In the past week the garden has reached a rare ‘sweet spot’ in some places. Lots of things still have to bloom I am certainly not going to be complacent but there are a few little clumps that don’t give me anguish, and that is as good as it gets at the moment. I thought this sunflower was called ‘Buttermilk’ but can’t find a reference to it now. It is shorter than it should be but then with all the wind yesterday I am happy about that. Beyond is ‘Cali’, an interesting lily that is a hybrid of an Oriental and Longiflorum lily. I am falling out of love with lilies this year as so many have succumbed to virus but this one seems healthy enough. The flowers are huge and a pretty colour and heavily scented. I am not a fan of pink and yellow but this combination actually makes me happy.
Another Longiflorum lily hybrid, seen here with Calendula ‘Snow Princess’. The calendula is not as white as advertised and is palest just as the flowers fall to bits but it is a pretty thing. I posted before about its rangy habit, which surprises me since most modern varieties are dwarf. I think this is more by accident than design – I suspect the raisers were so obsessed by the novel colour that they did not have time to make it more compact. I would like it a bit shorter if I am honest – it is 60cm high – but it is making a good show.
I posted about my root cuttings of Eryngium ‘Neptune’s Gold’ ages ago. I planted them out last year and they have bloomed this year. I know many people don’t like this yellow-leaved eryngium but I find it bright and love the way the flowerheads start yellow and how the blue gradually suffuses the bracts. I grew Bulbine frutescens ‘Avera Orange’ from seed this year and have popped some in among the eryngium. Blue and yellow work together and orange should work with both. As a student we planted Bulbine as bedding at Kew and it is decades since I have grown it again. Then it was propagated by cuttings but this seed strain has been great, easy to grow and it started to flower a month ago. It is succulent and drought-tolerant and is not hardy but I have some in pots (below) and I will keep these under cover. The flower spikes last for ages as more of the little starry blooms open and as the plants are growing, more are being produced.