Lavender Love and Pretty Pollinators

The lavender has been glorious this summer, flowering just after our heavy rain earlier in the month and with very little rain since.

The dry and hot weather suits these shrubs best. And I am not alone in admiring them either… here are a few of the visitors to my garden who love lavender too…

Vanessa cardui – Painted Lady

Inachis io – Peacock Butterfly

Ochlodes sylvanus – Large skipper

Pieris brassicae – Large cabbage white

Polygonia c-album – Comma

Melanargia galathea – Marbled white

Argynnis paphia – Silver-washed fritillary

Gonepteryx rhamni – Common brimstone

Macroglossum stellatarum – Hummingbird hawk-moth

Bee 🙂

Here is the long view of the south-facing rockery – some of these lavender shrubs are ten years old or more and have been cut down hard at some stage. I try and stagger the cutting back, so that I have plenty of shrubs flowering well every year. The white ones will be cut back this autumn and next spring. Others are cuttings or self-seeded plants.

Do you see any of these pollinators in your garden? And if you grow lavender, what visits it most frequently?

Here is a slideshow of these beautiful creatures. 😀

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Happy Summer!

In a Vase on Monday: Midsummer Glory

On Mondays I usually join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with a vase full of bits and bobs from my garden. Today is no exception and since the summer solstice is just hours away I decided to make a special midsummer arrangement.

The orange day lily is the focal point, surrounded by the slightly burnt, fluffy, caramel-coloured Aruncus flower. These grow side by side in the garden and make a gorgeous combination.

The other star this week is the white Astrantia which seems to have finally established itself, flowering for the second year now.

Another white (well, perhaps creamy white) flower which is attracting the bees this week is the lovely Cephalaria gigantea. This is like a giant Scabiosa, and it really is a giant, swaying at the top of my rockery just asking to be visited by the pollinators. 🙂

The foliage is from Epimediums, both large and small, and the frothy crown around the base of my turquoise vase is of course Alchemilla mollis – a florist’s dream I imagine!

I also added a couple of grasses and, for good luck, some St John’s Wort which is flowering bang on time for St John’s Day on the 24th.

More sunshine is forecast for this week – I hope for you too.

Now go and visit our lovely host to see what she has in her vase this week, and to click on all the links for other vases around the world this Monday!

😀

In a Vase on Monday: Classic

It’s a beautiful day, the birds are singing and it’s Monday! That means I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme, where we plonk things from our gardens into vases to share with the world! 🙂

This week I kept it simple and classic – what could be more elegant and modest than roses and lavender? Add some Alchemilla mollis (not too much) and a few strands of grass and voila! No more fuss and ado.

The light was not quite so harsh and I was able to take the photos on my patio with the top of the south-facing rockery behind.

The grass in the centre is Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ and I am in love with this plant. Its feathery flowers opened this week and transformed the rockery.

Here is a picture of it taken from the patio…

The sun was hiding behind a humid haze when I picked these flowers and I took the opportunity to harvest a few bunches of lavender before the flowers get burnt and lose their intensive perfume. When I looked back at these photos I realised the vase completely mirrors what is in the garden behind it!

Oh yes, and the other grass on the left is Melica ciliata, which I first saw growing wild in a nearby deserted stone quarry and knew it would look good in my rockery.

The pale pink rose is ‘The Fairy’, but the deeper pink one was inherited with the garden and is therefore nameless.

The scent of peonies has faded, allowing the lavender to take over, although you have to rub it to notice. The strongest scent out there right now is in fact the wild strawberries. Perhaps I will post about them another day!

What smells good in your garden today?

Have a good week, and don’t forget to visit Cathy and the Monday Vase crowd for some inspiration and smiles!