Ten Favourite Plants for August.

I have been AWOL again from the blogging world this month, because I have become obsessed by my latest garden project which has left me with no energy or mindspace for anything else. I hope to finish it next weekend and then all will be revealed. And then I will be able to catch up with everybody.

In  the meantime, I cannot let the month slip by without picking out my ten favourite plants. Yet again this a difficult task as there are so many to choose from at this time of the year.

In no particular order then, I will start with a very elegant crocosmia which I bought last year, Crocosmia aurea ‘Golden Ballerina’. It is similar to ‘Star of the East’ but much more graceful and  with very large flowers.

Crocosmia aurea ‘Golden Ballerina’

I never used to like crocosmias because I associated them with the weedy and invasive montbretia which is so difficult to get rid of. First of all I fell in love with the fiery red ‘Lucifer’ and he remained a favourite until he was superseded by the even better ‘Hellfire’. ‘Emily Mckenzie’ is lovely too, with burnt orange flowers with a dark blotch. A couple of years ago the gorgeous  apricot ‘Limpopo’ became a favourite and now I am searching for ‘Spitfire’ which my gardening friends and I voted a winner when we saw it recently in the hot border at Hyde Hall. Crocosmias are easy from seed and they come up with some surprises so it is worth having a go.

Crocosmia ‘Spitfire’ at Hyde Hall.

My ginger lily relative, hedychium is looking good right now. This lovely coral -coloured one is called Hedychium coccineum ‘Tara’ and unlike some hedychiums this one is hardy in my garden even though it looks so exotic. Hedychiums are sometimes shy to flower and so I dose mine with tomato food.

Hedychium coccineum ‘Tara’

Daisy flowers are a feature of the august garden. I love echinaceas and so do the bees and butterflies. Echinacea purpurea spreads into nice big clumps.

Echinacea purpurea

Like many gardeners I have been beguiled by some of the gorgeous new echinacea hybrids over the last few years. Unfortunately they never survive the winter. At the Hyde Hall Flower show earlier this month I saw a fabulous one which is supposed to be winter hardy so perhaps I should have risked it. But I didn’t, so this is one that got away. But isn’t it gorgeous?

Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’

Rudbeckias are gorgeous daisy flowers with a dark central cone and they come in a range of perennials or annuals. I love the tall Rudbeckia nitida ‘Herbstonne’ which grows to 6 feet tall and has buttercup yellow flower with droopy petals.

Rudbeckia nitida ‘Herbstonne’

Another perennial, Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ makes a nice statement with its bright daisy flowers.

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’

I fell for this dark  rusty brown rudbeckia  hybrid  recently. In fact it is Echibeckia summerina; a cross between a rudbeckia and an echinacea. I didn’t realise when I bought it. I hope I haven’t shocked you with such a travesty. I have no idea whether it is hardy or not. But I love the colour.

Echibechia summerina ‘Brown Improved’


My final rudbeckia is a cheerful annual which I grow every year. It is Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairie Sun’. Maybe next year I will have a change and try a different one.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairie Sun’.

And now for something cool after all these hot colours. The gentian- blue flowers of Commelina dianthifolia are quite small and only last for a day but as they are produced with such abundance they create a striking picture. They are easy from seed and bloom the first year.

Commelina dianthifolia

I have planted them in a pot but as they form tubers which are supposed to be reasonably hardy I might try them in the ground.

Dahlias are a must for the August garden and I have quite a few, including some seed grown ones. But I will feature just one today and that is the lovely Dahlia ‘Twyning’s After Eight’ which has such lovely dark foliage and delicate flowers.

Dahlia ‘Twining’s After Eight’

I never used to like hydrangeas as I always associated them with seaside bungalows. There is nothing wrong with that, except I don’t live at the seaside or in a bungalow. But I have come round to them in the last few years and now have several. I particularly like Hydrangea paniculata. This one which I bought last year has the ridiculous name of ‘Pinky Winky’. At the moment it should be called ‘Wishy Washy’ but last year it got darker as the season went on and gradually turned pink.

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’

For number eight on my list I have chosen another shrub. As far as I know it is the only mahonia which blooms in summer. I love it for its glossy leaves and orange flowers. It is Mahonia nitens ‘Cabaret’.

