Please click on the photos to view them full size, as I hate the way Blogger and Picasa show my large size photos as blurs :-( I can't go through them all resizing manually or I wouldn't even bother doing a blog! Picasaweb does automatic resizing of the uncropped photos from over 5000 pixels wide to approx 2000 pixels but it just doesn't show right on Blogger. They are all Google owned so it should. Rant over!
The poor honeysuckle that blew off the wall, trellis and all, during violent wind which had to be hacked back has flowered, albeit not in a huge show of colour and perfume as it usually does. However it's grown back really quickly and I note some flowers forming on new growth already!
My front bed goes through many colour changes and has been at its most vibrant this month with reddy pink Valerian and fuchsia pink Lychnis coronaria, along with the white Zantedeschia lily and cooler notes of pale blue love in a mist. Behind the lilies is my bronze fennel which was just a small plant last year and has grown enormously and is about to burst into flower.
White Astrantia (major, I think) has self seeded all over the garden and likes the shadier spots. It's been hard to photograph and is always covered in little bugs. I liked the effect that the yellow day lilies behind this plant had!
The roses which border the veg patch under the greengage tree have never looked so good in years - they've really loved all the moisture this year.
The poppies in the raspberry bed go over very quickly but are replaced by almost as attractive seed heads. Unfortunately a few plants have been blown over by recent wind, but I do need to get in there now to pick the raspberries so it makes it easier for me, as I can't bear to pull out something which is flowering beautifully!
This Lavatera is just amazing. I was given it last year as an 18" high specimen, and now it's about 6 foot or more in all directions and flowering its face off! It's a messy old plant though, flopping out all over the grass so it has to be photographed either from afar or very close up.
Back wall of the cellar. I have a horrible feeling that I forgot to prune this rose as it's flowering too high up; either that or I meant to try to train it outwards along the wall like a climber and forgot to do that too. Oh well!
My hydrangeas underneath are looking bigger and better than ever and neither got frosted so I already have some blooms on the pink one in the foreground (had none at all last year) and the other one is just showing a tinge of blue.
Sweet williams, foxgloves and Campanula poscharskyana are flowering all around them. This campanula is beautiful close up and always covered in bees.
On the hot south west facing wall of the house are two roses whose names I don't know, but they have a lovely perfume which takes me back years and reminds me of my grandmother's garden. They are extremely vigorous and I'm not sure if they are supposed to be shrub roses, planted in the wrong place! I have to prune these back severely every year.
This view is looking towards the front gate and my little purple Prunus tree (which is another thing which has grown enormously this spring, probably due to both rain and the hacking back of the honeysuckle behind it, allowing more light in).
Under the tree and dotted about many parts of the garden are the sweet williams which I sowed last year. They've proven to be really good value plants whose flowers just seem to go on forever, so I will be checking for self seeders and replanting if necessary.
Looking back from that direction towards the pond, lost behind the darkness of the trees which just keep on growing. Sadly we've barely sat out here yet and only had one barbecue, and this is quite a wind tunnel here hence the chairs all stacked to stop them blowing around the garden. The blue planters and trellis were a new addition a couple of years ago to brighten up this area because on the left side out of the photo is a boring Leylandii hedge. Here's where we planted the rose 'Gertrude Jekyll' which has a lovely scent and a couple of clematis. There's also white ivy leaved geraniums in the planters but they are being slow to grow with the general lack of heat and sunshine (although it has been rather hot the last few days).
At the top of the wall in pots are my house leeks (Sempervivum) - I have various varieties and colours and if you look closely you can see that bits which have dropped off them have self seeded in the gravel and are flowering. They like it much better there than in the pots (which could all really do with repotting and starting all over again because they are congested, but I'm lazy!).
I love them when they are in flower - they are so pretty.
Late spring and early summer are certainly for the most part the 'pink phase' in my garden but just to show I have some other colours, this is over the other side of the house where I have a bit of a wild patch for annuals. I can't grow perennials in this particular spot as it's next to the ugly propane tank and the delivery people need access to refill the tank from time to time, so a few squashed poppies aren't a big deal (although they are actually very careful).
There's also self seeded pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis) here and some hot orangey red Crocosmia, all clashing horrendously with variegated Photinia 'Pink Marble', which unlike the really common Photinia 'Red Robin' which has red and green leaves, has pretty pinky white markings on the leaves! I 'bunged' the Crocosmia here last year as I was given a load of tubers and at the time it was just a spare space to put them temporarily....still don't know where to put them.... :-)
Self seeded from last year - Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and wild red poppies behind, although I think the red ones are just out of the photo.
Whilst I'm talking about this side of the house, I don't think I've updated on the blog about the bee hotel. It's sitting on the outside windowsill of the garage and the poppies above are right in front of it. For quite a while I was despairing thinking that the only two holes that had been laid in were going to be the two bunged up holes that you can see on the bottom strip of wood. These are most likely the mason bees who block up their holes with mud.
This morning though I see a couple more holes blocked up, this time they are medium sized holes in the square block of wood. And even more exciting - whilst I was looking I saw an absolutely tiny black thing (a tiny black bee I presume, lol) go inside one of the pinprick sized holes on the left hand vertical strip of wood. It went in and came out several times. The highlight of my day and just goes to show how different sizes are important!
|This isn't an updated photo so just shows the two mason bee holes|
at the bottom which are blocked up