Monday, 15 July 2013

Hot colours for a hot July

I haven’t written a post in 10 days, between a stay in hospital, recuperating and taking care of my garden I simply haven’t had the time or energy. But it’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom day again so now is the time to show off what’s in bloom, and the last two days I have been taking pictures of everything in flower. I have had a hard time selecting what to show you, I simply can’t show you everything, it would be a too long post - some of the pictures will come the next couple of posts. But this post is quite long anyway so go and get your choice of brew and get seated, here is my middle of July garden. As always, please click on the photos to get the big version, it is so worth it!

My tiny London garden is filling up, you can no longer see the end of the path from where I normally take my overview photo and the garden is getting more and more colourful. Give it another few weeks and the garden will take on a jungle like feel and it will be almost like walking around in an overfilled greenhouse with an open roof. It is at this time of year you really can see how many plants I have managed to squeeze into my beds, containers and pots. We have very nice summer weather in Britain these days, in fact, we have had it for weeks and it is set to last for another few weeks at least! I don’t think we have had such a long spell of good summer weather since summer 2005 so it is about time, but with weather like this, last years’ summer that rained away and this year’s incredibly cold spring are all forgotten and forgiven :-)

We have had exceptionally hot weather the last few days, this was Saturday when the thermometer crept up to 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 F). Last time I had a picture of my thermometer, many people commented on it, but I didn’t show the whole of it so I thought I would put a photo of it today. I bought it on Amazon and it was quite cheap, but it looks like it is made of wrought iron.

Can you remember my photo from beginning of June from a post called ‘Purples and blues’? It was taken in the same spot as this, with alliums and irises. The purples and blues are now all gone and it is the hot colours that have taken over this side of the garden.

The red roses ‘Crimson cascade’ are dominating the rose bed, I made a separate post about all my roses, so I won’t show all of them again but you can see the post MY ROSES here

The Crocosmia crocosmiiflora 'Lucifer' has just started to flower, quite a spectacular sight, and although way too tall for the space I chose for them, I can’t find a better place in my garden so they get to stay. On the package it said they would be around 90cm tall, but these mature crocosmias are around 170cm tall so I guess they didn’t read the instructions!

Crocosmia crocosmiiflora 'Lucifer'

In front of the crocosmias I have 3 daylilies, 2 of them are these Hemerocallis 'Frans Hals'.

The third one is Hemerocallis 'Burning Daylight'. I have 3 more of 'Frans Hals'  dotted around the garden, all divisions of the original plant I bought almost 10 years ago.

There are more hot colours next to the crocosmia, a rose in a container is flowering its heart out, this is ‘Rob Roy’.

And a bit further down in the garden there’s more hot colours, all my 8 dahlias survived the very cold winter and spring, despite that I don’t lift them, the first 2 have started to flower, all the other are still in bud. This is Dahlia, 'Sunshine'.

Dahlia, 'Sunshine'

More hot colours? This is a newcomer to my garden from last autumn, Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'.

Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'.

Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'.

My oriental lilies have finally started to flower, more than a month later than usual, only the Lilium regale so far, but the rest have fat buds so in this nice weather it won’t be too long before they all flower. My total oriental lily collection is around 150 plants so far, but you can never have too many lilies so it will probably be more come next year :-)

I have around 90 Lilium regale, all offspring from 3 bulbs I got in 2004, plus around 30 seedlings. I also gave 30 Lilium regale to my neighbour’s garden and 30 to a friend’s garden, all from the same 3 bulbs. I let each stalk set seed on the last flower they produce and they will produce up to 30-40 seeds each. You can get up to 80% germination so it’s easy to get lots of Lilium regale from seeds. The plants also divide themselves and will shoot up new plants next to the mother plant.

The scent of Lilium regale is absolutely heavenly! On an evening when the sun has been shining, the scent can be smelled all over my garden and standing next to them to take photos is almost overpowering.

Here are the seedlings from last year’s seeds, all I do is to put the fresh seeds in pots and leave them to it. The pots stay outdoors all year, no stratification, no indoor germination, no fuzz at all. They need just water the first year and a bit of fertilizer in the summer the following years. They like a shady place and don’t really need any sunshine at all.

