Garden News Magazine July 2021
It’s summer and my garden is in full bloom. Allium ‘Purple Sensation,’ ‘Cristophii’ and Keep Britain Growing’s Million Planting Moments ‘Rosy Dream’ were all glorious but came and went, replaced by petite Allium sphaerocephalon drumsticks which are just peeping out of their chrysalis.
The wildflowers have been spectacular. Ragwort has self seeded and shot up everywhere and as I have no livestock to worry about I welcome this pollinator magnet. Red valerian brushes shoulders with ox-eye daisies, which dance like butterflies through the border alongside tall meadow buttercup, purple toadflax and comfrey. The bare soil has metamorphosised into a colourful cottage garden.
The sweet peas battle wildflowers for space but victoriously climb the obelisk and shower me in exquisitely scented flowers, which have made welcomed posies. There is something particularly special about following a plant from seed to bloom; they bring immense satisfaction and contentment. Shame their existence is so fleeting; once picked it’s not long until crisp petals fall, soon to be replaced by the next generation of sweet peas to start the cycle again.
I have been thrilled with our Belfast sink herb garden. Planted earlier this year it has taken an age to get going but finally warm temperatures have promoted a growth spurt and this modest white rectangle is now brimming with aromatic leaves. Exuberant lemon balm shares its space impatiently with golden oregano, chives, rosemary and purple sage. It is lovely to pop outside for some herbs when I need them for meals.
Rhubarb erupted into a triffid producing enormous leaves the size of my entire torso and head! Luckily it also produced lovely long pink stems, which made delicious crumble and flapjacks.
And then there were the roses… wow what a season it has been; ‘Munstead Wood’ has enthralled me. Having been planted about three years ago, this year definitely signifies this rose ‘getting its feet in!’ Huge flower heads have dripped from stems filling fire pit corner with heady scent, completely intoxicating. ‘Ferdinand Pichard,’ ‘Spirit of Freedom’ and ‘Peace’ rose have all chosen their moments to shine too.
Summer has brought long calm evenings and it’s been wonderful to still be outside at 10 o’clock at night, watering, weeding and watching the local bats fly loops. The garden at night is ethereal. Not only the light but the sounds change, as people settle in for the night, the hustle and bustle of the day ebbs away, traffic becomes intermittent and all that can be heard is the occasional distant laugh or barking dog. All is well. Time to leave the night garden to its resident mice, moths and snails.
Seeing my newly planted ‘Sweet Honey’ (Rose of the Year 2020) in flower for the first time.
All photos © Debi Holland 2021