When I think back on the garden over this last week, the poppies are still dominating in a big way, although I can see that they are waning. Most of them are on their second or third bloom and then that will be it. The David Austin rose (that I am stubbornly describing as orange or peaches and cream) has surprised us with a wave of buds and blooms. I didn’t see that coming as the plant is new. I did not expect that sort of performance in its first season. As the season goes so far I am happy with how well I’ve managed to time it so that there is always something coming in as something is going out. I have to admit that my success so far may come down more to luck and the sheer volume of plant matter I have planted and less to impeccable planning. HA!
The highlights of this week are my breadbox poppies, which are treating me every day to a new colour and form, and the cold hardy opuntia that have made me so very, very happy to have chanced into the good fortune of exceptionally well-draining soil that is on the sandy side. This garden is an absolute pain in the butt to water, but the growing possibilities are mind-blowing for someone like me who has a longstanding fixation/fascination with dry land flora. It’s going to be unreal next year when all of the new opuntias I have added are abloom. I may pass out from the sheer joy of it.
Please forgive my tardiness with this week’s Herbaria. I took the photo last week, but haven’t had the time since to sit down and write the text. These things are becoming a record of my working life as well as the garden. If I were to continue doing them over time I would find that the weeks around mid-June are always the same. The rush to get lingering transplants in the ground amidst the struggle to stay on top of the maintenance that comes with the heat, and around all of that the work deadlines. Growing a garden is a big part of my job, but its the writing and photography around those experiences that make my living. They all seem to collide at this time of year, each one as critically important as the other. To which do I focus my attention first? That’s the question I ask myself each day, and I find that I am often running back and forth between my desk, the kitchen, and the garden like a deranged lunatic. It’s not uncommon for me to stop at each of these destinations without a clue as to why I was headed there. But then some new task catches my eye and I turn my attention to it and 15 minutes or an hour passes before I recall why I was there in the first place. The neighbours must find me confusing. I exhaust myself.
I suppose I wouldn’t have it any other way, although I really could use an assistant…. (so she says every year, and every spring she finds another reason not to make that leap.)
On to the plants!
This week’s herbaria is a little late as we had a few rain showers that prevented me from putting it together earlier. I try to avoid creating colour themes when I choose these, but it was inevitable as many of these plants were chosen because their current state is fleeting and probably won’t be around next week.
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Happy composting! And happy weekend everyone!
I leave you with a few recent scenes from my garden.
Clematis ‘Empress.’ I mis-identified it as ‘Crystal Fountain’ a few weeks back.
Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale).