Thursday, 19 December 2013

Beeloved by butterflies and bees

My Scabiosa atropurpurea has wonderful flowers about 2 inches/5cm wide floating over a lovely emerald green foliage all summer long. Scabious is better known as the butterfly blue or pincushion flower and it was believed "that the Devil did bite it for envie, because it is an herbe that hath so many goode vertues and is so benificent to mankind" - given where the name comes from I hardly like to think of the manner of uses Scabious was taken for. It is enough that it grows in the baking hot places of my garden and is beeloved by butterflies and bees and can be cut for the house as by harvesting the flowers you get many more all season long.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Nice to meet you Mrs J. Bradshaw

Geum 'Mrs J. Bradshaw' looks lovely waving among the perennials and roses, she is light and airy with a bold splash of scarlet colour waving around up to 60 -90cm high. She is a bit prickly though as spiky little seed heads form all summer long. So with lots of seeds and splitting the clump in spring and summer I hope to have a whole flock of Mrs J. Bradshaw's. Highly recommended. Good for bees. Common name Avens.

I like that William Morris included Avens in one of his most popular designs 'Blackthorn', although he depicted a water Avens which are now rare in the wild unlike in his time when it was common in the UK along river and waterways. 

Monday, 16 December 2013

All the things that love the sun

My little hare in the herb bed
There was a roaring in the wind all night;
The rain came heavily and fell in floods;
But now the sun is rising calm and bright;
The birds are singing in the distant woods;
Over his own sweet voice the Stock-dove broods;
The Jay makes answer as the Magpie chatters;
And all the air is filled with pleasant noise of waters.

All things that love the sun are out of doors;
The sky rejoices in the morning's birth;
The grass is bright with rain-drops;—on the moors
The hare is running races in her mirth
by William Wordsworth
Sunlight through the acer
 There was a storm now everything is washed clean and new. Sunlight through the Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku" - a delicate acer with pink stems and lime yellow foliage.
Catkins on the Macedon Oak.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

I meant to do my work today

I meant to do my work today—

   But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
   And all the leaves were calling me. 

And the wind went sighing over the land,
   Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand—
   So what could I do but laugh and go?
Richard Le Gallienne

Friday, 6 December 2013

Dreaming spires

With apologies to Mathew Arnold! Wonderful spires of Echium reflect the blue sky and pop out from the gold of diosma behind. 

I love to love my Echiums but like a summers lease they are all too soon over and you are left with sad reality - leggy growth, and in my garden they just grow and grow up to 2m tall, which can be stunning when in flower but all the nasty prickly leaves kill everything underneath them so the look unsightly. Once in a decade I go mad with a chainsaw and cut the down to the ground and just a few months later seedling come back and harmony is restored.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Raindrops on roses and peonies and geums!

Sweet gentle rain falling all day today.

Nature's riches scattered tiny diamonds everywhere for me to capture.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

You're weird, I like that

I've had this shrubby phlomis for a few years now placed at the top of some steps and it has just sat there and looked …well scrubby shrubby and hardly a flower.

This year is another story, magnificent grey green spikes of foliage and covered in extraordinary whorls of yellow flowers. I also like the idea that only bees can pollinate the phlomis, a great reminder of how important our little bee friends are. I'm looking forward to taking cuttings when it finishes its firecracker display and then I shall continue them along the back of the long border with nepeta and 'Silver Ghost" rose.

I'm not 100% sure but i think this is Phlomis fruticosa, Jerusalem sage.

Monday, 2 December 2013

'Albertine' sweet fleeting love.

Rosa 'Albertine' is always the perfect Christmas present, flowering from early December for about six wonderful weeks. Generous, fleeting but bountiful in it's delicate apple scented blooms, it is like a dear friend you meet just once a year and with fond memories look forward to the next.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The blueberry harvest.

This is the first year I have had more than a handful of blueberries from my two little low bushes 'Sunshine Blue' and they still look like I shall get another two punnets or so from them as the weather gets hotter. They are just under a foot high now and I intend to try and strike a whole hedge of them as they are very expensive to purchase in my area at $17ish a pot. They are growing around the outer area of a mature  Really amazing taste fresh from the bush, a bit sharper, clearer and not gritty. Rather than whizzing them up in a smoothie I made this Blueberry and lemon cake. 
Blueberry madeira cake

The recipe is over on my home crafty blog.