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.


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.






Back in the early Spring, when it was too cold to spend much time out of doors, I dreamed of having a border planted with flowers to cut for the house, and in an optimistic spirit ordered seeds from Sarah Raven and bought packets at the supermarket and found forgotten seeds in the stash. When the weather turned really bitter, not long after sowing Cosmos, larkspur, brachycome, verbena, cornflowers and others, I carried trays of young seedlings to the greenhouse and back inside the house every morning and evening. Although, heaven knows, there were days when even indoors seems too cool for seedlings.cosmos-rubenza
Seemingly endless weeks passed when not a lot happened. Growth was slow, but steady and I had almost decided seed raising was a bit too much trouble, except it was gardening when the snow lay on the ground for a long time and green shoots where there were few others. And when the snow finally melted I had to prepare the border by removing three large and ugly shrubs, one dead and two gripping the soil with a tenacity worthy of very tenacious things that needed brute force and a crowbar and much applied Anglo Saxon and the help of stronger arms than mine.
Now I am very glad I -we-bothered. The Cutting Garden has basked in the summer sunshine and grown enthusiastically. I haven’t got the planting right. Some of the smaller,slower flowers have been overwhelmed by the exuberance of the Cosmos and the clump of hemerocallis I left in the border-one of those three foot six clumps of orange flowered hooligans. And did I mention the giant crocosmia I spent the spring digging out? Still there.

But the flowers have started flowering now. Who knew just how gorgeous a spire of larkspur could be? Or how intense the blue of a cornflower. And the scent of sweet peas-not just for the house, but enjoyable every time I walk past.
Next year there will be larcornflower-blue-ballkspur again. Perhaps more than this year. I am growing Giant Imperial mixed and can see no reason to change. And a second wigwam of sweetpeas, white cosmos, Purity, and the cornflower, Blue Ball.And more clouds of brachycome for the containers .What else depends on how much I like the remaining young plants that haven’t yet started flowering. Perhaps there might be a planting plan next season too, rather than a pop it in and hope plan. But hey, it works. Sort of.