Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Garden Bloom Day July 2007

For new visitors I ought to explain a little about this post. The photos shown below were all taken in my garden to show what is in flower at the moment. Garden Bloom Day (or Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day) is organised by Carol at May Dreams Gardens who is in Indiana, USA. Her idea is to share across the world what is in flower in the garden on one day of the month – the 15th. It doesn’t need to be shown with photos - lists or a mix will do just as well. To share my photos and see all the others I go to Carol's GBBD post and leave a comment telling her I have taken part. There I can browse the gardens through her comments list – which I have already done and I intend going back to look again! At the moment it looks like I could be her 70th comment and although I am a little late with my contribution I will still add it as I really enjoy taking part.

My front garden has the most colour at the moment. The photos below show my rose ‘Cardinal de Richelieu’ still holding on to a few flowers. Now though, my rose has the backdrop of the penstemon ‘Etna’ firing up the whole border with colour glowing up and through grasses and alongside the violet blues of the nepata ‘Walkers Low’. Pink asters are tucked into corners and my small buddleia is creeping up through grasses now too. New for this year were the beans which are growing well in the last photo of this group. You will also see two allium christophii heads – the small photo shows a seed head but as the other grows in a shadier part of my back garden is only now fully in flower.

This area is quite small so I limited the colours and use bold and repeats of colour with grasses blending the whole thing together. I have chosen plants for vertical impact here with and the growth of the grasses really accelerates at this time of year – my miscanthus just heads for the sky! This year however it is the number of flowers on my stipa towering over the border like a giant umbrella frame that quite literally tops this border. Behind the stipa and growing through it are the deep reds of the cirsium flowers and in front coming up to meet it are drumstick alliums and verbena bonariensis which will be fully in flower in the next few weeks. This area gently moves with the wind and visiting bees but soon the butterflies will join the party too!


Over the fence, in my back garden there is a whole different world. There is much more shade here and the predominant colour is green with little bursts of colour dotted around. At this time of year my back garden is a very tranquil place – cool in the hot days and so lush and vibrant after the rain. It is now shared with my visiting birds which have dropped in numbers after my absence on holiday. I must refresh and move around the feeders to attract them back again. I have gardened for many, many years but only in the last 18 months have I realised that the garden is empty with out visiting birds – really quite empty.

In the first set of photos below you will see that the red campion is a favourite with the insects. To the right of this photo if you look closely you will see my gunnera is sending out its flower spike. Completing this set you can see my hostas are now coming into flower – another popular feeding station for the bees and other insects.

Next, the deep colours of the clematis look stunning as they are in partial shade and the little thyme, in the larger picture, looks so delicate. Geramiums and a rogue foxglove complete this set.


Dotted around my back garden delicate colours of flower heads emerge as you can see in this next group. The blue allium was part of a bulb set two years ago and was a surprise to find in flower all on its lonesome nowhere near where I planted the rest – which never emerged! The single stem is the start of my lavender showing signs of flower although they have a lot more growth to put on yet. The group of stems is my small low compact astilbe showing signs of flowers to come too.

Next, alpine strawberries are continuing to flower and fruits are developing. My last aquilegia flower is shown and the larger picture is a complete unknown – if I were to make a guess I would say it has perhaps has a likeness for an orchid. I have no idea where this has come from – perhaps the birds? Can anyone help with an ID here?

The last photo in this group is of my borage showing first flowers in a blue and white although it too has a lot of growth to put on – it gets quite tall and if you have children you should be aware the hairy stems are quiet prickly. I grew this from seed a number of years ago and I always pull it up again but it always finds a way to keep coming back! I do leave some depending on where I find it. Finally, the wind and rain took its toll on my campanulas as they now lie across other plants.


Seed heads are now appearing in my garden – I have to say I enjoy looking at them although they can be untidy. I collected many seeds last year but this year I will try sowing the fluffy ones like the celemisia, in the larger photo of the first set of photos below, fresh this year. I won’t try growing cirsium as I have no space for anymore – however after all the flowers have passed in a stem I plan to cut it completely to the ground as last year I had a second flush of cirsium flowers in December! The pods in the last photo hold white lupin seeds.

The second photo in this group below shows a seed head on my clematis ‘Miss Bateman’ and although I successfully propagated it from cuttings last year I think I will also try sowing its fluffy seeds too. For some reason an insect found its leaves of interest! The larger photo shows that my heuchera’s still have flower spikes – their foliage colours are looking great now too.


A bright splash of colour can be seen at my back door in a hanging basket as you will see in the next group of photos below. It looks well above my new silver border which at the moment has a small compact hebe now covered in white flowers as you can see in the second photo of this group. This border isn’t entirely silver in colour – some plants have silver in their name like the rose ‘Silver Anniversary’ we were given for our Anniversary which will have white flowers.

