It has been an absolutely wonderful summer here in London, best I can remember for a long time - although the weather has cooled down a lot the last couple of weeks and we no longer beat heat records. It is already middle of August and it’s time to join the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and show you all what’s flowering in my garden. I have a lot to show you, as usual, so grab a cup of what you fancy, feet up, and let me guide you through my tiny paradise.
My garden is more green than anything else, August is the time of the year when my garden takes a pause – the summer flowers are finished and the winter plants have not yet emerged. But if you have visited my garden before you know that first impression can be a bit deceptive, there are much more here than what you see on a distance! A closer inspection will reveal a lot more colours, let me show you :-)
First of all, let me show you what a really good summer for us humans has meant for the plants in my garden. OK, I know, not a pretty sight, but this is the result of the spider mite infestation I had for weeks on end. My gorgeous dahlias ‘Sunshine’ were reduced to this. I have cut them down and hope they might come up again since we are only in August, we’ll see...
It wasn’t just the dahlias that were affected, most of the herbaceous plants and some of the shrubs were affected too, especially if they were in the sun most of the day. These pots started out as wonderful fuchsias – and did actually produce some flowers, until the leaves got too affected and stunted the growth of the plants too. I have nipped off the leaves of all the affected fuchsias and hydrangeas and dahlias, hopefully some of them will recover and as you can see, there are tiny leaves coming out so fingers crossed!
But let’s move to something more positive! Although slightly affected by the spider mites, the Physalis Franchettii, Chinese Lantern growing in a container has become huge this year and has replaced the spot of all my crocosmias, which I sadly had to cut down before they even finished flowering, due to the spider mites.
The flowers of the Chinese Lantern looks really small and ordinary...
...but the fruits are really lovely. Soon this whole bush will be covered in these orange balls which eventually turn brown and become see-through.
I do have some fuchsias, this one has been in the shade all the time and is looking quite healthy. This is 'Sir Matt Busby'.
And this is my favourite fuchsia, the latest to emerge and flower, and placed in the shade, which probably saved it – my little ballerina 'Bella Rosella'.
Fuchsias 'Bella Rosella'.
The roses have mostly hit the pause button, after their big flush in late June and July, but this one have started again. It is a mislabelled rose, supposed to be ‘Candy Stripe’, but it obviously isn’t so I have no name for it!
And my rose ‘Freedom’ has been producing one rose here and there since first flush but I can’t see a second flush coming in the near future.
The autumn flowers have arrived, this is Echinacea purpurea, frequently visited by the increased population of bees and butterflies we have had this year.
At my new seating area I have pots of Regal Pelargonium 'Pink Chiffon', a rose in a container, oriental lilies and a penstemon. If you missed the post about the makeover of my seating area you can SEE IT HERE.
The penstemon is called 'Strawberries and Cream' and has been flowering for about a month, with lots more to come.
Penstemon 'Strawberries and Cream'.
Penstemon 'Strawberries and Cream'.
And this is the very last of the oriental lilies, a whole year till next time!
Although the goliath lilies are still going strong, they are a bit later to start and seem to last longer too.
Oriental Giant Goliath 'Miss Feya'. These lilies will be 2.5m tall in 2 years time!
And next to the goliath lilies is my huge hydrangea. I pruned it hard last autumn but it has shoot up to the same size as last summer. This fence is 2m tall, I really don’t want the hydrangea to become any taller than it is now.
My hydrangea has been watered mainly tap water this summer and is bright pink. In summers when the soil has a lower pH they turn more purple.
One of the dahlias has managed to produce a few flowers despite the leaves looking a bit sad from the spider mite attacks, the flowers are gorgeous. This is 'Mary Eveline'.
Dahlia 'Mary Eveline', when the flowers first open they are very dark red, fading to a crimson red.
I am planning to re-design a part of my garden, putting in only white flowers. Here is the first contributor, a self-seeded anemone! I have a double hardy gardenia on mail-order coming next week and some of my white oriental lilies are going in too. I just need a few shorter, white flowers and the bed will be complete.
