The time has certainly flown this last couple of weeks and it seems as though some plants have flowered and finished in that time! Here's what's happening at the moment.
At last the African marigolds have come into flower. They're not as showy as they should be but considering we nearly killed them off by putting them out in May and then a frost followed, I suppose we're lucky. I'll know better for next time! We have plans to replace all the hard landscaping later this year so I'm really looking forward to the Battenburg cake going!
The fuschia has flowered profusely but they're all at the bottom. We'll have to try and find something to prop them up next year. The bedding begonias have added a lot of colour to this border. The two Armeria are flowering well but there doesn't seem to be very many at any one time once the dead ones have been removed. The stalks are quite long so they do tend to droop over. The little orange Papaver in the corner is lovely and bright. There are a few dwarf lupins near the back but they are still very small and have a long way to go yet. On the balcony are the potatoes, carrots and onions. They're doing well but don't look much different from the last time I photographed them.
The Salvia Hot Lips has flowered really well and is such a cheerful plant with it's red and white flowers. It has quite a nice smell too. I think I missed photographing this at it's best. The hardy fuschia is a mass of flowers, unfortunately this is a very old plant and there's so much old stuff that has been cut away from the centre it is now very spread out and we think it needs replacing.
The Curly Red was getting so knocked about by the pigeons (who come and clear up the seeds the small birds throw about) that we've had to put a little cage around it. It seems to be doing the job, the pigeons can no longer get all the way around it and we've found no broken off bits since last weekend. The little blue Veronica is now flowering well and the Prairie Mallow behind is just coming into bud. The hosta flowers are now dying off but it did very well as we had 13 flowers on this one.
The bedding begonias are at last filling up these two concrete planters. We've had a few nice roses and the lillies are looking lovely at the moment. These were from Aldi last year and I'm thrilled at the way they've propogated themselves.
Here's a closer picture of the lillies which I took last week.
The sprout to the right of the lillies seems to be doing really well although I don't really know what I'm doing here! This hosta had 11 flowers. I've planted some cyclamen at the front which I bought last year and had kept in a pot after they'd finished flowering. I've not managed to kill them off and they're looking pretty healthy so hopefully we'll get a nice show later in the year.
The montbretia are just coming into flower. I moved these last year as they were spread all around this border, now I've got them in one clump and I think they look better. They've not grown as tall as last year, maybe they need to settle down after being disturbed - at least I didn't kill them so that's a plus! There's just one flower remaining on the arum lily, we had about 15 altogether - not as good as last year but pretty good considering the frost damage. With a bit of mollycoddling if the coming winter is as bad as the previous one it should get back to it's former glory.
Second year rhubarb here so we've been able to pull just a few sticks, delicious! Next door's hydrangea is in full flower now and is looking wonderful! Our urns and tubs are doing well, just waiting for the geraniums to catch up with everything else that's planted in them!
It's so sad that we're not supposed to pull any more rhubarb from these plants that were split this year. The pink flowers in the tub on the wall are actually in next door's garden. Not sure what they're called but they're very common around here and look lovely when in a nice compact mound. Unfortunately our not very neighbourly neighbour was very neglectful of his garden and this plant was very overgrown and mostly full of old dead branches. He died suddenly a couple of weeks ago so I've taken the opportunity of clearing out all the old stuff to try to resurrect this plant. The soil was baked solid, Paul has tried to break it up a bit and I've added some new compost so hopefully it stands a chance of perking up.
The oriental poppies are now flowering, they're very dark purple rather than the dark fuschia pink pictured on the packet but they're still lovely, very unusual. There are one or two different ones, not sure where they've come from, maybe a couple of stray seeds in the packet. The first sunflower is dying off but there are plenty more to come. There are a few buds on the gladioli now and at the front there are some dwarf lupins which aren't as compact as the picture on the packet would lead you to believe. Now that we have been able to gain access to next door's garden (he would have told us, not very politely, where to go when he was alive) Paul has been able to remove the old rusted galvanised fence and replace it with a smart new green pvc covered one. As the boundary between the gardens is a quite wide solid concrete strip which is curved, it hasn't been possible to find any other type of fencing without major works digging up the concrete so we had to find something that was fairly flexible to take in the curve. It does the job, it has smartened it up and as long as we don't use the fence to lean on it should be OK. As our garden is so tiny it's nice to look through to next door as it gives a feeling of ours being bigger, let's hope whoever moves in eventually will keep the garden nice.
A closer picture of the oriental poppy
and a smaller, different poppy that's also appeared which we think is very pretty and unusual.
The hardy geranium continues to flower well, the pinks are flowering well too, and the tall lobelia in the corner has lots of buds on already.
The plant that is all green leaves and no flowers doesn't seem to have a label and I can't remember what it is. Does anyone know? It might have had blue/purple flowers, not sure. Anyway it's very healthy and has spread a fair bit. It's overhanging a little Phlox Rose Cushion which I think I'll have to move if it's to survive. The purple flowering plant next to it is Thyme Doone Valley, it's smothered in flowers and looks glorious at the moment, brush the leaves and it smells of lemon! The small alpine with yellow flowers is another one without a label but is looking pretty. The ice plant at the back has a magnificent flower stalk on it (click to get a closer look) and the spreading red plant is Sedum Spurium Ruby Mantle and it looks lovely. The only drawback is that as it spreads and comes into flower it looks as though a cat has curled up in the middle of it and flattened it!
Up on the little balcony the tomatoes are doing well despite looking very untidy. We've had quite a few and they taste very nice. Just in front are three plants which we picked up on Monday when we visited Anglesey. We came across a garden centre and as I suffer from garden centre constipation (I can't pass one! - sorry if I've offended anyone!) I just had to go and see if they'd got anything unusual or different that I hadn't seen before. We came away with Stachys Pinkie at the front, Stachys Byzantine (or Lamb's Ears) to the left (it has grey/green furry leaves and stems) and the plant behind with the dark red stems and pink flowers is Gaura Passionate Blush. We've potted these on into bigger pots as we wont be able to plant them until later in the year after we decide what has to be moved to where.
Here we have salad corner. Lettuce and radishes at various stages, I keep sowing as we've been eating a lot of them. Parsnips and carrots in the tubs to the left and they're doing very well. The runner beans are now up here as we've had a couple of very windy days and the tub has been blown over. We've had our first meal off them, very nice and there's plenty more to come. In the little wall are my favourite geraniums I brought with me from the previous house, I don't know the variety but the colour is gorgeous and they're double flowers.
This is the view from the balcony out to sea. We had the kite festival last weekend and we had a bird's eye view without leaving home! In front of one of the long tubs that has carrots and parsnips are some dianthus that we ordered from Thompson & Morgan along with some other stuff. Shan't use them again, we were very disappointed with the delay in delivery and one of the dianthus has died. We've asked for a refund but they sent a £2 credit voucher. As we don't intend using them again I've asked again for a refund, let's see what happens!
Red peppers are still very happy in the sun room although no signs of any of them turning red yet
and Paul insisted I show you his pride and joy. We both love Ava strawberries and think the taste is far superior to any of the other supermarket strawberries. He saved some seeds from some strawberries we bought last year and recently planted them to see if they would grow. He's delighted that he now has half a dozen healthy little plants which we'll nurture and find a special place for in the garden next year. Our strawberries this year are being devoured by a blackbird who visits regularly, probably just for the strawberries! The other day it was Blackbird 11 : Susan 4. Today it was Blackbird 8 : Susan 6. And that's despite them being in tiered planters very close to the house and netted!
I think that's about it for this time. I hope you've enjoyed your little tour around my garden, thanks for visiting.