for using grasses within my own garden. I added another splash of gold from some Euphorbia and a sprig of fennel, Patrinia scabiosifolia and Hypericum from the herb bed.

(Click on any picture for a slide show)

I hope these colours have made your Monday a bit sunnier. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a good week!

In a Vase on Monday: Silvery Charm

Rain!

Yes, we have had two more entire days of good rain and everything is turning green again. With heavenly temperatures below 20ยฐC and a damp garden under cloudy skies the silvery plants in the butterfly and herb beds sparkled and I decided to use them for a vase so I could join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme.

The glare of the sun has been a problem with photography recently, but today it was hard to find a light spot!

At the centre of my vase is white Echinacea Baby Swan, which was planted in the herb bed last autumn. It is a novelty not to have young plants nibbled by slugs and snails – Echinaceas were impossible to grow in my old garden! The blue Scabiosa was grown from seed: Scabiosa caucasica ‘Perfection Blue’. It has such a lovely large flower compared with the annual ones. Other flowers are white Cosmos (possibly ‘Purity’), Coriander, Borage, Perovskia and a sprig of Buddleia ‘Pink Delight’, which has indeed been delightful. The silvery foliage is Artemisia ‘Silver Queen’ and Senecio (with the yellow flowers chopped off!)

And to complete the silver theme I added a prop this week – my silver charm bracelet which has probably not been worn for over a decade, maybe two. But each charm was a gift and has happy memories attached. ๐Ÿ™‚

I resorted to taking photos indoors with flash to get a picture of the entire vase…

 

As always, a big thanks to Cathy for hosting and encouraging us all to bring flowers indoors to enjoy close up – particularly uplifting on a wet day. I must admit we have been relishing this weather though and are not complaining!

Have a great week and hope you get the weather you and your gardens wish for.

๐Ÿ™‚

Heatwaves, Summer Flu, some Tuesday Views and a Mystery Plant

Having recovered from the second (mega) heatwave and a rather nasty summer flu virus, temperatures (both mine and outside!) have subsided enough for me to enjoy the garden and share a few Tuesday Views at last. ๐Ÿ™‚

At the beginning of July I enjoyed a two-week interlude between our heatwaves with pleasant temperatures and good company while my sister visited ๐Ÿ™‚ The garden was left mostly to its own devices and a few individual plants were watered to tide them over. Overall, considering the incredibly low rainfall we have had since April, the new beds have done well with minimal watering. I am constantly amazed.

Here is the Sunshine Bed in early August…

The annuals really filled in the spaces and the fact that they all survived has confirmed my suspicions that slugs and snails and not lack of watering were responsible for previous failures in my old garden. So far slugs are few and far between here, and I don’t think I have seen any snails yet!

Tithonia, various sunflowers, cosmos, as well as some (leftover) zinnias – which have fortunately turned out to be red – have transformed the bed into a sunny oasis in the dry surroundings.

And I finally got some Californina poppies to grow for me!

Oh, and a mystery plant… it may have been in with some leftover seed scattered haphazardly, but is more likely to be a weed as the flowers are rather unspectacular. But I have never seen it before. Any ideas?

 

 

The Butterfly Bed has done well too, although more ground cover will be needed – autumn will probably become my main planting season as two dry springs and summers in a row have been a challenge.

The Buddleias steal the show and have been attracting butterflies galore. Mostly Painted Ladies, a couple of Swallowtails, some Fritillaries, loads of small blues and recently also Red Admirals…

Some sturdy Scabiosa have finally flowered – sown indoors in February they were brutally planted out at the end of March and barely started growing until the end of June. But they are rewarding me with dozens of flowers and buds. ๐Ÿ™‚

And finally, the Herb Bed…

Some of the annuals are looking a little tired – it has been a tough summer. But along with the beautiful Stipa tenuissima, the Hypericums and fennel, Echinacea and Baldrian (Valerian? ‘Patrinia scabiosifolia’), as well as some cosmos and Tithonia the whole bed has provided interest since mid-June.

 

 

 

Do you also feel summer is flying by? July is just a blur now, and I am wondering what the rest of August will bring… more showers we hope!

I have put ย all the photos in a slideshow…

 

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I hope to catch up with some blog-reading soon and wonder how everyone’s summer is progressing. I do hope excessive heat or rain hasn’t stopped you enjoying your gardens.

