Posted by: christinelaennec | June 19, 2014

My garden in June

Phew, it’s been scorching hot here in Glasgow!  About 25C / 77F for the past few days.  Honestly, this feels almost unbearably hot to us at times.  The garden has been happy, but before I show you that, the Dafter has also been continuing to do very well.  Here is a silly photo of her at Whole Foods.  The first time we went there she said, “It’s just like Oregon!”  And so it is.

Silly Dafter!  18 June 2014.

Silly Dafter! 18 June 2014.

Isn’t her dress fab?  She found it at a vintage shop in the West End, for a song.  Note her face now has some colour!  Here’s her usual expression:

Pretty Dafter!

Pretty Dafter!

She continues to make good progress with her ME/CFS, which is a delight after nearly three years of her being so very ill.

Now to show you the garden!  It amazes me to think that the plants have only been in it since February.

Back garden:  the sunny border.  Glasgow, 17 June 2014.

Back garden: the sunny border. Glasgow, 17 June 2014.

I bought quite a few bedding plants this summer, as the perennials are still just babies.  I know that in a few years there won’t be so much bare soil.

Birch bark cherry, foxgloves, pincushion flower, canterbury bells.  My back garden, Glasgow, 17 June 2014.

Birch bark cherry tree, foxgloves, pincushion flower, canterbury bells, volunteer poppies. My back garden, Glasgow, 17 June 2014.

I really like the Quaking Grass:

Quaking grass by the summerhouse, Glasgow 19 June 2014.

Quaking grass by the summerhouse, Glasgow 19 June 2014.

We’ve bought some solar lights to make it even more enchanting in the evenings, though so close to the solstice it’s still not dark by 11 pm in this clear weather.

Looking towards the house, 19 June 2014.

Looking towards the house, 19 June 2014.  Poppies and nigella grown from seed in the small curved bed.

I’m delighted that the two peonies I planted in February have had blooms:

"Bowl of Beauty" peony, blooming in its first year here.

“Bowl of Beauty” peony, blooming in its first year here.  Next to it is a clove-scented carnation.

First bloom on the "Kansas" peony.

First bloom on the “Kansas” peony.

Why Kansas?  Because I like its colour and shape, but also my great-granny May was born in Kansas.  In the other border, a plant that I thought I knew from the church garden in Aberdeen has grown to ten times the size I expected:

The shady bed, with huge Anthemis "Tinpenny Sparkle".  17 June 2014.

The shady bed, with huge Anthemis “Tinpenny Sparkle”. 17 June 2014.  Next year I will stake it!

I’ve sown wildflower seeds here.  (Karen, can you identify the seedlings for me?  Sweet william? Forget-me-not?  Time will tell!)

I planted eight bare-root roses in the depths of winter, and they all seem to be happy.  They are all climbing roses – three in the front and five in the back.  In the front garden, two are in bloom.

First blooms on the climbing rose "Graham Thomas", front garden, 18 June 2014.

First blooms on the climbing rose “Graham Thomas”, front garden, 18 June 2014.

I really love canterbury bells and foxgloves, which I had in Aberdeen.   In the evening they seem to glow from within, especially the light blue ones:

"Cornish Blue" canterbury bells, and white canterbury bells beyond.  Front garden, 18 June 2014.

“Cornish Blue” canterbury bells in front, white canterbury bells beyond, and purple ones in back. Front garden, 18 June 2014.

Here is the other climbing rose in bloom in front, the deliciously scented Gertrude Jekyll (which I had in Aberdeen and blogged about here):

Climbing rose "Gertrude Jekyll" in my front garden, 18 June 2014.

Climbing rose “Gertrude Jekyll” in my front garden, 18 June 2014.

Such a lot of happiness and pleasure!  And this garden is all ours, after 21 years of shared gardens in Aberdeen.  Working here is a solace, though some of the jobs to be done are a bit weird.  Yesterday Michael and I “planted” 100 worms from Yorkshire in the flower beds in the back, as the new soil there seems devoid of worms and is very clay-ey.  The postie didn’t exactly drop the box when I said, “Oh, our worms have arrived!”  Yes, that was a little bit naughty of me…



  1. I think your garden is looking just fabulous. It’s amazing you’ve got it looking so good so quickly. Everything in ours is growing very profusely this summer, too. We have Canterbury bells, and I agree they are lovely. The funny thing is we never put them there, so we think birds must have brought the seeds, or else they were blown here by the wind. We also have poppies turning up unasked for, and they are very welcome. Our soil is very heavy clay, and incredibly sticky, and I’ve never had much idea what we could do to make it easier to work. Perhaps we should try worms.
    The Dafter is looking great. So glad she’s making good progress.

  2. I’m so glad to hear ‘The Dafter’ continues to make good progress… and to look so relentlessly cheery! Her dress is very pretty.

    Your garden is looking lovely too — you obviously have very green fingers! I’m slightly envious, though, of your Glasgow temperatures having now left them behind for the cooler (and foggier) climes of Aberdeenshire!xo

  3. The pictures of the Dafter are just great. I love her expression in the first one and seeing her out and about must warm you much more than the 77 degree heatwave.

  4. The garden is beautiful and your daughter looks so pretty. So glad to see her up and about.

  5. So glad to hear the Dafter is improving. It’s so nice to see her out and about.

    I wish our heat wave was 77 degrees. It’s been in the mid 90s here. But I do understand. The last day of my first trip to Scotland was extremely warm. After 2 weeks, we were used to 50s and 60s. The last day was mid to upper 70s. Felt much hotter than that.

