I’m back! Apologies for my general absence on the blogosphere this past month. I could give you quite a few excuses, there’s been a lot going on, too much, plus the small matter of a completely overgrown allotment to wrestle with. The allotment has distracted me and it’s been more challenging than I imagined to allocate attention to both it and my garden – eeek! So feeling guilty, I’m giving the garden a bit of air time, and what better moment than the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee? This isn’t quite a Six on Saturday post (or is it? I can’t decide) but I hope to reach out to that crowd of enthusiastic gardeners and see what everyone’s up to.
The front path is packed with roses and Alchemilla mollis, and lots of flowering perennials popular with the bees, including geraniums, catmint, alliums…
Rosa ‘The Pilgrim’ is about half way down the path. I’m glad that this year it has managed not to topple over with the weight of its own blooms. I pruned it to have an open, airier centre and whenever I think it’s getting a bit too heavy, I cut some blooms for the house.
Right by the front gate is the dainty little ‘Ballerina’ rose, a hybrid musk. I love its open, simple flowers and how insect-friendly it is – I’ve seen bees, beetles and hoverflies all around it.
Moving to the back garden, another favourite rose. This one, bred by Belgian rose grower Lens, is called ‘Absolument Claude’. The colour changes from golden apricot tones to white edged with pink. It has a light, fresh scent that reminds me of apples.
It has got a somewhat floppy habit, so I’ve had to make a little wire and bamboo support for it. I’ve got Salvia ‘Nachtvlinder’ growing underneath it in a test of the ‘grow roses with salvia and they won’t get blackspot’ claim. I have to say, so far, so good…
Sticking with deep purple, it’s always a delight when Clematis viticella ‘Etoile Violette’ comes into flower on the arch – a real velvety number, and always smothered in flowers.
It’s been an amazing year for rhododendrons, which benefitted from all of the rain they got last summer – I didn’t plant ours but it was looking great earlier in May. I have to say, thankfully the bright red-bloomed rhododendron planted next to it has slowly reverted to mauve, making a more harmonious combination.
To end with something very tiny and a new acquisition. This is Ranunculus acris ‘Multiplex’. It’s in the buttercup family, something you can guess at from its reflective golden flowers. I find it makes a nice contrast with Geranium sanguineum and Alchemilla mollis.
Not wishing to miss out on the festivities back home, we’re having our own little Jubilee tea party this afternoon, and a few neighbours and friends will join in the fun. They’ve been all told to wear hats, they are quite delighted at the prospect. I’ve made cakes and a red-blue-white bouquet – I might post a few pics on the blog over the weekend. To anyone celebrating the Jubilee, have fun, and if you’re not, well just enjoy this fabulous time of year in the garden!