These babies are 4 years old, some of them flowering this year, some didn’t, by next year they will all flower and be much taller. Lilium regale come true from seed so if you have other lilies in your garden you won’t get any mixed breeding results.

This is the shady side of my garden, with another group of Lilium regale. They usually take over when the first group is almost finished. In the middle of the picture are two obelisks with my clematis’, completely entwined with each other as the obelisks are too short for them. They have built a bridge between them and the bridge is heavy with flowers.

They have even started to send branches into the camellia and build a second bridge here. I can no longer walk down here as I can’t get passed!

The two clematis’ are 'Niobe' and 'Gravetye Beauty', both sold as being ‘red’, but as you can see, neither of them are really red in colour.

Lots of ‘Nobe’ with a couple of 'Gravetye Beauty' in the middle.

Clematis texensis 'Gravetye Beauty'.

Next to the clematis’ are two of my four hydrangeas, the one to the left is Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' and I had to give it a support this year as last year it completely toppled over by the weight of the flower heads. The second hydrangea is new this year and just a baby, it is between Annabelle and the lilies in this pictures and doesn’t even show. I will post some photos later if I get any flowers this year.

Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'.

Here is my oldest hydrangea, it doesn’t have a name as it was wrongly named ‘Blue wave’ by B&Q – which it definitely isn’t. It got a severe pruning this February, but is already growing back to almost the same size as last year.

Hydrangea – pink, with no name.

The pink hydrangea on the left side and the red roses on the right side makes a bold colour clash, but I am so used to seeing them together that I don’t really mind! In the middle is my pride and joy, my Dregea sinensis growing up the arch. I have written about this highly scented wine many times before, a plant I thoroughly recommend for anyone with space enough.

Standing under this arch now that the flowers are starting to come out is pretty amazing, they have a very sweet but nice scent and Dregea sinensis flowers until early October in my garden.

Dregea sinensis.

Some of my spring flowers are still going strong and still producing new flowers, this is Dicentra  formosa 'Bacchanal'.

Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba'.  

Dicentra spectabilis 'Valentine'. 

I even have many of my Primula vulgaris still in flower dotted around the garden, despite the hot weather we have!

Some of my fuchsias have just started to flower, I have 26 fuchsias in total so I will make a separate post about them later on when they all are in flower. This is Fuchsia 'Taffeta Bow' and will have to represent them all for now.

And for a final photo, this was a lucky shot today, with the baby lily leaning over the bird table and creating a mirror image on the water.

This was the result of two hot days walking around in my garden taking pictures, I hope you enjoyed the tour! There were many photos that didn’t make it into this post and they will come later on. If you want to see what other people around the world have flowering in their gardens right now, please visit Carol’s blog at May Dreams Gardens.  Until next time, take care.

56 comments:

  1. Helene! My goodness, what a lovely post for Bloom Day! I'm sorry you haven't been well. But at least the weather's been treating your garden very well. I love the ruffled petticoats of your fuchsia, the rich pinks of your clematis, the pale glory of your lilies, and that helenium is gorgeous!

    Hope you are starting to feel better and can share more. I still think of your son's future garden with interest, wondering how you will design it for super-low-maintenance.

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    1. Thanks, my garden has exploded in colours the last few weeks, the weather has certainly helped! I haven’t done any work in my son’s garden lately, with being in hospital and the hot weather, I haven’t been over there for a while, will pick it up again when it cools down a bit :-)

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  2. Helene-your gardens are wonderful and I especially love the Crocosmia crocosmiiflora 'Lucifer'-so unusual and exotic! Hope you are feeling better. I certainly enjoyed visiting!

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    1. Thanks Lee, the crocosmia is a nice feature in my garden, it doesn’t last long in this hot weather, but is very welcome!

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  3. Helene, your garden is truly spectacular! I love reds and oranges which you seem to have a lot of. I hope you are feeling better. Your pictures were gorgeous. I really loved them!

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    1. Thank you, and welcome to my blog!

