ju1i3's blog

garden next door

so many plants have self-seeded between the paving slabs but the most amazing is the passionflower


the trunk (and it is a trunk not a stem) is thick, like a tree

passionflower trunk

surprisingly, there's and old man's beard self-seeded by the passionflower and climbing up it

old man's beard

it looks good but didn't bloom this year

old man's beard

the cats are a big component of this garden (as well as my garden), here's Victor

in front of Victor, cleome flowers, verbena bonariensis and honesty brown dry seedpods to the right, white verbascum flowers in the front


Jeffrey surrounded by plants, clockwise from Jeffrey's back, green alkanet, plastic pot with an eaten (by Jeffrey) catnip, terracotta pot with an uneaten catnip, nepeta faassenii, clover, knautia macedonia, ox-eye daisy pot, more green alkanet, pot with snapdragon and ox-eye daisy

that agastache has had great flowers this summer

close-up of that ivy-leaved toadflax

ivy-leaved toadflax

huge knautia macedonia Melton Pastels, foxglove in the pot to the left, green alkanet above, aquilegia below, spreading honeysuckle? to the right, I think

knautia macedonia

verbena bonariensis

verbena bonariensis

Bear, just as I was trying to take this photo, Bear's mum, Stitch was on the wall so both would have been in the shot but she jumped down before I snapped

early September 2018

It rained the other day so the ground wasn't totally rock hard so I made the effort to plant out some of the plants that are ready: chicory, wild bergamot, calamint and scabious. Anything in a pot needs watering so whatever I can get in the ground I'm trying to.

3 chicory plants planted out, 2nd wild bergamot on the left behind planted out, the one on the right I had previously planted in the ground. Not sure what to do with the pot of ox-eye daisies on the left behind. They took over that pot. Eventually, next Spring, they'll probably took great. Then I can move them for best effect.

chicory and wild bergamot

the small scabious plants behind the bricks self-seeded in  pots, ready to plant them out, and make sure the bricks were in place along the path


it wasn't long before Victor used them as a pillow

scabious for a pillow

the calamint was in a pot for ages but every pot needs watering so trying to get everything I can in the ground


My late delphinium has opened fully and the bees are loving it. I can see pollen baskets on the bees.

bee on delphinium

The whole slug thing has gotten so discouraging, the only place left to move anything is inside or on the stairs to the garden. There's another small delphinium that I rescued from slug destruction by keeping it inside for a while. Now it's on the stairs, along with that Black and Blue salvia which has buds after I also had it inside for a while. I can't keep the whole garden on the stairs. 

stairs to garden

new flush of greater knapweed flowers looking great - and not bothered by slugs

greater knapweed

borage also is pretty tough


Maybe it's crazy to even attempt plants like delphiniums and lupins - or hostas! when plants like Japanese anemone can grow and thrive completely untouched? Maybe I should just stick with plants like that. 

japanese anemone and hosta

something special on the shelf amidst the passionflower and morning glory

September 2018

I can't believe the summer is coming to an end already. It seemed like there'd be plenty of time for sowing seeds and growing things but it's almost Autumn.

After it rained, after the drought and heatwave a few weeks ago, some plants came back to life including this delphinium which has a second flower spike. Behind it is the sunflower which has some new small flowers off the main stem.


another delphinium has come back from slug damage and now has buds

delphinium buds

the new batch of borage is blooming and attracting bees, although I only seem to have a few in my garden

bee on borage

some of the sea holly flowers dried up and died but new ones have bloomed

sea holly

snapdragons have self-seeded, above a pink one on the right and below a white and lighter pink and a calendula

snapdragons and calendula

a pink water lily in bloom and 1 bud that's either going to open or is finishing, I can't tell which

water lily

I haven't seen a yellow water lily in bloom this summer so far but I see there's a bud

yellow water lily bud

the morning glory has a good flush of flowers today and the passionflower has intermittent blooms

morning glory

end of August 2018

cleomes and Polly Pocket


the sedum just below the cleomes is in bloom now, I thought it was called something like "rhubarb and custard" but on googling I can only find "Stewed Rhubarb"


and just below that, a perlargonium - best value from the garden centre - free for loyalty card holders, been going strong for months


There were lots of chicory flowers in St Pancras Old Church churchyard and lots of bees enjoying them. Difficult to get a photo in focus but on the left is a bee with white pollen baskets either side.

chicory with bee with pollen basket

also lots of bristly ox-tongue with bees

bee on bristly ox-tongue

I usually just hack away at the ivy as it usually seems to grow pretty fast but the other day I just pruned the stems without buds and was careful to leave the buds to produce flowers for the bees.

ivy buds

If only the fruits of the passionflower were nice. They aren't.