  6. Dafter is looking great, love her dress. I had to laugh at you ‘planting’ worms, I’ve never heard of that one before and you gave me a laugh thinking of the expression on the posties face when you said what the parcel was! Your garden looks lovely, you’ve certainly been very busy in it, now relax and enjoy it while the sun is here!

  7. The Dafter continues to look healthy and lovely. So pleased for her. Love the flowers and particularly love the blue of the “Cornish Blue” canterbury bells.
    One certainly does get used to temperature changes. We moved from the south,where the temps can be very hot in the summer, up here to NH where the summers are usually quite mild. People start complaining if we reach the low 80’s. We will be moving back south soon and I will have to adjust again…. this time to summer highs of possibly 95 degrees or more.

  8. Dafter looks really well, long may it continue!

    Your garden is very pretty!

  9. Love the photos of the pretty dafter! Your garden looks amazing!

  10. YES! Her dress is absolutely fab. So are your flowers. Happy summer.

  11. Lovely garden, and your young lady is looking fab too. It seems that you have found a lovely spot to live in, and those temperatures, well, just perfect! Happy summer days to you all.

  12. I’m so pleased ‘The Dafter’ continues to make progress. She certainly looks radiant in her pictures, and has some lovely colour in her cheeks. She looks very pretty as does your garden..!

  13. The flowers and dress are beautiful, but the Dafter looks stunningly sparkly and outshines them all 🙂

  14. Oh those pictures of the Dafter make me so happy!!!!!! What a sigh of relief you must be giving each day that she is able to enjoy some strength like this! And she does look beautiful in that dress — I love it!!! Summer solstice. I had ideas of sitting on the back patio surrounded by my beautiful garden with Michael and a glass of wine but somehow it is dark already (9:30) and I still have a haircut to give and the kids are not yet in bed. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow evening??? Does sound like hot weather you have had!! Wouldn’t mind a bit of the cool 70’s but can’t complain as we have had such a mild summer so far.

  15. So good to see the Dafter looking so well – great dress. Do you compost? We’ve found that’s been the key to improving our “soil” – just along the road from here 100 years ago was a gravel pit and so our soil is mostly pebbles. My dad has put a lot of work into composting and spreading the compost on the garden and the worms have come with the compost and made the soil naturally much richer and more healthy. You may find that your local council has compost available at the tip, ours does and you can take some bags for free if you’ve brought something to the tip and it’s great stuff. It’s looking lovely 🙂 I never know how people choose rose varieties, there are so many of them! Though I am a great admirer of Gertrude Jekyll.

  16. Everything including the Dafter is blooming beautifully! 🙂 xxx

  17. your daughter is looking fabulous and love the dress! so lovely to see her up and about and looking so well. your garden is very nice and I am sure will benefit from your new worm installment. Gertrude Jekyll seems to be a popular rose; this is the second time today I have read about someone having one. I will have to check it out at the garden centre.

  18. Thank you, everyone, for sharing our delight at the Dafter’s progress (and at the garden). I have read all the compliments to her, which pleased her greatly.

    Stephanie, you’re absolutely right about the importance of compost. As well as the worms, we have also put a layer of bought compost and manure on the garden, so that the worms have something to work with. We have a small composter, which should yield something by the end of the summer, and we will continue to compost twice a year for the foreseeable future. I’m not sure about council compost, but I should inquire.

    As for choosing roses, I try to visit rose gardens during the summer to see what they look, and crucially smell, like when in bloom. When we lived in Aberdeen I visited Cocker’s rose garden (no longer there) and the rose garden at Hazlehead, and took notes. I also enjoyed the rose garden at Alnwick Castle, which has a lot of David Austin roses. And of course I pay attention to the roses in containers at the garden centre, though I’ve mostly bought bare-root roses to plant in the winter. But only after having a pretty good idea of what it’s going to end up as! I find it helpful to see what grows in gardens in a similar climate to where I live.

    • They are still there – just a little further along on the same side of the road as before, just before the “new” Dobbie’s!
      The Dafter does indeed look marvellous.

      • That’s interesting. I did search for them, once the new Dobbies was built, and could never find them. Perhaps I should try again sometime!

  19. Your garden looks so very inviting, Christine. And yes, I do love the Dafter’s dress – my daughter, too, relishes “vintage” finds – she thinks she was born in the wrong era. And of course, I’m ecstatic about the Dafter’s recovery – it will continue! xo

  20. How lovely to see your garden in bloom, Christine. So many pretty blooms, but the prettiest bloom is the one on your sweet girl’s cheeks! Her dress is wonderful and she looks very nice in that color. Living in the Pacific Northwest, as you know, we positively wilt in high temperatures, so I understand how 77 degrees is considered ‘hot’. I wish I could tell you what the wildflower seedlings are from the photo – but I will have to guess that they are forget me not? I have a Gertrude Jekyll rose growing along the deck rails and now I shall think of you whenever I enjoy her lovely scent. I think it has the prettiest scent of all the roses. My father raised worms for the garden – be sure to add lots of compost to give them something to eat. I am so happy to hear your dear girl is continuing to feel well. This is wonderful news, indeed!. xo karen

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