The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.


Just when you thought it was safe to relax in the garden with a glass of something you fancy and enjoy the sensory month of freshly mown lawns, the swifts screeching and the colourful blooms of the season, out of the corner of you eye you spot something out of place.  A weed.  A flower that needs deadheading.  Aphids on a tight rosebud.

Does a gardener ever really stop for very long to enjoy their hard work? 

I think that might be why I like to record it in my blog.  I can then look back and compare with previous years and help to plan for the future.

Exams are almost over, so I'll be able to give the garden the TLC it deserves soon.  I have noticed however that this years' flowers appear to be smaller than usual.  I'm not sure if that has resulted from my neglect or the weather.  Something to look back on in the future?

Bring on the Summer

It's official.  Spring 2011 was the driest for 100 years.  Crops are failing, and there's talk of hosepipe bans.  As summer gets into it's swing, we're currently having a mini heatwave.

This was the temperature on the patio at 4 pm 3 June 2011:

The temperature inside the greenhouse was well over 100F.  There's not an awful lot in the greenhouse this year, but what is there still needs protection.  Whether that means adding shading in the form of a shading paint, or netting is personal choice.  I tend to opt for netting as it can easily be removed on overcast days.

Whatever you chose, it is important to keep the humidity up by damping down the greenhouse floor with cool water a few times each day.  This helps to keep spidermites at bay.

As I prefer natural gadrening, this seems the ideal time to reveal the 'Poached Egg Plant', Limnanthes Douglasii.  I've allowed this to self seed in the bed alongside the patio.  It's excellent for attracting hoverflies, which eat greenfly, and looks good in the process!

June is the month for the bedding plants.  They've filled out nicely now and their fat buds are opening to reveal their jewels for this season.

Other than the colourful baskets, most of the action is taking place in the front garden.  The first flush of hardy geraniums are taking centre stage, but here and there are pockets of other flowers peeping through the green awaiting their moment to take the limelight.

A couple of tender moments with the Toad and the Bumblebee.

This picture of creeping phlox spilling out of a planter doesn't do the plant any justice.  The flowers are a vivid cerise colour.  They thrive on neglect too, so perfect for that dry sunny spot.  I shall lift it this year and divide it, planting sections in different areas of the garden to see where else it will tolerate.

Astrantia Major 'Ruby Wedding'.  Another hebaceous perennial.  Another that will happliy self seed, preferring full sun, although this particular plant only gets the sun in the afternoons.

Ignoring the leaf, this is actually another hardy geranium, Ann Folkard, I believe.  It's just a small plant this year as I planted it as a division last autumn.

Just one last glimspe of this year's spectacular display of Clematis 'Rhapsody' as the flowers fade for another year.

The first of the lilies to flower is the deep red.  It glows in any light, and is just so tactile.

Before I finish, a quick glance at a couple of the ladies, first is a close up of Fawkes' gorgeous plumage...

...and the ever curious Lola.

"Spring being a tough act to follow,

God created June."

- Al Bernstein