It was after I read Sue’s post “White is cool” that I remembered that white was our favourite colour for flowers too. The white oleander was planted in front of the house shortly after we bought it and years before we moved here. I too loved the idea of a white area. Crathes Castle garden, near Aberdeen, had a beautiful white border and I intended to find a place in the garden for a display of stunning white flowers.
However, my initial design of my white summer hedge has now the addition of an untidy but profusely flowering lilac Lavatera and hidden from view underneath is a winter flowering honeysuckle.
We meticulously selected the seed from the whitest Gaura, but then gave up as it self-seeded over the garden and we were happy to replant whatever turned up as the bees did not mind either pale pink or pure white.
And then there are the plants that take up residence of their own volition.
The wild Verbascum has been flowering non-stop since June welcoming the hover flies and
bees of all kinds which gather large quantities of the bright orange pollen early in the morning leaving the yellow petals strewn around the plant like confetti.
Then there are the plants that suddenly beg attention. Some years ago Kourosh “acquired” a couple of seeds of Feijoa sellowiana. The seeds germinated and lived in pots that I tended until I was able to get rid of them into a new border. This year they have shot up to more than a metre in height and flowered for the first time.
The flowers are extremely attractive and as they belong to the myrtle they should also be attractive to bees. I will have to wait until autumn to see if any fruit is formed, another extra as the fruits are edible.
Another additional problem with planning a garden can be illustrated by our vegetable garden. Planning must be done in advance and, as can be seen, we have our long, sturdy tomato stakes in place but very weak, short tomato plants. The cooler, wet June was not to their liking and now the high temperatures that are soaring now in July are drying them out before they have time to grow.
At least the couple of leeks I have left to flower from last year provide me with some amusement as I ponder on the likelihood of making homemade tomato sauce this year.
Kourosh spotted this beautifully fashioned “pot” in the house wall.
I thought it might belong to these wasps that are using the bird bath. However, I think these are European paper wasps (Polistes dominula) and I have seen their nests around in previous years.
I noticed they gather the water differently. You get the careful type that holds onto the side and gently laps from the edge of the water.
Then you get the cool guys who do a full belly-flop onto the water, maintaining themselves by surface tension and float while taking their fill.
The success of the large oregano clump in attracting the bees has also made me think of modifying my planting.
The large clumps of flowers, like the lavender and nepeta, attract more bees, so I am going to try to spread my plants less in the future. However, the garden will have the last word. The yellow haze of cat’s ears (Hypochaeris radicata), visible in the background, has developed on its own.
Without them, we would miss watching the Dasypoda bees bouncing from flower to flower at this time of year.