Friday, 31 July 2015

End of Month View July 2015

End of June 2015
This month's End of Month View post is really all about the blooms.  The front garden is quite floriferous right now.  Most of the roses have found their mojo unfortunately the daylilies are still looking for theirs!

As we move nearer to Autumn, the time has come for me to make some serious decisions on which plants I want to keep here and which will need to find alternative quarters.  Many have done well and although thriving, they feel kind of 'out of place'.  You already know that I've been removing those that completely clash with my scheme.  This came as no surprise to me as I rather hurriedly  filled gaps last year when I had no real need too.   Over stocking with plants is an awfully hard habit to break.  There is only one problem area I need to address.  The decided gap between the Anthemis and the Arch.  I've temporarily filled it with a pot of Helenium I had but it seems to me that the wind has caused the Anthemis to grow stiffer on one side than on the other and it looks rather odd.  It has caused me to take a bit of a dislike for it.  That and the fact I think it was wrongly labelled.   It is a good 30cm taller than I had expected it to be.  It's supposed to be A. tinctoria Sauce Hollandaise.  I need to find an alternative planting solution.  The hedge has been trimmed and some of the Tropaeolum blooms remain.  The Tropaeolum has liked the cool damp conditions this year. 

I have been receiving many compliments from neighbours and passers by on how wonderful the roses are.  Especially last weekend, we had a police incident (fire arms according to rumours) in the village last weekend, with no vehicular traffic in or out of the village for almost 12 hours.   This meant even more passers by than usual, nosy folks were out in force.  One lady even brought her OH back to see the whole garden and left armed with a list of plants she wanted for her own garden and a promise from me of supplying her with one or two or possibly 6 perennials I can easily propagate for her in autumn.

Standing in front of the living room window, you can see pretty much every thing that is in bloom right now.  To be honest, I had been expecting the roses to be taking a break right now and the daylilies to be the star of the show but it appears not to be the case.  I have a large pot of daylilies waiting in the wings.  I am waiting for them too bloom before I decide if they are right or not.  They are Hemerocallis Pink Damask and although the name suggests that they are pink, they are not quite and I feel they might just fit in with the colour scheme.   I should know in the next week or so when they finally bloom.  They really do need a home in the ground, they were lifted from the back garden last year and they are in dire need of getting their roots down. 

This is the view from the front gate, I have not found the heart to lift the Eryngium yet.  This is another casualty to the wind.  It is growing horizontally rather than vertically.  The Leucanthemum are quite dominating and although not quite fitting in with my scheme they stay for now as they don't look too bad, they are the best Leucanthemum I've ever grown.  L. Broadway Lights are a nice height and I have found they don't need staking like some of the others I've tried.  The dark brown Rudbeckia have really settled in, I hope they do well and come through winter, I'd like more of these but only purchased one pot as they were quite expensive.

I said at the top of this post that it was all about the blooms.  Just for reference really, a look at what plants are flowering right now.

The Achillea - there are three varieties growing.  A. Inca Gold, Fanal and Terracotta are plants that I've been particularly pleased with.  Although to be honest, I am struggling to see the difference between Inca Gold and Terracotta.  I wonder if they are the same plant with a different name.  I've read that this kind of thing happens in the world of plant breeding.   I like the combination of the Achillea and the roses.  These are definitely on my 'keeper list'.
left to right: Achillea Inca Gold, Fanal and Terracotta
Thinking towards autumn and the changes I need make I purchased a new rose.  One from my wish list.  DA's Rosa Summer Song.  This rose was originally on my must have list for the front garden but I could not source it locally at the time.  R. Lady of Shallot was its substitute at the time.  I found this rose for sale a couple of weeks ago and I could not resist.  Now that the blooms are opening I am having doubts about the colour and I can't decide quite where to place it.  I'll get there in the end no doubt!  The scent from this rose is absolutely gorgeous another reason I am determined to keep it.
Rosa Summer Song
Thank you for reading and a big thank you, as usual, to Helen over at The Patient Gardener's Weblog for hosting our End of Month View posts.  Please pop over or even better, join in - everyone's welcome!  I'm off now to catch up with what's going on in your garden right now.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Garden Blogger Foliage Day

Just as I was contemplating a topic for today's Foliage Day post and debating with myself whether or not the rain would halt long enough to get outdoors to get a few shots.  An appropriate song came on the radio.  The opening lines.......

