This is not a tasteful post. It is slightly garish. A bit Ab Fab. But I adore these colour combinations in the bright border.
Like Rosa ‘Benjamin Britten’ with Buddleia ‘Royal Red’.
I can’t get enough of the English rose ‘Benjamin Britten’. I’ve already written a whole post about him. But he won’t let me rest.
Here he is in focus, so that you can really admire his fine form.
With the sun shining through his petals:
And close up, so that you can see the soft chalkiness on the outside of the petals.
Is this bordering on obsession? Probably. I will tear myself away from Benjamin.
This is almost the same colour combination, but with different textures. The Geranium is airy and light, and the Phlox is pillowy. They are looking just a little shabby chic.
But I can’t complain. This phlox has just flowered on and on, since I posted about it here in Starfire. I really love the dark depths of its panicles. I know you can’t feel it, but phlox have the softest blooms. I have to just bounce my fingers off them, and ruffle their hair a little.
This is another phlox that flowers on and on. This time it’s Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’, looking rather marvellous with another English rose, ‘Summer Song’.
I get terribly frustrated with this rose’s ungainly growth habit (see Comparing the growth habit of different roses) and you can see how some of its buds are looking a bit shrivelled, but it does have a unique colouring and a certain grace.
This is probably the best it has looked all summer.
I’m starting to see some definite autumn colour in the bright border, with the golden foliage of the Crocosmia and the red-stemmed Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’.
I cannot recommend Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’ enough. It is fabulous from the first sprouting in spring to its flaming bonfire in autumn.
Euphorbia schlingii is another one to receommend. It is tall, so I use it at the back of the border. It is starting to mottle, but what beautiful mottling.
I need to do a little bit of editing in this border this autumn. Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae (Mrs Robb’s Bonnet) is coming out. It is just too much of a spreader, and has not been respecting the personal space of my lupins. It is going to be a long process, extricating its wandering roots, but I am going to be operating a zero-tolerance policy.
I haven’t mentioned much of the third English rose in my bright border, ‘Thomas a Becket’. This was wonderful in its first flush, and has had a long lull. But now he is back with a vengeance, dripping blooms all over the place.
He has very lax stems, that bend and bow with the weight of bloom.
He looks fantastic with Buddleia ‘Miss Ruby’ and Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’.
Buddleia ‘Miss Ruby’ gets a bit neglected, and is another victim of The Wandering Hands of Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae. This buddleia was chosen for sentimental reasons, being the name of our dog, rather then garden-worthiness. Her blooms are rather small and quick to go over. But I do rather like her all the same. I like the hair-net look.
After all this magenta, let’s have a little interlude of lilac-blue, from Geranium ‘Rozanne’. This geranium is always hailed as the longest and most prolific flowerer of all geraniums. She does do a good job, but I think I prefer ‘Orion’ or ‘Azure Rush’ (see also A Gallery of Geraniums).
A much darker purple comes from Salvia ‘Amistad’. I love the dark shine to the unopened buds at the top of the stem. They have a roughly chiselled look. So handsome.
I have one spike of Gladiolus ‘Black Star’ keeping going. It’s as though it saved itself in order to shine out all alone.
Very late to the party in the Bright Border is Persicaria ‘Blackfield’. This nestles under the rowan tree, being reasonably happy in its shade. It is another victim of that swine, Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae.
In a few weeks, these modest little flowers will be one of the few pops of colour in this border, and I will be glad of them.
This next image feels like a novelty after the bone-dry summer we’ve had. Water droplets standing proud of Alchemilla mollis. Where would I be without Lady’s Mantle?
I will leave you with a long view of the Bright Border. You can see it is getting a little tired, and losing its swagger. But I will just reassure it for now that it looks Absolutely Fabulous, darling.
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