Sunday Safari

I’m sort of feeling the need to do a bit of an update on parts of the garden; especially as it’s a couple of weeks away from the end of month round-up post and feel things change so much in a few weeks that I want to get them in there when I can!

The front garden is doing very well considering it’s still only a few months old – especially the areas I’ve only planted up over the last few months.

This poppy I planted earlier in the year has been teasing me for around a week now with his skin seemingly popping open and yet the bloom still isn’t out! I guess it’s going to be red or pink- I didn’t know what type when I bought it.

Strangely enough, although Lavender love heat and dry weather, this year is looking to be a bumper year for mine??!! All have loads of blooms on them. Although I’ve had to replace one I lost over winter; the same one that was blooming in December and then was caught out by snow :(

I just need the plants to start filling out now, I also sowed a lot of seeds here and many have germinated but due to lack of sun, they’re still small seedlings when really they ought to be blooming by now.
This is the first year I’ve had Day lilies, this one is doing OK although I assume it will not bloom this year. Again I’ve no idea which type it is as it was sold simply as being a Daylily. The other I bought isn’t doing as well because the Centaurea is now smothering it, and I’ve had to attempt to stake it back using old rose branches.
I like the variety of Erysimum I have in the front, and hope they get large soon to provide plenty of blooms for the Bees and Butterflies… I also like how the Meadow Clary has produced plenty of blooms. Previous experience with it is not so good, but it looks like these are doing well. Susan Williams-Ellis can also be seen to the left (the white is blown out)

This is the light blue Iris; I need to thin the area around them because they’re hidden by other plants at the moment. But I was well aware when I planted things late last year that they were not intended to stay there – grasses mainly.

For the first year, ever I might just actually be really pleased with the Buddleja border! I know, it’s amazing. For the past 4 years I’ve moaned seemingly constantly about this border but this year the cooler temperatures have kept things blooming much longer (FMNs still not quite gone yet) but also the Lupins I planted and some I grew from seed are doing well too and one even has a bloom developing!
Of course the dutch Irises have helped add some colour, but they’re in a small patch that I really need to dig over and start again on mainly due to couch grass invading that I need to get on top of before it takes over the entire border.

The Foxgloves are far more impressive this year; compared to last year when they barely managed to get to 3 foot because it was so dry. Of course we’ve also had the problem of them toppling over with all the rain and being top-heavy but also due to the winds.

Elder flowers are out, although I haven’t seen many insects on them – or the Pyracantha for that matter – one day I’d like to get round to using the blooms to make Elderflower juice!
Knautia Macedonica is currently being smothered, so I need to move it elsewhere – probably in the extension. I’m having this problem in a few areas and it’s probably due to all the rain we’ve had. Plants have become massive when typically there’d be no problem.
Ragged Robin is producing a nice little clump at the moment, but I’d like it in a more prominent spot where I can easily see it.
I’ve placed the plants in the extension of the border ready for some dry weather. Today was forecast to be a nice day but so far it’s grey and the sun isn’t drying the ground after yesterday’s rain.
Finally, White clover is in bloom but I don’t have the masses of Bees on it as I’d normally expect. I suspect the bees that visit these have struggled in the poor weather which is a massive shame as I normally expect the clover to be alive with them!

Wow, it really does feel like I have loads of Irises! Strange. Perhaps I’m starting to like them??!
This one is Caesar’s brother which doesn’t seem dark enough – at least according to photos on the net. I guess it’s possible I was sent the wrong thing.

Lavender is almost in bloom and I’m really impressed with just how many blooms I have on this one this year! Sanguisorba looks like it’s about to bloom, but I think it’s teasing me… it’s been like this for a couple of weeks now and I’m growing tired of waiting!!!

This Foxglove is a beast!!! It’s huge at almost 6 foot and its blooms are massive too. I’m unsure about the fact it starts cream and then turns pink… I’d hoped it would be a white one… there’s always next year!
I think it’s time to divide the Sea thrift as I’ve left it untouched for 4 years now and it would be nice to have more of it dotted around the border.
Poppy ‘garden gnome’ continues to impress me, and this morning it’s popped open a couple of white blooms! Very nice.

We’ll finish with Nigella blooms teasing me as they’ve sat there for a while now; a pair of Bullfinches that came in to feed with me only a couple of metres away. I heard their mournful call as I was about to step up onto the tier. Down I went to kneel in the wet grass and wait for them to come to feed. I had my macro lens in at the time so no close shots, but I was close enough that photos were OK regardless.
Another shot of Perry’s Blue Siberian Iris and the many buds of Monkshood. I think it is much later blooming this year but that may be due to me having moved it to a semi shade spot.

Copyright 2012 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.

17 thoughts on “Sunday Safari

  1. Really like your foxgloves and all your iris, especially the pale blue one. Hope your weather continues to improve, maybe we can get a few more weeds out, they are so huge with all the rain! Your bullfinches are beautiful, so colourful in the garden.

