August Is Bloomin’ Lovely

Persicaria 'Black Field'


Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Black Field’ and Crocosmia ‘Carmin Brilliant’


Shall we give bathroom renovations a break for a day or so? I know I’m ready, even if no-one else is.

And it’s Wednesday. It’s the 15th. Surely it must be… Bloom Day!

The garden has changed a lot over the last month. Mostly on account of neglect but I did say we weren’t going to talk about bathrooms. We’ve also had, Hallelujah, some rain. A few of the usual stalwarts have fallen victim to the onslaught and flopped, Phlomis in particular needs scaffolding and urgent buttress support, but many others have had a new burst of life. The colour palette has shifted too. The hot, hot, colours of late summer have arrived. And how.


Helenium 'Waltraut'


Helenium ‘Waltraut’ and Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Orange Field’

Heleniums are one of the success stories of this long hot summer. They’ve struggled greatly over the last few years. This year, however, it’s been the molluscs which have struggled and in consequence their traditional targets have thrived. And I so love persicaria, as no doubt I’ve bored you with many times before. It’s the most reliable perennial in the garden. Now coming into its peak season it will last well into autumn. And nothing eats it..


Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Alba'


Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’. Also in white.

Newly divided this year and added to the planting on the bank, I couldn’t have anticipated how much I would love this persicaria against the backdrop of the very pink and very frothy inflorescence of Anemanthele lessoniana.



On the other side of the Anemanthele a new development is underway.

This particular area of the bank has always troubled me. In early Spring it forms the pulmonaria cascade and is at its best. You can just about pick out the spotty pulmonaria leaves growing back after the annual haircut, much aided by the recent rain. But what happens then? Not a lot. It leaves me with an incongruous strip cutting through the bank which stays low, green and frankly pretty boring for the rest of the season. So this year I added Geranium ‘Rozanne’, which for some inexplicable reason appears more purple here than she is in reality. And above the geranium I’ve just interplanted the pulmonaria with a dozen or so divisions of Verbena rigida, too young to bloom as yet. If life is fair then next year we should see the traditional pulmonaria cascade in Spring followed by a second river of blue in summer.. well time will tell.


Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Lacey Blue'


Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Lacey Blue’

The pulmonaria may have loved the rain but in this year’s hot sunshine I’ve enjoyed plants that I’d previously thought were long gone. Even perovskia!


Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace'


Tulbaghia violacea ‘Silver Lace’


Verbena bonariensis


Verbena bonariensis too, has never looked better.

Back in Spring me and the bunnies gave it a Chelsea chop. It’s not usually on the list of suitable candidates but it does seem to have worked so I suppose thanks are due to Flopsy (plus all her friends and relations) for giving me the steer. Let’s whisper it though. I’d hate them to think they could go really wild next year. Buy shares in chicken wire folks.. you heard it here first.


Thalictrum delavayi


Thalictrum delavayi

Feeling much like me. Bowed but not quite broken. Yet. It’s said this tall and very wispy perennial does not need staking. Well all I can say is that if the chicken wire cage wasn’t there she would be on the ground. Perhaps because it’s her first year. Maybe she was a victim of the wind. But she’s tougher than she looks, I’ll give her that. And she does have a certain charm.


Rose 'Boscobel'


Rose ‘Boscobel’, Phormium ‘Pink Panther’, Erigeron karvinskianus and Verbena rigida.

This year I’ve added the red buttons of Knautia macedonica to the mix.


Rose 'Boscobel'


Rose ‘Boscobel’

The roses are well into their second flush.


Erigeron karvinskianus


Erigeron karvinskianus is such a familiar sight anywhere in the West Country, to the point of being invasive. It’s only two or three years since I introduced it here and already it is rampant. It gets by with very little water and can frequently be found growing in walls.


Astrantia 'Buckland'


Astrantia ‘Buckland’ against a backdrop of Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’


Hydrangea arborescens 'Invincibelle Spirit'


Hydrangea arborescens ‘Invincibelle Spirit’

Much as I love (some) hydrangeas they do invoke mixed feelings. They are, after all, late summer plants.


Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'


Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’

They don’t seem to be doing as well for me as in previous years. Many were late to come into leaf after the very cold Spring and the flowers generally appear to be smaller.




Some give the distinct impression that autumn is already just around the corner.

Not sure I’m quite ready for that..


Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'


Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’

Shall we end with a bit of cheer and just pretend that summer will go on forever?


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.


2018-08-22T11:56:34+00:00August 15th, 2018|Tags: |


  1. Julieanne Porter August 15, 2018 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Looking so good. I love that Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba, not seen a white one before. My Thalcitrum, Anne, hasn’t flowered well at all, am most envious of your ‘delavayi’.

