Full Blast

Summer has been a long time coming this year, but it is, finally, here. The bright border is full-to-bursting with great mounding humps and foliage and flowers shooting up and out.

Only two weeks ago, this border was showing soft tones of coral and peach (you can see that here in my previous post, Soft Border).

Two weeks make a huge difference in a garden. Look at it now.

English Rose ‘Summer Song’ in the bright border.

It is now at its midsummer zenith.

Clockwise from top left: Peony ‘Kansas’ with Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’, Crocosmia foliage; Geranium ‘Dragon Heart’ in the foreground.

Someone turned the colour up. You almost need sunglasses to look on it.

The purples have gone almost ultraviolet, with my favourite magenta geranium ‘Anne Thomson’ partying with Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ and the flagging peony ‘Kansas’.

Geranium ‘Anne Thomson’ with Peony ‘Kansas’ and Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’

There is the brightest lime green from Alchemilla mollis,

Alchemilla mollis

and swords of crocosmia foliage, looking lush and jungly. I love it when the sunlight shines through, emphasising its razor-sharp edges.

Crocosmia foliage

This combination is one of my favourites. It epitomises the bright border: brightest orange and magenta, zingy lime-green, and just balanced out by the lighter, zippy lilac of Geranium ‘Brookside’.

Clockwise from top left: Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’, English rose ‘Thomas a Becket’, Geranium ‘Brookside’, Geranium ‘Anne Thomson’, Alchemilla mollis

All the mounds have joined together and are enjoying one anothers’ company, standing cheek-by-jowl, as if at a rock concert. It is a festival of colour and texture.

Clockwise from top left: English rose ‘Thomas a Becket’ with Lychnis coronaria, Geranium ‘Brookside’, Crocosmia foliage, Geranium ‘Anne Thomson’, Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’

Another combination I am enjoying is the English rose ‘Summer Song’ with Salvia nemorosa ‘Caraonna’ and the Peony ‘Kansas’. This rose is a really unusual deep and creamy burnt orange. I have been critical in the past of its awkward growth habit (see ‘Comparing the growth habit of different roses‘). I partially forgive it when I see its unique colouring. And I completely forgive it when I sink my nose into a fresh flower. Oh that scent! It is a sweet shop; a tropical fruit salad; a cocktail of heavenly floral and fruity scent.

English rose ‘Summer Song’

The salvia is glorious with the Peony ‘Kansas’. Peonies have been surprisingly late this summer: I can’t remember them ever having lasted until the end of June. I just caught this bee enjoying the salvia: salvias are always buzzing with half a dozen bees at any one time. I love the sound.

Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ and Peony ‘Kansas’

It is one of life’s pleasures to spend five minutes watching the bees and the hoverflies enjoy the midsummer flowers.

Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’, a bee, and Peony ‘Kansas’

The English rose ‘Thomas a Becket’ is the mid-point in the border. Every year it is getting a little bit taller, a little bit wilder, even more loaded with trusses of magenta flowers. I love it.

English rose ‘Thomas a Becket’ with Geranium ‘Brookside’

The rose is a high-point at the back of the border, providing structure for more lax perennials to climb on.

Geranium ‘Brookside’ loves roses, and roses love geraniums. This paler geranium is the blue sky, the breath of fresh air in an otherwise heady mixture.

Geranium ‘Brookside’

At the farthest end of the border is a trellis with two varieties of clematis, Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ and C. ‘Princess Diana’. They echo the purple and magenta of the roses, peonies and geraniums.

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ with C. ‘Princess Diana’

If I go upstairs, I can see the length of the whole border. I am pleased with its balance of purples, magentas, lime-green and sky blue. Soon there will be scarlet, orange and gold, from day lilies and crocosmia, as it turns over into its high-summer outfit (you can see that here, in ‘Supersonic’).

The bright border, in midsummer.

All of these plants are low-maintenance. There is nothing to do now, but laze in the sun, maybe do a little dead-heading, sniff a rose or two, and just dance along with the music and the colours at full blast.

Clockwise from top left: English rose ‘Summer Song’, Euphorbia palustris, E. schinglii and E. griffithii ‘Fireglow’; Geranium ‘Anne Thomson’, Alchemilla mollis, Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’, and Peony ‘Kansas’ in the middle!

I love summer.

Clockwise from top left: Peony ‘Kansas’, Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’, Geranium ‘Anne Thomson’ and Alchemilla mollis.

I am no longer posting on Facebook, but you are most welcome to share any posts on social media, using the buttons below.

My posts will be slightly less frequent, as I need to focus on other projects. However, I will be posting about a few favourite roses, and about my cutting patch, which is just starting to be productive. My nose is filled with the scent of sweet peas!

