Tag Archives: sweet peas

Scent in the Garden – September

imageThe last day of the month. Where has September gone? I must confess to being rather preoccupied this month, with no time to read or write. Even gardening took a back seat.

We created mayhem by ripping out built-in wardrobes and painting the floorboards in our bedroom. In the midst of this mess, we took a week’s holiday in, what I always used to consider, sunny Suffolk – a wet week that, thankfully, didn’t dampen our fun. And, of course, the rugby World Cup has started!

But enough about me! We have restored order and I have rediscovered my clothes, that have been buried for the past month. I am now able to change my shoes! So I can turn my attention back to the garden.

I’m afraid the scent in the garden this month hasn’t been overly exciting. Mainly stragglers and single blooms. One chocolate cosmos flower, and a single Jasmine bloom, still able to pack a perfumed punch.

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The sweet peas in the allotment are still flowering away, as are the night scented stocks in the pergola pots. That’s one thing about annuals – they do flower forever!

The Trachelospermun jasminoides is still going strong, too. It’s done so well.

Sadly, my Clethra “Hummingbird” is showing no sign of flowering this year. I moved it from its pot and planted it in the Scented shrub border, to fill a gap in the flowering period. I thought I was doing it a favour, but obviously not.  It is supposed to cope with shade. As for my Clematis rehderiana, which is romping away through the surrounding shrubs, it is still not blessing us with its lovely, lemon bells. I’m still waiting to experience its cowslip perfume.

However, another clematis, Clematis flammula, pictured at the top of its post, has not let us down, and is rewarding a sniff, with a hint of hawthorn. I’m just waiting now, for its partner, Lonicera “Belgica”, to join it.

There have been some new blooms this month, though.

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Caryopteris clandonensis, with its fluffy, clear blue blooms, is in flower. Mind you, it’s not the flowers, but the silvery leaves that are scented – like mint a bit, when they are rubbed. This poor little shrub seems unfazed by still being in its pot, awaiting a rethink of the border. I feel many of the shrubs are under performing and a revamp may have to be considered. I suspect removal of the problematic ash will be needed!

I digress!

Scent was also provided by a new shrub I bought – Cestrum parqui. Not the most pleasant perfume from the leaves during the day, but the perfume when night falls, is lovely and heady! Its flowers are tiny lime green tubes, but they were short lived by the time I bought it, so I wasn’t able to get a photo. It can be tender so needs to be protected during cold spells, so is awaiting a container. Hopefully, I will be able to appreciate it for longer next year.

It looks like some of my roses may join in soon, with a second flush of blooms, namely “Brave Heart” and “Alec’s Red”

"Braveheart"

“Braveheart”

"Alec's Red"

“Alec’s Red”


And that’s it! I wonder what next month will hold?

How does your garden smell? Do share with us! It would be lovely if you could join in. I love seeing scented plants!

Thanks to Wellywoman and Backlane notebook for starting this off!

I will end with an apology – for being late again, but better late than never!
And for this being a rushed post. You see, I’m off now to Cardiff to the World Cup! 😀

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In a Vase on Monday – But a Day Late!

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My very first Dahlia!

I’m so impressed with it that I wanted to show it off, by joining in with Cathy, at “Rambling in the garden” and her meme. I do hope she’ll forgive me for being late!

Like so many of you, I’ve become very fond of cutting flowers from the garden to bring indoors, with the result, I wanted to try growing some this year, specifically for cutting. I’ve never grown Dahlias before, but thought they would be ideal, to grow in pots with this aim in mind.

While strolling past a nearby florist, earlier in the year, I noticed baskets full of summer flowering bulbs for sale. Two dark red ones instantly appealed to me. This one is “Natal”, a pompom dahlia.

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It’s turned out to be an absolute stunner, I hope you agree!

Sadly, the other hasn’t amounted to much. The tuber wasn’t the healthiest, although it did shoot, but it has just become mollusc fodder. Which is the way my other pots of flowers for cutting – Ammi majus, which I adore, and have been desperate to try, and Didiscus “Blue Lace”, a new one on me, which looked interesting, scented with pale blue umbels – have ended up.

But, at least I have my dahlia – and some sweet peas!

So back to the vase!

I just cut one stalk, which had two beautiful flower heads on it. There’s still another two left, with loads of buds in waiting. I thought the dark chocolate coloured foliage of Cotinus “Grace” would set them off beautifully and provide a bit of a prop for the single stem. It did need a bit of lightness, though, to alleviate the darkness, so I added some silvery blades of Miscanthus “Morning Light” and then came across some stems of Astrantia, which were white, with similarly coloured splashes at the base of the flowers. Should pick up the dark red shade perfectly! Funnily enough, the whole vase blends beautifully with the decor in the dining room, complete with complementary candles. Cathy will hopefully appreciate the props!

Oh, and the sweet peas came indoors, too!

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A Bowl of Frosties!

Crocosmia with Miscanthus, Artemisia and Persicaria

Crocosmia with Miscanthus, Artemisia and Persicaria

Boy, is it cold today! Takes us all by surprise! A pleasant one, however, after this wet and weary spell.

Well, my first choice of title, was to be “A Touch of Frost”, but it had already been used. But a touch of frost is what this post is all about.

How wonderful is the first real winter frost! It transforms the garden from a dull, mushy brown to a winter wonderland. It defines all the leaf edges and foliage detail, with crisp whiteness. This is when you pat yourself on the back for including all the grasses, and structural plants.

Deschampsia cespitosa

Deschampsia cespitosa

Miscanthus "Morning Light" with fennel

Miscanthus “Morning Light” with fennel

In the Grass Garden, the silvery Miscanthus grass, “Morning Light”, becomes even more silvery, set against the backdrop of frosted fennel seed heads.

Even the functional Allotment, takes on a picturesque quality.

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The last of the sweet pea flowers twinkle out of its frosted tepee, looking somewhat like an early Christmas tree!

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The wayward stems of the Japanese Wineberry, still with its autumn coloured leaves, are now edged with white.

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And the frost outlines the box balls, accentuating their crisp, structural qualities.

Mahonia japonica

Mahonia japonica

Elsewhere, in the garden, the frost picks out the scented shrubs, giving the Mahonia japonica, just starting to flower, the appearance of a sparkling star.

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Most of the flowers are now long gone, but the raspberry flower heads of the sedum, looks like fruits that have been dusted with icing sugar.

And talking of raspberry tones….

Cotinus "Grace"

Cotinus “Grace”

….isn’t the last of Grace’s leaves, stunning etched in white?

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Despite the sterling work done this year by our lovely “Annabelle”, she is still looking wonderful in her old age. As the song says “Silver threads among the gold”.

If this is what winter has in store, then bring it on!

I went to Ashwood and…

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….I, sadly, managed to resist all the beautiful hellebores – the yellows, reds, and doubles…..(sob!). Instead, I was disciplined enough to stick to what I needed – some holly hedging to plug a gap in my native hedge. I did add in some sweet pea seeds, though, with a view to have some lovely cutting flowers, to adorn both the potager, and the house. I chose two old varieties – “Matucana” and “Painted Lady”. Let’s see what happens! And there’s always next month’s visit!