Six on Saturday: 03 July 2021: Tweeting

Not the time-wasting, relentless drivel kind of tweeting (there you have my views on Twitter, although plant tweets are perhaps the only reason I might be tempted back to it one day), I’m talking about the insistent tweeting of the little family of great tits, who have set up home in the bird box in the glade. They have been here for several weeks, and I’ve still failed to take a decent photo, but watching the parents dash to and fro relentlessly all day long, popping in and out with tasty morsels for their hungry brood, I wonder they don’t get burnt-out. It’s the first time the bird box has been occupied by birds, although previous years saw bees of some kind take up residence. The posher-looking house next door remains empty, these birdies are not interested in keeping up appearances.

Spot the birdie

As we enter July, there’s a definite change in the garden atmosphere here, as half of the back garden is under the now-heavier shade of the mature trees, while the veg patch and front path have a more summery vibe. The shedding phase is well underway, so from now until November the lime and hornbeam trees will deposit first faded flowers, then seeds, and finally leaves. It’s a real pain, everything on the back terrace and decking gets covered in muck every time it rains, which is a lot these days. A certain scruffiness is the price we pay for the woodland feel, and all the wildlife that supports – insects and grubs for our resident great tit family, and scrambling space for the lovely red squirrels (one day I’ll get a photo for you, promise).

1 Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’ with Clematis ‘Betty Corning’. This covers one side of the arch that is close to the bird box/glade. Both seem very happy here, I think they like the woodland vibe, but as this section essentially faces south, they get a combo of coolness and sunshine.

I love the deep purple of Etoile Violette, which this year is smoothered in blooms, and the fairy-like delicacy of Betty Corning.

2 Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’. I don’t hang the Belgian flag out front to show my support for my host-country’s football team (there are a lot of unhappy Belgians this morning, but the huge Italian-origin community here will be ecstatic). But I do have ‘Belgica’, which is a lovely honeysuckle, am getting wonderful whiffs of it when out gardening. A Belgian lady that came over earlier this week for a quick plant swap told me that it’s called Chevre-feuille in French, meaning Goat-leaf, although the link with goats was very unclear to both of us. This is a great nectar source for moths though, every garden should have one.

3 Digitalis grandiflora. Staying with the woodland-feel of the glade, there is inevitably less colour in this area at this time of year, but these foxgloves bring a welcome soft yellow. This is a perennial foxglove, which is wonderful, as unfortunately my biennial foxgloves, although they self-seed, get eaten by slugs, especially at the delicate seedling stage.

4 Lavender. Change of pace! We’re in summer-mode along the front path, where my neighbour’s lavender hedge kindly flowers more gloriously on my side than on theirs, as the best of the sun is here. I think this is English lavender, possibly Hidcote. The photo was taken on the only properly sunny day all week, which was yesterday, prompting me to think of Provence, if only for a short while.

Looking up the path towards the house
Looking towards the road and the glorious purple beech trees on the hill

4 Leucanthemum. More summery tones are provided by the ox-eye daisies. We are told by clever garden designers that it’s a good idea to repeat plants up a border to create a sense of rhythm and coherence. So I dutifully split clumps from the original patch and now have three vigorous clumps. They are perhaps a bit too vigorous, threatening to engulf the neighbouring plants, so I’ll have to police these.

6 Veg patch colour. Sorry, I couldn’t chose between Eucomis autumnalis, and the Calendula, which are jazzing up the veg patch. I find the aptly named Pineapple Lily really sweet, I don’t have a lot of exotica, but this brings just a touch of something different. I think I first came across it on a Six on Saturday post, could it have been Thistles and Kiwis all the way over in New Zealand? The Calendula can’t be beaten for vibrancy, though I’ve also got some other shades on the way, including ‘Touch of Red Buff’ which is just coming up behind the Pineapple Lily, I’ll show you that next week perhaps.

I’m off now to the Botanical Gardens at Meise, just north of Brussels, for some plant zen. Although it’s a grey day, threatening rain, they do have a wonderful palm-house that I can retreat to if need be. It’s one of the largest botanical gardens in the world, and is set in acres of glorious parkland, so I might take some photos to share with you mid-week. I’ll look in later in the day at other Six on Saturdays available on The Propagator’s page, where you will find lots to marvel at. Have a great weekend, till next time.

