Before I begin this post I’d like to leave a message for owners of Blogspot Blogs which I comment on. For some reason I am no longer able to do so. I keep getting the message saying that my credentials cannot be verified. I hope to sort this out soon.
What do you think of these gorgeous lilies? I love both their appearance and their divine scent. This one reaches around five feet in height and stands at the side of my front door. A single bulb, last year it sported just a couple of flowers but this year there are at least thirty flower heads. More lilies grow next to the French doors at the back of the house, close to the sweet peas which are doing well, but nowhere near as well as a couple of years ago when we were picking large bunches daily. So far this year we have picked three small bunches. I much prefer to see them in the garden but regular picking is the way to get a good display. Ironic, isn’t it?
For years I have had in my garden a robust climbing rose called Madame Gregoire Staechelin….at least, I thought I did! It’s glossy green leaves contrast beautifully with the fragrant creamy white blooms. Before writing this post I wanted to check the spelling so turned to Google and there it was, Mme. GS on the RHS website – a lovely PINK rose! Well, they’ve got that wrong, I thought. I looked at other sites. and discovered that, needless to say, the RHS know what they’re talking about: Mme. GS is indeed a pink rose and it seems that the flowers on this particular rose give way to ‘attractive hips in autumn’. Not in my garden it doesn’t! Time to turn detective. A trawl around the internet leads me to belive that my rose is, in fact, Madame Alfred Carriere. I’ve been duped!
Indian Summer rose
Indian Summer is the most fragrant of my roses. Strongly scented, it is a delicate shade of a creamy peach. Alongside other roses it lines the path to my front door. Beautiful Britain has a far more subtle scent but its vibrant vermillion/orange with shades of gold outstrips Indian Summer for colour and its abundant blooms outdo most others in my garden (except for Starlight Express which I’ve mentioned in a previous post).
In between the roses in the front garden are lavender bushes. Lavender is reputed to drive away aphids. It seems to work as we have very few. Unfortunately this means we also get few ladybirds since they like to feed on the aphids. Nevertheless, for the benefit of the roses, I can do without the ladybirds. I’ve sometimes dried the lavender heads and used them as a pot-pouri. Having recently found a recipe for lavender shortbread, I wondered whether my varieties (Munstead and Hidcote) could be used. The recipe calls for ‘culinary lavender’ but I found this information: “Though most varieties of lavender can be used in cooking, some varieties are more widely used, including Lavandula angustifolia, particularly the “Munstead” cultivar. These lavenders have the sweetest fragrance among all species of lavender, which creates flavor in cooking”. I think I’ll give it a go.
Another favourite floral scent is lilac. I have a large and abundant purple lilac but sadly it flowers for such a short time. Finally, the scent of honeysuckle is quite beautiful especially on a warm summer evening, even if its growing habit is somewhat untidy.
I really like to grow Lily of the Valley but, despite several attempts, success eludes me. Our clay soil is quite heavy and I thought this might be the cause but according to Alan Tichmarsh it is happy in a clay soil and has no preference for acid or alkaline conditions. Maybe next year.
AlthoughI refer to my garden and what I grow in it, it’s only fair that I own up to the fact that it’s not me who maintains it. Husband is the one who does the work, and it’s thanks to him that dinner this evening included this year’s first runner beans. Freshly picked, they were delicious.