Monday, 15 July 2013

July Bloom Day

What a summer we are having!  The best one I can remember for an awful long time.  Being a sun worshipper - I am totally in my element.  Lazing around doing pretty much zilch whenever I can!!
The schools here in Scotland are now on summer vacation.  Niece and Nephew sitting is now underway.  As activities are usually weather dependent, this week we have been paddling down in the river and around local ponds feeding the ducks, in fact anything that involves water has been their favourite things to do this last fortnight.  The local children seem to have formed a sort of rota system amongst themselves - a different garden everyday.  Parents, grandparents and others like myself all taking turns at supplying a means to keep them cool and entertained.  Pools, hoses, waterguns and water balloons being the most popular. 

It's not only been the children that have been in much need of water - the plants in the garden are feeling the strain.  In a normal year, growing conditions in my garden would be best described as moist and well drained with odd patch of not so well drained, therefore the plants I grow could hardly be described as 'Drought Tolerant' - this is however the situation my garden is in right now and I just have to keep on top of watering, like it or not! 

Having said all that - there is plenty going on, please join me and other gardeners around the world on this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is a meme kindly hosted by Carol over at May Dream Gardens on the 15th of every month.

The Roses are now well on their way.  The Wedgewood Rose climbs it's way over my seated arch, Rosa Warm Welcome grows against the shed and Rambling Felicite Perpetue grows on wires against the back fence.

Shrubs in flower right now include

x Halimiocistus sahucii

Deutzia x hybrida Strawberry Fields

Philadelphus Belle Etoile

There are cool blues

Erigeron, Scabious, Clematis, Lupin, Campanula, Phlox, Aconitum, Salvia and Delphiniums
in all shades of blue
Plenty of pretty pinks

Dianthus, Sidalcea, Trifolium, Sanguisorba, Astrantia, Geranium, Phlox, Dicentra, Primula, Lilies, Cirsuim and Geranium

Crisp whites and yellows

Primula, Dutch Iris, Peony, Leucanthemum, Centaurea, Dicentra, Heucherella, Trifollium, Aconitum, Primula and Astilbe


Heucheras have started flowering too - the best of the bunch are not looking to bad in the heat. 

Heuchera Jade Gloss, Plum Pudding and Black Beauty
Heucherella Alabama Sunrise, Heucher Crimson Curls and Binoche 

The Primula making it's blog debut this month is Primula florindae (Red Form).  It's common name is Giant Tibetan Cowslip.  It requires a moist (or bog garden) sunny spot.   Growing most Primula requires that the soil is kept reasonably moist.  They soon show signs of wilting if they are left to dry out.  This plant not only looks great it has the addition of a cinnamon scent!  It smells delicious!!

Primula florindae
Giant Tibetan Cowslip

Do you ever take a stroll around the garden and get the 'I'm very pleased with how that's turned out' feeling?  I have to admit that I don't get that very often and if I do it's been more accidental planting rather than a meticulously planned combination. 

Let me share with you all one of those moments.  Accidental it may be but I do like it!  The Euphorbia was destined for the compost bin a few weeks ago and the Alstromeria and Scabious are only there because they almost drowned in flooding last year and I had nowhere else to put them! 

I would like to thank you all for joining me this month and hope you are all having a wonderful summer.

The last picture I would like to share with you all is not one of blooms in my garden but a snap shot of our evening stroll around Blackford Pond here in Edinburgh. 

Swan, Cygnets, Ducks and Gulls
Blackford Pond, Edinburgh. July 2013

Monday, 1 July 2013

June 2013 - my end of month review

Reviewing my garden today for my end of month review would have been made so much easier had we not been subject to very high winds.  Making it almost impossible to get a few decent snaps.  Luckily I began snapping a couple of days ago so I have something to offer.

As I look around, I can tell you that I'm more than pleased with most plants.  The last of the sickly (Cushion Scale) Rhododendrons have now been removed.  To many of you my measures have probably been a bit drastic - I pondered long and hard on what to do.  Apparently non-chemical control would only be practical on smaller shrubs.  Chemical treatment using a systemic insecticide such as Provado Ultimate Bug Killer was not a road I wanted to go down.  There is enough destruction to the insect and bee population without me adding to it!

