Saturday, 2 August 2014

End of Month View July 2014

My garden has been a tad neglected this last week or so.  I've been thoroughly enjoying the TV coverage of the Commonwealth Games.  I'd have loved to have got tickets to attend some of the events but my working day and other commitments just doesn't allow.   The home countries have all done tremendously well thus far and all teams from the UK have exceeded their medal expectations.  I know it's not gardening but for those that might not have seen coverage, a wee Scots girl from the Shetland Islands became the youngest ever to win a commonwealth medal.  At 13 years of age, Erraid Davies's moment has made us all proud and stole the hearts of many.  A big well done to all those involved in Glasgow 2104.

High and dry describes the month of July this year.  High temperatures and very dry weather.  I'm ever so glad I replaced the old cumbersome hose with one of those expanding light weight jobs.  It's made a time consuming job far more bearable.  Since bringing it home I've not been without volunteers to water the garden for me.  If only I had known it would be so popular, I'd have bought one sooner! 

End of Month View June 2014
The sea of green in June's End of Month View is in the not so dim and distant past.  When I planned this border back at the beginning of the year - my aim for this bed was two fold, late summer colour and plenty available for the pollinators.   It had been my intent that Helenium Moerheim Beauty would be central to this bed at this time of year.  It's never without wildlife visitors.  We don't see butterflies here until around now, therefore I feel that it's important to have lots of late flowering plants.  The new grass has taken well and looks like it's always been there.  The stone edging has worked well, the lawn mower cuts right over the top. 






I wonder, can you spot the subtle difference between the two shots?   I've had a pot of Leucanthemum Banana Cream sitting around for a while.  It had been destined for a spot in the front garden but I had never got round to planting it in the ground.  I popped it in here too see what difference it makes.  I like it.  I think there needs to be something between the Helenium and the lower growing plants in the front row in bloom at this time.  Had my dwarf yellow daylily flowered it might have made a difference and we shall see what happens when the Sedum flowers in a few weeks .  I moved a decent sized clump of the daylilies here back in spring, perhaps I should have divided it at that time too because if I think back, I'm sure it didn't flower last year either.  They do say that daylilies need to be regularly divided to perform at their best.  A job for spring.              





There will be a void when the Verbena dies, it's not perennial here and I've never found a seedling, despite me letting the plants to go to seed for the last 4 years.  Last years plants, elsewhere in the garden obviously made it through our frost free winter but are rather sorry looking specimens this year.   I need to source a more permanent resident for this spot.  Dotted throughout the border is the later flowering Allium sphaerocephalon.  These Alliums are British natives and are loved by all the pollinators.  They are a lot more reliable in my garden than the larger flowering types.  I shall be planting more of these bulbs in autumn.  The Lupins, I apologise for sounding like a broken record each and every End of Month post - not red, not dwarf and not staying!   A replacement for those will need to be sourced too.

I couldn't resist a close up of the Helenium.  I've just got myself a new phone and am impressed with the camera on it.   The next couple of shots were taken with it's camera.


To the left of the Helenium, you can just make out the flowers of Hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky.  I like the effect the white flowers have with the red and orange blooms, I hadn't been sure this would work.  As they mature, they will fade to pink and my opinion might just change.  We shall see what happens.  Crocosmia Lucifer is also coming into bloom, still a tiny wee clump and I know from experience it won't take too long to bulk out. 

Hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky, Helenium Moerheim Beauty
and Crocosmia Lucifer
 
To the rear, the Cardoon, Helianthus Lemon Queen and Verbena bonariensis are just starting to flower.  This is the first time I've grown the perennial sunflower so am rather looking forward to seeing it in full bloom.  At this moment it's smothered with flower buds and a lonely single flower. 

