Heatwaves, Summer Flu, some Tuesday Views and a Mystery Plant

Having recovered from the second (mega) heatwave and a rather nasty summer flu virus, temperatures (both mine and outside!) have subsided enough for me to enjoy the garden and share a few Tuesday Views at last. 🙂

At the beginning of July I enjoyed a two-week interlude between our heatwaves with pleasant temperatures and good company while my sister visited 🙂 The garden was left mostly to its own devices and a few individual plants were watered to tide them over. Overall, considering the incredibly low rainfall we have had since April, the new beds have done well with minimal watering. I am constantly amazed.

Here is the Sunshine Bed in early August…

The annuals really filled in the spaces and the fact that they all survived has confirmed my suspicions that slugs and snails and not lack of watering were responsible for previous failures in my old garden. So far slugs are few and far between here, and I don’t think I have seen any snails yet!

Tithonia, various sunflowers, cosmos, as well as some (leftover) zinnias – which have fortunately turned out to be red – have transformed the bed into a sunny oasis in the dry surroundings.

And I finally got some Californina poppies to grow for me!

Oh, and a mystery plant… it may have been in with some leftover seed scattered haphazardly, but is more likely to be a weed as the flowers are rather unspectacular. But I have never seen it before. Any ideas?

 

 

The Butterfly Bed has done well too, although more ground cover will be needed – autumn will probably become my main planting season as two dry springs and summers in a row have been a challenge.

The Buddleias steal the show and have been attracting butterflies galore. Mostly Painted Ladies, a couple of Swallowtails, some Fritillaries, loads of small blues and recently also Red Admirals…

Some sturdy Scabiosa have finally flowered – sown indoors in February they were brutally planted out at the end of March and barely started growing until the end of June. But they are rewarding me with dozens of flowers and buds. 🙂

And finally, the Herb Bed…

Some of the annuals are looking a little tired – it has been a tough summer. But along with the beautiful Stipa tenuissima, the Hypericums and fennel, Echinacea and Baldrian (Valerian? ‘Patrinia scabiosifolia’), as well as some cosmos and Tithonia the whole bed has provided interest since mid-June.

 

 

 

Do you also feel summer is flying by? July is just a blur now, and I am wondering what the rest of August will bring… more showers we hope!

I have put  all the photos in a slideshow…

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I hope to catch up with some blog-reading soon and wonder how everyone’s summer is progressing. I do hope excessive heat or rain hasn’t stopped you enjoying your gardens.

Happy August! 😃🌸☀️

 

Springing into Summer in the Sunshine Bed

The last few weeks have been busy in the new garden, and the Sunshine Bed has slowly filled. Plants ordered online were put in during May, and a couple of trips to garden centres have also been fruitful. I found a lovely dwarf Deutzia which is all but over now. I think it will look gorgeous here when it puts on some growth next year. I have also planted out annuals – Tithonia, Cosmos, Helianthum and Nicotiana – still tiny but hardened off as our nights were still rather cool until the end of May. The colour theme – yellow and orange – has expanded slightly with the addition of white. Red will also creep in. I shall just see what works as I go along. 🙂

This is what it looked like five weeks ago ….

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

And after a big weeding and planting out campaign early June…

And now…

 

…with plants finally showing growth, although many still seem stunted. Conditions are tough here, so it will be the survival of the fittest!

Some of the new plants I added are:

Panicum virgatum ‘Cloud Nine’ and Miscanthus sinensis ‘Silberfeder’ at the outside corners. Does anyone know how quickly they fill out – my plants are so very meagre still!

The dwarf Deutzia gracilis with white flowers in May.

More Alchemilla, a golden Euonymus and a yellow Potentilla –  ‘Goldfinger’ Don’t you love some of the names plants are given! (And hate others! 😉 )

A lovely white Aquilegia ‘Kristall’…

Several Achilleas – still rather smaller than they should be – and some Chrysopsis, which are tall yellow aster-type flowers that will flower later in autumn, brightening up a fading garden. 🍁

A small Geum ‘Mai Tai’ which has started to perk up and flower now the nights are warmer…

I am impatient to see my little seedlings and young plants plumping up, but do constantly recall what my old garden looked like when I started out planting the rockery. It took a couple of years before things started taking shape and here we really have had the weather against us since spring 2018. Have you ever started a garden or flower bed from scratch? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Oh, and if you have any spare rainfall could you send it our way please? 😉

Have a good weekend!

 

 

 

 

Some Tuesday Views

Monday was a bank holiday here (Whit Monday) and I paid my old garden a visit. So strictly speaking this is a Monday View on a Tuesday!

Anyway, for long-term readers of my blog you may recognize the Tuesday Views I used to show over the past few years….

First the south side of The Rockery…

The Centranthus is perhaps the main highlight, and as always is attracting the Hummingbird Hawk-Moths…

If you can grow it, do! The pollinators adore it and if it pops up in the wrong place it can easily be pulled up – provided you don’t wait too long and it gets established. One year I pulled out so much I was worried it wouldn’t come back. But within two years it was as rampant as ever!

