After a terrible start to the year the Cutting Garden is finally getting into its stride and I took the opportunity to capture the moment on a recent sunny evening. Summer can be a tough time for photographs – the sun is at its highest casting strong harsh light over the garden and the long days make it harder to be free to photograph early or late in the day. One evening a couple of weeks ago I noticed the light was just perfect, so I put supper on hold and dashed out with my camera to try and capture the magical moment.
All is not perfect in the Cutting Garden this year – there has been a lot of flooding which has damaged my plants combined with a very cold spring and early summer which has held everything back. The last few weeks have been dry and warm though, so I have been busy trying to catch up with all the outstanding jobs. First on the to do list is to install some beautiful new arches from Agriframes. I have had much smaller flimsier frames in the garden for a couple of years now but they have rusted through and are no longer doing their job of providing support for the recently planted climbing roses. These new arches are much taller and more sturdy – there is still work to be done to add trellis wire and get everything lined up and sunk in the ground properly but I am delighted with them and could not resist an impromptu look today!
My dahlias are very late this year but have finally started to flower – hopefully they will be in full flow in September and October. The one below is called Preference and is a beautiful apricot coloured cactus dahlia.
My apricot dahlias are planted in a bed with the peach and apricot coloured roses. The roses are quite new and suffered in the cold wet June but the second flush of flowers is just coming out and looks much more promising. This is a hybrid tea rose called Just Joey – the flowers are huge and sumptuous and I am really looking forward to seeing this as a mature bush in a couple of years time.
My outside sweet peas have been very disappointing this year – the cold damp start meant that I lost quite a few young plants and the survivors are only just getting into their stride – also the survivors seem to be primarily the blues so I am limited in colour palette this year. On the plus side the greenhouse sweet peas were magnificent and lasted into July and the pollen beetles seem to have disappeared from this crop so at least I can use them inside which is unusual.
My cosmos are doing very well now and I particularly love this dark shade of Double Click Cranberry.
I have planted cosmos in all my big cutting beds this year and am hoping that I can keep it going into the autumn if I cut it back regularly.
The other success story this year has been the gladioli – I staggered the bulb planting over a couple of months and am having great successional flowering which means I can make better use of them as cut flowers. I have a circular table in my hallway and love to have a large vase full of these beauties on display for as long as possible.
Even though the half hardy annuals are all in flower I still have some of my earlier planted hardy annuals in flower – often these have exhausted themselves by now. Below is ammi visnaga growing through R. Crown Princess Margareta.
This is zinnia Giant Purple – my favourite zinnia that flowers as both double and singles and will keep me in flowers until the first frosts.
I loved this shot of the Cutting Garden as the sun started to set and illuminated the trees in the background.
I am away on our annual family holiday in Florida now so will not be back with my regular posts until September – I am amazed at how quickly this summer is running away! I still have things to catch up on though, so hope to pop in with a few more photos of the summer whilst I am away. I am keeping my fingers crossed for some rain whilst I am away to keep my flowers flowering – I will be very sad if the annuals have all run to seed when I return but there is always a risk if you are not able to water and deadhead regularly.
I hope you have a lovely week!!