On the top tier, the Clematis montana and Pyracantha I'm using for fence cover are make good ground.  The Pyracantha flowered profusely and should be covered in bright orange berries in autumn.  The Clematis can make it's way along the trellising 'til it's heart's content.   Although you can't make it out from the image, there is a little surprise lurking about up there.  Helene over at Graphicality-UK commented on her summer flowering pink Hellebore in her most recent Bloom Day Post, Helene, you are not alone.  Look what I found on one of my trips up to the very back of the garden.  This plant did flower in the winter, unlike Helene's which chooses only to flower in summer.  Isn't it nice to have a plant flower out of season?    

A 2014 summer oddity!
Weighing up all the positives against the negatives, the scales come down in favour of the positives this month.  The border has filled out well in the few months since it was planted out and although it's not so obvious from the shot, there is plenty of room for most of the plants to fill out over the next few years.  I will find that this meme hosted by Helen over at The Patient Gardeners Weblog extremely useful when it comes to autumn time when I need to do a few tweaks here and there. 

Off now to have a nosy at what's going on in your end of month view.  Thanks for reading.       

51 comments:

  1. Hi Angie, I think your "new garden bed" looks fantastic! It amazes how full and lush it has become in only one year. I really like the height that the cardoon is adding to it and the layering of the plants from the front to the back is perfect. In my experience this is not so easily achieved. Also great that you have been thinking of pollinators and are providing plenty of food for them. Job well done! Wishing you a nice rest of the weekend!
    Christina

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    1. Thanks for the compliments Christina, all most graciously accepted! I do like to think of the pollinators but there are other plants that are purely ornamental and of no use to them at all. Enjoy the remainder of your weekend too!

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  2. Your Heleniums are so colourful and you have such a large group of them. The total picture of your garden looks already full grown.

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    1. Thanks Janneke, those Heleniums were all courtesy of 2 plants bought a few years ago which I divided last spring (best time to do it apparently). I'm pleased how they've worked out and exactly what I was hoping for too.

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  3. It looks beautiful Angie, I've never been a fan of Helenium but you may have converted me. I was something about the petals drooping down which in my hear meant the flowers were going over! I hope your cardoon doesn't grow as huge as the ones we have on the plot!

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    1. I see what you mean about the droppy petals Sue but I think it all adds to the character of the plant. Worthwhile giving one a go, there are lots available nowadays. They also make up for the fact that I can't grow Echinacea here, so a kind of compromise.
      The Cardoon is huge and since moving it here in spring, it seems to have naturally divided into 3 separate plants. I love it!

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  4. Your patch of Helenium is just beautiful! I love them, but haven't quite managed to figure them out in my own garden yet. One clump is crispy after our week of dry temps in the 90s(F) and another is still green, though in shade and not blooming yet. Has your gorgeous swath been getting supplemental water? That entire bed is just beautiful, and you would never know it hasn't been there forever. I remember what this corner looked like at the beginning of the year.

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    1. Thank you Alison, the cope better with the conditions here than the Echinacea so I couldn't be without.
      This whole bed has had to be watered this summer. In a normal year, with new planting, I would only have watered until the plants settled in as we get plenty of rain throughout summer but this year not! Therefore because the plants are all new in this spot, I thought I had better give them at least a fighting chance of putting down good roots.

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  5. Ah, lovely Angie, really coming together nicely. I agree about something in between height-wise, would a sedum work for you? It would give a different flower form to contrast with the helenium and still attract the butterflies etc. Your 'Lemon Queen' is ahead of mine, I am amused that we have planted so many of the same plants this year - I've got a new 'Lucifer' too!!

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    1. Thanks Janet. I noted on your post that we have used similar plants. We must have great taste ;)
      There is a sedum there just in front to the left of the Helenium. It's not growing as tall as I remember it but it may have been knocked back by the late move. It was well into growth when I moved it. In a normal year, they can struggle with conditions but I dug in plenty of grit when I planted it.
      We shall see what happens in due course.

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  6. Your planning is really paying off with this dynamic late-season lushness. It is so easy for things to start looking a bit tatty by now. I am mad for the helenium.

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    1. Thanks Ricki - gardens here tend not to loose their lushness in a normal year but without my watering this year, it might well have been quite different.