My early borage died in the drought and heatwave, then I had a couple small plants, now I have a lot of borage buds and flowers. I just wish I had bees enjoying them. I don't have many bees this year, sadly. There's been a huge construction site nearby (and a number of smaller but still large ones, as well) and I do wonder if it's disturbed the environment to such an extent that I have fewer bees in my garden.


my neighbour's squash is spreading over another neighbour's garden and into mine (vine on the left)

it's the only thing they grow in their garden and they built that monstrosity (with the posts sticking up) just for it, it's growing up that olive tree

and down the other side

my mint started to bloom, see more about mint at my Lamiaceae page

mint flowers

This salvia was blooming when I bought it earlier this year, then the slugs got to it and it was a bare stick, then I moved it inside and it recovered but no flowers, not until next year I imagine. I think it was something like "Salvia Blue and Black" but I'll have to see if I can find the label.

salvia black and blue

a delphinium I thought was too slug-damaged has new buds

delphinium buds

the heat has brought out the water lily flowers

water lily

I always have honesty self-seeding around the garden but last year I planted the seed myself and had spectacular results. This was one of them. I'm going to plant some of those seeds again.

honesty seed pods

a lone viola has appeared in the sea holly trough, the agapanthus to the left have not bloomed this year and there's no time to now, that sea holly in the foreground hasn't sprouted flowering stem - hopefully next year, I didn't notice the slug in the flowerbed to the right when I was taking this photo


Please don't use cut plastic bottles as cloches in the garden. Animals can get them stuck on their head. I mentioned this before but it's worth repeating.

fox with bottle cloche on head

mid-August 2018

I can finally do something in the garden as the heatwave has cooled down. I've been tidying some things and was going to prune back these dried stems of the poppy when I realised the new flower is growing from the dried stems. We shouldn't be too much in a rush to clear things away. (catnip at the front, honesty to the left, sea holly behind, nasturtium on the right)

late red poppy

I continue to notice Japanese knotweed locally

Japanese knotweed

surprise viola springing from a pot


For the last couple of years I've been doing pots for my neighbour round the corner. One pot had agastache, another had a hollyhock. I removed those and replaced them as they died back. Now agastache and a hollyhock is growing between the paving stones.


A neighbour nearby has a whole row of mint along the edge of their front garden and right now while it's in bloom it looks amazing. That hoverfly is enjoying it as well.


After seeing that fab mint, I pulled mine out from the crowd of pots while I was tidying up a bit and looked carefully and it has buds. Looking forward to some flowers.


I've seen gipsywort before but this example yesterday along the canal was so fresh and new I just had to photograph it again.


The weather has been so extreme so many plants are out of their natural rhythm. I don't know if the ivy should have buds right now or not but it seems quite early to me.

These are in my garden.

ivy buds

These are along the canal.

ivy buds

I love greater knapweed. Now that it's rained a bit, they are looking so much better than during the heatwave drought.

greater knapweed

greater knapweed

The comfrey has come back as well now that it's not so hot and dry. And the bees are enjoying it.

comfrey bee

comfrey bee

August 2018

Difficult growing conditions have meant some plants have not bloomed and won't be blooming at all this year and some have bloomed incredibly early. My Chinese Lanterns are a disaster. The first orange lantern weeks ago, months early. I did try to grow some in pots and as I watered my pots, they have done well, unlike the ones in the ground, which I can't share a photo of as they are so heart-breaking.

chinese lanterns pot-grown

also in a pot, some self-seeded borage with lots of buds



I wasn't sure how the morning glory would cope with this shady corner of my neighbour's patio but it's been fine. Not as shady as I thought. (Scarecrow on the chair under the table)

morning glory

the toad lily has lots of flowers but they're small; I'm afraid I'm underwhelmed

toad lily

beginning of July the toad lily didn't even have any buds, I guess the hot weather really accelerated things

The globe thistles bloomed early and are already past their best. In previous years, August was their prime time.

the lupin has only bloomed because I've been watering it - a lot


but all the watering has helped the slugs, they've started on this hosta which I've been keeping out of their reach recently - but they've found it

slug-eaten hosta

and they went for the hyssop seedlings which had been doing so well, I just see a slug trail

slug-eaten hyssop

even though it's so small, this nepeta has buds, some plants react to difficulties by blooming - to ensure seed production and long-term continuation (prickly sow thistle on the right)

nepeta prickly sow thistle

I have no idea why this poppy is so small (in a 9-cm pot) and so much later than the others (nipplewort or smooth sow thistle seedlings in there as well)

the heat has helped the cleomes which have some prominent buds

a couple days later, the flowers have started to bloom

cleome flowers

the ever reliable Japanese anemone, appear totally unaffected by the heatwave

japanese anemone

a self-seeded calendula


a few days later, the first bud has opened


I love green alkanet and have it all over the garden in the spring but it's totally unnecessary to have any in pots. My agapanthus didn't bloom this year, whether because of the weather or being crowded out by the green alkanet, I don't know. It's time to remove all the green alkanet from pots. I'll start on that when the heatwave ends, in theory tonight (August 7th).