Mahonia nitens ‘Cabaret’

I am very fond of Crinum powelli. It has large pink trumpet flowers and blooms for a long time in late summer. It likes to have its bulbs planted  so that the nose protrudes from the soil and gets baked by the sun. The flowers are slightly fragrant.

Crinum powelli

For my last choice I have chosen the Pineapple plant Eucomis autumnalis. I keep it in a pot so that it can live in the greenhouse in the winter. You can increase eucomis by leaf cuttings or seeds. I have a year old seedling coming on which I am looking forward to. Who knows it might be something different.

Eucomis comosa

So here we are, my top ten for August. If you would like to share your top ten or top five plants for this month I would love to see them. And now it is time to catch up a bit and see what everyone else has been doing in the garden whilst I have been busy with my new project.

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In a Vase on Monday. In the Red.

Many followers of Cathy’s meme ‘In a Vase on Monday’ have become so enthusiastic about it that they have created cut-flower beds. I have  got caught up in it too and I have turned over one of my raised vegetable beds to annuals for cut flowers this year.

I always grow a few cosmos and the one I chose this year is a gloriously rich ruby-red, stripey one called ‘Velouette’.

Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Velouette’

It is a perfect match for the satiny magenta- red flower of Malope trifida  ‘Vulcan’.

Malope trifida ‘Vulcan’

I like the pointy apple green buds too.

The red flowers look good in my black Victorian mourning vase. The Victorians were addicted to mourning and all the funereal impedimenta that went with it. I like black though and it sets off these dark ruby flowers perfectly.

It is amazing the variety of shades of colour that come under the word red. I don’t think ‘Vulcan’ is a good name for the malope. Vulcan was the Roman Fire God and I think the name should be reserved for fiery red flowers like this Crocosmia ‘Hellfire’. This one is better than ‘Lucifer’ as it has no trace of yellow in it and is redder than red.

Crocosmia ‘Hellfire’

Now that’s the sort of red I think is appropriate for a Fire God.

Thinking about red flowers made me go out foraging in the rain for a few true red flowers in the garden.  And so here is the little vase of  hot reds to cheer up a dismal day. The dahlia is ‘Tam Tam’ and I used dill flower heads.

Dahlia ‘TamTam’

Once the rain came on heavily I had to move indoors and I discarded most of the dill and added a few dark heuchara leaves and some fluffy Pennisetum villosum grass heads for a sultry look.

I used one or two  blooms from my ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ seedlings for different shades of red.

I love the veined flowers of Abutilon ‘Nabob’.

The Nasturtiums or ‘Nasty urchins’ as I thought they were called when I was a child, are ‘Black Velvet’.
I have used a red Penstemon ‘ King George’.

I also used a few sprigs of Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’.

All these reds have made me long for a bit more late summer red. In my last garden, inspired by the red garden at Hidcote, I created a red border. I haven’t got so much space here, but still I think I need to find somewhere to devote to a few more floral fireworks.

In my next post, now I am all fired up, I will explore the red theme a bit more. In the meantime thanks to lovely Cathy at Ramblinginthegarden for getting us all to put something ‘In a Vase on Monday’

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My Top Ten July Plants.

Continue reading

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In a Vase on Monday. A Walk on the Wild Side .

I have been away on a cycling holiday in the beautiful Cotentin region of the Cherbourg peninsula.  This is a part of Normandy which people rush past on their way to the south. But for cyclists like us, anxious to get away from tourists it is perfect. It is a land of lonely marshes and meadows punctuated by dykes and lazy rivers.


The  wildlife is wonderful. We saw otters and storks. The otters were too fast for me but here is a stork.

Instead of acres of wheat and barley like we have here, there were little fields  and  hedges and meadows with beautiful Normandy cows and French Trotter horses or the distinctive donkeys of the Cotentin.

There was mile upon mile of empty beaches of golden sand.

But apart from the solitude and the  wonderfully flat, deserted roads, it was the abundance of wild flowers which particularly delighted me.  So I was inspired to use wild flowers for a vase this week.  It’s not really a walk on the wild side, just the bottom of my garden where the last vestiges of my wild flower garden are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. I used to have clouds of yellow daffodils followed by a froth of cow parsley and ox -eye daisies in the orchard. But then I got fed up with the total mess it looked in late summer and did away with it all  to make way for my secret garden. I have planted a little copse of birches at the bottom of the garden and here I have wild flowers  grown from seed along with the Ox Eye daisies and Knapweed which put themselves there.

