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…

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

 

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!

Visiting the ‘Old Garden’

Since moving further into the Bavarian countryside last year I have managed to keep up the ‘old garden’ and rockery at our village house and have been constantly surprised at how self-sufficient it is – a recent visit confirmed this yet again. Come and take a look with me.

The Acer and early peonies in the south-west rockery

The grasses, Lysimachia, perennial Geraniums and Golden Rod have already filled out this part of the rockery, suppressing the dreaded ground elder. An early peony is just showing a little colour. ๐Ÿ™‚

THE rose that has probably been there since the house was built in the 70s has plenty of promising new growth and buds and some lovely Camassia are flowering in front of it. But the nicest thing in this picture below is the peony in the front, planted about five years ago. Paeonia itoh ‘Shining Light’ looks like it might finally flower this year at last – I can see two buds! It may be brought over to the new garden in autumn as it would love the Sunshine Bed I am creating, although I realise it might not flower again for a year or so after being moved.

Finally, out the front in my spring corner the perennial Honesty (Lunaria redivida) is flowering. The eliptical seedheads were featured in this Monday vase a few weeks ago, producing a lot of interest. I think most people only grow the annual which has round seedheads and flowers a little earlier.

Thanks for visiting. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Tuesday View: 21st November 2017 Looking Back (Take Two!)

(Due to a technical hitch I am posting this again, hence the “Take Two”!)

Since little has changed recently in my early winter garden, and since it is pouring with rain right now, kthis week my Tuesday View is a review of the year to remind myself of how this part of the rockery develops. In fact, this was the whole point of posting photos each week; to follow progress and spot gaps or particularly successful or not so successful planting combinations. I have also been able to see how various plants cope with the conditions they face throughout the seasons in this stony bed.

I started posting photos of this view in April… doesn’t that seem like a long time ago now!

And isn’t that spring sunshine lovely? (Sigh… we are stuck in the damp fog of November right now!)

Within just two weeks the view had been transformed, with the Acer and other trees in the background leafing out and the Viburnum ‘Aurora’ in full flower… it smelt gorgeous!

From then on progress was rapid: here is a gallery of May, and you can click on any picture to see a slideshow…

June brought the Lysimachia into flower, which eventually meant changing the angle I took my photos. It was a very dry month too, but fortunately ended with several days of showers.

In early July the garden managed to recover from the long drought and was surprisingly lush for the time of year! I was very impressed with the Teucrium and Hypericum standing up to the heat, and glad to see my pink Potentilla finally flower well.

The following month was hot and very humid, and it was hard to believe it was August considering how green everything was; usually the grass is brown, and the rockery is looking frazzled. But the moisture kept everything looking fresh and healthy.

September is a beautiful time of year. It is when I breathe out and enjoy the garden most of all… the heat is over and I no longer need worry that things may burn or dry out. The rockery was still very green and I think the Teucrium – which spread throughout the bed – contributed to retaining moisture. The grasses also started looking good. My favourite season…

The Acer never fails to put on a good show in October, and the asters flowered intensely too, some right through into November. By the end of the month I could finally return to my original spot to take the photos, as a lot of plants were cut down or died back.

To sum up my thoughts: it is pleasing to see that for seven or eight months of the year the rockery has been attractive from various angles and hardly any plants suffered seriously from the heat. A couple of spots need attention, and fighting the ground elder in spring is always a problem, but overall I am a satisfied gardener!

I wonder how you feel about your gardening year. Were there any particular highlights – good or bad? Have you been able to pinpoint problem areas or gain inspiration from successful planting?

The Tuesday View posts have, for me, served their purpose. So I will not continue with them over winter. But I do hope all those who have joined me over the past months will continue sharing their views as long as they can.

Thanks to you all!

PS Here is Christina’s post this week: https://myhesperidesgarden.wordpress.com/2017/11/21/tuesday-view-21st-november-2017/

 

The Tuesday View: 21st November 2017 – Looking Back

Since little has changed recently in my early winter garden, and since it is pouring with rain right now, kthis week my Tuesday View is a review of the year to remind myself of how this part of the rockery develops. In fact, this was the whole point of posting photos each week; to follow progress and spot gaps or particularly successful or not so successful planting combinations. I have also been able to see how various plants cope with the conditions they face throughout the seasons in this stony bed.

I started posting photos of this view in April… doesn’t that seem like a long time ago now!

And isn’t that spring sunshine lovely? (Sigh… we are stuck in the damp fog of November right now!)