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  7. Love love love the heleniums, that really works well. Especially having so many of them. They must like your garden a lot if they've come from just two plants. Mine are struggling in heavy soil, but having seen your fabulous display I am not giving up!

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    1. The Heleniums are not always to most folks taste Jessica but I'm rather fond of them too, which was why I just had to use them in this bed. They coped well with the conditions they are in previously, which was a spot that occasionally was waterlogged. Perhaps adding plenty of humus might help them a bit in your garden.

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  8. Hi Angie,

    I think you may be surprised with your Helenum combo of red/orange and pink. I've made a similar combo in previous years of the bright pinky/red Persicaria and Helenum and actually I love it. This year the Helenums haven't yet bloomed as I moved them along with the Persicaria quite late on.

    Another similarity (referring to your comment on my blog) is I also got a new phone today! upgraded after holding off for a couple of months. So I've spent the afternoon transferring and waiting for my new phone to activate.

    How about Rudbekia as a mid-height plant? There are plenty of different types, and it will attract butterflies. Here they bloom well into autumn. I never had much luck with Echinacea, but they're a good alternative to Rudbekia, but hopefully they'll be fine in your garden. Otherwise I agree with Janet - Sedum are also a must-have late in the season for butterflies and Bees.

    Your Helenums are looking wonderful - mine are terrible this year, with not even 10 blooms. I think they probably should've been moved to a more suitable spot, but last year they did well. So I wonder if they're yet another plant to suffer from the rain earlier this year.

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    1. Liz, I've always grown the Helenium and Persicaria together and love them too. I took a bit of a chance in doing so at first but when they flowered together I loved it and wouldn't do without it now.
      The beauty of colour is in the eye of the beholder I suppose.
      Good luck with your new phone - I waited for a few months too before taking the plunge. You didn't by chance get the Samsung Galaxy S5 did you?
      The Rudbekia is one I considered but not reliably perennial here. As I stated above there is a Sedum in there and I've others that might come in handy.
      Re the Helenium, it is recommended to split them every 3 to 4 years, so depending on how long you've had them it might be worthwhile giving it a go. Always do it in spring though, it's what's recommended too and I've often taken some new shoots of to pot on for friends and none have failed thus far.

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  9. Hello Angie, your border is beautiful. The trio of Hydrangea, Helenium and Crocosmia is a triumph! I think I may have to incorporate it into my newly created long border. We invested in one of those retracting hoses and in hot spell we've just been through it's been an absolute boon. Over here on the Ayrshire coast, apart from one lone Peacock butterfly spotted in spring, there's been no sign of any others until this last week when a few white butterflies made an appearance, not even on our buddleia which has enough purple panicles to keep an army of them satisfied. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Nice of you to say Elizabeth. Totally agree re the hose, wonderful things! I hope you are now seeing more butterflies, I know we are over here. My buddleia has gone over with the main flush of flowers. There are lots more to come, they are taking their time!

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  10. I think the Leucanthemum 'Banana Cream' makes a wonderful addition to an already beautiful border. I've only seen that selection in catalogs here - never yet in a local nursery - but I'll snap it up if I get a chance. You've done a great job in staggering the heights of plants throughout the bed too.

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    1. Yes, Banana Cream is lovely, good luck in sourcing it. It must be new over here too as it wasn't cheap!
      Thanks also for your lovely comments, they are much appreciated.

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  11. Your garden is certainly having a sea of green, looking great! And those heleniums are marvellous, I tried them in my garden but I just didn’t have a sunny enough spot for the clump I had so I gave mine away this spring. And welcome in the club of us having summer flowering hellebores! Ruth at Camellia Rose http://ghostmyst.blogspot.co.uk/ has a summer flowering hellebore too, and she lives in New Zealand :-)

    I have been thinking of buying one of those expandable hoses too, but I need a 75ft long and at over £50 it is a tad pricey. I know there are imitations to get for far less, but they don’t get very good reviews so I haven’t dared buying one. I think I will have to save up for a real one. Did you buy the original, are you happy with yours?

