My Garden – Summer 2018

We have had our best summer weather since 1976, that was the summer we got married and I have no idea how well my dad’s roses did that summer, sadly he only lived until 1980 so I can’t ask him how his garden fared in the heat. He was a very keen gardener which now that I think about it must have been an unexpected passion as he lived most of his life in a city flat with no garden.

garden

Anyway, I had thought that the unusual heat we had this year would be just what my plants needed, but although they grew well most of them didn’t bloom as well as usual. The roses were particularly disappointing. I’m greedy where roses are concerned and choose varieties that keep coming back with flushes of blooms throughout the summer and autumn. Despite careful and constant dead-heading my roses only flowered once this summer and they were over very quickly. So quickly that I don’t seem to have got any photos of them at all. It is only September so in theory they might flower again – but I’m not holding my breath, I think they just didn’t enjoy the heat, which I can’t understand as most rose species originate from Asia.

garden, geraniums, astilbe

Flowers quickly drooped in the heat and frazzled, there’s not much shade in this garden – yet.
garden , acer

On the other hand my raspberries did very well this year, so I was surprised when Monty Don mentioned on Gardeners’ World that his crop of raspberries was poor this year. I wonder what his strawberries were like, I had such a glut that we got fed up eating them and I made some into jam.

garden in Fife
The photo below is of the rockery which has been engulfed by a type of potentilla. I bought one plant and it has seeded itself, deciding that the rockery was the perfect spot to settle down in. The bees adored it so I put up with it there but eventually had to set to and dig it up. That was easier said than done for it had enormous thick fleshy roots, especially considering it had only been there for one season. I suspect that they are going to continue to come back and haunt me for some years as I just couldn’t get all the roots out.
my garden in Fife
The Euphorbia Fireglow below is another plant that spreads around a lot, and you have to be very careful when you pull it up as the stems and roots secrete a milky liquid which will burn your skin badly. It’s definitely one of the times when wearing gloves is safest.
garden  in Fife

My Garden in May

For most of May I was wondering what had happened to the weather as it seemed very reluctant to warm up and the swifts/swallows were nowhere to be seen. They were obviously hanging back and not flying to the UK until it heated up a bit. They arrived at last but I’m sure that they were up to two months later than in previous years. We happened to be in Holland when they arrived there and by the time we got back home they were here too, although not in great numbers.
physocarpus and forget-me-nots
When we got back – the garden had exploded into growth! and this week the first rose appeared. It’s a climber called Golden Showers – can you believe? and I’m growing it in a large pot. I had it growing up the front of the old house that we moved from three years ago and when I saw one for sale at the Scottish Garden Show in Edinburgh last summer I decided to buy it again as it has a lovely scent too, something that seems to be difficult to come by nowadays.
yellow rose 1

This dwarf acer dissectum atropurpurea is a great colour and I like it even better combined with this Euphorbia Fireglow. I never worry about colours clashing in the garden as in general the various shades of green always save the day and tone it all down.
acer and euphorbia fireglow

Yet more red in the shape of planta genista or in other words broom, as they used to tie bits of it to a stick and use it for sweeping purposes back in the year dot. It’s the plant that was the emblem of the Plantagenets.
red broom

More spring plants

This is euphorbia ‘Fireglow’ and it disappears completely over the winter but it comes back with a vengeance in the spring because it’s spreading like mad, even into the grass despite there being a stone barrier. It does look lovely when it’s fully grown although I think the new growth is a bit brash and phallic looking at the moment.

euphorbia 'Fireglow' stalks

Some of the pale daffodils in my front garden.

narcissus

For some reason this pulmonaria which goes by the horrible common name of lungwort has come out looking really insipid. It is in fact three different colours – blue, pink and lilac.

Pulmonaria