Yes this is a lazy blogging week but sesst lar vee since no other bitch is going to come and stack 6m of firewood for us. Real world shit needs to get done. We've had a stretch of very hot nor-westy weather which makes me cranky so it's a fucking miracle I'm posting at all. Above: all our hydrangeas are nameless ferals grown from cuttings yoinked at felonious random from elsewhere. They all turn out to be blandly candy pink like this guy; the punishment fits the crime.
Clockwise from above left: Gladiolus. I'm getting back into glads which is something that seems to happen to old people. Hats off to their breeders, though, because there are some fucking stunning cultivars kicking around. Jury Hybrid Dahlias. I like to buy their unnamed selections because they're cheap and usually just as nice as their official releases. Rose Graham Thomas. Everyone is like oh it's a blackspot monster and I was all like whatever and then it broke out in purple blotches and shit itself. It re-leafs promptly, though, and who could stay mad at this sort of thing? Unknown highly fabulous mauve dahlia with gold centre that I call Sir Gaylord in my mind. Mmmmm dahlias.
R is responsible for most if not all of these images. Above is a fantastic close-up of one of the pinkish slightly fancy calendulas I grew from seed. Hope these guys persist and naturalise. Below: Lavateras. Spanky new Clock Cicada on a budding glad. It's slightly out of focus on the cicada and R is a pedant who loses his mind over shit like that. I think this image fulfils some more important obligations so I posted it anyway, in the passive aggressive manner.
Rose Golden Wing, which is sometimes golden, sometimes richly ivory and sometimes almost white, depending on its mood. There is a luxurious clove/spice scent that becomes more pronounced each year but is similarly capricious, floating about promiscuously on a still day and then retreating right into the stamens next time. Banksia ericafolia (I think). Rose Jacqueline du Pré which is getting fried by the nasty sun at the moment. Plant it in afternoon shade if you have the option.
Above: Balloon flower, Platycodon grandifloras, which lives up to its name by puffing itself into a ball as a bud before opening up like this. Cool little plant for an awkward spot. Agastache is bumblebee crack and we go up into the top garden to find these self-seeded plants heaving with frantic bees and mimics of all descriptions crawling over one another trying to score the good shit. Gladioli Black Star.
And last but not least, the very first flowers on one of my Paramount Hybrid Echinopsis. I'm not sure of the exact cultivar but they are all stupidly spectacular and this image does nothing to exaggerate those incredible qualities. The blooms are as large as my outstretched hand, mesmerisingly beautiful and well worth the I think 4 year wait. It was previously underpotted and slightly too shaded to flower, but a change of address to the sunny teahouse was the shot in the arse that it obviously needed.