pot with green alkanet

end of July 2018

It's been a very difficult time in the garden and wider environment. It's hot and dry. So hot and dry I don't even want to think about it. I refuse to waste water watering the entire garden and have only been watering pots and the recently planted rhubarb and a few others recently put in the ground. I only planted the wild bergamot in the ground recently after growing them from seed sown last summer. I could not even begin to get that larger pot in the ground until it rains and softens the rock-hard ground. If this weather continues, these are the kind of plants I will need to concentrate on.

wild bergamot

the morning glory flowers are here and there on the patio

morning glory

this sunflower was from free seeds with a seed order, only 1 germinated and grew but for free - I'm happy


close-up of the sunflower, which just opened this afternoon since I took the photo above this morning


the next day, a bee has found the sunflower

sunflower with bee

I wish I could say the cats are enjoying the catnip but it's been so hot and they seem so uncomfortable they've only had a bit of it. At least the bees are enjoying it.

nepeta cataria

it was hit and miss with the slugs but I did manage to achieve 10 catnip plants from seeds (sown in May)

nepeta cataria

this was a catnip plant I had grown from seed in a previous year - and it survived

nepeta cataria

finally a lupin flower spike, after repotting this a few weeks ago

lupin flower spike

a few days later the flower are opening, revealing my favourite colour

I've never grown toad lily before so looking forward to seeing the resulting flowers from these buds.

toad lily buds

10 days later the first flower is open

I saw this beetroot in a neighbour's vegetable plot in their front garden.

beetroot flowers

I could see the similarity with the sea beet I saw on Hayling Island recently.

sea beet

As well as the sea beet above, I saw a few other plants on Hayling last week, thistle

thistle on beach

horned poppy and thistle

thistle horned poppy

a certain amount of woolliness

thistle beach

sea holly

sea holly



wild carrot

wild carrot

wild carrot

echium vulgare

echium vulgare sand dunes

the spent echium was all furry

echium vulgare spent flowers

also saw sea purslane, golden samphire, rock samphire and sea kale, see South Downs and Coast

the artichokes in the front garden are amazing - magnificent purple flowers beloved by bees and growing without any rain, I planted them originally in my garden, bought a very small plant for my neighbour 2 doors down (far right in the pic) and they self-seeded themselves next door, the garden in between

artichokes front garden

Wildflower garden at the Crick Institute

Sadly, not everything can stay undeveloped so it's good when a new development has a decent wildflower area, as the new Crick Institute does, not far from St Pancras Old Church and the canal. Those are bees on the globe thistles. This area has full sun so the globe thistles are in bloom, mine aren't quite yet.

Crick Institute wildflower garden

there were dusky cranesbill

dusky cranesbill Crick Institute

close-up of some of the globe thistles

globe thistles with bees



I didn't know this euphorbia before, google tells me euphorbia griffithii.

euphorbia griffithii

I don't know if it's attractive to bees. I didn't see any around it. But then I'm seeing a lot fewer bees.

euphorbia griffithii

contrast that with this epic fail at Gasholders

green space gasholders

they've put in flowerbeds - in a very controlled way

great burnet

great burnet and yellow yarrow ?

great burnet

but it hasn't stopped them from using weedkiller nearby

weedkiller Regent's Canal St Pancras

thank goodness red valerian can still self-seed by St Pancras Lock

red valerian St Pancras lock

just to the left of the lock, my most frequent non-plant photographic subject, the Post Office Tower, in the distance (railway line out of St Pancras just beyond the canal, new Somers Town pedestrian bridge to the left)

and further along the canal there are some wildflowers that haven't been chemically treated or controlled

purple loosestrife

purple loosestrife


great hairy willowherb

great hairy willowherb

great hairy willowherb

wild buckwheat, not sure how "wild" it is, I've had it in my garden from bird seed

wild buckwheat

large drifts of common orache and

common orache

fat hen

fat hen

huge teasels

teasel Regent's Canal

bees on the lesser burdock

lesser burdock bee

This large-leaved plant is at the edge of the canal, I'm not sure but I think it's white butterbur (petasites albus or maybe the other butterbur, winter heliotrope petasites fragrans). I guess flowers would be definitive but not sure when they'd appear. Must note specifically where it is, in case the leaves die back, so I know where to look for flowers.