Feel free to explore this site, and I would love you to share it with anyone you feel might be interested.

Ali, The Mindful Gardener

34 Comments Add yours

  1. John Smith says:

    Thank you for sharing all this information. Have you found a peony that has good weather resistance – my mother’s always used to disintegrated after the first rain; Kansas is a beautiful colour. Thank you.

    1. I don’t have too much of a problem with rain damage. I suppose the bigger the peony the worse that would be. I support my peonies with a metal ring support, which helps.

  2. Angela says:

    Yours is a gardener’s dream. I love everything you post.

    1. That’s so lovely to hear, Angela. Thank you.

  3. bcparkison says:

    Oh so pretty. I could set out there all Summer and just soak it all in.
    How do you keep the Crocosmia and Day Lilies from taking over the beds. Mine have just over run every thing and I have dug out truck loads.

    1. I haven’t had a problem with them taking over, but I do have that problem with phlox and euphorbia. I plant them with equally rambunctious partners!

  4. Heyjude says:

    Beautiful colour combinations. I love your roses and geraniums. Does Ann Thompson grow in sun or shade or both? I’d like to replace some of my pink ones with magenta and/or blue, but the location is mostly shade until late afternoon in summer when the border gets the sun.

    1. It’s best in sun, but Anne Folkard is good in shade, as is Patricia.

  5. Your garden is looking so lush and full. It is hard to know where to let the eye land as there is so much to look at. I can only imagine how stunning it must be to see it all in person. Wish I could see it. If it were my garden, I think I’d just pitch a tent in front of it, so I could gaze on it from morning to night.

    1. Aw, thank you Cindy. You can pitch a tent wherever you like!

  6. Ann Mackay says:

    Your garden is looking wonderful – so lush and full of colour. There’s a real garden party going on there! πŸ™‚

  7. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Salvia nemorosa Caradonna and Peony Kansas make a zingy combination. The border looks wonderful, Ali.

    1. I love purple and magenta. Thank you Jane!

  8. Cathy says:

    I love borders like this, Ali, and am slightly envious of the mounds as my borders are much narrower than yours and I have crammed pkants in so they are jostling for elbow room. I have been considering adding roses to some of the borders (if there is room!) but am ubsure because of the deadheading aspect – how do you mage to deadhead yours, particularly T a B? Thanks for sharing your gorgeous border!

    1. I leave Thomas a Becket until the first flush is over, and then tackle it all at once. In long sleeves and gloves, and glasses! It is a beast.

      1. Cathy says:

        Haha! I shall be donning similar gear to cut back Rambling Rector soon, but need a hat too for him!

  9. Absolutely glorious, Ali! There is a place (and a need) in the world for the unabashed embracing of color and the overflowing cup of nature. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you so much Lynn, that is such a lovely comment!

  10. Ali, I really need you to come and design my wildflower garden! I love the idea of someone turning up the color on gardening. Gorgeous pictures, as always.

    1. I would love to do that, but I wouldn’t want to spoil your fun!

      1. Ha! That’s a good point. It is fun learning.

  11. It’s gorgeous. Congrats on a beautiful garden, which I know must take hard work.

    1. Thank you Cynthia! It is the best kind of work.

  12. Sandy Baham says:

    You are a true artist Ali! The photos and posts are such an inspiration!

    1. Thank you Sandy. You are very kind.

  13. M.B. Henry says:

    Wow, look at all those colors!

  14. jen_bookworm says:

    wow. I love your garden. The only person whose garden I love is my Nan most people I know just put decking down- my neighbours as I type. I’d love a garden with flowers and food. I planted some this year but we only moved in last year and I haven’t a clue. I’ve always wanted a herb garden too. I love looking at photos of people’s gardens, thanks for sharing

    1. It sounds like you are about to become a Gardener. Don’t be afraid! Dive in, make mistakes, enjoy!

      1. jen_bookworm says:

        Thanks πŸ˜ƒ

  15. Spectacular! I am in awe of your space – so wonderfully painted, with such precision and detail. I am more of a wild gardener, in part due to the never-ending battle with assorted weeds and over-enthusiastic heirloom self-seeders. In my dreams, my next life’s garden will aspire to be like yours πŸ™‚

    1. That is very kind of you. Self-seeders are very useful. A wild garden is a happy garden!

  16. Sophie says:

    The garden is looking stunning, Ali! I haven’t popped over for a while as I’ve been busy with work so it’s nice to catch up. The colours are stunning

    1. Thank you Sophie. Hope you are enjoying work. Xxx

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