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 11:22 am - Reply

      It’s the first time I’ve grown thalictrum so I’m rather impressed with it. Although I’m sure it will be better if it clumps up a bit rather than being one solitary weedy stem as it is at the moment. It might also be more stable then too. Possibly part of the problem is that it isn’t in full sun so it is leaning towards the light.

  2. karen August 15, 2018 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Dreamy photos as always. I’m not ready for autumn either yet. But my garden is saying it’s time. Not seen a white persicaria before. Very pretty. Would be lovely for cut flowers I should imagine.

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 11:25 am - Reply

      The mornings are feeling quite autumnal now. I need to get on with the remaining planting while I still have time. Thanks Karen.

  3. Mary August 15, 2018 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    After hours and hours of bathroom remodeling, I can see that a walk in the garden capturing these lovely plants is balm to your soul. As always, a gorgeous variety.

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 11:31 am - Reply

      Thanks Mary. The garden has kept me going to be honest. There have been so many calls on our time this summer I haven’t been out there nearly as much as I normally would. Perhaps that makes the moments I do have even more enjoyable.

  4. janesmudgeegarden August 15, 2018 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    What an enticing collection of plants. There are quite a few that we never even hear of over here and some I’ve only got to know by reading blogs by UK gardeners. Even though you’ve been short of rain, your perovskia looks splendid- well everything does really, but I particularly noticed the perovskia because it’s one I grow here. I’m sure it’s been lovely to get out in the garden after all the restoration, and restore yourself.

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 11:35 am - Reply

      Perovskia is probably much better suited to your climate than ours. It looked good when I first bought it, obviously! For the last two or three years it has done virtually nothing and looked very miserable indeed. Each winter I thought I would lose it. And now all of a sudden it looks like a proper plant again. No doubt next year we’ll return to the normal rain and it’ll be back to sulking.

  5. Charles August 15, 2018 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    After no flowers on my roses for two months I started to give them a heavy daily soaking. Beautiful blooms have emerged, I have never had to water established roses before. We have had some rain in Somerset, which we badly needed. I survived the mother in law!

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 11:47 am - Reply

      After last weekend, and the additional downpour last night, the garden is looking quite lush again. Even the lawn is greening up, i.e. the moss is reasserting itself. For some of my moisture loving plants the return to rain came only just in time. Glad you survived and welcome home!

  6. Lea @ Lea's Menagerie August 15, 2018 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Such a beautiful assortment of blooms!
    Hard to choose a favorite, but if I had to – ‘Lacey Blue’ gets my vote!
    Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 11:50 am - Reply

      Hi Lea, thank you!
      The perovskia is special to me too, given that in a ‘normal’ year I barely see it. Our climate is too wet for its liking.

  7. derrickjknight August 15, 2018 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    Bloomin’ lovely post

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 11:56 am - Reply

      Thanks Derrick 🙂

  8. Peter Herpst August 15, 2018 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    How can your garden look this marvelous when you’ve been pouring all of your time and energy into the bathroom project? You and your garden are amazing! I especially love the combination of Rose ‘Boscobel’, Phormium ‘Pink Panther’, Erigeron karvinskianus and Verbena rigida.

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 11:57 am - Reply

      I was extremely selective with the camera! To be honest the garden isn’t looking its best this year and I did wonder whether I would have a post at all. I thought I’d managed to edit out all the weeds but I have since spotted one..

  9. Kris P August 15, 2018 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    I adore that Rose- Phormium-Erigeron combination. If I had better luck with roses, I’d copy it. As to the Erigeron, it IS invasive here, although this year the nuclear heatwave in early July (110F/43C) did the seemingly impossible and burned large sections of it to a crisp. I expect it’ll be back when the weather cools, though. The Thalictrum is a winner in my book too but I don’t a chance of growing that (I’ve tried). I broke down and planted that Astrantia in spring based on a vague assertion that it could grow here with sufficient water but even the regular soaking my cutting garden receives hasn’t enticed it to make an appearance. Oh well, one can’t have everything (even if this gardener is bound and determined to try). Happy GBBD!

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 12:04 pm - Reply

      Astrantia has struggled even here this summer. I didn’t realise until this year (after properly reading the label on a new one) that they have to be in soil which never dries out. Normally that wouldn’t be too hard..
      ‘Buckland’ is lucky in that I put it in the part of the garden most recently planted, thus it has been favoured with extra water rations slightly more often than some.

  10. snowbird August 15, 2018 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Everything is looking beautiful! I especially love all the hot

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      If you are ever down this way, Rosemoor have a ‘Hot Garden’ full of these colours. Which reminds me, the time is right to go and have another look at it myself. I could do with adding more of them.

