This week, the air was full of floating white puffs of cotton, falling gently like snow from the Cottonwood Poplar with every gust of wind. Quite magical and almost impossible to capture on film, except when they collected in snowdrifts amongst the strawberries or were trapped in spiders webs or on sticky spent anemone heads. You will need to click on the 1st photo to actually see the floating puffs!!!The Snowball Tree (Viburnum opulus) played a starring role this week, with its plentiful, large, round flower heads turning from lime-green to white, its globes mirroring, in a larger version, the cottonwood snowfall.All the deciduous trees are now in full leaf and it is so lovely viewing the mosaic of different greens and textures from the verandah.A lonely white columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris – 1st photo below) stands firm in the agapanthus corner and on the front wall of the house, our climbing white Tea rose, ‘Mrs. Herbert Stevens’ (2nd photo below), promises to complement its Noisette companion ‘Lamarque’ well. I can show you photos of the latter next week when her buds open up.Nearby, the Acanthus mollis spires match the exterior house wall perfectly.
Our neighbour’s lamb is now an independent teenager. We watch his development over the honeysuckle-clad fence. This honeysuckle variety is called ‘Firecracker’.Blue is a predominant colour this week :
The soft violet-blue blooms of Ground Morning Glory (Convovulus mauritanicus), which line the path and the violet bed around the Japanese Maple; and the rich blues of anemones.The royal blue and pale blue Dutch Iris, with one white one thrown in.If you looked closely at the 3rd photo above, you would have detected the first cornflower bloom (Centaurea cyanus), which is the succession plan for the Iris and Daffodils and will hide the latter’s spent leaves, as they strive to get the most out of the growing season.Gold has also joined the parade of colour with the beautiful Bearded Iris in the Soho Bed – one on each corner of the sundial. They have such a commanding regal presence and have kept a watchful eye over the developing poppies.Yes, poppies! We eagerly awaited the opening of the first bud, hoping that they were the surviving peony poppies, but alas! They were in fact weeds – of a kind – the wild purple single poppy – but still charming enough to warrant a place in the Soho Bed – at least for the time being! I think that I am still holding out unrealistic hopes that maybe just one of them might miraculously transform into my much-longed-for double poppy!
The thrift (Armeria ‘Pretty Petite’ -1st photo below) has been so generous with its long lasting pink blooms. The hot pink Autumn Sage (Salvia gregii – 2nd photo), Wallflowers (Erysimum mutabile – 3rd photo) and Catmint (Nepeta X faassenii – 4th photo) are also excellent value.The Italian lavender has been a real show.
And the roses are starting to come into their own! They really are the Queen of Flowers and will reign supreme for the rest of the year.
‘Fortuneana’ ( photo above) and ‘Stanwell Perpetual’ (1st and 2nd photo below) were quickly joined by the divinely scented Rugosa hedging roses : ‘Roseraie de L’Hay’ (rich crimson-purple) and ‘Mme. Georges Bruant’ (white).The Hybrid Musk rose hedge behind the vegetable patch is also starting to bloom with ‘Cornelia’ (pink – 1st 2 photos), ‘Kathleen’ (pure white – 3rd photo) and ‘Penelope’ (lemony white – 4th photo).In the Soho bed, ‘Lolita’ (last photo below), ‘Heaven Scent’ and ‘Alnwyk’ have been joined by ‘Eglantyne’ ( 1st 2 photos below ) and all the other roses are in bud, as they are in the David Austin Moon Bed.‘Adam’ (1st 3 photos below) signals the start of the climbing rose season on the Main Pergola and in the Old-fashioned Rose bed in front of the shed, Kordes bred rose ‘Maigold’ (gold – 4th photo), Tea rose ‘Archiduc Joseph’ (coppery pink – 5th photo) and China rose ‘Viridiflora’ (green – 6th photo) have started to bloom. The latter is highly unusual, as its flowers are really sepals and they never develop petals. The blooms are much sought after by florists as its green blooms fade to russet. ‘Viridiflora’ was a chance mutation of a China Rose ‘Slater’s Crimson China’ and it is the only green rose in existence.And I think that I have finally identified the climbing rose on the entrance wall of the house or at least I hope so! If anyone has a different idea, please let me know! But for the moment, I am going with ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’, which is normally a giant of a rose, reaching 12 m, so it is just as well that it is obviously not in its ideal location!Finally, the spectacular ranunculas and Iceland poppies in the cutting garden. Their rich exotic colours from pinks to golds, oranges and a variety of reds (scarlet, clear red, burgundy) and the satiny sheen to their petals are so conducive to photography! My poor camera has been working overtime and threatens to resign any day!!! I suspect that I may be getting a new one for Christmas, if my old one manages to hold out that long!!!