In a Vase on Monday: Summer!

Every Monday, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden invites us to join her in presenting something from our gardens in a vase. It is always a pleasure to participate in this meme, and this week in particular as there is so much to choose from!

I used the little hare jug my Mum sent me earlier this year, and filled it with summery flowers.

Above, you can see Scabiosa Perfecta White, with some Seseli from the Herb Bed. Below is my favourite Echinacea – ‘Green Envy’, along with a Double click Cranberries Cosmos, which is one of the few this year that actually look like they should. For some reason this one often produces single flowers for me.

This year I grew two new Echinaceas: Virgin, seen here with Scabiosa Ochroleuca and Cosmos Xanthos…

… and Fragrant Angel, which may become a favourite too.

The deep pink Cosmos is Rose Bonbon from the Double Click series. Pretty, but not as rampant as the white Cosmos featured here (Fizzy White). A sprig of Nigella is hiding in there too.

Gaura, Linaria and silvery Artemisia foliage add to the summery airy feel. (Although it is actually rather cool and autumn-like here at the moment!)

Summer seems to be drawing to an end earlier than usual. Sigh. Our housemartins are already practising for their long haul to Africa in September, swirling around the house and up to the nests repeatedly, as if imprinting the location onto their inner map. How are your seasons progressing? Do you detect a change too?

Now go and visit Cathy to see her lovely vase. And have a great week in the garden! 😃

Sneezewort and Yarrow

Isn’t that a great name for a plant?…

‘Sneezewort’

For me it conjures up images of people in times past sniffing this plant and promptly sneezing, hence giving it its name. Perhaps the wild one does cause sneezing. I am, however, pleased to report that this one does not!

Achillea ptarmica ‘Schneeball’, also known as ‘The Pearl’ or ‘Boule de Neige’.

I only discovered Achillea ptarmica last year, and am very very happy with it. I planted three small plants (9 cm pots) in the Moon Bed in the autumn and they have all produced masses of flowers since mid-June. They should continue to flower all summer.

I am wary about white flowers as I know some can look past their best rather quickly. These seem to look good non-stop. The German and French names perfectly describe the little puffy balls of petals, like snowballs. There is a slight hint of yellow at the centre.

They are about 50 cm tall, not flopping at all despite all our rain and thunderstorms and look as fresh as a proverbial daisy, to which family they actually belong.

The leaves of Achillea ptarmica are not feathery like those of the wild Achillea millefolium (which is profuse in our meadow and runs riot in my beds if permitted!).

According to the nursery where I buy my plants from, it likes a sunny position on damp ground. Well, I was gambling a bit as my garden is usually very dry, but I had hoped with mulch and an occasional extra drink it would be okay. Well, this year has been damp enough for it to thrive and get established without any additional help, so I hope it will stick around.

It is a very bright white that stands out especially well on cloudy days.

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The other Achillea I want to share is the one I used in my vase this past Monday. (See here)

Achillea millefolium ‘Pomegranate’

Achillea millefolium ‘Pomegranate’ resembles its wild friend -that most people know as yarrow – in all but its colour… and its choosiness. It took a few attempts to find the right spot for this plant. It loves heat and sun and doesn’t like to be crowded.

The shade of pinky red is gorgeous and is a great splash of colour on the back of my Butterfly Bed.

In the autumn I shall try putting some in other spots in the garden to see how it fares. Its growth is also a little unruly, but considering the rain and wind we have had I would say that is forgivable. It is a little taller than the A. ptarmica at about 60 or 70 cm.

The flowers opened about mid-June and have lasted well, although they can get a bit singed on an extremely hot day. Unlike A. ptarmica, it definitely does lean, as you can see above.

Do you grow any kind of Achillea? And have you had success with it? Do you see them growing wild?

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Spring Update

The sun is shining and temperatures have finally climbed into double figures. And my Spring plant orders have started arriving. What more could a gardener ask for?!

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There are lots of plants in this delivery for the new bed, yet to be prepared. But the other things that arrived yesterday went in immediately. For example, some more Echinacea and Salvia for the Oval Bed and a Veronica and white Dicentra (Lamprocapnos) for the Moon Bed. You can see the Dicentra here… tiny but very vigorous!

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I never really introduced the Moon Bed, which was prepared and planted rather late last autumn. Here it is, still looking rather bare.

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Cutting down the Miscanthus next to my ‘Moon’ in late winter made it look even sparser, but it will soon start taking off now it is warmer. Most of the plants I put in last year are peeping through the soil. It is so reassuring, and exciting too, to see them appear from nowhere!

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The barriers around two shrubs are to deter a Mummy hare from nibbling… can you see a bundle of fur in here?

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One of her babies has made a nest in some hay I put out for him. He seems to like the spot under my potting bench for daytime napping and basking in the sunshine!

The colour scheme for the Moon Bed (which is actually a half moon in shape) will be limited to blue and white, with some silvery foliage and grasses mixed in. Can’t wait to see if it works! I think it is easier to experiment when you are starting from scratch. There are some new plants in there I have never grown, including a Delphinium… not sure if it will like such an exposed position, but we will see. 🙃

I also planted a few small herb plants in the Herb Bed yesterday: a Schizonepeta multifida (sounds a bit scary!) which is a mountain mint and looks like a dead stick still, hence no photo; a fennel plant to replace one eaten by the mice; and some Greek oregano. (Have any of you ever grown the Schizonepeta before? )

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My Rosemary sadly had to be dug out of the Herb Bed as it did not survive the winter, but I now have a lovely Witch Hazel on the other corner of the Herb Bed and after ripping out dozens of wild strawberry plants (or was it thousands? 😉) to make room for the witch hazel I planted some cheerful Saxifrage. Albeit not the herbal kind. The witch hazel is ‘Diane’ and looks extremely boring now the flowers have gone over and the leaves haven’t started to unfurl but, for my own reference at least, here it is.

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Today the cold wind has made a comeback, so I am spending a relaxing afternoon recovering from a few aching limbs typical for gardeners at this time of year! 😉

Have a great weekend everyone.

And Happy Gardening!

🌷☀️🌷