Garden moodboard: July

One of the nicest things about moving to a new house is discovering all the different flowers that appear across the course of a year.

Earlier in the Spring, the back garden was a riot of bright orange, pink and yellow rhododendrons, so I’ve been pleasantly surprised (that’s an understatement, actually, I’ve been really flipping delighted) to see that as the year has progressed, it’s developed into a more muted cottage garden affair.

This is a little snapshot of what’s going on out there right now:

July garden moodboard
Frothiness, pinks, blues and purples. Mmmmm, English summer

That lovely frothy white flower in the middle is colonising the edge of the pond, spilling out over the sides. It’s utterly good cheer-inducing to see it there.

The pink rose, I have to confess, is not from my garden, but is forming one of the boundaries of my front garden, spilling over from my neighbour’s side. I pruned it back earlier on this year, which seems to have resulted in a profusion of blooms on my side of the fence.

Another cornflower picture

I know I showed you my cornflowers in my last post as well, but really, how could anyone have too much of these beauties? I’ve under-planted my potted bay tree by the front door with a whole bunch of these. I say “under-planted” but the bay tree is still small, and these are now gadding about much higher up than it’s little round head.

There’s another pot of them out in the back garden, too, which I had grown as a post-wedding present for my sister, but I haven’t managed to give them to her in time and the blooms are almost over now. Next year, perhaps…

Sweet pea
Sweet, sweet, sweet pea

Also from the front garden, this glorious red and white sweet pea. I think I’ve planted them in a slightly too shaded spot, in all honesty, thinking they’d grow taller than they have, but they’re heavenly to look at, even though there aren’t quite as many flowers as I was expecting.

Verbena bonariensis
To bees, this photo is like crack…

One last one from the front garden, I planted five verbena bonariensis plants back last autumn and they are having an absolute riot out there now. They’ve grown really tall and are constantly covered in bees (that sentence reminds me of the Eddy Izzard beekeeper sketch, anyone else?) I think I’d be so bold as to say that they’re my favourite in the garden at the moment.

Blue flower
Anyone know what this is?

Out the back, the geraniums that I showed you last month are still going strong. They’ve taken over most of a flower bed down one side and look heavenly. They’ve been joined by lots and lots of this lovely delicate little purpley-blue flower. I don’t know what it is, but it reminds me a bit of the dreaded bindweed’s beautiful flowers. It’s not a climber, though, so I’m pretty sure it’s an intended flower…

Another unidentified plant is this pink one. I thought it was growing from the top of a euphorbia, but a quick google tells me I must be wrong…

Pink flower
Looks a bit like echinacea or a daisy, but I don’t think it is…

And I was really pleased to find a scraggly little lavender bush underneath one of the gigantic rhododendrons. It’s leggy and really too old, so I think I’ll need to replace it next year with a younger specimen, but it has bravely put out a few little flower stalks, nonetheless.

Lavender spike
A garden wouldn’t really be a garden without lavender, would it?

They’re stunning on their own, aren’t they? But even better all gathered together and stuck into a jam jar…

Flowers in a jam jar
Is there anything quite as jolly as a jam jar with a few flowers stuffed into it?
Verbena in a jam jar
Ah hello Mr Verbena, you hold your own nicely against those more blowsy blooms

I was reading somewhere recently (a Gardener’s World magazine, perhaps?) that people generally think they can grow flowers for a nice display in their borders and to provide cut flowers for the house, but that the sensible thing to do is have a specific cut flower section hidden away at the back of the garden somewhere, just to provide you with nice vases.

I understand the logic (if I cut all my sweet peas out of the front garden, it’s a bit futile having put them in such a prominent position) but, in fact, I think if you judiciously take a snip here, a chop there, from a few different plants, you have a much nicer display in a vase anyway, and the main mass of flowers is left to be admired in the garden as well.

There you have it, folks, a top gardening tip for the start of the week, ha ha. Jam jars at the ready…

As a brief, final, aside, I had also wanted to show you the last little flower from the solitary aphid-infested aquilegia I had out the back. I picked the flower, put it in the jam jar along with the others, and it disintegrated into a mass of floating petals. Luckily, I photographed it in situ outside last night as well, so here it is, for your viewing delectation.

I’m off outside to collect the seeds from this solitary aquilegia later on, in the hope I can produce a few more next year.

Joining in with Karin A

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