Buzzing After The Rain

Yesterday was the longest day of the year. Recently it has felt most unlike summer here in the UK where we’ve experienced one of the wettest Junes on record. In some parts of the country rivers have burst their banks, turning surrounding areas into flood plains. More water has fallen on some days than usually falls in the whole month. Where I live, thankfully we have not had to endure the worst of the weather, but it has still been cold and wet a lot of the time. Happily, temperatures are rising again now. Yesterday – appropriately on the summer solstice – the sun shone all day. Today looks promising too.

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After a warm dry May, the first rainfall was a blessing, at least for parched gardens. The rain soon outstayed its welcome, but at least the blooms, quenched and invigorated, seemed grateful.

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I cleaned up, resprayed repurposed this old fire pit which I’d hardly used and had become a rusty mess

My garden is tiny but it gives me a lot of pleasure throughout the year. Summer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is my favourite time. I love foliage and, if I could only have one or the other, would choose lush evergreens over brightly coloured flora any day. Happily there is room for both.

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Whilst some plants won’t flower until July there are still brilliant displays of blue and purple amongst the green. I decided this year to work with nature and keep things very simple. Apart from a few pots of gloriously bold geraniums which I love and will always find a spot for every year, any new additions to the garden would be first and foremost chosen as a food source for pollinators.

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In one corner I had previously had a lot of containers. I decided to move most of them as some had long since stopped thriving or even growing at all, and some of the pots looked ugly. I very reluctantly discarded the worst of them and have kept others for reusing. Unfortunately, a solution has not yet been found for industrial  recycling of black plastic plant pots – at least in my part of world – which is very frustrating.

Early in the year I had attempted to train some early-flowering clematis up the fence but sadly, as with all other clematis I’ve planted in the past, it failed. I dug them up and put them back into pots and they still seem to be OK , so with a bit of luck they may flower again next spring. I’ve moved some herbs from their pots into the ground and they seem to be happy enough there. Scabiosa and salvia are enjoying the sun spot along with a variety of cat mint, Walkers Low, which is a real pull for the bees. I’ve left the French lavender in pots as that’s how it seems to grow best in my garden. The bees can’t get enough!

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I plan to place some annuals in the gaps, also pollinator- friendly varieties. I’ll review these each year as the perennials spread and gain height and the gaps hopefully become fewer. Hopefully, in a couple of years’ time, the little stepping stones will lead through an abundance of green and shades of blue and purple.

One of my favourite shrubs is the Caryopteris Heavenly Blue which I planted about three years ago. It is another bee magnet and exudes a heady sweet aroma which I love. I would like to plant more of this but because it spreads up to 1.5 metres I don’t think I have room in a sunny enough spot.

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I’ve sewn a few wildflower seeds in small pots and they have come on well. I can’t wait for the Nigella to bloom in a few weeks’ time. Another favourite aromatic container is the rosemary and thyme against the back fence. The little purple flowers are beautiful and another food source for insects.

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My arthritis has really flared up this year, exacerbated by a knee injury a couple of months ago, and although I love  my little plot the more physically demanding aspects of maintaining it can be very challenging for me. Rethinking my garden, reviewing what grows well and what doesn’t, going with nature’s flow and including more of what thrives easily and with minimal effort on my part is my new philosophy. I’ll be keeping it very simple, providing a banquet for nature if I can, and a place for me and the cats to relax now the rain has stopped. 😁

18 thoughts on “Buzzing After The Rain

  1. lovelyandgrateful June 22, 2019 / 11:58 am

    Your garden looks lovely. I think it’s very sensible to grow low maintenance perennials, especially if the pollinators like them! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lesley June 22, 2019 / 5:06 pm

    What a glorious garden and fabulous photos too! It’s interesting that you say you have no luck with Clematis … I have never been successful with Perennial Sweet Pea, despite having been given well-rooted plants. Every one of them died on me. 😦

    Your beautiful photographs have brightened my day, and I love your cat. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to the Beautiful North June 22, 2019 / 5:51 pm

      Thank you very much for reading and for your comments. The clematis plants are at least still alive but back in pots. I’ll see what happens next March; if there is growth I think I’ll pot them on to bigger containers, each with its own trellis – but not back in the ground. I grew sweet peas a couple of years ago but they were annuals grown from seed. They needed a lot of support in the early stages as the stems were so fragile but they were successful and produced beautiful pink, purple and blue flowers. I hope you succeed one day! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lesley June 23, 2019 / 7:08 am

        I think I’ve given up on them … or maybe they’ve given up on me! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Typewriter Girl June 22, 2019 / 8:04 pm

    Your garden looks stunning ! Purples and blues are my favourite colours and I love what you have done with the fire pit. I can only grow lavender in containers too, and as you say, the bees can’t get enough of it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Welcome to the Beautiful North June 22, 2019 / 8:50 pm

      Thank you very much. It’s such a pleasure watching the bees feast. Apparently, they can ‘see’ purple and blue and are attracted by the colour as well as the pollen. Isn’t Mother Nature amazing? 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. shazza June 22, 2019 / 9:14 pm

    Your little garden gives me garden envy. I really do need do go buy some plants for my pots. I just haven’t been very motivated. Your post has inspired me to fill my hanging baskets…and maybe get some lavender. My only flower at the mo is a lupin which the bees do love. X

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Eunice June 30, 2019 / 7:56 pm

    The close-up shot of the rose is lovely but my favourite just has to be the one with the cat peering through the foliage – I’m a sucker for anything with a cat in it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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