Booming Blooms to mark the end of July

We see the final days of July roll by, marked by booming huge blooms all around. The pink asiatic lily this year has hit new heights – maybe 8 feet tall or more. The scent can be physically felt as one approaches the plant along the path or from across the grass lawn. It’s heady, swoony, powerful stuff, this flower business!

Asiatic Lily in Glory (end July 2021)

The picture below shows how tall these beauties really are.

Asiatic lily, with crimson flowering spike of very tall hollyhock in the middle meadow area in the distance. The plant ‘froth’ low to the ground at the base of the lily are wild violets which bloom very early spring.

The Asiatic lily stand absolutely on their own and need no staking at all (unlike the slightly more feeble gladioli, which do tend to flop over under the weight of their blooms, as do also the hollyhock).

The photo above shows the lily in the railway perennial flower bed. There is an ocean of orange flowering day lily running the middle length of the bed. After they finish flowering I plan to dig some of these day lily out to spread them further along the path towards the corner end – and also to make space for other plants. I may also move a few lilies into the middle meadow area. (I’ve already divided and moved some of the lucious purple bearded iris so that next spring there should be three patches of lovely iris spread along the length of the long perennial bed).

The originally planted multi-coloured gladioli growing to the side of the huge pink lily – which I’ve never dug up or disturbed for over 5 years – are now overcrowded and have divided to create new smaller plants. Which means they’re happy where they are! But they do need digging up, dividing and spreading out.

Some space needs to be created. Moving the day lilies around will help a bit – but yikes! From hard London clay and lots of gaps in the planting and mulching like crazy with straw and hay to keep the weeds down… well now I turn to find that we have almost NO open space in the flower beds. A welcome change but a new kind of challenge nonetheless.

Directly under the pergola are two bush roses – a yellow one and a pale creamy white rose which turns to pink as the bloom fades. These are presently finished flowering, but have been pruned back and may produce late summer blooms.

I may also divide and move closer to the asiatic lily some pink flowering Japanese anemone. I like the way the anemone flower heads dance and bob in the breeze lightly above the mound of foliage on long tall flower stalks and I think these would complement the lily and help fill the space towards the railing with a plant with foliage as a foil to the huge spike of the flowering spears. Hhhmmnn… Or so it seems to me today, as I write. But be warned: such are garden plans. Intentions but not promises. We’ll see if I get around to it – or whether some other planting scheme intervenes in the meantime. That’s gardening my style: part patience, part accident, part whimsy. Whatever goes. And in nature, what goes is usually pretty gorgeous, no matter how the scene conspired to come about.

On the other side of the pergola we have a large artemesia plant (aka wormwood) – silvery grey and a nice light foliage contrast to the other darker greens all around. In the photograph above, in distance along the railway bed you can just about see the pale purple hue of the huge flowering sea holly. Our second type of sea holly has not yet changed to an iridiscent blue – we can’t wait to see how that one comes one! The anemone and sea holly are also shown to advantage in the photograph below, which is taken at the other end of the long perennial flower bed.

Perennial bed facing towards the Asiatic lily, showing pink flowering Japanese anemonewith sea holly flowers in the lower right corner. Patches of red mark crocosmia, and the yellow is the yellow rose in bloom held in sea of orange day lily and red crocosmia.
Gladioli – a study in bloom progression. Orange day lily and red crocosmia in the blurred background. (end July 2021)

The gladioli bloom are particularly fascinating the way they emerge – like a natural version of an exquisite Georgia O’Keeffe painting! The flowers open from the bottom of the flower spear and open in succession all the way up, like steps of a ladder opening up. Magical!

What the bees see. Close up – Asiatic Lily (end July 2021)

So there you have it – despite the changeable weather and strange torrential rains we’ve had – with plenty of thunder and lightning too – all in all July’s been blooming glorious!

About smallPaws

A tumbleweed from Canada who's been living in London for twenty or so years.
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