Thursday, 16 July 2009

Garden Bloom Day July 2009

It’s that time of the month again… to show off all the flowers in the garden. Well… actually, yesterday was the day chosen by Carol at May Dreams Gardens to host this celebration of what’s in bloom during the middle of the month.

Yellow flowers don’t often feature in my postings primarily as they don’t often feature in my garden either. However, golden foliage lights up my partially shady back garden.

Purple and deep maroon reds show a richness of colour there that the same plants just cannot give in my baked sunny front garden. The Christophii allium shown above has just opened its flowers where the ones in my front garden are sporting the more sculptural look as dried seed heads already.


Lavender loves the warmth of my front garden and I am loving this one above in a pot. I will need to look for the label but I’m pretty sure I’ve put it in a pot as there could be doubts about its hardiness. I bought it at a garden centre after seeing bees on it. I’ve bought a few plants like that this year!


Hanging baskets would require constant watering in my front garden so I have chosen to put a sedum in mine. I have three baskets with one plant per basket… you can see how the basket has been almost bleached by the sun. I like that look.

Sedum‘Rose Carpet’ was the plant I chose for its blue green foliage and rose pink flowers. It is also quite a compact plant for a basket. I just love it and always look forward to the first flowers opening. I over-winter the baskets in my greenhouse as I wouldn’t want to lose these plants. Perhaps this year I’ll try to take some cuttings. It would make a wonderful ground carpet!


Some plants, like roses, just love the sun and are regularly seen in front gardens here in the UK. Although Red Campion is probably more associated with woodlands than gardens... far less front ones!

This year I moved a number of Red Campion self sown seedlings out there to a space behind my giant oat grass (stipa gigantea) and just as I hoped its wonderful ‘pink’ flowers can be seen through the stems now.

Verbena bonariesis is also towering over a number of plants sitting snugly in its pot in a sunny corner where it will catch the last rays of the evening sun. I’m looking forward to seeing butterflies on these flowers soon although I may need steps to photograph them!


Soon a sea of lavender (three plants full) will be fully in flower... the first ones are just starting to open. The bees will enjoy that just as they have been enjoying the wonderfully deep red pin cushion flowers of the little kniphofia.


Butterfly visitors have been on the low side this year but soon the buddleja will be in flower. This plant is not called the butterfly bush for nothing! This year it will get a lot more light as I took out the euphorbia that was growing next to it.


Silver foliage plants like the stachys are great in full sun but in my back garden I’ve found a spot with just enough sun for it to be happy therte too. Now its wonderful clusters of pink flowers can be seen.

The Hebe I moved a few weeks ago has survived the trip and is now in flower too. My first Japanese anemone for the year I expect to be fully open tomorrow and the Hostas have started flowering too.

Campanulas and Cransebill geraniums are in flower but the clock is ticking on them. No probs with the geraniums though, as I’ll cut them to the ground a hopefully get a second flush of flowers later in the year.


Deep coloured flowers are becoming more common in my front garden and I will never tire of foliage plants with year round interest like the heuchera and black Ophiopogon….both seen with flowers now.

So that’s about it for this month so I’ll end with the eye catching cranberry achillia which is new in my front garden for July 2009! There are a few other flowers that I didn’t catch with my camera in the spell between showers of rain yesterday like the white and blue borage. Interestingly looking at my posting for last year we seem to be ahead with many flowers over.



To see more flowers from Scotland at this time of the year you might like to see the borders in the garden visit of my previous posting. You can also pop over to Carol’s posting to see other garden blooms from all around the world vis the link list there. It’s great fun internet garden visiting too!

Have a great weekend :-D

All photos above were taken in my garden on July 17th 2009.

33 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your blooms look beautiful. I like the presentation too. Happy GBBD.

flowrgirl1 said...

Everything looks great! Love the rose and grass collage.

Stephanie said...

Hi Shirl, the collages you made really highlight your flowers so well. I like those yellow flowers. Yes, they really do brightens up a garden ;-)

Bren said...

Your garden is just exploding... LOVE IT!!!!

Karen - An Artists Garden said...

So we were both late posting :)
Great post shirl, I enjoyed the way you presented the images, but the thing that caught my eye most were the sedums in a hanging basket - what a great idea
K

Liz said...