I should have taken the photograph before I picked the flowers.

Just like in Normandy, the verges round where I live are full of Field Scabious, Knautia arvensis and Hedge Bedstraw, Galium mollugo. In the ditches and damp places you can find Meadowsweat, Filipendula ulmaria 

The cornflowers are from my cutting bed and the Meadow sweet, Filipendula ulmaria is from the damp edges round my large pond which is little more than a puddle this year.

Meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmaria

Meadowsweet used to be used as a strewing herb as Gerard says ‘The smell thereof makes the heart merrie, delighteth the senses’ – so it seems a good idea to have it in a vase as strewing herbs seem to have gone out of fashion now we no longer gnaw on bones and throw them over our shoulders.  I have long admired Field Scabious and so I decided to collect some seed and grow my own. It is pretty enough to go in the borders. The little white starry flowers are Hedge Bedstraw, Galium mollugo.

Field Scabious, Knautia arvensis.

In another out of the way part of the garden I have set some Ladys’ Bedstraw, Galium verum. I forgot to put it in the vase in the first photo. So here is the vase now. Lady’s Bedstraw was also used as a strewing herb and I can see why as it is beautifully fragrant, it smells of honey. It is very invasive so if you grow it put it in an out of the way place where it can romp away.

Lady’s bedstraw, Galium verum

My Lady’s Bedstraw is in a sunny spot and it is abuzz with bees and butterflies and so is the Field Scabious and Greater Knapweed, Centaurea scabiosa. I have never actually planted the knapweed, in fact I spend my life trying to get rid of it. But the insects love it.

Tortoiseshell butterfly on Knapweed


Meadow Brown Butterfly on Field Scabious

I have also used oats which were growing up the lane, a bit of White Campion and a few sprigs of orange Hieracium aurantiacum which is sometimes called ‘Foxes and Cubs’.

Actually, I think it looks better without the yellow Lady’s Bedstraw but I am keeping it in because the honey scent fills the room. The jug is a Portmeirion one which I bought when we visited a few years ago. I love to have a few native plants about the garden as long as they are not too invasive  and the bees and butterflies really appreciate them.

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by the endlessly inventive Cathy at ramblinginthegarden.

I am going over right now to see what she has been up to and to catch up with other blogging friends.



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My Top Ten Late June Floral Delights.

Swirling in at number one, doing the Jarabe tapatio; the Mexican Hat Dance, we have Tigridia pavonia.

Tigridia pavonia

The Tigridia comes from Mexico. From the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa we have another bulb, Albuca shawii. It has deliciously fragrant, little yellow lanterns smelling of almonds and it is easy from seed. Mine live in the cold greenhouse but I am going to try some in the gravel garden to test for hardiness outside.

Albuca shawii

Number three has to be a lily. I love lilies and so I persevere even though lily beetle is a terrible problem. I don’t use a bug killer because even though the one generally used for lily beetle no longer contains the neonicotinoid;  thiacloprid , it now contains deltamethrin  instead. I don’t imagine this is very good for bees and other pollinators or for me either. So I have to pick them off by hand and squash them with my fingers which is revolting. It is also unnerving, as on the odd occasion, they appear to scream, or squeak in alarm as you  attack them. It makes you feel an awful brute. But still, it is worth it if it means I get to enjoy the beautiful Asiatic lily ‘Night Flyer’ which is the deepest, darkest red.

Lilium ‘Night Flyer’

Number four is another dark-coloured  flower, or rather spathe. It is the weird -looking Arisaema costatum. It looks like a  striped cobra-head with a long sinister tail.

Arisaema costatum

Verbascums  get unsightly foliage as they are attacked by the Mullein Moth but it is worth persevering with the beautiful Verbascum x hybridum ‘Snow Maiden’. Mine is cream rather than the more usual snowy white.

Verbascum x hybridum ‘Snow maiden’

Another white flower which is really easy from seed is the whiter than  Persil -white, corncockle, Agrostemma githago ‘Milas Snow Queen’ . The corncockle is no longer found in cornfields as all parts of it are poisonous. But I am not going to eat it and if you can exercise similar restraint then this pretty flower comes highly recommended; it is easy from seed and the satiny flowers with their little pencil dots are delightful.

