Friday, 21 June 2019

Freebies in the Garden

During Spring and summer many colourful little visitors favour us with their presence in the garden. 

I love the many Papaver somniferum - Opium poppies seen in the garden this year. They are stately, very robust, and have great structure. Their seeds are edible and can be used in cakes and sprinkled on homemade bread. 
I am not sure how they arrived - possibly they were carried here on the wind, but I think that it is most likely that they came courtesy of some birds.
More free colour is supplied by the Meadow Crane's-Bill which is a member of the Geranium family.
There seems to be a significant increase in the bee population this year which is very pleasing.
These Common Spotted Orchids grow as individual flowers in the grasslands that surround our home, but here they have formed a clump and found themselves a home in the middle of a large Phormium tenax - New Zealand flax plant that I have growing in a huge pot.


There are lots of these Meconopsis cambrica - Welsh poppies, which have been in flower continuously since the early Spring.
Plenty of wild Aquilegia vulgaris - Columbine - they tend to hybridise with my cultivated ones and produce a variety of different colours.

At this time of year there is a bountiful show of pink and white Foxgloves gracing the bottom of our hedgerow which are also much loved and visited by the bees.
Not all of the wild plants that arrive are welcome, but all of these are.

43 comments:

  1. Wildflowers in a garden are a joy. Foxgloves always make me think back to my childhood when we used to pinch the end of the flowers and make them pop. For a few years we had Foxgloves in our garden here, but this year they failed to come up. Perhaps we can plant more.

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    1. Foxgloves are a biennial plant, they bloom in their second year and then die. They reseed easily, so if you want flowering plants every year, plant foxgloves two years in a row. I suspect that you haven't lost them and that you will have some flowering for you again next year.

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  2. I can't believe what grows wild there. Like the Spotted Orchard. Everything is so beautiful and healthy. What gorgeous gifts!

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    1. They do look very healthy Catherine, and I suspect that all the rain we have had this June could be responsible. Luckily the weather has now turned warm and sunny.

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  3. They are all very beautiful, bees are always welcome.
    Have millions of them come to our two lavender hedges in our spring and summer, a delight to see - the bees that is.

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    1. There was some discussion and fear about there being a shortage of bees so it is lovely to see so many around.

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  4. Dearest Rosemary,
    What a joyful display of Poppies you have; love those photos!
    And the Common Spotted Orchid that teamed up with another plant to stay cozy and supported is incredible.
    ENJOY this midsummer display.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - Thank for your very kind comment, delighted that you enjoyed the photos.
      The Orchids have been living in that pot for at least the last 10 years - they do seem to be very contented living in the middle of that giant plant.
      I can't believe that it is midsummer already.

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  5. There can't be many people who have wild orchids in their gardens. My mother's garden, which I used to look after for her had all the others at one time or another - especially the cranesbill which seeded itself all over the place. Your pictures stir lots of memories for me.

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    1. Really happy that this post gave you lots of memories of your mother's garden John

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  6. Oh my goodness Rosemary - please blow some seeds my way! These are such beautiful flowers and of course, as always, your photos are awesome.
    I do have foxgloves in the same pot as when I bought them last year, and they did produce small spikes of flowers again this spring - a huge surprise as I thought they'd given up the ghost last winter!
    Happy summertime to you and J - hope all is well dear friends.

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    1. Dear Mary - glad that your foxgloves survived the winter - I nearly treated myself to a beautiful hybrid foxglove but it was very tended so I decided to just stick with the ones that arrive in the garden of their own free will. Hope you and Bob are now recovered from all of your travels.

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  7. Hello Rosemary, I am glad that the bees seem to be reviving--I have to check whether the situation is the same in the U.S. Over here, we get mostly dandelions and ground ivy as volunteers, although to me those look nice also. You seem to get just the beautiful wildflowers invading--do you also get weeds like thistle and purslane (which again I like in the wild)?
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - yes, weeds do arrive that are not welcome - ivy here is a nuisance once it starts trying to climb over our walls so it has to be removed quickly if we can catch it in time. We do have dandelions too but they are not so bothersome. I have never had purslane growing in the garden, but I know that you can eat it instead of lettuce. If I had it that's what I would do.

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  8. A nice mix. I've noticed in the past few years wildflower strips appearing on roundabouts, motorway verges and in the public parks so that must be helping the bees as they are not sprayed or cut down early. Luckily, my garden does not have opium poppies growing in it or I might be tempted to the dark side....I'm easily led astray :o)

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  9. I love that wild orchid flowering in the flax plant. Well, I love all of your "free" plants. I hadn't realised that foxgloves were biennial. It will be interesting to see if we have any flowering this summer. We have a lot of plants self sown in various parts of the garden.

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    1. Plants this year should flower next year.

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  10. I have milked the large white opium poppies in the past. I wonder if that is legal?

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  11. Such pretty flowers and happy to see the bee.

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    1. It is wonderful that there are so many different species of bee flying around this year and in much larger numbers too.

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  12. You take such gorgeous photos! Love that fat little bee!

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    1. I am touched by your kind comment Debra - thank you.

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  13. I always enjoy seeing the variety of plants you grow in your garden, and your plant knowledge is manna for my ears too :-)) Bees seem to have increased here in Italy too which I am so happy about , having read for years about how they were diminishing year by year.

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    1. It is good to have a bit of encouraging news for a change.

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  14. Your photos of the flowers always show their full energy in themselves, Rosemary. Papaver somniferum is called “Keshi” or simply “poppy” in Japan, so when seeing “opium poppy”, I think this name would be misleading for the edible nutritious seeds though the plant has something to do with opium. I like poppy seeds sprinkled on our “anpan” bread. White Foxglove is new to me. I like it when you are pleasantly surprised by the gift plants by birds or new colors of the plants.

    Yoko

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    1. The milky latex fluid that seeps from cuts in the unripe poppy seed pod supplies the opium, but this requires many acres of poppies. However, I do enjoy their flowers which happily arrive from I know not where - I have just returned from a long weekend away and they are now a glorious mass of red in one corner of the garden.

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  15. Lovely, lovely, lovely...
    Summerhug from Titti

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  16. Nice photo series, I like plants, they are life, their colorful, interesting blogs.
    Congratulations.
    Greetings.

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    1. Thank you very much for visiting and for your kind comment José.

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  17. I love the poppies. These are the ones I have. 10 of them this year! The bees are going mad for them! Best, Jane x

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    1. It is really good news that the bee population appears to have increased this year.

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  18. Beautiful.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  19. I believe Americans have the nice name of "volunteer" plants for these. I am trying to welcome more wild plants, having become interested in how they work together with other wild plants. But I must admit I am happiest when they have pretty flowers to see. Lots of poppies around here too - most of them a curious dusky shade of light and dark mauve. I originally planted a load of seeds I collected from a churchyard, but the majority of them reverted to this eventually. They look very pretty but it might be time to buy some new types, if they don't find me first.

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    1. I like those mauve ones, but mine are all double reds - I could send you some of my seeds when they ripen if you let me know.

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  20. beautiful beautiful pictures! I am now your new follower ^^

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    1. Thanks for visiting Kim and for your generous comment.

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