Each morning, I try to take five or ten minutes to visit the garden before work.

Knautia ‘Melton Pastels’ in bud

It is a time for checking in with what is happening.

Lupin ‘Thunderclouds’ with roses and poppies behind.

I planted six new roses eighteen months ago, and so this will be their second summer. They are loaded with buds. This one is the English rose ‘Boscobel’. I love this moment. There is so much anticipation encapsulated in these sprays of buds. All that colour, texture, scent, beauty…waiting to unfurl.

Buds of ‘Boscobel’ rose, with ‘Hansa’ behind.

The garden has boundless generosity.

Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ and Dianthus ‘Auricula-eyed Mixed’, with Peony ‘Callie’s Memory’ behind.

There are new surprises every day.

Gladiolus communis

Today I enjoyed the new flowers of Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ against a backdrop of the palest peach peony, ‘Callie’s Memory’.

Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ with Peony ‘Callie’s Memory’ behind.

All week I have been watching the buds of sweet william, to see which nest will hatch the first flower. Could it be this one?

Dianthus (sweet william) buds

Or this?

Dianthus (sweet william) bud

Oh! This one!

Dianthus barbaratus ‘Auricula-eyed Mixed’

This is one of my favourite June geraniums, ‘Sirak’. I love the pencilling on the petals, and the light fuzz which covers the flower-buds and stems.

Geranium ‘Sirak’

I have been anticipating the intersectional peony ‘Watermelon Wine’. The buds broke this week, and did not disappoint.

Peony ‘Watermelon Wine’

This peony is mouth-watering. There is a lightness to intersectional peonies. Where herbaceous peonies are a full petticoat of taffeta and tulle, intersectional peonies are a swishy silk skirt on bare legs.

Peony ‘Watermelon Wine’

The petals glow in the morning sun. The dew-drops seem to iridesce. Whilst the petals are glowing, warm pink, the dew-drops have a cooler tinge of blue.

Peony ‘Watermelon Wine’ iridescent with dew

There are many more varieties of peony to come. The ants are fussing around these buds, like an entourage around a star. A bit of bronzer here, a highlight there. It is nearly ready to burst out onto the stage.

Peony bud

My earliest herbaceous peony is ‘Coral Charm’.

Peony ‘Coral Charm’

This has every shade of peach and pink within its bloom.

Peony ‘Coral Charm’

Some of the roses are approaching their moment. This is the English rose, ‘Princess Anne’.

English rose ‘Princess Anne’

Each and every bloom is perfection. They start out warm pink, and then they take on a lilac-blue tinge. I will capture this in another post. Really, this rose deserves a whole post to itself.

English rose ‘Princess Anne’

By next week the rose garden will be overflowing, cascading, with flowers. I will be spoilt for choice for what to photograph. I hope you will join me. I never quite know what I am going to post about until the garden shows me. It might be planting combinations, or it might be a selection of peonies or roses at their best. Let me know if you would like any particular angle, and I will see if the muse strikes!

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50 Comments Add yours

  1. Martin says:

    Thank you. I love the way you see flowers and all that’s in your garden. Not even the ants are ignored.

  2. Martin says:

    Thank you. I love the way you see flowers and all that’s in your garden. Not even the ants are ignored.

    1. Thank you Martin; I am glad you appreciated that!

    2. Cathy says:

      All gorgeous, Ali. Biscobel is one of my new roses and is in bud now – such an exciting time, watching and waiting for buds to open, and not just on the roses. Must try knautia from seed – how easy are they?

      1. Knautia were easy – about the same as lupins or hollyhocks in terms of germination and growth rate. They put on a lot of root and foliage growth in the first year, then flower their socks off the second year.

      2. Cathy says:

        Oh that’s good to know – I bought a knautia last year, from an open garden I think, and it has grown massively and is covered in buds so that is definitely something I would like more of so will be seeking out seeds

  3. photosociology says:

    The sweet Williams are beautiful, and I find the aroma of geraniums so relaxing and homely. Glad your roses are doing so well.

    1. Scent is a really important element of being outdoors, isn’t it? I got my first sniff of sweet peas yesterday, and they were heavenly.

      1. photosociology says:

        Yes, I agree. There are some flowers growing in a Bush down the road from me, I think it’s honeysuckle but not sure. Such a beautiful aroma.

      2. That sounds like honeysuckle, if it has finger-like flowers that are pink or yellow. You can actually suck the ‘honey’ out of them!

      3. photosociology says:

        Oh wow, I never knew that.

  4. Chloris says:

    Early mornings at this time of the year are bliss. What excitement and anticipation in your garden, so many buds.

