Some special plants this year

My goal for the patio this year was as many colours as possible.  It proved to me that a riot of colour doesn’t overwhelm my taste, though I do admit that the pink dianthus and the red diascia in one pot perhaps took it a bit too far.  Here are a few things I’ve particularly enjoyed:

Viola ‘Columbine’–a very well-behaved viola I found in the alpine section of the garden centre.  It is delicately fragranced, blooms for ages, is apparently fully hardy, and so far hasn’t put out that ugly invasive growth common to some other violas.

This is a very wet black peppermint.  In the warm weather it exploded into beautiful growth.  I hope I can convince it to make it through the winter.

This is Lewisia ‘Little Plum’, and I was surprised at how much a liked this flowering succulent.  It helps to tidy it as flowers go over to help it look its best.

This little aquilegia has been languishing in a pot for 3 seasons now, usually succumbing to mildew before it gets to doing much.  This year, however, it finally flowered!  It gave me two, which I adored, and after I dead-headed the plant it gave me two more miniature ones <3<3

Geum ‘Cooky’ is a lovely little plant, which flowers in the happiest shade of orange.

This is not a fantastic picture, but this year I’m training sweet peas up the wall next to the back door.  So far they’re taller than I am and I’ve got colours from peach to pinks to deep purples.  They smell lovely, of course, but you really do have to stay on top of dead-heading.  I brought a nice looking sprig in yesterday and popped it in a vase, but evidently it had been pollinated because it immediately went to work casting off its petals and shooting out its pods. lol

Papaver ‘Garden Gnome’ is a fantastic little plant for containers, and produces lots of flowers over a long period in cheery colours.

I’m still waiting for my perennial lobelia to send up its flower stalks.  I also have a belated rose season, as I managed to mangle the roots of a rose I brought home to replace the one that got trashed over the winter.  I cut back all its lovely buds a month of two ago along with a lot of its foliage in the hope that it would recover.  A couple weeks ago it put out lots of new growth and since I’ve been assiduous in flicking off the hungry aphids, I’m hoping to see flower buds soon.  It’s a David Austin ‘Lady of Shallot’, and should be gorgeous if I’m so luckyas to see it in bloom:

Hello, hello

Just a note to say that I’ve not left the planet.  Instead I’ve started a full-time horticulture degree, and as I’m still getting my head ’round being a student again with the bonus challenge of having to get up before 6am every day, I just don’t have time for blogging (can hardly even manage the laundry..).  Hopefully that will change, and I do intend to get some pictures up at some point.  In the meantime, I’m still quite active on Facebook if anyone is desperate to see what I’m up to.

I’ll also point out that I’ve done that rather irritating thing of changing the settings such that all comments go into moderation.  I’m just so sick of having to go through and weed out all the comments that have yet again somehow managed to sneak pharmaceutical ads in..meh.  Humans are weird. :)

Headed out the back door..

My patio is well and truly full of pots now..think we’re up to about 80 now.  This is what you see from the back door today:

It’s a pity about the plastic chairs, and my camera’s inability to get a vibrant shot of the colours, but it really does look nice, if a bit of a tangle.

Rather than growing roses, clematis, black-eyed susans, etc. up the wall just outside the door, I went for mange tout–which started giving us pods this week :)

It’s only 6 plants in a confining trough, but it’s a nice bit of whimsy and I like it.

Related to the mange tout (but definitely not edible!) is the dwarf sweet pea.  These are so titchy–just 6 inches tall or so.

I thought I had a chocolate cosmos in a pot..well, turns out I don’t and I decided I needed one.  The flowers are just so perfectly formed, and the scent is true to its word–very much like hot cocoa.

Even the back of the flower is beautiful..

I also got a dahlia (figaro) off a clearance rack that looked to have a lot of life in it.  It’s now in a pot with my other dahlia, which looked like it could use some company..

Elsewhere on the patio, this campanula is the palest lavender, and has just a bit of a trailing habit.

In one corner I’ve stuck a few troughs.  It’s mostly salads, but there is also a tiny crop of radishes and an assortment of different herb and veg seedlings.  I’m trying to grow small amounts of many different things for the experience.

The ornamental side of the patio–it’s got a few more pots now. :)

Elsewhere in the garden–a bee on a scabious.

The contrast of the white campanulas against the red maple is quite striking:

A very jolly climbing (rambling?) rose:

I love this flower!  The heart-shaped petals are almost too much.  I’ve been told that it’s most likely a potentilla, and definitely closely related to strawberries.  It even looks like it will produce seeds in a similar fashion.  Edit: I think this is most definitely potentilla atrosanguinea.

Lychnis (Nyssa thinks this is a very creepy name, hehe) and delphiniums in a very lush herbaceous bed.  I’ve read that these are what British gardeners are known for doing best.

Rudbeckia–I quite like these as well.

I thought these were a kind of upright geranium, but they are malvas (mallows).  They are delicate and pretty, and I’m glad I got a photo before the rain came and pounded them.

Our end of the house as seen from the back of the garden:

I feel very lucky to be surrounded by so much colour and it’s been really helpful to watch so many different kinds of plants growing.  I’m glad we came in February as it was just before things got started for the year. :)