Wednesday, 7 July 2010

July Garden Update

With the change in the month came a change in the weather - our first real rain for weeks! In Wales, usually known to be unrelentingly wet, this first half of 2010 has been the driest since 1929 and the second driest for 100 years! So the heavy rain at the end of last week was welcome for the garden and fortunately it came in the night and  brought to an end the really hot weather, though it's still been pleasantly warm.

It's also brought with it a noticeable change in my garden with many of the flowers that made late May and June so glorious, past now their best and the later flowering plants not quite reaching their peak. I look upon it as the garden taking a bit of a rest after the abundant, almost extravagant displays of June. 

My Alchemist climbing rose went from this:

through various colour stages,

 - to this:

- and is now in dire need of dead-heading! But it's really earned its keep, not only in terms of the pleasure it brings but it started me thinking about occasionally using photos for greeting cards, something I hadn't previously done very much.

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the predominant colours of the garden change with the seasons? We begin with the yellows of primroses, daffodils and crocuses and the purples of bluebells and yellow and blue irises in Spring.

Then the early summer flowering plants seems to be predominantly pink, blue and white,

while the later flowers tend to be bright reds and oranges.

 These nasturtiums in my kitchen window-box are just beginning to peep out from behind their rather over-sized leaves.

And my organic runner beans, planted rather late in a tub, are just beginning to flower - red again!

It's been really difficult to photograph flowers this year because we've had such a windy few months and the plants tend to sway around vigorously, which my camera doesn't much like!

The big white daisies are getting going -

Mine never stand up straight because the high walls mean they have to lean forwards to get the light - but I rather like the way their stems curve!

I moved my lilies last Autumn and they seem to be sulking, producing mostly just one bloom at the time -

And the self-seeded Californian Poppies are a bit thin on the ground this year.

It seems to be mostly the orange and red flowers that succumbed to the very low temperatures last winter, though my lovely red salvia that I thought was well and truly dead, has sprung a few new green shoots recently. Probably too late to flower this year, but at least it's alive - as is the Spanish Jasmine in my front porch, which looked thoroughly dead until a couple of weeks ago! I always give plants the benefit of the doubt and don't immediately remove the dead-looking ones for the sake of tidiness -  and I'm invariably rewarded for my patience.

Of course there are exceptions to the colour pattern I've described but it seems to me to be striking enough to make me wonder whether there's a scientific explanation - maybe to do with the amount of daylight available?

Earlier today I enjoyed a picnic lunch in the Linda Vista Gardens (above), celebrating the birthday of one of our Walking Group leaders. It's a beautiful terraced garden, sloping down from the edge of the town to the Castle Meadows, open to the public but as not many people know of its existence, it tends to be little frequented, except when the ABGV Borough Band puts on a concert of a summer evening. (You can see one of my pastel paintings of the audience on Red Bubble.) It's one of the most peaceful spots I know of around these parts, with a view of the Blorenge mountain, and one of my favourites places to go to take photos. Today there were still plenty of roses blooming as well as all sorts of lesser know plants and I had a field day with my camera! So if anyone needs flower photos for reference for a painting, please just ask! It's quite likely that I'll have something suitable on my poor groaning computer!

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Carole Barkett said...

Your garden looks beautiful and i am jealous of your sweet peas, I can almost smell them

Ulla Hennig said...

I love those roses! And your Giant Sweet Pea items are beautiful!

Betsy Grant said...

These alchemist roses show a wonderful lesson from nature on how to adapt gracefuly to change withour anyone even telling us how beautifully we're managing it! I guess that's why they're called "alchemist"...

Judy Adamson said...

Ulla and Carole, I'm glad you like my garden and what it produces - I think it's living proof that a little neglect can go a long way!

And Betsy, what an inspiring insight! Thank you!

jeanlivingsimple said...

When I think of Wales...the lovely gardens come to mind. Your flowers are beautiful! I have never seen an Alchemist Rose. Hmmm...I wonder if they will grow here? They are gorgeous!

Rose Forever said...

Your flowers are really gorgeous especially the alchemist rose and the day lily. I have my day lily plant and its flowering enormously. I love to put them on salads. I like your idea making your photos itemized. Nice job on that!

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you for stopping by, Rose Forever, and for your nice comments. What an interesting website you have!

crystal rose said...

Your alchemist rose are really getting me jealous. I love the way it blooms and change it colors. It represent on how people adjust their personalities in any kind of environment. I really love your garden and I’ll try to plant alchemist rose to make me not jealous. Lol.

Judy Adamson said...

Sorry to make you jealous, Crystal Rose! I hope you will be able grow an Alchemist of your own. I have a small but walled garden so it's very sheltered and mine grows up the wall of the house, facing South-East. Good luck with it!