middle of June 2017

my first scabious Blue Cushion in bloom this year

scabious blue cushion

the lesser knapweed in the front is just starting to bloom, in the back, getting less sun, still in bud only

lesser knapweed

veronica flower spikes

veronica longifolia

Each year I have just one flower on my Indian Summer rose.

Indian Summer rose

in marked comparison with the Young Lycidas I bought at the same time which has dozens of flowers and is very tall (I couldn't even get the top in this photo)

Indian Summer and Young Lycidas roses

as those buds from the Young Lycidas above got heavier the branch leaned over

young lycidas rose buds

nasturtiums and calendula in the background

young lycidas rose buds

my cats are just as much stars of my garden as my plants and flowers, on the left are my cornflowers, well off the ground away from the slugs, Victor in the centre on the fence, on the right the sunflowers also well off the ground away from the slugs

cornflowers cat sunflowers

those sunflowers are just starting to bloom (on the pedestal to keep them away from the slugs)

sunflowers

close-up of that first flower (best shot I can get as it's so tall)

sunflower

the next day, I tried again to get a close-up of the bees on the lupin and I managed to take two pics showing the pollen basket on the bee's leg (orange bulge)

lupin with bee with pollen basket

lupin with bee with pollen basket

After seeing how much the bees are loving the lupins I decided I had to try to get my other lupins to flowering. I also have that smaller one shown below that is just blooming. The slugs have eaten some of my small plants but I have a few left. I need to pot them up *somewhere* away from the slugs, especially that large one that may flower this year.

lupin plants

the slugs can completely destroy an entire plant

slug-eaten lupin leaf

I repotted that larger lupin above in the green pot and the medium ones in 3 terracotta pots. That leaves 2 small plants I will repot. They're off the ground now and I hope the slugs will be avoided - and that they flower. I've also tried to go out after dark to collect the slugs and snails - good strategy last year. I wasn't able to do it this year until recently. Hope it's not too late.

lupins

I am running out of room to keep things away from the slugs. With the passionflower and honeysuckle they've reached the top of the greenhouse where I put seed trays. I've had to move those elsewhere. I'm going to try moving them in the evening and put them back in the morning to get some sun.

I do have that small table on the right but it's too small for much. I should get a longer narrow table to go on there. There's a table at the end of the garden but it doesn't get much sun but maybe for at-risk seedlings and small plants it may be worth it.

unlike the other veronicas I've bought in the past, this one has survived the winter and is blooming

veronica longifolia

on the far right the nepeta with the larger leaves is nepeta cataria (catnip) grown from seed, smaller leaved nepeta with purple flowers are nepeta fassennii bought mail order and some from the garden centre

brightly-coloured snapdragons in the middle, anemones to the left, few ranunculus including yellow ones

moving to the left echium Blue Bedder pots with echium vulgare/viper's bugloss between them, sea holly at the back in the middle, globe thistle in the back on the right

close-up of the echium Blue Bedder

echium Blue Bedder

the bees are regularly visiting the lupin, one just visible on the right of the flower spike, Victor asleep in the flowerbed, using a brick for a pillow

another view with a bee on the left side of the lupin

Scarecrow with the lupin

I had another lupin with green buds and was hoping it would be purple as well (I tried to only collect the purple seeds last year but was worried some pink ones got in) and it's just starting to colour - happy to see it's purple.

lupin buds

moving to the left of the flower bed, knautia in shades of pink, clump of lesser knapweed to the left, not in bloom yet, globe thistle to the right also not in bloom yet, green alkanet throughout, one rosebud right in the middle on a small rose that has never grown any larger and generally only has one flower on it each year

the borage is huge in the repotted "garden in a pot" with masses of buds which are just opening, nasturtium just blooming, small deadnettle in bloom, very small honesty and morning glory also in the pot

borage

my one peony in the front garden

peony