Blogs

early July blooms

greater knapweed, one of my favourite wildflowers, I'm lucky enough to have it in my garden

greater knapweed

monarda Cambridge Scarlet

monarda Cambridge Scarlet

marsh mallow, blooming

marsh mallow

purple loosestrife

purple loosestrife

hosta flower

hosta flower

hosta flower

bud on the self-seeded shoo-fly

shoo-fly

Amazing Grey poppy

amazing grey poppy

amazing grey poppy

14 hollyhocks planted out, 5 more to somehow get into rock-hard ground

hollyhocks

hollyhocks

that plant with the red flower was already in the garden, the lone survivor or the hollyhock weevil, ox-eye daisy and drought

hollyhocks

while I was planting out the hollyhocks, I noticed these leaves and didn't recognise them, also, sadly, damaged them by accident but the slugs and snails have also had a go, finally realised a few days later - melancholy thistle, which I have in the back garden, how it self-seeded int he front, I don't know

melancholy thistle leaf

melancholy thistle leaves

I planted out the small morning glory Heavenly Blue plants into larger pots, 4 in a pot

morning glory Heavenly Blue

morning glory Heavenly Blue

morning glory Heavenly Blue

today's poppies

bread-seed poppy

bread-seed poppy

bee on Lauren's Grape poppy

Amazing Grey poppies

amazing grey poppy with bee

amazing grey poppy

amazing grey poppy

amazing grey poppy

amazing grey poppy

amazing grey poppies

beginning of July 2022

marsh mallow, one of my more successful grown-from-seed plants

marsh mallow

crocosima, I had no crocosima flowers last year because of the drought but this year I do have a few flowers - they are still struggling as we've had so little rain but they are just making it

crocosima

selfheal, I did grow these from seed but it took a few years for them to really get established and now they are doing well

selfheal

Hollyhocks, I did grow these from seed but for the front garden and this has self-seeded in the back garden. I was going to try to move it to the front but never got around to it. After attempting to plant some other hollyhocks out the front recently and finding the ground rock hard, I realise the impossibility of digging a hole there large enough so it will stay here for the moment.

hollyhocks

Veronica is one plant I buy rather than attempt from seed. I used to buy various Veronica spicata cultivars, which I love, but they never lasted so I decided to just get bog-standard Veronica longifolia. It blooms great every year and even self-seeds.

veronica

the Little Dorrit sunflowers I grew from seed are blooming - the ones that survived the slugs anyway! a number were destroyed

this photo shows better the poppies that are blooming - they don't last long but more flowers bloom imminently

a close-up of some of those Amazing Grey poppies

amazing grey poppy

amazing grey poppy

I find lupins easy to grow from seed - until they get noticed by the slugs. So this year I decided to buy some small plants from Peter Nyssen. I had one nice flower and I see buds on another of the plants which are sitting on the patio table to keep them away from the slugs and snails. Sadly I don't have room for all my plants on the table.

lupin

I finally have some flowers on this white stonecrop which self-seeded a few years ago and has bloomed for the first time.

white stonecrop

white stonecrop

white stonecrop

more late June flowers

more Amazing Grey poppies in bloom

Amazing Grey poppies

Amazing Grey poppy bud

amazing grey poppy bud

bread-seed poppy, my first in bloom

bread-seed poppy

Little Dorrit sunflower

little dorrit sunflower

Dwarf mallow (Malva neglecta), I found this in a pot today in my garden and I'm not certain where it came from. I did sow some wildflower seeds so I assume it came from those. Is dwarf mallow put in wildflower seed mixes?

dwarf mallow malva neglecta

a huge teasel in my front garden - I love them, there was a bee on it yesterday but I didn't have my phone with me to take a photo

teasel

close-up of a flower emerging from a leaf node

teasel detail

bee on bramble

bee on bramble

One of these seedlings disappeared from this tray, presumably removed by a bird or fox. It was the verbena of which I only had 2 surviving seedlings (the 3rd was eaten by slugs). Now I only have 1.