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  4. Hi Helene, your crocosmias are gorgeous. Love their colour and size very much, they nicely fit with those red roses. Your dahlias look very sweet also. Those hot colours suit your garden very well. And story of lilies is very inspiring. I hope this nice summer will last for the next month too. Happy GBBD and take care.

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    1. I hope the summer weather will last for a long time too, we have waited a long time for it! Great to hear you got inspired by my lilies, they are so easy to grow so anyone can do it :-) Happy GBBD to you too!

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  5. Lovely flowers - your Gravetye Beauty is very much like our Princess Diana.

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    1. Yes, Princess Diana is also a Clematis texensis, very similar, just a bit more pink I think.

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  6. First I started to watch your photos in the big version, really wonderful. Then I read your post, it is so nice to spend time in your garden. The weather is great, may be a bit too warm, we have not yet had temp. of over 30 degr. but may be tomorrow or so. Your Crocosmias are already in bloom, here not yet and also the Hydrangeas are not yet that far. The Drega sinensis is wonderful, I do not know that plant and will find all about it. I hope you feel better and can fully enjoy your garden with this beautiful summer days.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, I have written several posts about my lovely Dregea sinensis, you can find them via my post list. If you can get hold of a plant it is well worth growing it, it is such a gorgeous plant and much more hardy than often described!

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  7. Sorry to hear you have been in hospital, Helene, but you must find so much joy in your garden. It looks just beautiful. Love the crimson rose, the helenium and the crocosmias, in fact I am so smitten with the latter that I will investigate whether they are worth a try here.

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    1. Great to hear you liked the crocosmia, not sure if it will grow in your garden but worth investigating, I think of it mainly as a plant growing in northern Europe and US, but that doesn’t mean it can’t grow in other parts of the world :-) There are many varieties, short and tall, in many colours.

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  8. I have mystic haze dahlias that are on their last leaf...I don't know what I am doing wrong, advice?

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    1. Not sure what you mean, do you have a problem with your dahlias? Are they covered in a web looking like cotton and are the leaves dying? If so, this is usually because of spider mites, tiny bugs that attacks plants like dahlias. You can spray with a suitable bug killer for spider mites, there are several non-toxic, 100% natural active ingredient sprays that won’t harm beneficial insects.

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  9. loved visiting Helene and admired so much. I'm going to have to place a few stakes around my Lucifer as they are around 4 feet tall but not yet in flower. Despite all of the delays we had to summer you're still ahead of me in a few things. So shocked to still see dicentra and primula in your garden! Hope you're feeling much better and thanks for the visit today :)

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    1. Thanks Rosie, it has been a weird and unusual spring, I have never had dicentras and primroses in July before! I stake all the crocosmias early in the summer, before they get too tall, usually two or three together. If I don’t they would be horizontal all of them!

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  10. Not fair, not fair! How come you still get Bleeding Hearts blooming when you already have lilies and hydrangeas???
    :)
    The garden is stunning, Helene. I also have no idea how that many plants fit into such a compact space. Every one of your photos displays gorgeous blooms and I'm thrilled that London's weather is finally cooperating. Sit back and enjoy GBBD!

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    1. I can’t believe how well the London weather is behaving these days, about time though! I think the unusually cold spring we had have confused the plants and they are still late and catching up. All three dicentras and the primroses are still producing new buds!

      I usually say I stack the pants in my garden as sardines, sideways and on top of each other – and when something dies, something else takes over in the same spot :-)
      Happy GBBD to you too.

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  11. What a lovely garden! The reds really pop. I admire your abilities to keep your gravel paths tidy. You either are more fastidious than I am, or your edging material works better than mine.

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    1. I think it is my edging path working well, it is quite tall and the bark in the beds is on the same level as the gravel so it doesn’t spill over easily.

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  12. Helene, I'm so sorry you were ill in a hospital. Glad you are again with your beautiful garden, that I'm sure was waiting for you come back. The oriental lilies, roses, clematises fully changed your garden. Happy GBBD!

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    1. I am really enjoying my garden these days, I often say the garden is the most important room in my house :-) Happy GBBD to you too!

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  13. Wowzer, what a beautiful and colorful garden you have. I just love your dahlia 'sunshine' and helenium 'Moerheim Beauty', incredible! I haven't seen anything like those here in Florida. Wishing you a wonderful week!

