Gardening with Nature on the Edge of the Atlantic

Eighty Two and Counting

Since my first garden, I was determined never to knowingly introduce any wildflowers, but to encourage and record what emerged. To date in this garden I have recorded over eighty varieties. I am confident that there are even more, as I have not even started on the field below the house. I am fascinated by the arrival of new plants such as the Ox-eyed Daisy, Angelica and Centuary, although the latter two seem to have been visitors rather than permanent residents. I assume that they are transported here by the wind or birds. Maybe I can order some red varieties as I know that they are growing in the surrounding hedgerows!

I feel completely out of sync with the garden this month. The winds are screaming down from Greenland (apparently) and it feels as if I am back in the North East of Scotland on a ‘Summer’s day’. The bees have disappeared and there are no butterflies. The roses are not lasting long and some creature has shredded my onion leaves – this is a first for me and I had not yet recovered from the orange rust on my garlic. My blackcurrant crop has been dismal and the blackbirds took over the fruit garden (as usual) and devoured everything. This was the last straw, so I am now arranging to cover half the bushes with a fruit cage. This should be more than enough as they are also busy eating all the fruit from the berberis and decorating my drystone walls with purple abstract art. Oh the joys of being a gardener.

Another example of the impact of the strange weather. This azalea has just started to flower long after its companions have gone.

I find that golden oregano goes with almost everything and, as it is a very hardy plant, I can grow it in areas, like the driveway, where other plants would not do so well. Here it is paired with Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s ears). At least the blackbirds don’t eat these.

While it may not have been very warm recently, this spirea gives a real sense of summer.

Almost all of my buddleia are in bloom, yet there is not a single butterfly in sight. I am not sure if this is an anomaly but I would imagine that the weather has something to do with it. I worry that if they do not emerge soon there will not be enough food for them and wonder whether other gardeners are experiencing similar concerns? I still can’t understand why lavender does so well here, but rather than waste energy thinking about it I would prefer to spend money wisely buying more. This is part of my very informal herb bed and a solid favourite with the bees.

As a result of the dreadful winter, one area of the garden has become very overgrown and will need a thorough pruning in the autumn. So far, this Bottlebrush has survived the fight for space but will definitely need rescuing soon.

I have no idea what this is, but it is not a standard spiders web. Instead, it looks like solid glass or as if it is covered in thick cling film. I did think that I saw a spider of sorts lurking in the shadows but as it was not prepared to show itself I am none the wiser.

Detail of the construction which seems to have pressed the leaves into a mound rather than linking them together. I am hoping that someone can tell me what this is.

Despite the delicate appearance of these double-flowered hydrangea they are as robust as any of the others in the garden. They also grow very easily from cuttings and the colour which starts as a creamy yellow will eventually turn a light salmon pink.

Dierama at its most graceful.

Bottoms up! What more can I say.


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