Saturday, 22 July 2017

Bejewelled

As you may know, I've been caring for my 87-year-old mother in recent months. And I've also been looking after the garden, though it has to take second place to Mum's needs. At the moment the garden is a garish clash of bright colour, interspersed with rather more weeds than you might guess from the photos below. It would be nice to say that I've intentionally selected these showy plants with regard for my mother's failing eyesight. But alas that is not the case; it just kinda happened that way.....



These lovely lilies were grown by my brother Les. They grow in pots either side of the garden shed, beautifying the rather shabby woodwork for a few days each year.



Montbretia and Lavender growing together and setting up a dazzling colour-contrast. The Montbretia corms came originally from the house the family lived in over fifty years ago. Apart from being dug up and moved about the garden they've had no special care for all that time. Insinuating themselves amongst the lavender was entirely their own idea.



Dahlias: a burst of Mexican sunshine in the English garden. 




The Alexander Rose, bought by my father when our good friends and neighbours became the proud parents of baby Alex. The bush has grown rather tall and leggy over time, as indeed has young Alex who recently qualified as a doctor.



There's a large lavender plant whose scent makes an evening wander in the garden so addictive at this time of year. The bees are rather fond of it too.



My mother's favourite "pom-pom" dahlias are yet to really come to their peak and there are just a few blooms on them at present.



I've always been secretly fond of Petunias. If you can forget that they usually inhabit hanging baskets outside pubs and seaside hotels then you can start to appreciate them as cheerful flowers which go on blooming for most of the summer - if you remember to dead-head them regularly.



I've had this Dahlia for a few years now but the flower-heads have never had such a ragged, unkempt appearance as they have this year. Its bedraggled, early morning look makes me smile every time I see it.



Salmon-pink Pelargoniums. Recently our winters have been so mild that some of these have survived the winter outdoors, having been forgotten about the previous autumn.



About forty years ago my mother took it into her head that the garden needed some Hollyhocks and badgered my father relentlessly to grow some. Dad said very little about it and the idea was forgotten - till the next summer. Then Mum began the campaign again and eventually returned home with some seed. Father led her patiently into the garden and pointed out the big clusters of green leaves that were just beginning to send up their first flower spikes - the Hollyhocks he'd been growing since she first mentioned them!



Lavender and Petunias getting mixed up; I always underestimate just how far about the Lavender will spread itself.



My brother had a spell of huge enthusiasm for hardy Fuchsias and grew several different varieties. So many in fact that they rather outgrew his own little plot and stated to take over my parents garden too. And the delicate little ballerinas above are some of the survivors from that time. They're a lot tougher than they look!



It's always nice to see some insects in the garden, even common Greenbottles, seen here to advantage on the rich purple, velvety petals of this Petunia.



And finally some Runner Bean flowers in the vegetable garden. I understand that people grew these for their flowers at one time, long before anyone thought about eating them.


Take care.



21 comments:

  1. Hi John - how lovely to see the plants and to hear a few chit chats about them too - while the greenbottle - he is green isn't he. I'd no idea the beans were grown for their flowers, rather than their beans ... love fresh runner beans ...enjoy the pleasures of the garden - and these times with your mother will be some of the best - cheers Hilary

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  2. Your colourful and delightful flowers have cheered a gloomy weather day!

    I seem to remember having to wind string round and around the bean sticks when the flowers appeared to deter the hungry House Sparrows!
    A popular flower!

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  3. Glorious colour and variety, John.

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  4. This seems to have been an exceptional year for montbretia everywhere. I have a variety called Lucifer and I have never seen it put on such a show before.
    Love the story about the hollyhock.

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  5. What a colourful and varied collection of flowers - I bet you see much more than just greenbottles in that garden!

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  6. Beautiful blooms and with their "stories" they seem even more precious.

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  7. A garden filled with memories too. Your photos are a joy to watch, John!

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  8. Wow wow wow! What a colorful bunch. I love the frilly dahlia and it makes me smile, too.

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  9. What wonderful colours - and wonderful memories too. It's surprising how much memory is evoked in a garden.

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  10. Oh, my, I have really enjoyed these...what a grand bunch of colorful flowers!

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  11. Some really nice flowers and great colour in that garden! Our garden is at its colourful best now too because it's day lily season.

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  12. One of the pleasures of a garden is that the plants so often remind us of family and friends. Beautiful bright photos.

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  13. It's a pleasure to see the wonderful bursts of colour in the flowers, it brightens up a dull rainy day. Beautiful photos, John.

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  14. Wow! You have done such a good job of showing the wide variety of colorful flowers in your mother's garden. I photograph flowers pretty regularly but nearly always without much success.

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  15. They are all beautiful! I'm very partial to lavender, but it does not do well in hot steamy Louisiana summers. I love the backlit hollyhock. My garden, too, is a collection of memories of old friends and family.

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  16. Oh I love all the bright colours! Those lilies are gorgeous. Hollyhock, lavender, petunia, dahlia, I love all of them. Sadly I only have a tiny garden here, and it's very shaded. But my special favourite picture is the last one of the runner bean flower. I love eating runner beans and you just can't get them in the grocery stores here in Canada. So I decided to grow some, and they are doing well, I shall be able to eat my first beans in a couple of days. People seem to grow them for their bright orangey red blossoms, but the beans are an added bonus. Perhaps I'll take some pics of my bean plants for my blog. Stay tuned.

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  17. Lovely photo's and commentary to accompany them. The lavender really seems to be thriving in your mother's garden. I have not been lucky with Lavender or for that matter Lupins or Hollyhocks (which are my favourite) in my own garden. I do have runner beans though because I love them as a vegetable. So easy to grow, so pretty and then wonderful beans. The variety they used to grow years ago, I think, was "Painted Lady". The flowers were red and white. There's a beautiful vegetable garden in a country park near where I live where they grow all the vegetables that they used to grow years ago to feed the workers in the mill - they always grow "Painted lady".

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  18. Wonderful, John! Love the shots - as always. Enjoyed the tale of the hollyhocks. Fuchsias - tough?! You're telling me! We took heels from one growing through a rockery wall and have had a real job trying to kill off the parent before it brings the whole thing down!

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  19. These are some fabulous color! I love all the different textures and shapes of your garden flowers. All together, you all have some great gardens.

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  20. I have a feeling most beautiful gardens just happen John ☺ I love that most of your plants have a story. Don't mention weeds to me, I have most of my garden under control but there is one section that challenges me relentlessly ☺ Hope mum is keeping well, I imagine she must enjoy sitting in the garden, I think I'd like to sit in your gorgeous garden!

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