The cold, windy weather is back, this week has been a mix of everything mother nature can throw at us at this time of year, the only thing I haven’t seen so far is snow or hail. Yesterday it was so windy that taking photos was a real challenge, nothing kept still for more than a few seconds and I kept chasing flowers in and out of focus. Today has been a much better day with sunshine and a nice temperature, but as it is Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day it is time for recording what’s in flower right now, no matter what the weather is throwing at us.
My garden is mainly green, with a few dots of colours here and there, the largest splash of colour provided by my lovely rhododendron ‘Dopey’ which is starting to drop his flowers now. The strong wind is spreading red flowers over the whole garden and beyond, but there are still buds to open so I will get to enjoy this rhododendron for a week more or so. But look a bit closer and there are much more flowers, come for a walk with me and I’ll show you the best of the best my garden has to show this middle of June. Everything is still very late, some up to 6-7 weeks late and some plants have just emerged from the ground. I don’t think my garden will catch up this summer, I think it will just continue to be late with everything to come – unless we get a 6 week period with more than 30 degrees C. Ha! Very likely, when did we last have that?! I remember summer 2003 with fond memories, but that’s 10 years ago. And 2005 wasn’t too bad either. It is a long time since we had a smashing summer here in London.
Here is my garden seen from the bottom end.
The big question for this GBBD post was; would I get the roses ready?? I am afraid I still haven’t got my roses at their peak, the first big flush of roses is still weeks away, but I do have some roses! Can you see them? Two red roses, one yellow and down on the ground my cream pot rose is going quite well and the white one has just started. It is a beginning at least. There are lots and lots of green buds, no lack of roses to come, but most of them are weeks away from flowering. I have 10 rose bushes in my garden, 5 of them here in this bed, I’ll take you through the different ones in flower one by one. (Click to enlarge the photos, it is so worth it!)
This is my climber, Crimson cascade, a lovely deep red rose, even darker in real life. My camera struggles a bit showing this colour true to life. This rose is an absolute favourite of mine, so reliable, the only minus is that it doesn’t have any scent.
This is one of my new roses, a David Austin rose called 'Susan Williams-Ellis', a lovely scent although not as strong as I expected.
And here is my trusty old pot rose which flowers all year until it is cut down in February. A true trooper!
Here is the first flower on my rose 'Freedom', many, many more to come.
And this is the largest bud on the rose 'Mildred Scheel', she needs a bit more time to open up properly.
At my seating area I have some of my containers, here is Penstemon 'Strawberries and Cream' which shows no sign of buds yet and another David Austin rose, 'Scepter'd Isle', my absolute favourite. That’s why I have it here in a container next to where I am sitting, because the scent of this rose is absolutely exquisite and very strong. I can’t wait for it to come into full flower, so far it has...
...just buds, lots of them, but I guess it will be another few weeks before they are properly opened.
And right across on my patio is another pot rose in a container, with its first bud in colour. Not yet fully opened but not long to go.
Next to it is my Loropetalum chinense, which is still a tiny bush in a container. It flowers now and then throughout the year and right now it has lots of buds and this single flower.
But I do have other plants in flower, here are my two clematis’, each of them growing up an obelisk which unfortunately are too short for them both, at just over 5’ they are way too short for these mature plants and I really should have replaced them with taller ones, but tall obelisks are quite expensive, spending £50-£60 for an obelisk when I can get lots of plants for the same amount hasn’t really been the right priority yet. As a result, these two clematis’ usually solve the problem between them, by sending out long shoots towards each other when there are no more support to grow upwards, eventually they meet in the middle and create a bridge between them which during the summer gets smothered in a mix of flowers from both plants. Very smart. They have already started on this years’ bridge, by the time we get to September or so you won’t be able to see the obelisks or the space between them at all :-)
This is Clematis 'Niobe' with its lovely huge flowers.
And this is the first flower of Clematis texensis 'Gravetye Beauty', not fully open yet.
And right behind these two clematis’ is my lovely camellia, still in flower!! Can you believe it, I have never ever had camellias in June before. There isn’t a huge amount of flowers left, but one here and there.
The first lily opened today, very timely for my GBBD post, these Asiatic lilies are usually the first to flower and has sometimes been as early as April in my garden. They are a week or two away from their peak. My oriental lilies are many weeks away from flowering, I doubt I will have much to show until next GBBD.
