The ‘Edge in July: Sunflowers et al.

One day in April I sowed some sunflower seeds in pots and placed them on a windowsill.

Some time later they were big and brave enough to be planted out in the garden, in the newest bed.

The sun shone, it rained, and they grew. Can you see them among the other shrubs?

And they grew some more, and as I wrote in my post here, they got so tall so quickly that they were almost uprooted in a storm early July, so they got some nice robust stakes to prop them up…

As promised then, an update on the sunflowers…. Well, the bed has filled out tremendously!

The ‘Edge is a long curved bed that is being planted as an open ‘hedge’, marking the edge of the flower garden. As fillers this year I planted Sunflowers and Tithonia.

They are a mix of seeds I had left from previous years…

Oranges, reds and golden yellow are the theme in this bed…

 

The shrubs I put in are doing well and perennials are currently providing summer colour, but I will plant spring bulbs this autumn too.

A favourite combination is the Physocarpus ‘Lady in Red’ with these Monarda ‘Gardenview Scarlet’…


And this Heliopsis (‘Sommersonne’) is wonderful. It started flowering early July…

The Crocosmia (‘Lucifer’) goes nicely with the deep red Gaillardia ‘Burgunder’ and Cosmos Xanthos.

Here is the Gaillardia close up…

Heuchera ‘Black Pearl’ has proved to withstand baking sun without any scorching, so I will plant more of them later too.

The overall impression I have of this new bed is pleasant surprise, as well as astonishment at how quickly everything got established… the weather was ideal for a change!

And just to put the size of my sunflowers in perspective, here’s a photo of me hiding among them! 😉 (I am 1.7m in my shoes).

 

Have a good weekend and Happy Gardening!

 

 

In a Vase on Monday: Fizz, Fluff and Froth

Earlier in the week I picked all the pink Larkspur in the Moon Bed in the hope that any seedlings next year will be just blue or white. Well, the Larkspur looked lovely alone in its vase, but it would look even better if I added some frothy white Queen Anne’s Lace I thought.

As usual, one thing led to another and I found some wild Achillea milleflorum that had a pink tinge to it. Then I saw my pink Gypsophila was in flower. And a white Cosmos ‘Fizzy White’ looked pretty. And I just had to cut a couple of those gorgeous outlandish pink fluffy spikes from the Sanguisorba.

And so my vase evolved and I must say I rather like all that fizz, froth and fluff!

Why not join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for this lovely Monday meme. 😃

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Happy Gardening!

In a Vase on Monday: Sun Hats and Dragons….

Hello! It is Monday again and I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme. And this week I actually have a prop. 😃

I must admit this sun hat is rarely used, as it is a bit floppy, with a baseball cap being preferred. 😉 But you may be asking ‘Why Sun Hat?’ Well, Echinacea are known as ‘Sonnenhut’ in German… sun hats. 😃

The ones featured today are the earliest to flower and I am still waiting for a few others to open.

Pink Double Delight on the left, Pica Bella, Baby Swan White and one Echinacea pallida in the middle.

Pink Double Delight is rather fancy, but I like it for being a bit eccentric.😉

The dragons are my snapdragons, all grown from a packet of mixed seeds.

But actually there is quite a menagerie in there… lime green Wolf’s Milk (Euphorbia) at the base as a filler, and one sprig of Sedum which is known as fat chickens here (Fette Henne)… just below Pica Bella in the next photo.

The day promises to be warm but not too warm… great for visiting a garden. 😃 My friend and I are looking forward to a visit to the Himalaya Park nearby this afternoon, which I have mentioned before and will write about again soon.

Hope you have a lovely day too. ☀️

Buddleia davidii ‘Nanho Blue’

Buddleias are pretty tough plants and the only one I have ever lost was a dwarf one in the old garden after a very hard winter. This spring I was certain I had pruned mine back too early and a late frost appeared to have finished them off… a disaster for my Butterfly Bed where four different shrubs are the main focus of the bed.

I was wrong. By May they were all sending out shoots with new leaves appearing daily. Now they are back to the size they were last summer and the first flowers are opening. I am writing this down as a record to remind myself not to panic again next spring!

My favourite is Buddleia davidii ‘Nanho Blue’ (also called Buddleia davidii v. nanhoensis). This was featured in my vase last Monday (see here) and a few comments prompted me to take a second look at this shrub.

The reason I love it is partly for the fragrance of its flowers, which is not as overpowering as some. But the main reason is its foliage. The leaves are narrow – longer and thinner than other buddleias – and smoother too. As with my other buddleias they are also silvery. The combination of the smooth silver with the blue flowers is rather attractive, but even when it is not in flower it looks pretty. It retained most of its leaves throughout the winter as well, although they do look a bit worse for wear by the time I prune it in spring.

The flowers are also longer and thinner than other buddleia I have grown.

But what stood out in the photos of my vase the other day was the bubbly clusters of petals on each panicle.

This occurs on most of the flower heads it seems, and the effect is rather pretty. I think most of my buddleia have similar clusters, but because they are shorter and fatter flower heads it isn’t noticeable once they are in full bloom.

I planted a second Nanho Blue in the Oval Bed. This one is still quite compact….

 …… but the one in the Butterfly Bed is already about 2m tall and at least 1.5m wide. It isn’t supposed to get any bigger than that….

I will have to post some more photos once it is in full bloom… preferably with a few butterflies on it. 😉🦋

I think almost every garden has a buddleia, doesn’t it? So which buddleias have you grown and do you have a favourite? Are they invasive in your part of the world? Do they grow in warmer climates?

Thanks for reading and have a great gardening weekend!