Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Three B's

 When it was sunny yesterday I decided to move the Bamboo from the pathway to the fence by the back gate. It is hopefully more sheltered and not as hot. The Bamboos leaves have got wind burn, and damage from the pots drying out.
 The three pots together look like a living screen. There is plenty of new growth rising from the root system in the pot.
 They start off green and unfurl like a cigar. I think the black stems develop later.I have to watch that these plants don't split the plastic pots.
 I spent a good hour yesterday photographing the Butterflies on the Buddleja. This White one looks very mystical with the sunlight illuminating its wings.
 They come out when it is sunny and fly around the purple flowers. They are very flighty and move quickly from flower to flower.
 The Bee's also love the Buddleja and this Teasel that has managed to flower. I will pull it out before it sets seed, but I love the pollinators in the garden.
 Another Bee balanced on the Butterfly Bush. It is alive with the sound of buzzing bees. The ten feet stems are covered in triple flower spikes. They will be pollinated in double quick time, as the neighbourhood pollinators gather to drink the nectar.
 This Butterfly has his tongue down in the little purple flowers..
The last Butterfly pic shows a Comma. He looks a bit battered and weather beaten. He landed on the buddleja right outside the conservatory. They are very hard to photograph due to their small size, and the constant flighty nature.
  It is pouring down with rain now. July has been hot for three weeks, then rainy for the last week. The garden needs watering though. There will be probably be the months rainfall in a week?
  I hope August is hot and sunny. Butterflies, Bees, and Bamboos are the three B's.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Jewel Garden

   Apologies to Monty Don for stealing his book title for my blog post header. The stars of the garden at the moment are the Roses, and the Asiatic Lilies. The Rose Scent Sation after a slow start has exploded into growth. Each stem has five or six Rose buds on each. They smell so sweet to start with, and the flower mellows in colour to this Salmon blush colour.
 Wollerton Old Hall has gorgeous Myrrh scented flowers. They hold this chalice shape until the petals drop off the Rose. This shrub is covered in multiple stems with lots of flower buds. The weight of the Roses pulls the stems down.
  My favourite Banana Split Lily's. I will miss these next year, but the garden needs a break from them. I think monoculture is an invitation for all the local pests to decimate their target flower. These bright vibrant flowers represent a small portion of what was growing before. I had hundreds of Lilys growing in many pots, hence the red Lily Beetle infestation.
  The Pinks look more faded now, but this maybe the intense sunlight, and very hot days.I think these look great in blocks of single colour.
 Orange flowers always bring a warmth to the garden. I will definitely have these plants in my wish list for a few growing seasons.
 I moved these back to next to the Hungry Bin and they have bloomed away. The bottom right Lily almost looks white. It has lost its dark pink pigment in the flower petals.
  A late Rose bud unfurling on the Lady Emma Hamilton. I trimmed this Rose back to try and keep the growth compact. She has not flowered as well as normal. Lots of leaves but not many flowers. She is maybe five years old now. I will try to change the pots soil, and keep trimming to keep the size small. How long can shrub roses last for before you have to change them?
 The Patio with the birdbath reflecting the sky. The Hosta's provide the green and yellow leaves, the Roses and Lily's the jewels in the garden. The Bamboos have done quite poorly in the summer heat. They will be moved in the winter to the side of the house by the backdoor. It is sheltered and has some shade from the house. The Yorkshire wind has browned the Bamboo leaves. I thought that the Phyllostachus Nigra would be more hardy.
 This is the Rose Scent Sation just after the Rose bud opened. It smelt strongly of sticky sweets, Turkish Delight according to Monty Don. It is a thing of beauty when it first unfurls from the rose bud.
The Wollerton Old Hall in bloom with four of its Roses. They smell strongest when they first bloom. It is a lovely old scent. I hope someone who grows this can tell me what they think it smells of?I did not know what Myrrh smelt like before I had this Rose.
    I already am planning the garden for next year. Change what is dying or struggling. Bring in new replacement plants, rearrange what we have growing. Its never ending with the changing of the seasons.Photographing helps capture moments in time when the garden or an individual flower looks perfect. Or an unexpected combination of planting catches your eyes. these are the jewel garden moments.

