There are so many lovely things happening in the garden at the moment that it has proved really difficult to decide what to include here today. I’ve tried in this six to simply give an idea of six contrasting parts of the garden.
One: Hesperis matronalis (Sweet Rocket)
I am delighted with how this bed of sweet rocket has performed this year. Growing to about 4 feet in height this mix of the white and purple plants has flowered for weeks. As a biennial planted last June it is well worth the effort and the space. The scent, particularly in the evening, just hangs in the air and always strikes you as you pass the summer house.
It is nearly time to start sowing again so I can enjoy it all again next year. I usually sow biennials around the summer solstice so that the plants are large enough to plant out by the autumn equinox.
Two: Cornus kousa
This Japanese (or Chinese) dogwood is a small tree that seems to start the year well and then later in the year starts to struggle a little. Perhaps its position in the garden is not ideal but it has survived for many years now. It is particularly striking at the moment and is ‘flowering’ well. I say ‘flowering’ as it is the crisp white bracts against the fresh green leaves that produce the show rather than the small yellow-green flowers that are rather inconspicuous. I think it looks really good against the grey-green leaves of the eucalyptus behind. All planned of course!
Three: The new flower garden
Regular visitors to the blog will know that we have retired from commercial flower growing and are converting the old (rather utilitarian) production space into a new more aesthetically pleasing flower garden. It has been a lot of hard work but this year it is really taking off.
The Chandelier (yellow) and Noble Maiden (white) lupins sown from seed last year have established well and look wonderful. Here they are planted amongst dutch iris in blues, whites and yellows and set off by the lime green of the Euphorbia oblongata which seeds itself freely around the plot but sets off other plants beautifully.
The delphiniums, Aconitum and roses are all budding up and can be seen here as well and will create the follow on display.
Four: Anthriscus sylvestris in the copse
Some may consider Cow Parsley a weed but we love it, encouraging it to grow freely in the dappled shade of the woodland areas of the garden. It is a delight to walk through this area in the early morning sun.
One of our pleasures in life, when we are not gardening, is to visit other peoples gardens! This time last year we came across Amsonia when the village of Wasperton opened its gardens in aid of the local church. We just had to have one but struggled to find it in any of the local nurseries.
However, as usual, Avondale nurseries came up trumps. This nursery in Baginton on the outskirts of Coventry is always worth a visit. Take some money with you though as I promise you will be tempted with something.
Having found Amsonia at last we could not buy just one. I am happy to report that both have survived the winter and started to flower. I am really looking forward to seeing them develop over the years.
I have always known Valerian as Centranthus rubra but Wikipedia seems to list it as Valeriana officinalis at the moment. It is very common and easy to grow but placed in the right location it can create a stunning display especially when you mix up the slightly different shades of red, pink and white.
Here we have a patch in a very dry area of poor soil in hot sun just above the garage. It creates a beautiful cottage garden display at this time of year growing amongst the self sown Aquilegia, the Bearded Iris and Oriental Poppies. The white of the Spirea immediately behind provides a lovely back drop.