I guess you could say it's the height of summer right now. The second broods of the spuggies have fledged and the bird feeders are a constant meeting point as the youngsters hone their skills of using these tubes of seeds, sunflower hearts and mealworms, often noisily squabbling over them until they realise there are further ports from which to feed.
I've not spotted any of the tadpoles in the last few weeks, but the resident frog is still knocking around.
Around the patio and terrace this afternoon, the last irises are now opening.
The hydrangeas are entering the show. Above is the saved-from-skip variety in the left hand side of the patio arch and below is darker pinky-red in the border on the right hand side.
The hydrangea in the Long Border above had been blue, so I need to tweak the acidity in the soil.
The box hedging received a light trim. It has another foot or so to grow before it'll be the height I plan for to contain the plants within and hide the areas beyond.
And c. Alpina blue dancer below is sending up new stems ready for next year. They'll not be tied in properly until we've scrubbed and painted the fence on which it is supported. It will wait until the other clematis on the Long Border have finished flowering so the whole fence can be treated.
TMTC dug up the large clump of Spireae beside the pond in the Long Border. It had self layered and created a second clump. One now resides in his parents' garden; the other has been potted up for when our friends move home.
In its place we've planted the Photinia where it will have a chance to put out roots and settle in before winter.
This photo doesn't really do this white verbena/velvety blue-purple petunia combo justice, but it's easily my favourite of the summer bedding this year.
The last week has been chilly to say the least. Within days we'd gone from 30c+ down to 11c with rain...Lots of rain.
As June drifted gently into July, the warm sunshine returned. This weekend so far has been spent deadheading and trimming back all the spoilt flowers, including most of the roses.
Beside the pond, the yellow daylilies had also mostly been spoilt by the rain. Thankfully there are quite a few buds forming.
In the borders either side of the patio arch, many of the plants are blooming.
The hydrangea we rescued from a skip is now flowering. It has some strong new growth at the base so I'll prune the next third in the spring. Eventually it will form a handsome shrub.
The terrace border is taking shape. It does need a bit of height, but for now these Irises take centre stage.
Next up is the Yen Garden. This fuzzy flowered spiraea japonica helps mark the entrance.
Feathery leaves in purple acers at either end, with pale pink rosa New Dawn along the length; her blooms escaped the worst of the heavy rain beneath the conifer hedge.
New growth has already begun to emerge on the old rhododendron.
The border in the Yen Garden is still quite sparse. Some plants are doing well, others not so much. I wonder whether using fewer plants but repeat them along the bed would work better. Of course this is a very dry bed due to the hedge and being in full sun from 10am until around 6pm during the summer months, so that has to be considered.
New Dawn adds some scented charm to the entrance to the secret garden, and carries on along the back of the Pink Garden where its fragrance mingles with the lemon tang of r. Mum in a Million.
Mother-in-law bought a beautiful calla lily for us this week. And is perfect beside the new patio seats. We used these flowers in a deep burgundy and cream for our wedding, so they are very fitting.
As you know, last week the honeysuckle had it in for our old fork. I guess some gardeners would replace the handle, but it was easier to invest in new.
TMTC soon put the new fork into action. He lifted the recently planted syringa and replanted it nearer the pond.
In its place, a new tree - Acer Crimson King. This promises deep purple foliage that turns orange in the autumn. This tree already helps screen our new seats from our neighbour's upper windows, and is perfectly positioned to help screen their huge garden hut from our upper windows. In addition, the three new trees will eventually create some shade and shelter for our patio (Magnolia George Henry Kern, Acer Crimson King and Syringa Sensation).
I am currently in love with our front garden. Viewed from the start of the cobbled path, the left hand border is amazing full with barely any visible earth.
The right hand border is still in its first year really, so still needs to fill out.
I think the deep purple-black foliage plants of Sambuccus Nigra, Heuchera, Pittosporum tenufolium Tom Thumb, and the dark leafed forms of Hebe and Fuchsia create such a dramatic foil for the hot colours of orange Osteospermums and daylilies, along with orange and red Crocosmias, contrasting with punctuations of pink and blue hardy geraniums, and the calm breath-taking white roses all providing knock-out punches for the both ocular and olfactory senses. Sadly the grass died in both sides after cutting back, however that will be rectified shortly and then touch will be catered for also. I don't think I'll bother with taste - unless any of you fancy bird seed or mealworms...but the birds do bring their songs to the garden. Maybe I should name the front garden after the senses.
On the whole, I'm thrilled that the mirror-flipped design has worked so brilliantly.
I close today's post with an iridescent cloud spotted in this evening's sky, like a splodge of rainbow.