Butterflies flutter by.

At the risk of boring you,  the butterflies only flutter by after they have had a pit stop at the nectar bar in the front garden. The nectar bar I’m referring to is Eupatorium purpureum atropurpureum given to me by a friend as it grew too big for her garden,  thank you Jill ! Right from it’s first year here it has been a magnet for bees and butterflies. Each year now it puts up more stems topped off with the huge pink flowers, at least 10 inches across, far larger than the ordinary Joe Pye Weed,  opening from deep pink buds. When I got out of the car the other day, I stood mesmerised by all the butterflies and bees feeding on the flowers, it really was a feeding frenzy with more insects arriving all the time.

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Summer is slipping away. GBBD August.

There are too many signs of autumn, I feel that summer is slipping away fast. With all the heat that we had over the summer, the flowers are over almost before they have opened up. Thank goodness the temperatures are now lower and that we have been having lots of rain, which the garden certainly needed.

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Beans, Butterflies and Bertha update!

I thought it was too good to be true. I thought we had escaped any damage as the remains of hurricane Bertha passed through, but on going up to the fruit and veggie garden this morning, we found that the runner beans had been toppled.

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More summer visitors arriving every day.

While we have been having all our lovely hot sunshine, more and more butterflies have been arriving in the garden. Some I have been able to photograph, some are too skittish and fly away as soon as I get near them. We had Orange Tips and Brimstones earlier in the year and a few weeks ago had Common Blue and Holly Blue, but no photographs unfortunately. I’ll start with our friend from the Channel Islands, the Jersey Tiger Moth.

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Up in the air.

I keep mentioning the pergola which goes up to the fruit and veggie area, I thought it was about time to show the planting round it and up it. It has the pond to the right of it with spring flowering shrubs, to the left is a shady border , between the pergola and the field next door, with mainly hydrangeas which are flowering now and a huge Bramley apple tree which we inherited. Most of the uprights have a rose and clematis up them, some have 2 clematis and one has a Trachelospermum jasminoides.

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It has been so hot and dry. EOM view July.

In places, the garden is suffering, when the rhododendron leaves hang down vertically, it is time to give some extra water. As I have mentioned in the past, we are on a water meter and have to pay for every drop of water we use, we chose to have a meter many years ago and our bills halved.  Normally we can manage with just the water we have in the water butts, only the fruit and veg get watered with a hose, but when the weather is so hot and humid for so long, then plants begin to suffer as well as us! Some perennials  have been cut down and I know that they will sprout again, they aren’t a problem, but when quite large bushes are gasping for a drop of rain, I have to react and out come the buckets. This is the time that rhododendrons and camellias will abort their flower buds, with the result we won’t have any flowers next spring, hopefully we have caught them in time.

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Perfume on the breeze in the night.

Last week when we were having thunder and lightning after we had gone to bed, I woke with the noise and the lightning flashing round the room, someone else slept through it all! Even though the window was wide open, it still felt too hot with the curtains closed. I got up to open them and was greeted with the most delightful perfume which I recognised straight away, the honeysuckle over the arbour in the gravel garden at the back.

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Foliage for July GBFD.

Thanks to Christina, we are now focusing on the foliage in our gardens.  Flowers are everywhere and  it is hard  to focus on the leaves, but some of them are so beautiful, it is a shame they get overlooked in summer.

Alchemilla mollis

Alchemilla mollis always catches the eye after a shower of rain, or even a thunderstorm which we had the other night, complete with lightning.

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July is the month for …..Day lilies.

More and more day lilies or Hemerocallis, open their flowers during the month of July. They bring such colour to the borders while the roses are having a rest before flowering again. They are so easy to grow and don’t seem to mind my heavy soil which is good. When I find something that likes it, I try to find any cousins of theirs that might also enjoy the same conditions, hence I seem to have gathered quite a few over the years, but can’t remember many of their names unfortunately.

Day lily

This is a small one that is on the rockery by the alpine scree.

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Red, White and Blue. G.B.B.D July

When taking photographs for July’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, it dawned on me how many flowers there were in the garden, in the British patriotic colours of red, white and blue. Crocosmia Lucifer has just started flowering up by the pond and takes the eye as soon as you step into the garden by the back door.

Crocosmia Lucifer

Backlit by the sun, some of the petals look yellow.

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