The paler blue meconopsis, grown from seed, is in a pot in a partial shady nursery area in my garden. The final flower spike showing with the start of small purple flowers is a new plant that is temporarily in my silver border to fill space for this year – I will find its label and update this with its name.

Finally the last photos show the very impressive, tall, yellow flowers of Ligulaia x palmatiloba which for the moment is the strongest colour in my back garden. They tower above me as I walk around this border - I had to use a small step ladder to take these photos!

Looking down on me as I was on my step ladder was a blackbird sitting on my, in need of a good trim, hedge! The blackbirds often watch and follow me when I am in the garden – just in case I put out some food and then they will come up quite close. I will get out and attend to them soon.

Next month my back garden should have more colours again but for the moment I am enjoying the many greens and textures of the foliage.

All photos shown above were taken in my garden on 16th July 2007.

12 comments:

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Beautiful photos and garden. Your presentation style is great. Thanks for sharing.

shirl said...

Hi again,

Thanks - I really enjoy producing these posts.

Carol said...

That was a wonderful tour through your garden, very impressive. Well planted, and well described. I don't know what the mystery flower is, but I will check back to see if someone does know, as it is pretty and I'd like to know what it is.

Thanks for participating in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Pam/Digging said...

Great Bloom Day display, beautiful flowers, and stunning photographs. Thanks for commenting on my blog and leading me to your beautiful site.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Shirl, I love your pictures and the way you present them on your blog. You have some magnificent blooms.

shirl said...

Hi again, Carol - although my GBBD posts do take some time to produce I am thoroughly enjoy doing them. I now have, as others taking part will too, a record of my garden month by month. I thank-you for that – it really is a great idea!

Hi Pam and Robin – thanks to you both for visiting and for your comments. It is really great that we can all share our gardens in this way.

A wildlife gardener said...

What a fabulous tour, shirl! You have so much colour in your front and back garden just now.

I love the rich tones of your Cardinal de Richelieu, the amazing photo you have captured of the tortoiseshell butterfly, and all the pink/mauve/blue/purle/violet shades of your colour schemes.

The tall yellow ligularia in your last group of photos also does well in shallow water or boggy areas. I have two species, one with tall yellow spires and black stems, the other with thick dark wine-red stems and enormous deep vivid orange flowers which open out in a flat circle the size of a tea-plate.

I think your mystery plant might be the large flowered hemp nettle, which is a member of the labiate family which includes bugle. They are non-stinging dead nettles. They are more common in the north.

I feel a bit like Eeyore, I'm fed up with all the rain we are having and grabbing the tiny fleeting moments of sunshine between the showers. Oh, I do hope we have some sun this summer :)

Barbara said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and also thank you for explaining the GBBD. Now I know what it is and I think it is a very interesting and good idea. Even better than a garden diary ... which I have (but without pictures!). You made a wonderful presentation of your very rich blooming garden. I enjoyed it very much!
Enjoy your garden.
Barbara

shirl said...

Hi again, Wildlife Gardener

Thank-you I have limited my colours in my front garden. Green has been my predominant colour for many years but I am enjoying experimenting with bold colour blocks. The 54 successful penstemon cuttings I took two years ago are really making an impact now!

Yes, I have seen ligularia near water before – probably at Branklyn. I like the sound of your variety with dark wine-red stems with vivid orange flowers!

Thanks, you could be right with your plant ID – I did wonder about a wild flower but never thought of a nettle. I looked up my book with photos and it does look similar.

Perhaps the sun will come in September and confuse the plants and wildlife once again! Sorry - that's a long time to wait.

shirl said...

Hi again, Barbara

You’re welcome. I enjoyed my visit to your blog too. I especially enjoyed seeing photos of your visit to Branklyn which is one of my favourite gardens in Scotland.

Yes, GBBD is a great idea and will be very interesting to look back on at the end of the year!

Thanks for your comments. Happy Gardening!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Fab tour Shirl! Love that Cardinal de Richelieu rose, what a wonderful colour! Thanks for sharing all those lovely pics from your garden, I enjoyed them!

BTW you're quite right, a garden without birds is a very empty one. The silence is deafening!

shirl said...

Hi again Yolanda,

Thanks. Yes, it was the description of the colour on the label of Cardinal de Richelieu rose that compelled me to buy it – I didn’t have other roses! As the label asked for an open sunny situation I could only put it in my front garden. It is in its second year and I have really enjoyed its flowers this year and the bonus is that it is beautifully scented too. I have other photos with evening sun on it which I will post in the future!

As look out from my windows I find it is the movement I miss the most when there are no birds. I enjoy watching them fly between the feeders which are set a little apart – they fly this way and that and it is lovely to watch. Outside it is another different matter as you hear them chatter to each other as well as singing their little hearts out! Yes, I agree, the silence is deafening without them.