Your garden is looking wonderful Shirl, so many flowers we share and so many I *need* to get! :)

The sedum in the basket is a great idea, although this year I’ve had strawberries in my basket at the back of the house where they will get plenty of sun – south facing garden. But I struggle with anything for the front because the over-hang is really deep here rain actually rarely gets to the baskets even on the north side and I constantly have to water them. So a sedum may be the best idea!
In a past gardener’s world magazine they had alternative ideas for baskets such as lavender! I fancy trying campanula in one next year…

The weather is terrible here today, and the weekend suddenly seems to be forecast to also be horrible. So it looks like I’ll be trapped in the house reading books!

shirl said...

Hi there Liz, glad you enjoyed this just as I did seeing the longer photos in your garden… thanks again for that :-D

Yes, I am pleased with the way the sedum baskets are shaping up. The first year I had the black grass ophigogon and the rubra unciniata growing with it but last year I decided to remove them and have the sedum by itself… I like it best that way now it has grown more. I do like single plant containers especially when they are repeated in the same area :-D

Gosh… strawberries in hanging baskets does take me back to the trough baskets outside the windows of my daughters’ wooden wendy house! Funnily enough I considered putting tomatoes in baskets this year but they would definitely need lots of watering… I went for a deep pot instead :-)

Yes, over-hangs are a problem aren’t they? Yes, I had seen the GW idea with lavender and I considered that too but after seeing how the rather neat grasses looked in my original baskets I felt the high aspect didn’t really work as well... not sure how lavender would look at the end of the season.

Campanula was another thought I had too but I decided its interest factor was too short. With the sedums you have the wonderful foliage before it even opens the flowers.

I stared with one basket of this variety of sedum and the two grasses in my back garden (which I still have although I really should pull out the grass in it now) and it took a lot of searching to get the other three but I’m so glad I held off and didn’t put any other variety in as this one suits the baskets perfectly :-D

Sorry to hear the weather isn’t kind to you for the weekend. It’s brightish but overcast here for the moment – I haven’t seen the forecast. Whatever it is, I must get out into the garden and get some weeding and pruning done. The schools are off and we’ve been busy. Enjoy your book reading… what’s that ;-)

shirl said...

Hi there Lisa, Flowergirl, Stephanie, Bren and Karen :-)

Lisa – Thank-you, I love doing these presentations as you known but did you know they take longer than a video? The videos look like they take a while but as I’ve done so many they don’t really. Thanks, wishing you a Happy GBBD and a great weekend :-D

Flowergirl – Thank-you! The rose collage was my fav too. Thanks for stopping by as it took my to your plot. Have a great weekend :-D

Stephanie – Yes, I do enjoy using collages for plants and the birds visiting the garden too. Yes, I do love that yellow flower where it is planted now in front of the warm tones of the ivy Sulphur heart. I agree yellow does brighten a garden. I love to use white in my back garden too. Have a great weekend :-D

Bren – Thank-you! As is yours… love your Friday photo montage!! Have a great weekend :-D

Karen – LOL… yes the nightshift posters ;-) Thank-you, as was yours. I actually love the bouquets for GBBD and keep forgetting to use them more often. Yes, I nearly forgot to show the baskets too. That particular variety is wonderful in a basket… I really love it! Hope you feel better soon and manage to have a great weekend :-D

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Shirl:-) 'Long time no visit'!! Sorry 'bout that...in summer I find that I visit blogs much less! I have Google reader though, so often browse through it even though I don't visit people's blogs.

I love your garden in July! You've featured your blooms in a lovely way; they are all standouts! I have not posted mine yet but am still considering doing so--I've already made several collages w/my July blooms; I just need to finish them!

Your 'rose carpet' sedum in a basket is an interesting concept but obviously one that works--and it would do well as a ground creeper as well. I love your red pin-cushion flower! I only have the purple, and haven't seen any other colors in nurseries around here.

Butterflies haven't been visiting me, either! I'm concerned that their populations seems to be dwindling. I do have plants they like, and even host plants for caterpillers to feed on, but so far-nothing;-(

Take good care and have a great 2nd half of July! Jan

easygardener said...

