Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Colours of June ... just in time

Hydrangea petiolaris before we went away.
This has rambled away above head height, and could do with some serious pruning.
Mallows and geraniums that had flowered horizontally while we were away.
My images are all back to front, as I haven't been at all clever with ordering them.

We were busy throughout June.
Firstly preparing for, and then going to Ontario for a fortnight.
This was how the front of the house looked on Sunday morning when we returned from Canada.
The ivy could do with being tackled soon, but it is so hard to make it look good.
The clematis needs tying up, but that means bringing out a step-ladder.

Before we left there were new things to see in the garden.
Here is a rather too tall yellow Sisirynchium that got lost along the way, then moved itself from the back of the border to the front over the years. This is the first good display from it.
As you may know we have rather a lot of geraniums in our garden. A spot check one day at the beginning of the month revealed 15 different colours, most easily displayed in water in this dish.

Berry flowers, I'm still not sure what variety this new bush is. Ian informs me that it is a tayberry or hildaberry. Both were planted the winter before last and are now establishing themselves.

Another gratuitous view down the garden.
At the end of July we will have quite a bit taken off the ashes at the far right, as dead bits had been falling off into neighbouring gardens.
We will have the cedar on the left checked over too.
The last time both these were cut back was 10 years ago.
Again at the beginning of the month the mulberry showing off the flowers/fruits.
I need to add another posting showing some of the colours we saw while travelling in Ontario from mid June. But first I'll link this in to Sue's monthly colour page.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer rain

All week we have been having rain, ranging from hair-curling drizzle to full blown thunderstorms (although only a couple of these).
So everything is growing at a mad rate, and that includes the lawn.
At this rate we may not get it cut for a while as it is constantly too wet.

Typically the more frail roses are opening, and then being washed away before we have had the chance to enjoy them.
Of course we should be out sowing more veg and flower seeds, but the conditions are too wet to want to do it.

But the highest priority, after the sawfly caterpillar removal, is tying in the autumn fruiting raspberries.
Autumn Bliss fruits on new canes, and has put on a growth spurt.
So for the next little while I'll be down the garden with twine and scissors.
It is even less fun when they are all wet, but leaving it another day will make the job more difficult. Thank heavens the row is only about 3 m (10 ft) long.

And to give a bit of an idea of the wetness here, take a look at part of Asda's carpark on Sunday.
Yesterday when getting thoroughly drenched while cycling there were beautiful oil patterns on a bit of road. I was too wet to want to stop and get my phone out, so you will have to imagine the bright haze that spread across the tarmac.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Colours of May

Grasses pop up all over the place in our garden, and we often leave them to see how they turn out. This one has wonderful conical plumes of flowers which are hard to photograph.
The poached egg plant (Limnanthes) attracts lots of insects, and gives a great splash of colour for a couple of weeks. In the really hot weather earlier in the month they drooped badly, but revived. This patch is in the end of one of our raised vegetable beds.
This is only surviving plant of the heritage broad beans we planted from seed I got from Garden Organic. I think it is called "Crimson flowered". We only planted about 5 seeds and didn't soak them beforehand. We still have a few left over for autumn planting. Having had such poor germination with these I soaked a commercial variety "The Sutton" and we have had about 80% germination.

Having been thinking of what I would show for May, I was surprised that the overall impression isn't just of greens.
For quite a bit of the month, the predominant colour was green.
But look at all these other colours:

Looking back up towards the house from about halfway down the garden you get to see some of the red poppies.
These irises turn up all over the place. Sometimes we put them there, sometimes the birds do. They give an amazing splash of colour for a few weeks.
Some years we pick some and have them in a tall white glass vase on the front room windowsill with some of the poppies.
This hazy image is of the fruit on the small mulberry tree towards the bottom of the garden.
I'll try for a better image for June.
Likewise for this berry we planted last year.
Before starting to show some graduated pinks here is another case of insect camouflage.
See my earlier post about gooseberry sawfly.
Here in a wall pot, are some neatly arranged small green eggs laid on a nasturtium leaf.
Taken with my mobile phone above head height, so not the best image.
And now for some of the many pink flowers we have.

This viburnum has had the best flowers this year. Usually it gets too dry before the flowering season, and some of the leaves shrivel up.
Anyway, somehow it has excelled this year, and has looked like this for weeks.
This weigela has also flowered well, with enormously weighty flower spikes.
All over the place we have self-seeded columbines (Aquilegia), mostly this pink, but some dark blue.
We recently planted this group of alliums which have turned up trumps.

And finally ........ this is a bit of a cheat, as I didn't manage to take this picture until 1st June, (from the bathroom window, in the pouring rain).
This gives the overview of our garden from the house with odd splashes of colour.
Now to add the link back to Sue's "Colors of May" posting so that I can share these images with friends from all over.