Friday, 26 June 2015

June musings.

We have suffered from some really mixed weather recently, I have done some bedding containers and baskets for the first time since the bad summers we had when I swore not to do them again, so I am a little bit nervous about the type of summer we are going to have. The good news is that the weather is forecast to be fantastic next week, but for how long?

 Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii' is already fading to pink but the contrast between it and the Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea' is always welcome. The candelabra primulas are still going strong and in the foreground you can just see the tips of some of the containerised lilies emerging amongst the flowers of  'Gertrude Jekyll'

 Although the azaleas have finished flowering, there is still some colour from the candelabras and a few scattered aquilegia. The next flush of colour will come from lilies, Astilbes and Eupatorium.The Cardiocrinum giganteum is well over 6' tall and just about to break bud.

 The seed-heads of Meconopsis 'Lingholm' are at the forefront of this tangle containing alliums, clematis, campanulas, lilies, aquilegia, monkshood, Crocosmia, Hesperis matronalis, Chaerophyllum hirsutum roseum and the bells of Nectaroscordum siculum. The big leaves at the back belong to Telekia speciosa.

 The rose on the arch is Albertine there are also four different clematis in there somewhere. I can no longer remember the name of the bamboo to the left but nestling in font of it is Euonymus japonicus Aureopictus 'Luna' which I have a struggle to stop reverting, probably because of its shady position.

 This view encompasses my "primula bed" although the most dominant specimen in it is the yellow form of Meconopsis napaulensis complemented by the Sambucus Nigra 'Black Lace' surrounded by primulas, ferns, hostas, foxgloves et al. 

I just love the metallic grey/green hostas they also seem to suffer less slug damage.

A jumble of hostas, geraniums, aquilegia, astilbes, ferns and Welsh Mountain Poppies with the odd Angelica archengelica and clump of Anemone tomentosa 'Robustissima' thrown in.

 Looking back from the "woodland" bit, the fern-like green leaves (almost center) are those of Paeonia delavayi.

 A view featuring another of my favourite plants which is just about to be covered in pink flowers, Spirea japonica 'Golden Princess'.

 The splashes of white in some of the pictures are caused by another one of my favourites, Hesperis matronalis or Sweet Rocket, here it seen lighting up the deep shade of Cedrus atlantica 'glauca'. A brassica, it is actually a short lived perennial but is best grown as a biennial. Not only is it easy to grow from seed and will thrive in shade but it has a delightful light scent.

 Here we have  Astrantia 'Claret' being "stalked" by its neighbour on the right ........................

Ten days later and Boom! Geranium 'Eureka Blue' has gone off like a rocket!

Evergreen geranium, G. macrorrhizum has scented leaves and grows in shade. Helleborus argutifolius syn. H.corsicus is sprouting new growth, I should have removed the old flower heads by now but they are so attractive.

Hydrangea petiolaris syn. Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris dominates the side of the house.

Iris chrysographes 'Black Gold', grown from seed this has proved to be a really reliable plant, the slim, almost black flowers putting on a show every year.

Has anyone any idea as to which deciduous azalea this is please.

Rodgersia pinnata 'Hercules'
One last look at the Meconopsis for this year for all of you with warm dry gardens .............. honestly!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

It's primula and poppy time again.

View from back door top step. Note how late Cotinus coggygria 'Grace', already a late starter, actually is.
 Running slightly late this year, the different species of candelabra primulas are all coming out more or less together due to the cold weather. In a normal spring they would be more spread out, so this has effectively shortened the overall flowering period. All the candelabra primulas perform in direct relationship with the amount of water available, those planted in a too dry spot, possibly too close to trees, will perish.

Primula bulleyana
Primula japonica 'Apple Blossom' and Primula bulleyana ssp.

Primula bulleyana ssp. beesiana

Primula japonica 'Apple Blossom'
Primula japonica 'Miller's Crimson'
Group of Primula pulverulenta which have self-seeded different colour forms.

Group of Primula pulverulenta which benefit from the birdbath overflow.
 Primula pulverulenta.
 At the end of last year I decided to plant out many of the primulas previously kept in the cold tunnel with mixed results, some have done much better than others. Planted on an old slightly raised bed in clay soil with plenty of added grit and peat. 

Primula kisoana - Japanese Woodlander
Primula luteola - Caucasus Mountains
Unfortunately this year I have only a few Meconopsis in flower which are of course those of a perennial disposition, I lost two species during the winter which should have flowered this year and have only the Meconopsis baileyi, and the earlier flowering Meconopsis 'Lingholm' which are just finishing. I have one specimen of Meconopsis napaulensis to come and that's it for this year, I do however have loads of seedlings of several old friends plus some species new to me on the way.

Slightly depleted Meconopsis area.

Meconopsis baileyi 'Hensol Violet'

Meconopsis baileyi 
Meconopsis 'Lingholm'
My next post will be of more general views, I hope you still enjoy looking at the Meconopsis and Primulas personally I never tire of them although I do a similar post each year.