end of August 2019

another flush of greater knapweed flowers

greater knapweed

the Chinese lanterns are turning orange (the greater knapweed is just to the left of the front path just out of shot)

chinese lanterns

the flowers are so unnoticeable (green lantern underneath which will turn orange in coming weeks)

chinese lantern flower

I have the final few plants I grew from seed. Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica, obviously aren't going to bloom this year. I finally planted them in larger pots.

the slugs had been eating them before so not sure how they'll do in the pots (3 round, 1 square), in the pots I can put them more in the sun when I've cleared some spent plants

salvis sclarea turkestanica

These meadow clary (Salvia pratensis) are surprisingly small, also in smaller pots,

meadow clary

thought I'd try them all together in the this very large pot. I can always divide them next year. Anything in small the pots the foxes are playing with, taking next door, etc. so needed to get things planted, even if into pots rather than in the ground. In the ground I worry about slugs.

meadow clary

Rudbeckia Green Wizard which I bought a few years ago (previous attempts growing from seed were unsuccessful but maybe because of my aggressive slugs), I hadn't planted it out but still the slugs got to it, I moved it off the ground / out of the way and it grew back but the slugs got to it again, the cycle was repeated a few times. At some point I managed to put it on some shelves away from the slugs and it grew back the last time and I planted it in this larger pot. I still can't put it in the ground and not sure where to put the pot long term but it is now on some tall shelves. Can it bloom in a pot? I don't know but I'll see next year I guess.

green wizard

This is my last delphinium small plant (of 4 ) that I grew from seed earlier this year, the slugs got the others; also in the pot is my last melancholy thistle. The slugs loved them! This pot is also on the tall shelves. I have another packet of melancholy thistle seeds to try again.

August 2019

I came back from holiday (on Hayling Island - lots of plants seen, will post photos in coming days) and see the rain had encouraged some new flowers.

the chicory has a new flush of flowers - which a bee is enjoying

chicory with bee

chicory with bee

the bought sea holly plants on the right, mostly brown but a few newer flowers, my seed-sown sea holly on the left, mostly green still but ones in front of the ladder turning blue and some fresh nepeta faassenii flowers and ox-eye daisy

sea holly

some completely new echium Blue Bedder plants - in bloom

echium blue bedder

echium blue bedder

a new knautia macedonica

knautia macedonica

and snapdragon


before I went away, the globe thistles were in full bloom and attracting bees

globe thistle with bee

globe thistle with bee

globe thistle with bee

globe thistle with bee

I guess the bees eventually go to the veronica longifolia but it's not their first choice but I love the purple flowers

veonica longifolia

before I went away I had a new water lily in bloom

water lily

I grew these hyssop from seed last year, finally in bloom this year - but white instead of purple flowers I was expecting

hyssop white flowers

hyssop white flower

hyssop white flower

speaking of bees, I had them on the musk mallow

musk mallow

the scabiosa Perfection Blue

scabiosa perfection blue with bee

lesser knapweed

lesser knapweed

lesser knapweed with bee

and looking back I see bumblebees were on the globe thistles end of July

globe thistle with bumblebee

globe thistle with bumblebee

first flowers of the marsh mallow I grew some seed

marsh mallow flowers

end of July 2019

Thank goodness it has cooled down and we've had some rain. The bees have been enjoying the flowers blooming in this hot weather.


lavender with bee

nepeta cataria / catnip / catmint

nepeta cataria with bee

Japanese anemone

japanese anemone with bee

globe thistles

globe thistles with bee


passionflower with bee

More flowers for bees at Flowers for Bees page.

The cloudier weather has made it easier to take some photos; it had been difficult to photograph this white hyssop flower in the bright sun.

hyssop flower

I grew this hyssop from seeds I bought in Seoul, sown last summer, eaten voraceously by slugs but 3 plants survived because I've kept them off the ground away from the slugs, and now the first flowers. I wasn't expecting white flowers - thought they'd be purple. The photo on the seed packet had purple flowers but maybe there's something in the text that says "white". I'm learning Korean but not up to reading the seed packet yet but I'll look for the word "white". The pot on the right kept getting knocked over and peanuts buried in it by squirrels so it doesn't look so good and no buds.