Summer Time

   After I wrote the last post saying I had not seen any Butterflies then this Comma landed on the Buddleja. The Orange and black wings contrast nicely against the Black Knight Buddleja.
 This photo shows the Butterflies very long tongue drinking the nectar from the purple flowers. There have been Peacock Butterflies, and various white ones. The bees and hover flys love this plant. It is always a centre of insect activity. The stems have grown to around ten feet up, and the flowers are blowing around in the breeze. There is a heady scent of Butterfly Bush.
  The Buddleja acts as a cover between the conservatory and the bird feeders. The birds think we cannot see them. I photographed this Greenfinch eating the sunflower hearts.
 The sunlight brings out the khaki green and yellow of this very shy bird.I love the rarity of it visiting to feed.
 The past few days have seen the sunshine give way to clouds and rain. The garden and pots were hungry for rain water. The Sweet Peas have been revived with the water.
  The Lavender on the little patio coffee table has flowered at last. Small pale blue flowers. I love the scent of lavender in the warm sunshine. Once it fully flowers the Bees should visit its fragrant spires.
 The Night Phlox has grown beautifully now in the two pots on the patio area. The flowers are white but closed during the day with the red underneath. They smell lovely at night.
 The rain has revived the Pink Phlox which were looking very ropey. They have a slight clove smell to the bright pink flowers.
 The Climbing Fuchsia has grown beautifully and has the Purple/red pendulous flowers. I call it the Cromer Fuchsia, from where it came from. I need this to grow bigger to make it winter hardy.
The Hostas have put up the biggest flower spikes I have seen. They are nearly six feet high. The purple and white tubular flowers are inundated by Bees. They love the nectar of the green Hostas.
  I cant believe its nearly the end of July. Being away for most of June has made it feel like a shorter growing season. The Roses and Lilys are giving spectacular amounts of colour.The pond is newly filled by a night of torrential rain.
  I will do a blog post about them too. I love British Summertime..

Monday, July 22, 2013

Long Shots (of the garden)

 I thought I would share a few wider photos of the garden. I take lots of photos of individual flowers. Here is the patio area by the pond. Tomatoes (including the Chilli plants that were tomatoes), and Pumpkins.
 The wildflower area by the pond has shot up massively. It is pretty much self seeded. It will need cutting back in the winter. The frogs love hiding under the plants by the pond edge.
 The long view from the shed showing the patio, grass, pots, hungry bin, and compost bins,
 My favourite Perennial plants the Astrantia. as modelled on the top of the blog. I love the cool waters of the pond under the graceful arching stems and flowers.
 The dilapidated pond. I cleaned the small green pond leaves that grow mad  in the sunshine. The Water Lily also needed trimming back as it has taken over the pond. The Frogs and Newts love the pond. The birds drink from it and bath in it on the brick steps.
 The Sunken border with the huge Butterfly Bush, Ceanothus, Sambuca, and Dicentra. These plants have grown extremely large for the area they are in. Major decisions ahead in the winter. Can they be cut back to fit the space? The Ceanothus has such a thick trunk now It will need cutting down if I remove it. The growth has exploded from it.
 The pathway has all my pots with Roses, Lilys, Hostas, and brown leaved Bamboos. They suffered terribly in the hot weather. I think I must mulch them thickly next year and maybe move them to against the side wall where it is more shaded during the day.
 The last year of the Asiatic Lily's. They have been getting smaller each year due to pest attack killing the leaves off. This year even the flowers have been eaten. I love the colours but think I need a break from them for a few years.
 The Lily's were free from the organisers of the Big Lunch a few years ago. I love the bright primary colours. Year on year they are getting smaller and smaller with less leaves.
 This Lily reminds me of a Banana Split. I love the colours. Its a shame that the Lily Beetles decimate my plants.
 A Nettle Plant growing in the Wildflower Area. I'm pleased I have this for the Butterflies to lay their eggs. As long as I keep it small it can stay and grow next to the other wild flowers.
   The garden has been full of Bees, and Hover Flys. Also other flying insects. The plethora of flowers means their is a lot of nectar for the pollinating insects. I have not seen many Butterflies yet. A few Meadow Browns, and Cabbage Whites. Hopefully the Buddleja will attract them in.

