... some of my farm beauties to you? School holidays usually mean some time in our farm garden. And the October holidays mean sitting back and enjoying the benefits of working hard with the winter pruning.
The lovely Margaret at The Home Patch reminded me that I should take some photos of the garden for the blog. Well Margaret, you asked for it :)
I love to take macro shots of my flowers, but I thought with these photos that I would also pan back and give you a sense of place - some context as to where each of my flowers sits within the garden. Enjoy!
This is our lovely David Austin rose, 'Golden Celebration', a favourite.
She sits proudly at the very front of the house, nestled next to the beautiful strong pink 'Othello' rose.
The roses are quite early this year, and I think this lovely is called 'Jumpin' Jack'.
It shares its bed with some delicate mauve irises, the soft grey foliage of Russian sage and sedums, and the sparky lime green of Duranta 'Sheena's Gold'.
Robinia pseudoacacia 'Purple Robe' is wowing us with its display this year - beautiful pendulous purple blooms hanging gracefully from its branches.
It is planted at the entrance to the garden with the intent of draping across the driveway to welcome visitors. It stands sentinel at the end of a row of standard 'Iceberg' roses.
Looking at it from the house you can perhaps get an idea of how stunning this robinia is. I love the contrast it achieves against the purple berberis on the right and the lime greens of the pom pom tree and salvias in the foreground.
The Betchel crabapples are just starting to bloom and have the bees a-buzz.
We have these planted close to paths so that we can admire their prettiness up close.
Oooh, we interrupt the garden introductions with some noise and frivolity - the cousins are over from next door and there are some serious chasings in progress ... I love that we have a garden for them to enjoy :)
The very first 'Burgundy Iceberg' rose is blooming and will soon be joined by its neighbours.
Forty roses form a hedge along one side of a lawn path and are protected by a taller hedge of Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Stirling Mist'.
We hacked this gorgeous thing ruthlessly in the winter, and it hasn't looked back.
I think this sweet thing is Lavandula stoechas 'Marshwood'. It is neglected badly, but rewards faithfully with blooms year ofter year.
It sits at the foot of a purple foliaged prunus tree and is next to yellow flowering irises.
I love these tiny gladiolus. They too are terribly hardy and pop their cheerful heads up despite how little attention I give them.
Their bed fellows are arum lilies, irises and roses, with some mondo grass nipping at their toes, threatening to take them over.
Poor Margaret ... are you still with me? Never again will she suggest I take some more garden photos! I'm almost done :)
Hot pink valerian is pretty much a weed, but it earns its place.
It contrasts wonderfully with the yellowy lime of the gleditsias which tower above its head.
And finally, this wondrous plant, a gift from a gardening friend. She said it is called a cardoon. It is the most fabulous and flamboyant thing.
I love how it lends some serous architectural interest to this corner of the garden. See it standing splendiferously in the background? "Look at me, look at me", it yells.
So you see, there are many personalities in my garden. Some are as common as muck, but resilient to the death. Some are show stoppers, stealing the limelight from their neighbours. Some rise to the occasion, no matter how poorly you treat them. Some selflessly provide a stage for others to shine. But many are there quite simply for their unadulterated beauty, having survived a hard winter prune and bouncing back cheerfully to gladden my world. My garden, how I love thee!