After the Ball is Over

IMG_2466Fellow blogger Chloris recently commented about the deflation felt now that June’s wonderful flush of roses is largely over – walking through our humble rose garden here is certainly not the same experience it was a few weeks ago, although there will sporadically be more flowers to come on both Zépherine Drouhin and Guinée and there are still clusters of buds on the Blush Noisette. Elsewhere in the garden though there are plenty of other plants to delight, not allowing July to have much of a rest after June’s fun and frolics.

IMG_2472Not only is there the first flower on the new rambler ‘Snow Goose’ (although it will be a few years before it can match Pauline‘s lovely example!) but I have been thrilled with the number of buds on Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ (above), a glorious shade of greenish white at this stage. Also on the white spectrum are the opening buds of Ammi magus and Orlaya grandiflora (below), grown as part of a Which? gardening trial. These have taken about 9 weeks to get to this stage from seed, although the A visnaga also being grown is not yet at this stage. I have to count insects for 5 minutes on an open flower on three occasions for each variety, but I am also coveting their potential for inclusion in a Monday vase!

aftertheball.1Also vase material are the sweet peas, successful for the first time. I am intrigued by the ‘Winston Churchill’ I used in a vase last week as they are not always the same shade of red – and the first few flowers from my free packet of ‘Mollie Rilestone’ were definitely not the wavy cream blooms with a deep pink edge that they should have been but white or the faintest conceivable shade of lavender:

aftertheball.2In the blue & white border the various echinops are beginning to make a statement, starting with E sphaerocephalus ‘Arctic Glow’ (below left) as it does not require a blue rinse. Below right the first crocosmia is in flower, not surprisingly ‘Lucifer’, bold in flower and in bud and fronting those big pending hips of spent ‘Parkdirektor Riggers’ blooms:

aftertheball.3I have been enjoying the increased fluffiness of this filipendula which when I looked it up was taken aback to realise is actually ‘meadowsweet’, although I think mine is the cultivated double version Filipendula ulmaria ‘Floro pleno’. Also giving pleasure is this Astrantia maxima which has firmly established itself since last year and is looking decidedly pinker – and very pretty:

aftertheball.4IMG_2478It’s beginning to feel like a garden blogger’s blooms day – and I could go on and on! I haven’t shown Campanula ‘Loddon Anna’ which is flowering its socks off (but needs staking) nor some of the veronicas  and veronicastrums (ditto) which are proving to be IMG_2471dependable additions to the borders, nor the penstemons which I seem to have cracked the pruning of. The phlox are looking promising too, but haven’t been inspected for buds. Roses – who needs ’em?! Hmmm, now that’s a silly question….

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23 Responses to After the Ball is Over

  1. Laurin Lindsey says:

    Beautiful blooms! Our stained glass hostas started blooming to day…and I treasure them more since all the spring blooms are over!

    • You have such a lovely variety of flowers blooming. I like your red sweet peas. Mine are only the pale pink. And your Astrantia is lovely.
      June is my favorite month in the garden, but July is off to a splendid start so far. The blues, (salvias) yellows (Daisies), reds (Bee Balm, St. John’s Cross) and whites (Annabelles like yours, Margaritas, etc.) are having a great old time right now.

      • Cathy says:

        Glad you are finding lots to enjoy too, Cynthia. I am thrilled with my sweet peas and will think carefully about which to grow for next year as it really was pot luck this time round

    • Lauren, what does a stained glass hosta look like, please?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Lauren – but what is a ‘stained glass’ hosta? Glad they are looking good, anyway!

  2. Pauline says:

    There is so much to follow after the roses first flush, in the garden here it is the day lilies that are taking over. A Filipendula has appeared in the border here but I think I will have to move it to the bog garden so that it will have the moisture that it likes. Crocosmia Lucifer is making its presence felt here too, it certainly shouts out from the border “Look at me!”

    • Cathy says:

      Doesn’t it just! I shall probably take out some of mine (Lucifer) later in the year – it seems to spread by seeding more than vegetatively. It’s so striking though

  3. rusty duck says:

    OK spill the beans on penstemon pruning. I think I overdid it this year. 😦

    • Cathy says:

      At first I used to admire their ability to get through the winter with all their greenery intact till I realised I should be pruning them. First I trimmed it back by about a third but it still didn’t really flower, then this spring I read about cutting it right back to new growth at the base, which seems to have done the trick as they are all beginning to bulk out and some to bud up.

      • rusty duck says:

        Yes, I cut them right back to the base too. But they’re not doing a lot. Perhaps it’s because they also fell victim to my passion for moving things, they need time to get over all the trauma.

  4. Chloris says:

    Thanks for the mention Cathy. You are quite right there are still plenty of lovely things to compensate for the fact that many roses have gone over. And there are still a few to enjoy. At the moment I am still enjoying Blush Rambler. But as you say there are lots of other beautiful things to compensate for the loss of the roses.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, as your post has shown. Rural England is still full of flower too – how long will your Blush Rambler flower for?

  5. lizard100 says:

    Lovely colour.

  6. Any true scent lover must have roses! 🙂 This year has given fantastic displays. But, as you show, there is more coming to take their place. Your garden, Cathy, has still so much to offer – so many beautiful flowers. Here, I can see the emphasis starting to shift from the Cottage garden to the Grass garden, where all the buds of my hotter and later perennials are burgeoning. But there’s still plenty to see in the Cottage garden – it’s not going quietly! And if I can mention the star contender there just now, like you, it has to be “Annabelle”. I’m raving about her at the moment!

    • Cathy says:

      It all sounds lovely, Ali – and I have seen so many other bloggers using grasses which is something I will do more of in the future to add structure and fill gaps.

  7. Oh you are making me quite nostalgic for my fluffy, foliar Massachusetts garden! Though it’s true we can garden year round here in Florida, the deep summer months are pretty much a dormant period when only the succulents and weedy looking (unattractive!) natives actually show color. I do so miss my leafy northern garden!

    • Cathy says:

      ‘fluffy foliar garden’? I can visualise what you mean and am sorry to have conjured up those nostalgic thoughts – is your Massachusetts garden all in the past now…?

  8. There is a whole lot of beauty in the garden yet to come. June is great, but that is certainly not the end of the show.

  9. bittster says:

    You do have plenty still to come! The lime green of the hydrangeas is always a favorite look of mine, I think I prefer it to the full white stage!
    I like that campanula too 🙂

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