July 2018

the morning glory is producting new flowers every day, exquisite colour

morning glory

new morning glory bud

morning glory bud

this SylvaC pot had various self-seeders a month ago, since then the deadnettle has died as there are cracks in the pot and it dried out, I put the verbena bonariensis in another pot

SylvaC pot with self-seeders

the foxglove was dry enough I could ease it through the crack and I repotted it in this pot, I'll see how it does


in spite of the slug holes in the leaves, the Big Daddy hosta is blooming

big daddy hosta flower

the garden is dry dry dry, I'm watering the pots but I can't water the entire garden

dry garden with ginger cat

The 5 pots of scabiosa Perfection Blue seedlings have been a magnet for self-seeders, I guess because they're getting watered, this pot has a nasturtium, a verbascum, a green alkanet and a violet? I'll look at them carefully today. -update- also snapdragon and viola self-seeding in these pots

scabiosa Perfection Blue

willow? seedling in the pot on the left, deadnettle, foxglove, verbascum, agastache in the next 2 pots in the middle and surprisingly nothing else but the scabiosa seedling in the pot on the right

scabiosa perfection blue seedlings

Victor seeking some shade in the garden, echium Blue Bedder on the right, sea holly on the left

Victor ginger cat garden

I've put 4 of the largest cleomes in that black pot on the left (up on the table to avoid slugs) and put each of the nepeta cataria in a large pot. That one was partly eaten by a cat (visitor Jeffrey) and Polly Pocket also ate a few leaves..

nepeta cataria and cleome spinosa

mid-Summer 2018

I am so happy to have sea holly - that I haven't spent a lot on in the garden centre. Slugs have eaten those from last year as soon as they started coming up this year - but I collected and planted seeds from them last year and now this year, they are blooming. Not as exuberant as those from the garden centre last year but they're getting established, have the challenge of growing in pots and coping with drought (which they'd be able to cope with after getting established). The stems are starting to turn purple, in that fantastic electric way they have of doing so.

sea holly

close-up of one of the flowers starting to turn purple

sea holly

I am intrigued with these new forget-me-nots. They have appeared in these "garden in a pot"s   I tend to have with things that have self-seeded, this example with stachys byzantina, ox-eye daisy, hollyhock and this tiny-flowered forget-me-not, much smaller than my usual forget-me-nots which have all finished now for this year.

garden in a pot

these are my usual forget-me-nots flowering back in April, the flowers are enormous compared to the one above, I'm wondering if common or wood forget-me-not??


close-up of some of my usual forget-me-nots


close-up of the recent tiny-flowered plant, field forget-me-not??

tiny forget-me-not

close-up of the flowers

tiny forget-me-not flowers

I love buds, sometimes more than the flowers. These phlox buds are great. I got 3 small plants but the slugs got 2 of them so this is my only one left.

phlox buds

the blue of these cornflowers is exquisite




red admiral butterfly on the echium blue bedder

echium with red admiral butterfly

all purple / blue flowers today, here's a chicory I saw the other day in Allen Gardens, east London, one of my favourite flowers


I don't know why some morning glories flower so quickly when they are so small. Most are still growing and no flowers yet.

morning glory

the flower seems to be glowing

morning glory

flower bud of my Big Daddy hosta

hosta flower bud

I can't believe it can still flower with this kind of damage - and the Japanese anemone is untouched

hosta and japanese anemone

I am still surprised when I get flowers from seeds I planted. I shouldn't be but it's so often hit and miss. Black Swan poppies and echium Blue Bedder. The poppies only last a short time so in just the last few days I have 3 seed heads without petals. The terracotta pot on the right on the bricks has an echium vulgare which I put next to the echium Blue Bedder to compare the flowers, difference in size but otherwise extremely similar.

black swan poppies and echium Blue Bedder

the bees are loving the poppies

black swan poppy with bee

I have one largish red poppy plant after sowing seeds the last few years. One of the more difficult plants to grow from seed.

red field corn poppies

the bees are loving the poppies, and the tomato flowers but so far haven't managed to get a photo of one on a tomato flower

red poppy with bee

View from my stairs down to the garden, flowers: cornflowers, delphiniums, verbena bonariensis, foxglove, knautia, scabious, corn cockle, tomatoes, poppies, honeysuckle, nepeta; buds: globe thistle; still awaiting buds: lupin and monarda.


I love veronica. The fancy cultivars are nice but don't last. The bog standard ones at least come back every year. The bees will visit but not when there are exciting things like poppies.

veronica flower spikes

harlequin ladybird I noticed yesterday (22-6-2018)

harlequin ladybird

nice acanthus spinosis flower this year, none last year because of slug damage

acanthus spinosis

Sadly no iris flowers this year. They were choked by green alkanet and too dry. The weather has been terrible. Drought in my garden unless I water it and I'm only watering my pots. I can't water the entire garden.


the daisies and forget-me-not are finished in the compost pile garden, now teasel, morning glory and the blackberry hanging basket (I have no place to hang it)

compost pile garden


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