Friday, 24 May 2013

Freeze frame now !

If I could stop time, I would do it now, this instant, when the roses are in bud, the lupins are waiting in the wings, and the Aquilegia are in flower. We are in that most perfect moment of equilibrium when summer has begun and there is lots in bloom, but still so much, as yet unseen. There is the expectant promise of the roses, tantalisingly close, but not quite given. They are nearly all in bud and I am just waiting for the first one to break ranks and flower. I think it may be 'Paul's Scarlet' a red climber which has grown along a west facing stone wall for many years.

This is the time of year when the garden is reaching its height, but nothing has yet 'gone over' so, yes, if I could freeze time, I would do it now, when that balance is perfect and the season is nearly at its zenith.

Nearly all bare earth has disappeared in the borders and the days of hoeing endlessly are nearly behind us. Soon, no one will notice the odd weed popping up between the flowers ! The borders are looking full and fresh and everything is still experiencing that first flush of growth. I have planted out Sweet Peas in any large gaps, but they will take a while to take off and flourish.

Colour is provided by ... erm ... the hosepipe (!), nemesia, Ajuga, Euphorbia (wheelbarrows full), Honesty, Aquilegia and geraniums.

Colour here is provided by an Acer palmatum Dissectum, Choisya 'Sundance', Cardoon, Euonymus and Bluebells. I like to pack plants very closely together so that, in theory, they almost form a tapestry. In reality, I think this border may just be packed so tight that the plants are squeaking a bit ! I fear I may need to wade in with secateurs  and define everything a little more.

Here are some of the individuals who make up these borders and deserve to be viewed in splendid isolation...


Angelica, now officially taller than me !

Is there anything more beautiful than Apple Blossom ?

Chives - such a useful plant ! I started with one clump and split it so many times that it is dotted all over the garden. It seems to flourish anywhere and is very easy going. It fills many odd little spaces with its lovely architectural shape and delicate flowers. I give it a haircut when it finishes flowering and within a few weeks , it is re-growing nice fresh foliage.

This is the first verbascum I have grown. For years I could only find them in a rather unpleasant acid yellow, but I love this soft creamy-white.

The flowers of this Tree Peony look far more exotic than they really are, as it is very hardy. 

There is something primeval about this big fat poppy bud. I am hoping it will be a subtle rose pink, rather than the brick-red I have in another part of the garden. You know that feeling, when you don't reallylike a plant, but you haven't the heart to dig it out ? The red one is so bright - an assault on the eyes, but I still can't quite bring myself to be judge and executioner !

And here is some promise, unfulfilled. Lovely lupins, the staples of the English cottage garden. There is no clue yet as to colour, and, of course, I can't remember what colour they are from last year, so it will be a surprise. 

So many surprises at this time of year ...


  1. What a lovely garden you have.

  2. Hi Julie. Thankyou for your comment, you are too kind ! You can be sooo selective with a camera in your hand !

  3. I can see why you would choose this moment. As long as we're dreaming, I would cut and paste. I seem to have one thing looking spectacular while the rest is just so so. Makes it hard to find a time to invite visitors.

  4. Hi Ricki, cut and paste ! Now that's a plan ! Winter would never be dull and grey again !

  5. You have put into words a feeling I always have at this point in the gardening cycle. Thank you!

  6. Hi. Thanks for dropping by ! I wonder if it this point of the year which everyone loves the most, or if some people have a different time ?

  7. Your garden is really large! I love your attitude toward planting. I like my beds to look like tapestries or quilts, too. I still have a lot of green and am waiting for my summer perennials to bloom. I'm not in any rush. Winter was way too long and I want to relish every moment of summer. :o)

  8. Thanks for comments, casa Mariposa, relishing every moment is the key ! Our winter seemed to go on for ever, and we had very little Spring. I can still hardly believe that it has actually finished and the sun is now shining ...


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