Thursday, 24 June 2021

Mid-summer Moments in our Garden



Phygelius aequalis-Cape Fuschia Dactylorhiza Fuchsii-Common Spotted Orchid  Zantedeschia aethiopica-Arum Lily
Summer is rushing along too quickly - it is hard to believe that we in the northern hemisphere have already had the longest day of the year. 
Apparently the sun rose at 3.38am last Monday morning in the Shetland Isles, currently they are experiencing hardly any  darkness. 
A few years ago we visited TromsØ in Norway during mid-summer, and because it lies within the Artic Circle it doesn't experience any night-time darkness for several weeks. 
I had only ever seen the sun fall rapidly before vanishing beyond the horizon, so to watch it fall, turn, and rise again was to witness one of earth's magical moments.  

Although the garden is growing like Topsy it has been getting very dry and parched so we were grateful to have had a couple of wet days recently. 




The mermaid has hidden herself away from view, she is secreted amongst the irises.




We have made ourselves a picnic and are heading off into Wales to visit a garden that has been the subject of an intricate historical and horticultural puzzle.

44 comments:

  1. The wet days were clearly important.. the green looks lusher and the flowers are ablooming. What sort of plants are in those very tall pottery urns?

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    1. The very tall terracotta urn is a mediterranean antique olive oil jar possibly from Greece, Turkey or Italy. It has nothing growing in it but simply sits there as an ornament beneath the grape vine and fig tree. The smaller one with the lid is a Rhubarb Forcing pot.

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  2. There is a strange universality for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere that the summer solstice arrives earlier each year! Who can believe that we are already on the inexorable slide into winter? A dear friend of mine who has seen ninety-five winters come and go is nearing her end, and it will not be long in coming. I hope to do as well.

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    1. Your thoughts make me think about the poem - Loveliest of trees, the cherry now by A.E. Housman.
      Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
      Is hung with bloom along the bough,
      And stands about the woodland ride
      wearing white for Eastertide.
      Now, of my threescore years and ten,
      Twenty will not come again,
      And take from seventy springs a score,
      It only leaves me fifty more.

      He wrote this when he was a young man aged 20.

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    2. Lovely verse, Rosemary. Thanks for introducing it to me.

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  3. It's all looking rather splendid, certainly compared to my plastic pots that sit less-than-artistically in my backyard. Looking forward to hearing about your travels in Wales.

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    1. I bet the pots in your backyard are filled with flowers.

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  4. All looks fabulous in your amazing garden dear Rosemary. Love that you have a grapevine - does it bear fruit? Your stonework wall with niches for art pieces is awesome, and the pond I love. You have a garden worthy of its own accolades - just as lovely as many open to tours which you are so kind to take us to when you visit. The Welsh one sounds interesting.
    Last night the Strawberry Moon - last super moon of 2021 - rose in the sky beyond our trees - it was gorgeous. today is a perfect summer's day here with lower humidity and brilliant sunshine - off to check my own garden now and see just who passed through last night in the moonlight and nibbled!!!!!!
    Enjoy the picnic - hi to J of course.
    Hugs from us.

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    1. Yes, our grape vine usually yields a reasonably good crop, there are certainly plenty on it this year - they are black ones.
      We saw the moon last night and admired its pinky orange colour, but hadn't realised that it was called a Strawberry Moon - what a lovely name for it.
      Had a wonderful time at the garden in Wales, it was very unusual.

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  5. Is that your own PERSONAL garden? It's gorgeous! I love all the little architectural details and statuary, etc.

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    1. Hi Debra - yes this is our own 'PERSONAL' garden. Thank you I am so pleased that you liked it. Some of the little pieces that are scattered around are things that I have found simply lying around. There are some very pretty pieces of rusty metal that obviously were parts of crosses on gravestones in a churchyard that we visited in France. They had been thrown into the rubbish pit with all of the old dead flowers. I retrieved them and bought them back home in my suitcase. It was difficult to explain what they were when they set off the alarm as we went through the airport. However, the officials were very bemused.

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    2. "One person's trash is another person's treasure" alright! You were wise to rescue them!

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  6. Dearest Rosemary,
    You always are so informative about the true botanical names of flowers, plants and such! That is very rare as so many just show pictures and my first question always is: 'What are we looking at?!'...
    LOVE your Dactylorhiza Fuchsii or common spotted orchid. It reminded me of the Platanthera ciliaris or orange fringed orchid we once spotted driving back home from an overnight visit with our radiologist friend and his wife in South Georgia. We in fact did go back some 30 miles for digging one up and bringing it home to our garden but we've lost it due to our frequent travels for work. Not all people caring for your property have the same love and understanding for flowers and plants.
    Your garden is very lush at mid summer and you certainly have lots of daylight. We never go as far as 21:00 and sunrise is at the moment at 6:24... Not like in The Netherlands where I would start picking strawberries at 4:00 before going to High School. Indonesia is even less, even though their sunlight goes roughly from 6:00 - 18:00. It is so different!
    Whenever we did consulting in Connecticut or in Canada, we were back to our European length of days.
    Enjoy your Wales Garden visit.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - we have many wild orchids living in our garden, but we did not introduce them here, they simply arrived from the surrounding countryside themselves. Curiously they usually place themselves in my pots, not in the lawn or the borders. But I am very happy for them to live with us as they are really very pretty.