  11. Rebecca R. August 15, 2018 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Your garden is looking fabulous! I love the “growing wall” you have. What a delightful feature in your garden. Happy GBBD!

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      It’s especially good because it keeps growing itself and needs little assistance from me. I can see though in a year or so I might be needing to pull some of the erigeron out, before it takes over!

  12. Susan Garrett August 15, 2018 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    I’m afraid that our garden has suffered neglect this year as we have had to spend so much time looking after the edibles on the allotment.

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 12:21 pm - Reply

      You can only stretch yourself so far Sue. Something has to give if you are to avoid being a slave to it. But I do hate seeing my garden being taken over by weeds.

  13. Heyjude August 15, 2018 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    I love seeing what you have in your garden. Anything that can withstand the S&S is good for me! And I am hoping that the Erigeron karvinskianus I have introduced to my garden goes mad and fills in all the holes and gaps that currently are inhabited by cinquefoil and silverweed.

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 12:26 pm - Reply

      Erigeron should do well for you. Every Cornish garden I go to it is everywhere. And it is another one that is relatively slug & snail resistant, except for the very tiny seedlings. But then there are so many of those it really doesn’t matter. When it gets going, it gets going!

  14. Jeannie August 16, 2018 at 1:44 am - Reply

    Well, I loved your garden tour. I think it was perfect!

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jeannie.

  15. Jenni @ RainDayGarden August 16, 2018 at 4:12 am - Reply

    The combination of Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Black Field’ and Crocosmia ‘Carmin Brilliant’ is fantastic. I admire how many persicaria’s you have in your gardens. I’ve embraced two varieties, but, being limited on space, I fear they’ll run wild. I am envious of your spots of rain. We’ve had none…for months. I enjoyed the colorful tour of your August gardens.

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      That is the potential problem with persicaria. But then at the moment I have so much bare soil to cover and it’s perfect for that. I can see future owners digging up acres of the stuff and cursing me for it.. much as I did our predecessor for his common montbretia!
      The planet has got so weird. PNW and Devon have a similar climate.. wet. And now, even on opposite sides of the world, we’ve both had a similarly dry summer.

  16. Torrington Tina August 16, 2018 at 6:54 am - Reply

    I love to see the pictures of your wonderful garden, having seen the bathroom project I can understand why you have retreated outdoors for a bit! Lovely selection of Persicaria, must introduce some more of those into my garden. Your P. amplexicaulis ‘Black Field’ is just brilliant alongside Crocosmia ‘Carmin Brilliant’. Your Anamenthale is doing well, mine died off after the ‘Beast From The East’, now I am finding seedlings to pot up and produce a clump for next year.

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      I’ll have plenty of any of the persicarias to hand over by next Spring. I was also about to offer a field full of Anamenthale but you’ve already spotted the problem with it! All of mine turned brown on their most exposed side. Luckily all the flower spikes they’ve produced this year have covered it up.

  17. bitaboutbritain August 16, 2018 at 8:57 am - Reply

    All looking stunning, RD!

    • Jessica August 16, 2018 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks Mike 🙂

  18. Arun Goyal August 16, 2018 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Lovely variety of Rose blooming ,All hydrangeas are bursting with colors
    Have a great week ahead.

    • Jessica August 19, 2018 at 9:11 am - Reply

      Thanks Arun, you too.

  19. Christina August 16, 2018 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    I’m glad you took time out from the trails of the bathroom to rediscover the garden. There is a lot to enjoy.

    • Jessica August 19, 2018 at 9:13 am - Reply

      Racing against time now to get as much done as possible before it starts to get cold. This summer has just flown by.

  20. gregsgardening August 16, 2018 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    I must say, after my first visit here, your garden is quite exquisite. Thanks for spending your time in planting and planning this garden, and to share it.

    • Jessica August 19, 2018 at 9:14 am - Reply

      Thanks Greg and welcome!

  21. stephanie young August 16, 2018 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    eye candy!!!! love it!!!

    • Jessica August 19, 2018 at 9:16 am - Reply

      Thanks Steph. Raining again today. It’s amazing how quickly the novelty wears off!

  22. offtheedgegardening August 17, 2018 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous photos!

    • Jessica August 19, 2018 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Thanks Gill. Good to see you both yesterday. Don’t forget the meander..

  23. Linda from Rach Little World August 21, 2018 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Can’t believe I missed this last week. So many great combinations of both colors and textures.

    • Jessica August 22, 2018 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks Linda. I love the late summer colours. Just not the concept of late summer.

  24. Brian Skeys August 22, 2018 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Thalictrum delavayi Is beautiful and elegant.

    • Jessica August 22, 2018 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      It is that. And it’s survived pretty much everything the weather can throw at it. Which is quite a lot now that we’ve returned to wind and rain.

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