Monday, July 27, 2015

Delphinium Show

              Many of you know and grow Delphinium in your gardens. It's a stately, elegant perennial that is a standard in cottage gardens. Mounds of dark green, glossy foliage are adorned with huge spikes of showy, spurred flowers in early summer. Another common name is larkspur, although this name usually refers to annual varieties. This Delphinium Show was held in Regent park, London in this July, and as I have my camera always with me I'd taken photos of these wonderful plants.

Delphiniums grow well in regions with relatively cool and moist summers, and often struggle in hot, dry summer weather. However, some new varieties are more tolerant of heat. Usually plants also dislike sudden wind or rain, but mine is enough hardy to rain and cool weather.
Except for the dwarf perennials, most delphiniums need staking, as you can see on the photos. The plants bloom in late spring to summer, and the flowers are suitable for cutting.

Delphiniums are available in a range of sizes, from dwarf varieties to those with towering. Flower color includes blue, red, white, and yellow; however, the rich, clear blues are especially prized by many gardeners. I think that the white ones are beautiful as well.

Strolling along pretty flowers I've noticed some names of varieties: 'Clifford sky', 'Blue lagoon', 'Cassius', 'Conspicuous', 'Sandpiper'. The last one was white Delphinium. Take a look at these varieties:

I always wanted to have this plant in my garden too, 2 years ago I learned that Delphiniums are very difficult to grow from seed. So I bought a potted plant at the nursery and planted in that spring. Here is my delphinium (sorry, don't know the variety), now its seeds are ripen and I want to sow them in autumn.

Some more pictures of blue and dark blue Delphiniums:

Do you ever grow Delphinium? What is your experience in growing it from seed?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hampstead Pergola

During my last visit in UK I've seen Hampstead Pergola that is essentially a raised walkway, overgrown with vines and exotic flowers. It's a wonderful example of one of London’s hidden treasures. 

Hampstead Pergola is situated near Kenwood house and park, in Northern area of Great London.

I learned the history of the Pergola that goes back to 1904 when Lord Leverhulme, a lover of landscape gardening, purchased a large land “The Hill”, and then he decided to build the Pergola. He wanted it to be a place where his family and friends could spend long summer evenings enjoying the spectacular gardens.

                                                                   "Hamstead Heath" by John Constable, 1836 

To turn this idea into reality Lord Leverhulme enlisted the help of Thomas Mawson, the world famous landscape architect, and construction on the Pergola began in 1905.

One of the main difficulties in building the raised gardens of the Pergola was the amount of material that was needed. 

But luckily for Thomas Mawson the nearby Hampstead extension of the underground Northern Line provided just the solution! Instead of bringing in material, a deal was struck to shuttle the spoil of the underground extension just a few hundred meters to “The Hill”. The Pergola was finished a year later in 1906. 

Later Lord Leverhulme was able to expand his estate, allowing for a further extension to his Pergola in 1911 and in 1925. Unfortunately, after Lord Leverhulme’s death the Pergola went into a slow decline.

Although they said that the sense of faded grandeur is everywhere, and even with the recent restorations the Pergola hasn't lost this unique character I think it's a very romantic and magic place in "the Hill" gardens. When I see the old wooden beams of the roof, columns entwined with vines, roses, clematis, wild grapes I feel the romance of those years when owners and their guests merrily danced, ran, played or just sat and relaxed in raised gardens of the Pergola.

What do you think about old and partly forgotten places like the Pergola?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Garden Blooms in Cold Mid-July

               Summer is strange this year. Some days were warm and even hot but they were not more than a week in June. In July we had no hot days at all till now. Looking at flowering plants and shrubs, I wonder how they can grow and bloom in such cold days and nights especially when the temperature drops to + 10C. But let's see what blooms in my garden in mid-July. 
We start from my front garden. This Delphinium suddenly bloomed next to the rose. I write 'suddenly' because it has been growing for 2 years and didn't bloom yet. I didn't know what color it is. Finally Delphinium turned bright blue with a white center. I love it! 
There is the new rose 'Amber' that I have recently planted. It is a yellow rose quite high and blooms in inflorescence of 3-4 buds.

Now let's go to the back garden. On the terrace, I hung a few small pots with Impatiens walleriana. When I bought, it has not yet bloomed and now you can see that it is a mixture of different varieties of red, white and white-red color. These ones I like most. In other containers dahlias, pelargonium, lilies, gladioli and begonias grow. Here is the dahlia with unusual flowers, isn't it?

Here is my pond, I'm proud of it because its landscape was made by my hands. Of course I was helped to change a liner and to put the tiles. Then I made a small bed between the pond and the patio and I planted some roses there.

The red rose 'Proud of England' flowers very well, other roses are still waiting for warm days. On the left you can see the rose bush 'P. Grootendorst'. It's not afraid of cold, even frost and blooms all summer (photo below).
Next to this 'P. Grootendorst' the white rose 'Blanc double de Coubre' is in bloom. It is very fragrant but flowers once in summer.

This bright red rose is climbing 'Flamentance'. It has to be high but suffers from the frost and can't grow more than 60 cm during the summer. 
Aquilegia is yellow this year. In general, they are often cross-pollinated and their color can be changed the next year. 
On the other side of the pond the small flowers of Gypsophila grow falling in the water. It often suffers from my lawn mowers, but soon recovered:))

Next to this bed a carnation is growing, there are two varieties: Dianthus barbatus and Dianthus alpinus.

Finally, let's look at the lawn and the flowers from the cottage terrace. My favorite rose 'Prestine' opens only a first bud. Probably it won't yet fully open because the night will be cold again, it's sad... In the distance you see the urns with begonias. Now the red ones began to bloom and the white begonias are also waiting for the heat, ha ha.

You have seen my garden in mid-July. And what blooms in your garden and what weather do you have now?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Near a Lake

I want to continue the story of my journey to Finland in June. The town of Lahti is located on the Lake Vesijärvi. This is a rather large lake, there are several small lakes and rivers around it. The shores of the lake are very picturesque, the nature created a beautiful landscape. 

Rocky areas are overgrown with forget-me-nots. Here I've at the first time seen a lot of wild blue and white forget-me-nots. Bright tulips and Ligularia grew in the flowerbeds created by gardeners.

It was summer and chicks of ducks and geese have left their nests and learned to swim and have food together with their parents. Pierce has been placed on a shore of the lake. Here people also taught their children to fish.

The weather became warmer in the afternoon and sitting on the grass I enjoyed the nature, afternoon  sun and warmth.

When I came back to Saint Petersburg I started to watch all photos I took in Finland and have chosen the most interesting of them to show you.