echinops

echinops

Echinops, lurking in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was surprised to see a flower on one of the lupins I planted this year. I thought they generally did not bloom until the second year.  I don't know that it's going to fully bloom but it sure is trying.

lupin

Scabiosa Barocca

This plant is really amazing - 4 different stages of development for the flowers on the plant.

These agastache anisata are finally bloomining.

agastache anisata

terracotta pots, updates to the New Garden page, new Nigella page, updates to Weed Guide

The nigella have really blossomed - and not just white as initially but lots of blues now as well which I love.  I decided to create a separate gallery of the photos my husband took of them at Nigella Flowers.

I try to mostly grow from seed so don't buy many flowers at the garden centre but when I saw this scabiosa Barocca at the garden centre yesterday I couldn't resist. Those tightly packed buds look so ripe and ready to burst and such a rich colour and I know bees love them (or did when I grew some before, have not tried this variety before).

scaffolding next door is down!
I finally started planting next door and have updated the New Garden page.

Yes, this is lesser knapweed (previously an unknown plant as I'd forgotten what it was!), more obvious now that it's in bloom.

Terracotta pots

As I wrote about repairing the terracotta pots with contact adhesive back in May - it just doesn't work. After week's of being out in wet weather this one has fallen apart. I have discarded most of the others before they collapsed.

pansies and violas

viola floral powers

I still find these beautiful viola Floral Powers popping up unexpectedly - one of my better results with seeds. I first planted these two years ago. I see they are described as perennial and although I have them self-seeding I wouldn't call them perennial.

I love pansies (and violas) and find them not too difficult to grow from seed BUT the colours all seem to be the same - all I seem to get are reddish and yellow. Last year I had the same and these are from packets of mixed colour "Swiss Giants". Most of my nigella flowers are boring white (pic to follow) so I'm beginning to think the seed suppliers are filling out the mixtures with the most boring colours. I'm going to try some single colour selections of pansies next time.

pansies

Some things do seem very difficult to grow from seed so I'm grateful for the odd easy packet of seeds such as these marigolds that came free with my seed order. It's reassuring I can grow *something* from seed. As usual with just about every pot in my garden, something has self-seeded itself in it, in this case aquilegia.

ox-eye daisies

I often hear gardening advice that one should cut back fading flowers to encourage a new flush of growth but I rarely get around to it. This time I did and it worked beautifully. These daisies were completely wilted and I cut them back and a week or so later I was rewarded with the new crop of flowers.

ox-eye daisy

hollyhocks

Hollyhocks are one of those plants that are so reliable and resilient like hyacinths. This one has survived the building site.

hollyhock

This one has survived being on the edge of the building site.
hollyhock

This one self-seeded in the "weed garden" next door.

hollyhock

unexpected auricula

I'm keen on period style flowers so wanted to create an auricula theatre for the spring. Knowing how hit and miss growing from seed is I thought I'd buy some plants to ensure I have some at the right time. I saw plants at the garden centre recently which had obviously already bloomed earlier this spring but I thought I could get them now and I'd have them ready next spring. I was very surprised to see this plant in bloom today. I didn't think auriculas bloomed at this time and I don't know what I've done to encourage them to bloom again.

auricula

buying perennials when sowing from seed is difficult

These veronicas are one of those perennials very difficult to sow from seed. I bought the Royal Candles variety a few years ago but they didn't come up this year and I do love them so decided to invest in a couple more plants. The garden centre also had Ulster Blue Dwarf which looked very attractive so I bought one of each.

Veronica Ulster Blue Dwarf

veronica ulster blue dwarf

Veronica Royal Candles

veronica royal candles

This was in my Weed Guide under mystery plants but now that buds are appearing I think I had a few flowers on this last year and it's either greater or lesser knapweed which I had forgotten. I don't seem to have any pics of it from last year - very remiss of me especially if I'm not taking better notes.

centaurea

verbascum

 

This suddenly appeared in the garden next door. It looked a lot like a foxglove before the flowers opened this morning. Now I can see it looks like a verbascum which I don't see anywhere around here so I have no idea where it came from. I don't know much about them so don't know if they are a known self-seeder.

mystery bulbs

I had these in a pot until recently. They didn't flower but have been growing strongly (the leaves are ridiculously long) the last couple years so when I was emptying my pots recently I was curious to see what they were. Having removed them I still don't know! I assume they are tulips but I'm not sure. They didn't get enough sun maybe? I didn't add anything to this photo to indicate scale but the single bulb in the middle is huge. On either side are clusters of similar bulbs. So why haven't these flowered and why did one grow so big and 2 others grow into a cluster of bulbs?

bees

campanula with bee

 

 

I have so many bees this year. Their favourite plants appear to be green alkanet (pictured below with a bee), ceanothus, foxglove (pictured below) and campanula (pictured left).

 

 

 

 

 

essential garden plants

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