June 2013. The blue ground cover is Campanula, with roses behind that, underplanted with fuschia genii. The front of the garden is hedged with lavender, which is a bit rampant, frankly. Have to take the hedge trimmers to it to keep the path clear these days.
The huge shrub in the middle is Philadelphus Coronarius Aureus. Flowers in May - small white blooms with prodigious scent en masse.
The tree cotoneaster at the corner has Rosa Madame Alfred Carriere climbing up into it. This rose is bonkers - it can do 6 feet in a season. It's been in place for two years, and already has flowers ten feet up into the canopy. Flowers are long lived and well scented, but a bit loose and floppy in appearance. Needs quite a bit of tying in, because it's almost thornless.
A lovely little rose I've planted, called Hot Chocolate. No scent at all, but beautiful flower shape, the blooms last a long time, and it repeats pretty reliably if you keep up with the dead-heading.
This is what happens when you don't keep control of aquilegias self-seeding.
Some mad bugger actually STOLE all the seed pods off my best purple aquilegias this year. All they had to do was ask, I'd have GIVEN them all the seed they could have needed. Sheesh.
An oldy but goody, the hybrid tea rose Alec's Red. Very variable flower shape, prone to stem sag due to large blooms (and balls like crazy, so keep an eye out for brown petals and pull 'em off), but the powerful scent makes up for all that. The colour here isn't quite right, Nikon digicams tend to over-emphasise red tones in any picture and make everything reddish look a little "flourescent".
Should've bought a Canon.
Rosa Gertrude Jekyll. I'm not overly fond of pink, but the combination of scent, disease-resistance, flower shape and sheer flower volume is hard to say no to. I have six of these beauties. The downside is that they're expensive to buy, and fussy about pruning. The key is to prune them to several vertical lengths, to prevent the plant only flowering at the top. Note: prone to suckering... a lot. Plant these guys DEEP.
Amazing what the cameras in phones can do these days, by the way. This was taken with a Nokia 920.
This Acer (palmatum dissectum 'Garnet') does a half-decent job of hiding my bins.
Agapanthus flower head
The Agapanthus is in a medium-sized pot (will need potting up next year). The flower stems on the variety shown follow the light like crazy so I replaced this with one of the dwarf varieties that doesn't follow it so much, and the colour is better (darker) as well. Agapanthus are not entirely hardy so I pop it in the garage if a really hard frost threatens.
I had the builders leave some open ends on the screen-block wall so I could make my own planters to cheer up the wall. One afternoon to make new planters every 6 or 7 years, and I can plant bizzy lizzies (new guinea) in summer and pansies in winter.
A repeat-flowering fragrant old rose from David Austin, William Shakespeare. Nice "quartered" flowers, but has a very loose habit, canes can reach six feet plus, and badly needs support. Best avoided. I needed a pick-axe to get this one out.
Our best white rose, this is a floribunda called Margaret Merril. Opens with a pink blush, and fades to pure white. Gorgeous scent. Rather susceptible to blackspot though.
Plant it where you can reach the blooms to appreciate the scent, not where I did, right in the middle of the bloody garden. What an idiot.
I have a rose called Susan Williams Ellis (presumably named after a person) in a pot by the door. The scent is OK, but the flowers are short-lived and drop their petals suddenly in a rather untidy fashion. Makes a good button-hole rose if you're into that sort of thing (g).
This a Rosa Deep Secret, a lovely darker red. The buds are so dark they look almost black. They open burgundy as you can see, then show lighter red toward the centre. Best when half-open, as the centre of the flower seems to almost glow.
It can all get a bit... pink at times though. Have to work on that.