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garden photography gardening Shropshire Uncategorized

Gardening in Lockdown – Lilies

Mid-June in lock down is a good time to admire lilies flowering throughout our borders and even the first flower of Hemerocalis, the Day Lily. Enjoy my photos of some of our lilies.

 

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garden design garden photography gardening gardens half-hardy perennials hardy perennials July ornamental grasses ornamental trees and shrubs roses Shrewsbury Shropshire shrubs village gardens Yellow Book Gardens

My Garden Journal 2019 – July

We move into the second half of the year with this visit to my 2019 garden journal, where we shall see what the garden has to offer and take a look at some of our gardening tasks for the month.

The first double page spread featured borders in our front garden, beginning with a follow up look at the New Garden, where I wrote, “July began hot and humid so during the first week gardening wasn’t easy. Every job was tiring, but there is lots to look at. Let us visit “The New Garden” to see how it has developed over the last 4 weeks or so.”

“Three different Agastache, including A. ‘Kudos Yellow’ and A. ‘Kudos Gold’ and an unknown blue flowered cultivar.”

“Step across the grass from “The New Border” and we come to one of our two “Doughnuts”. This one comes in two halves, an airy meadow of Dianthus and Briza backs onto our sun-loving ferns and euphorbias.”

“Dianthus carthusianorum”                  “Briza and Dianthus”

Festuca glauca flower buds.”

“Dianthus cruentus”                    “Rosa Prince’s Trust and R. Enchantress”

Foxgloves feature on the next page and opposite we look at the “Layby Border”.

“This year is definitely the year of the foxglove, and throughout June and into the middle of July Digitalis rule the border roosts.”

“Digitalis fontanesii”                                                            “Digitalis grandiflora”

“Digitalis lutea”

 

Across the drive we can have a look at how the “Layby Garden” is coming on.”

 

The next double page spread deals with some of our Achilleas, of which we grow many as we love them as much as the wildlife does, especially bees, butterflies and hoverflies.

I wrote, “Last year we decided to develop a section of our Beth Chatto Border, which is our gravel garden planted with grasses and herbaceous perennials which never need watering. We added a river of Achilleas.”

 

On the next page I concentrate on pink and white flowered Achilleas where I wrote, Variations on a theme, “Pink to White”, caused by so many self-seeded natural crosses made by bees and their colleagues. Thank you bees!”

Turning over to the next double page spread, We look at the perennials in the Shrub Border and then some of our jobs for July.

“Staying in the front garden it is noticeable how the perennials towards the front of the Shrub Border are giving extra colour.”

 

“July is a busy month, but this year it is extra busy as winds and frequent heavy showers mean lots of tying up.” 

“Ready to topiarise the box clouds”

“Low level and high level pruning.”

 “Deadheading climbing and rambling roses.”

Eryngiums or sea hollies feature next.

I wrote, “Mid-summer is when our Sea Hollies, Eryngiums, are at their best, their blue and silver stems, bracts and flowers take on their metallic tints.”

 

The first set of photos are of E.bourgattii ‘Picos Blue’

The next four photos are of E. Jade Frost.

The four photos below are of E. ‘Neptune’s Gold’ with its bright green foliage and metallic blue flower heads.

“Eryngiums add so much to the garden in virtually every month. Amazingly textured, coloured and sometimes variegated foliage plus metallic flowers and bracts.” 

These are exciting plants to finish off my entries into my Garden Journal 2019 for the month of July.

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bird watching birds garden photography garden ponds garden pools garden wildlife gardening gardens hardy perennials meadows poppies

My Garden Journal – July

I can’t believe we are in the second half of the year but as this is the post about my garden journal in July then we most certainly are!

I began my July journal entry with a reference to the weather, the obsession of the British especially gardeners. “The month of July burst in with a heatwave. Some plants objected by wilting but flower colours were enriched in the sunlight. Lilies and Clematis joined the colour pallette provided by June’s Roses and Geraniums.”

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Our Oriental Lilies were the best we have ever had this July and we have been growing them for many years. We grow them in big pots so that we can simply drop them in where and when they are needed to add splashes of dramatic colour. Enjoy my little gallery of Lily photos. Just click on the first photo and then use the arrows.

I then wrote about our July pond dipping adventure, “A pond dip early in the month showed young newts still present in abundance alongside nymphs of Dragons and Damsels. This little creature (painting below) caught my eye. At just over a centimetre in length the Water Lice, or Isopoda, is the wet equivalent of the more common Wood Lice. They cannot swim but simply scramble around devouring detritus and decaying plant material. They are common prey of the larvae of Damsels and Dragons.”

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I moved on then from pondlife to birdlife and looked at two of the most beautiful birds that visit our garden. “We have been visited by two of our most colourful birds over the last few weeks, Bullfinches and Redstarts.” The Redstart made a fleeting visit on our last open day at our garden when it was full of visitors, which seemed a bit brazen for a normally shy woodland bird.

 

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Agapanthus featured next in my July garden journal as our collection in our Beth Chatto garden were budding up nicely promising a beautiful display before too long. We have been building up our collection of favourite Agapanthus for a few years now and it is now coming along well. “Our collection of Agapanthus in our Beth Chatto Garden is slowly getting more colourful as flower buds burst. Surely these are the slowest of buds to become flowers!”

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To see some of our Agapanthus up close, some still in tight buds some opening up, please enjoy the little Agapanthus gallery below. As usual click on the first picture and use the arrows to move through. Next month promises to be a month of Agapanthus flowers rather then buds. Can’t wait!

My next double page is about the weather and our min-meadows.

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My journal continues, “This year the heat of the early part of July was not set to continue for us in Shropshire. Dark grey masses of clouds took over from clear blue skies.”

Mighty Mini-Meadow is the title of the next page of my journal which features photos of the little but very floriferous meadow we sowed in early May in vegetable bags. The seeds germinated so well that we have been treated to a mass of blooms reminiscent of a summer meadow from the days before intensive agriculture changed our countryside into huge barren fields of monoculture. It sits beneath my collection of antique garden tools. These native wildlflowers attract insects as if drawn in by distant memories, bees, hoverflies and butterflies.

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What an honour Mother Nature bestowed on us this month! This is how the next page of my journal begins. It is all about a special time in our garden, a moment we will never forget.

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“Early one morning we noticed that a Dragon Fly larva had crawled from our pond, across the decking and up the door of our summerhouse. The green colour of the door must have fooled it into thinking it was tall rushes. Once in place the back of the larva opened up and a Dragonfly very slowly emerged. At first it was wingless but as warmth increased they popped out looking as if they were made of plastic. The creature shivered itself into life and the sun helped pump life and rigidity into its wings. An hour later we watched an adult Dragonfly off.”

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I illustrated this amazing spectacle with a simple i-pad drawing and a photo of the head of the Dragonfly gripping the empty shell of its former self.

 

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So with this amazing experience my journal closed up for July and will soon re-open for August.