What shall I write?  
I'm sure everyone is fed up hearing about the rotten summer we are having here in Edinburgh.  I apologise for my never ending complaining.
Dicentra are still lush

What shall I say?
I know, I'll introduce you all to a word we use here to describe just how rotten the weather is.  Dreich!  With a hard 'ch' as in loch, it rhymes with creek!  Cold, wet, damp, drizzly, misty, overcast.  You get the gist I'm sure but to qualify as a dreich day pretty well most if not all of the aforementioned adjectives must apply!       
Cotinus and Euphorbia

How can I tell you how much I miss you?
There is little else I can say, other than, I've pretty much given up hope for summer this year.

Glaucus or blue Hostas are generally ignored by the slugs and snails

rain puddles on Sedum foliage

The best of a bad bunch, other Hostas have been almost decimated
It might as well rain until September!
Not foliage I know but these drookit (drenched, soaked, sodden) Erigeron blooms match the mood perfectly!

Lyrics: Gerry Goffin and Carole King 

Which song, popular or otherwise, sums up your garden right now?  

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day July 2015

I wasn't quite sure where to start for this month's Bloom Day Post, there are so many spots in the garden that are really pleasing me and have gone way beyond my expectations.  I don't think I've ever been so pleased with how some of the plants are performing than I am right now.  Sadly though, the peonies didn't quite make it for bloom day.  The flowers have done incredibly well this year but much to my despair the torrential rain on Sunday finished them off!

Here's a glimpse of what you missed.  Two unknown peonies together with P. Sarah Bernhardt, Fragrant Pink Imp and White Wings.

The sunny border outside the back door.  Roses, Clematis, Geraniums, Astrantia, Nepeta and many more are putting on a fine show.  The only disappointment here is the white rose (R. Susan Williams Ellis) in the far corner.  Don't bother looking for it, you can't see it!  Although it has bloomed, blooms were sparse and growth very poor, it has barely reached 2ft in height.  It could be that there is too much competition but the other roses have done better with just as many plants competing for space. I tell myself that it's putting down roots, it makes me feel better about it.

Rosa Rhapsody in Blue, Clematis The Vagabond, Rosa Princess Alexandra of Kent
Clematis Mme Julia Correvon and Clematis texensis Princess Diana 

Geranium psilostemon, Phlox paniculata Violet Flame, Nepetas grandiflora Blue Danube and x faassenii Alba 
Across the way on the shadier side Astrantia, Polemonium and Candelabra Primula are blooming their socks off!  The blue lupin in the corner is a mystery - I could have sworn that I pulled it out last year.  Perhaps my memory is playing tricks on me.  The little mound in the foreground is Geranium sanguineum Inverness.  A neat little thing, which is the way I tend to prefer my Geraniums.

Through the arch, where sadly The Wedgewood Rose has not bloomed yet, the back borders are I feel still a bit mish mash but with a little work, a tweak here and there in Autumn I will try to correct that. I know the dangers of growing Aconitum but can't help but love them.  A. Stainless Steel, rises head and shoulders above it's neighbours.   The others in the side garden are horizontal due to my forgetfulness.  I completely forgot to put in the support it needs in that windy spot.  Here, in this corner it needs no support.
Aconitum Stainless Steel
On the opposite side, Ligularia przewalskii and A. napellus Gletschereis, try saying those two names together after you've had a few, are buzzing with bees.  The strawberry foxglove (Digitalis x mertonensis) is one of those aforementioned tweaks!  The beautiful red spires of Lupin The Pages are missing from this scene.  The cats decided to have a bit of a fight and brought the entire plant crushing to the ground.  Pesky cats!  Lonicera periclymenum Sweet Sue is also just coming into bloom.
Aconitum napellus Gletscheris, Ligularia przewalskii and Digitalis x mertonensis

Ligularia The Rocket is finally in bloom, this is another combo in the garden I love.  Trollius chinensis Golden Queen and Alchemilla mollis also getting in on the act.
Philadelphus Belle Etoile, Astilbe Deutschland, Ligularia The Rocket and Trollius chinensis Golden Queen

I took my eye off the ball in so far as the rambling rose is concerned.  My routine of tying in those stems fell by the way side this year.  Never the less, it flowers abundantly and with a bit of effort when it has finished blooming, neither the plant nor me will know the difference.