    1. They seem to have gone a little crazy this year! I am intrigued about my peonies this year – they seem very late in relation to the roses. Most of my peonies are at the bud stage, whilst most of my roses are starting to flower. How are yours?

  5. Those peony photos are so lovely!! Spring in the garden is so beautiful!

    1. This is a favourite time of the year. You get the sense of abundance, and everything is so fresh and new, with so many delights ahead.

  6. Nicki says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely garden

    1. Thank you for being here, Nicki! It is always nice to hear from people.

  7. Emma Cownie says:

    What a wonderful riot of colour, Ali!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Emma! I do love a friendly riot!

  8. This is the best time of the year, when everything is coming on and each new day is filled with surprises. You capture that so beautifully in your pictures and posts Ali!

    1. Thank you Cindy. You are right, this is my favourite time of year, I think. When warm days are a novelty and a treat. Yesterday we flung open all the doors and windows and it was the first day I was bare-foot from the moment I woke up to when I went to bed. I love that feeling.

      1. Sounds lovely!

  9. John Smith says:

    Do you grow Knautia macedonica Ali ? Is it better than Knautia Melton ? Thanks for any advice on Knautias. Regards, John

    1. Hi John! I grow both. They are both brilliant for difficult places. They can take over a bit in rich soil, so I save them for dry, slightly shady, or poor soil. ‘Melton Pastels’ certainly seems taller, but possibly the soil is richer in the rose garden because I mulch the roses with manure every year. Overall, they are completely fuss-free. When I first grew them, I would try to dead-head them, but this is a full-time job, and slightly pointless, as the seedheads don’t seem to stop them flowering. They flower until November, so they are such a good value plant! And they divide easily, and set seed. I suppose the only hazard is making sure they don’t encroach on other plants.

      1. John Smith says:

        Thanks Ali, somebody else recommended Knautica to me and I had no idea what they were. I placed an order last August from Clair Austin for some of the perennials you described last year; they have grown on nicely in pots and are just being planted out. I am going to place another order soon to fill lots of gaps and Knautica will now be one of them. I hadn’t considered peonies, so that is something else to study. On another note, I really enjoyed this blog post recently; I hope you do too:

      2. Peonies are a whole new obsession – so many to explore!
        Thanks for the link.

  10. bcparkison says:

    Wonderful way to start any day even if you are on ypur way to work.

    1. It is! It is my little practice of gratitude to set me up for the day.

  11. So beautiful—(I feel a bit repetitive with that comment, and probably repetitive that I have said I’m being repetitive!)
    Anyways… the dew on the petal is my idea of a visual haiku.

    1. That is a lovely description, Angela!

  12. Ann Mackay says:

    Your garden is making me excited too! This looks like being a brilliant year for roses – mine are looking better than usual and I’ve seen some fantastic sights in gardens I’ve visited. Looking forward to seeing more of your garden overflow! 🙂

    1. I think you’re right, Ann. All of my roses are heavy with buds and flower.

      1. Ann Mackay says:

        Looking forward to the photographs! 🙂

  13. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Such delicious shades happening in your garden, Ali. I imagine that there’s something to sustain your interest every morning for the whole of the summer and well into autumn. I love the descriptions of the peonies. I’ll have to do a bit of research on intersectional peonies!

    1. Oh, they’re so lovely Jane! Do herbaceous peonies like it there?

      1. janesmudgeegarden says:

        I have only one, Ali, and it hasn’t has a flower on it since I planted it. I haven’t felt like planting more until I see if the one I have can ever be happy. Maybe our climate is too extreme.

  14. crabandfish says:

    These are simply divine and I love the way you visit your garden before work – wonderful start to any day.

    1. It does set me up for the day. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  15. Val says:

    I love the buzz I get from your pink and red flower posts. 🙂 And I particularly love the peony ‘watermelon wine’. 🙂

    1. It is such a gorgeous colour, isn’t it? It’s quite unusual in the garden. I have a rose, ‘Benjamin Britten’ which is close, but a different texture altogether.

  16. Heyjude says:

    Such fabulous peonies and I love your description of silk skirts against bare legs! Oh, yes! You have so many plants already in flower down there, whilst mine are still in bud, but my Sweet Williams are already in flower and giving me such joy. You have a lovely sensory garden Ali.

    1. The sweet williams are really lovely, aren’t they? They take up a lot of space and push into the perennials but they are so gorgeous I forgive them.

  17. Rupali says:

    Beautiful collage of flowers.

  18. Beautiful, inspirational, keep ’em coming!

  19. Gorgeous photos, Ali – the detail of the dew was lovely and I was so drawn into all of the lovely flower closeups. Thank you for sharing this beautiful time of year in the garden!

    1. It’s a pleasure, Lynn. X

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