Sitting Room Window View

I am grateful for all the colour we see out of the sitting room window at the moment, because the weather is not exactly “sit outside in the garden in the evening”. The tapestry of colour includes some old favourites and new friends.

Purple Sedum

This little purple sedum is extremely well behaved, and has lovely dark purple stems and leaves too. When it is in full bloom it will be mobbed by insects.

Scabiosa Beaujolais Bonnets

The current favourites for the pollinators are the Echincacea and this, a scabious called ‘Beaujolais Bonnets’, which I had almost given up on it is so late flowering. I grew it from seed, and I must admit it is slightly more girly pink and frilly than I was anticipating, I thought the colour would be deeper, but it echoes the end-of-season fluffiness of the drumstick alliums rather nicely, and the insect life approves.

Pink Sedum

My other sedum is usually rather less well behaved, and I was sure I would pay for not getting round to “Chelsea chopping” it but this year it seems fine – probably the weather.


The Japanes anenome ‘robustissima’ is flowering prolifically, and looks wonderful next to the acer and the Eupatorium.

Miscanthus Flowers

The miscanthus flowers are even more subtle, but add wonderful movement and texture to the border. I love them, and wish I had the skill to capture the beauty of the red-edged leaves.


Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ is doing really well this year, and the colour is picked up again at the front by a Dahlia growing in a pot, ‘Tangerine Dream’ – a new one to us, but lovely, the small tight globes make wonderful cut flowers.

Tangerine Dream

Most of my dahlias are rather tardy this year, only just bursting in to bloom, but ‘Bishop of Auckland’ and ‘Rip City’ have been flowering away since mid July and are wonderful – though I always find the near-black of ‘Rip City’ very hard to do justice to with my camera.

Bishop Of Auckland
Rip City

If the dahlias in the border are playing hard to get, they are accompanied by flowers I never expected to see again.

Chartreuses Glad
Gladioli Survivor

I never quite got around to lifting the gladioli I planted last year, and given that most of them didn’t flower, and given how cold and wet the winter was, I never dreamt that they would survive. And yet here they are! Not in enough numbers to make it worth cutting them, in fact they look rather daft, growing in ones and twos around the leafy but non-flowering Dahlias, but I grudgingly have to admit that I rather love their outrageous flamboyance, not to mention their survival skills.

Aster x fricartii Monch
Aster divaricatus

Asters are a new aquisition for me, I bought one each of A. frikartii ‘Monch’ and A. divaricatus, largely because of seeing them on so many blogs last year. Both are in pots to make it easy for us to take them with us, both are beautiful.

I intended to add in pictures of some of the plants flowering round the front of the house, which rarely get a look-in, but it is too windy to stand a chance. For more flowers from around the world check out Carol’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post. Happy GBBD!

52 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Bloom Day August 2011

  1. What a gorgeous view from your sitting room window! Love all that colour, especially the first photo :)

    The rich, dark tone of Dahlia ‘Rip City’ is particularly appealing to me, one to add to the wishlist!

    1. Thanks guys – and can’t recommend ‘Rip City’ enough, would never be without it now.

  2. Hi Janet,

    Sorry to hear the weather isn’t being too kind to you. It’s still nice here; today is lovely, windy but very sunny and warm.

    Your garden is looking very nice, much nicer than here where I clearly still have lots more to do to get it up to scratch. I think largely it’s due to being so dry. I have to agree with you on the Scabious’ being too frilly, however the insects do love them and they flower nice and late – I find from seed they do flower late but next year they will flower much sooner and have a massively long flowering season right into Autumn. They’re also good in vases and I often cut them; this year I won’t be able to though because mine are also from seed, have only just bloomed and they’re not large enough to produce masses of blooms yet.

    No Gladilio here yet, I too meant to pull up and move mine as they’re too blousy for my tastes and didn’t really match anything else in the border… Oh well. Also waiting on my Anemones! grrrr.

    The upside is, I have plenty of Foxgloves coming up in the bark chippings on the tier which I’ll have to transplant into the back shady borders.

    1. Hooray for lots of foxglove seedlings – and thank you for getting the “too frilly but” thing on the scabious. Maybe I will fall for them as much as the pollinators next year. I think I may be quite in touch with my inner “gladioli and other over the top flowers” lover, providing they are creating a sufficiently dramatic picture, and am curiously OK about the idea that this makes me rather unsubtle in the taste stakes. Though this may have more to do with contradicting my Father than I am comfortable with…

  3. Lovely view from your window, such a rich palette of colours. I love the dahlias (next year!) and asters particularly. I planted aster lateriflorus prince this year, only a small plant so I am not expecting flowers this year but next year it should be rather lovely, with more on my wishlist too, including A.frikartii Monch. I have five small Japanese anemones waiting to go into the ground that should also perform well in years to come. Yours is very pretty against those dark leaves.

