Late August is the time for Froggatt Show: a delightful way to spend a warm Saturday afternoon. There are stalls selling jam, cakes, jewellery, plants, candles in teacups… I could go on. There are horses and ponies, classic cars and tractors. And so many dogs, taking their owners for a pleasant afternoon stroll. But the main attraction for me is the show tent, where people enter their lovingly grown produce and carefully nurtured flowers in the hope of winning prizes.
To be honest, I felt a little conspicuous using my large camera in front of so many people. Would anyone object to their prize cabbage being captured for posterity? So I used my phone. The interior of the white marquee made the flash fire, of course, but I think the results look interesting in a way.
I’ve just got rid of a container of everlasting sweet peas; they haven’t done very well at all this year. Whether this is because of all the rain we had a few weeks ago, or whether the plant has just run out of steam, I’m not sure. In any case, I’ve decided to replace it with a winter-flowering honeysuckle, which can now (I hope) start to flourish and climb the shed wall. However, I am hoping to grow some sweet peas from seed next year. Here’s a picture I took at the weekend when I visited a flower show; with any luck it will inspire me!
Nerines (Guernsey Lilies)
As I mentioned in my post ‘Now Wait’, I planted a Nerine bulb in May. The picture above, of a Nerine bowdenii, was taken in December 2015, in the wonderful University of Oxford Botanic Garden. The colour! Even though these plants were clearly coming towards the end of flowering, I found them beautiful and inspirational, so I thought I’d try one bulb in my garden to see how it went. Unfortunately, I think that very area has been trampled somewhat by someone cutting a hedge. It’s just a case of waiting and hoping now; they’re supposed to flower in autumn so you never know! I’m definitely going to try again next year, though, and make sure everyone knows where not to stand.
In spring, I kept noticing red tulips in so many local gardens; they provided a bold splash of colour and a change from all that (wonderful) yellow. Had I just not been looking before, or have they grown more popular? I don’t believe I’m easily swayed by fashion in gardens, but I thought they looked incredibly bold and cheerful, so – I’m in!
Lupins always seem to me to be such old fashioned flowers. I remember seeing them in my grandmother’s garden years ago. That’s probably where I found out what they were called, come to think of it. Anyway, I’ve loved them ever since. They look impressive in borders, with their spires of clustered flowers; the leaves are interesting too, particularly when they cradle water droplets, like pearls, in their centres. Definitely some lupins next year then.
So, I’m hoping this post will remind me to make the garden a more beautiful place next year. If anyone has any advice about when I need to buy or plant any of the above, I’d love to hear from you!
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Oh, yes, the camera problem. I’ll need to return my Tamron lens for repair, but I do have another lens which will do the job in the meantime. So not as bad as I’d feared!
Last summer, a new neighbour gave us some (very useful) old plant pots and a gnarled piece of wood. Rejects from the previous owner’s regime. Turned out the wood had roots, and was the base of an ancient rose bush. Would it grow? Would it flower? Although it looked most unpromising, we planted it in a large container and forgot about it over the winter.
Until this week, it looked doomed, the only signs of life being a few weedy stems bearing somewhat spotty leaves and equally unappealing buds. Then the first flower appeared. Followed by the second. Different colours. And inevitably, a third, a different colour again! What was going on?
Obviously I don’t know much about this. I tried to dredge up any faint memories or scraps of knowledge about grafting or scions or rootstock. Nothing took shape. Then, one of those strange internet coincidences: I saw a picture of a rose called Chicago Peace, which had flowers of different colours! When I checked it out, I found that, in fact, Chicago Peace looks more orange or pink than this one, which is predominantly yellow. So, I think it’s probably a variety called, simply, Peace. Which I like, because I can remember my father mentioning that one when I was a child. It’s also known as Rosa ‘Madame A. Meilland’.
Of course, I could be wrong, and would love to know if anyone can positively identify it!
Not that I need an excuse, but here’s a photograph I’d like to share with you on this warm June evening.
I’m really enjoying my blog’s new look (the Twenty Sixteen Theme) and I keep finding myself wanting to add more posts to see how they work. Got to be good if it encourages me to post more frequently!
I like the clean, uncluttered layout as well as the fact that it seems to display content attractively, whether on PC, tablet or phone. Photographs look bright and stand out clearly against the white background. I love the way my Instagram photos appear to the right of the latest post.