Friday, 29 July 2011

Songs for summer

Good Day Sunshine
We have at last had more than a couple of days of sunshine in one week and - Ta Dah! the sunflowers are out. This is Helianthus 'Pacino'. I think you can work out why it has that name.
Agastache foeniculum 'Liquorice Blue' and Helianthus 'Pacino' blooming in the Whichford stockyard

I am a very disobedient gardener for allowing the plants to hide the pots but I do love to see them thrive and I'm sure all the keen gardeners who visit the pottery feel the same. Regular readers will see from this picture that most of the Nemesia 'Masquerade' has finished flowering and been removed, but the other plants have done so well that there are no noticeable gaps.

Lynne's home-made bunting being put up you'd better get this party started
It has been a very busy week at the pottery, with lots of visitors, including an unexpected coachload from Cologne (but we didn't mind because they were very enthusiastic and keen to shop as well as look!). We welcome coach trips but ask them to book in because we have such limited space. Luckily they didn't clash with any other groups but they had to put up with us all running about and sprucing the place up for the Garden Party this weekend - if you are reading this before the evening of Sunday 31st it isn't too late to join us.

There will be lots going on at the garden party and the flowers have been very co-operative about opening in time for it. If you arrive in the morning you will be greeted by the vivid blues of Commelina tuberosa and Anagallis monelli 'Skylover' but by the late afternoon these will have closed their flowers.
The bright blues of Anagallis monelli 'Skylover'
and Commelina tuberosa at the entrance to
Whichford Pottery's garden
Hordeum jubatum glowing in the Eclipse pots in
the courtyard garden
...and Hordeum jubatum glowing and swishing about on the entrance path to the pottery
The wind that shakes the barley
I try to position certain plants so that they will be backlit by the morning and/or late afternoon sunshine; Hordeum jubatum is a case in point: this decorative barley really glows in slanting light, it comes to life in a breeze and is looking its best at the moment. In the second picture it is in two of our medium sized Swag and Acanthus pots and brushes softly against you as you pass. I love it when the plants in a garden reach out to touch you as you walk along a path.

It has become a bit of a tradition to show you some of the smaller visitors to the pottery, so here's a little gallery:

Holly Blue butterfly on a petunia

I have just reported my latest butterfly count to the Big Butterfly Count, which has been extended to August 7th because of the cold and wet weather at the start of July. The air has been alive with peacock butterflies and their clattery (yes, honestly!) wings.
Just two of the peacock butterflies which make such a racket in the garden

Some day I'll fly away
My absolute favourites this week were the fledgling wrens hopping about in the hedges and then among the pots, I loved their shiny new feathers and their lack of caution. It was easy to follow them as they cheeped and flittered about, luckily Puss-Puss wasn't around.
Baby wren on Rose bowls this Thursday

Brand-new shiny plumage

Show me a garden that's bursting into life
I'll finish with one more picture of the abundance which is late summer in the Whichford Garden, here you can see (amongst others) white giant busy-lizzie Impatiens sodenii, pink Dahlia 'Art Nouveau', pink petunias and pastel mix Laurentia axillaris
Pinks and pastels in the stockyard, including Impatiens sodenii, Dahlia 'Art Nouveau' and Laurentia axillaris

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