Friday Flowers . What's New in Bloom and a Garden Visit

Well, summer has finally arrived - we certainly waited long enough for it.  The downside is that I have an awful lot of container planting and now begins the arduous task of watering every evening.  As the main flowers in the garden at the moment are Aquilegia and Sweet Rocket my flower posy  consists mainly of these.

Chive flowers, sweet rocket, geranium, aquilegia and the leaves of Ladies Mantle
The borders are full of Sweet Rocket which self-seeds all over the place - I was quite ruthless with it last year and was worried that not much would re-appear, but it hasn't let me down and really adds to the cottage garden feel, along with the self-sown Aquilegias.
Sweet Rocket
Aquilegia hybrid
My raised veg beds are all edged with Chives - all the flowers have now fully opened


and I think they look a treat - don't you agree.
The cows in the back field decided to take their afternoon siesta all in a line rather than scattered - safety in numbers I supposes.

On Wednesday myself and a friend went on a garden visit to Stoke Albany Hall opened for the NGS (National Garden Scheme).  The garden was very grand as was the house and particularly the building that housed the horses.  Unfortunately the garden was rather behind because of the weather so there wasn't an awful lot in flower, but there were one or two nice areas.

Stoke Albany Hall
Stabling for the horses - I wouldn't mind moving in there myself!
Lots of boxwood edging for the veg garden and a very large fruit cage
The gravel garden was my favourite area - not sure what the yellow spikey flowers are
Very deep herbaceous borders which will look lovely in a couple of weeks time
A rose walk with no roses in flower - leading to a statue at the end
which would have been more noticeable if the door behind it had
been painted black rather than white.
My favourite plant in the garden (any ideas as to what it is) - it wasn't white
and it wasn't pale blue - it was almost a soft pale grey - lovely.
And finally, I have begun reading 'And the Mountains Echoed' by Khaled Hosseini borrowed from a friend.
Afganistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh.  Their father Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters.  To Abdullah, Pari - as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named - is everything.  More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection.

One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father,  They have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.


How are you enjoying this warm spell -
hands up if you have got your white legs out
and are wearing shorts that feel a little
bit tighter than they did last year !

Why not visit my other blog A Woman of the Soil and check out the guest post I
did for Tanya at Lovely Greens.

Comments

  1. I love your flower posy, it is so pretty..
    You have some lovely flowers in your garden. And I can just imagine how stunning those borders at Stoke Albany Hall will look.. wonderful :o)
    Julie x

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    1. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment - I definitely go for the cottage garden type of flowers and this is the best time of year to see them in their full glory.

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  2. I love the colours in your posy, one of the photos is very Monet!

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    1. Pale lilac and blue and my favourite colours for the garden as you can see. I am not sure Monet would agree but thanks anyway.

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  3. Gorgeous gardens, both yours and Stoke Albany hall.Yes, I did get my white legs out today, we have been to the seaside with my granddaughter for the day. It was lovely.

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    1. Thanks Anne - hope you had a great day at the seaside - just the weather for it.

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  4. I do love the posy; it's beautiful. I agree that Sweet Rocket and Aquilegias are perfect cottage garden flowers. Stoke Albany Hall gardens look interesting, although it's clear that anyone who's planning a trip to here or any other large gardens expecting roses at the moment will be disappointed. Perhaps in a couple of weeks everything will come out at once and will look amazing.

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    1. Thanks Wendy. The garden at Stoke Albany was perfectly manicured - there are four acres of it and only two gardeners, I think they do a sterling job.

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  5. Love the flowers - everything seems to have come away quickly over there.

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    1. It was a slow start to the season but everything is romping away now.

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  6. My hand is in the air..
    The gardens at Stoke Albany look delightful.

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    1. I definitely don't go out in public in shorts these days but as long as I don't scare the wildlife in the garden - shorts it is.

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  7. Love everything :D I've got some Sweet rocket seeds this year. I'll try to plant them for next year, seeing how beautiful your looks and the fact that it self seeds I love it even more. :)

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    1. I first planted Sweet Rocket when we came year twenty odd years ago and it is still going strong.

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  8. Haha, I put my hands up, I wear shorts these beautiful sunny days, but just at home in the garden. Your cottage garden bouquet looks so pretty, exactly the flowers I love. And.....cows in the backfield: great.
    Happy gardening and watering your pots with seedlings, like I have to do too.

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    1. That is the only downside of this lovely weather - having so many pots that need watering but I don't mind really as they look so lovely once they start flowering.

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  9. I think the yellow spikey flowers are King's Spear (Asphodeline lutea). I only came across it for the first time a few weeks ago in a client's garden. And sheesh - watering, tell me about it. As if I haven't got enough to do! Dave

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    1. Thanks for the flower identification - I have never come across the plant before and was quite taken by it.

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  10. You post is lovely. I would never have thought to use the rocket and chives but they look heavenly!

    How lovely to see your garden blooming, it looks delightful, as do those cows!

    Now....as for Stoke Albany Hall, well, I wouldn't mind moving in there either, it's gorgeous....and as for those gardens.....sighs....xxxx

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    1. It's a shame that there wasn't more to see but I expect a lot of people who are opening their gardens will be having the same problem with everything being a little bit late this year.

