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

 

In a Vase on Monday: Midsummer

This Monday is Midsummer’s Day, St John’s Day or in Germany ‘Johannistag’, still celebrated in smaller communities with bonfires or beacons and perhaps a party too.

I am celebrating it with flowers – in a vase of course, as it is Monday! And on Mondays gardeners from far and wide join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to put materials plucked from their gardens or foraged locally into a vase to share. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our meadow and the perimeters of the garden are full of summer flowers and they seemed so appropriate for Midsummer’s Day.

I’m not sure I can put a name to them all, but will try! There are still lots of the large Moon Daisies (Ox-Eye Daisies), but the other daisy-type white flowers are two different types of Chamomile and Fleabane. The clustered white flowers are Achillea…

… but sometimes the midsummer magic turns the Achillea pink… ๐Ÿ˜‰

The purply pink flower is Centaurea (Knapweed) and the yellow flower next to it in the next photo is Bird’s-foot Trefoil…

Naturally a midsummer vase needs St. John’s Wort (Hypericum), which never fails to flower just in time for this date…

This tall flower bud hasn’t opened yet, but I think it is Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace)…

A few snippets of perhaps not so useless information : according to tradition here, rhubarb and asparagus should not be picked after midsummer’s day. It is also traditionally the date when the mowing of meadows began, although often it is two or three weeks earlier these days. And also the date when I shall start watching out for glow worms. ๐Ÿ™‚ (P.S. This evening we did indeed see the first ones on the edge of the garden near the woods. Midsummer magic. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

I found a lovely Beth Chatto quote on the NGS website recently, which I find true on face value but today in particular on another level as well…

‘Grow contented plants and you will find peace among them.’

Worthy of thought.

Have a wonderful week, and if the heatwave in western Europe is headed your way too, stay cool! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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!

In a Vase on Monday: Old Favourites

On a visit to the rockery in my old garden today I picked a lovely posy of summer flowers for our friend a couple of doors away. It is always a little strange visiting my garden there – I feel somewhat guilty at leaving it to its own devices, as well as offended that it clearly doesn’t need me…. but look at what it rewards my absence with!

I will post a few photos of the garden in a day or two, but here are some of the old favourites I was happy to see again. The white Peony Festiva maxima and pink Sarah Bernhardt (not quite open)…

Red Centranthus ruber, yellow Lysimachia, fern leaves and a yellow lily whose name I have forgotten again..

And then a geranium, some heuchera, Veronica gentianoides, Aquilegia, Alchemilla mollis and some fluffy white flowers that could be cow parsley at a first glance… but unfortunately they are Ground Elder! The other white peony is unidentified, as I was sent a wrong one several years ago. I think Lemon Fizz might be a nice name…

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for tirelessly hosting this meme every week. Do visit her this Monday and take a look at her pretty vase and all the other lovely vases linking in from various parts of the world. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

In a Vase on Monday: Daisies

With so many Moon Daisies (Ox-Eye Daisies) in flower in the meadows I simply had to fill a big vase with them and bring some indoors to share for Cathy’s Monday meme at Rambling in the Garden.

I don’t remember ever picking so many before – a luxury! Enough to fill one of my largest vases – my Portmeirion Enchanted Tree vase given to me by my sister a few years ago.

There is something about them that makes me smile. Along with our current heatwave they signify the onset of summer for me. I hope they bring a smile to your face too this Monday. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks to Cathy for hosting once again. ๐Ÿ™‚