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the summer switchover …

 

First it’s the wardrobe … putting away the heavy winter clothes … and bringing the summer ones out of storage.  Checking to see if everything still fits after eating heartily over winter … luckily they still do.  Saying hello to old favourites that will give me another years’ wear … making mental lists of replacements needed.

purple sprouting broccoli flowers left for the bees

Then comes the garden switchover … pulling out the last of the spring flowers to make way for the summer ones that have been waiting in pots for the right planting time.  With such a glorious week of weather … and knowing that rain was on its way … I have been working like a demon to get as much planted out as I could.  Going to bed exhausted each evening … a nice kind of tired … with a feeling of something achieved.

bees love borage

Trundling up and down the garden path with trugs full of compost to revitalise the garden beds … heavy work … I feel just a little muscle-bound … frequent cups of tea were needed sitting in the shade … to keep me going.  I almost finished  … just a batch of Zinnias to plant out … but I have run out of space.  It rained heavily overnight … flattening lots of plants … and watering the newly planted … saving me another hosepipe session. 

california poppies

As I am writing this it has started to pour with rain … thunder rumbles around the sky … lightening flashes … and I am thinking that I may have been premature with the wardrobe switchover … not exactly shorts weather.  Personally … I am glad of a rest day … I need to replenish my energy before getting back out there to  bring some order to the borders that are running riot … who said gardening was easy … not me … it’s darned hard work. 

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purple sensation alliums

kolwitzia

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“You're not a gardener, are you? So perhaps you don't know that once a garden is established, much of good gardening is about removal rather than planting, honing what you have to produce a pleasing effect, sacrificing the particular for the good of the whole. Gardening is a creative pastime, but the result is always a work in progress; unlike a painting or a piece of music a garden is never fixed in time. ("In The Garden")”
Rosalie Parker

Comments

  1. I know what you mean about the "nice kind of tired" after feeling accomplished. It's a nice feeling isn't' it? Your garden looks magnificent as always, Elaine.

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    1. Thank you Keith - I tend to keep going till I drop - and yes, by the time the evening comes I feel a rest is well deserved.

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  2. Your garden is so pretty. I do love your alliums.....I appear to have lost most of mine to the winter wet. I do have two blooming though :)

    It is such a pleasant tired, isn't it? Gardening is wonderful therapy in so many ways.

    Like you I feel I have been a little premature with my planting........time will tell.......

    BTW love the first image with that gorgeous bumble:)

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    1. I lost some Alliums over winter too I will buy some more for next year I love to see their heads bobbing about throughout the garden. I agree about gardening as therapy - my mind clears of everything but the task in hand.

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  3. A lovely colourful selection of flowers to see in summer, which hopefully will be a good long one. Flighty xx

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    1. I hope so Flighty - I am just praying that the slugs and snails leave the newly planted things alone - they seem so small and vulnerable right now.

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  4. Hi Elaine, I truly enjoyed reading your beautiful post and looking at your equally beautiful flowers! Have you ever considered to write a book! Trust me you really do write beautifully... and its always a treat to read all your posts!
    Its raining lots here today too... :( Hope it will stop for the bank holiday weekend!
    Hugs, Debbie

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    1. Thanks Debbie - very kind of you to say so. I have been over to your recent posts but couldn't find anywhere to comment.

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  5. trying to work out if the new purchase was responsible for these nice pics

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    1. No David, these were all taken with my old point-and-shoot - husband is still working on the ins-and-outs of the new camera.

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  6. Your garden is as good as an artists palette... and takes longer to make I warrant, yours is beautiful , though I think you may be dragging some of those warm clothes back out of storage ha ha xx
    Hugs Lynn xxx

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment. I think you're right about the warm clothes it's blooming cold this evening.

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  7. That is so true Elaine. A gardener's work is never done:-) I've been clearing away all the bluebell foliage and masses of violets from my little woodland garden this week. Working gradually and not overdoing it with my back. You will sleep soundly tonight ...

    Jeanne
    x

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    1. Bluebells are lovely when in flower but look so messy after I can't usually wait to get rid of them. Working in the garden always helps me sleep soundly and so far my back isn't giving me any trouble - little by little is the answer isn't it.

