Saturday, 12 August 2017

 Sifting through these memories of my trip to the States is proving to be an enjoyable postscript to my time there. Then again it's been nice to step out into the garden after a few weeks away.
 The back garden is very green but heavily shaded with surrounding trees by this time of year. Shade tolerant plants are largely spring flowering woodlanders but a few do their thing around now in spots where they get a bit of sun. Often as not these are plants that are native to other parts of the world that gardeners have sought out over the centuries to provide some colour as other plants start to wane.
 "Firetail" is a cultivar of Persicaria amplexicaulis and it is indeed a fiery crimson. In front of it the pink flowered Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) pops up cheerfully. Rubbing the leaves together does in fact produce a soapy froth, still used by the National Trust for cleaning tapestries.
 Fiery too the orange flowers of Montbretia (Crocosmia crocosimiflora), a bulbous plant that loves to multiply whether you want it too or not.
 The yellow flowers of Wild Rocket (Diplotaxix tenifolia) going to seed are beautiful in an untidy sort of way and big bumblebees love the small white or lilac flowers of Calementha nepata.
 The tall spires of the Chimney Bellflower (Campanula pyramidalis) have blue or in this case white flowers which they bear in great quantity. 
 The vivid red flowers on this variety of Honeysuckle (Lonernica periclymenum) bear out the advice always given as to where this climber should be planted: feet in the shade, head in the sun.
 Runner beans (Phaselous coccineus) were bought to this country in Tudor times as an ornamnetal plant. Later people noticed the beans and pods were good enough to eat! These are a popular old "heirloom" variety Scarlet Emperor.
 Finally, a characteristic sight at this point in the season: tall grasses illuminated by the mellow afternoon sun of late summer.
 And now my mind is wandering back to Oregon which will probably be the subject of my next entry in a day or two...