In a Vase on Monday: Buttons

Joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme has become a lovely ritual not only providing pleasure, but influencing what I grow and how I see my garden too. I sowed a few mixed Scabiosa in the spring with summer vases in mind, and the waiting has paid off – I am delighted with them all, even if I now don’t know which ones they are as they got mixed up when planting out into my summer containers!

Scabiosa and Knautia always remind me of buttons, and since my button tin was handy… ๐Ÿ˜‰ The larger flower in the middle is a Cosmos ‘Double Click Cranberries’ – I feared it had succumbed to the slugs, but fortunately this plant was one of the survivors and has just started flowering!

Just to the right of the Cosmos in the photo above is my creamy Scabiosa ochroleuca, which has been in the rockery for several years now.

I particularly love this pink scabious, with Daucus carota ‘Dara’.

The Clematis tangutica is producing these gorgeous fluffy seed heads in great quantities now. Just right of this one is a small red Knautia.

A new addition to the garden this summer is this pretty Sanguisorba ‘Pink Tanna’, planted last autumn.

The Scabiosa sown were: Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Tall Double Red’, ‘QIS Formula Mixture’ and ‘Snowmaiden’, and Scabiosa caucasica ‘House’s Hybrids’. Sowing took place much later than usual in early and mid May, as we had frosts right up until the end of May this spring. So the flowers have been late. However, since I grew these precisely for putting in vases, I had no qualms about cutting them. There are plenty more buds! The plants will be planted out in the garden in September where they might drop a few seeds and, hopefully, will appear again next year.

Thanks to Cathy for conceiving and hosting this wonderful meme – go and visit her today and enjoy beautiful and unique vases from around the globe!

The Nepal Himalaya Park Revisited

In early July I returned to the Himalaya Garden near Regensburg, which I posted about here, but this time with my sister. It was very sunny, but the bright sunshine didn’t detract from the planting at all. As I mentioned in my last post about it, this is not a show garden, but more a plant lover’s playground. And yet some of the combinations were stunning! These Foxtail Lilies for example, with golden green Euphorbia and golden grasses…

The blues, silvers and golds all melded together too: here Eryngium with more grasses…

And here Eryngium, Lavender and Melica ciliata…

I particularly like this part of the garden, set in a former stone quarry on a well-drained south-facing slope…

We both enjoyed the amazing and unusual selection of plants and trees, some of which remain unidentified. Can anyone help us identify this tall flower in the foreground below, with large silvery leaves?

And those green ‘umbrella’ style plants on the right seem familiar too… now what are they!

I know I can count on my wise and curious plant-loving readers for help! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Tuesday View: 27th June 2017

A brief look at the view today, as it is still rather hot and now very clammy too… yes, we have had RAIN!

At the top of the picture you can see how the Aruncus has been scorched a lovely caramel colour, complementing the Hemerocallis. In the foreground on the right the Clematis tangutica continues to flower and form pretty seed heads too.

The Teucrium hircanicum is flowering beautifully now, and despite coping well with drought it looks better for having a good soak all morning. It loves the well-drained position on the slope and has slowly spread throughout this side of the rockery.

We have been forecast thundery showers for the next few days, so the fresh greens should return.

Are you focusing on one area of your garden this year? Why not share a view of it each Tuesday and join me and the other Tuesday View crowd by leaving a comment below!

Have a great week!

In a Vase on Monday: A (Strong) Summer Breeze

My goodness, it has been windy! Although temperatures are still rather high, the breeze at least meant that I could bear to go outside and do some much needed tidying up, which led to this vase… some snippets from trimming and an exciting discovery – an Astrantia finally flowering in my garden!

I have used the lovely tree of life vase that my sister gave me last year – so appropriate as she is here to visit. ๐Ÿ˜€

This Astrantia major is called ‘Shaggy’. Such a common name for such a regal flower I think. I would have called it something like ‘Victoria’, or ‘Estelle’…

The funny thing is, I gave up on Astrantias a long time ago. Then last year I was sent this one with an order by mistake, and since one plant I had ordered was no longer available I was able to keep this as a replacement. I was sceptical…

… I planted it in a shady spot last spring and it did not grow an inch. So in the autumn I moved it to a semi-shaded area. And now, suddenly, it has appeared amongst some Alchemilla. I had completely forgotten about it. What a lovely surprise!

Other ingredients in my vase this week are: Alchemilla mollis, which is starting to flop in the heat, some Honesty (Lunaria rediviva) seed pods – still fresh green, Poppy (Papaver orientalis) seed heads which were mostly removed from the rockery (poppy foliage tends to swamp other plants and was wilting anyway), a few sprigs of Coriander and Heuchera flowers, a tiny sprig of Euphorbia seguieriana cut down by mistake, and some Teucrium hircanicum. Teucrium is one of the few plants that has survived this heat and strong drying wind almost unscathed. Its tall purple spires look like Veronica, but last all summer and set seed like mad. I also added some spikes ofย  Briza media which, in its second year, has got established enough for me to cut some now. I cut another grass – Melica ciliata – to complement the tall Teucrium, along with a few twigs of young birch foliage.

Three cheers for our host Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who will, I hope, be putting her feet up after having a ballย ( ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) having opened her garden again yesterday.

Finally another picture of the Astrantia – I can’t get over it! An Astrantia in my garden! ๐Ÿ˜€

Rose ‘Alcantara’

I repeatedly claim not to be a ‘rose’ sort of person. I appreciate them in other people’s gardens, especially the scented ones, but deadheading them is so tedious and they do tend to get greenfly, or black spot, or something. Having said that, I do have a few in my garden, one of which is a real beauty and I would not want to be without it: Rose Alcantara…

It domintaes the south-facing rockery in June, and when the Perovskia behind it also starts flowering this place is buzzing!

Rose ‘Alcantara’ seems to love being sun-baked at the top of this well-drained incline. This ground cover rose will continue flowering on and off throughout the summer, and I have never seen greenfly on it. It has survived our driest summers and coldest winters. It really deserves a prize. I would certainly recommend this to anyone with a hot, dry slope!

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Are you a ‘rose’ sort of person?

The Tuesday View: 6th June 2017

It’s raining! ๐Ÿ˜€

We have had light rainshowers on and off all day. Not really enough, but better than nothing! (Update: 3 hours later – those gentle showers have turned into very heavy rain. Yippee!)

Perfect weather for showing my Tuesday View as my garden suddenly looks green again.

In the foreground the Lavender is showing a tinge of colour before it opens. And on the right the tall blue Campanula persicifolia are now open too, while the hardy Geraniums continue to provide splashes of various shades of pink.

The yellow Lysimachia is in full flower. Doesn’t she look harmless?…

The Clematis tangutica ‘Orange Peel’ on the (far too small) obelisk is also in flower…

But my favourite colour here at the moment is this pretty Geranium (I think it is G.’Rozanne’) among some Stipa gigantea; next to the red poppies it stands out even more…

Looking down to the left, at the front of this view, is the lovely Melica ciliata, which I have also seen growing wild on one of our walks nearby.

I pulled loads of the Lysimachia out just a few weeks ago… I could have removed a bit more, but it is lovely while flowering!

As spring progresses into summer, focusing on a particular area of the garden is so useful to me. Why not join in! Just leave a comment below with a link to your view this Tuesday.

Have a great gardening week!