Bloomin’ July

Allium sphaerocephalon 001 Wm

Allium sphaerocephalon


The drumstick allium. Try nudging one with your finger, just below the flower head. There’s a surprising weight and they do feel just like drumsticks. Their wiry stems must be pretty strong too. These have endured winds quite unlike anything we’d normally expect in summer. The bulbs are planted in wire mesh cages to avoid the attentions of the mice. They’ve been nibbled by the infernal mollusc. Yet they’re all still standing. If only everything in life could be as resilient.


Honeysuckle 002 Wm


The pergola arch, heaving with honeysuckle


It’s an abbreviated Bloomers this month. After waking to news of yet another atrocity the heart just isn’t in it. Tales of knees peppered with berberis thorns can wait until another day. My thoughts this morning are with the people of France.


Terraces 046 Wm


The terraces in July.


Hydrangea 024 Wm


Hydrangea underpinned by a froth of spent blooms from London Pride (Saxifraga ร— urbium)


Dierama 'Guinevere' 004 Wm


Dierama ‘Guinevere’

Every year it returns reliably, looking better than ever. It also self seeds.


Turks Cap Lily 006 Wm


Lilium superbum

Another perennial stalwart. In this view the day lily behind it perfectly picks up the colours.


Verbena bonariensis 004 Wm


Verbena bonariensis


Sempervivum 'Terracotta Baby' 003 Wm


Sempervivum ‘Terracotta Baby’. Clinging to a crack in the terrace wall.


Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile' 004 Wm


Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’


Crocosmia 'Lucifer' 002 Wm


Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

Rescued a couple of days ago from a sea of nettles and that offending overgrown berberis.


Linking to Carol and Garden Bloggersโ€™ Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens, where you will find a feast of July bloomers from around the world.


Bloomin' July

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2017-10-27T09:17:46+00:00July 15th, 2016|Tags: |


  1. New Moons For Old July 15, 2016 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Really stunning, and I’m thrilled to see some parallels in your plant choices with our own.
    Hoping that you had the weather you wanted, this St Swithin’s Day.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      Drizzly and windy! Better today though so hopefully St Swithin took his lead from elsewhere.

  2. Backlane Notebook July 15, 2016 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Yes the atrocity in Nice is too awful for words but the simple pleasure of those flowers helps a little.I love the spent flowers of the saxifraga under the hydrangea- shame I had just snipped mine off this very morning!!.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      Normally I too would have snipped the saxifraga blooms off before now but I’m so behind this year. Then I saw the effect with the hydrangea and decided to leave them. Adds a touch of something different to an otherwise common plant.

  3. Cathy July 15, 2016 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    I always forget how much later the drumstick alliums are – mine are not quite out yet but I shall go and do the finger test later!! I now have white dierama envy after seeing your Guinevere – self seeding too, how exciting!

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      I usually give it a bit of extra help and collect the seeds then pot them up. As you would expect, not all come true. But the light pink offspring are just as pretty.

  4. Jenny July 15, 2016 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    I loved my first visit to your blog… am captivated by the stunning photography. Thank you for sharing! Let me spend just one more minute watching your header photos scroll by a few more times before I leave… then I’ll be back another day for more. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Jenny and welcome. It sounds like you have embarked on a project as challenging as ours. It’s not easy renovating an old house but a fascinating experience nevertheless. And worth it in the end!

  5. Linda July 15, 2016 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    I totally forgot it was Bloom Day until I arrived here. A nice display as always. I remember planting bulbs in my garden after 9/11. The garden is still my refuge in times of distress.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      I don’t know what I’d do without a garden. How can you beat a little light pottering with bees buzzing and birds singing?

  6. Lea July 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    There seems to be a new horror in the news every day.
    We who garden are blessed to find a refuge and safe haven among our plants to help ease the sorrow.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      There does seem to be a new horror every day. And now we have Turkey. When will it end?

  7. FlowerAlley July 15, 2016 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    These are so lovely. My NC garden is parched. I water just to keep things alive in July. Your garden looks lush. Soothing post. Thanks friend.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      Up on the bank it dries out very quickly after rain. I was hacking weeds out of the ground up there today. I rely on irrigation to keep them going during dry spells.

  8. VP July 15, 2016 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Allium sphaerocephalon is one of my favourite alliums – the bees love it too!

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      Yep, they’ve just found it!

  9. Anna July 15, 2016 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    When and if stops raining I’ll whizz out to try the test Jessica. It’s such a considerate self seeder too.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Ooh, it would be lovely to get more. It’s one of those things it would be almost impossible to have too many of.

  10. Mark and Gaz July 15, 2016 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    You’ve got a lovely selection of blooms Jessica!

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks. I didn’t wander too far with the camera this month, but I’m quite pleased with the way the terraces turned out, with virtually no intervention from me!