Down at my woodland corner the Lamium maculatum 'Beacon Silver' is flowering its heart out.
And right behind it is Disporopsis pernyi, which I featured in my GBBD post in May and many people took an interest in. It has taken a whole month for this plant to go from buds to flowers – this plant normally flowers in April. Next to it on the left you can barely see the very first fuchsia flower, on 'Mrs Popple', there are lots of smaller buds, but this is the only fuchsia in my garden so far in proper buds.
And up in the far right corner is a newcomer to my garden this year, Geranium 'Brookside', it really lights up this rather dark corner with these vivid blue flowers.
In the middle of my garden I have an area up for redesigning this year. I have taken up all the tulip bulbs that were here, moved some and thrown away the rest. I have also thrown out some plants that were here that didn’t do well. At the moment this area is just filled with pots but underneath there are lots of daffodil bulbs that keeps coming up blind. My first job is to dig them up. Ugh, not looking forward to that job! But when the area is cleared and the pots have gone I will have from the arch to the left to the black grass to the right and all the way back to the shrubs and the camellia at the fence to play around with. That’s almost 2 m2, a huge area in my tiny garden! I haven’t decided what to put here yet, but it is a rather shady area so that obviously will influence what to plant. I really would like to have the new hardy, double gardenia that came out in 2011, I think it would be great at the front, and then something more shade tolerant further back. We’ll see what my wallet can manage!
Oh, by the way, did you notice that lovely red oriental poppy in this photo?! It has grown to an enormous height, not sure how that happened, the rest is their usual height, not really ready to open yet, many of them unfortunately growing more horizontal than upwards. I really dislike to stake poppies as they have no foliage to cover the stick, I tend to just let them grow as they like, but this year most of them have decided to take on a more laid-back position it seems!
Papaver orientale 'Beauty of Livermere'
These poppies are called goliath poppies, no wonder, look at the size of them next to my hand, each petal is the size of my palm!
I have some other goliaths in my garden too, Oriental lilies Giant Goliath 'Miss Feya', here in the middle of the picture. I got them last year and they take a few years to grow to full size, but I do expect them to grow to the top of this 2m tall fence this year. They probably won’t flower until late and spend the whole summer just growing. They flowered beginning of August last year but will probably be later this year. To the right of the lilies is my 10 year old hydrangea which got a serious prune last winter. It will probably grow back again to full size during the summer as it did after I pruned it 2 years ago.
If you just cross the path you get to the area where I have my ‘sea of alliums’ There are still alliums here, but not so much blues, more white, which was a big surprise. I got a free-bee last year from a mail order company of 25 mixed allium bulbs, and thought they would be a mix of blues, but these latecomers are very different looking, and have some huge leaves too.
White alliums, from Allium Haarlem Superglobe Mixed.
Star shaped allium, from Allium Haarlem Superglobe Mixed.
My peonies have started flowering, right on cue for GBBD! This peony is one of the few plants that were here in my garden when I moved in nearly 12 years ago and I have no idea of its name or age. It could be 30-40 years old or even older. It used to grow at the bottom of my garden, on the shady side and didn’t flower a lot, so after much deliberation I decided to move it up here in my sunny bed. I know you are not supposed to move peonies but I took a chance. The peony sulked for 4 years without producing a single flower. I nearly gave up, but look at it now, 7 years after its relocation, I am so happy I did it.
Peonies in the evening sunshine.
Finally I would like to tell you about a new project I am going to take on, starting next week. My son and his girlfriend has moved into a new flat and they have got a garden. None of them are particularly interested in gardening, having only had a tiny balcony before and they just want a place to sit outside that looks nice. If you thought I had a postage stamp size garden, have a look at this one! It is about a third of mine with around 22 m2 plus an alleyway leading from the kitchen door, some of it is paving slabs, half covered in weeds, the rest is....well, I don’t really know yet, haven’t ventured into the long grass yet so I don’t know what I will find once I start cutting it. My son would like the whole thing Astro turfed, but he is leaving it up to me and as long as it becomes low maintenance – as in no maintenance, with room for a seating area, they are happy. I can’t wait to begin, a whole new garden, a blank canvas!
It’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day around the world, why don’t you head over to Carol’s May Dreams Gardens and see what’s in flower in other parts of the world right now. Until next time, take care.