Welcome to this weeks ‘Flowers On Sunday’ which on this beautiful weekend I am bringing to you from the garden. There is so much going on and it seems so long since I have written about the garden, that I thought the flowers should take centre stage in their uncut form for a change this Sunday.
I have two honeysuckles in flower at the moment. One is climbing up a tells against one of the old walls that surround the garden. The one in the photo above is actually planted underneath a large old yew bush. It grows up through the centre and cascades over the top and down the sides – quite beautiful and a very easy way to support a heavy honeysuckle.
The same yew tree also acts as something of a chicken hotel – all the garden chickens that have moved into garden from next door use this yew as a safe place to sleep overnight – here you can see one of the cockerels settled into its interior branches.
Still in the front garden you can see some of my many white alliums – Allium Mount Everest. These alliums are growing around a corkscrew hazel tree that I planted two years ago. Aside from the dark leaved hazel everything else in this bed has a white flower. I have planted the David Austin white rose William & Katherine, arum lilies, hydrangea Madame Mouliere, dicentra alba, the double philadelpus Virginal, viburnum opulus (guelder rose) and white agapanthus. The season kicks off with a selection of white tulips and ends with the beautiful white hydrangeas. The bed is edged with a number of box balls that you can see are coming close to their annual trim.
In another area of the front garden I have a large border where I grow the majority of my collection of bearded iris. These seem to be oblivious to the wildlife and do well in the very sunny dry conditions. The name tags have disappeared, so I need to trawl through the Claire Austin website where I bought them to try and identify the names as they flower. These are the first two types to flower.
Also in the front in a very shady bed, these beautiful red peonies are the first of the herbaceous varieties to flower every year. There are three of these peony plants in this bed, which we inherited when we moved in – I am going to hazard a guess that they might be peony Red Charm.
Most of the lilac has finished in the garden now, but I have two white trees that are growing in shady spots. Although they flower later than the ones in full sun the flowers last longer and so extend my lilac season by a week or two. The scent is still delicious.
Moving to the woodland – I did finally have a few lillies of the valley this year, thanks to a kind friend in the village who gave me some of her plants back in February. I am keeping my fingers crossed that these beauties will start to spread soon.
My Solomon’s Seal has been beautiful, but is already on its way out – the season is rushing past far too quickly.
The cow parsley is fading fast, but still looking good in shady spots. Outside my gates the council have already been round to trim it back from the verges – that is always a sad day.
Moving out from the shade into the flower garden, the first white scabious (scabiosa caucasia perfecta ‘Alba’) has just started to flower.
Peonies all over the garden are full of fat buds. As all my peonies are relatively new (planted between 1 and 4 years ago) this will be the first year that I have had an abundance of buds – I am keeping my fingers crossed for a beautiful peony season!
The first lupin to flower is this beautiful deep purple called Mastepiece. I grow this in a bed with very dark peonies and the rose Souvenir de Docteur Jarmain. The lupins follow on very quickly from the dark tulips Black Hero, Black Parrot and Queen of the Night.
Moving along to what I call my Country House Border the first delphinium is just about to flower. There are plenty of roses in this bed that are full of buds.
My favourite allium Purple Sensation is popping open throughout the garden.
And finally for today I just had to include my beautiful laburnum trees. These are the last of the blossoming trees for this year, but really do provide a grand finale to a season that started back in March with the earliest cherry tree.
This has been a very good week in the garden – conditions have been perfect for weeding and planting out. I am concentrating on getting all my sweet peas and hardy annual seedlings out into the beds. Then I will start putting out all the sprouted dahlia tubers and gladioli bulbs. I have just ordered a selection of chrysanthemum cuttings to keep the season going, hopefully into December. Also on my list for this week is the Chelsea Chop for my later flowering perennials – without this everything could be in flower in June and the plants will be exhausted by September. The Chelsea Chop ensures that the borders continue to look good until late in the season.
The sun is shining again today and I am taking a break from the garden – I am looking forward to a lovely concert this afternoon – Beethoven’s piano concerto no.5 and no.6 with afternoon tea. I hope to see you again tomorrow with my bouquet for ‘In A Vase On Monday’.