A day off is a good excuse

So, I have today off work, which means I can do one or two things which I’ve been meaning to get on with for a while. One of these was to take my camera out into the garden – 9am, with some cloud cover so everything isn’t yet wilting in the heat, me included. Over the weekend it was almost too hot here to sit out, and the lack of rain in the last couple of weeks means that some garden inhabitants had started to look very sorry for themselves, despite regular watering.

Anyway, the photo odyssey began with a check of the greenhouse. The tomatoes have been slowly starting to ripen – I’ve had my eye on this one for the last few days, it’s not quite there but soon will be:

Tomato variety: Shirley

Meanwhile as I was checking these little guys for their overall colour, they decided to part company with the plant. They still need a day or two on the windowsill to be fully ripe:

Tomato variety: Golden Sunrise

I do love yellow tomatoes.

At the moment, the garden itself looks like this:

though possibly with a cat hiding in it somewhere. The lion poo cat deterrent has mostly worked – incidents of leavings have reduced – but I’ve run out of the stuff now and need to order more.

Our various annuals are going strong. Yellows and oranges seem to be a big theme in our garden this year, what with the African marigolds, coreopsis and rudbeckia which Mum grew from seed. She likes to grow rudbeckia as it can be hard to buy the annual varieties as bedding plants, and they are really stunning in a border.

African marigold - hoverfly at no extra charge


Coreopsis (annual variety)


Rudbeckia - I have some like this, with moderate dark brown around the inner end of the petals

Some like this, with rather more brown

And some like this, with no brown at all. Exciting, isn't it?

Other annuals still showing off at the moment include the pansies, which have dome pretty well in amongst all the bigger plants:

There are more nicknames for pansies than for just about any other flower


Honestly, google it. Or look on Wikipedia. The commonest are Heart's Ease and Love in Idleness.

Mum also grew some Coleus, which we have in pots. It has striking foliage, and the flowers can be a bit disappointing but we thought we’d let ours flower anyway:

Most of our perennials are also doing well, though I suspect there may be a few casualties by the end of the summer. Some deadheading is required for a few, so please don’t judge me.

The scabious has been gorgeous all summer - showing no signs whatever of stopping flowering.


A dianthus bought for about £3 from a corner store. Not bad. And the begonias behind it are still looking colourful.

A different variety of coreopsis - this is a hardy type. I hope.

The rose which we found under all the branches etc on top of the bank - it flowered in May and has just had a (very small) second flush.

One of the many varieties of campanula. This one is low-growing and spreads to give ground cover. This particular plant was bought but we have others which came from my mother-in-law's garden, and which we originally gave to her from a garden where they grew everywhere.

Fuschia - another corner store bargain. Not a great photo I'm afraid, but you can see it's covered in buds.

A lovely vibrant orange crocosmia. I bought a packet of 8 or 9 corms, and only 2 came up - and of those 2, only this one flowered. A little disappointing, but crocosmia spreads like nobody's business.

Cape daisy (or osteospermum). Some varieties are hardier than others - we'll see what happens to these over the winter, though they are good sturdy plants at the moment.

In the foreground here you can see the tall thin spines of heuchera flowers. Another cheap corner store purchase which hasn't stopped flowering since we got it, and looks great here in a mixed bed surrounded by scabious, marigolds, rudbeckia and santolina.

Bought cheap last time we were at the garden centre - a sad-looking lupin, which has perked up considerably in the last few weeks and is now on its second flower spike (you can just see the first on the right. I'm hoping to save some seeds).

A gaura, bought several weeks ago and flowering well.

Close-up of one of the flower spikes on the gaura - a bit of an odd angle, and tricky to catch as the stems are so delicate the slightest breeze sets them swaying.

So, there we have it – a quick romp through the plants doing well at the moment. I hope your gardens are looking good.


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