Wednesday 26 June 2019

Stargazer Lilies

Hello Friends!

Stargazer lilies, a big, beautiful, bold and blousy lily of the Oriental group and well known for their incredible perfume {which you either love or loathe} and those infamous deep orange stamens that drop pollen everywhere, indelibly staining anything it drops on.  Stargazers can grow to a height of around 36 inches with up to eight blooms on each stem, which in turn, when grouped together, makes a spectacular display in any summer flower border.

It's fun sometimes to look back and revisit things we once had in our gardens. At one time, I had beautiful Stargazer lilies that festooned the patio and borders, spilling everywhere in pots and which brought bright, bold splashes in a movable feast of colour to any spot in the garden. Each year, for about five years, they bloomed, but with diminishing vim and vigour, each year seeing smaller and fewer blooms. What became of them I knew not. It was a puzzle. They were properly cared for, as I thought, with the right amount of water and feed, and every year the compost was refreshed, so why did they just slowly diminish and disappear?

It seems, in retrospect, I may have done a few things badly by my bulbs, by using the wrong compost, by putting them in pots, and by not digging them in deeply enough, despite following the instructions that came with my bulbs to the letter.  Also, apparently, lilies don't stick around that long either, so as they sowed seed each year, this contributed to their demise. I am no expert, these are simply facts I have gleaned from across the internet. You may know differently? Please share!

While I had them in my garden, I adored them, and so did the pollinating insects, especially the hover flies, and they obligingly posed while I snapped away happily as they drank the rich, fragrant nectar.

Sometimes, when I have taken a macro shot, the resulting photo looks as if aliens have landed.

Pure, velvety, sumptuousness!

Another alienesque shot, but oh! Just look at those snazzy colours complimenting and making the whole image pop!

Pretending to be a Venus Fly Trap look alike

Even after the rain they still manage to look spectacular

The Lily and the Bee 
by Henry Lawson

I Looked upon the lilies
When the morning sun was low,
And the sun shone through a lily
With a softened honey glow.
A spot was in the lily
That moved incessantly,
And when I looked into the cup
I saw a morning bee.
“Consider the lilies!”
But, it occurs to me,
Does any one consider
The lily and the bee?

The lily stands for beauty,
Use, purity, and trust,
It does a four-fold duty,
As all good mortals must.
Its whiteness is to teach us,
Its faith to set us free,
Its beauty is to cheer us,
And its wealth is for the bee. 

“Consider the lilies!”
But, it occurs to me,
Does any one consider
The lily and the bee

I hope you enjoyed a little trip down Stargazer Memory Lane today!  Maybe one day I will bring them back into my garden, for no cottage garden is complete without.

Until next time
Deborah xo

Friday 21 June 2019

In The Pink

Hello Friends!

It's Summer, well, the date and fact that we've had the Solstice tells me it is supposed to be Summer, but the cold and chilly winds and that I have the heating on tells me differently. Still, the garden is now doing it's very best and it's putting a big smile on my face.

Recently, I noticed that many of the flowering plants in my cottage garden seem to be pink, or one of a number of varying shades and tones of that colour. Why, I didn't realise there were so many!

Pink is such a joyful colour. It can be delicate and blushing, shy and unassuming, or it can be boldly bright and blazing.  It goes so well with many colours, for subtlety or eye popping dazzling contrast. There are the cold bluey pinks that border on mauve; there are the orangey and yellow coral pinks that sit somewhere in the middle;
there are the red pinks, that full blown pink as we move into the warmer sector of the spectrum.

Since early Spring pink has been popping up all over my garden, beginning with the pink Camellias, and moving on from there with aquilegia, apple blossom, and more.  Blooming in my garden right now there are pink pinks {carnations}; pink roses; deep pink roses; cream roses tinged with pink; coral pink roses; tiny, papery pale pink and also deep pink geraniums; all sorts of assorted pink geraniums that have promiscuously cross pollinated serendipitously; pink columbine, or aquilegia, again many shades that are a result of cross pollination; several different pink Oriental poppies. deep pink osteospermums; pink pelargoniums; and earlier in the year there were pink camellias; why, even two of my varieties of strawberries are pink; as are pink tinged blackberry blossoms, and so much more!  Also, the lovely, and fragrant, Betty's Smile rose with it's delightfully delicate blush pink, slowly opening this morning.

Today, I spent some time sorting though photographs, and these are just a few!  If you dislike pink, look away now!

I have never thought of myself as a pink kind of person. so I don't know if this is a deliberate and conscious action on my part; or if my subconscious took over; or if it's just happened that way, that pink things seem to find their way into my garden.  Whichever, there's an awful lot of pink in my garden!

What colour dominates your garden palette? Did you think about it, or has it just happened? And, do you like pink?

Until next time
Deborah xo