A breath of fresh air

Today we were joined by my fabulous step-daughter, who is with us for four weeks.  She helped me choose the photos for this post, and chatted to me throughout.  So there might be some weird sentences as I accidentally type random words from our conversations.

Here is the view from the table.

_8050041 (1)
Behind the vine, clockwise from left: Geranium ‘Anne Thomson, Rose ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’, Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’, Geranium ‘Azure Rush’

The light coming through the vine leaves is beautiful.  You can see the network of veins transporting nutrients and water around the plant.


I am really pleased that I planted my favourite plants near the seating area.

_8050042 (1)
Clockwise from left: Geranium ‘Anne Thomson’, Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’, Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’, Rosa ‘Boscobel’, Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’, Rosa ‘Young Lycidas’ and Geranium ‘Azure Rush’

I especially love the combination of maroon foliage, peachy-pink rose ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ purple phlox and blue-purple Geranium ‘Azure Rush’.

Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton with Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’ behind and Geranium ‘Azure Rush’ to the right.

I can’t help it.  I’m going to have to show you some pictures of the divine ‘Lady Em’.

Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’

Can you smell the sun-warmed fruity fragrance?

Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’

I love the way the leaves are shading the delicate flower, and casting a pink shadow.

Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’

We are also enjoying this combination of pink and purple, with Rosa ‘Lady of Megginch’ and Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’.  Even though these might be though of as ‘cool’ colours, they are sizzling here.  Perhaps because there is red in the glowing magenta at the centre of each phlox flower and the deep folds of the rose?

Rosa ‘Lady of Megginch’ and Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’

Here is ‘Lady Meg’ in a cascade of colour.

Going backwards: Rosa ‘Lady of Megginch’, Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’, Penstemon ‘Sour Grapes’ and Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’.

I think Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’ deserves its own photo.  I just love that brightest pinkish-orange in the throat of the phlox.  That’s Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’ in the background.

Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’ with Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’

It’s a similar colour to this delicious deep pink hidden in the folds of ‘Lady Megginch’, here looking quite pale, so that I doubted myself that it was her.  But I went to stand in the same place in the border to check.  And it is.  There can be quite a lot of colour variation in the same rose, depending on conditions when the bud was forming.  This one formed when it was incredibly hot and dry.  I think this has also affected the texture: the petals are really thin, and curling back at the edges.

Rosa ‘Lady of Megginch’ with Agastache ‘Blue Boa’ behind.

Here is a sunlit Rosa ‘Boscobel’ with Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’.

Rosa ‘Boscobel’ with Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’

And I can’t let a rose garden post go by without a sneaky salvia.

Salvia x jamensis ‘Nachtvlinder’

Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’ is just gearing up for another flush of flowers, but for now the foliage is looking lovely.  This is the most elegant of roses in every way.

Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’ foliage

I’m enjoying Penstemon ‘Raven’ with a backdrop of Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’.  This is another manifestation of my obsession with purple and apricot (see Using the Colour Wheel to Plan your Garden).  I love the deep plum shades around the frill of the skirt.

Penstemon ‘Raven’ with Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’

I quite like this dark corner in the shade of a maroon crabapple.  It is a little haven away from the direct heat of the sun.

Penstemon ‘Raven’ with Rosa ‘England’s Rose’ behind.

Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’ continues to be wonderful.  Like scoops of vanilla ice-cream on a summer’s day.

Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’
Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’

Echinops ritro looks rather lovely with the buttermilk yellow tones of ‘Roald Dahl’.  I love the structure of this flower.

Echinops ritro

I am really pleased that the rose garden is still looking fresh.  I think this is largely due to the new foliage on the Gallica and Rugosa roses.  They are especially lovely first thing in the morning, with the sparkle of dew.  The Gallica foliage is mid-green, with just a touch of blue.

Rosa ‘Tuscany Superb’ foliage

Whereas rugosa foliage is brightest acid green.

Rosa rugosa ‘Hansa’ foliage

The penstemons are also throwing up new shoots.

Penstemon foliage

And aquilegia, which was cut to the ground about a month ago is producing a lovely new crown.

Aquilegia foliage

All this new foliage is rather like K, burbling away to me.  Stevie and I have had a very quiet week without children.  K’s arrival is like a refreshing sparkle of rain.