Two plants that didn't bloom at all last year because of the drought and heatwave: crocosima and agapanthus, but thankfully blooming this year.





mid-July 2019

the bees (bumble and honey) - and hoverflies - are loving the artichokes

artichoke with bees

artichoke with bees

passionflower with bee

goat's-rue by the canal with a bee

goat's-rue with bee

goat's-rue with bee

goat's-rue with bee

goat's-rue canal lock

My greater knapweed seem to be struggling a bit, I guess the environment isn't great, a shallow flowerbed that isn't watered enough (I can't water the garden except for pots) but at least a bee is there.

greater knapweed with bee

Two of the meadow cranesbill I grew from seed are finally blooming. I've had intermittent flowering from the few resulting plants.

meadow cranesbill

meadow cranesbill

The Chinese lanterns turned out to be easy to grow from seed. A few in that trough, which ideally I'd put next door for my downstairs neighbour but the upstairs neighbour is so horrible and refused me access to the garden (even though it's shared with the downstairs neighbour). I can't carry it through her flat.

chinese lanterns

One of my teasels in the back garden is blooming. Some self-seeded next door but that neighbour cut them down (and everything else, he even sprayed weedkiller - I am so upset).

close-up of the flower

teasel flower

view of the entire plant


at least in the front next door he hasn't started cutting anything down but maybe it's only a matter of time, teasels and artichokes

teasel artichoke

another view of them, not sure which is better

teasel and artichokes

water collected in the teasel leaves

teasel with water

hollyhocks used to be the star of the garden next door but the hollyhock weevil seriously reduced numbers, I am trying to grow some replacements from seed but the slugs are seriously damaging the seedlings, I am going to try keeping them in pots until they are larger and maybe able to survive? mugwort to the left

mugwort hollyhocks

field scabious I grew from seed

field scabious

After this garden was completely destroyed with building work, I sowed some green manure seeds  onto the bare earth. These seed pods must be from the few surviving plants of the tare / vetch. I'm going to try sowing some of the seeds.

vetch tare seed pods

the verbascum thapsis appeared on its own

verbascum thapsis

this poppy also found its way on its own

poppy atlantic

best buys from the garden centre - out of the skip, santolina and pelargonium

Santolina rosmarinifolia


July 2019

I have some Chinese lanterns. After the drought and heatwave last year affecting them badly I wasn't sure they'd survive. Thank goodness this year has been wetter and cooler.

Chinese lanterns

I gave in and bought sea holly plants as the slugs have attacked mine and the bees are all over them.

sea holly with bees

my one large sunflower, echium Blue Bedder behind to the right still going strong but the Lauren's Grape poppies behind are finished now pretty much

sea holly

a pleasing basket of violas, Chicky Chicks originally I think, although they've self-seeded and renewed themselves a few times, I don't really have anywhere to put a hanging basket which I'd planted for someone else who couldn't use it so it's just on a rung of that little table

viola Chicky Chicks

self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) I grew from seed

self-heal prunella vulgaris

self-heal prunella vulgaris

I didn't think my first sowing of self-heal seeds had survived the slugs (but they had) so sowed more seeds so I have 3 pots of self-heal altogether although those two at the front seem to have much darker leaves, I don't know why


one Beaconsfield pansy grown from seed above and below along with another pot of it, a nice number of flowers right now but think it's only 3 or 3 plants - all I got from the packet of seeds

Beaconsfield pansy

the artichokes are starting to bloom

artichokes blooming

some artichokes next door to the right, just visible in the photo above, also some hollyhocks although a lot fewer this year after they were badly affected by the drought, heatwave and hollyhock weevil, I am attempting to grow some more from seed but the slugs are attacking them and I just don't have enough room to keep them off the ground and away from them

nepeta faassenii, garden catnip / catmint


nepeta cataria, catnip / catmint

nepeta cataria

nepeta cataria

Summer 2019

Lauren's Grape poppy in bloom and attracting bees

lauren's grape poppy with bee

lauren's grape poppy with bee

the scabiosa Perfection Blue has finally attracted bees

scabiosa Perfection Blue with bee

speaking of bees, I saw these catsear locally with bees a few weeks ago, I just came across the photos and realised I'd never uploaded them

catsear with bee

birdsfoot trefoil top left

catsear birdsfoot trefoil with bee

I had one sunflower last year from seed seeds that came with something and this year I had one self-seeding, presumably from last year's.


