My Garden This Week

Unashamedly pinching an idea from other garden bloggers, I have decided to put up a selection of photos each week of the things I am most pleased with. These would not warrant a post of their own but deserve to be recorded and published for my records and others’ pleasure. So, in no particular order, a quick tour.Kolwitzia amabilis 'Pink Cloud'

The Kolwitzia amabilis ‘Pink Cloud’ commonly called the Beauty Bush is in full flower and laden with pink and white blossom. It only has a faint scent but the bees don’t seem to mind. It is absolutely buzzing.007

I love alliums and this Cristophii really captures the attention. It is not tall, perhaps 60 cm or so but the flower head is a good 25 cm in diameter, a perfect circle of tiny star shaped flowers. How does it do that???017

The height and intense colour of Purple Sensation makes it stand out in the borders and I think it looks good paired with Nectaroscordum siculum, the Sicilian Honey Garlic, which is a major bee attractor and totally hardy. 021

The first red dahlia of the year is Arabian Night and what a stunner! Very early but one of the benefits of starting them off under glass.Gladiolus communis byzantinus

The gorgeous fuchsia pink of Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus, apparently a good old English cottage garden plant despite it’s obvious Mediterranean origins. I bought a 9 cm pot at Malvern last year with one bulb in flower and popped it into the front border. This year it came up strongly and with 7 separate flower spikes so it seems to naturalise and multiply well.009

It’s really difficult to get a good photo of this plant and despite several attempts this is the best I can do with my basic Nikon. It is Silene dioica ‘Firefly’, a cultivated double form of the roadside wild flower, Pink Campion. Very floriferous over a long period and fully 120 cm tall but needing support to stop it flopping. I put in some hazel twigs early which are now doing their job beautifully and inconspicuously. Schizanthus 'Angel Wings Mixed' 016

The annual Skizanthus and Sweet Rocket are providing some colour in the front border while the late summer perennials are preparing to put on their show next month. I have kept some wallflowers going as well for the same reason. I hate ripping them out in full flower, it seems such a waste. Anyway, it’s only tradition that they are removed to make way for summer bedding so they can stay a while longer.

047

Aquilegias have been fantastic this year. They have popped up all over the garden and in every shade of pink, purple and blue. I let them grow wherever they want because their slender stems always seem to fit in and never get in the way of other things. This incredible self-sown hybrid has an amazing number of flowers and is 120 cm tall. If only they had scent they would be the world’s favourite cottage garden plant.Geranium macrorrhizum & Aquilegias

In the back garden, the poor dry soil in front of the beech hedge doesn’t support much life but it has been colonised by Geranium macrorrizhum ‘Bevan’s Variety’, Geranium magnificum and hybrid Aquilegias. I don’t care if the path gets covered for a couple of months, we walk on the grass and in August they get cut to the ground when I trim the hedge and then they grow back in a few weeks and sometimes give me another show of flowers in October. One of the hardest working plants in the garden and the least fussy.Aquilegia 'Nora Barlow'

And just one more Aquilegia, this one is ‘Nora Barlow’ one of the Barlow series of cultivars which is truly perennial and comes back true every year. It lacks the ‘spurs’ of the hybrids and species  but has wonderful double flowers instead.

There is lots more about to happen. The Inula hookeri is in bud for the first time, the lilies are about to open and, best of all, we have started picking Sweet Peas!

Firsts

006

First flowers on white Sweet Rocket, Hesparis matronalis alba

Going around the garden today I was struck by how many things I was seeing for the first time. Suddenly, things are happening.010

The first Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ not quite a round ball yet but getting there.014

The first fully formed flower of Aquilegia ‘Mrs Scott-Elliot’002

The first Leopards Bane flower, Doronicum grandiflorum, just beginning to open a month later than normal.021

Always has to be the first, the tallest, the most spreading and the biggest pest in the garden, hardy Geranium pyrenaicum ‘Bill Wallis’022

Not impressive yet but the first shoots of Lysimachia ciliata ‘Firecracker’ and Lysimachia punctata mingling with Geranium pratense023

The aforementioned Tree Peony flowering for the first time. Don’t know the name, threw the label away 7 years ago!030

The Guelder rose, Viburnum opulus, promising hundreds of creamy white flowers to come followed by bright red fruits which the blackbirds go mad for. Sadly,the dreaded Viburnum beetle larvae usually shreds the foliage into lace doilies by the end of June. As I don’t like using chemicals in the garden due to the potential harm to wildlife and to our dogs, we have decided to live with problems like that and I am growing a Clematis tangutica up through the Viburnum to take over and hide the beetle larvae damage. Should look good if it works.035

This Lilac, almost certainly ‘Madame Lemoine’ is a sucker from a previous tree we removed. I am happy to leave this one and try to contain it’s enthusiasm.039

The first shoots of Hosta ‘Touchstone’ about to be protected with garlic wash before our slimy friends find it.048

Osteospermum ‘Cannington Roy’, reliably hardy here against a west facing wall in gravel starting the show which will literally go on for 6 months non-stop.051

Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw flaunting her pretty underskirt.052

The first dahlia buds!053

The first flowers of Geranium macrorrihzum in the evening sunshine062

The first Gooseberries forming!085

The first flower buds on Clematis viticella ‘Rouge Cardinal’088

Possibly the first ever edible Brown Turkey figs if we get enough sun to ripen them!097

And finally…..the first lovely pure white flowers of Argyranthemum ‘Donnington Hero’, a plant I have just received in the plant exchange from Plant Heritage.