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    1. Helene, the hose is worth the expense. If you compare a new hose and the cost of a reel or some other form of storage for it, it isn't much more expensive. Mines is a genuine one, orange in colour and am more than happy with it. Perhaps something to put on your Christmas list ;)

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  12. It's looking great, Angie! A riot of colour, and at a time when borders can possibly get a wee bit tired. Your choice of plants have been perfect. Aren't these photos ideal for reviewing, so that lessons can be learned and improvements or fine tuning can be made. Good on you, for making notes already!

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    1. I'm not usually so organised in taking notes after planting but finding this meme usefull and will be able to read back my thoughts and comments come autumn/spring when the time comes.

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  13. Well done Angie, it' s looking fabulous. Reading the comments, it' s clear that we all love your group of Helenium. It needs a big group like this for impact. I have some Helenium 'Sahins Early Flowerer' but I prefer the rich colour of yours. My little group looks a bit pathetic compared with yours, but this relentless watering problem is getting me down. Perhaps I need a nice new hose that doesn' t knot itself up into kinks all the time.
    I love your Hydrangea ' Pinky Winky' despite its ridiculous name. I like your lupin too, can' t you forgive it for not being red?

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    1. Chloris, you came to mind when I posted the picture of Pinky Winky! The Lupins won't go for ever. I'll find a spot somewhere for them. They are likely to replace a purple monarda that doesn't do well here and I should really give up on them.
      The hose is great, the only downside I've found is that it's not recommended for use with a power hose. I only power hose twice a year, therefore have kept the old hose for that purpose. It's a no brainer as far as I'm concerned.

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  14. P.s. My Heleniums have now turned orange! I see yours are starting to change too!

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    1. Indeed they have. I really need to do some deadheading but have been putting it off because I know once I start it will start to look rather dull again.

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  15. Well, I can see that everything in the July picture is a lot bigger! Magnificent stand of Helenium there, and I love the bee pictures!

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    1. Thanks Jason, yes far bigger. I'm pleased with it right now.

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  16. Hi Angie,
    Your cardoon is beautiful. I have never tried growing it. Looking at yours I think I should. I had never noticed that you have a fair bit of trellis in the garden. That is one thing our respective gardens have in common!

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    1. Alain, you should give the cardoon a go, they make a great statement. Depending on your winter, I'd research hardiness for you. I was advised to protect the crown of mine the first year of growing.
      I have a fair bit of trellising, the ones you can see in these images, run the whole length of the garden. When the fence was replaced, I should have done it at the same time but the trellis was an after thought. It will eventually help with privacy but not cutting out the sun from the neighbours garden. I always admire your trellising.

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  17. It was nice to see your landscape images, and then the macros: The two together give us a nice sense of perspective. Your garden looks so beautiful with the stone paths, the backdrop, and of course your amazing plants!

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    1. Thanks Beth, the marcos were taken on my new phone, I'm pleased with the camera on it. The stone edging (not path) are great it means less time spent on edging the lawn.

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  18. Bellissimi quegli Helenium ! Qui quelli rossi non mi sopravvivono :( Ma da te è tutto bello, continua così :)
    Un saluto!

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    1. quelli rossi dispiace leggere che non sono sopravvissuti Pontos. Odio quando succeed.

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  19. Yes, I think your Banana Cream looks good in front of your helenium. Your border has really matured in such a short time, it looks as though it has been there for a few years.

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    1. Thanks Pauline, I'm pleased it has filled up so quickly. There is still plenty room between the plants for growth too.

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  20. Hi Angie, looking good as ever. I love the Helenium. Your planting is always so well thought out. verbena Bonariensis is just the same in my garden, and never self seeds. All that I have read about it suggests that it is a prolific self seeder, but I usually have to treat it as an annual and rebuy every year. I have just bought 'Lollipop' which is much smaller, and I really like it, as it doesn't need staking, and doesn't tower over everything.

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    1. Snap, the Verbena is treated as an annual here to Jane. I've seen Lolipop in the GC and although I was tempted, they were quite expensive to be treated as an annual. I've never had to stake these ones yet!!

