Armchair Travelling – Summer Garden, St Petersburg, Russia

It’s almost a year since we were in St Petersburg and I realised recently that I hadn’t blogged about our visit to the Summer Garden there. I hadn’t even heard of this place before we got to St Petersburg, but it is the most famous garden in Rusia apparently. It dates from 1704 when Tsar Peter the Great decided he wanted a garden in the European style and drew the initial plans himself.

Summer Gardens, St Petersburg, Russia

I love fountains, we don’t have enough of them in the UK in my opinion, well not anywhere near where I live.
Summer Gardens, St Petersburg, Russia

Summer Garden, St Petersburg, Russia

There are plenty to choose from in the Summer Garden, it’s all very classical. But we were there in early May and there wasn’t an awful lot in bloom at that time of the year in St Petersburg.
Summer Garden, St Petersburg, Russia

I’m not sure how the design differs from the original, but in 1777 there was a huge flood here, it’s close to the River Neva and everything was swept away, including the structures and fountains.
Summer Garden, St Petersburg, Russia

This is a beautiful place for those lucky enough to live in St Petersburg to take their exercise and it is well used by the locals. There were more locals in it than tourists which is always nice when you are in a foreign country. Maybe I’m strange but I hate feeling like a tourist! If you happen to be in St Petesrburg sometime, do check out the Summer Garden.
Summer Garden, St Petersburg, Russia

Garden update – late July

garden path

Not long after I took the above photo of the back garden path I had to give the geraniums a right good chop back as they were in danger of engulfing the path. I do hate cutting back but it means I’ll get another flush of flowers and they’ll still be going strong in October.

You can just see the left hand side of the metal archway and although I’ve planted a supposedly climbing rose there, it remains bare, that rose seems to have no intention of climbing. The other side of the archway has far too many things covering it, including a lathyrus/everlasting sweet pea which is an absolute thug and is climbing everywhere.

Below there is that disappointing (so far) red rose, pieris, foxglove, lychnis, geraniums, physigelia and various others.
back garden flowers

In the photo below you can see my recent garden purchase – a Belfast sink! I had to laugh when I heard someone on a gardening programme saying recently that in his childhood every garden seemed to have a Belfast sink in it! Mine still has and I had a hard time tracking this one down, I had one in the old garden but had to leave it behind as the house purchasers wanted everything in the garden – grr!
back garden flowers

The cherry tree in the photo below is growing like crazy, but I only had a few flowers on it in the spring. It has been in for three years now so I hope it gives a better account of itself next year.
back back garden flowers V garden flowers
Below is a Philadelphus which isn’t giving off as much scent as I had hoped it would. I think a different variety might have been better, it’s my own fault for not waiting and buying one when it was already in flower.

The Christmas tree in the photo below was one that was left in a pot by the front door when we moved in here, it was looking very sorry for itself, but as you can see, setting him free in the soil has really cheered him up. There is also a cotinus, cotton lavender and astrantia in the photo.
back garden flowers

There’s a dwarf Japanese maple, euphorbia Fireglow, primula Viallii and a lot more in the photo below.
back garden flowers

The so called rockery in the photo below has gone a wee bit crazy this year and most of the rocks in it have been hidden by the plant growth, I blame all the rain we’ve had. I have to do some serious weeding soon, that ajuga I planted there is on a bid to take over the whole area. I don’t think you can actually see it in the photo although it’s hard to avoid as it is taking up half of the rockery I could shoot myself for planting it!
back garden flowers

That was the back garden at the back end of July. I’m quite pleased with it considering this is only its third year and there was only one teeny tree in it and a sea of grass when we moved in.

Summer Garden

I’ve been busy in the house and garden during the past few days, doing deeply boring things like plastering a wall and fixing a new clothes dryer whirly thingy in the grass. I can’t make my mind up whether the pole is squint or the ground is, but it’s concreted in now so fingers crossed that it doesn’t keel over if it is squee gee!

If you’ve been watching the Scottish Open Golf Championship you’ll realise that the heavens have opened with a vengeance. After almost a week of lovely weather the rain has been of Biblical proportions, thunder and all. Some places have been flooded but luckily not here.


These are a few of the garden photos which I took whilst the sun was shining. I bought the lily corms a few years ago, from a pound shop would you believe – 8 corms for £1 to be precise and they are multiplying. I’m really not too sure about them. I do like them but I sort of think that they’re a bit fancy for my garden, most of the planting is cottagey with quite simple flowers and herbs. On the other hand I suppose cottage gardens have always had formal bits in them like topiary so they kind of fit in. The colours are nice anyway.

astrantia again

The astrantias above are lovely to look at but I once made the mistake of cutting some for putting in a vase in the house – it wasn’t long before I realised that they stink like a dirty old cloth!


I love the random blue splashes on this cranesbill geranium. I thought that it had disappeared from my garden completely because the area which I planted it in is becoming congested with that very pretty yellow plant thug. Luckily I discovered this one on the other side of the garden, these geraniums are very obliging at seeding themselves.

So that’s what the garden was looking like a few days ago but everything was being fairly well flattened by the torrential rain today. I know the plants needed water – but not that much!