Replacement plants have now been purchased.  They come in the form of Actinidia kolomikta to grow up the fence, until recently I always thought these plants were tender - not so it seems.  Hardy down to -40 according to Kew.  Berberis thunbergii Rose Glow - it's foliage should compliment splashes of pink and white in the Actinidia.  Cotoneaster x suecicus Coral Beauty a wee something for the bees. 

New plants June 2013

The more observant amongst you will note 6 pots.  What else did I buy?  I hear you ask.  A gorgeous honeysuckle, Lonicera Fragrant Cloud was screaming to come home with me.  A spot has yet to be chosen.  I keep changing my mind on where I want to put it.  A little Philadelphus Manteau d'Hermine should be small enough to snuggle in the top corner of this border.   It will replace the rather uninteresting Cornus that is currently growing there and a replacement Persicaria Red Dragon which has completely disappeared from the garden.

Top sunny border

The top end of this border flooded last year - whilst there were many casualties - oddly enough the Beared Iris have survived despite being submerged in water for weeks on end.  They have not flowered but are healthy enough to move elsewhere in autumn.  This bed is a bit of a mish mash - I experimented with various plants - my dilemma is what to plan for.  In the 6 years I've lived here, last year was the only time it has flooded.   The Persicaria, Trollius and Candelabra Primula are suitable either way - the Astilbes are also coping with the dry sunny position.  These were budget supermarket buys at the end of the year - an experiment to see what will survive.  Anyway, a bit of jiggery pockery and purple foliage is all that it needed I think!

June weather here has continued to impress - with just the right amount of rainfall, mainly through the night ensuring the plants have had adequate water.  It should be noted that although there has been a distinct lack of good insect activity there is also a marked reduction in slugs/snails and other pests.  The bees visiting this last week have increased in numbers and as many more plants bloom I expect that to continue.  Cabbage white butterflies have fleeted through but have not stopped - probably preferring what Jim next door has on offer (masses of veg growing in his plot).

Whilst many of the herbaceous perennials are on their way to catching up, flowering shrubs however remain weeks behind.    Pyracanthus, Cotinus and Deutzia should be in bloom for bloom day.  There are a couple of shrubs in flower and more than likely will not last the 2 weeks until then.

Sambucus nigra Black Lace

Cotoneaster dammerii
Hydrangea petiolaris
Another of my Peonies flowering this week - Paeonia Madam Calot - standing tall.  I've read a few blogs this week and it seems a few folks have been complaining about supporting their paeonies.  You know who you are - I don't profess to being an expert but do know how important it is to introduce support very early in spring.  It saves a lot of heartache at flowering time! 

Paeonia Mme Calot

Mme Calot close up
frilly and fragrant!
Plenty more promise around the garden.  The first rose buds are about to open - The Wedgewood Rose grows as a climber either side of my seated arbor.  This David Austin rose is also known as Ausjosiah.  I love it despite it's thorns!
Rosa The Wedgewood Rose (Ausjosiah)
Of course, as many of you will know, I'm partial to the odd Primula and do strive to have at least one in flower every month.  The middle of the month saw Primula japonica and P. bulleyana.  Now at the end of the month we have P. aurantiaca, P. bulleesiana and P. vialii.
Black/Bronze stems produce a vibrant orange flower
Primula aurantiaca
Another candelabra type Primula
P. Bulleesiana - a vibrant yellow
Primula vialia - the Orchid Primula
Primula vialii - otherwise known as the Orchid Primula is one of my favourites.  It loves the conditions in my Scottish garden.  These are supposed to be tricky to bring through winter but have survived in my garden for 3 years.  They grow in both sun and shade in my garden.  These in a sunnier position are first to flower.  Others will follow as the month progresses.  Incidentally, the bees love them! 
I end my monthly review with a frothy mix of Alchemilla and Tellima - after tonight's wind and forecast rain, which is now battering off the windows - I doubt very much that they will still be standing in the morning!
I hope you have enjoyed my monthly review, if you have please pop over to Helen at The Patient Gardeners Weblog where you can join in or visit other garden bloggers' monthly reviews.  
Thank you for visiting.