Lilac, lavender or just plain purple?

Having missed the End of Month View by a mile this is me catching up with what has been happening in my garden in May and into the first week of June.

Click on the gallery for a better look…..

In the long herbaceous border many plants have matured and are now flowering. Purple is the predominant colour in the garden, but outshone by the brilliant red oriental poppies.These were planted at the front of the border with no thought given to how large they would grow (yes it was me!) but they do make a real statement at this time of year.  Apart from red being my favourite colour I also love the petals that are so crinkly and papery. They are difficult to photograph though as I always get some colour saturation – I must try that polariser.

Oriental red poppy

Oriental  poppy ‘Brilliant’

The other star of the garden this month is the lilac tree which is absolutely covered in blossom. This tree doesn’t do things by halves – it either flowers its socks off or doesn’t flower at all.  I can’t remember if it is alternate years or more random, but last year it didn’t flower so it was lovely to see the purple blooms again.

Lilac blossom

Lilac blossom

The colour is shared by a variegated rhododendron; this is the first time it had flowered and I was just about considering whether to replace it with something more productive. How clever of it to flower at the same time as the lilac. At the back of the same border the geranium psilostemon is just coming out.  I love the vivid colour of this geranium, though it is a bit of a thug and needs good staking to stop it tumbling over the rest of the border. I think this might be one of the reasons the rhododendron hasn’t flowered before.  At the front is the purple Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’.

Rhododendron 'Molten Gold' and friends

Rhododendron ‘Molten Gold’ and companions

At the right of the photo is my favourite poppy that I have had for many years. It is a very strong, reliable poppy, with very pretty feathered petals.

Red poppy with frilly petals

Red poppy with frilly petals

Further up the long border there are plenty of other wonderful flowers:

On the drive side of the house we have a couple of narrow borders on each side of the path.This is a very windy dry area and I have had problems getting things to grow here. Last year I planted lavender for the first time. I haven’t been a big fan of lavender in the past as I thought it was a rather old fashioned scent. Strange how my views have changed these days. Anyway the lavender, oblivious to all this, is flowering beautifully.



On the other side of the path is a Parahebe – a plant rescued from the Bargain bench at the garden centre.  The flowers are really pretty.



Near the rockery we have the lovely purple flowers of chives surrounded by mint and rosemary (which has just finished flowering). Isn’t it strange how many herbs have purple flowers?



My little plum tree is doing really well – hope I haven’t jinxed it by saying that! It has put on a good 50 cm in parts (that is two feet in old money!).  It has a good dozen  or so plums too getting larger by the day. I keep watering it well and feeding it manure every so often.  The Traveller and I spent a happy couple of hours fitting stakes to the fence wires to train it to.  I am advised by the garden centre that I shouldn’t prune it until July up here; that will be rather traumatic. I have some new secateurs especially for that tree.

fan-trained plum

fan-trained plum

Finally a few more photos just taken today – the wonderful iris, Black Beauty, is just out. Well, one group of bulbs is, but the others that I moved haven’t even attempted to produce a flower! Hope they do better next year.

Next Garden Update: End of Month View: June


23 thoughts on “Lilac, lavender or just plain purple?

    • Thanks Jessica. Inspired by my fellow bloggers, I am going to try collecting the seeds this year. I have had these blue poppies for years, but they aren’t spreading at all. I think I have them in the wrong place, but I wouldn’t dare move them.

    • Thanks so much. I do hope I manage the pruning OK. I can’t believe how much it has grown in one year. I think we will be putting an extension at the top of the fence!

  1. A lovely meconopsis, fabulous! Do you know which variety it is? Mine are all over now for another year, just waiting for the seed pods to mature then it will be seed sowing time again! Your long border is looking superb at the moment, but I can see that there are plenty of delights still to come, you have a really beautiful garden.

    • Thanks so much Pauline. I’m sorry but I don’t know what variety the meconopsis is – we have had it quite a while before I started keeping labels. It does seem rather pale, but that is maybe because it is in full sun.
      I do hope there are some delights still to come as everything is really early this year. I am planting bedding plants like mad at the moment as I know they will last until the frost.

    • Thanks Scotcat. There is always a space, but whether we should really crowd the other things is another matter.
      We are so lucky that we can grow mecenopsis up here.

  2. It is all looking wonderful Annette. I like the way you casually mention your Meconopsis in the last sentence almost as an afterthought and we are all drooling and green with envy. And you have had them for years! They are as rare as ostriches in gardens down here.

    • I was surprised when I first heard that on someone’s blog. I am beginning to appreciate my garden so much more these days as I am finding out the things it does do well, compared with gardens in England. Blogging is great!

  3. You haven’t got ostriches as well, have you Annette?!! 🙂 Thank you for sharing these lovely views – I see you have Persicaria Red Dragon too, and next to a nice geum as well. Makes a lovely combination, doesn’t it?

    • Not last time I looked, Cathy! Though there was a rather large bird’s egg in the front garden the other day.. .
      I got Persicaria Red Dragon earlier this year after admiring it in your garden and I have been so pleased with it. Thanks very much for the introduction. The leaves are wonderful, but I am wondering how much taller it will grow as I have it at the front of the border. It looks as if it would move easily though. The geum is one I have had for ages so don’t know the variety. It looks lovely with the Persicaria – one of those lovely accidental groupings.

      • Last year Red Dragon really sprawled after the wet winter and wouldn’t have coped with a front of border position, but I don’t think it was ever that big before. It dies down in the winter so each season’s growth may be different, but if I was you I would move yours further back – mine has Hellebore argutifolius and rhododendron next to which support any lax growth.

  4. Pingback: Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day: May in Aberdeen | My Aberdeen Garden

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