I can’t say I would be particularly moved by whiskers on kittens but raindrops on roses, particularly after a long period of rain, are always very welcome and would make an attractive photograph. No rain here today though (not yet anyhow), but after a couple of weeks of having my head stuck in my laptop whilst marking test papers I have emerged today to face the world and the garden again, so am feeling a little self-indulgent. Do bear with me and take a look at some of the delights that have kept me going on my brief escapes…
The right hand bold border, above, is exactly what it should be – bold, with Allium ‘Purple Sensation’, Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw’, climbing rose ‘Parkdirektor Riggers’ and nasturtium ‘Banana Split’, with the brick wall accentuating the bright colours. You can see the leaves of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and Inula magnifica which will also extend the boldness.
Much pleasure has derived from seeing things grown from seed reach flowering stage, particularly those that have taken longer than a season, like the aquilegia, armeria and primula. From the left we have Primula ‘Harlow Carr’, candelabra primulas grown from RHS seed, Armeria ‘Bees Hybrids’, Papaver ‘Swansdown’ just bursting out of its fat bud, a ‘large red and orange’ Touchwood aquilegia, and Californian poppy ‘Ivory Castle’. I have been amazed how quickly and easily the latter have got to flowering stage and will be happy if they and their ‘Red Chief’ cousins seed themselves around a little.
The clematis colonnade is big on bursting buds at the moment, and I have been observing these ones overhead for a few weeks but had to get a ladder for a close view as there was some doubt as to what it was. I was rather hoping it was a a tiny plug of ‘Vyvyan Pennel’ that had flourished, but my close inspection showed it to be ‘Ernest Markham’, a clematis that has sulked for two years after being forced to change location. In the background you can see just how floriferous climbing rose ‘Madame Alfred Carrière is.
When I left the school I was working at four (gosh…!) years ago I took away with me a clump of these totally neglected irises which had been languishing in a very dry and impoverished soil – although they flowered every year so they cannot have been too unhappy. Last year they produced flowers for the first time here, having been completely forgotten about in the meantime since being replanted. I don’t know much about irises, but I always think of Monet when I see them and yet on checking his iris paintings they are clearly not this type so my memory has been playing tricks. Behind them are ‘Royal Family (white)’ sweet peas.
Always lovely to see because of its rich velvety deep red and multitudinous petals is Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’, benefiting from its text book pruning by producing stouter stems (and more of them too) and all stages of development of Allium cristophii:
And finally, wrapping up this most indulgent post, is a closer look at this still nearly pristine pot of miniature hostas. Ironically, the hosta at the back, ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is supposedly one of the varieties that slugs are less partial to…. so now you know. By chance, the Golfer heard that one of the regulars at his golfing establishment had been at Chelsea for the show week and on his return found that his involvement is with a hosta specialist – needless to say the Golfer has been primed to find out more!