I missed last month’s GBBD, which I regret not only because I enjoy taking part in Carol’s monthly Festival of Flowers but also because it is such a great way to record what is happening in the garden. I was determined to join in again this month, not least because our moving plans are firming up. We are going to be aiming to uproot ourselves next year, and although part of me is still very much in the present when I look at the garden, I also have an eye for what plants and combinations I want to take with me or at least remember that I like.

Oakleaf Hydrangea Flower

One plant definitely coming with us is my Hydrangea quercifolia, though I fear I may have another long wait for it to flower again if I disrupt it. The flower spikes are amazing, they take months to fully develop, and are larger than my hand. A truly magnificent plant.

Astrantia Shaggy

There is still quite a lot of white in the garden, a colour I normally associate with earlier in the year, but I am delighted with how well the Astrantia ‘Shaggy’ has performed since I divided it last Spring. Another plant that will be going with us, I already have a couple of plants growing well in pots, and may be tempted to take more, depending on where we end up and with what. It combines well with so many other things I love, including catmint.

Pam's Split And Sanguisorba menziesii

I’ve already expressed my surprise at the late blooming foxgloves, but they do go beautifully with my Malvern Show purchased Sanguisorba menziesii. The foxgloves I can collect seed from, but I foresee another change of location for the sanguisorba.

Aconitum Newry Blue

The Aconiutm ‘Newry Blue’ I bought in the Spring is now starting to flower, and is every bit as dramatic as I had hoped, a wonderful deep rich blue towering over the back of the border. I love it.

Achillea Cassis
Knautia And Achillea Cassis

Achilleas are new to me, but I love the subtle combination of Achillia ‘Cassis’ and one of my sole remaining Knautia macedonica plants. The achilleas grew so well from seed I think I will just take the memory of how much I love them with me rather than raiding the border even further.

Echinacea purpurea
Cosmos Sonata

I have splashes of pink elsewhere too, which feels a little strange for me, but I love echinacea, and the Cosmos Sonata have such wonderful centres to them.

Cosmos And Poppies

Hints of the hot colours gradually taking over the border pop up in unexpected places though. The self-seeded Californian poppies provide an interesting backdrop to this deeper coloured cosmos. I would never have planned this, but the golden centre of the cosmos matches the gold of the poppies exactly, and the picture they produce makes me smile. More lessons in colour.

My new favourite of the moment is Rudbekia hirta ‘Rustic Dwarf Mix’. I grew these from seed to help me play around with colour combinations in the pond border, and I love everything about them.

Rudbekia Rustic Dwarf Mix Bud

Each plant is smothered in buds, which start unfurling in a very beguiling way. Each one tantalises with glimpses of the colour to come.

Rudbekia Rustic Dwarf Mix

The flowers themselves have a tendency to be slightly untidy, a little as if they haven’t quite got around to running a comb through their hair.

Rudbekia Rustic Dwarf Mix

The effect en masse is slightly dishevelled but to me, totally charming.

Rudbekia Rustic Dwarf Mix

I love the range of deep rich colours, and the way that as the flowers age they do that swept back thing. They grew really easily from seed, and apparently need to be treated as an annual, so at least I don’t have to dig them up. If I find myself wanting to take so many plants that we need to hire an extra van, TNG will put his foot down, so I am going to have to be picky.

Thanks again to Carol for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – pop over to her site to see what is blooming in other people’s gardens all over the world.

60 thoughts on “GBBD July 2011

  1. even if the plants are just ordinary, their blooms make any garden very beautiful, and because your good photos make them more lovable. I bet the butterflies are swarming all over there.

    1. Funnily enough, I get very few butterflies in the garden, just Cabbage Whites and various small brown ones that I always have trouble identifying, there are so many.

  2. What impressive blooms you have! I especially like the white ones. The spinach didn’t cure my dog’s arthritis but I am sure it is full of vitamins and minerals.

