mid month flowers

The garden ran out of steam last summer after the early June flush, so this year we have begun to plant perennials for  late summer colour, as well as growing plants from seed.  The verbena is seed raised, and plants survived last winter and have grown much more sturdily this year. I sowed verbena rigida too and that is also much better in its second year.

cleomeThe penstemon I bought at Hidcote some years ago and have propagated it successfully. It is looking good this year, together with Garnet, Sour Grapes and Heavenly Blue. on the left it is backed by the gorgeous spiny seed raised flowers of Cleome .

I’m fond of blue flowers and the Salvia is a wonderful dark purple blue with deepest indigo buds, now 3 feet high and with many buds to come. I’ve taken cuttings as an insurance, in case we have a hard or very wet winter and because I want a big clump next year, to combine with that orange helenium.

dahlia-child

Some of the seed raised dahlias, Bishops Children, have come almost exactly true to the Bishop of Landaff. They flower in their first year but like the verbenas, second year plants really bulk up. I recommend the seed as a good way of building a collection of these dark leaved beauties. I bought mine from Sarah Raven. I have been really pleased with all the seeds I have bought from her.

eryngiumOne of my other half’s favourite plants, a joy he shares with the neighbours bees, is Eryngium planum. It has enjoyed the sunshine this summer, as I think we all have. It has certainly been the best one for warmth and sunshine for some years.

The borders are still quite pastel whilst the new perennials begin to bulk up, and some of the stars we put in for high summer are also on the feminine  side. I just adore this combination of Clematis Crystal Fountain and Justa with Gertrude Jekyll rose. It took Crystal Fountain a long time to establish after I bought it from Raymond Evison directly but the £1 purchase of Justa from a supermarket has been much quicker.fondant-fancies

I’m joining in for the first time with Garden Bloggers bloom day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. It’s great to see what is in flower all around the world.

 

 

 

The disappearance of a year

image imageIt was July last year when I stopped by here last. Where on Earth has that time gone? We have been very busy around the old homestead during the absence , gradually beginning the process of claiming the garden for our own and getting to know its foibles and strengths.

So let’s pretend I have been blogging very regularly and you know exactly what is going on here and I will resume as if the 13 month break has not happened.

Moles. Lots of them. This has been the summer of the moles. It followed on from the winter when I opened one of the plastic compost bins, to be greeted by a Moley face. They moved up out of the valley during the winter -remember all that flooding?- and they stayed.  Occasionally, recently,  they have strayed across the lawn, much to the annoyance of he -who- mows, but mostly they plough through my newly created borders, eating the worms I so carefully fed with home produced compost, enjoying the easy passage through well dug soil.

We made new borders in the early spring to grow roses and perennials, stripping off the turf and piling the contents of the compost heap onto it. Much of the planting has done well, but from time to time something has wilted and started to look very sorry for itself. I watered diligently and had assumed some specimens were poor doers or disliked the soil. I soon discovered the mole mining. Plants are left high and dry and copious watering does nothing to help. Part of the daily walk now involves treading the edges of the beds to squash the soil back down. Cunning little blighters are now going back and forward across the beds rather than along the edges. War has been declared but so far we have done nothing but curse and tell them about the village mole catcher……I’m hoping they will listen and move on.