Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Drone of Lonely Lawn Mowers

The drone of lonely lawn mowers, like giant bees, buzz across the gardens of the village earlier in the week.  Everyone was out working hard, just like those honeybees, cutting grass before the next forecast deluge arrived at the weekend.

It almost seemed a shame to mow through the pretty daisies and buttercups sprinkled across the green like stars across the night sky, but they have had two extra weeks to grow, and it has been three since the lawn was last cut.  Here are the before and after~

See the pretty daisies and buttercups?  Look how green the grass is too.  It makes me want to walk barefoot across the lawn, so cool and pleasant.

The daisies and buttercups are gone, there is a semblance of stripes, but I am shocked at how poor the condition is.  Yellow is the new green!  I will have to look up what to do about this to improve it for next year.  I don't mind the daisies, but I don't like the yellow grass.

There were pollinating insects at last!  This is a hover fly on the pink osteospermum~

and here is a white tailed bumblebee getting ready to dive, head first, into the oriental poppy~

Then, with what is becoming almost too predictable for comfort, it all changed for the weekend.  On Thursday I made an emergency dash to the hardware store for thirty bamboo canes to stake up the lillies in an attempt to give them some support from the forecast gales and rain, due on the weekend.  It is now Saturday, it rained heavily all night, but that is okay . . I don't mind the rain at night.  Night time is a good time for it to rain!  The wind, is another matter.  My lawn is littered with the fronds of a neighbouring Cordyline Palm tree.  This is a viscous tree.  I do not like them at all.  The fronds are tough and I can quite see why they are used for making sturdy baskets in foreign climes, for they are strong, fibrous, and do not compost well as they just break down into fibrous strands that knot into everything.  They have a vicious spike on the tip that can give a nasty, sore wound.  They caffle around the lawn mower blades . . and the flowers produce a pungent, sickly sweet smell that cloys and permeates everywhere.  I do not like them.  Rant over! 

For two days now the wind has blown hard, and more again today.  Thankfully, my attempts at emergency staking are mostly successful.  The ground is deep pink underneath the rugos roses where the petals have ripped off.  They should recover well, as they flower all summer long before producing those beautiful, glossy, red rose hips.  The poppies did better than I expected too, but they are a sorry shadow of what might have been.  I am increasingly amazed at the tenacity of plants to survive and recover.  This photo was taken before the wind~

My lettuce has not fared well . . the slugs have decimated the small crop, so I must start over.  It is not too late to sow another crop.  My curly kale and Swiss chard seedlings also became slug fodder.  What can I do?

Still, the flowers are doing really well, and here are some photographs for you to see them all~

This is one of my favourites (I do seem to say that about most plants, don't I?) It is purple alyssum.  When I bought the seeds I thought they were annuals, but this is a not~so~common perennial variety!  The purple cushions of bloom just get bigger each year~

I love how these two Alchemilla mollis tumble into each other, over from a raised border and down the step.  Very effective, and it pleases me a lot~

This is a dwarf clematis.  You can see there are many buds, and I wait patiently to see this a mass of purple, one of my favourite colours in the garden~

This 'dwarf' geranium looks very healthy, but so far it is all leaf and no sign of flowers.  It is puzzling, because it is also twice the size it should be! I grew it from a cutting taken in spring this year. We must wait and see~

The Nigella are opening too.  I love their feathery fronds surrounding the pure, white flower.  These are all self~seeded.  Originally, there were blues, pinks, and mauves, but only the white seems to survive now.  Very pretty, though~

This is a dwarf verbascum.  I check daily for the Mullein moth, for verbascum and mullein are different names for the same plant.  Mullein moth can destroy a big, healthy plant overnight if left unchecked.  I love how this opens up in sections along the flowering spikes~

A wild poppy, not quite like the Flander's Poppy, and I wonder if it isn't a cross between two varieties~

The same bloom in close up~

Finally, Gentle Reader, just yesterday evening I received a beautiful gift from a dear friend.  A copy of  The Plants of Middle Earth by Dinah Hazell.  I cannot tell you how thrilled I am, especially as I already have many of the plants listed growing merrily in my garden.  Now, new ones are added to my wanted list too!  Isn't this such a thoughtful gift, for a gardener who also happens to be a fan of Tolkien and Middle Earth?  I am such a lucky gardener.


  1. It IS a thoughtful gift! How nice! Your garden looks like it is coming along pretty well in spite of the weather!

    I need to mow and it is horribly hot and humid!I will wait for the evening and hope I get it all done. Rain in the forecast....

    1. Oh, dear friend! I remember the humidity of FL and VA all too well. We have been getting 98% humidity here, but with mid 50's temperatures it is just unpleasant, not unbearable. Sending gentle, cooling breezes your way! Deb xo

  2. Such wonderful photography! I also learned about some new plants.....perennial alyssum? I didn't know there was such a thing. Same with dwarf geraniums.

    1. Thank you! I try to grow plants that make good subjects as I love taking photos. I know . . a perennial alyssum! I will try to find out more about it for you. It makes a very low (about 4") woody stemmed cushion that just spreads out for about 12". I bought the seeds because they are purple.

  3. Deb: I love the green of the lawns ! Ours usually stays that way from May-July (depending on rain in July). I favorite flower of your here is also the purlpe alyssum !! Gorgeous gardens !


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