    • Hi Pauline,

      I’ve got my eye on a nice rich, dark purple Iris, think I’ll prefer it to the patterned ones. Think it comes down to me generally avoiding variegated plants.
      Today has been OK, if a little dull even though it was meant to be mainly sunny. It did clear up later in the day and this evening I’ve been out and planted some of the extension.
      Hopefully we’ll see the Bullfinch fledglings later in the year, I’ve never been able to get close to them though. Which is odd because the parents allow me generally very close when other birds such as Sparrows won’t come to the feeders when I’m this close.

  2. Hi Liz,

    Now Perry’s Blue I like…….I could live with that :)

    My lavender are looking dreadful, the rain has not suited them…….also many of the echinops are looking sad, but I think they may recover.

    How lovely to have the Bullfinch come and feed….and let you take a photograph. It has been a good year for birds in my garden. There are plenty of juveniles around.

    I shall attempt this week to get into the copse….it is so overgrown it is frightening. Wish me luck :-{}

    Enjoy your week….

    • Hi Cheryl,

      Hahaha, I hope I’m not tempting you with more plants (decides to show lots of photos of Perry’s Blue!! ;) )

      It’s weird because I swear my Lavenders have loved the rain! haha, I’d assumed I’d lose some because they’ve been so wet! I bought to Echinops and I’m not sure how well they’re doing. I’ve never had them before so don’t really know much about them. But they don’t look to be getting a bloom head :(

      The Bullfinches are surprisingly tame, they’re similar to the LTTs as they’ll allow me to get quite close when most other birds won’t come to the feeders if I’m near. I’ve also had a racing pigeon in the garden. I feel like the bird whisperer this weekend with the racer coming up to me and looking at me like it’s expecting food. Then today I had Magpies tapping on the window trying to get in! Never happened before. They don’t tend to hang around the garden much but this pair are in a lot! They chase off the Collared Doves but leave everything else alone.

      Good luck clearinh the copse; I’m going to attempt this extended border. I’ve got some lovely large stones too that I’m going to use as stepping stones to get through for weeding. It’s almost a shame to hide them beneath the plants because they’re so pretty.

      • Hi Bird Whisperer,,

        Now that is a little cruel, I am really trying not to add anymore plants to the garden this year……..the trouble with blogging is it puts temptation in your path.

        I often get racing pigeons in the garden. Best not to feed them, otherwise you may end up with a permanent resident. I was told to ignore them and eventually they would leave…..finding there way back home :)

        My Echinops are in bud, which is about right…..but the leaves are really droopy, think the soil is way too wet. Hopefully if we have a few days of sun they will recover……

        • Hi Cheryl,

          Yup, blogging is to answer for a lot of my plant purchases! Some perhaps aren’t the best either ;)
          I tried to feed the racing pigeon but it didn’t seem to have much clue what to eat and was busy pecking at some flowers instead. We looked on the racing pigeon website and that told us to attempt to feed it grains and supply water; it’s likely it’s resting and will move on when it’s ready. If they’re around for more then 48 hours then you need to report the lost bird.

          I’ll go check on the echinops now, but I’m pretty certain there are no buds on them yet. I guess I’ll be waiting until next year for them. My Stipa Gigantea is also rubbish. Barely got even any new blades at all. Mmm so much for the feature grass!

          We’ve had very nice weather today; been to an RSPB site and now I’m tempted to go lay on the grass and read. I won’t be able to get any gardening done though because I’ve hurt my knee – cut it on the tap in the bath. But it also seems to have hurt the knee in general as it keeps clicking and I can feel things moving which I ought not be able to :( Thankfully I got some things planted late yesterday evening.

          • Hi Liz,

            When we had the racing pigeon, I actually phoned the society and they told me the opposite, don’t feed the bird, it won’t go home. Who do you believe??
            Also they had no interest in collecting it…..it would appear it either goes home or it doesn’t!
            Is it still with you??

            So sorry to hear about your knee. If that clicking continues, do get it checked out, you never know what is going on.

            • Hi Cheryl,

              Oh, that is weird! Lol, unless they’ve changed their advice since you had one? I just looked on their website, but anyway the Pigeon didn’t know what to eat – I placed sunflower hearts in front of it. It looked at me, ignored them and pecked at some Geums. So I didn’t actually feed it as such; although the intention was there.
              I think it’s moved on now, I haven’t noticed any more overly friendly pigeons around since.

              My knee is still a little tight, but generally OK. It isn’t aching today and only popped the once.

    • Hi Donna,

      I’ve sown some excelsior Foxgloves so hopefully I’ll have more variety next year, as well as having the species Foxgloves in the garden – which btw, one is doing amazingly well this year with a few spires on it and will start blooming soon.
      This week is supposed to get relatively nice, so I hope to get the jobs done. But I also want to get out and visit some places. I’m torn actually because these jobs really need doing!

  3. We’ve had lots of rain and little sun, too. Great for the plants, but not great for me! Hopefully soon things will dry up enough to get some yard work done. Oh, and I like your birdfeeder – but I bet the squirrels don’t. ;-)

  4. You’ve got a lot in flower there. I especially like the irises. My foxgloves have started bending over, thanks to young starlings landing on them. Nice photo of the bullfinches, I’ve had one in the garden recently too.

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