At last we’re having something that passes as summer. Temperatures into the eighties, unbroken blue skies and baking sunshine, for nearly a week now, have made an incredible difference on the plot. Plants that have been sulking have suddenly perked up and it looks like I might actually start to get a courgette crop. It’s not just the fruit and veg that are loving the weather, my flowers are blooming. It’s a little late for some plants such as my rudbeckia, which have never recovered from the incessant rain but, at last, I’m actually able to pick enough sweet peas to have some on my desk and some by the bed. It wouldn’t be summer without some sweet peas.
The cut flower beds seem to be going through a bit of a purple patch at the moment with the tall spires of larkspur, some sweet peas and my annual asters just starting to open. The larkspur are my first attempt and I’m so pleased with them. I’ve never managed to grow delphiniums, simply because they were just slug fodder but the larkspur were quite substantial plants when they went out and, despite plague-like proportions of the mollusc enemy this year, have remarkably remained untouched. They last ages once picked as well.
The asters are another newbie. They haven’t looked quite so good and got off to a very slow start and even now look quite weedy but they’ve started to flower and are looking much healthier in the sunshine, so fingers crossed they’ll keep going for a good while.
The real stars of the show at the moment are my scabious plants. A mix of white, pink, an almost black colour and my favourite of them all, this gorgeous plum colour.
It’s not just flowers for the vase though. I love having some edible flowers in our salads and the first nasturtiums have opened in the last couple of days. With a beautiful, rich, velvety texture and a reddy-orange colour, they look and taste great scattered in with some salad leaves. Add in a few calendula petals, pink chive flowers and white garlic chive flowers and you’ve got some unusual, tasty and very pretty additions to the plate.
So, despite the fact that I appear to be allergic to summer, with hay fever, a touch of sunburn, insect bites, rashes from contact with borage and now prickly heat, all my flowers are making me smile.
What a stunning selection of flowers, your sweet peas are gorgeous and I bet the perfume is wonderful! Love your dark scabious, that must be lovely running through a border. I keep promising myself that I will grow some sweet peas, must get myself organised, do you sow yours in autumn or spring? The sunshine is fantastic isn’t it, we are enjoying it as well as the plants!
Thanks Pauline, I sow mine in mid to late Feb. My early sowings normally flower from the end of May but this year they were mauled by slugs! It’s a later sowing that are now flowering.
David Marsden said:
Good! I’m so pleased you’ve had some results. You (and all us UK gardeners) deserve ’em. I saw my first sweet pea flower yesterday. In July!! (well, almost August). You will never know how much pleasure that one flower gave me. Black scabious – great choice. I’ve grown it before – though not this year. And for the first time, at the Priory, I have nasturtiums. Such a simple, dare I say ‘basic’ plant, but I love it. And again, it gave me so much pleasure when the first flower appeared. Says a lot about me, I suspect. Not sure my non-gardening friends would understand. Dave
I’m exactly the same. I was so excited when I spotted the first flowers appear on the nasturtiums last week. My plan was to grow them for salads but I didn’t think I’d get anything because of the weather. I’m now expectantly awaiting the first patty pan squashes and borlotti beans. That’s why I love blogging so much. It’s great to be able to share the highs and lows from the garden and plot with others who understand. Friends don’t really get my obsession with plants!
I love sweet peas. We have so many at the moment, I’ve got vases of them in every room!
The other half is now getting used to finding nastrusium flowers in his salad. Next year I’ll have do try a bigger variety.
Anna, well done better than me. My sweet peas have so far been rubbish but at least I’m now getting some flowers.
Donna@Gardens Eye View said:
Great to hear the weather has turned for the good….and now all that rain is giving you wonderful flowers!
Lovely post and pictures! I’m picking sweet peas at the moment, the best of which are off a couple of self-seeded plants that are running rather than climbing!
I learnt the hard way with borage as I don’t usually wear gloves. xx
Thanks Flighty. You’ll have to let some of those sweet peas go to seed and save them for next year. I don’t like wearing gloves but I seem to react to a lot of plants now with rashes and itching so think I’ll have to start wearing them more often.
I love sweetpeas too, maybe I will try some here in the vegetable beds where they’d get regular irrigation. I’m so pleased summer has at last arrived for you. Here we’re threatned with temperatures reaching 40° Celsius. I’m hiding indoors, it is just too, too hot. Christina
It has been lovely here, at last. Although it’s about to change again this week. I couldn’t cope with that sort of heat that you’re getting. My Celtic genes mean that 25C is just perfect for me, any more and I start to wilt. Keep cool, WW.
Lovely, such rich colours. I came back to find our first sweet pea flower, a pretty deep purple, though there won’t be many this year, they rather slipped between the events of this spring. I miss the larkspurs I grew last year too, I’d half-hoped they had self-seeded but there’s no sign of them, so they’ll be back on my seedlist for next year without fail.
I’m so pleased with the larkspurs. I’ll definitely be growing them next year.
My sweet peas started flowering about ten days ago and have only done well because of the rain – normally they fade away on my light soil (probably because I don’t give them enough water).
I am glad summer has arrived at last (or possibly not!) – of course we would not grumble so much if we could have periods of stable weather that allowed us to gradually acclimatise.
Apologies – signed in wrongly so lost the link to my url in my earlier comment.
Oh my those sweet peas! Stunning in front of that lovely door!