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  11. Oh yes, I love the chives. I love this post. Your color scheme is so soothing. Two friends were chiding one of our English gardener friends this week abut her choice of daffodils - always the pale colors, assuming that Brits prefer that to the garishly loud colors some might assume that Americans relish! Then today Robin Lane Fox states, " The flowers were amazingly bright and at odds with the ghostly palette of pale colors for 'civilised' gardens in the English style." Whatever the preference, I am just thrilled with the endless combinations we gardeners come up with - yours always hit the mark!

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    1. I don't regard my garden as civilised at all but it is a very feminine garden with nothing that really shouts at you. I reserve the stronger colours to pots and containers - I don't really like anything too jarring I must admit, the only exception would be my love of dahlias.

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  12. Ah,we have no sweet rocket this year (I *WAS* too ruthless at ripping it out last year - but will make up for it next) but I love the hordes of self-sown aquilegias.
    Your second mystery plant looks to be a Veronica, in fact very much like my Veronica gentianoides 'Tissington White' which is still giving me enormous pleasure, though many of the lower flowers have fluttered off now in the wind. I posted about it last month http://hillwards.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/surge/ - your description of its white/blue qualities is very apt.

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  13. I have just been over to your post - and it is the same. I had a feeling it may be a Veronica but the leaves didn't look quite right. Thanks - I will definitely be looking out for this as an addition to my garden.

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  14. Oh good, both the plants identified, glad about that as both are lovely. As is sweet rocket, which I am going to sow soon for next year, and hopefully every year thereafter, such a lovely plant.

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    1. I'm not particularly a plantswoman like you Janet but sometimes a plant stands out and that's when I realise my knowledge is lacking. One I did identify on my own was the Camassias which were planted in rough grass - when the gardener confirmed what they were I was dead chuffed.

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  15. A most enjoyable post and terrific photos.
    I had to smile at your remark about living in the stables. That deep border looks most impressive.
    I don't wear shorts so you won' t get to see my white legs and knobbly knees! Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty. The stables were terribly grand - much too good just for horses. The weather here has turned really cold so I won't be in a hurry to put my shorts back on I can assure you.

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  16. What a lovely post Elaine. I do so enjoy reading them.
    The grand old home..
    your garden is looking so so beautiful.. lots of hard work there Elaine.
    Thank you so much for following me on bloglovin.
    I will be trying to get my blog in order after this week.
    busy time at the moment.. was off to the algarve to my apartment.. but its started to rain.
    Elaine.. you have my e mail address..
    please send me your home address.. thank you.
    happy gardening..
    We were in short sleeves and costumes last week.. now its rain and a little cold.. dont know whats happening to the weather.
    I love your new look of your blog..
    kind regards val ... valrosa59blogspot.com ....vals Alentejo

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  17. Val - I'm not following you on bloglovin I follow you by email. You know that Google Friend Connect is still working - it's only Google Reader that is going - you can still put your favourite blogs on your sidebar. Thanks for your lovely comments they are much appreciated.

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  18. Wow those Aquilegia hybrids are beautioful Elaine! Very unique.

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    1. I agree they are lovely Keith but so hard to photograph.

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  19. Oh, your chives and aquilegias look wonderful, Elaine! I love them too :-)

    I have lots of Veronica in the garden, but I'd make space for the one you've shown. It's really lovely, such a pretty pale colour. Shame about the roses not being out yet. They really are late this year.

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    1. Thanks Paula. That Veronica really stood out for me unfortunately at the moment I don't have room for any more plants, more's the pity.

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  20. In this post and your last, the flowers are gorgeous. The columbine are blooming here, too. The lilacs have finished, the iris are on their way out, but the peonies and roses are just coming. Today it was 95+ with more heat on the way. Summer has finally arrived. You pictures are beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Ann. It's a shame that flowers don't last longer in the garden isn't it. One minute the garden is awash with colour then it goes quiet before the next batch come - sometimes I wish that you could just freeze a certain moment in time. Whew 95 deg. it is still on the coolish side here - summer can't quite make it's mind up.

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  21. Hi Elaine, we have much the same love of cottage flowers, my garden too is full of sweet rocket and aquilegias, they are so lovely and I've also been picking chives for posies. That looked a lovely garden and one you must go back to to see the roses in bloom. I've read a couple of Khalid Hosseini's books and love the writing. I'll be looking out for that one myself. Hope you enjoy it. Nice to catch up on your blog, your garden is looking good.

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    1. Hi Annie, I am enjoying the book but as it is a hardcover I tend to get arm ache reading it as it is so heavy, it doesn't detract from it being a good story though.

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  22. That border of chives in bloom is phenomenal! Beautiful indeed.

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    1. Every spring I dig up a clump and split them - they are such a rewarding plant to grow.

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  23. So pleased Hillward identified the Veronica - it looks lovely. Enjoyed your post.

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    1. Thanks Patricia - it really stood out in the border,gorgeous.

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  24. Hi Elaine, What a nice garden you visited. When hubby retires I hope we can make it over to England to see the gardens in early summer. I am sure I would go crazy taking pictures. The bouquet at the opening of the post is just lovely. Perhaps because of the weather you have been experiencing, our gardens are about at the same point in summer: I have lots of columbine, rocket and the chives are flowering. Glad that someone identified the pretty white flower. I am on my own this weekend and may use that as an excuse to sneak off to my favourite nursery. I may just have to look for it there. Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Hi Jennifer - I did find the Veronica when I visited a flower show but it wasn't a very good specimen so I'm still on the lookout for a healthy plant. Have a lovely weekend yourself.

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