    1. Thank you – sorry the spinach wasn’t a cure-all. Maybe he’ll leave the rest to you?!

  3. You spent some time on shooting these photos. They are beautiful, each and every one. Me, I pop out there and scurry from bloom to bloom. I need to learn patience. Your photos show patience and the lack of hurried flittering that I always do for GBBD. Your whites are my favorite, so much detail… love them.

    1. Goodness Donna, thank you! I could do with be even more patient and actually using my tripod more, I messed up at least as many as I have shown here through not being able to hold the camera steadily enough. And if your GBBD photos are what you come up with when flitting, flit away ;-) I’m still thinking about your “painting with light” post.

  4. I so much like white flowers. My foxgloves flowered later than I had expected but have gone on longer. I have left the white ones to go to seed because they are the ones I would like next year (or, rather, to flower the year after!). Trouble is, I expect they have been cross fertilised and my hopes will be dashed.

    Another of my baycorns came up this morning, bringing the number to six. I will have a veritable forest!


    1. Hi Esther, I love the idea of a baytree forest all from baycorns. I am leaving my pure white foxgloves that are growing out the front to self seed, hoping that they might come true because there aren’t as many plants around, but those pesky bees will probably ensure otherwise. I’m going to leave the foxgloves out back too, just to see what comes, but I am expecting pink…

  5. So many pretty flowers. Glad that your hydrangea is blooming so well – I took some pictures the other weekend of my mum and dad’s which is about 2m high and wide, and looking magnificent smothered in those beautiful panicles.
    Your achillea cassis is lovely, I really like the colour. Our borders seem to be mostly pinks, whites and purples at the minute; the Walther Funcke is still almost out of place with its terracotta tones once the scarlet flowers open fully, and the new one is more of a salmon pink… two is probably plenty to be going on with though so I shall stop eyeing yours with envy! :-)
    The rusty tones of your rudbeckia are lovely.

    1. I’m not sure any of us can avoid plant envy, however full our own borders get. I certainly still suffer pangs of lust every time I see someone with something beautiful that I haven’t got, whether I have room or not! In the mean time I will hope that my own hydrangea will grow to a similar stature to your parent’s, once it reaches its new home. Wherever that turns out to be…

      I’m sure you will find other things to go with your Walther Funcke (which, btw, excited the aforementioned envy), but your borders are developing really beautifully.

  6. You’ve made some excellent choices, Janet, but these will tough decisions. Your photos are stunning, and you have so many lovely blooms. Rudbeckia are one of my favorites–love the bolder colors you have. Happy Bloom Day!

    1. Hello Rose, I envisage much wailing and gnashing of teeth as I have to pare down my list of “but I MUST take that with me”… Glad you like the Rudbekias. I have been trying to grow “Golsdsturm” from seed, these were meant to fill in while they were bulking up, but I now only have one small plant left and even it isn’t looking exactly happy. Happy GBBD!

  7. oh Janet, so many decisions, I don’t envy you. When we moved across country there was no way of taking plants so I was reduced to collecting seed. At least the choice was made for me. It’s like asking which child is your favourite.

    1. I’m going to have to be really strict with myself, and not make any decisions until I know where we are going. After all, no point taking lots of shade-lovers if I haven’t got any, or lots of anything if I inherit an already packed garden. Imagine moving in to Cyndy’s garden – you’d not want to plant anything at all for at least a couple of years! I’ll be collecting seed where I can, plus trying cuttings (which I am not very good at), but it is going to be tough.

  8. Your photos are stunning as are your blooms. The colors and textures leap out and urge me to try to touch them. I particularly like the poppies and cosmos. Happy GBBD!

    1. Thank you, what a lovely comment, I sometimes think that texture is even more important than colour. Happy GBBD.

  9. Janet:
    Moving a gardener is not easy! As a veteran of many moves, including overseas to a village near the Welsh border in Herefordshire, I can identify with that urge to take everything yet still wanting to leave a part of yourself.
    Growing with seeds makes you a real gardener; there’s an intimacy with that that you can’t get at the garden center with bags of money.
    Best wishes in all the changes you make.

