I love roses, and this year have a few more, as a result of planting some bare root bushes from David Austin last November. I don't feel that they have all done that well, but with the very heavy rain, lack of frosts, and hot weather, I shall forgive them. A couple have yet to flower, but buds promise some later flowers. The first flush is well and truly nearly over, helped by the exceedingly heavy rain storms over a couple of days. Of course we needed the rain but even the carnations had their buds whacked off by heavy raindrops.
This is the first flower from Crown Princess Margareta, it is very similar in colour to the much smaller Ghislaine de Feligonde nearby.
This is Gertrude Jekyll, the scent is heavenly, but the bush is a little small, so I have removed all the flowers, and hope the plant will grow more strongly. I think I shall move this a little nearer the front of the border . I envisaged it growing into a shrub/climber, but I wonder whether it is grafted onto different root stocks. I now know the answer as I broke from writing this to phone up David Austin, and the rootstock is exactly the same.
This is a close up of the climber A Shropshire Lad. It has made some strong shoots and the flowers are really fine, and were not much spoilt by the rain.
Munstead Wood has the deepest red flowers, and a very good scent. The bush is clean and very healthy. Sadly the climber Etoile de Hollande is covered with black spot, and also Grace is looking a little poorly. I hope a feed and some Epsom Salts will help them continue a little better this season.
Princess Anne with its shinny glossy leaves, but with lots of thorns, is a real show stopper.
I've had Open Arms for a few years now, its towards the end of the garden, and with its single flowers, a favorite for the bees and hover flies.
My clematis Comtesse de Bouchard is in full flower
This morning during a couple of hours weeding I had time to consider some of the changes I want to make to the garden for next year. I was on my hand and knees on the stones preparing some patches to plant out some new thymes. We had been to the National Herb Centre on Sunday, and I bought three plants as 'consolation' for not getting some ferns when I ought to have done from Upton House. The Herb Centre is not far from Upton House, and we had toured the garden which was looking superb, but did not feel like walking back after our picnic to tour the house. I enjoyed looking around, whilst Mr S looked over the various vintage cars parked up, and then a snooze! If I enjoy looking around a nursery, I inevitably end up spending some of my pocket money, even though the garden is really overstocked. I am sure that I am not the only one who plays little games to validate their spending...mine is that each time I pick some flowers for a little posy, or an arrangement or give a bunch of flowers to someone, or give a present of propagated plants, I offset this against my treats of new plants!
I already have a couple of very low growing thymes in the stones, and some others in the borders. They do well here, and again loved by the bees.
The garden is well sheltered, and as I worked a wonderful smell was wafting around. I traced it to a small clump of Valerian. I bought a small pot a couple of years ago from our Kenilworth in Bloom Sale, and the rain seems to have brought it on. I've read that it is apt to attract cats, can't say that I have seen any, though they would be shooed out of the garden it they did come. And some say that the scent is not too pleasant, and elsewhere that extracts of the flowers were used as perfume in the sixteenth century. Isn't scent such a personal thing?
In the more shady area of the garden I have a few ferns coming on: Athyrium Niponicum, which I bought on holiday to Frome
A small fern, the name is lost, which I bought when on holiday in the Lake District. It has faltered for a couple of years in the ground so I have put in a small pot..
This one just grew in a pot which was planted up with succulents. It was 'under' a suspended fern which had long hairy roots, name gone, plant gone. I've separated it out, and planted it in a very characterful pot which Penny brought for me recently. We could not work out what it was used for, but it had looked as if candles had been burnt in it.
For some reason only the white love in the mist plants seem to have germinated from last year's seeds, and there were no white flowers last year...often the little pops ups around the garden give me great delight...if they do not. they get pulled out!