The temperatures have shot up this week and the plants have responded. The recently acquired Monarda didyma ‘Squaw’ from the Crocus nursery post-Chelsea plant sale is still only small but has produced a few of the bright red shaggy flowers I love so much. It is pictured here with pure white Ammi majus ‘Graceland’ which is just coming into flower.
The ‘grow anywhere’ Leucanthemum superbum or Shasta Daisy is out and will go on flowering for several weeks. It should go even longer this year because it had the Chelsea Chop in May. I have grown ‘Silver Princess’ and ‘Crazy Daisy’ from seed this year and bought the yellow ‘Banana Cream’ and ‘Broadway Lights’ from Malvern. They are one of the few plants that enjoy my sticky clay inthe ‘difficult’ area of the front garden.
The first flowers have appeared on Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ which will go on opening up the long stems until October. It is reliably hardy here but I know most people say it disappears over winter. I think I must have raised seeds from a tough plant!
Geranium pratense ‘Splish-splash’ is not so splashed this year.
Now on to the main event. Two years ago I obtained seed of Inula hookeri from the Cottage Garden Society seed exchange and managed to raise just one plant. It grew well last year in my sunniest border but refused to flower. This year I have been watching the buds form with great anticipation and this week an explosion of yellow flowers has begun. However, after consulting the books and the websites which can usually be relied upon, I am not convinced that it is Inula hookeri bit in fact is Inula helenium. It doesn’t really matter but I would like to know for sure if anyone has an opinion?
The first of many Echinacea purpurea which could be a natural hybrid judging from its form and colour. These are amongst my favourite plants, hardy, reliable and trouble free, sturdy stems with no staking required, long lasting flowers, loved by bees and butterflies and seed heads that feed the birds in winter. What more could you ask of any plant?
It even attracts Ladybird larvae! I just hope that is not Vine Weevil damage I can see!
The Toscana F1 strawberries I managed to germinate back in February have grown into nice plants and are about to be planted out. Their bright pink flowers were a pleasant surprise.
‘Whirling Butterflies’ are new to me. I’m intrigued! I too love echinacea.