I have been meaning to post for a while about the area of our garden known as ‘Thug’s Corner’. This is the planting area along the fence which separates my flower garden from Stevie’s allotment.
Really, its peak in prettiness is early June, when it looks like this:
The Geranium magnificum then goes over, and the Centranthus ruber gets cut back when it starts to lean in.
At the moment, it looks like this (note the crispy grass in front):
I started off by planting a Hybrid Perpetual rose, ‘Reine de Violettes’ here. You can see this rose looking at its peak in After four days away. Overall, this is a very frustrating rose, and I would not recommend you plant it. It sometimes looks lovely in early June, as it did this year. Other years, the blooms look promising in bud and then just ball up and don’t open properly. Then it flowers very sporadically and unsatisfactorily for the rest of the summer. Faring far better is the wonderful English rose, ‘Royal Jubilee’ (star of Floriferous) which is also in this corner.
At the moment, ‘Reine de Violettes’ blooms look like this:
Actually that rose looks like I feel. I am writing this in the 34°c heat. Before you Australians laugh, remember that we Brits are not acclimatised to this heat. By the time I had lived in Sydney for three years I could cope up to 35°c quite nicely. It was only around 38°c that I would get that ‘walking through porridge’ feeling when stepping out of the car. At the other end of the scale, I started to need a winter coat when it was 15°c during the day. That is light jacket weather to me now.
Buddleia davidii ‘Black Knight’ is also looking a bit crispy. I planted this to soften the view of the greenhouse beyond. It provides nice tall, arching stems of flower. This also has the bonus of smelling dark and seductively sweet, a combination of Turkish coffee and Turkish Delight, if I am being fanciful.
I love the deep purple of the Buddleia against the pink of Rosa ‘Royal Jubilee’. And the orange highlights of the Buddleia.
At the other end of the bed is a Damson, ‘Farleigh’ which is fruiting for the first time this year.
For fatness, I added Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’. The flowers start off this lovely chartreuse-green.
And then swell to great footballs of flower, and become creamy white.
My macro lens reveals their veining and that they like the number 4.
They are the softest of flowers, and invite you to bounce your fingers lightly on their surface.
The other day I found this single flower of Clematis ‘Nellie Moser’. This Clematis has unsurprisingly been struggling to compete with its more robust neighbours. At least once I have yanked it’s new shoots out of the ground, fearing a sudden outbreak of bindweed.
Knautia macedonica was the next thug I introduced. I thought its crimson would look rather nice with the rich pink rose, deepest purple Buddleia and the creamy green Hydrangea.
The scabious-like flowers are produced from April through to December, and the bees and butterflies love them.
They have rather lovely seedheads too.
I seem to like photographing them mid-transformation.
But the real thug, out-competing them all is the Autumn-fruiting raspberry, whose canes have invaded from the other side of the fence, and are threatening to engulf the lot.
I forgive them, because the fruit is delicious.
And the vibrant green sets off the rose, when it deigns to flower.
There is one more thug in this post. This morning I went to investigate the impassioned barking by the fruit cage. A squirrel had got into it, and was throwing itself at the netting.
The squirrel wasted no time in escaping as soon as I opened the door. Ziggy and Ruby ran after it, but in the wrong direction. They are not natural hunters. I returned to the kitchen to my cup of tea.
A little later I wandered down to the allotment, and found more thrashing about in the fruit cage. Not the squirrel this time, but Ziggy! The door was shut. How did he get in there? Ziggy looked as perplexed as I was.
It felt a bit like a David Blaine show.
A more thorough investigation by Stevie that evening revealed some naughtiness. A little patch of netting had been ripped, to make a hole just big enough for either a squirrel or a small dog.
I’m blaming the squirrel.
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