    1. Dahlias and asters are definitely plants for the established garden – which you are now building! I foresee lots of both in your future ;-) Japanese anemones are seemingly not immune to the seasonable abnormalities, but are worth it I think.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous photos, I bet it’s even more spectacular in reality! Thank you for naming the flowers, some I know, some I don’t, so I would have been searching for the answers! Looking forward to seeing your front garden flowers soon.

    1. Hi Caro, I know what you mean about names of plants on blog posts, I have spent ages sometimes trying to work out what something is! I really must post about the much-neglected front.

  5. What a lovely view you have outside your window. And what a nice variety of colorful flowers and plants. Everything looks so healthy!

    1. Thank you Dorothy, we have certainly been enjoying all the colour this year.

  6. I came across that lovely starry little aster recently, photographed it and put it on the wish list in my head!
    The dahlias give such a shot of colour at this time of year and I had forgotten how attractive the pompom ones are. My mother used to grow some. Happy memories. Lovely flower borders and so full of interest.

    1. I think garden blogs should carry a wallet warning, I regularly find my own wishlist expanding after seeing yet another “must have” plant on someone’s post. ‘Tangerine Dream’ is particularly useful as a cut flower because it has longer stems than many, much easier to mix in.

  7. The colours in your garden put me to shame! Mine is mostly various shdes of (veggie) green. I am very fond of the deep purple colours, like your dahlias.

    1. Ah, but I look at you wonderfully productive plot and dream of the day when my allotment is similarly packed with goodies…

  8. Tangerine Dream is such a perfect shape and a wonderful colour. Always good to see plants unexpectedly arise from the dead – some compensation for those that never do :-)

    1. Ah yes, the “gone but not forgotten” plants that leave holes in our borders. There are always some, aren’t there! I lost most of my Verbena bonariensis over the winter, and miss it terribly. My seedlings got neglected and all failed. Bad gardener…

    1. Thank you Trevor, it has been fun playing with colour, I’d always been so safe. Turns out that the riot suits me just as well as the more muted and careful schemes. I need a bigger garden…

  9. I love, love, love those Dahlias. I have a co-worker visiting England and Wales right now and she emailed me that her topic for our next company newsletter will be “how come Americans don’t plant more Dahlias?”

    Gladioli will come back here as well, but they always seem to be a little worse the wear for it. Where I am from they are not usually grown in the flower garden, but are rowed out in the vegetable garden like corn or beans and used strictly as a cut flower and are a favorite on chruch alters and at funerals.

    Happy GBBD!

    1. Hi Les, I think the combination of rigidity and blowsiness of gladioli makes them really suitable for growing in rows in a cutting garden, I’d like to do it myself some day. Interesting, isn’t it, how plants go in and out of fashion. Dahlias are big news here now, very trendy, and I think they deserve to be for all that they require more work than I am usually prepared to put in. Look forward to seeing a Dahlia revolution centred on your nursery! Happy GBBD.

    1. Hi Rose, I think they can be a little difficult to combine well with other plants, plus they really need staking. I rather fancy growing them in rows in a cutting garden, for guilt-free armfuls of they ridiculously over the top flowers in the house.

  10. Our dahlias are really late too but Lucifer has gone over now.

    One Michaelmas daisy (aster Monch) started flowering before we got round to planting it out in April. It started early and is still flowering. The second one Purple Dome is in buds which are on the point of opening!

    1. Wow, that is an impressive flowering period to get from Monch Sue, hope mine does the same in future years. My Lucifer is headed over the edge into “over” too now, it just hung on long enough for GBBD!

      1. I think it was only because the young plant was kept in the greenhouse for a while – I don’t expect it to repeat this next year.

  11. Who would have thought that purple, pink AND orange would work so well together! but they do. My Asters were new this year too (planted last autumn) but even with the cooler, wetter conditions they haven’t really grown as much as I had hoped. Christina.

    1. Hi Christina, I wasn’t at all sure either, but I am enjoying the combinations. Hope your asters settle in well and reward you next year.

  12. After seeing your garden it makes me realise I must try harder to get some colour at this time of year, mine is starting to look rather drab except for the containers.

    1. Hi Elaine, my garden was MUCH less colourful last year, so I am proof positive that it can be done.

    1. “ablaze! is just about right! It is glorious on all these dull days we seem to be getting.

