Saturday, 9 October 2010

Garden Flowers

With the start of October the garden is looking more like autumn every day and so its appropriate to look back on the flowers I have taken over the last few months. Nearly all of the annuals that I grew from seed this year gave outstanding performances.

First here is one of my favourites, a bee (Buff-tailed bumble bee) 'stealing' the nectar from Abelia grandiflora. Rather than trying to enter the narrow tube flower it punctures a hole at the top of flower and so avoids pollinating it.


Rudbeckias were grown from seed and have flowered long and brightly. For a while they were very popular with hover flies.


Going back to earlier in the year, one of the early stunners were aquilegas that seed themselves around the garden.


Also out in May is this lovely veined geranium.


Continuing the pink theme, Weijelia was another late May flower.


At the same time berberis was proving irresistible to bees.


A rather ancient Kolkwitsia amabilis bush (over 15 years) never fails to be totally covered in bloom, also in late May.


Another faithful flowering plant which came as an offshoot from father's plant is this yucca. This time moving forward to July.

yucca flower

One of the advantages of being a lazy gardener is that I neglect to clear out containers that manage to harbour 'annuals' that you would expect the frost to have killed off but come back fighting. This vibrant blue larkspur is one example.


Also in July, the Black Eyes Susan (Thunbergia 'Salmon shades') I grew from seed had started to flower and is still full of flower.

black eyed susan

By the end of July the humble Nasturtium 'milkmaid' in a lovely pale cream, rather than the usual vibrant yellows and, red had come into flower.


Bellflowers are a rewarding group of flowers to grow, this is one of the more delicate species (Campanula ramosissima 'Meteor').

campanula,bell flower

By now a range of butterflies were busy in the garden including this Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus).


By chance I caught this hover fly (Syrphus ribesii) on a Chicory plant - which does grow wild here about and is also planted as an agricultural crop.

chicory,hover fly

One of the more extra-ordinary perennials is the Everlasting Pea. Some years it waits until the end of June until springing into very active growth. Unlike sweet peas it flowers for months but regrettably has no scent.

everlasting pea

Another plant still flowering well and grown from seed this year were 'standard' Petunias. Reliability is a bonus sometimes.


I did not have much luck germinating Mimulus 'Monkey magic' , I was left with only one healthy plant but it was worth the effort.


I grew these on the basis of the seed catalogue picture, the flowers were good but the foliage disappointing and the colour pinkish rather than the blue I expected (Papaver somniferum).


Not that many ladybirds (Coccinella 7-punctata) around this year compared to others but they always are so attractive to look at - everyone's favourite insect!


A chance seed strayed into a border somehow but I let this sunflower grow for once and was rewarded by a huge yellow flower.


Still at their peak of flowering are dahlias that I originally grew from seed but now over-winter as tubers in the garage. Reliable and trouble free, although they do need a lot of watering.


To end where I began, another bee on an Abelia bush, this time showing how you are supposed to gather the nectar.