Saturday, 17 October 2009

Summer Garden

Taking a rest from wanderings for a few days, what with the first frosts and another dull, grey autumn day, I thought I would share some pictures from the garden this summer. I was prompted to this by seeing Calendula officianalis (or Pot Daisy), reminding me that mid-October is still not too late for flowers.

calendula

During the Summer, with the very low rainfall this year, slugs and snails were mercifully absent. The plants to prosper most from the lack of snails were Hostas (fortunei).

hosta

Early in the season, a rarer form of Hebe, Hebe hulkeana was a mass of pale blue flowers. It has large glossy leaves unlike many of its New Zealand cousins.

hebe hulkeana

In late May my only Rose bush produced quite a stunning shot, I just caught it at the right time.

rose bud

It was then the turn of the Chinese Beauty Bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis) to show off.

Kolkwitzia amabilis

The bush is flanked by a pink Weijilia, Senecio and a Golden conifer formed a good early summer combination.

Kolkwitzia amabilis

All in the garden was not entirely pest-free even if the snails were keeping out of sight. There young spiders took up home in a Red Hot Poker plant.

spider mites

This patch of bellflowers does well most years.

bell flower

The first flowers that came from seed were a mixture of pansies, with assorted markings, this was one of the best.

pansy

Quickly followed by this 'paper flower' (possibly Xeranthemum annuum) with split stamens.

paper flower

Another lovely flower that came from seed was an orange/red mixture of dwarf Cosmos sulphureus, very much more compact than the usual over-large version.

orange cosmos

Probably due to the dry conditions I only saw one brood of garden birds successfully rear a family, the 'father' blackbird has just caught some sort of grub.

blackbird

One shrub that heralds the end of summer but flowers on into December and attracts many insect visitors is Abelia x grandiflora.

Abelia x grandiflora

I grew some Larkspur (Gentian blue) from seed purely for the intense blue of the flowers; unfortunately it flowers rather late in the season.

Larkspur

But the star of the garden in 2009, and still covered in blooms, is Black Eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata) this is the first time I have managed to raise it from seed and has shot up to over six feet high.

Black Eyed Susan,Thunbergia alata

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