  13. Janet – I thought about buying echinaecia seeds in spring, but I was afraid of it spreading out of control. However, after seeing the beautiful scene in your first photo, I’m tempted again. Do you do anything to control it ? … or do you just let it be ?

    1. Hi b-a-g, I’ve not had to do anything to tame them so far, although they have gone rather floppy all of a sudden. There again, they were only grown from seed last year.

  14. I love the intense color of the purple sedum stems, I haven’t seen that before. My mother always grew sedum in England, but the more typical green stemmed variety. I assume the butterflies still enjoy this one? That’s what a I remember most in her garden, was hoards of butterflies on the sedum blooms in late summer.

    1. Beautiful, aren’t they? Hoverflies and bees certainly still love it, but I get very few butterflies in my garden, sadly. I think because there is very little for them in the surrounding environment, and one garden can’t make much of a difference.

  15. Beautiful post and wonderful blooms! Love that Scabiousa…I planted the similar Knautia ‘Melton Pastels’ from seed this year, but it has yet to bloom…I just keep waiting and waiting…

    1. Hi Scott, thank you! I have some monardas that I was hoping would be in the border by now but which are refusing to flower, sometimes growing from seed can be extremely frustrating. Hope you get blooms soon.

    1. Thanks Janet – we’ve got another new one out now, must get a photo of her, she is very bold and beautiful.

  16. Your garden is full of color, Janet! I’m especially envious of your crocosmia and dahlias. I planted some crocosmia bulbs this spring, but never saw a sign of them, and dahlias just never seem to do well for me. I’m amazed that your glads came back–what a pleasant surprise!

    1. Hi Rose, would it make you feel any better if I told you that I lost my favourite Crocosmia Emily Mckenzie, to the winter, and that my yellow one has sent up some leaves but absolutely no sign of flowers?! I too am amazed at the glads.

  17. The view from your sitting room must be delightful Janet. I do like that sedum – what gloriously coloured stems. I saw some most attractive scabious plants at the Southport Flower Show yesterday – annual ‘Chat Noir’ and perennial ‘Chile Pepper’. By the way many thanks for your suggestion of adding a subscribe by email facility to my blog ~ I have done as requested :)

    1. We are enjoying it, Anna, despite the sudden flopping of the echinacea – I hate staking things, particularly at this point in the year as I have always run out of “nice” stakes! I’ve grown ‘Chat Noir’ in the past, but ran out of seed. Looking up ‘Chile Pepper’ I discovered ‘Chile Black’, which I think I have fallen in love with. Maybe for my next garden! And thank you so much for not being offended by my cheeky request, am off to sign up right now!

  18. Hi Janet, as you can imagine the weather up here hasn’t exactly been fantastic, but like your own its also looking pretty good. Great shots of your Summer blooms. We had the Aster Frikartii Monch at one time, great colour, have to get some more, where its going I am not sure yet.

    1. Hi Alistair, I feel guilty every time I moan about our weather and then read about your, or Janet’s, or Fay up on Orkney’s weather – never mind the droughts, heat waves and peat fires making life “challenging” for gardeners across the pond! Monch is a beauty, I am so glad I succumbed.

  19. I can sense the weather in the muted tonality of your photos. Imagine how gray the garden would be without the flowers! The surviving gladiolus in my garden are like yours–in ones and twos, little pockets of surprise planned more by natural forces than by a gardener. Congratulations on a lovely show. It’s clearly been worth the wait.

    1. Hi James, you are right, this is not a summer for purely lush green planting, we all need cheering up! I like your “planted by natural force” phrase, sums it up perfectly. They have, at least, convinced me that I will grow them again if I wind up with room for a proper cutting garden, where they can be staked in regimented rows and then cut for the house when in full bloom. A girl can dream – like I dream of warm summer evenings! I’m sure we’ve had a couple, I just can’t remember then any more…

  20. ‘Divine’ I think is the word for your garden at the moment. Your crocosmia is very strong. I’ve always wanted to try Japanese anemones and asters, so you’ve given me the nudge to doing something about it.
    Pom-pom dahlias always remind me of tight 1970s perms!

    1. Thank you Linda – though not for the perm reminder, which made me shudder slightly… Give that it was blog posts that got me buying asters I am both glad and faintly guilty to have given you a prod!! And please don’t hold me responsible if in a couple of years you are hacking back Japanese anenome cursing the day you fell in love with it and finally succumbed…

  21. I have a great time reading and watching the photo’s. Specially those beautiful flowers and vegetables you have. How I wish that I can plant something like that in our backyard. I really love it so much.

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