I rescued this creeping yellowcress from the slugs at the end of my garden. I had collected it from a park last year before it was savagely mown down. Turns out it's extremely attractive to slugs and snails and was almost destroyed. I have a few small bits of plants now. Where to keep them away from slugs??

creeping yellowcress

green alkanet seedling, I do like to identify the smallest seedlings so I know what I have self-seeding in my garden

green alkanet seedling

this pot with a rose by the front door has attracted a lot of self-seeders: morning glory, shoo-fly, poppy, passionflower

closer view of the shoo-fly plant, I grew them from seed last year or the year before and often seem to see shoots from seeds in the soil

shoofly seedling

heart-shaped leaves are morning glory, on the right a passionflower, which I have in the back garden so not sure why this is self-seeding here, and a poppy front and centre, selfheal in the pot next to it

close-up of one of the self-heal buds, purple petal just emerging

selfheal

end of June 2022

I squatted down to take a photo of my first greater knapweed flower of the year and a bee landed on it, right in front of me - amazing!

bee on greater knapweed

the Amazing Grey poppies are blooming, some colour variations - not really like the photos advertised but pleasant enough

Amazing Grey poppy

this was this pair of flowers in the morning, next photo below, later in the day when they were fully open

Amazing Grey poppies

later in the day when they were fully open

amazing grey poppy

I took this photo in the morning

poppies common Laurens Grape

by the afternoon the red poppies had dropped their petals and I think at least 1 more Lauren's Grape poppy opened

laurens grape poppy

first Little Dorrit sunflower in bloom

sunflower little dorrit

the monarda Cambridge Scarlet have buds

monarda Cambridge Scarlet

I worry whether I'm doing the right thing, leaving these sheepsbit seedlings to grow together rather than trying to separate them. I worry I would disturb them too much trying to separate them. They look happy enough so far. They won't bloom until next year so I'll just have to wait and see.

sheepsbit seedling

first Amazing Grey poppy in bloom

I shouldn't be so surprised but I am when the seeds I sow eventually flower. It seems so hit and miss so much of the time.

amazing grey poppy

Scarecrow likes to sit on this wall,

either dozing

or looking for mice in the neighbour's garden

Crepis rubra

crepis rubra

before these flowers bloomed I'd forgotten I'd sown these seeds so I planted more so now I have another pot

crepis rubra

hosta with buds, surprised still some existing are some were eaten by slugs and snails

hosta

this pot is full of poppies, I guess they grew to fit their space - the Lauren's Grape poppies are smaller than the ones in a larger pot

poppies

I'm still waiting for these poppies to bloom and I'm not sure which they are

poppy

I look after my neighbour's garden next door. It used to have lots of hollyhocks but then they got infected with hollyhock weevil. Then the ox-eye daisies took over the garden blocking out any struggling hollyhocks. I decided to try to revive the hollyhocks. I bought bare root plants, I think it was 10 but only got 9 surviving. I potted them up and they've grown well in tall pots. I also grew some from seed with 10 plants resulting. Time to plant out so I cleared the ox-eye daisies but the ground is rock hard. It rained last night but the ground is still rock hard. I worked hard today trying to get them in the ground and was gifted some home-made compost which I used to give them a little something to make them happier. I planted out 14 so have 5 more to do tomorrow. I'm thinking of putting some garden waste on the rock hard flower bed for a little while to soften it up, a couple weeks? I'm not sure if that method would help. 

hollyhocks

salvia sclarea var turkestanica, one plant surviving after having about 3 last year

salvia sclarea var turkestanica

sunflowers in bud

little dorrit sunflower

self-seeded viper's-bugloss - so difficult to grow from seed

vipers bugloss

my best poppies this year were the Lauren's Grape that self-seeded

lauren's grape poppy

I have one sea holly surviving from last year flowering.

sea holly

and one very very slug-damaged sea holly which does not have a flowering stem

sea holly slug-damaged

marsh mallow in bud, behind the acanthus

marsh mallow

I love green alkanet and have masses of it in my garden. In the spring it blooms, the bees love it and it provides colour in the garden before other plants get going. It dies back in time for other plants to take over. Below is an example of one of them wilted plants. They all die back like this.

spent green alkanet

Atlantic poppy rosette and one with a bud

atlantic poppy rosette

a green alkanet looking very rosette-like, they don't usually, green alkanet is not a plant that tends to start with a rosette

green alkanet rosette

evening primrose seedling I discovered behind some other pots, didn't know I had it, presume it self-seeded from plants I had last year

evening primrose

I'm not sure what this is, it self-seeded, not sure from where

wall lettuce I saw locally, surprised it survived Veolia

wall lettuce

Crepis rubra pink hawk's-beard

I am loving the Crepis rubra pink hawk's-beard. Grew well from seed.

crepis rubra pink hawk's-beard

crepis rubra pink hawk's-beard

crepis rubra pink hawk's-beard

crepis rubra pink hawk's-beard

The salvia sclarea var. turkestanica I grew from seed a few years ago. I guess they flowered the 2nd year. Only 1 has survived this year. Must take a better, close photo.

