Pansy seed head dehisced
Orange miniature rock daisy
It sits there in its pot, looking cheery and obliging, but take a photo, and focus and light balance go phut. The bloom is about 2-3 cms in size and luminous in the centre. Great fun to play with as an exercise but a ‘little divil’ of a subject.
Photos taken on a dull day
Makes note to self:
- good focus on fleshy leaves, but where’s the flower?
- Must try harder.
Each year I look forward to this plant’s summer flowering. It spreads and moves like crazy filling in the gaps between the taller guys, so you’re never quite sure where it’s going to be until you see its leaves each spring. It is hardy and stands firm in most weathers, giving fun for the bees and an eye-catching mix of colour, eventually drying into a dark fawn bottle brush appearance at the end of autumn.
Image comes up bigger
Nothing to do with the plant but wow – watch out at that BBQ
- Man accidentally eats steel bristle during BBQ (sfgate.com)
Pattern and texture
Snail, as big as my little finger nail, in the curl of a leaf
Peeping out from the metallic finish of its cracked and damaged French horn shell, taking ‘shelter’ below the curling tip of small leaf
despite the dismal weather
A break in the rain and every bloom is busy – you can almost hear them, can’t you?
Mmmble mmmble buzzz buzzz – expect us to get the same job done in less time – mmmble mmmble …
Little things in the background easily overlooked
I like to overcrowd our flower garden, leaving it to the survival of the fittest and then infill with ground covering, preferably flowering items. This way the taller guys hold each other up a little and the whole lot together keep out some of the weeds and provide lots of layers of cover for the many frogs, toads, lizards etc that live around us and who, in turn, keep down the slugs and snails.
What’s the general aim?
This is a ‘cottage garden’ that ought to have an old school look: you know, the sort you get on jigsaw puzzles with some woman in a bonnet, long skirt and apron and carrying a woven trug on her arm whilst standing on the doorstep of a wee stone cottage. However, as a 4 foot 10 inch gardener, I’d never be able to see any of that style of tall planting unless I went around on stilts or with a ladder. I try to achieve that higgledy-piggledy mish mash look with other, shorter and more solid growths, giving steps of differing height in the beds as the eye travels back.
This is a wasteful way of gardening
It does mean you spend money on plants that you may never see again because they’ve got no chance. The conditions in each of the small flower beds are different as they each face a different direction: at the foot of a small garden wall or in with miniature trees or a box hedge or with surface water drain running though, so each can produce different results from the same or similar plants. But, after 6 years plus, each spring, other than tidying up and hacking back, I spend very little on new plants unless I can’t resist something. Usually there’s plenty coming out of each size of plant that can then go in any gaps that have appeared due to winter weather or animal depredations.
Sisyrinchium (a plant with a name that sounds like a made up planet in ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide’), is an exception to the survive or go under planting. I try to rescue as many of them each year from the inundations of the more rampant. There flowers are so precise and delicate, fairly sparse per plant (even when not over planted) standing proud above their carnation-like foliage. They have a whole personality of their own and provide contrast to the sprawling lower ground cover.
I love this tiny flower but many do not. (See ‘Alpine Garden Society’ - a bit of a dramatic garden health warning). The flowers are a little over 1.5 cms and make my eyes go funny. Not a recommendation in any way, you may think? The blue is so glowing that shade is essential to try to get a photo of them. It does spread, but that’s what I wanted it for, and it if grows in and between and below taller plants, then all the better as far as my gardening tastes are concerned. It’s been placed in a ‘deprived’ bed in front of a semi-espalliade Morello cherry and had has to compete to survive.
Where do I draw the line with spreading, invasive plants? Well, nothing too tall gets planted if it can be helped. Usually no plant over 5 foot and or with a spread greater than 30 inches. The problems come with the medium sized spreaders that I yank out wholesale 2-3 times a flowering season, knowing that they’ll be back again before the end of flowering time. Then, at the end of the year, and sometimes at the very beginning of the next, out they have to come again. As the garden is fairly small with 5 distinct planting areas, the labour is not arduous and can be easily broken into work loads, day by day. With the invasive smaller items the same is done, but usually they intermix quite nicely. If there’s one that could do with more space so that it makes a better ‘show’, it gets popped in a pleasant plant pot or trough of suitable size on the bed in the place I’d like to see it.
What happens when I get too old to be a doing of it? Flame thrower most probably.
I don’t usually buy bedding plants other than pansies, violas and occasionally sweet peas, but this year trailing Lobelia joined our jungle, placed in various pots that have been plumped in and between the taller perennials. The pots give contrast, help support and separate the bigger growers and, this particular year, were bought to provide us with any colour. The rabbits have been a plague to anything they could reach and it looked for a little while as though we would be good at growing lines of 2 inch stalks and nothing else.
- Invasive Flowers that May be Threatening Your Garden (proflowers.com)
Verbascum ‘Blue Lagoon’
Verbascum plants are always a joy but this year’s purchase of a blue one has excelled itself. The present flowering is nearly over but am hoping that it might give it one more go before the end of the year.
Vivid colour – dark and heavy weather
Blue in the afternoon
Pink through red to orange
A wet plant area where toads hide out
Venturing out in search of more flies for lunch, the toads are drying out and dying. Emergency major soaking required at Toad Corner. A week’s worth of hot weather with no overnight showers is playing havoc with the older toad population that lodges here.
Strong light and water
Due to strength of light, photographs look milky or fuzzy in the small image of the blog page, frustrating, but blow up brings each scene into more immediacy. Quite pleased with the definition of light and shade, water and light which can be missed in the smaller sizing.
Here’s the fern on its own in colour and grey with an extra ‘happenstance’ photo giving added meaning to the phrase ‘electric light’. Again, I like the greyscale, though it loses warmth and summer. S prefers the colour. Different look for different purposes.
Spot the luminous bells
- Word of the day: Anuran (homeschoolbyfrog.wordpress.com)
Late miniature daffodils