Geranium ‘Azure Rush’

‘Azure Rush’ is probably the best Geranium in the garden right now.  It is late to start flowering, but still looks fresh once other favourites are tiring.

Geranium ‘Azure Rush’

It has deliciously curly lashes.

Geranium ‘Azure Rush’

Another new arrival for August is Phlox paniculata ‘Europa’.  I love the contrast between the white petals and the dark background foliage.

Phlox paniculata ‘Europa’

I planted in with Rosa ‘England’s Rose’ to pick up the pink corona in the centre of the phlox.  I do love a contrasting corona.

Phlox paniculata ‘Europa’
Rosa ‘England’s Rose’

Rosa ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’ has been rather swamped by Geranium psilostemon, and so hasn’t put on as much growth as I would like.  Since I culled the geranium, ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’ has been getting going.  This hoverfly has come to take a look.

Rosa ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’

Another geranium that has just flowered and flowered and never stopped is ‘Tiny Monster’.

Geranium ‘Tiny Monster’

This got a refreshing drenching of water along with the Rose ‘Abraham Darby’.

Now I can give my full attention to my step-daughter.  She has been doing craft at the table, browsing my photos and not pausing to take a breath whilst she talks.  She multi-tasks beautifully.

If you have enjoyed this post, then consider clicking the ‘Follow’ button at the base of this post. You will receive an email every time I post. You can also share the post via the usual social media channels, and via email.

My aim in this blog is to share the little pops of wonder I get from gardening and from nature. You don’t have to be into gardening to appreciate these. The world is an amazing place and there are so many sensory delights that go unnoticed. Let’s not waste the pleasure!

20 Comments Add yours

  1. Robyn Haynes says:

    Your photos are gorgeous Ali. I look forward to the day technology allows us to smell roses like your beautiful Lady Em.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Robyn! The power of suggestion is such that I have found myself feeling I could smell a flower once on a blog post – I can’t remember what it was now. Our brains are strange.

      1. Robyn Haynes says:

        Strange and wonderful

  2. Tish Farrell says:

    You have some lovely plant combinations, Ali. I have developed a passion for phlox lately. Stately but colourful and not rampant, and hopefully long flowering.

    1. Ali says:

      ‘Stately’ is a very good description. Yes, I only discovered them about three years ago and they have been delighting me since. How can such an easy plant be so beautiful?

      1. Tish Farrell says:

        I’m thinking I should start a national collection in the guerrilla garden!!! 😉

  3. Those roses 💗💗 They add so much beauty to the garden. I couldn’t pick my favorite. You captured it beautifully. 😊

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Lisa! I love it when people admire my roses! 🙂

  4. bcparkison says:

    aren’t grands a delightful bit of difference to out day?
    If you ever see and old lady sitting in your garden it might be me. Drinking in the heavenly smells after a swim across the big pond would be a heaven sent time of rest.

    1. Ali says:

      Aw, that is a lovely thought!

  5. Heyjude says:

    I love the Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’ – I really need to stop reading your posts! Every week another plant goes on my list. And I had to chuckle at seeing the Tiny Monster morph into ‘Tony Monster’ – now I wonder who you and K were talking about then? 😀 😀 Have a fab weekend Ali xx

    1. Ali says:

      Oops! I think I will leave it as ‘Tony Monster’ because that made me smile! It could have been so much worse!

  6. Gorgeous as ever. The hoverfly is a good capture

    1. Ali says:

      Hoverflies are very generous to the flower paparazzi! They always play along and make a good photo.

  7. The Echinops ritro is really beautiful, it’s one I’m going to follow up! Thompson & Morgan are looking for gardening bloggers by the way, and yours is my absolute favourite, you should drop them a line! Look for their Instagram feed to get the details.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you; that is such a lovely comment. I have dropped them a line.

  8. Oh wow! It all looks absolutely stunning and so healthy … nothing looks like it’s suffered from the weather or any bugs – how do you do it?! Katie x

    1. Ali says:

      We don’t get many pests – blackfly a little bit on the dahlias early on, but I just hose the buggers off!

      1. Ha! Well it looks wonderful as ever x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s