Thursday, 29 July 2010


The Larkspur in this photograph are 14 days old. I bought them from the supermarket after picking them up, deciding they were too expensive, putting them down and then going back and putting them in my basket. There were masses of stems so there is another vase of them in the kitchen. They are so pretty, they have a pale green strip on each petal.
They are dying prettily too. The petals drop like pink confetti. I took them out of the jug to re-cut the stems and petals fell everywhere. I gathered them up and put them on a plate in a dark corner to see if they will dry and keep their colour. The mauve petals are from the larkspur in my own garden.
I am slightly disappointed as I ordered seeds for dark blue.I am presume they were mislabeled but the company I bought them from have given me a credit for a packet next year. These are very pretty and I do like the colour. The foliage is nice too, very fine ferny-type leaves.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Seed collecting and sowing

With the garden looking after itself  I have been able to do some seed collecting and sowing. A couple of years ago I planted Lychnis coronaria in my front garden. It has appeared again this year at the bottom of the wall dividing the garden from the pavement. I'd forgotten how nice it is. I have collected the seed to sow in the garden.
Another surprise addition is this lilac poppy with a purple blotch. The flower only lasts a day or so but I like the seed heads. I am drying some stems for winter use, they are hung upside down in the garage with a paper bag underneath to catch the seed.

I have been sowing seed for next years plants. Lunaria annua var variegata (Honesty) is a lovely variety of a plant I'm normally not too keen on. I was reminded of it when I was looking through some old photographs. I have also sown Dianthus barbatus Single Flowered Albus (Sweet William) and Erysimum 'Ivory Giant' (Wallflower) for late spring flowers. Both are scented. There will be plenty for the garden and a vase. I don't have to worry about sowing Digitalis purpurea or Myosotis sylvatica 'Deep Blue Tower' as they both seed themselves. I will move them to their flowering positions in the autumn.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

In my garden

A change in the weather with some welcome rain but still warm with some sun.

The garden is looking quite flowery especially with the annuals I have been growing for cutting. I am presuming the weather is having an impact although other things aren't doing so well.

I am now starting to see things I should have done but didn't. This Clematis was moved to a temporary spot when the fence was replaced. 2 years later its still there. I have made a tripod with the straight stems of Corylus contorta.I must move it next autumn.

This is Veronica longiflorum 'Eveline' a favourite perennial. It doesn't grow as tall as some varieties so no staking is necessary. Lasts 7-10 days in a vase.

I'm disappointed with the sweet peas, I have only had a few flowers. I am glad I chose these varieties though. Cream 'Jilly', pink 'Nelly Viner' with the dark flowers of 'Monty Don'. The latter were sown from seed I collected from last years plants. I find it especially satisfying growing from seed I have collected myself.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Cut flowers

I'm pleased with both these jugs of flowers. The first one is from my own garden. The hot dry weather seems to have slowed down the flowering of some plants but I gathered enough for this one.

This photograph was taken in the garden where I am a volunteer. There were no flowers here so we sowed hardy annuals to provide colour over the summer months.  I haven't been able to visit for three weeks, I was really pleased to see them doing so well.
The Ammi came from the seeds I sowed for my own garden, I will look through the seed box at the centre for the varieties of the other flowers which include Calendula (Marigolds) Cornflowers and Candytuft. The foliage is mint.We sowed them straight into the ground with the intention of transplanting them elsewhere in the garden, but some died so we left them where they were.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

In my garden

The seeds I sowed earlier in the year are now starting to flower. The Crepis is lovely. It has 'dandelion' type flowers with serrated leaves. The warm dry weather we are continuing to have does not seem to bother it at all. I have cut it for a vase, it lasts a week but it does close up at night. I can live with that.

Another favourite combination in my garden - Alchemilla mollis and Geranium 'Brookside'. Both are hardy, long flowering and have decorative leaves. They are also easy to look after and don't get any pests or diseases.
I am not that keen on the large midsummer Clematis but I do like this one, 'Comte de Buchard'. It does have largish flowers but they have a slightly ruffled edge. The petals are a soft pink, and I like the way the buds point upwards.

I have picked some Alchemilla to dry for winter. I have done this successfully in the past but I have almost left it too late as some of it is starting to go over. I have tied it with some fine wire which I will tighten as it dries. I have it in a room that doesn't get any sun to preserve the colour.