Wednesday was the start of the fifteenth week since my husband and I went into lockdown, just a little ahead of most in this country. On Wednesday it was also the first day in all those weeks that I ventured out of the house (other than the garden) to go for a walk.
The rain started to ease off around 9am and I and headed down to the shore front, just one mile away and a short 4-minute drive. A few people, mostly dog-walkers were there, and it was really reassuring that everyone was observing the 2 metre distancing rule. As I passed each person, or couple, they smiled and said ‘good morning’. I’ve missed that over the past few months, the friendliness of people I don’t know, the sound of the waves, and the clean, fresh, seaside air.
I felt quite invigorated when I came home, and then it was back into the garden to tackle another few jobs before lunch.
My Six for this week leads with a favourite rose, Margaret Chessum.
Rosa ‘Margaret Chessum’
I love this rose – it was one of the first roses I bought when we moved in here just over 20 years ago. This rose has the prettiest rosebuds that I have seen. The flower opens with a creamy centre, and within days the petals turn pale pink, edged with a much deeper pink. The rose then fades to a deeper pink overall.
I lost the name of the plant, and wrote to the RHS and other big-name rose suppliers, attaching photographs, but no one could identify it. Two years ago I decided to move it as the old plant was getting too big for where it was, and lo and behold, when the plant came up, so did the label, buried under the soil – still intact, and still in full colour. Indestructible plastic – no wonder we’re being encouraged to use less of it.
This is the short path that leads to the greenhouse at the back of the garden. The border is facing the greenhouse and was replanted a couple of years ago after an old picket fence was taken away. Three Bonica roses, hostas and heucheras have been added to the area and are much more attractive than the old fence. The rose peeking in on the left is part of the original bed that was on the other side of the fence.
The pot of cosmos, just about to flower, is actually sitting on the remains of a concrete post that supported the old fence. Sometimes working with what is there rather than trying to change it, is the easiest thing to do. I have a couple of other pots, sitting on top of similar old concrete remains, in various borders!
This border has three sides running around a pebble area where our picnic table sits. We’re only looking at a corner of it in the photo. The most vibrant plant here is normally Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’ but it has finished flowering – though I’m hoping for a second flush of flowers to carry it through to autumn.
Meantime, splashes of colour are being provided by the Astrantia, a little pot of Lewisia, a clematis which is growing up a metal obelisk, and a rogue foxglove that has self-seeded from somewhere other than this garden. Once the Sidalcea and Lysimachia get going, the border will liven up again.
Last of the Peonies
The weather since last weekend has flattened much in the garden and finished off the peonies. This was taken just before the most recent thundery downpours that we’re (not!) getting accustomed to.
I don’t know the name of the peony, but I love her gorgeous ruffled petals. Don’t be fooled by the rose leaves, she’s just resting her head on the rose planted next to her. 🙂
Rosa ‘Darcey Bussell’
Named after the world-renowned ballerina, Darcey Bussell is a very deep crimson that fades to mauve as the flower ages. I had planned to move her to a more prominent spot at the end of last winter, but the weeks went on and it eventually became another job for another day. Busy times ahead.
I have two small hydrangeas at either end of the patio planter, one pink and the other white. Verbena x ‘Vepita Polar’ was intended to sit beside the pink hydrangea but I think the plant fairies must have been out in the middle of the night again because now it’s beside the white Hydrangea ‘Black Steel Zebra’. Hmmm…how could that possibly have happened?
Stay safe everyone and enjoy your garden this weekend!
ABOUT SIX ON SATURDAY
To join with other garden enthusiasts from around the world just take six photographs and post them to Twitter and/or your blog each Saturday. You can get all the details from The Propagator who kindly set it all up.
All photographs copyright of Catherine Wood unless otherwise stated.