The yellow Lysimachia seems to be taking over again on the south-west side of the rockery, but rough treatment seems to keep it in check. Note: if you want to plant Lysimachia it can be grown in a very hot dry spot without spreading too much. Otherwise, my advice is to avoid it!

The poppies are fabulous. And I now have three pink ones after fearing I had lost them all. (Most of them are orangey red). I must mark which ones are pink and leave the seed heads to ripen so I can collect seed to sow in the late summer. The pink aquilegia in the photo below is my favourite ever – when I bought it it was helpfully labelled ‘Aquilegia’. 😉

The peonies have suffered for the second year in a row from a hot and dry spring and have produced plenty of buds, but many are dried up and will not open. Still, there are more than enough to add white and pink highlights here and there.

Looking up the south-west slope you can see the Acer (which caught a late frost mid-May and sent out new leaves!) and the gorgeous lime green Euphorbia seguieriana.

I have planted some rather small ones in the new garden and it was good to see how this plant has grown so big in just a few years.

I was a few days too late to see my long-awaited yellow ‘Shining Light’ Itoh Peony flower… plans to visit last week were foiled by car trouble! Never mind. It will be carefully removed in autumn and given a prime position in the new garden. 🙂

The Shade Bed on the north side of the house has filled out beautifully – a lot of Geraniums have self-seeded and the Hakonechloa loves it there. In June and July part of the bed gets midday sun for a couple of hours and late evening sun too, but for the rest of the year it is humid and shady here.

The Hosta leaves are still intact! Sadly the slugs will soon start to discover them and the flowers usually get blackfly too due to the humidity. (The woods are just a few metres away).

Well, I have just realized it is now past midnight so it was a Tuesday View post, photographed on Monday and published on Wednesday! Still, hope you enjoyed it whatever day it was!

Have a lovely week!

Visiting the ‘Old Garden’

Since moving further into the Bavarian countryside last year I have managed to keep up the ‘old garden’ and rockery at our village house and have been constantly surprised at how self-sufficient it is – a recent visit confirmed this yet again. Come and take a look with me.

The Acer and early peonies in the south-west rockery

The grasses, Lysimachia, perennial Geraniums and Golden Rod have already filled out this part of the rockery, suppressing the dreaded ground elder. An early peony is just showing a little colour. 🙂

THE rose that has probably been there since the house was built in the 70s has plenty of promising new growth and buds and some lovely Camassia are flowering in front of it. But the nicest thing in this picture below is the peony in the front, planted about five years ago. Paeonia itoh ‘Shining Light’ looks like it might finally flower this year at last – I can see two buds! It may be brought over to the new garden in autumn as it would love the Sunshine Bed I am creating, although I realise it might not flower again for a year or so after being moved.

Finally, out the front in my spring corner the perennial Honesty (Lunaria redivida) is flowering. The eliptical seedheads were featured in this Monday vase a few weeks ago, producing a lot of interest. I think most people only grow the annual which has round seedheads and flowers a little earlier.

Thanks for visiting. 🙂

The Sunshine Bed: Phase 1

The first delivery of plants for my Sunshine Bed arrived at the end of last week, just as it started to rain…. ideal actually, as the ground was dry and this would mean good conditions for planting.

Well we didn’t get much rain in the end so I was able to hoe and rake the soil on Monday morning and get everything in. Just as I was finishing up it started to rain again and as the plants had all had a good soak beforehand I didn’t need to water them in. What luck!

Here is the sunshine bed seen from the house..

Let’s walk along the grassy path and take a closer look…

A bit closer… and you can perhaps recognize what the trees are now. From left to right, a silver birch, a willow and a wild cherry.

I had to mow around the bed as it is that time of year where you can almost watch things growing, and I am amazed how lush the vegetation looked after just a few litres of rain.

A side view shows how meagre my plants look at the moment. But I know they will fill out and there are two more plant deliveries to come…. 😉

On the right, Cytisus x praecox ‘Allgold’ (Broom) which shouldn’t really be in flower yet but as is often the case with nursery plants it is a bit early. Yellow broom grows at the roadsides near us, which is what prompted me to choose it. I noticed some died in the drought last year, but most of it survived as it is pretty tough and likes the sandy soil we have here.

A couple of aquilegias, some Alchemilla mollis ‘Thriller’, Euphorbia, a Papaver naudicale (Iceland Poppy), several grasses and some Helianthus microcephalus ‘Lemon Queen’ complete the picture… for now.

I have already sown seed for annuals to go in this bed: Tithonia, sunflowers and yellow Cosmos. And some Crocosmia bulbs are going in today too. 🙂 As you may have guessed, this bed will be yellow and orange. It is the first time I have chosen a colour theme for a single area and I am not entirely sure I will stick to it long-term, but we will see…

Have you ever planted up a flower bed with a limited colour theme? And did it work?

I would love to hear your ideas or suggestions regarding plants too. That is what is so good about blogging – learning from all you talented gardeners and garden designers out there!

Thanks for visiting!