Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August flowers

Proof that we're about a month behind where we should be at this time of year: my garden has suddenly, spectacularly burst into flower. Even though it's August, when everything's usually looking a little saggy and tired and definitely more green and brown than colourful.

This is either what my borders should be looking like in midsummer, were I a properly organised gardener giving due consideration to year-round colour: or it's what my borders would have looked like in July, had it been a normal summer.

Oh hell, I don't care, I'm just enjoying it for what it is. For once I am spoiled for choice as to beautiful things to photograph for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted as always by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. And I couldn't be happier.
Pumpkin 'Atlantic Giant' in the tropical edibles border: its huge plate-like leaves are looking gorgeous snaking around the feet of some ruched near-black Cavolo Nero kale. I'm experimenting with edible planting with an exotic feel and this one is a real winner.

Malva moschata var alba

The brilliantly-coloured if rather thuggish daylilies are also a feature of the tropical edibles border: they don't have a variety as I inherited them (and have been digging out great clumps of them where they've invaded neighbouring territory ever since). I am forever weighing up the pros and cons of getting rid of them altogether: at the moment, when they're looking this lovely, they're for keeping I think. 

Garlic chives in full flower

Another thug with no name which I harden my heart against while it's just a big, ugly, strappy clump of leaves shouldering everything around it into oblivion: then it flowers and I lose the will to take action yet again. I love crocosmias but my goodness they're difficult to live with.

Nemesia which survived the winter in the chimney pots flanking my patio and are flowering their socks off once again

Geraniums: or should I say pelargoniums. I'm very rude to them every year and call them my old-lady plants but they just flower on regardless and defy all my attempts to ruin them with blatant neglect.

I rather like this one, though. Nicked as a cutting from a client's garden many years ago and still going strong.

Rosa 'Wildeve'

The two-tone flowers of Nicotiana mutabilis: I overwintered mine this year in a frost-free greenhouse on advice from Chris Ireland-Jones at Avon Bulbs and it's worked a treat.

Geranium pyrenaicum 'Bill Wallis' coming back for a second charming flowering: it's never really out of flower, actually, and is one of my desert-island plants I wouldn't be without

Cichorium intybus: otherwise known as chicory. I first saw chicory flowers on the Hooksgreen Herbs stand at one of the shows a few years ago and fell in love with it: now I've planted chicory all through my herb garden and it looks just lovely.

Tropaeolum majus 'Ladybird' forming a gorgeous frothy pile in the salad garden

Also in the salad garden the dill has flowered like big yellow fireworks in one corner: you're not supposed to let them do this, as it means you can't use the leaves any more, but they do look spectacular

And a little further along the same row there's another froth, this time of coriander which has run to seed rather spectacularly all along one side. It's very unruly and flops right across the path but it does look lovely: and I'll be saving the seed for use in cooking and also of course to sow next year.


digging up the dirt said...

Hmm the orangey flower looks like Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora. I agree the flower is nice but a pain in the garden.

Wow I have never seen chicory before it is smashing. Looks lovely in your garden this month

The Constant Gardener said...

Yes - think you're right. Just the species, and totally rampant: I keep thinking I can restrict it to a little clump somewhere but it doesn't want to play.

And chicory is quite the most gorgeous flower ever: and it comes back year after year. Love it!

Esther Montgomery said...

I like crocosmia a lot. I look forward to it flowering. One of our cats has turned our clump into a nest. The leaves are flattened and mushy and brown. There is one flower. And our cat doesn't even lay eggs!

Kalantikan said...

Most of them are not familiar to me, because they are temperate plants. But that first one i am familiar with, because most cucurbits' flowers look the same, hahaha. Your flowers are beautiful and colorful.

HolleyGarden said...

I love the look of crocosmia, but I've heard it's not an easy plant for the garden. Your other blooms look quite charming. And I'm very impressed with the pumpkin bloom!

Su said...

Your garden is certainly in full bloom! I have that very same orange day lily and blogged about it this week too - I don't know it's name either as I inherited mine too :-)

The Constant Gardener said...

Esther: your cat obviously thinks it's a bird. Maybe I should encourage my cat to trash large areas of my crocosmia too - should keep it in check nicely...!

Kalantikan: always nice to hear from a different gardening tradition! Pumpkins are the same the world over, aren't they. I always think their flowers are very underrated - they're some of the showiest around.

Holleygarden: thank you. Not easy is one way to put it: downright badly behaved is another...

Su: bother. I thought you were going to put me out of my misery there. I have a feeling it's pretty close to the species too - mine is just indestructible.

Bernie H said...

So many fabulous blooms. You are indeed spoilt for choice. Love your Pelargoniums and that gorgeous double Daylily. The Malva is just stunning, and so is the Cichorium!

scottweberpdx said...

Glad you're swimming in blooms this month! I swear, if I ever have a larger property, pumpkins are #1 on the list of must-grow plants!

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