A Day of Delight and Devastation!


What a delight today has been! Sun and high temperatures – a perfect day for the garden! A day with lots of little highlights which just scream out “Isn’t life in the garden wonderful”!

First we must get the devastation out of the way. It’s not as dramatic as it sounds – honest!


The Philadelphus “Virginal” had been threatened with a drastic haircut. A bowl cut no less! Pruning by the book had resulted in vigorous new growth, which resulted in a plant that looked huge and gaunt, with strong, straight regrowth and huge leaves. So I decided to shorten all these long growths, in the hope of some branching lower down, with a more twiggy and pleasant, rounded appearance. Devastation, no less! But I think the results are more pleasing.
The Philadelphus was not alone. I apprehensively wielded the secateurs to our fruit cordons – not such a hacking venture. It did involve a lot of double checking with the manual, but I hope I’ve got it right. They certainly look more the thing!
So devastation is not really the right word. Nerve racking tasks that provide delight with a satisfactory outcome.

It was not all hard work. Among the watering and feeding, there was ample time to appreciate the many delights of the garden today.


The Cottage garden has now reached its “teenage” phase, where it no longer wants to behave and just wants to sprawl about everywhere. Thank goodness for the late developers!


I can’t rave enough about Hydrangea “Annabelle”. I’m so glad I added it to our Cottage border. It really packs a punch once the roses are past their best. I say “it”, I’ve repeated it another twice through the border. (I must confess, one is the very similar, Hydrangea “Bounty”.) Add to that the Leucanthemum, and the border takes on a distinctly white appearance, now, contrasting with the blues of the Aconites and Echinops. The rest keep ticking over.

But it’s not all over, yet! We have another bite of the cherry, with our Grass garden, just coming into its own now, extending the garden’s season of interest a bit longer.


No soft pastels here! It’s all hot colours and textures. It moves from golds and blues, through plummy reds with silver, and onto hot chocolates, oranges and bright reds. All softened with grasses. It’s been ticking over up till now, when it’s heading towards its peak. Once the flowering is over, the grasses and seed heads will keep the interest going well into the autumn, and even winter.

Some little delights!


Doesn’t the Echinops look wonderful against the lime-green of the hop covered fence?


I love the way the light strikes this Hemerocallis!

The “Allotment” was also delivering delights.


Apart from the handful of Japanese Wine berries I displayed earlier, the rest of the patch was filling me with great pleasure. All planted now, and produce, such as broad and French beans, cornichons, lettuce, and artichokes, not to mention my very first sweet pea flower, were all starting to burst forth. And the herbs I added a couple of weeks ago, were well settled in.

Wildlife were basking in it as well. Look closer at the globe thistles and you will see it’s not only me that enjoys them. The bees do too! (By the way, they smell gorgeous! That’s the flowers, not the bees!)


I also spotted a dragonfly flitting by, and as soon as my back was turned, a robin pinched my seat! (Doubling as my kneeling stool – sadly much loved – and hereby, showing my age!) All too fleeting for my camera.

But I managed to catch one photo. (Annette asked for this, if I could!) One of our frogs, sheltering behind a fern.


A happy day! 🙂

8 thoughts on “A Day of Delight and Devastation!

  1. Chloris

    What amazing weather we are enjoying and you have so much to delight in your garden Ali.
    I have never noticed that Echinops is fragrant. I must sniff it tomorrow.
    There is nothing more satisfying than getting out there with loppers and secateurs and giving everything a good haircut. I’ m sure your Philadelphus will be all the better for it.

    1. thelonggardenpath Post author

      I’m just loving this weather! Shame I’m not at home more to enjoy it! I am trusting my instincts re pruning the Philadelphus, so fingers crossed. Echinops are not just scented, and architectural, but also such a bee magnet. Great plant!

  2. Cynthia Reyes

    I’m with you re the hydrangea Annabelle at this time of year. they do provide ‘colour’ – fresh, large blooms when needed. I’ve propagated several new plants over the years so I have many of them. another thing I like about the Annabelle is how easy it is to catch a new plant.

  3. Annette

    What a delightful and happy post, Ali! Thanks for sharing your handsome Mr. Frog. Your garden looks great and full of colour, no wonder you’re thrilled. Sadly, our harvest is seriously diminished by the birds…not very nice of them after we’ve fed them through the winter! 😉 I had Annabelle in my last garden and always loved her especially as she doesn’t fear the cold like macrophyllas do. Enjoy your summer garden 🙂

  4. thelonggardenpath Post author

    Thank you, Annette. I thought you’d like him! What a blessing Annabelle is. Without her the Cottage border would be very flat. It does help, too, having a different themed border, that follows on bloom wise, from the Cottage border.

  5. angiesgardendiaries

    You’ve been brutal with those secateurs, some times you just have too don’t you?
    Glad you’ve had time to enjoy the gorgeous weather.
    I had no idea either about the Echinops, you learn something every day.


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