    Happy gardening & best wishes,

    Sheri
    www.pompanobeachgardening.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, and welcome to my blog! There will be more dahlia photos later on, when the rest starts to flower so please come back later :-) Happy gardening to you too.

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  14. How sad that you were in hospital for so long during such a wonderful time in your garden! I hope you're feeling much better! Being ill can sure take the joy out of doing things that we love!

    Your garden is looking wonderful as always! Thanks for the good information about starting Lilium regale from seed!
    Silly non instruction-reading crocosmias!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, I am really enjoying my garden these days with the wonderful weather we have now. Great you enjoyed the info about growing lilies from seeds, hope you get inspired to have a go :-)

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  15. Oh, my, those are some hot colors, some of which - such as the crocosmia 'Lucifer' - I have blooming here in my own garden in Texas.

    It's good to have you back among the bloggers that I regularly read and I do hope you are feeling much better and stronger soon.

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    1. Thanks Dorothy, I am better now, enjoying the very good weather we have :-) But the weather we have in London is not hot compared to what you have, from what I have heard on the news, can’t imagine going through the heat wave you had! Have a great week.

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  16. Hi Helene,
    At first I was just going to tell you how gorgeous your Clematis Gravetye Beauty is, but then I saw the Dregea sinensis! Wow! I love them both! I'm impressed with the way you've managed to use lots of red. You've made me realize how much more red I need in my own garden. Thanks so much for sharing your gorgeous garden and I'm glad you're home and recuperating.

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    1. Thank you, it certainly is the time for hot colours in my garden :-) I can warmly recommend Dregea sinensis to anyone with space enough, it is a bit of a monster when mature and I prune it heavily every winter when dormant so it fit on my arch, but other than that it is a lovely plant!

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  17. Someday, I will have Crocosmia and Helenium in my garden! Maybe when I have a sunnier garden. I love them both! You are fortunate to have both Bleeding Hearts still blooming. Mine were blooming together back in May, but now spectabilis has faded. Love them both! Glad to hear you're recuperating and back to blogging! :)

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    1. Thanks Beth, my Helenium is actually tucked away between my roses and I was worried it would not get enough sun but it seems to do OK.

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  18. It's nice to know you are back enjoying your garden now Helene and you have such a gorgeous array of flowers to welcome you.

    Your Clematis texensis is so striking and it was fun to see it in your London garden since it is a native flower to the hills near my home in central Texas.

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    1. I didn't know Clematis texensis was native to Texas, but I suppose the name gives it away, never thought about that! I think it looks so different to the ordinary, 6-petaled round clematis, that's why I love it.

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  19. Amazing! I'm not generally enthusiastic about dahlias, but I love 'Sunshine'! And that Helenium is gorgeous. Also - 150 lilies? You must perfume the whole neighborhood.

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    1. My garden is so sweetly scented that I can smell it in my kitchen when I open the back door in the evening, absolutely lovely! I don't mind sharing it with my neighbours :-)

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  20. So glad to hear you guys are finally getting some good weather! I love your garden pictures this month, I'm not normally a fan of 'hot' colour combos but yours works. The Crocosmia are quite amazing! Enjoy your summer.

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    1. And what a lovely weather we have - and it is just going on and on, at least for the next couple of weeks! Yes, I really am enjoying our summer, I have waited a long time for this!

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  21. Wow! Things really ARE hotting up! I love the contrast between your shade and hot borders. I hope you are feeling much better after your hospital stay. Doubtless your beautiful plants will do much to raise your spirits.

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    1. I am enjoying my garden and spending as much time out there as I can, although going inside to cool down now and then. Even though I don't have air-conditioning it is much cooler inside, those Victorians knew how to build houses for summer use even if they are rubbish at winter!

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  22. The way your garden changes never fails to amaze me. :o) I absolutely love that stand of crocosmia. I'm glad you're having some real summer weather after all the cold and rain last year. I only have a few lilies and they perfume my entire patio. Your garden must smell amazing! :o)

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    1. My garden smells fantastic at the moment, and I have many more lilies to come that are still in bud so even though the hot weather is making them go over very quickly, the season will last for weeks more.

