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:
- 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.
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.
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!