    1. Hi Rhonda, thank you for dropping by. I’ll certainly be saving seed where I can, and growing things from seed too, its addictive, if occasionally infuriating.

    1. Hi Christine, so glad you love “Shaggy”, it is a great favourite of mine. Happy GBBD!

  10. How could you bear to leave that garden and all these wonderful plants? I tried to remind myself (when we left our last garden)that we’re only the custodian of a garden for as long as we live there and look after it.(quote from Anna Pavord, I think) I still regretted not digging up the trilliums. I hope they’re appreciated……

    1. Hi Janet, I think the custodian view is a really helpful one, I will probably be clinging to it! I will certainly miss this garden – you never forget your first – but I am also ready for a new challenge. Most of all, I would love to find myself somewhere that I can grow loads of fruit and veg in my own back garden. I’ll miss the camaraderie of the allotment life but with my health issues being able to pop out for the odd half an hour so easily would be much more sustainable. Sorry about your trilliums, though I suspect it is that wonderful slate sculpture that I would miss…

  11. Your Astrantias look great, whereas mine are in far too well drained soil, and although they seed themselves prolifically, the flowers are really disappointing. I’ve also realised my Echinaceas are missing this year.

    1. Hi Claire, if it is any consolation my Astrantia ‘Hadspen’s Blood’ were terrible this year, despite being in the same bed as ‘Shaggy’.

    1. Thank you Noel, that is quite some compliment coming from you. I’ve just been admiring your water lily photo from your Barcelona tour.

  12. Janet – what fabulous colours! I love the orange. My Rudbekias are slowly coming into bud and surprise surprise the slugs and snails have left them alone (famous last words!). Ronnie

    1. Hi Ronnie, its funny, I love the whites and blues and purples, but I also love the shocking gpinks and oranges – I think I will always want both in a garden. Very glad the snails are leaving something alone, hope it continues!

  13. Hope I manage to get my quercifolia! Will a new plant take ages to start to flower? I’ve grown lots of achillea from seed – the insects love them. I have a lovely deep red one.

    1. Hi Sue. I’m not really sure, mine has taken 5 years to flower, but it was an unhappy plant when I first got it from Crocus, and it has been moved twice in the mean time. Hopefully if you get a reasonable sized plant it will flower in a year or two? Well worth it though.

    1. Hello Dorothy, thanks for dropping by and commenting, glad you enjoyed the tour.

  14. Well, where to begin! I simply am in love with the Aconiutm ‘Newry blue’ and the Rudbekia hirta ‘Rustic dwarf mix’ with its rich colors and uncombed hair, with a ring of gold upon its head “stunning”!
    Beautiful post

    1. Happy GBBD Karen, thanks for dropping by. I was thrilled to see how deep a blue the Aconitum is, I chose it from descriptions but you can never really tell until you see a plant in situ.

    1. Thank you Larry, I was lucky, the light was just right for capturing the whites, just enough cloud cover.

    1. Thanks Mark – I can certainly recommend the Rudbekia, I think I could become a bit of an addict, and TNG loves them too, which is rare. He never usually takes much notice!

  15. Beautiful, beautiful flowers and beautiful photographs too (as usual)…. sigh! Take everything you can, that’s my advice.

    I’ve started from scratch twice. The first time the garden was a wilderness and I was able to put my stamp on it completely; the second time – now – the previous owner had loved the garden but last worked on it, apart from maintenance, about six years before I bought the house. So the soil was good, but there were some gardening decisions I had to change (straight, regimented beds and lots of weedy roses), and some I didn’t want to (some nice plants). The first garden was definitely easier from a gardener’s perspective, but lots more work…

    1. Hello Kate. Your story about the cost of the van to transport your plants is what is making me force myself to get picky, don’t you dare encourage my “take the lot” inclinations now!!