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  23. It's all looking great Helene. You seem to have three seasons in one in your garden. Heleniums and hydrangeas are way off for me yet. But I've moved both the hydrangeas in the last year so I expect they are sulking.
    I do like the Gravetye Beauty. I've tried Princess Diana in a previous garden. You're right, it's slightly more pink.
    Speedy recovery.

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    1. Thanks, I am amazed at the dicentras, never had them in July before, but you know, nothing has been ‘normal’ in my garden this year so I take everything as it comes now! I also like the Gravety Beauty, only trouble with it is that is it prone to get attacked by fungus long before the season is over – this year I have been meticulous with spraying so I hope it will look nice until the frost takes it.

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  24. Your garden looks so full and happy! Love those two Clematis growing together, so lovely...and I can only imagine how amazing your garden must smell with all those Lilies!

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    1. Thanks, it smells wonderful right now, but because of the amazingly hot weather we have (34 degrees C in my garden today!), the Lilium regale is almost finished. All the other oriental lilies are still in bud though, so more perfume for me and my neighbours to come :-)

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  25. I'm one of those that loves your thermometer. Great find. The combination of red roses and crocosmia really caught my eye, what a bright spot. Your garden looks absolutely wonderful right now.

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    1. Thanks, I remember several people commented on my thermometer last time I had a picture of it :-) The crocosmia is a monster of a plant and should have been dug up and divided long time ago. The patch could have been twice as big if I only had room for it! Digging up the bulbs is seriously hard work though so I have been procrastinating – but this winter I really need to do it. Anyone got room for 30-40 crocosmia bulbs?!

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  26. Sorry to hear that you've been in hospital. But you look getting better,taking photos in your gorgeous garden.
    I've never seen "Lucifer" they have attractive flowers! Your Annabelle have just started, as you said! Love its delicate white flowers in early stage:) We are having a relentless heat wave here in Japan, too, recording a high of 39.1 degrees in Kumagaya city near Tokyo! Some people died of heat stroke.
    Take care of yourself, Helene! Have a nice weekend:)

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    1. Thanks Keity, the heat wave is just going on and on here in London, but I am not complaining, I have waited a long time for a proper summer! It's wise to drink enough water and keep out of the sun though, to stay safe.

      Some of my plants are suffering a bit from lack of rain, we haven't had a drop in more than 6 weeks and not much since March. I am watering my garden but it's not the same as proper rain for a few days. Annabelle is one of those plants that look a bit tired in the heat, will look much better when it cools down again.
      Have a great week-end!

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  27. Your garden is looking fabulous! I love hot colors, and they are just appropriate in hot weather. Crimson cascade is stunning. What a beautiful shade of red. And I like the pink hydrangea across from the red rose. Of course, your lilies are fabulous. I just love lilies - thanks so much for the tip on the seeds! I had no idea! And I may have to go to Amazon - I love that thermometer! O.k., this may sound a bit odd, but I want to smell your dregea! :)

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    1. Thanks, my garden has really taken off after that very slow spring! Hope I got you inspired to grow your own lilies, it is so rewarding and I must admit I have a closer relationship to all the plants I have grown from seed myself :-)

      I wish you could come over here and have a sniff at my Dregea, it is just lovely! It is difficult to describe scent, but imagine a mix of lilies and jasmine with a bit fruity scent thrown in - not as heavy and spicy as lilies and not as terribly sweet as jasmine, more like the best of both, with a bit of fruity overtones. With a bit of imagination I think you could imagine what the scent is! And the best bit is that it flowers all summer until it cools down in October.

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  28. Your garden has filled in so nicely. My favourite flower in the post has to be the oriental lilies. They are so stunning massed as they are in your garden. The red rose and pink hydrangea look perfect together if you ask me. I have never seen a Dregea sinensis before. I am amazed that your bleeding hearts still have flowers. Mine are long done flowering. I hope you have a speedy recovery from your recent surgery. Take care Helene!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer, I will have a separate post about my oriental lilies, once they all are in flower, they are taking their time this year!

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