  11. bitaboutbritain July 15, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Quite simply beautiful. I think I’ve managed to murder our honeysuckle – it blocks the path, so I had to be firm and now… As for yet another vile atrocity, I agree it does rather put things in perspective. And France will always be our neighbour and friend.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      I thought I might have lost this one too. It got a proper cutting back in Spring but all the rain we’ve had since seems to have revived it. They do get a bit out of hand!

  12. Pauline July 15, 2016 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    I am so envious of your honeysuckle, I think mine which is over the arbour at the back, has died. We seem to have chosen quite a few of the same plants, not surprising really when they share the same weather. Your terrace is looking really gorgeous, so pretty.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      I only wish I could get Meconopsis to grow as successfully as you can!

  13. derrickjknight July 15, 2016 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Beautiful as ever – including your thoughts for Nice

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Thanks Derrick.

  14. Sue Garrett July 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    The terrace looks absolutely beautiful.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sue. A few things to move about but then we’re never completely satisfied are we?

  15. Jacqueline July 15, 2016 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Your garden looks beautiful Jessica …….. such a variety of plants.
    The senseless violence in France achieves nothing but pain, fear and heartache …… so terrible. XXXX

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      Exactly what they want to achieve. What drives people to hate so much?

  16. Dorothy Borders July 15, 2016 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    All of your blooms and your photography of them are just gorgeous!

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks Dorothy. It makes a change not to be dodging rain showers!

  17. Kris Peterson July 15, 2016 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Your terrace garden is glorious, Jessica! I share your grief about the news from France. I had my post already “in the can,” which was fortunate as it’s hard to type while crying.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      I had the photos uploaded, the words were still in my head. But my stories about run-ins with berberis and plumbing related mayhem seemed a little insignificant in the circumstances.

  18. Virginia July 16, 2016 at 12:26 am - Reply

    Wonderful photos … but where’re the ones of the DUST??\

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      I am banned from going anywhere near dust with the camera. But I think the next post will more than make up for it. Monday or Tuesday..

  19. Denise July 16, 2016 at 12:44 am - Reply

    Your flowers and your photos are exquisite. I’m jealous.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Denise, thanks and welcome!

  20. dodgerdudette July 16, 2016 at 3:03 am - Reply

    If only everyone were a gardener

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      It does give you a different perspective on life.

  21. germac4 July 16, 2016 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Your terrace garden must lift your spirits, it looks marvellous. The whole garden is an absolute delight….I hope you are taking time out to enjoy it.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 8:19 pm - Reply

      Thanks Gerrie. I don’t take out enough time. And if I did I’d only be adding to the list of all the things that need to be done. I used to wander round each morning before breakfast. Perhaps I should start doing that again. Or even better, every evening with a glass of wine!

  22. Rosie July 16, 2016 at 9:02 am - Reply

    So many awful things happening lately that it is good to get into the garden and just appreciate the beauty of it as you reflect on things. Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos with us:)

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      We’re so lucky to have that opportunity aren’t we. It’s where I feel most at peace.

  23. Patsi July 16, 2016 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Wow, your terraces are so full…stunning ! Loving the honeysuckle and so much more. Photography is expertly done. Much as changed since the last time I visited(years ago). Glad I stopped by.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 8:27 pm - Reply

      Hi Patsi, thanks and welcome back! I’m glad you see changes, it’s more difficult when you see something every day and the change is gradual. But this year it’s especially lush as we’ve had so much rain.

  24. Jennifer Dennis July 16, 2016 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    The picture of your terrace garden is stunning. I’ve heard your weather has been dramatic in June…with lot’s of wind and rain. Ours has been a return to cooler temps as well. A more traditional June for the Pacific NW. I do wish more people would garden. I think the world would be a better place for it.

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jenni. There has been a lot in the press over here lately about the benefits of gardening for physical and mental health. I certainly notice the difference if I can’t get outside for whatever reason.

  25. smallsunnygarden July 16, 2016 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Your alliums are splendid! I remember my first attempt at growing them — in the Midwest, where I was constantly fighting invading grass — and I weeded a good many out before I realized they weren’t the enemy… Ouch! I still love them ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your terrace looks lovely. And with so much horror and ugliness increasing around, I’m grateful to all my friends who are creating little bits of beauty and peaceful moments!

    • Jessica July 16, 2016 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      I shall be on the lookout for seedlings now (and note they appear like grass!). I’d love to have more of them. As long as the mice don’t get to them first ๐Ÿ™

  26. Brian Skeys July 16, 2016 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    Gardening won’t heal the world but it helps to heal our soul during these times Jessica.

    • Jessica July 17, 2016 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      It certainly does.

  27. ginaferrari July 17, 2016 at 8:04 am - Reply

    I love the photos of the alliums. Reading your posts makes me wish I knew more about my garden!

    • Jessica July 17, 2016 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure I know that much either. I just pick bits up as I go along.

