Sunday, 13 July 2008

July in the garden








Yesterday we had a big outdoor party - the day was just about fine but it was noticeable that people kept wandering off to their cars to bring out coats and jackets. Today of course the sun is shining and it is warm. It is time to slow down, to wander, to really look. What is happening in the garden in July?




Poppies are so fleeting and so beautiful I have tried to catch some of the best. They self seed wildly in our garden in all shades of pink and purple and this year, for some reason, we also have vivid red ones. Some are extravagant double flowers, like crumpled folded and refolded tissue. Some are perfect simple flowers, like a Remembrance Day poppy but dazzlingly alive.
I let them self seed and even allow them in the vegetable beds, except amongst the onions which seem to dislike competition even of these gentle benevolent flowers. In the raspberry beds which were manured in the spring the flowers muscle up, huge and rampant, but they also grow in the walls in the sunny bank, in nooks and crannies, in amongst the beetroot and the beans. They are summer for me.


Sometimes it is the small things that you walk past every day that you need to stop and look at properly. Entrances are lovely things but so often coming into the house is a rush, weighted down with bags, running to get to the phone, accompanied by the wails of an indignant hungry cat. Idle a minute in the sun and you can really see.


Here is the wall by the front gate with succulents growing in what seems to be nothing and astrantias self seeded in the foot of the wall.


Here is the path to the front door, frothing with campanula and alchemilla mollis, demonstrating the eternal gardening truth that the effects you aim for are always eclipsed by the ones that just happen.


And here are some scented leaf geraniums above the wall by the yew tree. Crush a leaf in your hand and the scent of childhood surrounds you.
We had a call this morning to say that a relative of Ian's died in his sleep last night. Look around you. Smell the rose. Feel the sun on your back.

23 comments:

  1. Beautiful garden - wonderful photographs. Mine is all rain-dashed, or rain-forest!!

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  2. We had a party too here in North Wilts and the weather let us down. What a lovely garden you have - like the idea of poppies in the veg garden - will suggest Husband does the same next year.

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  3. That is a lovely glimpse of your garden. Astrantias, I am cross with myself as I meant to plant some and never got round to it...next year maybe, as I love them. Yours are so pretty.

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  4. Thank you for sharing those gorgeous photos of your garden.

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  5. Carpe diem indeed - and gather ye rosebuds while ye may....

    Love the frothy campanula/achemilla effect - but you've seen my garden and know we do a lot of 'froth' here and it's my kind of look.

    Lovely sunny day here too - yesterday I was in Chester watching the Mystery Plays - outdoors. The spirit was fulfilled but the toes were frozen. Was rather hoping the heavens would open when Noah boarded the Ark, but no, it was dry all afternoon.

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  6. Your garden is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the pictures. That peony is my favorite.

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  7. Your garden looks beautiful. Mine unfortunately is full of weeds, I'm not sure where to start!

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  8. bittersweet, elizabethm.
    more sweet than bitter. but still, bittersweet.

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  9. I love a bit of froth too - that campanula/alchemilla mix is heavenly. I brought some campanula home from North Wales from my MIL's garden and hoping it will take here (never did like our old garden).
    jxxx

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  10. So sorry to hear of the death in Ian's family Elizabeth. Your grden pictures are beautiful and I needed that reminder to stop and look around for a moment. Too easy to race ahead and miss the important things xx

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  11. Another beautiful post Elizabeth, you have a knack for making me stop in my tracks and think about what really matters. Thank you. Please don't stop!

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  12. nice photos, Elizm. We have a lot of those top scruffy poppies which have all just landed and messed up my careful blue and yellow planting scheme (!) adore astrantias and have quite a crop of the blood red ones which are just lovely. Sorry about Ian's relative - but by the sound of it, not a bad death, as deaths go.

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  13. Wow! Those are absolutely beautiful poppies. I also love the purple flower of which I have planted in a tub.

    CJ xx

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  14. Beautiful pictures - I love alchemilla mollis and those poppies are lovely. Sorry to read about a death in the family, but you are quite right, we should all make time to stop and smell the roses.

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  15. Poppies are striking while they last but that is not for long.
    It is lovely to see the way your garden flowers have come on.I enjoy strolling round with you.

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  16. Oh, your poppies are just scrumptious! Please do keep up the reseeding.

    xo

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  17. . . .sigh . . . total garden envy . . .

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  18. Lovely, lovely garden. The poppies are just beautiful!

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  19. Beautiful pics, lovely poppies, very much like ours, all pinks and purples. Last year we had some black ones but they have not reappeared, sadly. It's lovely just to let them go rampant, you have flowers everywhere.

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  20. I can feel the sun. See and touch the colours. Smell the scents. And breathe in summer...much can be said for the power of our imagination.
    Sorry a relative of Ian's died - but the best way to go.

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  21. Gorgeous, gorgeous blog, Elizabeth. I think I'm really a "smell the roses" sort of person at heart, if only I could get off this wretched hamster wheel for a few minutes. Know just what you mean about the ephemeral nature of poppies - pick them and they're gone in a few hours, but I love the way they self-seed and just pop up where they feel like it. Lovely pictures, too - your garden sounds like the kind of garden my garden aspires to.

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  22. Hi ,i'm sat in the shop it's raining outside, and i really think you ought to be here ironing while i wander around your garden xx see you soon

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  23. Smashing garden, but you need to give that Alchemilla mollis a haircut soon or poppies won't be the only things self-seeding all over your garden!

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