      I still can’t quite decide which I prefer, starting from scratch or having something to work from. I’d quite like to try the second, partly because I’ve never done it and partly because at least then I would already have the backbone. Who knows! I’ll take what comes as long as I have plenty of room to grow edibles!

  16. Lovely, lovely, lovely! I’m going to take another look later on when I have a bit more time to take it all in. Christina

    1. Hello Christina, that made me smile because I am saving your post for when I can settle in with a mug of tea and enjoy the slideshow at my leisure!

    1. Hi Greggo, that sounds as if you want the lot! Hope you have lots of room…

  17. Great post and shots of your garden plants Janet. I think moving house could be exciting, no doubt when you move you will be saying, why did I not take that one. Particularly fond of your Californian Poppies, they are not willing to grow here in Aberdeen, too cold.

    1. Hi Alistair, thank you. I was thrilled to see how the poppies had self seeded around the pond area, all from a pot I grew some in last summer. Although they are spending most of their days closed up against the dark dank weather.

  18. Marvellous photos and I am surprised to see how many of your plants are those which are flowering in my garden too. It will be so exciting to start a new garden and it sounds as if lots of your favourites can go with you!

    1. Hello Elizabeth, I’ve noticed a lot of my favourites cropping up in your posts – we clearly both have excellent taste ;-) I must admit I am excited about starting again, albeit with some old favourites to provide some continuity.

  19. Janet, I love many of your flowers, but especially the cosmos among the poppies. I discovered that same color combination in my garden this week, and I was instantly enchanted by it. Like you, I never would have intentionally planned it — but now that I have seen it, I have made a note to do it intentionally in the future. It must be difficult to decide which plants to take with you as you move — but, oh, the excitement of designing a new garden around these favorites.

    1. Hi Jean, I find that happens a lot to me with colour combinations. Left to myself I tend to play it safe, so I am thrilled when a happy accident occurs which sets my blood going. And you are so right about the thrill of getting to start again somewhere new.

  20. Not sure how I would cope if it came to moving house and garden – perhaps I better start planning now. Last time himself moaned about my books but we only had a back yard then so no plants. There must be some difficult decisions to be made Janet. The knautia grows easily from seed so may be worth adding to your list for harvesting. I enjoyed your July flowers and may well add that rudbeckia to my seed list for next year.

    1. Hi Anna. Books are a problem here too. And tools… I fear the plants might tip TNG over the edge! I agree about the knautia, and yes, do go for the rudbekia – they are flowering so prolifically and so cheerfully, invaluable in all this current gloomy weather.

  21. Hi Janet

    You’ve got such lovely blooms in the garden and it must be so hard to decide what is going to move with you and what will be left behind. I really like those white astrantia and those creamy white blotched digitalis. Many a time I look out into my jungle of a garden and wish I had planted things in different places………… you’ve that all ahead of you and it must be really exciting to start making a garden all over again.

    1. Hi Rosie, I was looking around the garden earlier today and thinking about the things I am itching to move because they aren’t quite in the right place. I think it is a permanent state of being, for me at least. I’m sure I will be tweaking this one right up until I climb in the van to travel to the new one, whenever that is!

  22. These captures are spectacular! I’ve had the same impression of the Rudbeckia–the tossed hair effect. They’re great cut flowers, but sometimes I don’t appreciate their disheveled look. But I should have an open mind about the fun effect. Thanks for the great GBBD post!

    1. Hi PlantPostings, I think I like the dishevelled look because I am so dishevelled myself! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  23. Hi Janet, I had completely forgotten I had rudkekia last year, can’t think how I forgot they are a wonderful plant, thank you for the reminder. I suspect the snails got to it before it had chance to show its face. I have made a note of the beautiful white astrantia. Happy GBBD

Comments are closed.

Back To Top