You have some lovely colours in your garden. I'm quite taken with the Sedums in a hanging basket idea. Watering hanging baskets in hot weather can be a chore.

Cheryl said...

Fabulous selection of blooms Shirl....
I have red campion in the garden....it is planted along a wooded area and has done very well....I love this pretty plant and it is great for wildlife...

The hanging baskets are fabulous, what a good idea. I will try this myself next year.
I am south facing and planted the wildflower bird'sfoot trefoil this year.....it has done really really well and is still blooming (since beginning of May) It is also the host plant for many winged creatures.

Tks for sharing your lovely blooms with us and have a good weekend....

Liz said...

Hi Shirl,

I’ve taken note of your sedums used and will try to find some for next year!

The Strawberries are doing really well in our baskets and I have quite a few fruit on it at the moment with a couple being not far off being ripe :) I look forward to being able to eat my own fruit – the Raspberries have been quite poor but it is to be expected in the first year.

I have to agree that the Lavender in a basket may not be the best idea unless the basket is actually hung fairly low. As it is our bracket on the front is very high – one of the reasons why I often forget to water it, it’s just too high to really notice!! So I think a sedum would probably be far more successful as they don’t need as much attention :)

I was supposed to be going to a birthday/house warming BBQ tomorrow, and all week the forecast has been ok, nothing fantastic but mixed sun and cloud. Now it’s pretty much rain all weekend. But not to worry, I have faith that it’ll clear up… Oh dear, did I just jinx myself???!!! But if it is raining I don’t think I’ll be going to the BBQ, but I really ought to take round the birthday present and see my nephew – I don’t think I’ve seen him for around a month now…

Midmarsh John said...

What a lovely variety of blooms you have there Shirl. Funny - I have recently decided that my hanging baskets will have succulents of one sort or another in future as the temperature and rainfall is so variable these days. They can be just as attractive as those normally used and require much less maintenance.

shirl said...

Hi there John – Thank-you, July is usually a lean time for blooms but this year I’ve added a few new bee/butterfly plants hence the wider variety now.

I agree completely that succulents are the way forward for summer hanging baskets. However, not all may work… the houseleaks may at a glance look a winner but on the ground I have seen (a number of years ago) a beautiful carpet on my border being absolutely torn to bits by birds (prob blackbirds or starlings wasn’t watching the birds then). They tossed them completely out by the roots. I replanted… they re-ripped them apart again. I covered the plants with chicken wire… they got under and… Yep, I eventually gave up and planted them elsewhere… they found them!!

Yes, sedums can be attractive in a basket… perhaps just avoid the rosette types. After having baskets with sedums fro three years now I’d say they are really almost zero maintenance.

Sorry not been by lately… great to follow the latest on your hedgehogs…. will be by soon. Wishing you a great weekend :-D

FYI… my PC seems to have a problem visiting your blog and frequently it crashes on your opening page or attempts to open it multiple times and hangs up my PC completely. Hog Blog will occasionally crash on the opening page too but has never tried to open multiple ones. Just mentioning this in case other visitors are experiencing the same… I doubt there is anything you have done or can do about this. Perhaps it is cookies on my PC that it is the prob… it is a strange one. I try to save what I’m doing before opening your page… but sometimes I forget. It doesn’t happen every time…the opening page crash perhaps every other time and the whole crash I’d guess four times out of ten visits. Please don’t get me wrong… I’m not complaining… I know I’d want to know if this was happening with my pages even if I could do nothing about it :-)

shirl said...

Hi there Jan, Denise, Cheryl and Liz :-)

Jan – Welcome once again! I completely understand how the summer blogging goes. It is tricky keeping up. Will pop by to see your bloom collages when they are done :-) Yes, after three years this plant does just nicely in a hanging basket. Yep… all you can do (which we have) is supply the plants and if butterflies do pass by they will find them. Thanks for stopping by… wishing you all the best for the rest of July too :-D

Denise – Thank-you, I have to be honest and say one of the reasons I chose sedums for these baskets was so watering would be practically nil. I wouldn’t have put three brackets up at the front of my house otherwise. I originally mulched them with small blue/grey paddle stones so the soil could keep some moisture. From April –June we have had long hot spells and the new growth from the centre seemed to be baking a little so I topped up the centre with more mulch… fine grit this time. These baskets really are not a chore to keep. Occasional watering and that’s about all I do. Have a great weekend :-D