Rosa Felicite Perpetue

A few pots by the the arch, the Nepeta and Leucanthemum were lifted from the front garden, the cool weather meant that they transplanted into containers without flinching.  This cool summer weather does have some benefit.  The Calibrachoa and Begonia (pictured below) were plugs I purchased back in February.  This is the first time I've grown plants from plugs.  The cool weather I think has hampered the Calibrachoa.  I had visions of deep purple blooms cascading out over those pots.  Best laid plans and all that!

Nepeta Six Hills Giant, Leucanthemum Snow Lady and Calibrachoa Cabaret Purple

Out in the front garden there is plenty of colour.  By the front gate, Leucanthemum, Achillea and an unknown Daylily (not as labelled) with R. Lady of Shalott make a fine display. The scent as you walk through the gate is equally impressive!
Rosa Lady of Shalott, Leucanthemum Broadway Lights and Achillea Inca Gold

The view from the opposite side.  Both these roses (Lady of Shalott and The Lark Ascending) are by far the most impressive of all the new roses (planted 2014).  They are healthy, floriferous and extremely upright considering the weight that must be in those blooms.  Annuals at their feet are Begonia Burning Embers and Sanvitalia Aztec Gold.

Rosa Lady of Shallott and The Lark Ascending
Sanvitalia Aztec Gold and Begonia Burning Embers

The fading blooms of Achillea Fanal along with R. Port Sunlight in the opposite corner.

Rosa Port Sunlight and Achillea Fanal

Just for the record, other roses blooming in the front garden are Fighting Temeraire, the first flush has just gone over.  There are many buds waiting to open though.  Jude the Obscure.  This rose balls (I think that's the term) and I've yet to have a fully opened bloom.  Rosa Graham Thomas, I touched on the issues with this rose in my EMOV post and Rosa Teasing Georgia, although the blooms are open, they don't last very long and look rather mucky after a day or two.

Rosa Teasing Georgia
Thanks for reading and please, join me over at May Garden Dreams where other garden bloggers share what's blooming in their garden on the 15th of each month.  

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Tree Following July 2015 - Sorbus Autumn Spire

The heatwave that appears to be hitting parts of the UK has skipped Edinburgh, it's still dark and miserable here during the day.  Low cloud hovers despite the brisk winds, sun barely appearing too at least give an appearance of summer.  The temperatures, although not cold during the day, remain at a constant low to mid teens.  It's depressing to say the least!

The wider view
My wee Rowan, Sorbus Autumn Spire, is surrounded by friends.  This area of the garden is not short on foliage, that's for sure.  I like all the textures and shades of green here at the moment, everything is looking extremely lush.  The scent from Philadelphus Belle Etoile is just intoxicating.  Good enough reason to hover up here as often as I can.  This shrub usually blooms mid June so is a good 3 or 4 weeks late in comparison to previous years.

By my reckoning the Rowan has put on around 5 or 6 inches this year and remains as columnar as the label described.  Which was the primary reason for choosing this particular tree.    The top of the tree silhouetted by the darkening skies.  I can hear thunder off in the distance.

Shiny green fruits have formed.  These will ripen in the coming months to a deep yellow.  Although we generally refer the to fruits from the Rowan tree as berries, they are in actual fact called Pomes. My wee tree my not be abundantly laden but I'm sure the birds will be appreciative of any that will be on offer later in the year.

Rowan pomes

Pests, I touched on the subject of pests that may attack my rowan in my previous post.  I can see none of the pests I can expect to find.  Namely Aphids, Blister Mite and Sawflies.  However, I hadn't banked on finding this cheeky little chappy taking shelter for the day.

Snail tucked up in Rowan Tree

I suspect he enjoys a midnight feast on the Ligularia that grows near the base.  Not that there's much evidence of damage.  Perhaps he prefers to travel a bit further afield for his meals.

Snail's eye view of the Ligularia

I'm linking with Lucy over at Loose and Leafy for my Tree Following posts.  You can join in at any time on or around the 7th of the month.  Follow the link for more details.  See you there!   

As a brief update on the kind of weather we are experiencing this summer, the forecasters told to expected temperatures of 1 to 2°C during the night and indeed, the frost warning was on in the car when I finished work this morning.  The thermometer in my car sunk to the lowest I can remember at this time of the year.  3°C at 4am this morning!  Snow was expected on the hills during the night here in Scotland.  What a summer, eh?      