  28. Sam July 17, 2016 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Gorgeous alliums – mine are now flowering but fewer than there were thanks to snails. I’m hoping they might spread as I do love them. Your photos are beautiful and a wonderful antidote to the horrors of the world. Gardeners of the world, unite! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, Jessica. Sam x

    • Jessica July 17, 2016 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      It always surprises me that slugs and snails eat alliums but they surely do. I shall be looking out for seedlings but given the competition I’ll have I doubt there’ll be many ๐Ÿ™

  29. Wendy July 17, 2016 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    The flowers are all looking beautiful and the terraces are gorgeous with all the colour there. As others have said, gardens can such a refuge from all the terrible stories on the news. The honeysuckle growing over the pergola looks glorious. I couldn’t do without honeysuckle here – I love the scent of it on these summer evenings.

    • Jessica July 17, 2016 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      Yes, walking under that arch is heavenly! Although I see, since I pruned the honeysuckle back this Spring, it is spreading all over the place again.

  30. Jennifer July 17, 2016 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Just lush. I really enjoy seeing your beautiful plants. Question – is allium related to onions? I ask because years ago I used a scar-reducing cream on my son when he needed stitches on his face after falling from his bike. I seem to remember that one of the ingredients was allium extract and someone mentioned that it might be related to onion. It worked relatively well on the scar in any case.

    • Jessica July 17, 2016 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      It is Jennifer. The bog standard cooking onion is Allium cepa. I tried growing some this year but the slugs had them too. ๐Ÿ™

  31. Angie July 17, 2016 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Those terraces look stunning Jessica. I’ve just added that Lily to my wish list for the front garden. It’s a beauty. The latest events in France is indeed tragic.

    • Jessica July 17, 2016 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      The lilies seem to grow to widely differing heights. Most of mine are about a metre high but there is one this year that is about 1.5m!

  32. Island Threads July 17, 2016 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    these are some seriously beautiful photos Jessica and the terraces have come along nicely since you revamped them, Frances

    • Jessica July 17, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      There’s still some tweaking (isn’t there always?) but generally I’m pleased with how they turned out. Thanks Frances.

  33. Christina July 18, 2016 at 7:02 am - Reply

    Lovely combinations; Aren’t drumstick alliums amazing? I grow them too, they are about the only Allium that grows successfully in the heat and some times seeds too. The Dierama is exquisite.

    • Jessica July 18, 2016 at 8:01 am - Reply

      The drumstick is the only Allium that grows for me too. For different reasons obviously but it goes to show how tenacious they are.

  34. Pam July 18, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Love that allium but I wish I’d remember to plant some for myself! It seems so many of us are feeling a little behind in the garden this year, though yours looks gorgeous x

    • Jessica July 18, 2016 at 10:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Pam and welcome!
      A combination of the weather and an injury took out most of Spring for me and when that happens it seems you can never catch up.

  35. AnnetteM July 18, 2016 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Your terraces are looking wonderful Jessica. I remember thinking they were good before, but they are even better now. Great photos as always.

    • Jessica July 18, 2016 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks Annette. The plants on the terraces have settled down a bit after all my shifting about. There are still moves afoot though. The Verbena bonariensis looks good from that angle but not from elsewhere. It was the short one, ‘Lollipop’, last year and then it reseeded back to the original height!

  36. willisjw July 19, 2016 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    It’s indeed a contrast to see your peaceful garden and to read the events in the morning paper. Your images get better all the time. Not to mention the flowers themselves. I have tried Dierama several times without success. Your example provides incentive to try yet again…

    • Jessica July 20, 2016 at 8:25 am - Reply

      I wish I could send you some Dierama, it self seeds with abandon. I am overrun with it! They like moist soil so it must be all the rain.

  37. Linda P. July 23, 2016 at 10:49 am - Reply

    I’ve just enjoyed a good half an hour catching up with you as you work on the garden and the house renovations. I’m impressed with progress on both. It must be satisfying to see the results especially as nothing is ever straightforward. As always I was interested to see the planting and photos of individual beautiful plants and flowers.

    • Jessica July 23, 2016 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks Linda. It feels like it is all taking forever, but if I’ve made a little progress each day I will get there in the end.

  38. Heyjude July 27, 2016 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    My first visit to your blog and I am in awe of your photographs. And your hard work. I shall be following from now on ๐Ÿ™‚
    Oh, and please do tell me where you found your rusty ducks.
    Jude xx

    • Jessica July 27, 2016 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Hi Jude, thanks and welcome!
      The ducks were made by a lady called Barbara Roe in Hampshire. I’m not sure if she’s still in business though because the website address I had for her doesn’t seem to work anymore. That is very sad if it is the case.

  39. Diana Studer August 11, 2016 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    the Dierama is a beauty – must add to my cram-scaping list.

    Nice was the day we flew to London.
    Relieved to be safely at home again.

    • Jessica August 12, 2016 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      Dierama is good for cram-scaping, it uses relatively little ground space for its bulk. Glad to hear you’re safely home and hope you had a lovely time away.

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