An Evening Air … Wallflowers in The Fragrant Garden

wallflowers

Sometimes the best part of the day is early morning before the weather has decided what it is going to do.  Other times the evening has a special quality all of its own.  The sun still shines till 8 or 9 o’clock but there isn’t the glare that you get during the day – the light is softer somehow; birds are still singing and taking dust baths in the chippings at the side of the road; bees are still buzzing round making their last pollen collection and butterflies stop and look around wondering where they are going to make their bed for the night. 

A perfect time for  a stroll or to wander round the garden picking flowers for a posy for the house or taking photographs when the shadows are shorter.

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“The pale stars were sliding into their places.  The whispering of the leaves was almost hushed.  All about them it was still and shadowy and sweet.  It was that wonderful moment when, for lack of a visible horizon, the not yet darkened world seems infinitely greater – a moment when anything can happen, anything be believed in.” ~ Olivia Howard Dunbar”

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The garden is dappled with sunlight and shadow shining through leaf and petal. One particular plant catches my eye, and as I breathe in I smell its perfume, and smile. The ubiquitous wallflower – a flower that seems to have gone out of fashion, but one that I couldn’t do without in my cottage garden.  They are in their full glory right now, in so many different colours, with their fragrance floating gently on the evening air.  They outlast the tulips that they were planted with and keep the borders bright and cheery.

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I love to watch the fine mist of the night come on, The windows and the stars illumined, one by one, The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily, And the moon rise and turn them silver.  I shall see The springs, the summers, and the autumns slowly pass; And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass, I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight, And build me stately palaces by candlelight.” ~ Charles Baudelaire”

So maybe I am just an old-fashioned kind of woman who clings on to the flowers that have been used in gardens for generations – shunning new-fangled hybrids, sticking to what I know is right for my garden and me – simple country garden plants that I love.

Caution:  My email has been hacked – so if you receive a request for money and an email saying that I am stuck in France do not respond.  As a consequence of this  all my emails and contacts have been stolen – but, for now, the hacker has been stopped and am am hopeful of retreiving everything that has been lost.

And to finish this is a collage of some of things in flower in the garden at the moment.

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Elaine

Comments

  1. I enjoyed this post (well, I enjoy all of yours) because it is filled with sunlight, something that seems to be missing here on the prairie here lately. According to my iPhone weather app, cloudy with a chance of rain from 11 AM on. And I had planned on working outside. You have an abundance of lovely flowers in your garden. Here we are waiting on iris and peonies. They have recovered from the snow and the cold, but I am sure they (as I ) really want some hot sunshine. The little ground covers are blooming and the migrating warblers are in the trees, so it really is spring. Enjoy your sunshine.

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    1. Thank you Ann. It won't be long before your garden is in full bloom like mine. At last here there is warmth in the sun - for now the cold wind has abated and yes, it really does feel like spring.

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  2. Ah so you are at home, and not stuck in France...lol. I just got one this morning. I hope that you get it all worked out and that stupid person kicked out of your email.

    Love the wallflowers...I always had Erysium Bowles Mauve...huge plant that bloomed year round in White Rocks milder climate. I have the feeling it didn't make it this year...nothing there in that spot.

    Jen

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    1. Thanks Jen - yes it has all been sorted - I still haven't got my emails back but they are working on it. I have the Bowles Mauve too - mine is now huge and is non-stop flowering all year round - I need to take cuttings from it though as it is starting to get woody - shame about yours though.

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  3. Lovely, lovely photos! I'll only send money if you are stuck in JAIL in France. Lol.

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    1. Thank you Diane. Nice to see you back on the blogging scene after your long break.

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  4. I love the colourful wallflowers. Ours are all the darker orangy brown ones but they do look lovely in the front garden. I love the old flowers that used to be in my grandma's garden - shamrock, londen pride, hollyhocks, peonies and snapdragons as well as wall flowers. Oh, what a nuisance to have your e-mails hacked glad to hear that you have been able to block him or her:)

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    1. or even London Pride:)

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    2. Nice to hear someone else has wallflowers - I too love and have all the flowers you mention, except London Pride - you don't see it for sale in garden centres much - I know my Dad had it in our garden at home - I'll have to see if I can find some.