Agrostemma githago ‘Milas Snow Queen’

Another easy plant from seed is the short-lived perennial, Catananche caerula. It is sky- blue with dark centres and the flowers have lovely silvery bracts. I have read that you can dry it, so I might have a go. The common name is ‘Cupid’s Dart’ Why Cupid should have blue darts I don’t know.

Catananche caerula

Another plant grown from seed is the lovely dahlia which I feature every year as I love it so much. Its grandmother was ‘The Bishop of Llandaff’ and I tried to get darker and darker children by throwing away the wishy -washy, paler red offspring and keeping the dark ones. I am particularly pleased with this  one as it is very dark, (darker than it looks in the photo) and it has  darker stripes down the petals.

For number nine I have chosen the lovely  long spikes of Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’. It blooms for ages, bees love it and I think it looks good echoing the spires of the Buddleia behind.

Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’

And now we come to number ten and I was hard pushed to pick out a favourite.
Romneya coulteri  with its gleaming white flowers was a contender but they are disfigured by an attack of pollen beetle at the moment. I might have chosen the dainty ‘Dierama pendulum x pulcherimmum, Angel’s Fishing Rod, but it was so windy today, it wouldn’t stay in focus. So I am going for a foxglove. I love foxgloves and grow quite a few different ones. This one is Digitalis lanata. The flowers are rusty, veined inside and have a long white lip.

Digitalis lanata

It is silly trying to pick favourite flowers when there are so many beauties vying for attention, but still it’s fun and next month I shall do another Top Ten Blooms of the Month and perhaps you will join me and show me yours.

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Some Like It Hot.

And I do, I really love it, but for gardeners it means endless watering. It takes its toll on a girl.

Even though it is very hot, the Pianist is not being idle, as you can see, whilst Chloris wilts, he is on the mower. Mind you, as I keep telling him,  he is lucky really; it is a nice, restful, sitting-down job.

Before I can sit down there are a few midsummer  treasures to enjoy and share with you. The secret garden, which was last year’s project, is looking good now the roses and clematis have grown. Rosa ‘Phyllis Bide’ has been flowering for several weeks on the arches.


The rose in the front is ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ which is a repeat flowering rose and a gorgeous colour.

Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’

The clematis have done really well and are covering the trellis.

Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’

Clematis ‘Tie Dye’

Clematis viticella ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’ and Clematis florida ‘Sieboldii’

Clematis ‘Pagoda’

I have already mentioned my passion for roses and although some have finished they have passed the baton to  later flowering ones including these two lovely ramblers. ‘Francis E Lester’ is climbing up an old plum tree and ‘Blush Rambler’ is blushing as she is obliged to climb the frilly pink knicker cherry tree.

Rosa ‘Francis E. lester’


Rosa ‘Blush Rambler’


The next two are nameless as they were already here and looking very sickly and spindly. It is amazing what a bit of a prune and a good feed can do. The first one has the healthy, blueish leaves of Rosa alba. I think it could be Rosa alba ‘Celestial’ as it it has the most wonderful fragrance.


Round the garden there a lots of other flowers which are delighting me at the moment.  Here are a few. I love campanulas and this double one is gorgeous.

Campanula persicifolia ‘Pride of Exmouth’

I love santolinas  too and this is a nice compact one.

Santolina rosmarinifolia ‘Lemon Fizz’

Anthemis tinctoria ‘Sauce Hollandaise’ looks edible with Bupleurum rotundifolius ‘Bronze’.

Anthemis tinctoria ‘Sauce Hollandaise’ with Bupleurum rotundifolium ‘Bronze’

I love bronze flowers and behind this group I have the bronze foxglove, Digitalis parviflora.

Digitalis parviflora

And in pots there are some nice splashes of colour.  The coleus is a nice bronzey colour and looks good with the acer.

The dainty little pelargonium in the front of the next shot is the tricky Pelargonium ‘Ardens’, this is the first time that I have got it through the winter.


I have lots of pots which I will show you another day but I will finish with the wonderfully fragrant Dianthus ‘Rainbow Loveliness’. Next year I shall have this in pots everywhere and all my friends will get a pot too. It smells fantastic.

Dianthus ‘Rainbow Loveliness’

But now, let’s join Hector and the Pianist in the shade. A hammock is the only place to be when the temperature soars.

Note. For people new to my blog, the first picture isn’t actually me. It is my disreputable scarecrow who clearly lives a life of dissipation when I am not looking.

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In a Vase on Monday. Pink and Orange.