36 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 03 July 2021: Tweeting

  1. It’s true that the deep purple of the flowers of this clematis is really eye-catching.
    This week also I had to remove a good part of the daisies which had invaded the poppies and the neighboring feijoa. You’re ahead of me with the eucomis and the calandulas which are not yet so tall

  2. I saw some nice flowers in your garden, the Clematis is realy beautiful and you have more luck as we do with the Lonicera (no flowers here on the balcony).
    I hope you enjoyed the trip to Meise 🙂

    1. Thanks Rudi! Meise was so lovely, even in this weather, what an amazing place! Re the Lonicera, it sometimes takes a few years to get going, mine is about 3 years old now.

  3. I so nearly featured Etoile Violette this week! Yours has much larger flowers, perhaps mine is not in such a sunny area. I let my ox eye daisies grow on the veg patch but they do have a tendency to collapse and sprawl and they seed everywhere. I am also trying very hard to reign in the calendula in the veg patch but it such a glorious colour when the sun shines. The honeysuckle looks gorgeous too, I wonder how the Brits will be feeling tomorrow!

    1. I saw you had another clematis that was looking in fine form. Agree with you re the Calendula, even on a grey day it cheers me up (and we’re having a lot of those).

  4. What a pleasure to see birds busy feeding the new generation the more bird boxes the better. I love honeysuckle mine not doing well this year it is very wet summer so far encourages lots of bugs that attacked all my fruit trees but hoping next year is better. Love the colours in your garden.

  5. Etoile Violette is a gorgeous colour. I think I have that one, but no flowers yet. I do like the deep purple colours. Ox-eye daisies say ‘summer’ to me. They are lovely, but they become floppy here in windy Cornwall and they love to spread around! You have reminded me that I sowed some different Calendula this spring, but no sign of them yet. Sometimes I find that plants appear the year after been sown. I hope so. Enjoy the gardens. I wish I could come with you as it sounds fabulous. Photos please!

    1. Yes I found the same thing with Achillea, no sign of it the first year after sowing but very happy to see it pop up this year. The botanical gardens were a gardener’s delight, as you can well imagine! 🙂

      1. I have a wild Achillea, no matter how much I pull out it always returns and actually is very pretty (you can see it in Erigeron #5 picture on my post) I planted a small coloured one last year and I am still waiting for it to flower!

      2. Ah yes I see it, it’s lovely, they sow a lot of that in our local area in the grass verges, perhaps that’s what I’ve got too – it’s going to flower soon. My friend says it makes a very good herbal tea too, just trying to remember what it is good for…!

      3. “Achillea is in reference to Achilles, hero of the Trojan Wars in Greek mythology, who used the plant medicinally to stop bleeding and to heal the wounds of his soldiers.”

        The leaves are edible, but tend to be rather bitter. I’m not sure I want to make tea from it!

  6. Lovely plants, as usual. I have that Leucanthemum (Superbum?) which I will feature next week. I must try honeysuckle again, if I can find a suitable space. 🤔

    1. Thanks Granny, the good thing about the honeysuckle is it takes up virtually no ground space at all, you just need to give it something to climb. Well worth it for the scent alone, just lovely.

  7. Both the Clematis are lovely and they work really well together. The advantage of your perennial foxglove that has just occurred to me is that it means you get foxgloves where you want them. The regular self seeding type need to be dug up and moved to get them in the right place. Lovely to have a family of tits in the garden and I am also v jealous of the red squirrels (100’s of greys here it seems).

    1. Absolutely true re the foxglove, they haven’t moved to my knowledge! Will really try to capture the red squirrels on camera, but it’s very hard, they move very fast and don’t hang about.

  8. Etoile Violette and Betty Corning really compliment each other well. Lovely. I’m very ruthless with the Ox-eye daisies but I wouldn’t be without them. I’m glad you have residents in the bird box. Very exciting.

  9. I have seen the Clematis Betty Corning on another blog and am completely enamoured! I may have to squeeze in another clematis… Have a good week Sel!

  10. The colour combination of the Clematis is just lovely, and what a magnificent display! It’s really eye-catching. I am in awe and totally envious of the lavender (it just will not grow for me, and if it does the plants are weedy). That is a lovely Eucomis, and the daisy and calendula are both such happy plants!

    1. Thanks Hairbells, although us gardeners are having a tough summer (can we really call it that?) in Europe, the plants are doing well with the rain, I think the clematis in particular loves to have wet feet 😉

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