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  7. Hello Rosemary, As always, your garden is a delight of vivid flowers, stone walls, and interesting artifacts. The long summer evenings are one of the main features of my summer trips to Ohio, but unfortunately this year had to be cancelled also. You were so lucky to have seen that instantaneous sunset/sunrise.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - the instantaneous sunset/sunrise was memorable to see. As the sun sank towards the horizon the surrounding sky was bathed in sunset hues, but as the sun turned upwards the sunset hues turned into those seen in a dawn sky.

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  8. What a stunning garden you have. I always enjoy seeing other people's plantings. Now we are in Powys, my daughter and I are planning to visit Powis Castle soon. We've only been there once before, but WOW!

    I wonder which historical/horticultural puzzle you are visiting in Wales? We used to visit the National Botanic Gardens in Carms (we lived nearby) and when we were Standing at the Antiques Fairs there, we were in the Dome, which was an absolute joy (though suffocating in mid-summer!)

    Enjoy anyway.

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    1. Thank you I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing our garden. I love the grounds and interior of Powys Castle as they are so unique and attractive. I have been to the National Botanic Gardens but not for a long time so must try and return there again. We have also visited Aberglasney but that was a long time ago too. Once I have sorted myself out I will do a post on the garden that we have just visited.

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  9. It’s looking so lush and beautiful in your garden. The heat makes everything grow like weeds. We can’t believe the jungle we have returned to. I’m wondering which Welsh garden you are visiting. Enjoy. B x

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    1. All will be revealed soon Barbara - glad that you have a lovely trip and hopefully have returned home feeling refreshed.

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  10. Beautiful garden photos. It has been unseasonably dry up here as well- almost three months of sunshine with very little rain. Which is fantastic for me. Out watching bats and swifts tonight along the canal yet still light enough to see to walk along the path without a torch at 11:00pm.

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    1. I love the light summer nights in Scotland. I remember going to an evening performance at the cinema when we first moved up, and then being shocked that it was still daylight when we left.
      Hope you enjoyed your night-time walk along the canal and saw plenty of bats and swifts.

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  11. Your garden is beautiful, Rosemary! How do you keep it looking so fine and find the time for all your daytrips? Back in the day when we had a garden by the sea, and nothing worth showcasing, that's for sure, it seemed like we had no time for even a swim at the beach!

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    1. Dear Pip - we do have help in the garden - a man does the lawns, another cuts back our huge hedges and trees, but Mr.WFVM always cuts, shapes, and nurtures his box balls. We also have a lovely lady who weeds for us. However, the garden is there for us and visitors to enjoy not to give us lots of work.

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  12. Beautiful as always Rosemary. I thought you must have had some help to keep it all neat and tidy (read your comment above)
    Would be ever so strange to view the sunset and sunrise one after the other - a wonderful experience I should imagine.

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    1. Seeing the sun at midnight turning and not vanishing was one of those one off experiences that stay with you forever.

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  13. I love your garden, Rosemary, apart from all the plants there are the wonderful old stone walls, urns etc.

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    1. Thank you Susan - there was just a lawn and some borders when we purchased the house, and it has evolved over the years.
      We were very fortunate to have a wonderful drystone waller working for us. All of the creative ideas we had were always fulfilled by him exactly as we envisaged.

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  14. Amazing! So green and beautiful...
    Love from Titti

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    1. We were pleased to have a couple of days of rain as everything was beginning to get very thirsty.

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  15. Your garden is always worth a visit , so beautiful and filled with interesting species. I see that your Buxus all seem in great shape , I recall that last year ( or maybe more ? ) they had all but died . Maybe new ones ?

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    1. The Buxus is the original Jane - it seems to get a touch of blight and then recover again. We do not understand exactly what is going on with it, but while is looks alright we are allowing it to stay.

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  16. Dear Rosemary – My country is still in the rainy season. Your garden is beautifully thriving in the mid-summer light. The Mermaid looks getting better in hide-and-seek. Midnight Sun must have been an awesome experience. I wonder how it is to live with sunlight all the time in summer or with almost no sunlight in winter. Take care.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - I think that it is very confusing for the body when you live in perpetual light and then perpetual darkness. When we were there it was very strange to see people sitting out on their balconies in the middle of the night reading or chatting. In the winter it must be rather depressing, cold winter days are not everyones cup of tea anyway, but to have continual darkness must make it even more difficult to contend with.
      My eldest son and his family lived much further south in Norway, and my daughter-in-law hated the dark winters.

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  17. Your garden must bring you great joy. I do miss the color green when I look out over the rocky yard we have here in Colorado.

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    1. We do enjoy the garden, but do need help to maintain it.

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  18. Your garden is beautiful, so lush and green. The rain surely helps. Yes, it's strange to think that as summer begins and warms the earth, we are actually on the slide back down to winter. Today was a wee bit cooler and I hope the cool down continues. Enjoy your visit to Wales.

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    1. The extraordinary heat in your corner of the world appears to have been breaking all records - best to just relax and take things easy, but in the shade.

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  19. It is always a treat to see your garden, Rosemary. I love to study all the different elements. We can just see the Little Mermaid hiding there in the pond among the Iris. I am also very taken with the Corinthian column in a niche, very elegant. Have a beautiful day in Wales.

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    1. That rusty old Corinthian column has been around for many years - it was bought when we were on holiday in Wales.

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