Wednesday, 6 July 2011

My Garden World - My World

Come in, come in, 
welcome to my garden.

I hope you don't mind using the back door,
most people come in this way.

You can just make out the name of the house.

Now that the paying visitors have gone,
I can take you round and show you some of  my current favourites.

I started out with one tuber of this old favourite,
which I won in a raffle at a garden club.
Now I have at least a dozen plants in the garden, 
and I have given away at least another dozen over the years.

At this time of year I like plenty of hot colour.
Apart from terracotta pots I use half barrels,
cut top to bottom or across their bellies.
Terracotta pots often crack in winter, 
 wooden beer or whiskey barrels last a lot longer.

This barrel contains mostly pelargoniums and lobelias.

I have cut  a few small beds into the mossy lawn in the back garden.
Here are two examples,
one is a mixed border of small shrubs and herbaceous plants
running along the kitchen door terrace.

The colours here are mainly blue, fiery pink and purple.
A few silver edges tone the whole thing down.

Many gardeners have colour preferences, 
my least favourite colour is pale pink. Too washed out for my taste.

This is a small shrub border,
with a few tall grasses and some specimen herbaceous plants
to give the whole thing structure.
Can you see the 'American Pokeweed' in the back?

The dining room window looks out on to this border.

Two current seasonal favourites of mine are very common 
and few fancy gardeners would give them pride of place.

 They are sun-loving Red Campion and Yellow Loosestrife, which doesn't mind a bit of shade.
Of course, they also have botanical names: Lychnis and Lysimachia punctata. 

Silenus, the drunken, merry god of the woodlands of Greek mythology, gave his name to 'Silene dioica' the wild form of red campion, which enlivens woods and hedgerows all over Britain with its bright red flowers, and even climbs mountains to establish itself on screes and cliff ledges.

The second part of its scientific name 'dioica', means 'two houses' and refers to the fact that each red campion plant has flowers of one sex only, so that two plants are needed to make seed.

Yellow Loosestrife or Lysimachia vulgaris,  has not one but two stories dating back to ancient Greece to explain the plant's botanical name.

According to one account, bunches of yellow loosestrife tied around the necks of draft animals would make them more docile by repelling insects that might otherwise irritate and unsettle the beasts. Hence people called the plant Lysimachia after two Greek words which together meant 'to loosen strife'.

Other sources, such as the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, said that the plant was named after Lysimachus, an ancient king of Thrace, who was reputed to have discovered medicinal uses for the plant.

The 17th century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper also thought the plant had healing properties. He recommended it for nose and mouth bleeding and for upset stomachs. Many people followed his advice to burn the plant in their homes, since the smoke drove away troublesome flies and gnats.

Late as ever for inclusion in That's My World where lots of clever people have long ago filed their new photos. As none of them ever comes here,  my tardiness won't matter.


  1. Your garden is so beautiful, seeming to be at its peak right now, but I bet you have something blooming for at least 3 seasons. The campion and loosestrife are just lovely! The fact that they are common is a kind of gift, and I enjoyed reading about the derivation of their names.

  2. A wonderful post and so many beautiful flowers. You have a fantastic looking garden and all your photos were very enjoyable. Thanks so much!

  3. Hello:
    What a beautiful world you live and garden in. We have so enjoyed our visit and hope that we shall be allowed to return in other seasons.

    Your colour themed borders are very effective and we love the way in which you use different forms to add height and interest and to focus the eye within the planting. You have combined the unusual with the more commonplace to great effect, we have never despised those plants which are relatively common since, in the right place, they can add such drama and gusto by giving bold splashes of colour.

    And, it all looks so very well cared for and sits easily in the glorious Shropshire landscape from which it emerges as a bright jewel against a green backcloth. Perfect!

  4. We used to have lots of yellow loosestrife but it's disappeared:-(
    I love 'Bishop of Llandaff' and any other plant where the foliage is such a strong contrast to vibrant colour.
    Gorgeous garden, Friko - but you knew that:-))

  5. to walk among such beauty every day...what a life...smiles. that dahlia is gorgeous! you have a fabulous retreat in your garden...

  6. Everyone should have such a view from their dining room! Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your garden and for the history of their names.

  7. Beautiful gardens! I agree .. pale pink is my least favorite!

  8. I am ever so delighted with your lovely gardens. I spend too much time reading and writing about the mess my country has become and stopping by your garden is a welcome respite.

  9. Ahhh... that was a truly lovely walk through your gardens. I feel so refreshed and renewed, even though in an hour I'll be at the dentists spending lots of money and getting crowned! :-)

  10. Lovely colour and variety, Friko.

  11. Friko, your garden has to be one of the wonders of the world, even better because it's private.

  12. Thank you for inviting me into your garden. I think my favorite shot is the first one outside the door. A hint of what lies beyond increases the viewer's anticipation. The only place I part company is that I love pink in all its forms. The pale pink complements the warmer shades in the red family. I also love the name Lysimachia, although mine is the Gooseneck Loosestrife, which thanks to my neighbor's overgrown tree looks dismal this year. They do like sun. Some members of this family are banned in parts of the US as a weed owing to prolific nature.

    I have the Geraniums with red flowers although the leaves are the ticket with these newer varieties. I love varigated foliage.

