Thank goodness for gardening! Don’t mind me, but it’s been an awful week and I’ve never been so grateful to be able thrash weeds at my parents house, tend the burgeoning borders at Wimpole (National Trust) and plant out the last few vegetables (beans, tomatoes and squash) in the our patch at home. As so many of us know, gardening is great therapy on so many levels.
It’s time for Six on Saturday, which is another kind of balm to a growing tribe of gardening ‘Sixer’s lead by The Propagator. Join in with a post of six gardening things if you can (guidelines here) and you’ll see what I mean.
Here are my six:
1 Rose ‘Jacqueline du Pré‘
‘Jacqueline du Pré‘ is a wonderful, long-flowering bush rose. It’s the first rose to flower in our garden and I adore its simple flowers with those long fancy red stamen. They remind me of the eyelashes of the 60s fashion model Twiggy.
Many years ago I came across these glamorous buttercups growing in the gardens of the Alhambra, in Grenada. The flowers stood out like colourful jewels against the formal hedging and dark green cypress trees. The image has stuck in my head, but I’ve never grown them for our garden before. Last autumn though I was taken by the photo of Ranunculus ‘Picotee Café’ on the Farmer Gracy website, so I bought some and the picture below shows my favourite colour so far:
Phacelia tanacetifolia is a green manure that I like to throw around the bare patches of the garden as a quick filler. It is an amazing magnet for pollinators. It’s an annual flower that has lacy foliage and flowers that are a lovely soft blue. The flowers gradually open along curved cymes, giving the plant its common name: fiddleneck.
4 Anchusa azurea ‘Dropmore’
While I obviously know that I planted this anchusa at the back of the border years ago, it still manages to surprise me each June when it throws up 5ft tall stems covered in the bluest flowers. It’s a member of the borage family and you can eat its flowers in just the same way. Imagine how pretty a summer salad would look scattered in gentian-blue flowers, along with orange nasturiums and purple violas!
5 Giant Scabious
Cephalaria gigantea (giant scabious) is putting on a fantastic airy show just now, with its tall wands of primrose-yellow flowers nodding at the tips. The whole plant is never seems to be still. The stems are either waving in the breeze or nodding under the weight of the many bumblebees that visit the flowers. It’s a great back of border perennial. However, it’s also a prolific self seeder here, which might be a nice problem to have, except that the plants rapidly develop into massive clumps, with hefty roots. Be ready to dig deep!
6 Mixed poppies in the rain
There’s nothing more cheering than poppies at this time of year … even covered in rain. It’s a bit unsettling to hear sudden vibrations from deep inside the folded flowers though. The bees somehow manage to squeeze in regardless and then the whole bloom resonates.
That’s it for another week.
Have a good gardening weekend!