Thursday, 2 June 2011

BACK TO THE GARDEN Part 1

I haven't posted for a while because of the hassle with leaving comments on other blogs but I'm still having to sign in every time I open my own blog. How annoying is that!
But I thought I'd walk down the garden this morning and see what flowers are still about, coming or going.
The plant at the top is catmint, Nepeta 6 Hills Giant which I've had for years. Cats love to eat the leaves or roll in it - and it's a spreading plant, taking up a lot of room, which is why it's sort of confined in a wigwam of canes and string. There's a large Dryopteris, the bracken, on the left and a cornus is on the right.
Below these but nearer the front of the bed is this spreading plant called London Pride. This saxifraga has been with me as I've changed houses over the years and probably came from my childhood garden. Unfortunately I can't get any closer to the ground or I'd be able to show it to advantage.
The pond is behind me and the yellow irises, which have been flowering well these last few weeks, are beginning to go over. This clump is where the grass snake likes to rest, body wrapped round the plant and tail in the water. If it's a hot summer I expect it'll be back. It frightenedthe life out of me when I first saw it several years ago. About 2' long, green with a yellow 'collar', I had no idea what it was - but the frog it was swallowing was looking at me as it disappeared down the snake's throat. Last year Ashley was patting something on the patio with a cat's interest in a living creature but not sure whether it would bite or not - it was a baby grass snake curled up but watching intently - it must have been about 7", I think. There's somewhere nearby that the snakes like and the pond is handy for cooling off. Below is the snake on 3 June 2006... Look carefully!
Delphiniums are growing well this year and this, so far, is the tallest of them. It's disappearing into the lilac tree, but not for much longer, hopefully, as it'll be trimmed. (The tree, that is..)
More alliums are in flower,these are allium nigrum. The seed heads are the purple flowers which were out a few weeks ago, now getting ripe to shed their seeds into the path - again...
Allium cristophii has these star-like flowers which catch the light.
Some of the large flowered clematis are out, too, but these aren't as successful as the smaller flowered montanas this year.This has a Japanese name, 'Sho-Un', and the one below is one that hasn't done well for many years but has perked up this year - 'Niobe'.
Further down the garden there's a trellis arch which supports a honeysuckle and another clematis, 'Ville de Lyon', which hasn't flowered yet. There's also a rosa glauca hedge tangled in with the honeysuckle, the tiny bright pink flowers showing at the top. It needs a good prune later in the year or maybe early next year - not by me, though, it's very thorny!
The poppies by the cotoneaster are almost over, the others have finished now. They've done well this year without rain to batter them down.
The cotoneaster Rothschildianus is alive with 'hundreds' of bees so there should be a good crop of yellow berries this winter - it sounds like the 'bee-loud glade', perhaps, in WB Yeats' 'Lake Isle of Innisfree'.
Lysimachia punctata seems to take itself round the garden without me knowing! It's named after King Lysimachos of Thrace (c 360-281 BC) who is said to have pacified a bull with a piece of loosestrife. I wouldn't like to try that, would you???
Strange as it may seem, it's the same species as lysimachia nummularia, aka Creeping Jenny, that ground cover plant which begins by being 'nice' then gets to be a pest with its way of, well, creeping where it's not wanted.
I'm not too keen on roses as they seem to need such a lot of attention. But this one, 'New Dawn', is a repeat flowering version of 'Dr. van Fleet' which was grown by a neighbour when I was a child. I've never forgotten the scent as it drifted into our garden or the showers of petals from this once-flowering rose. I don't do anything with it except trim it a bit now and again and tie it up to the scruffy trellis. You can image the petals falling from the going-over flowers which are just touched with pink in comparison to the buds with a much stronger colour. Not my shrub, by the way. The present tenants are definitely not gardeners!
There's only one of these irises which came, I think, from a freebie handout from somewhere like Radio Times or the local paper, I just can't remember. A brilliant colour, especially if you are a painter of flowers.

I like tall herbaceous plants like the delphiniums and here's another which self seeds round the garden into the most awkward places, such as the edge of the pond one year and this year this one is just under the bird feeder...

Oh dear, the Add Image icon has frozen again, I'll have to add these pics either later today or tomorrow. Another bit of technology I can't cope with...
See you later.

4 comments:

marigold jam said...

Your garden looks lovely with lots of interesting plants - and snakes!

Sylve said...

Thanks for the comments. Must admit the snake makes me go cold when I see it. By the way, does Yiota have any more handy tips re blogging??? Changing to Updated Editor seems to have closed up the gaps, she says with fingers crossed!!!

Kath said...

Lovely selection Silve. Maybe you can send me some allium seeds, it would be nice to grow the same plant here in Somerset.
I do like the lysmachia, I used to have one in Waddesdon which I planted in a bucket to contain it!

Sylve said...

I'll collect some when they're ripe- in time for 1st anniversary present?