Cheryl – Thank-you… ah I would guess you would have both red and white campion in your wooded area. I grew them both from seed but only the red seems to be with me now. My plantings started in a shady spot with woodland plants but then the seeds blew around and I liked seeing it in different places… hence the summer trial in my front garden. Thank-you, I am delighted at that so many have been taken with the sedum baskets. Funnily enough wildlife is attracted to them too… I’ve seen birds (wrens in my back garden) root about the surface for food. Great to hear of the bird’s foot success… that really is a great wild plant. You are most welcome… wishing you a great weekend too :-D

Liz – If you really are looking for this variety sedum ‘Rose Carpet’ I have only ever spotted it in one particular garden centre (Dobbies) and it was only on sale just prior to flowering if I remember correctly. I’ll keep an eye out for it and tell you if I see it. Great to hear your strawberries are doing well… are rasps not less tolerant of rain? Yep… my thoughts exactly on the lavender… it gets scruffy enough with wind on the ground too so higher up would be worse too. Definitely less attention required with the sedum… I wouldn’t have four baskets up otherwise. Aw… hope the weather breaks up enough for you to ‘party’. Enjoy seeing your nephew and have a great weekend :-D

Midmarsh John said...

Sorry to hear you are having problems with my blog. Nobody else has mentioned it but I will ask in my next entry - in case. I've just tried it here in the latest versions of Firefox, I.E. and Opera without any problems so I don't know what to suggest. I wonder if you can see how much of the page gets loaded before it crashes, that may then point me to where the problem is. The other day I took out a spurious bit of code that was left over after editing a post.

shirl said...

Hi again John, just thought you'd want to know. Will try to follow what happens more closely next time. I doubt it was your code the other day as this has been happening for a while now although perhaps the frequency of the complete crash has increased.

Thanks, I appreciate you mentioning this in your blog. I will be interested to know if I'm the only this is happening to as that then pin points the prob.

Liz said...

Thanks shirl! I'll have a look in Dobbies next time I go - which should be in a couple of weeks, and I did pick up a sedum for the garden (ice plant)

Raspberries apparently prefer sunny, wet summers. So I've moved it from the decking in full sun so it's not being baked and I'm attempting to ensure it's well watered. But as the canes are only small, there are few flowers so I'll have to wait for the new growth this year to mature next year and hopefully get lots of fruit!

Have a great weekend!

Linda said...

So no rain on 17 July? Lucky you! Isn't this weather just suspiciously like last summer?

I really like your sedums-in-a-basket. Great idea to reduce the watering load.

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

You've overwhelmed me with all your pictures.
Don't know where to start...sedum is really cool in the basket...so different.
The artsy pics in your collages of pictures are very creative...
I like it I like it.

Yan said...

Hallo Shirl, What beautiful things. I am quite envious. I'm very taken with the idea of campion planted through ornamental grasses. It grows in abundance in the hedgerows round here (Argyll) and always looks gorgeous with the wild bluebells. I think I will collect some seed and try it scattered with scarab grass under the trees. Thanks for the inspiration. I'm new to blogging and hope it is OK if I put up a link to your site on my blog?

Anna said...

Some beautiful and vibrant July colour Shirl - I enjoyed your blooms. I have verbena bonariensis at the allotment and it is certainly a butterfly magnet. It seeds everywhere though :)

Juliet said...

Hi Shirl, I've been catching up again - it's taken me a couple of days to read your last few posts, but I did read each of them in one go!

Lovely to see your hedgehogs again, and the baby bluetits - and also all those swallows in your last post. We went to a garden centre on Monday which had a sort of greenhouse-type roof over one of the outdoor bits and along the ridges of the roof there were dozens and dozens of baby swallows, all lined up in neat rows, stretching their wings. I really wished I had a camera with a good zoom lens!

Your flower collages are beautiful too - which Hebe is that below and to the right of the Stachys? Mine finished flowering ages ago and I wouldn't mind having a later one as well.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Shirl, sorry to comment so late. Your blooms all look wonderful. My front garden faces south too and this year I haven't put a hanging basket out there for the first time in years but your idea with Sedums is a good one and well worth thinking about. I too have Verbena B towering above everything else and am hoping it will attract some butterflies which seem in short supply in my garden this year! The Buddleia is normally a magnet for them but while it has been in flower the weather has been mainly stormy with high winds so butterflies have kept a low profile. Have a great weekend.

shirl said...

Hi again Liz, sorry late getting back to you. Good luck with your search for the ‘rose carpet’ sedum and enjoy your new one.

Don’t know much about rasps but there are fields and fields of them I often pass when driving. Once again good luck with yours. Have a great weekend :-D

shirl said...

Hi again Linda, sorry late getting back to you. Gosh can’t remember now… caught in torrential downpour yesterday on my way up to Aberdeen though. Driving was quite treacherous! Mm… I think so far we are fairing better than last year… just a little!

Yep… the sedums really are left to fend for themselves… they should be in flower soon.
Thank-you… we did have a good weekend! Went to an Open Garden in Culross… wonder if you’ve been there? I’ll be posting on it in a couple of days… very nice it was. Wishing you a great weekend :-D

shirl said...

Hi again Patsi, sorry late getting back to you. Thank-you! Yep… I do love the sedum in my baskets and soon it will be in flower too :-D

Thanks, I do love to get arty with my pics when I can. Wishing you a great weekend :-D

shirl said...

Hello Yan, welcome to the blogging world! Sorry I’ve been late getting back to you… the summer is always tricky for blogging time.

I am delighted to hear that you like my idea of mixing the campion with grasses. It doesn’t fall over quite so much growing through them too so that’s an added bonus :-)

An Argyll garden… yours will be quite lush with some wonderful plants I suspect. I hope to stop by and browse your blog very soon! I am delighted that you’d wish to add my link :-D

Have a great weekend :-D

shirl said...

Hi again Anna, sorry I’ve been late getting back to you. I’m sure you know what its like at this time of year :-)

Thank-you, our garden colours are quite similar at the moment I noticed. Now there’s a thing… I keep hearing about verbena bon seeding everywhere… but it doesn’t up here. I have actually lost a few plants over the winter too. I rely on cuttings to keep mine going or it is of risk of leaving my garden completely :-(

Yes, the butterflies love it here too although we haven’t seen too many this year yet. Wishing you a great weekend :-D

shirl said...

Hi again Juliet, sorry I’ve been late getting back to you. I’m sure you know what its like at this time of year. I see you are campaigning at the moment. Great causes :-)

Oh my… A *+ for you!! Ah… the swallows I am now seeing everywhere I go at the moment! I really am taken with them. The blue tits are getting more cover with my plants at the moment but we still get glimpses.

The hedgehogs… with the school hols I’m not watching with my cameras as much at night and haven’t spotted them pass through in a while. I guess they are getting food around the garden and under the feeders.

Great that you’ve had a glimpse of the swallows too but that’s the way it often goes… seeing moments and no camera to hand.

Thank-you, I do enjoy making up the collages. Ah… I do love that hebe too. It is Hebe pinguifolia ‘Pagei’ and is a low-growing one so good for borders, pots, corners anywhere really.

Wishing you a great weekend :-D

shirl said...

Hi again Jan, delighted to see you visit whenever you have the time… I know the lengthier posts make it hard for you. I’ve been late replying to my comments so yours came in at just the right time :-D

Thank-you, more blooms are coming out each day at the moment. Oh yes… I would recommend the sedums. Yes… we are short on butterflies this year too. Some do pass by. Ah… the wind and rain do make butterfly visits less likely unfortunately :-(

We’ve lots and lots of bees though this year which is great! Wishing you a wonderful weekend :-D

Juliet said...

Shirl, thanks for getting back to me about the Hebe. That is so funny though! - the one I have is pinguifolia pagei too - mine was in flower in late April and early May, so I assumed yours must be a different one. I suppose it must be the difference in climate between Cambridge and Perthshire!

Barbara said...

Your blooming garden plants are a special treat for the eyes. It's indeed a pleasure to catch up your posts.
Summer greetings from Switzerland,
Barbara