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  5. Well, I am glad to hear you aren't stuck in France! I did get that email, but was suspicious as it did began in a form letter way. I had something similar happen to me last year. It pays to change your password frequently!
    Wallflowers are not very common here for some reason. I often here Monty Don speak of them on Gardeners World. Otherwise they would be unfamiliar to me. I love your photographs particularly the last one with the peach wallflowers.

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    1. Yes, being hacked is a pain - I wonder if these people realise just how much trouble they cause. As to the wallflowers - no one ever seems to mention them on their blogs - they just don't seem to be very popular but they are a mainstay in my garden in Spring - a bridge between the bulbs and the start of the summer flowers. The peachy-pink one is my favourite too.

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  6. Wallflowers are a new plant for my garden this year - I usually just grow the perennial variety. Their scent is wonderful. May your hacker woes be sorted soon.

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    1. My hacker woes are sorted thanks - till the next time! I am sure you will fall in love with your wallflowers and plant them every year - they do smell divine.

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  7. I'm sorry to read of your nasty intruder as in hacker. Damn nuisance.
    I love the old flowers too... I think they hold a special spot in our hearts. Hollyhocks and morning glories bring back memories of Summer.
    The wallflowers you have shared are the most beautiful colours. They would indeed make a perfect bouquet.
    Susan x

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    1. It is a nuisance Susan and quite stressful too. I'm knew you would like the old fashioned flowers - my hollyhocks are putting on plenty of growth - I look forward to their flower spikes every year - together with foxgloves - they suit my garden perfectly.

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  8. "maybe I am just an old-fashioned kind of woman who clings on to the flowers that have been used in gardens for generations" - we are kindred spirits, indeed. I adore old-world flowers but I've no Wallflowers in my garden here in California. In fact, I've not seen them growing here at all, come to think of it.

    Yours are so pretty in their rainbow of colors.

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    1. Nice to know we are on the same wave-length - maybe your hot, dry climate doesn't suit wallflowers - luckily they are perfect for ours.

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    2. It may be dry in most of California, but around the San Francisco area we get the benefit of cooler climes, thank goodness. The marine influence is strong here, which brings in the cold and foggy summer days.

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  9. I bought 100 wallflowers this year, one of those 'pay postage only' offers and it was one of the best purchases I've ever made. We should lead a Wallflower Revival campaign. The range of colours are stunning, a shock of colour here, a splash of colour there. HOORAH FOR THE MIGHTY WALLFLOWER!!

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    1. Wow - a hundred wallflowers - I don't think I would have room for that many but I bet they look wonderful en masse. Yes, a wallflower revival is definitely needed.

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  10. Your flowers are lovely and the perfume from the wallflowers is a treat to smell in the evenings, but sorry to learn that you have been hacked. It pays to have a really good 'password' which uses lower case, upper case and number too.

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    1. Thank you Rosemary. I have changed my password AGAIN but maybe you are right - and it isn't complicated enough - I have a little notebook full of changed passwords - I can't keep up!

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  11. Elaine - such beautiful flowers. I have never grown the wallflower before. For some reason they have just never reached my garden - going to do something about that because they are lovely. What a name for such a beautiful flower. I so enjoy seeing your garden. Like you the cottage style is my favorite. I stick with the old types - not into the hybrids. They are very pretty but just not my style for our rural setting. Take care and have a great day.

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    1. Dear Debbie,

      I am sure you must be able to get them in your part of the world. They are very easy to grow from seed - mostly they are treated as an annual as they go rather woody after one season, but they do put on a lovely show whilst they are around. I agree that we should plant what suits our surroundings.
      Enjoy the rest of the week and have a lovely restful weekend.
      Elaine

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  12. I so enjoyed seeing all of the blooms you have bursting through Elaine!!! So much amazing color!!! And we need more people like you who enjoy the things of the past as it keeps the world from spinning to far forward. Wishing you many more magical moments in your beautiful space this week! And sorry to hear about the hacking....you take care...Nicole xo

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    1. Thank you Nicole.
      As you may have noticed my garden isn't at all sophisticated - I just enjoy the common garden plants that need no fuss and spread themselves around - it saves me a lot of bother! I do splash out occasionally if something catches my eye - don't we all!

