A few August views

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.


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9 Comments on “A few August views”

  1. derrickjknight
    August 5, 2020 at 8:23 am #

    We have been lucky with lilies

    • thebikinggardener
      August 8, 2020 at 9:41 am #

      Good :). I do appreciate their perfume at the moment but their distorted flowers and chewed leaves upset me

  2. Paddy Tobin
    August 5, 2020 at 5:37 pm #

    The pale calendula is very pretty if a little tall as you say but worth growing. We had Bulbine in the garden for quite a few year but it disappeared and, in the way of plants which had given sufficient service, we didn’t seek it out again.

    It’s good for the soul to have moments when the garden is just right for us.

    • thebikinggardener
      August 8, 2020 at 9:40 am #

      I can understand that you don’t pine for your lost bulbines. Yes, that moment when the garden looked good was a treat. Now the weeds seem to have doubled and the moment has gone. But there will be another 🙂

  3. tonytomeo
    August 6, 2020 at 12:20 am #

    Wow, I was not aware that anyone else appreciated Bulbine! Someone at work (who is not horticulturally oriented) brought me a bunch. I was so pleased to get it. I had not seen it since the 1980s. A few bloom with more orange the majority that bloom yellow.

    • thebikinggardener
      August 8, 2020 at 9:38 am #

      LOL. I grew it because it brings back memories and it is a pretty plant. I grew mine from Jelitto seeds and they offer the yellow and orange. It looks a bit miserable here until the heat of the day builds up and the flowers open but they remain open into the evening. Luckily we have a heat wave here – 21c! A lot less than Europe is getting and the UK – 36c yesterday – and I am very happy about it as there are raised beds to be made!

      • tonytomeo
        August 9, 2020 at 5:54 am #

        So you also find that it used to be more popular in the past than it is now?

  4. Meriel in Wicklow
    August 6, 2020 at 2:23 pm #

    Delighted you’re happy! I feel very discontented with my own garden today as I visited both Blake gardens yesterday. They are so incredible that it makes me want to give up! But most of the time I’m happy with lesser achievements in my own garden. A successful grouping here and there keeps me going – mostly!

    • thebikinggardener
      August 8, 2020 at 9:36 am #

      I was happy for an hour – the weeds have grown since! And I now have the timber for the raised veg beds so it is all work again. I have not been to the Blakes’ for a couple of years and yes they are amazing gardens. But so is yours so don’t feel discontent – you have achieved wonders

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