Tuesday Treats


It’s Tuesday Treats, and Nature Table time again.  If you had a go at least week’s selection, the post has now been edited to give their identities.  It’s here:


So, what do we have this week…


1  Edited to add:

This is Clematis ‘Étoile Violette’ AGM.  It was a French introduction, by Morel, in 1885, and its name means Violet Star.  It’s in the viticella group, small flowers in July, August and September, but many of them.  It’s definitely one that has stood the test of time.

Rob's Clematis Etoile Violette A

And here’s a closer look:

Rob's Clematis Etoile Violette 2 A


2  Edited to add:

We used to call this a Calla Lily, and it was an Arum.  Now, it’s the much harder to spell Zantedeschia.  Z. ‘Picasso’, to be exact, with that purple throat, and the spotted leaves.

Jo's Zantedeschia Picasso


3  Edited to add:

I think this plant will be flattered by some of the suggestions.  It’s toadflax, Linaria purpurea.  I’m pretty sure the seed for my plants came from wildlings growing in a car park.  But, the hot-stuff breeders are now turning their attention to Linaria, and there are some lovely new cultivars coming out.  This is a pretty pink version of the common purple toadflax, and if it could claim a name, it would be ‘Canon Went’.

Jo's Linaria purpurea Canon Went


4  Edited to add:

Hemerocallis don’t just come on big and chunky.  This is the diminutive ‘Stella de Oro’ – if you got this right, well done.  It gets to a foot tall, with comparatively large flowers.

Jo's Hemerocallis Stella d'Oro


5  Edited to add

Most of our gardeners have had one of these, because they take cuttings very easily.  It’s Diascia personata.  Unlike the smaller cousins that are happy with tubs and hanging baskets, this is much larger.  Everyone says it gets to 36 inches – mine is up to my chin, and I’m 5ft 2 ins.  It comes from South Africa, where it is pollinated by a specific species of long-tongued bumble bee which does not occur in the UK.  Therefore, it sets no seed.  And so, it just keeps on flowering, usually from June to December.

Jo's Diascia personata


6  The flowers are a pale lilac-pink

Edited to add:  This is a cultivar of the milky bellflower.  It’s Campanula lactiflora ‘Loddon Anna’ AGM

Jo's Campanula lactiflora Loddon Anna 2 A

And a closer look:


Jo's Campanula lactiflora Loddon Anna


7  Edited to add:

This is Aconitum napellus ssp vulgare ‘Albidum’, or white monkshood.  All parts are highly toxic if eaten so don’t chop this into your salad.  Come to think of it, I haven’t noticed any rabbit-nibbled edges….

Jo's Aconitum napellus ssp vulgare Albidum


8  Edited to add

This came as one of the pictures from Felley Priory (I wasn’t there), so… I do believe this to be Tweedia coerulea AGM, and very pretty, too.

Glynis's Felley Priory 18 A Tweedia coerulea


9  Edited to add:

Again another image sent to me from a trip to Felley Priory.  This is Rodgersia pinnata.  I don’t know whether it’s the species or a cultivar.  I have two cultivars, and they give me some nervous moments every year, because they are so late to appear – June, would you believe.

Glynis's Felley Priory 3 Rodgersia


Good luck!

Edited to add:  Virtual chocolate if you got any of them right.

A Garden View

I have some images from one of our gardeners to post today – I’m keeping a couple back for the Nature Table tomorrow, so you know where to direct some of the blame!  :~))

Roses are doing very well this year, and here’s David Austin’s English Rose ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ AGM.


Rob's Gertrude Jekyll A

It was released in 1986, and has twice been voted the nation’s favourite rose, as well as winning other awards.  Even though Austin increases production of this rose every year, it sells out every year.

Gertrude Jekyll was a famous garden designer and author who has had a profound effect on the present day style of English gardens.  She designed over 400 gardens in the UK, in Europe and in the USA.

The rose has the quintessential old rose fragrance.  It’s a climber, but if pruned back, can be kept to a vigorous large shrub.


Rob's seedlings A

Here among the golden flowers of Creeping Jenny, our gardener has allowed aquilegia and foxgloves to self seed.  That’s going to be a lovely colourful patch next year!

Thanks for sharing!

Felley Priory


One of our gardeners has just been on a visit to Felley Priory, and sent me a lot of images.  This is the first tranche, but we’ll be visiting it again!

It’s a lovely place, and the pictures speak for themselves.


