Blooms, we have a few. Butterflies, sadly we’ve seen fewer. Rain, well that’s a plenty and not exactly helping progress in the garden and butterfly visits in a count for the big butterfly count going on here in the UK at the moment.
Clematis Picardy & Niobe are adding a wonderful depth of colour in some areas of the garden. It is especially appreciated in an area under construction at our back door where a paving ‘move around’ has been necessary after winter damage.
Replacing all paving would be wonderful but quite costly so we are opting for (twice the work) lifting paving that matches in age from under the pergola. We will replace that with new ‘more of the same’ paving which will brighten that area. At present both areas are quite muddy with covers coming on and off to try and make some progress.
We also made a decision to remove an arch that is no longer in the right place due to different use in this area. Ah… have memories of our daughters on their small bikes riding through it when they were little. That was pre wheelie bins and guinea pig hutch of course. Clematis Miss Bateman is waiting a new location as she had to be removed too.
We have taken this opportunity to expand (just slightly) this area which will ease access to shed etc during winter. That’s’ the plan anyway. Re possible new arch and home for Miss Bateman, we will decide on that when the paving is completed. Perhaps a tall metal obelisk would work better.
During some rainy spells I’ve taken the opportunity to clean pots and trays in my greenhouse. I’ve plans for seed sowing and taking cuttings there soon. With the arch away the eye is drawn to the greenhouse so it’s time to tidy up and have a bit of a re-org there too.
For Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, I did try to get out with both video camera and still camera to capture the blooms we do have but rain/wind in the times I could get out didn’t make it possible. When I finally could get out many were a tad worse for wear. The plants above caught my eye.
My July Bloom Day flowers included (front garden) Catmint, Borage, Heuchera, Knautia, Cranesbill Geranium, Stipa Gigantea, Hemerocallis, Rose, Red Campion, Cirsium (going over to seed) and seed heads of Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ & ‘Christophii’.
My July Bloom Day flowers from my shadier back garden included Marsh Orchid, Thyme, Heuchera, Wisteria (odd ones), Campanula, Borage, Red Campion, Cranesbill Geraniums, Cone flower, Perennial Wallflower ‘Bowles’ Mauve’, Honeysuckle, Yellow Meconopsis (further down stem) and a few others that I need to find names for.
Fav flowers at the moment are red campion and heuchera. I love to watch the bees feeding on the tiny heuchera flowers and was thrilled to finally get a photo (see first montage). I'm loving the heuchera foliage just now. Oh… and there’s a special new rhododendron with its first flowers… Rh. SANGUINEUM spp DIDYMUM. I love it!
I have also loved my yellow Meconopsis and I am absolutely thrilled at the prospect of collecting seed from it and sowing it. I plan to sow some fresh and keep the rest. So…yesterday I went shopping for paper bags.
I was looking for paper bags big enough to also store allium seed heads until they dry and let go their seeds. I also picked up tiny brown envelopes to store the seed in too. I found myself wandering around the garden later (like a child in a sweet shop) with a pair of scissors cutting the dry capsules from Red Campion and the allium seed heads that had fallen.
Finally on the flowers… it’s just July but September is charming us already! The Anemone ‘September Charm’ had its first flower of the year on July 17th. Today I can see another two about to open. I do love the Japanese Anemones. I’m wondering if this is a tad early for them to flower.
Finally to the butterflies, I am delighted to say I’ve seen a small tortoiseshell butterfly in my garden. It spent quite a while feeding on my perennial wallflower, resting in the sunshine on leaves of a shrub before returning. It was a little difficult to get photos and video but I’m delighted with my captures. I have also been thrilled to see so many bees visiting my garden this year :-)
Unfortunately wet and windy weather doesn’t help butterflies as few sightings then suggest. I’ll wait for a dry sunny day for my 15 minute count. I tried to help further by setting up a feeding station beside the flowers that were popular. I made up a nectar solution and placed sliced banana out too but, as yet, no sightings. I’ll keep trying :-)
This post was written by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in July 2011.