I'm really enjoying my garden this year. During my parents' last illness, and for several years after their deaths, I lost interest in it.
But perhaps I'm turning into my mother - or channelling her - or being haunted by her - because the interest seems to have come rushing back this year. (And you're welcome, Mom. Stay around. Put the kettle on.)
Maybe she's brought my Dad with her, because a large part of the interest stems from encouraging more wildlife into the garden, from mini-beasts up. Mother was mad about flowers, but Dad loved flowers, trees, insects, birds, animals, fish, stars, rocks... it would be quicker to list the things he wasn't interested in. (Sport: that about covers it.)
In the photo above, you see zebra grass, a red icelandic poppy and borage in the foreground.
Behind is the pond in the pot, roses, an oleandar in a pot (it belonged to my mother.)
Beyond that, a caramel heuch-something in a pot, set against blue campanula. Above them is an orange dahlia. To the dahlia's right is a plant called, I think, moly-somethingorother, which I love and encourage because its leaves hold the raindrops so beautifully. In fact, I think of it as 'the raindrop plant.'
Just below the white roses on the arch at the top of the garden, you can just glimpse the pink of the foxglove I planted in my 'wood.' It's the tiniest of woods, but there are trees, ferns, mushrooms (in season) rotting logs, violets, brambles - and now foxgloves.
The dog roses which grow through my neighbour's fence. They have a short flowering season, but I look forward to them for their lovely simplicity. I think I prefer them to garden roses.
The bees love them too.
But then there's these roses growing opposite them, and I can't honestly say the bees ignore them. The scent is so rich and strong it can make you a bit dizzy on a hot day.
Close by the roses, we have sweet-peas - which family legend says were my Grandfather Price's favourite flower. Their scent is also heady.
Turn round and you can look into the pot pond, with its water forget-me-not.
At the other end of the gravel patch...
And finally, back near the house, bright yellow violas...