Speaking of white flowers, my primroses are still flowering!! They have been flowering since November last year, I have about 20 of them and they are all flowering, how is that for hard working plants! It is soon start of their normal flowering season so I hope they will just go on flowering.
This is my first attempt with sunflowers. I planted 12 seeds in between other plants, and only 2 grew up as the very late spring we had meant that they germinated so late so all the other plants shaded for them and the rest of the seedlings just wilted. But two of them made it. Next year I am going to disregard the instructions on the pack and sow them in pots first, and then plant them out when they are tall enough. Lesson learned!
Here is another one of my autumn plants, Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'.
And this little bee seemed to have a gourmet meal on one of the flowers.
The flowers come out very dark red first and then fade to a more orangey colour.
My passionflower tree is still growing, it is getting huge! Considering this vine can become 15-20m tall, my 4m dead tree-stump support is very short. I am not sure what to do when the vine is growing out of space here, I certainly don’t want it down on the ground among the rest of the plants. I might have to do some serious pruning...
The flowers of Passiflora caerulea are absolutely beautiful, so intricate.
And look, I even have fruit already! It is only 2 years since my passionflower was a tiny runner, pulled up from a friends' garden, I certainly didn’t expect fruit so soon.
More fuchsias? This huge basket was meant as a hanging basket for my front garden, but I never got around to drill holes for the bracket so it has been standing on an upturned big pot in one of my flower beds since May – fortunately in deep shade, and not attacked by spider mites.
These are called 'Royal Mosaic'.
Fuchsia 'Royal Mosaic'.
Fuchsia 'Royal Mosaic'.
And these are called Fuchsia 'Flying Scotsman'.
Let’s move down to my two clematises, you can hardly see the two obelisks they are growing on! It is a bit difficult to take pictures of them, but they have completely grown out of space and have created bridges between them and also to the camellia and are now scrambling up, covering one side of the camellia with flowers!
This is Clematis texensis 'Gravetye Beauty' and I have completely given up deadheading the two clematises, I simply can’t get close enough to snip them off the way they are growing now. The good summer has certainly been beneficial to the two clematises.
Speaking of monster plants, my two Dregea sinensis growing on the arch is still going strong, still in flower. This is my pride and joy – mixed with a dash of frustration every February when I have to prune off about 80% of it – although so worth the work!
The flowers of Dregea sinensis have the most incredible sweet scent and it flowers from June till late October.
But look here, something I bet you didn’t expect to find in a garden in London in August – a hellebore in flower! Yes, my season-confused hellebore has done it again, started flowering in the middle of the summer!
All my other hellebores are just boringly green, but this one does this every year, flowers with maroon flowers in the winter and then flowers again in the summer with these dainty-pink flowers.
I saw the first bud appearing more than 4 weeks ago, but it has taken its time, producing 6 flowers so far and more buds seems to appear.
I have never been able to get any seeds from my summer flowering hellebore, possibly because the right kind of insects to pollinate would not be around to do it, why would they, they normally do their job in March here in my garden! This year I have tried hand-pollinating the flowers but I am not sure if I am doing it right – time will show...maybe I can manage to propagate this little gem!
I don’t often have photos from my front garden so I thought I would put a few photos today as my window boxes look very nice right now.
They are all filled with the same Regal Pelargonium 'Pink Chiffon' as I have in pots in my garden, which have turned out to be a very good choice. I think I will have them next year too, the flowers last for ages before I have to snip them off and it is very convenient to have flowers that can be deadheaded 14-nightly instead of daily.
That was the roundtrip in my tiny garden for mid August, there will be a separate post later on about all my different fuchsias, many more than I could show you here, and I have previously made a post about MY ROSES and MY LILIES, if you missed them you can see them here, they were very much the feature in my garden the last month. Carol at May Dreams Gardens is hosting our Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, why don’t you head over to her blog and see what’s flowering around the world right now. Until next time, take care.