Tuesday, 26 July 2016

July - emerging from the gloom.

What a disaster until a week or so ago, blooms rotting off before they open and standing water in July. This post is a compilation of what seems to be the best of a bad job as we have at last been treated to some sun now.



Primula florindae and Iris ensata along with Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff also a Polygonum showing colour. 

What I like about geraniums is that some have the ability to weave in and out of other plants without being detrimental yet adding splashes of colour. Geranium × oxonianum 'Wargrave Pink' is doing just that.
 

The delightful little Astilbe from the background in the above picture. its name is lost in the mists of time but I think Astilbes are wonderful plants, providing colour at just the right time.

The Japanese Water Iris (Iris ensata), Polygonum, Primula florindae, a white campanula and  Spiraea japonica 'Golden Princess' are adding a touch of colour.

Two groups of containers with some lilies just breaking bud. Lamium maculatum 'Beacon Silver' is so useful for pots but the foliage does not age too well.  

Lamium maculatum 'Beacon Silver' partnered with Sedum Jose Aubergine

The second group is fronted by Geranium oxonianum 'Katherine Adele'. Campanula 'Sarastro' is next to it but has finished flowering and will be replaced.
 

Campanula 'Sarastro' note the tiny flowers of Geranium pyrenaicum alba, these charming plants seed themselves into everything and come back year after year.

Another view with the Cotinus coggygria 'Grace' growing away in rampant fashion to dominate the area, I sometimes have to cut it back mid-season.

The Front Garden

There are not many pictures on the site of my front garden other than those of problems, more later.
 

I seem to be acquiring a love of hardy geraniums here we have the super award winning Geranium 'Rozanne', maybe not everyone's choice for the situation but 'Rozanne' being sterile just keeps on flowering. 

Front garden view includes Polygonum microcephalum 'Red Dragon ', unknown Verbena courtesy of Roger and several others including alliums and Rudbeckia hirta.

View up the path to the front door I used to put loads of containers down the path but because of poor summers stopped, this year I have gone overboard and used Cannas and bedding plants such as petunias to put on a bit of a show.

Unknown Canna cultivar.


A mishmash of mainly Geraniums but remarkably a self sown group of Sisyrinchium striatum from a clump that died out because of encroaching shade two years ago.



Okay its common but Lysimachia vulgaris (Yellow Loosestrife)is a great reliable plant which will thrive in adverse conditions, here it sits next to Digitalis purpurea yet another common native in shade, I enjoy growing those plants which can be described as "difficult" but at the end of the day you just have to love native plants.





Creeping around in deep shade Geranium wallichianum set off by the falling needles.
Disaster

Cedrus atlantica glauca needle drop.
This is the bad news, needle drop is caused by a fungus which is triggered by temperature. The cold spring seems to have played a part, when the temperatures rose very quickly earlier this year, albeit for a short time, it created the worst attack I have seen leading to massive needle drop.   


At first a sort of attractive pinkish colouration appears.



Followed by a massive needle drop, all the brown areas are now denuded and much worse.
Good stuff

After the doom and gloom here are a few plants which inspire:






Francoa sonchifolia 'Pink Giant' Reliable hardy perennial, soft green scalloped foliage sets off the pink spires of flower. (Plant World Seeds)


Dregea sinensis, Chinese climber known as the hardy Hoya or Wax-flower, Hoyas were once a popular house plant. Grown from seed this rather exotic climber proves easy to grow even with me.
The pure simplicity of a specie rose, Rosa glauca.
The "Meconopsis Bed"


Things are moving, as the big blue poppies are finishing Meconopsis walichii is coming into flower amongst the lilies and Ligularia przewalskii.


 Meconopsis bed pictures, note the Rodgersia leaves 
After a terrible spring which has seen the failure of many a plant things seem to be getting back to normal.