Within just two weeks the view had been transformed, with the Acer and other trees in the background leafing out and the Viburnum ‘Aurora’ in full flower… it smelt gorgeous!

From then on progress was rapid: here is a gallery of May, and you can click on any picture to see a slideshow…

June brought the Lysimachia into flower, which eventually meant changing the angle I took my photos. It was a very dry month too, but fortunately ended with several days of showers.

In early July the garden managed to recover from the long drought and was surprisingly lush for the time of year! I was very impressed with the Teucrium and Hypericum standing up to the heat, and glad to see my pink Potentilla finally flower well.

The following month was hot and very humid, and it was hard to believe it was August considering how green everything was; usually the grass is brown, and the rockery is looking frazzled. But the moisture kept everything looking fresh and healthy.

September is a beautiful time of year. It is when I breathe out and enjoy the garden most of all… the heat is over and I no longer need worry that things may burn or dry out. The rockery was still very green and I think the Teucrium – which spread throughout the bed – contributed to retaining moisture. The grasses also started looking good. My favourite season…

The Acer never fails to put on a good show in October, and the asters flowered intensely too, some right through into November. By the end of the month I could finally return to my original spot to take the photos, as a lot of plants were cut down or died back.

To sum up my thoughts: it is pleasing to see that for seven or eight months of the year the rockery has been attractive from various angles and hardly any plants suffered seriously from the heat. A couple of spots need attention, and fighting the ground elder in spring is always a problem, but overall I am a satisfied gardener!

I wonder how you feel about your gardening year. Were there any particular highlights – good or bad? Have you been able to pinpoint problem areas or gain inspiration from successful planting?

The Tuesday View posts have, for me, served their purpose. So I will not continue with them over winter. But I do hope all those who have joined me over the past months will continue sharing their views as long as they can.

Thanks to you all!

 

The Tuesday View: 7th November 2017

A few rays of sunshine were captured in my photos of the Tuesday View today – precious in November, and lighting up some of the lovely autumn yellows and golds…

The giant Miscanthus is already changing colour, but the dwarf one in front of it remains silvery almost all winter…

As you can see in the above photo I haven’t had the heart to trim this Perovskia yet, but the larger one on the other side of the rockery has been cut back to about 50 cm and will be trimmed hard again in spring.

You may also notice an extra Calamagrostis has appeared in front of the Achillea support; planted out from a pot I had as a summer container, I am not sure I like it there but will mull over it for another week before replanting. Another awaits, and our new hole digger will be put to the test… watch this space!

A major highlight right now is the Hypericum…

… along with the Zebra grass at the bottom of the slope – hard to see from this angle, but below the Acer…

I must try and find the original label as there are various ones that look very similar. I just love these crimped seedheads!

The last aster in flower is in the foreground here and there is still plenty of ground cover. The Hellebore leaves (on the right of the Acer) are looking very healthy, so let’s hope they remain so!

I think a round up of some of my favourite photos of the view will be in the pipeline next week or the week after, as I doubt there will be many changes now… unless it snows! ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you would like to join me in posting a view of one part of your garden every Tuesday, please leave a link in the comments below!

Happy gardening!

๐Ÿ˜€

The Tuesday View: 24th October 2017

It’s been two weeks since my last Tuesday View, and the differences are noticeable… what happened to the leaves on the Acer?!

As you can see, it is looking very autumnal. Looking across from the pathway the view has now opened up as the acer has returned to a skeletal form and the Golden Rod has been partially removed.

I can now see the crisp upright Calamogrostis and Zebra grass as I walk down past the acer…

… at the bottom of the path, looking back up, the freshly trimmed box is also visible after cutting back the peony foliage which was lying flat and already decomposing.

The lovely Aster Alma Pรถtschke has gone over – its moment of glory was brief, but I did make the most of it this year and cut lots to bring indoors. The Perovskia is now a ghost of its former self, but with no flowers left to weigh it down it can at least stand to attention before it is pruned for winter.

The beautiful Miscanthus ‘Adagio’ will continue to look pretty for some time, and my Hypericum has surprised me with some amazing new growth and fresh flowers. There is one single Lychnis flower among the Teucrium too…

I am hoping the first frost will come late this year, and will then be followed by some mild sunny days to tidy up after it!

Finally, a couple of shots of the old Tuesday View from last year, dominated by the spiky red flowers of Persicaria Firetail…

I look forward to seeing your views too, and if you wish to share them please leave a comment below with a link. ๐Ÿ™‚