salvia sclarea turkestanica

I had a couple cornflowers self-seeding. I tried sowing seed this year but the slugs and snails got all the seedlings.

cornflower

I love viper's bugloss (Echium vulgare) but find them difficult to grow from seed. So happy one self-seeded and I have flowers the bees are enjoying.

viper's bugloss echium vulgare

poppies, acanthus, pink hawk's-beard and friends

bee on red poppy

bee on red poppy

finally the bees have started visiting the Lauren's Grape poppies 

lots of red poppies are blooming

red corn field common poppy

viper's bugloss, bee bottom right

bee on vipers bugloss

blackcurrant sage appeared to be almost dead but I've been watering it well and it has revived, lots of flowers

Acanthus in bloom, best flowers in years. Last year no flowers as they were devoured by slugs. This year, putting in this new fence requred extensive clearing of ivy where I guess the slugs and snails were hiding out. This year, nowhere to hide. Three flowers, must get a better photo of all 3. I wanted to show the bee here - bottom flower on the right of the left flower.

acanthus with bee

close-up of that bee

acanthus with bee

Now the bee is on the left at the bottom.

acanthus with bee

flying bee just to the left

acanthus with bee

view of the entire acanthus

acanthus spinosis

Crepis rubra (pink dandelion / pink hawk's-beard) I grew from seed, first flower 14-6-2022

crepis rubra

lots of buds so looking forward to more flowers

crepis rubra

crepis rubra

 

I have lots of poppies in bloom now but so far no bees on them. I have some bees but I guess not enough to get to all the flowers in the garden.

hogweed, I'm hoping I can see a bee on this soon

hogweed

common hogweed

borage with buds, green alkanet behind

borage with buds

first poppies in bloom

my clowder in the garden, Scarecrow

Rocky

Rocky

Rocky, Victor and Scarecrow

Scarecrow

and in the front garden, Polly Pocket

first Lauren's Grape poppies in bloom

laurens grape papaver somniferum

Lauren's Grape Papaver somniferum

Laurens Grape Papaver somniferum

red / corn / field / common poppy (Papver rhoeas)

red common field corn poppy Papaver rhoeas

melancholy thistle (Cirsium heterophyllum) with a hoverfly

melancholy thistle hoverfly

melancholy thistle with hoverfly

echium vulgare just starting to bloom

echium vulgare

echium vulgare

echium vulgare

a sea holly in bud, this is one I bought last year (Magical Blue Lagoon), it's been badly slug damaged, they never seem to survive very well  so I bought 2 new ones this year (below)

sea holly

these are from new this year Big Blue sea holly

sea holly

bee sea holly

bee sea holly

bee sea holly

common hogweed

common hogweed

common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)

lupin, survived from last year

lupin

I'm still trying to get better results with my phone's photography, so far, difficult to get the entire flower spike in the photo

lupin

Another view of my Rock

Rocky

beginning of June 2022

in my front garden, Atlantic poppy, first a hoverfly was on it, then a bee, then another hoverfly of the same one came back

atlantic poppy hoverfly

atlantic poppy bee

atlantic poppy hoverfly

also in my front garden are two magnificent teasels

teasel

my other teasel, artichokes and my black and white cow kitty enjoying the sun

sometimes the bees fly around too quickly for me to photograph them, the bee below was on the green alkanet flower but it moved before I captured it actually on the flower

lambs ear (Stachys byzantina)

stachys byzantina

mahonia, you can see why it's known as Oregon grapes

mahonia oregon grapes

meadow cranesbill

water figwort in another garden nearby

water figwort scrophularia auriculata

water figwort scrophularia auriculata

this is an example of buds I find more attractive than the resulting flowers, potato tree (Solanum crispum)

potato tree solanum crispum

back garden, bees on the sea holly

bees on sea holly

bee on melancholy thistle

looks like the bee is on the scabious which is wilting but I guess there was enough left to interest the bee

iris foetidissima with bee

lupin (wow! it survived the slugs and snails)

acanthus

acanthus

hogweed

hogweed

I have lots of poppies. These large grey-green glaucous ones are opium poppies (Papaver somniferum). These are the result of self-seeding so they are more advanced than any of the others that I sowed seeds for myself. I guess I should have started my seed sowing earlier.

opium poppies (Papaver somniferum)

red common poppies on the left, 2 pots of poppies in the centre, 2 pots of poppies on the right

poppies

mixed pot of poppies

poppies

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