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  8. The winter clothes will be back out today! I've been taking photos of very similar things.

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    1. There's so much going on in the garden it's hard to know what to photograph. I have already put on a cardigan and the skirt is coming off and jeans back on!

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  9. Oh Elaine that "darned hard work" has definitely paid off as your garden looks stunning and a lovely feeling at the end of the day. We had a black, thundery afternoon here but suddenly the sun is shining again and everything in the garden is rosy again.
    Patricia x

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    1. It absolutely chucked it down - although the garden needed rain it has flattened a lot of stuff - hopefully it will all bounce back once it has dried out a bit.

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  10. Is there ever a point at which the garden is just perfect, when the balance between proportion and a pleasing jumble of colour is just right? If there is then it must be very fleeting..

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  11. I leave the heaving of the compost to the other half and the cutting of the box balls etc too. I concentrate on the pots which are now almost done.
    Lovely variegated Weigela you have.

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    1. The Weigela is from a cutting I took - whenever it comes into flower I always get a frisson of pride - all that from a 2" cutting.

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  12. Oh, Elaine, your garden work is paying off!! Such beautiful blooms indeed! I love your alliums! I lost a lot of plants this yr. The butterfly bushes, alliums, roses, and hydrangeas seemed to take a hard hit here. I should have added more mulch in the Fall. Your garden is a dream with so many beautiful plant combos--you really have an eye for it.
    Thanks for visiting my blog! :) Erin

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    1. I usually lose my dahlia tubers so always buy more - this year I didn't lose any (due to our mild winter) so now I have twice as many dahlias than I actually need! Hey ho!.

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  13. A client recently said to me that once a garden was planted it pretty much looked after itself, didn't it? I had to explain that that wasn't really the case but I'm not sure he believed me. Oh well, he'll find out soon enough. Dave

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    1. If it did look after itself you'd be out of work and I wouldn't know what to do with myself.

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  14. We were just pounded by heavy rains as well which left some of my plants a bit battered plus some water in the house. I hear you on the switch over! Not only have I been carefully monitoring the weather here to begin with my annuals but I have been protecting some of my more delicate perennials. Your garden and the work you put into your space show friend! The bold colors and combinations you have in your garden are a feast for the eyes! I do so enjoy coming over for a visit...such beauty here as always!!! A LOVELY weekend to you!! Nicole xoxo

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    1. I sometimes moan about how much work is involved in keeping the garden looking good - but you are right, it is worth it in the end. Enjoy your weekend too Nicole.

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  15. Elaine your garden is looking fantastic with such a beautiful collection of plants.It is hard worth but well worth it and as you have mentioned it never stands still or remains the same. Sarah x

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    1. Thank you Sarah. I agree the garden changes practically every day - I love the fact that there is always something different to look at when I wander round.

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  16. I know exactly how you feel, I have been the same....planting out in the burning sun and then watching the thunder glad of an excuse to stop....but my words are not like yours, you say it so poetically.
    I love the bees and it's lovely to see everything blooming. That last plant is so pretty, what is it?xxx

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  17. Thanks Snowbird - the last picture is of a Dahlia gorgeous magenta flower with deep bronze leaves - flowering so early too - a new one for my collection.

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  18. Love your garden - I have the same variegated weigela just in front of my lounge but right now it is just leaves. When I bought the property the weigela was in a sorry state but I pruned it right back and it is flourishing.

    We are having a wonderful autumn but rain is forecast. I am about to put my summer clothes away and get the winter ones out. Hopefully, I will get some time in the garden to get it ready for winter.

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    1. Strange that we are doing the complete opposite - can't quite get my head round that. My Weigela is looking lovely right now it was grown from a cutting.

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  19. I envy you your garden and only wish I could have one but no such luck living in an apartment. Why is it that sit down work doesn't make you the good tired? :)

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    1. I guess it's the physical bit that does it - brain-work ends up with a different kind of tired.

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  20. A time of transition ~ Your garden is showing such a vibrant variety of loveliness ~ your caring attention is producing fantastic results.

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    1. Thanks Glo - I still have a lot more caring attention to give it yet - but the rain has put a stop to it.

