The garden was looking great in the middle of July. I was worried that it would all be over when our visitors arrived at the beginning of August. I should have had more faith. The later flowering plants excelled and the garden continued to look good.
I took these shots one early morning near the end of July.
I can’t believe how tall my verbena have grown. This is the first time I have tried them and they must be at least 8 feet! I wish they had put the same effort into their flower heads though, as these have not been so impressive. I was a bit disappointed to learn, from Cathy’s Rambling in the Garden, that these need to be treated as annuals up here in Scotland, but as least that gives me the opportunity to group them together next year as she has done. I think they look more impressive like that. A friend of mine recently suggested that it could be our long days that makes everything grow so tall here.
My Ladybird poppies, however, have not done nearly so well this year as last. I mixed some of my own seeds with those of a new packet as I didn’t want to risk an area with no poppies at all. Some even came up nothing like Ladybirds, even though they were very pretty. I’m blaming the packet seeds for those anomalies!
They did look lovely in the early morning light though….
. . . as did the Persicaria,
the Cosmos. . . .
and the newly opened Heleniums.
One of my favourites at this time of the year is a herbaceous potentilla – I think it may be ‘Gibson’s Scarlet’. It is such a vivid red that the photo doesn’t really do it justice. I have had this plant for many years and it always does well even when split and moved.
Another plant that has been incredible this year is the Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’ – see top banner.
There are a lot of other yellow plants in the garden too.
This has been beautiful all summer. It is not totally hardy, though, so I am not sure what I am going to do with it over the winter. I am considering buying a frame to keep a few things in over winter.
This Inula is a lovely splash of colour in my shady garden round the side.
There are a few other combinations that have worked well.
The top of the long border is looking better than the rest at this time of the year.
Here you can see, from left to right:
- Blue geranium ‘Roxanne’
- Orange Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’
- Orange Gaillardia ‘Goblin’ – at front
- White cystus (finished)
- Silver leaves of Helichrysum ‘Icicles’ (not fully hardy)
- Blue Geranium (finished)
- Variagated Eleagnus (against fence)
- Red geum and poppies (just couple of flowers at front)
- Yellow Rudbeckia ‘Little Goldstar’ – a great small version.
- Orange Erysimum ‘Apricot Delight’
- Red leaves of Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ at front.
- Yellow Coriopsis ‘Moonbeam’
- Dark leaves of Lobelia cardinalis
- Red potentilla dotted about (though you will probably only see it if you click on the photo to see the larger version!)
Some of you may have been wondering what happened to the eggs on the Persicaria. OK, I know you have probably long forgotten about my eggs, but I am going to tell you anyway!
Well I watched and I watched, and then they started looking a bit darker in colour. Finally, one day I looked at them and they had clearly hatched. Half of the leaf had been eaten and there were a few minuscule caterpillars on the leaf. If you get your magnifying glasses out you can just make out a few.
I watched the caterpillars for a while and they seemed to be acting very strangely. They seemed to be crawling to the edge of the leaf and then disappearing. After a bit of careful detective work, which involved holding my hand under the leaf, I deduced that they were just launching themselves off the edge! Can anyone explain this behaviour? Clearly the ones that had hatched earlier had managed to eat part of the leaf, but there were no signs anywhere of any larger caterpillars. Oh well, another garden mystery remains unsolved for now.
Elsewhere in the garden the wildlife has been helping with general maintenance:
The blackbirds have been assisting in moss removal from the front lawn
and hundreds of wasps have been cleaning the front path of aphid honeydew from an overhanging tree.
They did get a bit distracted from their work when we had a barbecue, so we had to give them a treat of saucers of jam to keep them in the right part of the garden!
Well that is how my garden was looking a few weeks ago. I think Autumn has arrived since I started writing this, but that will be the next post. . . .
Next Garden Update: Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day: Space Invaders