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  13. My wife's bank card details were 'hacked' recently. The little monkey was using her card to pay all his small bills; strange amounts like £12.56 or £45.72 etc. He'd only managed to take less that £1,000 before she noticed, and thankfully all was resolved. I suppose by spending small amounts he'd hoped no-one would notice. Moral: Check your statements!

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    1. That happened to me once - my wallet was stolen and the first thing the thieves bought was a rabbit hutch of all things. Luckily I reported the theft quickly and they didn't get the chance to use my card more than once.

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  14. Yes, I too received one of the emails from your hacker, but I knew that it wasn't from you. You wouldn't address me simply as "Hi" would you?
    I love what you have written about the light. Evening light at this time of year is "mellow", not harsh. You have a fine range of colours in your Wallflowers too.

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    1. They seem to have down the whole of my list of contacts - they seem very determined! Thank you for your kind comment - I do love all the different colours they come in - when you plant them out you don't know what is going to turn up.

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  15. I love wallflowers Elaine, they remind me of my father. At this time of year his garden would be full of them.
    They do have the most wonderful scent. My Grandmother also grew them in her cottage garden.
    I will always love wallflowers.................they will return to gardens, everything goes in circles:)

    Some beautiful words in your post today.......................love your teacup :)

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    1. Hello Cheryl
      Nice to know that I am in the good company of your father and grandmother - I have always grown wallflowers in this garden - they kind of fit in with my type of planting and the overall look of chaos!
      Thanks for your kind comment - I try my best. The tea cup and teapot are a handmade find from a charity shop!

      We had a lovely day yesterday so I spent a few hours in the garden - and pouring rain today - and catching up on those household chores that have been neglected whilst the sun was out.

      Have a good weekend.
      Elaine

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  16. Elaine,

    The last hour of daylight, especially if the sun is shining, is the best part of the day for being outside, contemplating nature and taking photographs. As for so-called "old-fashioned flowers", long may they last.

    As for those nasty little hackers - when I read your warning notice I laughed out loud. Not as the disruption and inconvenience (for the want of a better word) to your day and email but at the very idea that I would have the 'readies' to bail you out of your difficulties in France. What super optimists these people are, I can only think that by casting their net as wide as possible they will catch something.

    A very, very nasty virus for example. And not one on their computer.

    Enough of those dark thoughts.

    Ms Soup.

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    1. I agree, when the heat has gone out of the sun and it slowly lowers into the horizon - pure magic - my favourite part of the day.

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  17. What lovely colours in the garden! The flowers on the white background are very eye catching.
    Those email scams are a horrible thing and it seems many people are caught out by them. It would be great if more of those scammers could be prosecuted.

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    1. The wallflowers have been especially good this year - I wish I had planted more now.

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  18. Enjoyed this wallflower post very much because I love them. My grandparents always had wallflowers against the wall in their frontyard. As I always remembered this as very beautiful, I have wallflowers against the wall on the front of our house too, already for as long as we live here. As they are biennials, I sow sometimes new ones, they also sow themselves or remain for more years. I admired your lovely color palette, you have a wonderful mixture of colours. At this moment I have only yellows and browns.
    I also have to say I am fond of poems of Charles Beaudelaire, I have his book ´Les fleurs du mal´, nice but French is more difficult to read. These wonderful words in English I´m going to copy if you don´t mind, I love them.
    Wish you a wonderful day!

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    1. I agree I have had a lovely mix of colours - you never quite know what you are going to get when you buy a mixed pack - I shall definitely buy them again next year - the more the merrier as far as I am concerned.

