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Garden Notes: Summer is Rolling On

Yesterday I did quite a lot of things while watering. Because of the hosepipe ban I have two watering cans that I alternate between. While one is filling up, I'm watering with the other. It takes longer to fill up a watering can than to empty it, so there are still quite a lot of short snippets of time during which I could stand and meditate on the rising water inside a green plastic container. Or I could do something useful.

Pink Border
The white Japanese anemoney is flowering. I'm still a huge sucker for those perfectly round little flowers. They just feel so right. There's only one flower for now but it really brightens up the gloom under the conifers in the Pink border. I staked it. The two pink anemones on the back side of the border have lots of buds too. I staked one of them.

The pink geraniums were done flowering, so I cut off all the flowering stems. That was about 75% of the plant so the area on the side is now quite empty. If I'm lucky, I'll get a second flush of flowers.

The white foxgloves seed heads behind the geraniums had opened and spread their precious load, so I ripped them out too.

The white campanula has a strange habit of forming new flower buds between the wilted, brown ex-flowers. That doesn't look particularly good at all. I cut it down, hoping it will bring forth new flowering branches. I'm not sure what to do with the big, empty space behind the geraniums. I prefer it when no soil is visible.

There used to be an oriental hellebore that took up most of the space there but it's not doing well at all. I've cut back most of it. Maybe it will recover in time. But for now I need to find something to put in that big, empty space. Something that can take the shade and will flower in white or pink. Right now I'm thinking cyclamen but it may be a bit early for those. We shall see what they have on offer at the garden centre next weekend.

The hardy fuchsia behind the geranium has suffered from being swamped by the geranium. Next year I need to stake the geranium so it doesn't take over the way it did this year. The fuchsia has only a few, rather scraggly stalks and no flower buds so far. I staked it. Hopefully it will take off now that it has less competition. The other fuchsia has flower buds but it's in a sunnier location.

The busy lizzie in the square pot is slightly disappointing. It does flower but there are more leaves than flowers. It probably needs a good dunking of tomato fertiliser to really get going.

Blue Border
Last week I gave the blue campanulas a short back and sides because they were done flowering too. This has made the bed look much tidier. There are some signs of the campanulas giving me another flush of flowers. I'd really welcome that because they are a lovely, blue presence winding through the other plants when they flower.

The aster at the front of the bed was looking slightly sorry for itself. Even after watering it looked like it may need staking next week.

The jasmine on the obelisk in the fond of the border has really taken off. There were shoots that were taller than the obelisk now. I was able to wind them back down around the obelisk. I would love for the vine to actually flower. The scent is supposed to be lovely and strong.

Speaking of scent, the white lilies are lovely right now. They probably won't last more than another week or so but their perfume is worth it. Even if they look rather awkward with their stakes towering high above the other plants in the border. I think some other tall plants would make them look less awkward.

The oriental poppy seed heads are starting to dry and shed their seeds. I think I can rip them out next weekend. By then they will have spread enough seeds around the border that I will get plenty more poppies next year. They are a delicate greyish mauve colour that works surprisingly well with the blues of the campanulas and purples of the heartsease.

The white cyclamen are flowering but they are being swamped by blue geraniums. I'm thinking of staking the geraniums.

The balloon flowers are doing very well. I really like their saturated purplish blue colour. I bought them at the same time as I got a number of Campanula carpatica. The campanulas responded to being transplanted by aborting all their flowers. But now they look set to flower again. They have lots of buds. I used to have no luck at all with anything Campanulaceae but now I'm turning into a campanula fiend.


I love your descriptions of all things garden! I can surely relate to your sudden proliferation of Campanulaceae; am currently experiencing the same phenomenon with Adenophora Confusa, which is planting itself everywhere!

If given a choice of volunteers, A. confusa is certainly one I wouldn't say no to. Lovely flower. Does it perform well in the garden too?
It thrives in this Zone 6 environment. I use it as a filler with the hollyhocks, to give volume at the base. I just cut them both back, so no picture is available.
My new perennials this year include the Echinacea in this icon, and a Gallardia named Oranges and Lemons. I'm using the Gold/Orange tones to perk up the herb garden and compliment the Nasturtiums. I've started a "fern corner" in the shade, too, with white marble boulders. So cool and sparkly!