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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

LAVENDER, GERANIUMS, CLEMATIS PLUS A LITTLE MORE

Good Morning to you,


We have had a lot of heavy rain in the last few days, which reminded me of the thunderstorms, we used to experience during the winter, in Cyprus. Luckily none of my flowers have been battered, and my roses are still in tact.  I don't know how that happened, as usually they are the first to fall when it rains heavily, but I am grateful they survived the downpour.

Because we have had a mixture of hot sun and rains, my garden is looking so lovely,



The Lavender is growing really well, but do you see the lavender at the front, it has been used as a cushion.  I am not sure what has been lying on the plant, I am wondering if it is a visiting cat, or it could be a hedgehog, but I need to create a make shift collar to help the plant to grow upwards again. Although it will deprive my visitor of it's cushion, at least the lavender will  survive. My visitor will get a shock next time he or she visits, as it's cushion will have disappeared. 

There are three different types of  lavender in my garden, Munstead, Hidcote and French lavender, they all smell beautiful and when you brush past them, as I often do, when I hang my washing on the line, they release their gorgeous lavender perfume. The lavenders are adored by the bees and there is always five or six bees paying each plant a visit.

You can see all the blues, pinks, purples and white, which I love, but do you see a little yellow creeping into the picture on the right hand side.... this is the bright yellow of Loosestrife.




Look at this sunny plant.  This is one of George's favourites as he loves bright colours, such as red, yellow and oranges. The Loosestrife mingles with the blues and pinks and a little further down on the left hand side, although you cannot see them, the orange flowers of the Montbretia are just in bud, and in another week or so they will be in flower. You would not think the colours would work, but they rub along together, beautifully. These little ladies, the Loosestrife and Montbretia, will be divided when they have finished flowering.  I will plant some in my front garden, where they will have plenty of space to grow.  I have to divide these plants every couple of years , as they can be a little rampant, as they do have a tendency to take over and quickly outgrow the space they are planted in.


As you can see,  the soft blue of the Geraniums and the pale purple of the Penstemons, both don't seem to mind their bright yellow companions.


Clambering at the back are my purple and pink clematis.  This year they have really gone from strength to strength.  Do you know these clematis  only cost me a few pounds and after three years, look how happy they are with their roots planted in the shade.


Now take a look at this beautiful rose, it's name is St Swithun, it is the palest pink and so very pretty. I think I can safely describe this rose as a very romantic looking rose.



 It is a very young plant, but even so, this year, it has produced a profusion of flowers..... next year there will be many more,



to  mingle with the purple and blue clematis, then that will be a sight to behold.




This is a lovely mix of blue and white, well maybe bordering on the purple and white. Do you see the beautiful stamen's... the little crosses inside the flower, aren't they lovely.  Do you know, my mind has gone blank, do you think I can think of the name of this flower..... if anyone knows, please put me out of my misery, because the more I think, the more the name escapes me.  I know it is not a Jacob's Ladder, but that is the name which keeps coming back into my mind..... why is that, when I know the name is wrong. Phyllis always says, don't think about it and the name will come.... I'm trying not to think about it, but I just can't help myself.



Look who is peeking through the mint.  The mint has gone haywire this year, even though I have planted it in a pot.  I don't want to cut it back, because as you can see the flowers are forming and the bees love to visit the mint flowers.  I am very much an advocate of planting to attract bees and wildlife.  I think apart from the odd one or two plants, most of the plants I have planted have been with bees in mind and bees love the flowers in my garden, as it is always a hive of industry. I can be sitting in the garden reading a book, and I can hear the constant buzzing of the bees, sometimes I have to stop what I am doing and watch the bees.  If you have ever watched a bee busy at work, you know where the phrase "as busy as a bee" comes from.



Now this plant I am especially pleased with this year.  Two years ago Natasha bought this grapevine for George, for his Father's Day gift and it has taken really well here in the North of England.  I have planted the vine, so the roots have a long run, as this is what they love, and this year, we have been rewarded with these tiny little grapes.  They will not mature, because even though we have had this heat wave, it is not enough to bring on the grapes. They will never turn into the beautiful pendulous grapes which you see in gardens all around Cyprus during August and September, but I still get pleasure from knowing the tiny grapes have formed.



Look how my Winston Churchill fuchsia is flowering, the buds are fat and you can see the petals are just beginning to open up.  I have quite a few fuchsias in my garden, some whose flower heads are so heavy, they cannot keep their heads up.



My garden is not a large garden, but I want to utilise all the space.  I love flowers but I also plant a few edible plants as well, such as these strawberry plants.  I have to plant upwards to use all the available space, so my strawberries are planted in hanging baskets. I just have to be sure that when the fruit have ripened, I am out in the garden picking them, before the birds decide to have a tasty breakfast treat.



If I am lucky enough to get there first, our reward is these lovely little strawberries. Now, I know they are not as fat and juicy looking as the one's which we buy from the shops, but I have to say, these little strawberries hold their own as they maybe small, but they are packed with flavour.



I was thrilled to pieces with them.  So we divided the strawberries between us and George had a bowl of strawberries and cream, whilst I had a bowl of strawberries and yoghurt.



The radishes have grown well this year and are full of peppery flavour, they are perfect added to a salad.

I had hoped to grow potatoes and peas this year, but the weather had been so diabolical during the beginning of the summer that I had to give them a miss this year...... but there is always next year.

The lettuces are coming on well and I am just about to plant some more radishes.  I plant the second round of radishes,  once I have almost harvested the first, as I do not want to be overloaded with radishes.

The final thing I am waiting for is beetroot..... I love beetroot, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and roasted.  The jackets removed, sprinkled with a little more sea salt and drizzled with olive oil, then eaten warm..... so simple but so perfect.

As are all the best things in life.

Take care and I will see you on Sunday.

This week I will be joining, 


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