this is what happens in my garden, hydrangea (good buy from Sainsbury's, happen to be there when they'd put these out) surrounded by self-seeders, clockwise from top right: lesser knapweed, goat willow (just top visible), forget-me-not, ivy-leaved toadflax, dog violet and not self-seeded but prevalent in my garden, bergenia and Chinese lanterns in pots after my successful experiment growing them from seed


this also happens in my garden, sadly

I tried growing melancholy thistle from seed and although I had reasonble seedlings the slugs were fierce and I lost every one, this one appeared with some hollyhock seedlings but it too got attacked

slug-eaten melancholy thistle seedling

this also happens in my garden, I bought this rudbeckia Green Wizard as attempts from seed failed, before I could plant it out, the slugs got it, it grew back, slugs got it again, it's grown back again so I am reluctant to plant it out until it gets larger and I figure out where to put it away from the slugs, meanwhile lots of self-seeders! tiny poppy (which assumes adjusts its size to fit its environment), dog violet, snapdragons, deadnettle and verbena bonariensis

tiny self-seeded poppy

flowers - end of June 2019

I am having a very difficult week (so far been stung by a bee (excruciatingly painful), been aggressively confronted by a neighbour who says he doesn't want my cats in "his" garden (it's a shared garden) and having migraine auras everyday) so want to focus on my flowers for a welcome distraction.

The buddleja is blooming, haven't seen any bees so far but it's been raining on and off for a week. I did have a  (expensive) star jasmine at the front but passing people pulled off every woody flowering stem and it died so thought a free self-seeded buddleja was a great alternative.


there's also jasmine which was here when I moved in and the fragrance is wonderful


this senecio (yes I know it's brachyglottis now but it still is senecio to me) was also here when I moved in and although it's not my favourite, it makes a nice barrier to block the unsightly wheelie bins

brachyglottis greyi

the meadow cranesbill is blooming and there is still green alkanet

meadow cranesbill

moving to the back garden, the self-seeded poppy I assumed was a Black Swan which I grew last year, is not, not sure what variety it is, a fox-and-cubs is just visible to the right of it at the bottom


the small part of the salvia black and blue that has survived is blooming

salvia black and blue

a nasturtium self-seeded in a little dirt that accumulated at the edge of the patio


nasturtium flower

That echium I first thought was vulgare then Blue Bedder, I think is indeed vulgare. It looks different from the Blue Bedder now. The patio is crowded with plants so a bit difficult to see but it's in the terracotta-coloured pot, in front is a foxglove and a sea holly. I thought the sea hollies hadn't survived but some smaller ones in that grey trough (just visible) have buds.

echium vulgare

That echium vulgare is now easier to compare with the just starting to bloom echium Blue Bedder whose leaves are larger and more rounded.

echium Blue Bedder

a larger pot of the Blue Bedder with buds just starting to open

echium Blue Bedder

bees - June 2019

I happened to be standing in the right place at the right time this morning to get a shot of a bee on one of my knautia macedonia Melton Pastels - one of my most successful flowers grown from seed, lots of flowers over the last few years, self-seeding and beloved by bees.

knautia macedonia with bee

the bees are loving this allium christophii

allium christophii with bee

I love seeing the bees go into the foxgloves

foxglove with bee


I thought this self-seeded echium was vulgare, ie viper's bugloss but as it's developed it seems to be echium Blue Bedder.

echium Blue Bedder

some of this year's echium Blue Bedder

echium Blue Bedder

Chinese lanterns I grew from seed for a friend but not sure they even have a balcony now so will plant them in my garden. My Chinese lanterns suffered vey badly in the drought and heatwave last summer so they could do with some replenishment. They have pretty insignificant white flowers.

chinese lantern

this salvia Black and Blue has been badly damaged by slugs but there is a little left of it and it even has some buds

salvia black and blue

the fox-and-cubs have surprised me by blooming after I potted up some of the runners and then planted them, for a while I despaired of having any fox-and-cubs flowers again


this meadow cranesbill is finally blooming after I grew some from seed a few years ago, only got a few plants and they've been slow to flower but I finally this one is flowering

meadow cranesbill

to the right of the cranesbill, a foxglove and to the right of that, snapdragons, lesser knapweed to the right and behind and a white flower in the back I have no idea what it is - will check it out later

meadow cranesbill

more lesser knapweed buds

lesser knapweed buds

close-up of the lupin flowers - and a bee

lupins with bee

a couple of bees on the nepeta flowers

nepeta with bees

fox-and-cubs in buds


tangerine sage buds

tangerine sage buds

monkshood buds

monkshood buds

delphinium in bloom


meadow cranesbill in bloom in back garden

meadow cranesbill

the lupins had multiple flower spikes but seem to be coming to an end


then I noticed some fresh flower spikes: one left, one centre and one right with buds half open

