Shifting Light

This morning my gardening occupations combined dead heading and making photographs.

These roses Summer Wine and Altissimo, both coming again, were too high for me to reach with hand secateurs, and I couldn’t be bothered to fetch the steps.

Bigifying will probably be necessary to appreciate these bees on bidens, on Japanese anemones, and coming to land on crocosmia. Just click on any image to access the gallery and enlarge further with clicks on the ‘view full size’ box underneath and again if required. The bees swarming the Japanese anemones must be welcoming the plants’ early blooming.

Crocosmia blend well with other plants such as these bell-like alliums and the Japanese maple with its fingers singed by recent violent winds.

From beside this latter crocosmia I was able, through the maple, to view the petunias and pelargoniums featured alongside the kitchen wall.

We haven’t identified all the clematises in the garden. The first of this triptych above, for example, is a Lidl unnamed purchase; we do know that it is Niobe who shares the arch with the fuchsia, Chequerboard; the Head Gardener was determined to track down ‘clematis viticella purpurea plena elegans’, which took her some time, because when we arrived seven years ago this then weakly specimen was ailing in the rubble jungle that we eventually turned into the Rose Garden – it was fostered out in another bed until we returned it to its native soil, and has taken three years to reach the top of its supporting beam.

One of these yellow evening primrose blooms has survived the night well; this phantom hydrangea is also a survivor – it is the plant after which the eponymous path is named – first planted on one side of the Phantom Path it was really rather poorly for its first two years, until Aaron moved it into Margery’s Bed where it has enjoyed more light. We hope it will soon be in the shape in which we bought it.

Hemerocallis still thrive and we also have stargazer lilies in the main garden.

Four hours later, in mid afternoon I set out once more with my camera, giving me shifted lighting conditions.

A bee did its best to weigh down a verbena bonariensis.

Niobe could now sunbathe, and the clematis at the barrier between the garden and the back drive enjoyed light and shade;

the freckled lilies kept out of the direct sunlight;

sweet peas and hollyhocks could take it stronger.

My lens found the white flowers the best beneficiaries: sweet scented petunias, powerfully aromatic phlox, a clutch of dahlias, different Japanese anemones and the phantom hydrangea sheltered in shade this morning.

This evening we dined on prawn fish cakes, peas, and fresh crispy bread and butter with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Carles from a second bottle.


  1. Such a beautiful, beautiful garden makes me start looking forward to the late spring and early summer, by which time I feel sure we must have received some rain!

  2. Love the photography of the bees. I could not enlarge on my computer but was able to from my iphone. Quite impressive the bees. Loved all the flowers as well. Glad that Aaron rescued the hydrangea

  3. These days such a lot of bloggers use their phones, not just for replies and notifications but also to view other blogs.

    Generally, in the evening and first thing in the morning, I use my iPad to check my reader and view everyone’s posts. This evening I’m still seated at my computer, and I can only say to those who use their phones…
    You do not know what you are missing!

    Derrick, viewing your garden on my computer screen is a treat not to be missed – absolutely stunning!

    1. Same here, Sue. My tablet just can’t compare to the larger screen. I do a preview on the tablet and a proper look on the laptop.

      Derrick, you do find some interesting wines.

      The Head Gardener would love the challenge at my place; the yard is still a blank canvas, awaiting my son having time to get a native garden going. I do have 2 celery plants growing in a pot, they were starrted from the bits I cut off the bottom of celery bunches.

      1. I spent years arguing with staff members against tablets. I argued there was a place for tablets but never should we treat them as a replacement for a computer. Some thought otherwise, but tell that to a developer and programmer… Not a chance for the professionals.

      2. Thanks very much, Yvonne. The only blank canvas we had was the Rose Garden which we had to clear of rubble and junk like a buried bath. Most of our wines now come from Lidl who have an excellent rating system and are quite the cheapest. We thus have bottles we’ve never heard of before.

    2. I also wait until I am at my computer, hooked up to the large monitor, so I get to see the photos in their intended glory. As well, with the new WordPress format, the image boxes tend to sit on top of the text and/or each other when I’m reading Derrick’s posts on the iPad.

          1. I’m happy being a cocooned home-body at the moment. Haven’t even gone down to tonight’s happy hour. But it’s a zygocactus, so can survive non-watering, and in any case, neighbours baby-sit.
            BUT! I’m not sure it will survive the haircut Bill gave it months back. It’s looking pretty sad, but what can I say when I leave all the care to him?

  4. Such stunning flower (and bee) photos–I can’t pick a favorite–but I think perhaps I prefer the shifted afternoon light. The freckled lilies are beautiful.

  5. what a wonderful treat to bask in the beauty of your garden! the flowers are exquisite and you photograph them very well! thank you πŸ™‚

  6. I got to know so much more about those legendary blooms. Phantom Hydrangea is apparently the star. I guess white flowers are the one who need maximum sunlight, which is why they are white.

  7. OH! The freckled lilies! How wonderful!!! πŸ™‚
    One of my best friends, whilst growing up, had freckles splashed across her nose and cheeks! I found them so beautiful! πŸ™‚

    You do such a fabulous job of capturing light (and shadows) in you photos, Derrick!

    I love that your garden is a feast for the bees, Jackie! πŸ™‚ And don’t think me any weirder than I already am…but, upon seeing certain photos of certain flowers I take a big sniff and I’m sure I can smell their lovely scents! πŸ™‚

    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚
    PS…ooh, we made salmon patties/cakes last night, with a colorful salad. Tonight was homemade chicken soup with chicken, onions, red and green peppers, black beans, brown rice, tomatoes, etc. πŸ™‚

  8. A visual flower feast, Derrick and Jackie! The light and color has graced my morning!

    It topped 95 degrees here yesterday. It was a hot one.

  9. utterly splendid; I admire the patience to track down names… that is beyond my will power. I have a question for you, maybe Jackie! We’ve had it confirmed that the no. 1 son’s wedding will now be held late August next year and they’d really like to have the reception in the garden, having been spliced in our rather gorgeous local church. Which has put us into a bit of a tizz about maximising garden colour. Given you have created our aspirational cottage garden with light and shade and all conditions in between we’d love to know what you think will be at or near their best based on your experiences, or can be brought to that state with a ‘Chelsea cut’ or similar for the last weekend in August. Consider that your homework….!!

  10. You’ve captured the light so wonderful! What an amazing collection of flowers ??
    That crocosmia it looks so delicate but I love its bold orange colour ?

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