Sunday, July 30, 2017

July Is Over


Well, July is over. Honestly to say we have had a few hot summer days, I've heard a nightingale singing in the evening ... This summer is not warm. Despite on the weather nature must continue its life cycle.
Let's take a walk in my garden. My pond it's not big and not deep, there are 4 nymphaeas. Finally first water lily blossomed. At the cold day it dared to open its bud, now every morning I greet the beautiful crimson wonder.
Some plants are still potted due to the cool weather. They are fuchsias, begonias and petunias, that surprise me with their persistence to strong wind, low night temps (+12 C 52 F). Fuchsia bloom in red/white and red/blue colors. White begonia blooms since last month.

Dianthus alpinus


Near the pond many perennials are planted. Dianthus alpinus decorate the pond shore and there is hosta, gypsophila, dicentra, cornflower, tradescantia and lady's mantle. 
Let's go to the front garden. A fence protects plants from cold wind and snow in winter. Therefore I think they overwinter better than other ones in the garden. The bright blue flowers of delphinium rose over the fence that is unusual, it has grown as mad, very tall.

rose 'Flammentanz'

I planted the climbing rose 'Flammentanz' 3 years ago and this year I can enjoy its wonderful flowers. They are deep red color, without smell. Another rose 'Proud of England' survives every winter, isn't tall, blooms well.

rose 'Proud of England'

Now we're at the cottage porch. I have some hanging pots and baskets with petunias and impatiens. They need frequent feeding and protection from wind and rain.


Here are Duantus barbatus (Sweet willams) and small flowers of Saxifraga (stone breaker) both bloom on the bed in front of the porch.

Duantus barbatus 


Under my cottage window Lupine grows. It's blooming and producing little pods with seeds. Aquilegia rises over lawn, this year it's in yellow color, but I remember I planted red, white and brown ones.



First gladioli started to flower, they were frozen in May so I'm glad to see their beauty now. I plant them in tubs because the soil fast gets warm.


What is your garden at the end of July? What is the weather in your place?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Baltic Yacht Week, St. Petersburg 2017

For the 5th year running, the Yacht Club of St Petersburg welcomed a fleet for Baltic Yacht Week 2017 that takes part in 3 major regattas for classic boats on the Baltic sea: the Stockholm, St Petersburg and Helsinki Classic Weeks. So I decided to learn more about it and to organize my day off for a visit.
Two vessels joined to regattas is the sailing vessel "Young Baltic sailor" built in 1980 in Russia, St Petersburg and another one is the sailing vessel "Roald Amundsen" that was built in 1952 in Germany, Hamburg.

"Young Baltic sailor"
"Roald Amundsen"

It was written the event offers an excellent opportunity for young people in St Petersburg to touch upon marine culture, the spirit of travel and the beauty of antique sailing vessels. I thought: why the young people only will be interested? I am also interested in sailor boats those remind me old movies about buccaneers and adventures...
The sailing boat "Roald Amundsen" named after the Norwegian traveler. This 50-meter-long ship is currently the training ship to cross the Atlantic ocean.
The vessels arrived through the St.Petersburg draw bridges into the Neva river, before finally anchoring on an embankment of the Vasilievsky island. This year the festival is to include exhibitions and competitions in the time of the current Russian 'White Nights'.

The day when I came the "Roald Amundsen" open vessel day has been As other people I have had a chance to climb aboard to see the vessel and take pictures.

At first I've read about the crew:
'At the heart of the voyage lies the experience of the whole crew sailing our ship together in accordance with traditional seamanship. On the first day of your voyage the regular crew will show the new trainees how our ship works and sails - sailing experience is thus not necessary. All the jobs on board, whether in the rigging or on deck, are undertaken together instructed by the experienced watch leaders and deck hands'.

There is a pier for the cruise ferry at the other side of Neva river, on the England embankment. This summer cruise season the Passenger port of St. Petersburg has received 12 cruise ships. The ferries "Silver Sea" and "Princess Anna" called to St. Petersburg for the first time during the 2017 cruise season.

The cruise tourists partake in guided tours in my city, visit the famous museums as Hermitage and Russian Art State museum, the historic suburbs Peterhof and Tsar village.
I loved visiting vessels because I couldn't miss such interesting event that day.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

GBBD: Variegated Kiwi Vine

Actinidia kolomikta  (common name Variegated Kiwi Vine) is recommended for zone 4 to 8. My Aktinidia usually blooms in May but this year due to the cold spring the blooming time changed to July :-). 
Kiwi vine can grow in full sun to part shade. In my garden it grows near the cottage wall that protects it from cold North wind.

I love its foliage color that changes to partly white/pink when the abundant slightly fragrant flowers appear on Kiwi vine branches. The flowers are often hidden by the foliage. As this species is dioecious it is said: 'If growing for fruit production, plant one male plant for every three to four females. If growing only for ornamental foliage and flowers, consider planting any plants'.

I'm not sure what kind my Actinidia is, but it's pollinated every May-June and at the end of August I have a good harvest of small Kiwi. The greenish-yellow edible berries are sweet-sour, very soft. Therefore it's better to collect them in mid-mature stage to not to сrumple the juicy berries.

Did you know about this plant before? Perhaps you have Variegated Kiwi vine (Actinidia kolomikta) in your garden, what is your experience in growth and in use?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

July Bloom

July arrived hopefully the summer finally started. The deciduous azaleas are in bloom while the evergreen rhododendrons mostly faded.  I have two bushes of very hardy azaleas: the North American breeds 'Northern Light' and 'Mandarin Light'. The 'Northern Light' flowers are abundant, bright white-lemon color and seen from my cottage window. What a pleasure!

The flowers of 'Mandarin Light' variety are red-orange and aren't many, I think this azalea buds were damaged by ice in winter time. Last year this bush was covered with many oranges flowers.
The perennials are in hurry to grow, to bloom and have seeds. So Marguerite popped in free spots of my garden, even near the patio. Poor little rose that I've grown up from the cutting, it has sunk in Marguerite, oh! 

Red Geum coccineum grows and flowers like mad, invading the 'Gold globe' spirea. When I planted it last autumn I couldn't suppose that geum will place so wide. Most over I have a lot of simple and modest perennials as сornflower, violas, geranium, daylily, lily-of-the-valley, marguerite, geum.

I love their simpleness and always take pictures. 

Fuchsia was moved to the garden in May, placed in greenhouse till June. Now it grows in the garden and is enough healthy.

At the end I show you the rhododendron 'Pekka'  that is still in bloom. This is its third season, I haven't been sure it will flower at once. Lovely light-pink inflorescence cover this bush.

As summer is here, I enjoy it, love sitting on the terrace, having sunbath with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, with clean fingers, set the garden tools aside.