lupin fresh buds flower spikes

the fox-and-cubs is in bloom



bees are back on the green alkanet, after the rain, I guess they will eventually go to the fox-and-cubs

fox-and-cubs green alkanet with bee

and after the rain stopped and the bees could fly again, a bee on a knautia maceonia Melton Pastels

knautia macedonia Melton Pastels

and one in bud

knautia macedonia Melton Pastels buds

bees - late May 2019

Now here is a flower that attracts bees!

tulip tree flower with bees

I saw this tulip tree while walking through Regent's Park (Avenue Gardens) and looking into a flower, totally unexpectedly saw lots of bees. I had no idea bees were so attracted to tulip tree flowers.

tulip tree flower with bees

tulip tree flower with bees

There is a whole row of tulip trees on the west side of Avenue Gardens. I'm not sure if there's a corresponding row on the other side. Next time I'll walk down that side.

tulip tree

tulip tree leaves and flower

tulip tree

I am so happy to have some bees in my garden - and a few flowers they are visiting. These red / corn /field poppies have self-sown from original "wildflower" plants from the garden centre after seeds were a great failure. Some wildflowers work from seeds and some don't.

field red corn poppy with bee

red field corn poppy with bee

red field corn poppy with bee

the bees are loving the lupins, my photo ended up showing the bee hovering there, I wasn't fast enough to get the photo with it on the flower, I also saw it go up into a foxglove but couldn't get a photo sadly

lupin with bee

the lupins are doing well, surprisingly; a couple of others are destroyed by slugs

I am heartbroken the slugs / snails have destroyed my sea holly. They love sea holly, that's why the plants are in pots. The slugs / snails have eaten the flowering stem which I've circled. That's it for this year. I grew those sea holly from seed two years ago. I give in - I am buying 2 replacements from the garden centre!

slug-eaten sea hollies

The slugs / snails have also aggressively eaten the borage, a plant not usually suffering from slug damage.

slug eaten borage

blackcurrant sage with bee

blackcurrant sage with bee

it's challenging to capture the bees in focus, although this is out of focus it looks like there's a pollen basket on this one

blackcurrant sage with bee

The knautia macedonica have just started to bloom and the bees are all over them. I should be able to get one photo today - that will be my challenge.

latest flowers in bloom

lots of flowers are blooming, in addition to the green alkanet

allium Purple Sensation with a bee

allium with bee

allium with bee

there is a bee on the peachy snapdragons on the left, although admittedly a bit small to see, all of the snapdragons here self-seeded as did the violas


bee on the left in this shot, perhaps slightly easier to see


red poppies in the front garden, ox-eye daisies in the background

red corn field poppies

red poppies in the back garden

red corn field poppies

first foxglove in bloom


more foxgloves in the front, they seem to grow to fit their situation, these didn't have much room in this pot so they're smaller


the rose has masses of flowers now (Young Lycidas?, I think, I didn't keep track so well of my plants when I bought it about 15 years ago)


few days later, first knautica in bloom in addition to the foxglove and roses


wider view of all those roses


two of my cats, with my messy patio - I have lots of containers of water - for plants and animals, the cats like to drink from them, no doubt the foxes as well

another cat

I always have violas self-seeding everywhere, this beautiful "black" (very dark purple) one appeared in a pot

black viola

I love buds, especially fat bursting ones, this purple aquilegia one was such a beautiful colour I wanted to take a photo, I didn't even notice the bugs (aphids?) until I was processing the photos at my pc.


a purple aquilegia in bloom, I have aquilegias popping up all over the garden, front and back, amidst the green alkanet


few more centaurea montana flowers but I think they're coming to an end, sadly

centaurea montana

In addition to the rose above in my main flowerbed, I have this rosa rugosa in the front garden, blooming away with the minium of fuss, sometimes forgotten about. It was here when I moved in - it deserves more attention!

rosa rugosa

rosa rugosa flower close-up

also in the front garden, lesser knapweed, first iris foetidissima flowers in the background to the right

lesser knapweed

more sun in the front to help those iris bloom whereas in the back garden they are only in bud

iris foetidissima buds

first passionflower in bloom - and lots of buds



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