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  21. Hi Angie, your garden looks as good as ever, I am particularly impressed by your Helenium it definitely works as you planned. My Persicaria is in a too dry and shady spot and is a poor specimen compared with yours, I must get around to moving it before it expires altogether. The Cardoon is one of my favourites, I have grown it in the past and in a good Summer it does really well, yours really add height in just the right spot.

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    1. Yes, the Persicaria needs a bit of moisture Rick. I'd have thought your garden had plenty of considering all the other beauties you grow.
      I wouldn't be without the Cardoon. Perhaps considered a bit too big for my garden but what the hell!

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  22. When I recall what this border looked like at the start of the year, it certainly is a case of 'baby you have come a long way'. And you have totally achieved your goal of late summer colour and plenty available for the pollinators. You should be really pleased as it's looking great. Love the pics with the pollinators.

    I didn't know you could get Helebores to flower in summer. In a way I'm kind of happy for mine to stick to being winter flowerers - they give such delight then when so little else does, and summer has so much else to offer, like those wonderful Heleniums of yours :)

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    1. Thanks Julieanne, I am more than please with itll.
      No Hellebores don't usually flower in summer, just one of those oddities this year. It's nice to see something flower out of season I think.

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  23. Hi Angie, your garden looks wonderful, congratulations. I too love the Heleniums but I'm particularly interested in the Cardoons, I wonder if you could provide a little information on them, likes/dislikes, ease of growing etc.

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    1. Thanks Lorraine.
      The Cardoon, proper name is Cynara Cardunculus makes a great statement in the garden. They like moist but well drained soil and a position in full sun. They are edible but I grow mine purely for ornamental purposes. You can dry the flowers too.
      Depending on where you life it might be useful to give the crown some protection in it's first couple of winters until it has a good strong root system. I've never had an issues with mine, it has even been waterlogged for 3 or 4 weeks and didn't bat an eye. Pests are slugs, snails and earwigs but you don't really notice the damage the slugs and snails are doing once it's big enough.
      Here's a link to the RHS page on the plant. Plenty more information there but if you want to ask more questions then I'm more than pleased to answer.

      https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/details?plantid=613

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    2. Thank you for your prompt reply, you've very adequately covered everything I need to know. Happy gardening.

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  24. Stunning heleniums, Angie, wow! Never managed to grow them like that and they seem to resent too much competition. Beautiful shots of your bees. My verbenas are self-seeding passionately so I shall never be without...they have started to ramble around now ;)

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  25. Angie that is such an amazing view and how lovely the garden is as the helenium is in bloom.

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  26. Erraid Davies's joyful smile was the image that will stay with me from the Games Angie. It looks as if the bees are enjoying your flowers - brilliant photos. I like allium sphaerocephalon too and will plant more bulbs this autumn. They are great in the fact that they take up so little room, are a bee magnet and flower for some time. I would like to introduce helenium 'Moerheim's Beauty' to the garden. Yours is a fabulous clump. I have 'Sahin's Early Flowerer' but there's room for another helenium or two :)

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  27. Hi Angie,
    Great post! You must be so pleased with your border, apart from the blue lupins of course. (Though I actually love blue lupins!) It was a very interesting post for me as I have resolved a number of things after reading it.
    1. Buy a new hose - I am so fed up with ours kinking.
    2. Divide my Lucifer and move near my Helenium - I had been thinking about that anyway, but you have confirmed it.
    3.Divide my day lillies - I didn't realise that they needed dividing so often.
    4. Say goodbye to my verbena and buy more next year. I didn't realise that they were not hardy - the label doesn't mention it. I will also plant them in a bunch next year as yours look so good in front of the fence. I do have a dwarf variety near my rockery that disappeared for so long that I though it was dead. It is looking great now though.
    5. Buy some Allium sphaerocephalon
    6. Have another go at getting your posts to appear in the wordpress reader as I keep missing them!
    Thanks so much for a really interesting post.

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