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.
It is now at its midsummer zenith.
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’.
There is the brightest lime green from Alchemilla mollis,
and swords of crocosmia foliage, looking lush and jungly. I love it when the sunlight shines through, emphasising its razor-sharp edges.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
It is one of life’s pleasures to spend five minutes watching the bees and the hoverflies enjoy the midsummer flowers.
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.
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.
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.
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’).
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.
I love summer.
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!
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Ali, The Mindful Gardener