Roses In July

The Hot weather and Lily Beetles have decimated my Asiatic Lily's. Luckily the garden Roses have all been flowering away. Every few days a new Rose opens for me to photograph, and to smell.The first Rose is the Darcey Bussell. She flowers really well despite some terrible black spot on the leaves.I must remember to buy the anti fungal spray next year to try and stop it discolouring my Roses.
Wollerton Old Hall has three Roses on it now. Chalice shaped pale Roses with a funny Myrrh smell. Like Liquorice or medicine. It has grown really healthy, with no black spot so far. The flowers hold the chalice cup shape.
One of the new Roses is the Molinuex. Ready to be planted in the front garden where the other one died. It has flowered spectacularly. It is very healthy.
The Arthur Bell flowers with one Rose at at a time. Beautiful deep yellow Roses with a lovely strong scent. It is growing healthy. Maybe the Rose food I used has helped?
The Moliniux with apricot colours on this Rose. Beautiful colours and tea scent.
The Rose Harlow Carr flowers non stop for weeks. The scent is pure old rose scent, like soap. This has bloomed more than any of the others.I love the pink blooms.
  The other two Roses still growing that have not flowered yet are the Hybrid Tea Queen Elizabeth (from Wilkos), and the Fryers Rose Scent Sation which has a new Rose bud just opening and the hint of Turkish Delight smell. I will photograph it when it opens tomorrow or Wednesday?
  The Dog Roses have grown leaves from the bare stems, but no flowers. Maybe next year?
  I love Roses. The gardens Lily's will be composted and new plants used to fill the Barrel and green planters.The Lily Beetles can find other gardens to breed in and other Lilys to destroy.
 I want to buy a new Rose or two. A David Austin one called Jude The Obscure, a Rose called Sunrise, and maybe the original Peace Rose (named after the end of the second world war). Roses fill the garden with form, shapes, scent, and colour. I cannot imagine a garden without Roses in it.

Garden Colours

July has been so hot and sunny so far. Great for me but bad for the garden. There has been amazing flowers in a myriad of colours. But also casualties of the hot dry summer. This pretty weed is growing in the Geum Box by the back door.
The Delosperma are a beautiful magenta colour with white centres, and yellow stamen.They are growing next to the Geums.
The Sweet Williams in the rectangular planter still flower away. For an annual it has flowered over three years now. They have a slight smell of Cloves.
Self Seeded Poppies flowered all around the Bamboo pots. I love this double flowering Poppy. They actually grew across the other side of the garden. The wind must have thrown the seeds thirty feet across. I have collected the seed pods ready for them to ripen.I will sow them all over the sunken border.New colours and shapes are already expressing themselves. The flowers are very short lived but lovely to look at.
The Butterfly Bush has grown really well in the summer weather. It is covered in these purple flowers. I am waiting to see the Butterflies though this year..
Growing under the conservatory windowsill is this Foxglove. I bought a selection of Foxgloves. This is the only one that has flowered. The others may flower later or next year. I hope these self seed as I love Foxgloves. They are so pretty and delicate. The Bees love these.
The last two photos show the flowers on the Bishop series of Dahlias. This is the pretty Bishop Of Oxford.
The other Dahlia flowering is the Bishop Of Dover. It has nice pink and white petals, growing above dark foliage.
 The Bishoop Of Llanduff plants rotted away (too much watering!). I have seen there are more Dahlias for me to collect.I have Cantebury, Oxford, and Dover.
  The hanging baskets have died off spectacularly. Only two remain in flower out of ten. I need more plants to fill the eight cremated ones.
  The Strawberry bed has collapsed too in the burning hot days. It is forecast for a few humid days before some much needed rain may fall. The pond is a whole six inches lower now than in the Spring. It needs rainwater to top it up.