The Lake

Glynis's Felley Priory 6 A


The Rose Garden

Glynis's Felley Priory 9 A


The Rose Garden

Glynis's Felley Priory 10 A


The Roe Garden

Glynis's Felley Priory 11 A


One of the Herbaceous Borders

Glynis's Felley Priory 13 A


The House

Glynis's Felley Priory 16 A


Wonderful!  Thanks for sharing.

A Garden View

I’m a little later than usual today – when I tried to do this post last night, all I could get was the whirlpool of doom.  So, internet problems, then – maybe some one was having one of the big thunderstorms that we’re in the middle of.  A whole army of them are forecast to come stalking across the country this afternoon.

As well as watering parched gardens, thunderstorms create fertilizer for free.  The atmosphere is 78% nitrogen, but the molecule is so tightly bonded together that it is unusable by either plants or animals.  Each bolt of lightning has enough electrical energy to break those bonds in a process called nitrogen fixation, creating a plant-usable form.

Once the molecular bonds are broken, the nitrogen atoms quickly combine with oxygen to create nitrogen dioxide.  This dissolves into the water droplets about to come down as rain, becoming nitric acid, and then forming nitrates, which plants can absorb.  The nitrates seep into the soil in the rainwater as free nitrogenous fertiliser.

How much is produced?  I have a figure from sciencedirect.com, but it’s entirely meaningless to me.  Here it is any way:

It is estimated that a flash of lightning produced 4 × 1026 molecules of NOx, with an uncertainty of from one-fourth to twice that amount.

Sounds like enough to be worthwhile…

One of our gardeners has sent me images from her garden.  Here they are – and looking lovely, too.


Oriental poppy with campanula

Glynis's Garden 1 A


These chocolatey, cinnamony foxgloves have become very popular, partly because they’re different, and partly because they carry a promise of more permanence than our native Digitalis purpurea.  I don’t know which one this is, but I wonder whether it’s D. ‘Spice Islands’?  And it’s backed by a lovely flowering dogwood.

Glynis's garden 2 A


One of the increasing range of rich red and deep pink astrantias.

Glynis's garden 3 A


One of the lovely Brunneras – ‘Jack Frost’, perhaps, although I know this gardener has a few different varieties.

Glynis's garden 4 A


Lysimachia ‘Firecracker’

Glynis's garden 5


Thanks for sharing!


Weirdly Beautiful


One of our members has sent me this picture, taken while out walking in The Ancient Forest, Melton.

Pauline's fungi A


My first thought was Parasol Mushrooms, which grow in mixed woodland, especially if there are conifers.  But, I can’t find any images of Parasol mushrooms being so… frilly and amoeboid.

So, I don’t know, but they are definitely weirdly beautiful!  And huge!

If anyone can cast any light, please do.

From the allotment


We’ve seen Willow the border collie before.  Last time she’d been getting underfoot, um, helping dig a pond.

This time, she’s been helping dig a new bed for the cabbages, and she definitely needs a bit of a shower down.

Nat's willow helping A


Her owner says that it went from miniature jungle to workable soil, seemingly in 5 minutes flat.  I wonder how she is at turning the compost heap?

It’s said that dogs have owners and cats have staff.  Looking at the state of that pup, I’m guessing she’s got staff as well!

Seriously, what a great companion to have.

Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday Treats


Time for Tuesday Treats again!

Last week’s Tuesday Treats has been edited to give you the answers, and they’re here:


See what you can make of this week’s Nature Table – all the pictures except one were taken on Monday afternoon, so they are all flowering right now.  And apart from one, they are all from my garden.  Excuse the weeds….


1  Edited to add:  This is one of the Bishop Dahlias – Bishop of Oxford, the single’ish flowers much loved by bees and other pollinators.

Jo's Dahlia Bishop of Oxford A


2  This flowerhead is almost 12 inches across.

Edited to add:  Allium cristophii AGM, a beautiful and long-lasting explosion of silvery-lilac stars.

Jo's Allium cristophii A


3  Edited to add:  Campanula glomerata ‘Caroline’.  This campanula, the clustered bellflower (or Twelve Apostles, as we used to call them when I was a kid) is normally a deep purplish blue with yes, about 12 flowers per cluster.  ‘Caroline is a newer cultivar with soft lilac-pink flowers.

Jo's Campanula glomerata Caroline A


4  Edited to add:  Clematis ‘Arabella’.  This was raised in the UK in 1994 by Barry Fretwell, and is a non-climbing clematis, in the Integrifolia group.  Here, it’s scrambling through other plants.

Jo's Clematis Arabella A


5  Edited to add:  This is another clematis, Clematis ‘Hendryetta’.  It was introduced from Holland in 2003, and is another non-climbing cultivar in the Integrifolia group.  It’s a seedling from the lovely ‘Alionushka’.

