We have finally got summer in London! About time you might say, we have had rain almost every day since beginning of April but now it seems it’s finally our turn to get sunshine and warm weather, very nicely timed for the start of the 2012 Olympics in London. By the time we get to Tuesday or Wednesday this week we are expected to hit over 30 degrees Celsius mid-day, I can’t wait! Those blasted jet streams have decided to go north after all, and they can just stay there until Christmas for my sake!
Although all the rain is not good for my achy arthritic joints, it has done my garden good – it is lush and green with surprisingly little greenflies, but some enormously big slugs - I must remember to take a picture of one of them before they go in the compost bin one day, if my readers can stomach the sight of them that is, ugh! After redesigning my garden last autumn and getting rid of the rest of the grass the new path is now winding down to the bottom in an S-shape, and with all the lush green foliage everywhere you can’t even see the bottom of the garden from my favourite seat.
It’s actually getting difficult to take pictures, there is nowhere to stand to take long-shots of the whole garden! But here you can see my Dregea sinensis on the arch, a real star in my garden. It is in full flower now, absolutely smothered in tiny, lovely scented flowers. The flowers are so small that they don’t really show up on this full size picture...
...so here is a close-up of one side of the arch. The scent is the loveliest sweet scent you can imagine, not intrusive at all, not like lilies which I absolutely adore, but are very in your face and can be a bit too strong after a while. The scent of the Dregea is one you can sit next to a whole evening and still not feel you’ve been drowned in. I am so happy I placed the Dregea on this arch, close to my seating area where I can really enjoy the scent :-)
|The flowers are tiny, yes, but with masses of them who cares!|
|And they flower until well into September, sometimes October if the weather is warm enough.|
Speaking of lilies, until yesterday, out of all my oriental lilies only my Lilium regale had started flowering. But now ‘Mona Lisa’ has also opened up her flowers. I still have lots of ‘Stargazers’ in buds, 3 ‘Miss Feya’ and I also have 8 mixed oriental lilies which are new this year so I don’t know which colour they will be – all in bud, all very late, but we are getting there eventually!
And my daylilies have finally started flowering too, that is, the ones the caterpillars haven’t eaten yet....here is Hemerocallis 'Burning Daylight', a lovely, slightly scented daylily.
|'Burning Daylight' is new this year and I expect it to become a focal point in my garden ones it grows a bit bigger.|
And here is another new plant in my garden, or newish should I say, I haven’t taken pictures of it before – simply because it hasn’t really been much to show! It is a Physalis alkekengi - Chinese lantern, or two to be precise. This was a project I almost gave up, as I bought these in a packet in Asda 3 years ago, and thought I would get lovely red lanterns the same year. When I opened the packet I found two dried ‘twigs’ in the box which I duly put in compost and watered. Very late in the summer I got a tiny plant in each pot but no flowers. I had read that these plants can be very invasive so I had decided to have them in a large tub when they got big enough. When winter came the plants died and I was curious if I would get any lanterns the next summer, but I didn’t, just slightly bigger plants. So you can imagine my joy when I discovered flowers this year, after caring for these two pot plants for the third year running! The lanterns are still green though, and have taken on an unsightly brownish colour which I don’t think they are supposed to have, perhaps too much rain maybe…Next year I will plant these two on in a large tub and hope the plants get much bigger with lots of red lanterns, they should be mature enough at least!
Surrounding the Chinese lantern pots are my black mondo grass, which isn’t a grass at all, it has the tongue breaking name of Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens', also called black lilyturf. It grows very slowly in the beginning, but after a few years it spreads quite quickly and I have now started to pull up runners to keep it in shape and stop it from invading neighbouring plants.
|The flowers are absolutely tiny but lovely, the black berries that follow in the autumn are even lovelier.|
And now to a bit of wildlife in the garden…I have been trying to take a picture of the squirrel that keeps coming here but he is just too quick for me! I love watching him running around, but it’s just like he knows what I am about to do every time I lift my camera! This picture is the only acceptable one so far....
Here is a more docile piece of wildlife, not very wild at all :-) My cat is with me outside every day and he loves using my rubbish tray to sleep in. Every time I empty the tray for weeds and deadheaded flowers he is there asking if it is his turn to use it....
|....he really is way too big for this tray, but he looks comfy enough :-)|
That was the end of today’s roundtrip in my garden, more to come next time, until then, take care.