Geranium Rozanne

After being treated very badly (left over the winter in a small container), this hardy geranium is now looking strong and beautiful.  Here are some pictures of it in sun and after rain.  I think it looks amazing whenever.

It’s a prize-winning plant, voted Plant of the Centenary in the public vote (RHS Chelsea Flower Show).

Link to the Royal Horticultural Society page on Geranium Rozanne:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/details?plantid=4832

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Ceanothus

The Ceanothus in our garden has been a pleasure to look at this year.  All the other ones in the area seemed to flower a few weeks earlier (perhaps different varieties, or just in sunnier spots). So I wasn’t expecting such a wonderful show. Bees adore it, as do a host of other insects. I found it quite difficult to photograph the bees because they were just so, well, active!  But here’s my attempt…

There’s another one on my Instagram (katkarradz).

Canterbury Bells

I always think this is a wonderful name for a flower. I hadn’t seen them for years (or perhaps I just hadn’t been looking), but noticed these in a small local garden centre. They immediately brought back memories of my dad’s garden. He certainly grew them one year; I don’t remember seeing them there regularly. However, I do have a somewhat unpleasant memory of looking inside one of the perfect, bell-shaped blooms only to recoil at the sight of a thickly woven web with a crabbed black spider crouching inside it. That could explain why they disappeared off my radar.

Their appearance is astounding: rich, blue, glazed flowers and that impressive (I nearly said striking) shape. They need a name which combines tradition, beauty and joy. And they have one: Canterbury Bells (Campanula medium) also known as the bell flower.  Apparently they were supposed to represent gratitude, or faith and constancy. I’m grateful to have found them again!

I hope to grow some next year.  That spider has frightened me for long enough!

Foxgloves

The common foxglove: Digitalis purpurea, often seen growing wild but here towering in a garden.

This was an impulse shot taken on my phone. I fully intended to post it on Instagram, but the height of the plant and the vertical nature of its growth just didn’t work somehow. I’m fascinated by the sheen on the flowers and their wonderful rich colour. So here they are!

A Gooseberry Afterthought…

… and an excuse to post another photo of a gooseberry.

As I was checking on the way dictionaries expressed the pronunciation of ‘gooseberry’, I found a few interesting uses of the word.

It is, or was, possible to have gooseberry eyes, which are, so they say, dull and grey, like boiled gooseberries! Or how about a gooseberry wig, which is large and, apparently, ‘frizzled’. Most people have heard of playing gooseberry, but to play old gooseberry was to cause havoc or mischief, ‘Old Gooseberry’ being the Devil himself!

There are also still a few gooseberry shows around the country, such as the famous one at Egton Bridge in North Yorkshire, which started in 1800.  Somehow I don’t think the ones in my garden would qualify, but they still look good to me!

I seem to recall that the single gooseberry produced by my plant last year turned a deep red, so possibly more gooseberry ramblngs to follow…

Gooseberry or Gooseberry?

I’ve only got one gooseberry plant; it’s in a fairly small container and has been sadly neglected. Every time there’s a hint of a breeze in the wind tunnel that is my garden, it topples over. But now it’s rewarded me with some of its glowing green gems, so I know I have to repay it by finding it a new and safer home.

On the subject of the gooseberry – how to pronounce the word? One of the dictionaries I consulted tells me it’s:

‘gʊzbəri   or   ‘gʊzbri

but it could also be

‘gu:sberi

(Apologies to experts if I’ve typed these inaccurately: it was quite difficult to find the right symbols.) I remember my grandmother using the first pronunciation, but my mum uses the last one, as do I. However you pronounce the word, they’re delicious!

Plodding Along…

This sums up what I’ve been like lately with my blog.  Very, very slow.  I’m afraid it’s probably always going to be a bit of a stop-start process for me – at least for the foreseeable future – until work and family become a little easier to manage.

This little stone tortoise was given to one of my children by a family friend some time ago.  It had resided in her garden for quite a long time before that, I believe, so it’s understandably looking somewhat weathered, but that is part of its charm. I keep forgetting all about it and then it turns up again to make me smile and remember.

So today, when it appeared, I realised it was telling me something.  Time to start blogging again!  Lots going on in the garden, so will update this week…