Hints of Summer


At this time of the year much of the garden looks very dull and this year it is also waterlogged with the appropriate squelching sounds to compliment the scene. One has to admire the plants that continue to pretend that it is high Summer, like this Lavatera. New flowers are appearing all the time and the constant storms have not deterred it.

There was an old un-pruned Buddliea Weyerian Sungold in the garden when I moved in over thirteen years ago. A firm favourite of the butterflies, the original plant survived the ravages of Storms Ophelia and Darwin. It is now looking rather worn but I have taken cuttings regularly and they have done well. They, too, are producing flowers at the moment but I continue to have a particular fondness for the parent plant.

I do think that this Buddleia is one of the most attractive and the butterflies seem to agree. It tends to be described as orange yellow but the young flowers in my garden also have a pale pink hue to them.

The New Zealand Tea Tree plant Leptospermum continues to flower and to my surprise has survived the recent frosts and seemingly endless gales. It is also covered in seed heads which remind me of tiny lanterns which would look good in flower arrangements. I hope the plant makes it through the winter.

This is the third Correa (Marion’s marvel) that I have in the garden. All three are in full flower and will give months of colour to otherwise dull corners. They may not be as showy as other plants but their resilience in such an exposed costal garden makes them worth their weight in gold.

I have managed to kill one Cotinus over the years and decided to try this one in pot and in a relatively sheltered part of the garden. This photograph was taken just before the edge of Storm Fergus deprived it of its colourful Autumn leaves. With luck it will still be alive next year.

My small fruit trees took a beating in June and looked very ill for the rest of the Summer. The gooseberries were particularly affected by the salt and I will have to decide whether to leave them in place or try and move them to a more sheltered spot. Not that I have many such places and there is a long line of plants wanting a similar relocation. In the meantime, the gooseberry trees have become host to a myriad of mosses and lichens. Not as tasty as gooseberries, but very beautiful in their own right.

Another Lichen enjoying the hospitality of one of the gooseberry trees.

.This Hebe Wiri Cloud flowers throughout the year and is producing very healthy blossoms at the moment. In addition, it seeds very easily and the gravel close to this particular plant is home to dozens of very healthy seeds which I hope to harvest and spread throughout the garden.

One of my Christmas wreaths made with help from a kind friend who provides the materials and the impetus to our swimming group each December. I have not a hope of ever hanging it on an outside door as it would be blown away in seconds, so I have turned it into a table decoration. Not that it is necessarily safe indoors. As I tried to take the photograph one of my dogs stole some of the decorations.

Part of my second minimalist wreath safely hanging on my kitchen door.

Happy Christmas everyone.

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