middle of May 2017

The milk thistle by my front door is in bloom. I love thistles and thistle-like flowers.

milk thistle

I also love foxgloves.

milk thistle foxglove

One of the greatest garden views is a bee crawling into a foxglove. I didn't have camera handy when I saw one yesterday. The ox-eye daisies have spread like mad and into the garden next door.

iris foxglove

The salvia amistad is blooming. It probably needs more sun but it's coping at the moment.

salvia amistad

the hardy geranium copes better with the shade

hardy geranium

this scabious House's Novelty is in bloom, I love those pincushion flowers, disappointed these should in a variety of colours but I only got white

scabious Houses Novelty

After the deluge of the past few days, it was sunny at times yesterday.

there are at least half a dozen ranunculus buds

ranunculus buds

the buds are quite different from the nodding anemone buds

ranunulus buds

Correction on the poppies, they are not Pink Fizz, they are red and I don't know which variety. They are looking more red and less pink every day. Last year I sowed Seriously Scarlet but aside from only getting 1 flower, it was not Seriously Scarlet. It looked like these. I was given a replacement packet of seeds but only sowed them this year and these are from sowing collected seed last year, I thought from Pink Fizz but must be that one red poppy. This looks like the "peony-flowered" poppy seeds at the Thompson and Morgan web site. Has anyone successfully sown Seriously Scarlet poppies and gotten flowers that actually look like the seed packet? I'm quite disappointed. I don't like these messy flowers.

red poppies

close-up of one of those red poppies

red poppy

a few days later the poppies have opened more

red poppy

the poppy buds are opening a bit more every day - when they were looking quite pink and I mistook them for Pink Fizz

Pink Fizz poppy buds

the delphinium buds are opening; there are 2 types in this pot: the one blooming at the front (from B+Q last year?) and those dark stems behind (Magic Fountains grown from seed last year?)


close-up of  one of those dark stems behind


the pots I do for this neighbour are looking good with the foxglove and snapdragons in bloom, the hollyhock has some buds

foxglove hollyhock snapdragon in pots

the phormium next door is going mad with buds, I've never seen so many on it

phormium buds

I have discovered something about erigeron karvinskianus. The inital lower leaves are differently-shaped than the later leaves higher on the stems. I first came across this with wood avens - very confusing when there are differently-shaped leaves on the same plant - the same stem even. I've had this plant for a while but hadn't noticed any self-seeding.

erigeron karvinskianus

When this plant first appeared I did not know what it was. As it developed the flowers looked so much like the erigeron above I thought it must be that. I researched the lower leaves being different and although I only found 1 image, and everyone has copied the wiki phrase about it, it seems that the lower inital leaves are different. (See Plant Identification for more info).

erigeron karvinskianus

in a shadier part of the garden (which is most of it!) this new hardy geranium has survived the winter and being smothered by green alkanet

hardy geranium

last year these iris did not bloom, maybe because it was so dry, this year they look like they've recovered and have buds but I did make sure I watered them

iris buds

the next day the first flower started to open

first iris flower

one of the first passionflowers and I can see loads of buds, this self-seeded between the paving slabs next door and is growing over the wall, the original flowers I saw were on the other side in a neighbour's garden


with my flowerbeds still full of green alkanet (I saw the bees buzzing around the flowers so much yesterday in the sun), I had to put this scabious and echium Blue Bedder in a pot, not that there's much room in the flowerbeds or much sun but this buys me some time to figure out what to do with them

scabious echium Blue Bedder

the rest of the echium are in this pot, below the large pot are the unknown plants that I thought might be echium, there are similarities but are definitely not the same (I'll add pics of the leaves close-up)

echium blue bedder

There were a few peonies in the front garden when I moved here 14 years ago and they never bloomed. I read that they are often planted too deeply so I moved them (to a shadier spot not realizing they probably needed more sun) and made sure they were more shallowly planted but they never bloomed. This one must have been left behind and it must be getting more sun, as there's now a beautiful fat bud. Next step is to move the others back. - and prune those sycamore shoots - the bane of my life! I keep cutting them back and they keep returning from the stump. I am hoping the constant pruning will weaken the stump enough the it finally stops growing.

peony bud

what is wrong with my cornflowers?? they are wilting at the base - devastating to sow seeds, get the plants to this point - and then they die, how disappointing

wilted cornflowers