June is a very pink month in the garden, I have lots of pink roses and how pretty they look in a vase. Even the ones that are hanging their heads looking overblown and blowsy sum up June for me.

I used the climbing ‘New Dawn’ which I have everywhere as it is very easy from cuttings. The two unruly weeping pears , Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula’ in my front garden have roses weaving through them and I have used bits of two of these;  ‘Veilchenblau’ and the pale pink ‘Félicité Perpétue’ . Perpetua and her slave, Felicity were third century martyrs  who suffered the gory deaths so much enjoyed by early Christian martyrs.

Rosa ‘Veilchenblau’

For extra fragrance I have popped in a few pinks and there is a distinct smell of cloves coming from them.

My house is also  fragrant at the moment as I am enjoying vases of sweet peas in every room.
As an antidote to all this pink I have an orange vase this week. I never used to like orange flowers but now I can’t think why,  I love them.  I am appalled by Orange Presidents and Orangemen; the sinister DUP who our unappealing Prime Minister wants to cosy up to in order to hang on to power. But that is no reason to let beautiful orange flowers  be tainted with bigotry and self-serving malevolence.

I have had this Alstroemeria so long that I can’t remember its name. I like it very much apart from its floppy habit.

On the bottom left you can see the double orange poppy, Papaver rupifragum which seeds all round the garden.

I always think the Latin name for Californian Poppy; Eschsholzia californica has too many consonants but it is very pretty and easy. A few packets of seed sprinkled around and you have it forever.

I used just one rose, my lovely ‘Grace’ which is a David Austin rose and one I would never be without. On the right of the above photo you can see Bupleurum longifolium ‘Bronze Beauty’. It is an unusual plant with sprays of copper-coloured flowers.  I save seed every year so that I can pop this everywhere.

Umbellifers are very fashionable and we all love frothy white  Ammi and Orlaya. But I am very fond of yellow flowered ones too. I have used two different ones here, Lovage, Levisticum officinale and Parsnip, Pastinaca sativa flowers. I always leave a few parsnips to go to seed because I love the flowers.

The alstroemerias have a purple tinge so I used a few sprays of purple Geranium psilostemon. As an after thought I popped a bit of Bronze Fennel in to pick up the dark stripes on the alstroemeria flowers. I also used some flowers from a bronze Heuchera.

In a Vase on Monday is  of course, hosted by the inimitable Cathy at Ramblinginthegarden blog.

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Boxford Open Gardens – Sunday 4th June 2017 — Wild Carrot Photography

I have never reblogged anyone’s post before as I prefer to write my own material.  But last Sunday a very hot looking Amanda from Wild Carrot Photography appeared in my garden weighed down by a very business-looking camera. She had spent the afternoon taking photographs of Boxford gardens.  I think her photos are superb and there are some keen gardeners and lovely gardens in Boxford.   The first garden Amanda featured is Chequers which was the home of the late Jenny Robinson, a well-known and much esteemed plantswoman. Roy Lancaster called her ‘ the grand dame of horticulture’. She had an amazing collection of  fritiĺlaries and other rare plants. It was the greatest honour to be invited to one of her summer lily-sniffing parties. It is lovely to see her garden is being cared for and loved.  Maggie Thorpe needs no introduction to East Anglian gardeners, she is incredibly knowledgeable and her courtyard garden is divine. And it was nice that Amanda made the time to finish up here.

So with Amanda’s permission I thought I would share the post with you so that you can get a taste of a sunny June afternoon in  a Suffolk village.

The prospect of another gloriously sunny weekend added to my eager anticipation of visiting Boxford Open Gardens in Suffolk – celebrating its 20th year. In 2016, on a scorchingly hot day, I had to juggle my time between Boxford’s delights and the beautiful garden at Leaven Hall in Leavenheath – which had its doors open […]

via Boxford Open Gardens – Sunday 4th June 2017 — Wild Carrot Photography

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Wordless Wednesday. ‘Silly Cow’.

Passiflora ‘Silly Cow’

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‘June is bustin’ out all over.’

For gardeners, April, May and June are the golden months of the year but June takes the crown because it brings  with it the dizzying, intoxicating splendour of roses. And aren’t they wonderful this year?