Jo's Clematis Hendryetta A


6  Edited to add:  This is a martagon lily.  It’s Lilium martagon ‘Claude Shride’, with these gorgeous shiny flowers.

Jo's Lilium martagon Claude Shride A


7  This is bidding fair to be this year’s Public Enemy number 1.  Can you hear the gritted teeth?  It just keeps on coming back!

Edited to add:  Lysimachia punctata, or yellow loosestrife.  The RHS calls it ‘a determined spreader’.  I concur.  It has pink rhizomes that could give lessons to bindweed, and if you’re tardy in deadheading, it will seed freely.  It’s said to be named after Lysimachus, the Macedonian king of Thrace, while ‘punctata’ refers to dots of colour in the flower.

Jo's Lysimachia punctata A


8  Can you also identify the plant in the background?

Edited to add:  I think it’s a marsh orchid, or one of their hybrids.  The marsh orchids (Southern, Northern, Early), together with other Dactylorhiza cousins such as the Common Spotted Orchids, are promiscuous, and hybridize freely.  So do their children and their children’s children.  Even orchid experts can’t reliably tell them apart.  So, it’s one of those.  It appeared in my lawn, and is now scattering seed around.  It seems to prefer to seed into old, neglected pots, so every one has to be carefully checked before the trip to the compost heap.

The background plant is not Corydalis, but it’s a cousin.  It’s a native wildflower, Common Fumitory, Fumaria officinalis.  This plant grew from a seedling in 3 weeks.  A week later, it’s even larger, with many more flowers.  It’s a very welcome annual.

Jo's Marsh Orchid A


9  Edited to add:  This is not an oriental poppy.  It is that very distinctive species, the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum.  The blue-grey foliage is always the give away, and so are the large, smooth seedheads.  In rich soils, they are large, architectural plants.  They’re annuals, but very much more striking if they can be grown as biennials, with autumn or late summer sowing.  And no, you can’t get opium from these ornamental sorts.

Jo's Papaver somniferum A


10  Edited to add:  Penstemon ‘Hidcote Pink’ AGM, a lovely perennial penstemon.

Jo's Penstemon Hidcote Pink A


11  Edited to add:  I bought this as Thalictrum speciosissimum, but apparently it’s now Thalictrum flavum ssp glaucum.  It gets to about 5 ft, with large heads of these clear yellow fluffy flowers, and aquilegia-like blue-grey foliage.

Jo's Thalictrum flavum ssp glaucum A


12  This is a real mystery shrub.  One of our class members has asked me to identify it, and I have no idea.  Anyone recognise it?

Edited to add:  I think the jury is still out until the plant flowers!

Lesley's Mystery Plant A


So, there we are, a good dozen for you to get your teeth into.


Good luck!

Edited to add:  Well done everyone who had a try.  Have a chocolate digestive and a cup of tea!  And very well done indeed to anyone who identified some of these.  Have another biscuit!



‘Sumer is icumen in’


We’re in the first days of summer – real summer, not the meteorological summer that weather experts keep trying to foist on us.  So, this 800-year-old song seems an appropriate title – it means ‘summer has arrived’, and it has.  The rain is going away again, and temperatures will rise this week.  More watering then….

Here are some summer flowers from our gardeners.


Rose ‘Candy Land’

Nat's Rose Candy Land A

One of our gardeners got this as a half price bargain – and it’s a striking addition.

‘Candy Land’ was bred in the USA by Tom Carruth in 2006.  It’s a climber that can reach about 15 feet, but if pruned hard in spring, can be kept as a large shrub.


Nothing says ‘summer’ like a delphinium and, no offence intended, but I don’t think that anywhere does delphiniums like the English Garden.  Another of our gardeners has sent the following two images of her beautiful blue plants, teamed with some lovely tall campanulas – perhaps C. latifolia, from the look of them.

Meg's delphiniums and campanulas A


Meg's garden view A


And from the same gardener, another herald of summer, a pot full of eye-popping Asiatic lilies.

Meg's Asiatic lily A


Thanks for sharing!

Simply lovely


Sometimes the simplest things are the best.  One of our class members has sent me these images.  Two are of roses.  I don’t have their names, or anything about them, but they are very pretty.  The third picture is something a little more unusual.


Hugh's rose 1


Hugh's rose 2


And now for something different.  This is a whorl of flowers from Phlomis russeliana AGM, or Turkish Sage.  The stout stems carry several whorls of these soft yellow flowers, and when the flowers have fallen, remain architecturally attractive, a spire of green pincushions.

Hugh's Phlomis russeliana


Thanks for sharing!

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