Lhude sing, cuccu… although this little chap is clearly not a cuckoo but (I thought) a sparrow, bought recently as a pair from a charity shop and now sitting in the garden. The Golfer, however, thinks it is more likely to be a bluetit and as he has a greater knowledge on the subject I will bow to his opinion. So, it is a bluetit standing in for the cuckoo who sings loudly to welcome summer, as sung in a traditional medieval English round. My first dahlia flowers are also singing loudly to welcome the approach of summer and therefore form the basis of today’s vase.
I am thrilled to find lots of buds on all of my dahlias, promising much earlier flowers than last year when they were only just getting into their stride when struck down by frost. These sunny blooms, however, are from dahlias seed sown in February – Dandy, Figaro and Reggae Orange – accompanied by a large flowered bidens from the multiplugs bought for some of my hanging baskets. The green heads are some of the numerous side shoots of Inula magnifica, currently preparing itself to look every bit as magnificent as it did last year when it was one of the most talked about plants in the garden on my informal opening. A single spike of a now unnamed kniphofia, its label probably disposed of because the plant rarely ever appears and had thus been given up as lost, further emphasises the yellow and green theme; having found it again, however, I am tempted to give it the boot… Fresh green seedpods of a white flowered honesty provide the finishing touch and join the blooms in this tiny green and yellow glazed pot.
I am sure most northern hemisphere gardeners are also welcoming their own summer flowers; here I am also regularly picking sweet peas, some from a Mammoth Mix sown in October and the others, growing equally well, from February sown Heirloom Mix. What blooms are singing loudly in your garden, welcoming in summer (or late autumn on the other side of the world)? Do think about picking some of them and sharing them with us In a Vase on Monday.