Learning to love orange – two new occupants of the “Hot Flush” bed

For years I shunned bright colours in my garden.  The only orange flowered plants I kept from the original garden layout were the Hemerocallis fulva Kwanso  featured in an earlier post.   Any red flowers were all dark reds, they veered towards the blue spectrum with no hint of orange allowed. Then suddenly, in my autumn years, I realized that I was enjoying other gardeners borders full of brightly coloured late flowerers as much as my own pastel drifts of asters, anemones  and  phlox. Out came the spade and the Hot Flush bed started to evolve.

This summer I added Helenium Septemberfuchs…..


….. and Crocosmia Carmine Brilliant


2013 plant additions to the “Purple Patch” border

During the gloomy weather of summer and autumn 2012 I decided that the Purple Patch border needed lightening up. I have been particularly happy with the three additions featured below.

I already had dark flowered plants of Thalictrum aquilegifolium growing in this area; I know some gardeners regard it as a self-seeding weed but I find it a good-value plant. The new Thalictrum reniforme I planted in Autumn 2012 took a while to get going in the cold, wet spring but then flowered for weeks and I love everything about it.

Thalictrum reniforme

Thalictrum reniforme

The next addition was Agapanthus Windsor Grey; the picture was taken at dusk and the colours look a little brighter in full daylight. This is meant to be a good hardy variety but I have kept some in a pot in case I lose the border plants over winter. The stems are very sturdy but the overall effect is still very elegant.

Agapanthus Windsor Grey

Agapanthus Windsor Grey

The third selection is a bulb I bought as Acidanthera murielae but this flower has several names including Gladiolus callianthus ‘Murielae.’ I plant this out in bulb baskets and bring them indoors over winter. The scent is fabulous and  cut stems will keep flowering for at least two weeks even in a warm room.  If it is going to tower over its neighbours in a border best to give it some support in an exposed garden like mine.  Its striking profile added much-needed interest to the Purple Patch when the sun was going down.




setting sun, sitting hare

Two very different images shot five minutes apart.

I spotted this hare as I walked home …………


when I walked into the garden the sun was in the lilac …….


I like the contrast between these two pictures taken during the same sunset; the soft rays across the stubble and the burning sphere in the foliage. The tree behind the lilac is actually about 400 yards away and this was the first time this year that I managed to catch the exact moment when the gap in its branches allows the sun to shine through the gap in the lilac’s branches.

Evening sky with contrails

A couple of weeks ago while out walking I took this shot as I turned towards home at about 7.15.

Half an hour later I spotted an airliner heading towards Heathrow; normally I wouldn’t take a second glance at a  contrail  but the light  was  perfect so I took this photograph.

There must have been a landing delay as the aircraft suddenly veered right, then, several minutes later, turned again and flew back in the direction it had come.
It crossed back over its own contrail and circled round before heading once more in the direction of Heathrow. Usually I dislike these intrusive man-made vapour trails but that evening the effect was quite surreal, like an abstract painting across the sky.

The Garden at Oxleaze Farm, Filkins.

During the summer I visited the garden at Oxleaze Farm, Filkins; this is a beautiful rural location roughly between Lechlade and Burford.  Chipps Mann has created a wonderfully relaxing environment and, as she grows many of the same plants as me, I think she has impeccable taste!! I hope that the following photographs give a feeling of the place but there is a lot more to linger over in this garden.





I know, I said no more dragonflies, but twice in one summer ……………………

I took my mug of tea and a journal out to the pond; I couldn’t believe my eyes when another dragonfly settled on my boot the moment I stood still.dragonfly9

I took a few more pictures then sat down very slowly but it did not move

Several minutes later I slid a piece of grass underneath the dragonfly and held it right in front of my face; annoyingly I did not have a macro lens on the camera and had to stretch out both my arms to get the next shot so it’s not properly focussed on the dragonfly


I just had to show you that I hadn’t reached my dragonfly zenith after all.