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  19. Lovely words and pictures. I hadn't realised wallflowers came in such a range of colours these days.
    If I'm not mistaken, when I was a kid people planted wallflowers first in their borders and then when they went over they were pulled up and thrown away and replaced by snapdragons?
    Something to do with being biennials?
    Lovely and velvety, anyway :)

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    1. Thanks Pat. Yes, they are biennials but if you are lucky and they don't get too woody they last even longer but I usually pull them out to make way for other plants. Possibly snapdragons!

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  20. Fabulous wallflowers Elaine. I could almost smell that warm spicy scent from here. Did you grow them from seed? If so I love to know where you get them from as they are such an attractive range of colours. I did not grow/buy any last year and am missing their presence. How annoying to have your email account hacked. You have my sympathy. It happened to our allotment society email account last year which I manage costing me both time and rage. Your concluding words bring that old song 'In An English Country Garden' to mind :)

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    1. Thanks Anna. No this year I bought plants from Homebase - they were really healthy strong plants and as I only wanted a dozen or so it seemed the best option. Sorry to hear the same thing happened to your allotment society - these people can't realise the trouble they put people too.

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  21. Your wallflowers have such a lovely colour range - which variety are they?

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    1. No variety on the label Sue - just a mixed pack - and yes, they are a lovely colour range - as I mentioned to Anna above they were from Homebase.

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  22. A lovely post and wonderful pictures. I generally prefer traditional flowers to modern hybrids.
    Sorry to read that you've had email problems and hope that it gets sorted soon. Flighty xx

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    1. You can't beat good old fashioned flowers in my mind - such good value for money too. Thanks Flighty - the problems have been sorted and BT, bless 'em managed to retrieve everything that was lost.

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  23. I second your love for wallflowers, you can't beat their scent on a warm evening, it's magical! I ignore flower trends too, if I like it it stays! Your posy and Olivia's quote are lovely, and I must say your teapot and teacup are to die for!!!xxx

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    1. I agree, I know what I like and what suits my garden and stick to it - although some mistakes have occurred along the way - I am like everyone else and get tempted when I go to garden centres but do try to keep my hands in my pockets and my purse shut tight - not always successfully.

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  24. Sorry to hear you've had email troubles - hope it's sorted soon.

    Early morning is a great time of day ... but early evening too can be a special time!

    Lovely photo's your wallflowers are magnificent

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan - I love a warm, still evening when it has cooled down after the heat of the day - going round the garden with a watering can is one of life's simple pleasures.

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  25. I did a double-take when I saw your blog heading, because my very new blog is called Rosie's Ramblings! But I'm so glad to find this wallflower post as I definitely will be supporting your "Bring Back the Wallflower" cause. They are extremely special to me as my late husband planted lots in our front garden and I wasn't hugely impressed as there were no flowers. Sadly, he died that winter but you can imagine how special those flowers were when they bloomed in all their glory the following year. The glorious scent takes me straight back to that wonderful surprise, his special present to me. And - I covet that lovely teapot and cup; how could anyone bear to part with it?

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  26. Thank you for coming to visit - and leaving that lovely story about your husband's planting wallflowers. They do smell gorgeous don't they. I was lucky to find the teapot etc. and glad that I snapped it up before anyone else could get their hands on it.

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  27. Your beautiful wallflowers have me on a search for hot pink ones...I've looked everywhere, but alas none to be found, LOL.

    Jen

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    1. I've got a feeling from the comments I have received that they are peculiar to the UK - if you like, when they have gone to seed I could send some over to you to try - and see if they will grow. What do you think?

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    1. Your words and the wonderful photos are a highlight of my (snowy) evening. Thank you for the colors and the textures of spring.

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    2. Thanks Barb - glad I brightened your snowy evening - spring is gradually turning to late spring now - and you still have yours to come.

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  29. I adore wall flowers! And loathe hackers ... I got the email too.

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    1. How can anyone fail to love them. Hackers are a blooming nuisance causing all kinds of strife - it took a week to retrieve my emails on the iPad.

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  30. Those wallflowers must smell so good. The beginning and end of the day are the best times of the day for me too. Sarah x

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  31. They have been very good this year but are starting to fade now and getting swamped by the other plants that surround them - hopefully they will seed and give a lovely show again next year.

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