After a rather chilly weekend this week has been fairly sunny and even pleasantly warm in the sunshine. I took advantage of the fine and sunny weather to pop down to my closest National Trust garden near Penzance to have a slow and gentle wander through the grounds, it is definitely rhododendron season. Wednesday saw the car in for a service and MOT (passed thank goodness) and a day out in St Ives. The sun shone and the sea sparkled and I had a good time wandering the back streets and a visit to the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden which is always a treat.
The garden moves onwards and upwards. So many things coming into flower and the main colours seem to be purple and pink (with interjections of yellow, orange and white plus loads of greens!). I went out in the early evening to capture these photos, I always love to see the light through the leaves and petals.
These are all variations of the same flower – Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Lime Sorbet’ grown from seed a couple of years ago it’s only now that the plants are tall enough to see and I love how some of them are tinted with pink or lilac as well as the limey green.
Monkshood (Aconitum) also known as wolfsbane and common aconite looks similar to delphinium, to which it’s related. The S&S would decimate delphiniums, but know better than to touch this highly poisonous plant. Since I cut it down and thought I had pulled it out a couple of years ago it has flowered better than ever! Fortunately it is at the back of a border so I can admire it without any harm. All parts of the monkshood plant, especially the roots, are poisonous.
Hard to get a good photo of the Geums. ‘Red Wings’ is tall and floaty and looks great among the grasses, but the golden-yellow ‘Emory Quinn’ stubbornly grows close to the ground. It should grown to 35cm H, so I am hoping it makes a bit more effort over the summer.
The Common Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) probably came from the packet of wildflower seeds I scattered two years ago. They are looking rather good at the moment, but I shall reduce their numbers once they have stopped flowering.
My deciduous Agapanthus are growing again, nice fresh greens leaves emerging from the pots, but the big question is whether there will be flowers. Last year I think only three out of the six or so pots did so time will tell. As for the silver and green one which is in the ground I am crossing my fingers for. This one flowers very erratically. Called ‘Silver Moon’ it appears to flower once in a blue moon.
Today is World Bee Day. The theme for World Bee Day 2023 is Bee engaged in pollinator-friendly agricultural production. A call for global action to support pollinator-friendly agricultural production and the importance of protecting bees and other pollinators, particularly through evidence-based agricultural production practices. I try to do my bit by growing wildflowers as well as plants for pollinators and allowing my lawn to be daisy, buttercup and dandelion friendly. Many flowers are attractive to bees, with different types of bee varying in their particular preferences. In particular, long-tongued bumblebees such as Bombus hortorum tend to favour deep flowers, and of course short-tongued bumblebees such as Bombus terrestris/lucorum prefer shallow flowers. The more you study bees, the more fascinating they are.
Jim of Garden Ruminations is now our host and as a former nurseryman has a lot more than the SOS happening over on his blog so well worth following. As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to his site where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world. See here for the participant’s guide.
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Lovely photos Jude – I especially like the bonus bee photo. (Bees are always a bonus! 🙂 ) My agapanthus does flower every year but sometimes the flowers are very small – suspect it’s when we have a drought.
Are your aggies deciduous or evergreen?
They’re deciduous. No idea of the variety because they came from a friend’s garden.
I’d have thought they would do better in drought given the deciduous ones come from the Cape which has mild, wet winters and dry summers.
I wonder if they’re maybe a bit overcrowded by the other plants – I might have a bit of sorting out to do…
Lovely flowers but the bee shot is amazing! Hope your hand has recovered. Have a good weekend
The hand is still causing me problems, but at least the other joints aren’t so painful now (on meds) and I have an appointment with the Rheumatology dept in a few weeks so hope they can figure out what’s going on.
Sadly the hand is the same. Pins and needles pretty much constantly which is a problem when trying to remove weeds!
I tend to leave my garden alone for the most part. The lawn grass is onlu cut ‘now and again’, and the bees, insects, and birds seem to be happy enough with what I provide. We have had a real ‘Summer’s Day’ here today. Blue skies, wall to wall sunshine, and though it ony got to 16C, the sun was warm. I had a lovely walk with Ollie earlier, in wonderful light. Made me regret not taking a camera.
Best wishes, Pete. x
My lawn is full of daisies at the moment. It will get mown again soon though to deter the dandelions coming back. The warner temperatures and the sunshine are very much appreciated, though it can still be cool in the evening. I always take a camera (or my phone) when I go out, just in case.
I always try to visit Barbara Hepworths garden when down your way, I do like a bit of sculpture in the garden, so I have made my own! I have had plenty of bees here, all sorts of varieties, so I must be doing something right. Hope you hand soon recovers, not easy gardening when you are in pain.
Home made sculptures sound great! I have a few additions to mine, they do add interest.
Your visit to the NT garden sounds so relaxing! I think right now, I’d benefit from doing something like that.
I grew Aquilegia ‘Lime Sorbet’ from seed in recent years, but they’re not in flower yet. I’ll have to watch to see if they have tints like yours. They look very pretty.
That’s a bit annoying about your Sweet Rocket, although the purples are lovely, it’s not really what you ordered.
Good luck with your Agapanthus – I hope you get those flowers!
I have put in a complaint to the company, we’ll see if I get any response.
Good luck! I hope you get a result from your complaint.
I did. They refunded me.
Lovely bee photo Jude. I’m enjoying watching the solitary bees visiting the bee ‘hotel’ that the Non-Gardener made. The Aconite is a great colour.
It is wonderful to sit and watch the wildlife. I can while away ages in the garden listening and watching the bees and the birds.
Always beautiful. I do love columbines.
I am surprised by how many there are this year.
Ahh, the bees! I have been watching and seeing mostly flower flies and a few bumble bees, eastern bumblebee, the most common in the area. We had a couple of warm days and there are increasing nectar and pollen sources. It appears bumblebees have been at the prairie smoke, I love bees!
There have been a few more this week as the weather warms up and more flowers appear.
So many beautiful flowers, Jude, and so delightful to see the spring sun shining through the leaves and petals.
The flowers all seem to come at once. Every day I find something new appearing. It’s an exciting time to see what has survived the winter.
Your days out sound fab. It’s so lovely to have some nice sunshine now and it has really set off your photos a treat.
The sunshine is very welcome. Though now it’s an issue with watering as we have a hosepipe ban and carrying a watering can is not easy at the moment.