Six on Saturday – a walk around my garden -15 June 2019

Shirley Temple is undeterred. How can anything so beautiful have survived the deluge. It’s honestly been non-stop rain for weeks.

I planted this peony nine years ago. It sat and did nothing for three years. Since then it’s never let me down. It grows in a semi-shady spot and doesn’t need any attention. I just make sure the annual mulch covering I put on in spring doesn’t go over the crown of the plant. You can cover the shoulders, but not the crown. Planting too deeply is one of the main reasons peonies fail to flower.

Today is the first time in a week I’ve been able to get outside with a camera. It was with a heavy heart. My plum tree has lost a major branch. It crashed down on the cut flower bed. Such a shame. It’s lost a third its growth – and all the plums for this year. We got our Stihl battery power chainsaw out and made it into firewood. Something positive out of a disaster.

On a happier note, my foxgloves are still upright! I don’t know how. It’s been howling winds as well as torrential downpours. I sowed the seed this time last summer. I sowed Pam’s Choice (above) and Sutton’s Apricot, and ended up with 200 plants. All it cost was two packets of seed. Such good value, growing from seed. I’ll do the same this week, growing white foxgloves for the front garden. I’ll sow them in peat-free seed compost, in half seed trays, and place them in a bright, but sheltered position- out of full sun. No special equipment, such as a propagator, is needed at this time of the year. Air temperatures are warm enough to germinate seed. After about four weeks, I’ll prick them out into individual seeds trays or 9cm pots. They’ll stand somewhere cool until late summer, and then they’ll be planted out in the garden. Biennials make strong roots and leaves this year, and flowers next year. Hopefully the foxgloves will start to seed about and I’ll be able to keep the cycle going.

Pam’s Choice is particularly lovely, with white flowers, and a raspberry jam “thumbprint” inside each flower. Bees love them.

Roses have shrugged off the rain too. It’s been a test to see which ones cope, and which ones turn into a soggy mess. None of my roses are sprayed. They have to be tough and look after themselves. This one is Zephirine Drouhin, the thornless rose. A martyr to blackspot, unless you grow it where the wind can blow through, as I have here, all along the field boundary fences. Having seen photos of beautifully-pruned and trained roses along wires, I’ve determined to make more of an effort with these. It’s all a question of time. Which I’m a bit short of, to be honest.

Another lovely rose doing well in the rain is Desperez A Fleur Jaune which flowers on and off all summer. The scent from this old rose is fabulous. Like the best fruit salad with pineapple and ripe peaches. Dating back to 1826, it’s a strong climber – up to 6m. It starts off a bright pink/ apricot colour, and fades to a creamy yellow.

Dear old Constance Spry, David Austin Roses’ first introduction, is another glory in the rain. It flowers its socks off for about three weeks, and then that’s it; the show is over- until next year. Luckily there’s room in my garden for this highly-scented rose. I wouldn’t be without it. It dates back to 1961 and is named after the florist and gardener Constance Spry.

There’s no scent at all with Cerise Bouquet, but this climbs to the top of our tallest beech tree and then cascades down, flowering on and off until November. Sometimes there are even a few flowers for the Christmas table. So if you’ve got space for a robust, disease-resistant rose, choose Cerise Bouquet. It faces north, so it’s also a good rose for semi-shaded positions.

It’s just started raining again. Oh well, I’ve managed to tie in the sweet peas and stake a few perennials. I’ve woven some silver birch twigs into a nest support and propped up some floppy daisies. The barn owl has just skimmed the top of the hedge and glided quietly into the field. She must be feeding young, to be out in the day. We can hear the fledglings calling from late afternoon. Their calls getting desperate by nightfall. I hope we all have some better weather soon.

Links: Six on Saturday :

You might also like : I wrote about Gardeners World Live here :

I wrote about Stihl chainsaws here:

My cut flower patch :


64 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – a walk around my garden -15 June 2019

  1. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday- All White | Bramble Garden

  2. They are so beautiful. I have about the rains there, being heavy and non-stop. Some things strive in adversity, I’m not one of those things. All your beautiful flowers look as though they follow “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger” philosophy. Thanks for sharing something beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gosh, I’d be so cross. I’ve just driven through the village and a massive mature bird cherry tree has been cut to the ground by the council. It was difficult to mow around and so it has been culled. Villagers are fuming!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I know just how you feel – I can’t believe some councils and their workers – no consideration, especially when it comes to fruiting trees and bushes. One year they poisoned all the blackberries just as they were fully ripened in late January. Makes no sense at all. Good luck with your gardening, enjoy.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. There is something in with your foxglove that looks like stinging nettle. I just noticed it because our stinging nettle somehow died out last year, and is notable absent this year. Is your just money plant or honesty that has somehow not bloomed yet?

    Liked by 1 person

      • I thought that it was silly that nettle seed can be purchased online. I could not imagine purchasing something that grows wild. Now I know why there are seed available. If I want it, I may need to grow it myself.
        I think I will just wait for it to regenerate back in the neighborhood.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Phao. We’ve just been watching the fox though the gap. He’s a huge male fox, almost black /ginger with a bright white tail. So handsome. He was jumping with his back humped in an arch, and all four legs off the ground. Wonderful to see.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Karen your Peony “Shirley Temple” is a champion of beauty and to endure the rain, I love it. I feel with my heart what has happened to your plum tree and that the branch has fallen on the bed of cut flowers: I hope there are not many damages. I am very glad that your wonderful foxgloves have not been affected by the strong wind, I love them. You do very well in cultivating now white foxgloves for next year, they are fabulous. The Rose Zephirine Drouhin has a wonderful color. La Rosa Desperez A Fleur Joune is very special, I love it. La Rosa Constance Spry is fantastic. The Rosa Cerise Bouquet is a jewel, I love it. Karen you have a fabulous collection of roses, I love them. You can listen to the Owl’s chicks: you’re a privileged one. Karen thank you very much for the wonderful walk through your garden, it seems that I am going to your side and you are telling me what we see. The farewell is between wildflowers and looking at the green fields because it has been raining. Do not get wet or limp cold. It has been an unforgettable trip seeing such fabulous things and your jarín that is a treasure. I wish the weather improves and stops raining and the sun comes out. Karen love and health for all your family and for you. Take care and rest. Affectionate caresses for Meg and Grace. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Margarita. It’s been a day of very heavy downpours and sunshine mixed. I’ll be glad of some more settled weather. Loving greetings from karen


  5. Lovely roses, Karen and it’s interesting to see them doing their own thing. Sorry to hear about your rain and wind – although wet here it was never heavy and the wind no more than a breeze

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely roses. A quick internet search seems to show that Desperez a Fleur Jaune, which I particularly like, is not available here. I have admired your view out into the field before…such serenity! My peony has never flowered, so perhaps I planted it too deeply. Now the big question is whether I should disturb it to remedy my error.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Suddenly the sun may come out…temperatures rise, owls feed their young, and bumblebees are on the move again….weather, nature, and garden watch, some of the pleasures of gardening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true, Noelle. There’s been bees buzzing all around the eaves of the house today, keeping dry and enjoying the honeysuckle snd climbing roses. Such a lovely sound.


  8. Your peony is stunning. I love the pink marbling on it.
    You’ve reminded me to sown foxgloves! I always forget with everything else going in at this time of year (reports, I’m a teacher). I think I’m going to try tomorrow.
    Beautiful six and how special to see an owl! I hear them at night where I am but mainly in the spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Just been for a walk and spotted a dozen baby hares running up and down the ridge and furrow, as if playing hide and seek. Wonderful to see. And a deer crossed the road as quiet as a shadow; only just caught sight. I must remember to sow all the other biennials this week. It’s such a small window of opportunity and plants are so expensive if you miss your chance. I’m really pleased with that peony. I must grow more, they are so easy and undemanding.


  9. Your Peony is bloomin ’lovely! Mine, a pink one, has lots of enlarging buds on it. like yours, it did nothing for three years. I heard that this waiting game is common. I accidentally pruned some of the Peony, which, I think set it in motion to produce thereafter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I’m so pleased it hasn’t gone into a soggy ball of petals. Amazed to see flowers just shrugging off the rain. I thought everything would be ruined. Perennials will just have to be cut back and made to grow again. They will flower later. Worse problem is the goose grass which has gone bananas in the rain.


  10. Those foxgloves! Wow! I know exactly what you’re saying about this dreadful rain over the roses 😦 Same thing here in the Netherlands. But we need the rain too and the roses will come back again, i’m sure. Enjoy this festive season! Beautiful garden!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. You are right, we needed the rain. We had a drought all spring, no water in the barrels. Now they are overflowing and the pond is topped right up. I don’t think we will have a hosepipe ban this year. Good luck with your garden.


    • Some of the pink wild ones have bent over, and then carried on growing, which looks a bit odd. These Pam’s choice ones seem so much stronger. Will grow them again.


      • Oh yes, I’ve seen those. They flower all around the stem..will be interesting to see how you get on with yours. I’m not growing the foxgloves with split petals as I read that pollen spills out and they are not so good for bees. Also I nearly bought the open-flowering antirrhinums, but again, they don’t hold the pollen.

        Liked by 1 person

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