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Mid-Summer and New Phase

July 6, 2016


The garden changes rapidly at this time of year with the glorious roses now rain-soaked and seemingly over which leaves the palette largely green.  But a forest of Verbena bonariensis is about to bloom in the main parterre and there are pockets of colour elsewhere.  Crocosmia Lucifer is opening with its extraordinary primitive flowers cheering up a shady border under the dark maroon leaves of Sambucus nigra.


Cistus ‘Sunset’ has been flowering since May and is likely to go on till October and is looking gorgeous.


Two clematis are filling empty spaces really well. C.Jackmanii below is climbing and mingling with a Vitis purpurea against the wall.DSCN6935

And the herbaceous clematis C. Jouiniana Praecox, with its dark green leaves setting off pale violet flowers, is scrambling through empty spaces at ground level and looking very pretty.


A blight alert was sent by the site rep on the allotment so I sped down to lift the Charlotte potatoes and all was well. We had our first supper of spuds steamed and drizzled with butter and mint. They accompanied broad bean burgers, available from Ottolenghi’s book Plenty, but my photograph looked like a dog’s dinner so you will have to trust me on that.


But with a warm and wet summer vigilance regarding blight is necessary and the same for outdoor tomatoes. Greenhouse ones are less susceptible which is a relief since this is my first year and they are looking good but I’ll be checking them regularly.

The seeds of Calendula Indian Prince dead-headed and saved in an envelope last year were scattered six weeks ago are now brightening up the allotment.DSCN6912

And I keep picking this Few-Leaved Hawkweed growing against a garage door in the lane and I rather like the simple form.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2016 5:28 pm

    How unusual, the hawkweed looks so effective. The fresh Charlotte potatoes look delicious too.

  2. July 6, 2016 6:23 pm

    Hi Kate

    It was a bit of a gamble with the hawkweed but I liked it as soon as I found the right vases.

  3. July 11, 2016 6:47 am

    I used to love Charlotte when I grew them; I don’t grow potatoes here but a few for a lovely warm potato salad would be lovely. I’m interested that your Cistus flower for so long, I’m lucky if mine flower for a month; this year after all the rain some are still flowering; I wonder why so many Mediterranean plants actually seem to do better in the English climate!?

  4. July 11, 2016 9:59 am

    First early potatoes would grow well in a large container even if you only expected enough for the occasional summer salad.. Yes it is surprising that Med plants that depend on long hot summers get the opposite here and seem to thrive. October mat be pushing it but certainly last year they were going strong in September.

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