July Is Bloomin’ Lovely

Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis


Well what a month it’s been. It feels as though it hasn’t rained in weeks and weeks and yet when I look back to June we had raindrops on roses. That, I think, was the last time the garden saw any of the wet stuff. And then only a brief shower.

 I went out with the camera yesterday morning wondering what I would find. And whether there would be enough for a post at all. It would be wrong to call it a drought. Readers in Cape Town, California and Australia wouldn’t bat an eyelid over a month or so without rain. Nor our recent temperature ‘highs’ in the upper 20sC. The difficulty is we’re not used to it. Not least the gardener who has adapted to the more normal conditions of South West England by majoring on moisture loving plants. Morning tours of inspection have been thin on the ground in recent weeks. Along with the gardening mojo. First the rabbits. And then the weather. Both have taken their toll.


Lilium superbum


Lilium superbum

So what I found when I did venture out was something of a surprise.


Helenium 'Waltraut'


Helenium ‘Waltraut’

It’s been quite a while since this one featured here. Three years. I checked. Since then it has merely limped along: weak, slug nibbled, barely flowering at all. But it’s a sun lover. And what do we have right now? The other thing in its favour of course is that the molluscs are few and far between. Especially on a south facing hard baked hill. I shall enjoy it while it lasts.


Eryngium x zabelii 'Big Blue'


Eryngium x zabelii ‘Big Blue’

While heleniums do need some moisture, eryngium prefer it to be dry. So this is another bloom not seen in years. At least two years. It will take on a much deeper blue hue as it matures.


Abutilon 'Hinton Seedling'


Abutilon ‘Hinton Seedling’

And I thought I’d lost the abutilon. It took ages to show any sign of life after the cold, late Spring. One could still be forgiven for thinking it in repose, certainly without the benefit of a zoom lens, since flowers and leaves exist in clusters only at the highest reaches of each stem. Otherwise its long legs are entirely bare. Next Spring I had better move it to a more open spot.


Erigeron karvinskianus


Erigeron karvinskianus flowing off the edge of a wall, picking up the colour of a backlit Phormium ‘Pink Panther’


Lysimachia clethroides


Pointing the way..

Lysimachia clethroides


Penstemon 'Plum Jerkin'


Penstemon ‘Plum Jerkin’


Lysimachia punctata 'Alexander'


Lysimachia punctata ‘Alexander’

Another of this year’s success stories, divisions from an overly congested clump. Seen here with Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’, it’s part of a new area of planting which may feature in a future post. As long as it works of course. As long as it works..


Agapanthus 'Zachary'


Agapanthus ‘Zachary’

I’m going through a yellow phase. It started with a T-shirt, bought in a sale earlier in the year and then left in the drawer. Pulling it on for the first time last week something clicked. I’ve just ordered two more yellow T shirts. And a scarf. And a blue shirt to go with the yellow. The mood seems to have spread to the garden too. I remember saying when I first acquired the yellow grass Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ that it was difficult to place. How little did I know. It goes with everything..


Agapanthus 'Indigo Dreams'


Agapanthus ‘Indigo Dreams’

..but it goes especially well with agapanthus.


Allium sphaerocephalon


Allium sphaerocephalon

Digitalis ferruginea 'Gigantea'

Digitalis ferruginea ‘Gigantea’

I could have started out yesterday morning with the intention to include an insect in every shot. I didn’t. But it wouldn’t have been hard. The garden is positively buzzing.


Dipsacus fullonum


Dipsacus fullonum

I don’t think I’ve ever seen teasel in bloom before. Even if it does just highlight the sorry state the vegetable garden has become. Self seeded from somewhere I shall now leave it over winter for the goldfinches to enjoy.


Monarda 'Cambridge Scarlet'


Monarda ‘Cambridge Scarlet’


Veronicastrum virginicum 'Fascination'


Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’

And this is an intriguing one. Apparently the name is a play on fasciation, which affects this cultivar particularly. Mine is no exception.




Another novelty. My colour shifting hydrangea is even bluer this year.

It started life on the terraces where it was bright pink. In an effort to render the primary view from the house easier on the eye it got booted off to the woodland, where the soil is clearly more acid. Interesting that the young blooms still emerge as pink. Almost as though it is mirroring its recent evolutionary past.


Crocosmia 'Lucifer'


Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

Maybe the mojo hasn’t gone AWOL after all.


Verbena bonariensis


Linking to Carol and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens (here), where you will find a host of seasonal bloomers from around the world.