But first of all, craven apologies to all my blogging friends who I have shamefully neglected  for the last few weeks. I haven’t yet even answered the lovely comments on my last post, but I will. I have been AWOL for various reasons, first of all technical; I have a new tablet but it has developed problems of its own and my laptop has been on go-slow to the point when I came close to throwing it out of the window. I have been away too, but for the last couple of weeks I have been working hard for a garden open day. Nothing grand like a NGS affair, it was only a village open day, and not even my village, I tagged along with the village down the road. But still one has one’s pride and  I was determined to get it looking its best. I have dug and grubbed and pruned and polished and the garden does look great -but I don’t. Every evening finds me looking like a zombie, gibbering with exhaustion.

Ok, that’s not me really, but every day I am beginning to look a bit more like my alter ego, Chloris the scarecrow.  It is a race as to who deteriorates the fastest.
As well as maintenance, I have completed two new projects, the first is a gravel area for alpines. This is round the sundial, an area which was always a total mess and I hope it will look good all year round now.

I am edging it with irises which I have grown from seed. Here are two still blooming. I haven’t named them yet.

The second one is rather a curiosity. It look as if the female, Iris germanica which I took the seed from, has hybridised with the wild Iris foetidissima which is all over the garden. It certainly surprised me with its dainty little flower.

The Rhodohypoxis which has been living in a pot has found a home here. It should be all right with a pane of glass over it in winter to keep it dry.

Rhodhypoxis baurii

My other recent project is a gravel area round the new shed.  As I painted the shed with stripes it looks like a beach hut so it has its own beach now.

In front of the shed has become a summer home for my collection of succulents which seems to be multiplying at an alarming rate. It has been supplemented recently by my lovely niece who is the Cornish Succulent Queen.

I grew some Agapanthus from seed and now have 22 healthy plants which is more than anyone needs but they have found a home on the beach and in a large pot. I have seen agapanthus growing on the dunes in Tresco so that is in keeping. Sort of.

I begged a cutting of the orange  Horned Sea Poppy, Glaucium flavum from a friend.

The seagull and the fossils came from a recent visit to Lyme Regis. The shells and coral have been collected over the years. So that is my beach.

Last’s year’s project, the secret garden is now beginning to look more established as the plants on the trellises have grown and filled out. I am encouraged that nobody has asked me this year what it is going to be. I found that rather depressing last year because it is not going to be anything. It already is.

The rose is ‘Phyllis Bide’ and the honeysuckle is the intensely fragrant Lonicera ‘Scentsation.’ For fragrance I have also planted trachelospermum, jasmine and lilies.

Lonicera periclymenum ‘Scentsation’

Amongst the shrubs planted round the secret garden to make it more secret I have a lovely double philadelphus which is called Philadelphus ‘Snowbelle’.

Philadelphus ‘Snowbelle’

The winter garden is now well established and has plenty for summer interest.

Down by the pond, plants are maturing too although I still have to keep plenty of pots
here to deter the heron who likes to be able to wade in.

I grew this Cornus alternifolia from a cutting and at last it is beginning to get a layered look to it.

Cornus alternifolia

Lychnis flos-cuculi

I haven’t done much in the front garden, it will have to be next year’s project. But although neglected it is over- flowering with summer exuberance.

Carpentaria californica

I have one or two hardy orchids in the garden and the trickiest to establish (and also the most expensive) are the slipper orchids, Cypripediums. I have lost two beauties and one has come up but is not blooming. But this one is now in its third year so I am hopeful that I am fulfilling all its finicky needs.


But never mind exotic orchids, it is the roses that are the attention seekers this month.

Climbing up a large holly I have a seedling of Rosa filipes ‘Kiftgate’. It seems to have all the vigour of its parent so goodness knows where it will end up.

I grew Cooper’s Burmese rose from a cutting and it is now making its way up my greengage tree. I love it for its huge single flowers and the glossy leaves which are always healthy and free from blemishes.

Rosa laevigata ‘Cooperi’

You haven’t got all day so I will save some roses for another time and I will finish with the beautiful climbing tea rose ‘Lady Hillingon’. She hangs her apricot heads languorously, but she is quite irrisistible.

Rosa ‘Lady Hillingdon’

It is Monday and I am enjoying the wonderful scent of a bunch of sweet peas as I write. So I offer them as a contribution to Cathy’s meme ‘In a Vase on Monday’. I started them in the autumn this year and they are so much better than my usual spindly efforts to grow sweet peas. I can’t remember the varieties but they are gorgeous.

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