I’m sitting writing this in my sewing room watching the rain clouds gathering, hopefully we have some decent rain coming as there’s lots of deep cracks appearing in our clay soil, it’s so dry. It’s over two months since we had any rain worth writing home about!
I’ve just picked all my pink peonies, they were flopping anyway so there is no way they would survive a downpour, I may as well enjoy them inside. These are big and blousy, all frills. They smell lovely.
If last week was bearded iris week, this week is the turn of the peony. I love peonies, I have several round the garden, some old established clumps, others only planted in the last twelve months. These deep pink ones are a lovely goblet shape and an amazing deep colour, I would have picked these too but I don’t think they would like being picked either, they open to a simple petalled affair, perfect landing stage for bees!
They’re quite striking too, there’s not many flowers but they certainly make an impact. On the fence behind the clematis is still in flower, climbing up by the philadelphus. This is the remains of a huge shrub which our neighbour tried to remove when the fence was built. It was far too big, but I’m rather pleased a bit has survived as I love the scent, it fills the garden in the evening.
The self-seeded foxgloves are all starting to flower around the rose obelisk. I’m pleased with how that is covered too, last year it was a bit uneven, but I spent a bit of time a few weeks ago tying stems down, wrapping them round. It seems to have worked.
Down by the patio the Dutch irises are coming into flower. These are beautiful, they’re a deep Wedgewood blue with a silver outline round the petals. It was a clump my mum gave me years ago and despite the awful soil they’re in, it spreads more and more each year.
The irises are right round the birdbath now, obscuring it for most of the summer. You can just see the frost damage on the purple acer, we had quite a hard late frost in May and I’ve a few shrubs affected. The funny looking bulbs near the back are nectaroscordum.
Up by the pond the yellow iris are starting to flower, the rhododendron is also in full bloom, this is one of the few original plants from when I moved to the house twenty years ago, it doesn’t seem to have got any bigger in that time! The hostas are looking good, the Solomon’s seal is still in flower and there’s just a sprinkling of blue brunnera flowers left. Hubert the heron has all but disappeared!
From a distance he garden is looking pretty good, close up the bindweed and the mares tail are starting to appear, so I’ve started applying weedkiller. I don’t like using it but it seems to be the only way to get on top of these particularly pernicious weeds. I carefully unwind the bindweed, pop as much of it as I can inside a purple nappy bag (cheaper than black poo bags!!), spray inside the bag and then knot it! The weedkiller is contained and I know which ones I’ve treated! The downer is the sprinkling of purple bags round the garden!
Taking photos for these posts does help me stay positive when the weeds seem to be winning, it helps me to appreciate the pretty bits of the garden, not just see the work that needs doing. It’s been too hot to garden recently, so we’ve just enjoyed sitting outside with a cup of tea, enjoying our surroundings.