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.

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.





August 14 – close encounter with a dragonfly

I did some work by the wild garden pond this afternoon; the sun came out and with it came some dragonflies. I always keep a camera nearby and  first I took this blurry shot


closely followed by this blurry shot


Just as I concluded I had discovered the world’s first jet-propelled dragonfly I heard a scratchy sound in the reeds at my feet; when I looked down there was this beautiful creature perched on my boot


I had a tiny gap in the reeds to film through; the focus on the shot is not great and the wings are not complete but I will treasure this picture as if it were a masterpiece.