Happy August! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐ŸŒธโ˜€๏ธ

 

Springing into Summer in the Sunshine Bed

The last few weeks have been busy in the new garden, and the Sunshine Bed has slowly filled. Plants ordered online wereย put in during May, and a couple of trips to garden centres have also been fruitful. I found a lovely dwarf Deutzia which is all but over now. I think it will look gorgeous here when it puts on some growth next year. I have also planted out annuals – Tithonia, Cosmos, Helianthum and Nicotiana – still tiny but hardened off as our nights were still rather cool until the end of May. The colour theme – yellow and orange – has expanded slightly with the addition of white. Red will also creep in. I shall just see what works as I go along. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is what it looked like five weeks ago ….

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

And after a big weeding and planting out campaign early June…

And now…

 

…with plants finally showing growth, although many still seem stunted. Conditions are tough here, so it will be the survival of the fittest!

Some of the new plants I added are:

Panicum virgatum ‘Cloud Nine’ and Miscanthus sinensis ‘Silberfeder’ at the outside corners. Does anyone know how quickly they fill out – my plants are so very meagre still!

The dwarf Deutzia gracilis with white flowers in May.

More Alchemilla, aย golden Euonymus and a yellow Potentilla – ย ‘Goldfinger’ Don’t you love some of the names plants are given! (And hate others! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

A lovely white Aquilegia ‘Kristall’…

Several Achilleas – still rather smaller than they should be – and some Chrysopsis, which are tall yellow aster-type flowers that will flower later in autumn, brightening up a fading garden. ๐Ÿ

A small Geum ‘Mai Tai’ which has started to perk up and flower now the nights are warmer…

I am impatient to see my little seedlings and young plants plumping up, but do constantly recall what my old garden looked like when I started out planting the rockery. It took a couple of years before things started taking shape and here we really have had the weather against us since spring 2018. Have you ever started a garden or flower bed from scratch? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Oh, and if you have any spare rainfall could you send it our way please? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a good weekend!

 

 

 

 

Some Tuesday Views

Monday was a bank holiday here (Whit Monday) and I paid my old garden a visit. So strictly speaking this is a Monday View on a Tuesday!

Anyway, for long-term readers of my blog you may recognize the Tuesday Views I used to show over the past few years….

First the south side of The Rockery…

The Centranthus is perhaps the main highlight, and as always is attracting the Hummingbird Hawk-Moths…

If you can grow it, do! The pollinators adore it and if it pops up in the wrong place it can easily be pulled up – provided you don’t wait too long and it gets established. One year I pulled out so much I was worried it wouldn’t come back. But within two years it was as rampant as ever!

The yellow Lysimachia seems to be taking over again on the south-west side of the rockery, but rough treatment seems to keep it in check. Note: if you want to plant Lysimachia it can be grown in a very hot dry spot without spreading too much. Otherwise, my advice is to avoid it!

The poppies are fabulous. And I now have three pink ones after fearing I had lost them all. (Most of them are orangey red). I must mark which ones are pink and leave the seed heads to ripen so I can collect seed to sow in the late summer. The pink aquilegia in the photo below is my favourite ever – when I bought it it was helpfully labelled ‘Aquilegia’. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The peonies have suffered for the second year in a row from a hot and dry spring and have produced plenty of buds, but many are dried up and will not open. Still, there are more than enough to add white and pink highlights here and there.

Looking up the south-west slope you can see the Acer (which caught a late frost mid-May and sent out new leaves!) and the gorgeous lime green Euphorbia seguieriana.

I have planted some rather small ones in the new garden and it was good to see how this plant has grown so big in just a few years.

I was a few days too late to see my long-awaited yellow ‘Shining Light’ Itoh Peony flower… plans to visit last week were foiled by car trouble! Never mind. It will be carefully removed in autumn and given a prime position in the new garden. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Shade Bed on the north side of the house has filled out beautifully – a lot of Geraniums have self-seeded and the Hakonechloa loves it there. In June and July part of the bed gets midday sun for a couple of hours and late evening sun too, but for the rest of the year it is humid and shady here.

The Hosta leaves are still intact! Sadly the slugs will soon start to discover them and the flowers usually get blackfly too due to the humidity. (The woods are just a few metres away).

Well, I have just realized it is now past midnight so it was a Tuesday View post, photographed on Monday and published on Wednesday! Still, hope you enjoyed it whatever day it was!

Have a lovely week!