Friday, 3 July 2015

End of Month View

End of May 2015
Once again it's time to post our End of Month Views.  This meme is hosted by Helen over at The Patient Gardeners Weblog.  Some gardeners choose a single plant/view, others choose a wider focus on their gardens and some choose to follow a specific area of the garden.  How you use the title is entirely up to you.  This year I am following progress in my front garden.  The whole area got a make over back in autumn 2014 and I find these posts invaluable in making a note of what has worked, what has not or what might work with a little tweak here and there.

The first view you get of the front garden is looking west.  This is the view I get as I come out the front door.   As you can see there are pops of colour everywhere now.   The Tropaeolum speciosum growing through the hedge is just coming into bloom too.  It adds it's special touch at this time of the year. 

Looking west End of June 2015

Tropaeolum speciosum
Geranium robustum
There are not many negatives this month, I am in all honesty really pleased with the area as a whole and the few minor negatives are nothing that can't be put right.
  • Blue/mauve or white bloom are being removed as and when they flower (except G. Robustum, seen here).  They just don't fit in.  G. Robustum will find a new home in the back garden.
  • Rosa Graham Thomas is a poor performer.  Stems are weak and floppy, it needs support.  I need to think about replacing.
  • Dutch Iris, I. Bronze Beauty is not quite the colour I expected.

Looking towards the house you can see the vast height difference between Rosa Lady of Shallot (left) and Fighting Temeraire.   I think I may have been a bit too brutal whilst pruning a couple of the roses.  I sure that it will do the plants no harm and they'll catch up.  Or at least I hope as much!   I probably worry too much because these warts and all posts leave nothing to the imagination.      

Looking towards the house

Standing behind the Cotinus in the far corner looking outwards.  The stand out plant in this view is the new Alstroemeria.  A. Princess Kate has made a fine replacement for Geranium Brookside.  I am far more please with her than I was the Geranium.  I've cut back Verbascum Clementine, her faded blooms flailing everywhere had become a right tangled mess.  I will see if it produces a second flush of blooms before I endeavour to take root cuttings (my first attempt) to ensure I have replacements for next year.  Although I did read in a gardening magazine yesterday that I should be thinking about organising this about now.  Do you know when I should be doing these?  

Looking outwards.

I have identified a spot where I can transfer some of the Iris Indian Chief tubers.  There are 6 individual tubers (roots) but I think 3 should be suffice to produce a good sized clump in the future. The more I ponder over the front garden, the more clear it becomes that I have selected way too many different plants.  I think by selecting only a few choice plants and using them throught the space will create a bit of cohesion.  Because of the roses, I want to keep the scheme quite cottagey.  However, the colour scheme I am using is not really lending itself to the more traditional plants we associate with cottage garden classics.  I have no doubt that there will be much too and froing before I am completely satisfied with it.

So what's in bloom out there right now?    

Iris Bronze Beauty, is as I mentioned above, gorgeous but just not quite the colour I thought it would be.   

Iris Bronze Beauty

The first of the roses to bloom.  R. Lady of Shalott, Graham Thomas and Fighting Temeraire.   

R. Lady of Shalott, Graham Thomas and Fighting Temeraire

Almost there, Port Sunlight and The Lark Ascending.

R. Port Sunlight and The Lark Ascending
Achillea Fanal is definitely a keeper.  This one's a contender to be used throughout the entire area. A. Terracotta did not return after winter and A. Inca Gold is showing no signs of colouring up soon!

Achillea Fanal

Alstroemeria Princess Kate, a new addition to the garden last month.

Altroemeria Princess Kate
Lastly, a couple of new additions I purchased this week.  Both plants have extremely dark coloured blooms and I can see will contrast beautifully with the roses.  

Rudbeckia Summerian (Brown)

Cosmos atrosanguineus Chocamocha
That's pretty much all there is for this month's post.  The weekend is almost upon us.  I am now wondering just what I did with my time before little Olli (yes, my first grandson finally has a name) came along and I'm not even the mother!  Wishing you all a good weekend.  I intend to spend at least one of the days in the garden catching up with all the jobs I've neglected this last week.  Have a good one!