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  21. With flowers I'm useless; with vegetables OK. That Weigela is beautiful; I have several, but not that one.

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    1. I don't agree - from what I have seen of your garden it is doing just fine.

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  22. You've certainly earned each and every "nice kind of tired." Look at all of that abundance! The bees look pretty sated as well :-)

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    1. There have been a lot of bees about in the sunshine - not so many in the rain that we are having at the moment - but there are certainly plenty of flowers for them at the moment.

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  23. Well, all your hard work in the garden has certainly been worthwhile - you have created a haven of peace and beauty. I'm sure, from reading your previouse posts, that you take time out occasionally to sit outside and enjoy it too. Have a lovely weekend:)

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    1. Once I have all the major jobs completed - being lazy is top of my agenda Rosie.

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  24. My kitchen counter is stacked with plants waiting to be planted. But we have had wind and cold and rain. Next week, maybe? Your garde looks so,pretty with such a wonderful variety of plants.

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    1. Hope your weather changes for the better soon Ann - we don't want you getting pot-bound!

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  25. My GP keeps telling me I should take up gardening now I'm in my early 50s, she reckons if folk start a good ten years before retirement that their hobby will keep them properly fit into old age. The only snag is that we don't have much of a garden!

    Did you experience those tremendous thunderstorms? I do hope not too many of your plants have been flattened if you did.

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    1. Not sure whether gardening keeps you fit exactly but it does keep you active - not sure what I would do without the garden to be honest - it's the only exercise I am interested in - walking isn't as much fun as it used to be when we kept dogs. Yes we did have the thunderstorms and yes it did a good job of flattening everything.

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  26. Elaine your garden looks beautiful. I expect most of our gardens will be looking a bit worse for the rain we have had over the last couple of days. I have noticed the slugs and snails are out in force so I am having to be extra vigilant with my precious plants.They have all but stripped my beautiful pineapple broom at the front of the house, what makes one plant more tasty to eat than another I ask myself? Enjoy your weekend.X

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    1. You are right about the garden looking worse for wear - just walking round after it had stopped raining and my trousers were soaked through. I have had to replant the broccoli three times because of the darned slugs and snails and that was with using slug pellets too.

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  27. Everything everywhere seems more advanced than here. It's almost June but it doesn't feel like it. And this is the south coast - where it's supposed to be hot and verdant - and things. Borage flowers are the best blue blue can be.

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  28. The temperature has dropped rapidly over the last couple of days but the garden is certainly verdant. I agree about Borage flowers such a beautiful colour.

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  29. I always worry about seedlings surviving strong storms. I finally planted my zinnias out yesterday and will finish today. But a few are just now popping up and will be safe under the grow lights if it storms next week. Your garden looks so lush! Is that a variegated weigela?

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  30. Me too, after the last storm I went straight out to check everything - so far, so good. Still haven't planted out the Zinnias it is too wet, but I'm sure it won't hurt them to wait just a little longer. Yes, it is a variegated weigela, it is from a cutting of someone's bush that I nipped off when passing by - and it grew well, I don't take many cuttings these days as I really don't have any space to spare.

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  31. I'm still in and out of clothes I was wearing months ago, the weather is so variable! I do love falling in to bed exhausted from a productive bout of gardening. I've barely started gardening here and yet I still spend a lot of time editing and removing!

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    1. I have learned my lesson from letting plants do their own thing - it only makes for a bigger job in the end.

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  32. "Ne'er cast a clout till May be out!" It was warm last week though. Your flowers are beautiful, Elaine

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    1. I know I know but it was blooming hot and I am ever hopeful.

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  33. darned hard work but the rewards are priceless.

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  34. Gardening is for optimists, don't you think? Nothing is constant but it's always going to get better!

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  35. We had such a late spring, but summer seems to be rushing to make an entrance. Monday it was 28 degrees and humid. The arrival of mosquitoes were one of the first signs of a shift. Like you, I have been working like a fiend. There have been moments when I questioned the sanity of making such a large garden!

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  36. It always amazes me how quickly your weather changes for the better. I should imagine you are playing catch up all the time - maybe downsizing the garden is on the cards for the future?

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