    Beautiful garden Friko, thanks again for sharing it. Dianne

  13. 'According to one account, bunches of yellow loosestrife tied around the necks of draft animals would make them more docile by repelling insects that might otherwise irritate and unsettle the beasts. Hence people called the plant Lysimachia after two Greek words which together meant 'to loosen strife'.'

    I like this very much.

  14. How wonderful, Friko. I was thinking of you the other day while I was at the west coast. My best friend and her husband are moving to England this summer, to retire on a narrow boat on a canal. They'll be docked about 86 miles (138km) from you, which is not far by Canadian standards but they'll be quite isolated in terms of public transportation.
    Still, I'll get over there to visit her one of these years, and perhaps I'll get in on a tour of your beautiful garden. It is a work of art, but I'm glad to see you using flowers some people consider weeds. I have some of those, too, although I have to say "our yard" rather than "our garden" because it is far, far from that.
    Your photos today are just beautiful.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  15. friko i'm in awe of your gardens. they are truly beautiful and reflective of the loving kindness that has gone not only into their creation but into the sharing of their wonders!!!! steven

  16. It all looks lovely. I especially like the dry stone wall at the entrance, balanced and softened by the plantings, making a composition with the garden gate.

  17. Absolutely beautiful!

    Thanks for the information about loosestrife. I have it in my garden and until reading this I didn't even know its name. :-)

  18. well, I come here and I don't mind that you are late. what a beautiful garden. I may have to investigate yellow loosestrife, see if it will do well here. and the campion too. and what is the blue on the tall spikes?

  19. I nearly always have an overpowering feeling of humility in a beautiful garden. ~Mary

  20. Well, I like your photos, Friko. To live in a garden like yours--bliss! Thank you for sharing it.

  21. Thank you for inviting us into your garden - your choice of plants and colors is a feast for the eye! I can see there is way too much green in my whole little plot and it could use a lot more punch.
    Our purple loosestrife is very invasive in the Northern waterways but the yellow is wonderful - Fascinating background on how it was named.

  22. Friko, it is such a pleasure to have this private view of your beautiful garden.

    How you make me yearn for the dream opportunity to eventually have a garden of my own. It will be a little garden, spindly, full of disappointments, but ... full of the feeling for the changes of season that only a garden can give.


  23. Many thanks for the garden tour -- I would adore to have such delphiniums. Had to laugh at the pokeweed -- today I hacked back several towering specimens that had invaded my azaleas. Poke grows wild here and the birds spread it far and wide. It's a beautiful plant though.

  24. Thank you for guiding us on another wonderful stroll through such a beautifully designed garden. Love the purples and all the vibrancy of red popping throughout.

  25. I love visitng your garden. Currently we are cultivating dust drifts ...

  26. Hi Friko .. beautiful .. I'd love to come up - and rest awhile .. especially as your sun is shining there! Looks really gorgeous .. no wonder you're happy showing us and your local visitors around.

    Also that extra information adds to the photos and stories .. thanks Friko - enjoy it .. happy gardening and pottering days .. Hilary

  27. Wow - it is beautiful. Like you, I enjoy more vibrant colours in the garden. I could never be happy with an 'all white' garden. Our winters are dull and grey and I crave the hot pink, intense yellow and the reds of a hot garden.

  28. What a beautiful garden you have!! And your photos are stunning!!

  29. I'm trying to achieve a mini replica of this gorgeous garden. But it will take years as my plants are new and small this summer. Oh dear, I'll just have to look at your pictures. Thank you

  30. Like the Dormouse , I'm very partial to delphiniums blue .
    Lovely garden !

  31. you have a magnificent garden. it must take many hours of hard [though no doubt enjoyable] work to make the plants so happy.

    i spent an hour trimming back some orange murraya yesterday that never bloom because there isn't enough sun in my little backyard. your garden makes me green.

    love the mythology too.

  32. What a beautiful garden, I could happily spend hours in it! :o)

  33. What a beautiful garden. Thank-you for the tour!!!

  34. if there's one thing i've learned from watching QI it's never believe anything said by Pliny the Elder

    Lovely post otherwise though :)

  35. I would love to come in that beautiful back door.

  36. Thank you for leading us down your enchanted garden path...this was such a treat!

  37. a feast for the eyes, Friko!

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral


    > < } } ( ° >

    < ° ) } } > <

  38. I like your botanical/etymological information. And the fact that you're not a snobby gardener. But I don't know why you were getting your knickers in a knot about the opening last looks perfectly splendid.
    The Real Deborah

  39. What a wonderful garden — indeed, what a wonderful world — you have created, Friko. I must confess to being a tad bit envious. You seem to know your plant and how the make them healthy and beautiful.

  40. Love the way you decorated your garden! A lot of flowers that you used I planted in my garden!I also used a barrel to plant my strawberries last year and now they grown down the barrel!It truly looks like a corner of heaven!

  41. ach wunderschön! Obschon soviel Arbeit dahintersteckt, sieht der ganze Garten doch so natürlich aus, so, wie von der Natur selbst erschaffen...
    Dir einen schönen sonnigen Tag, liebe Friko!
    Bis bald!

  42. Lovely to get a tour, and it looks terrific. I've never got the hang of dhalias: all that digging them up for the winter. If it won't look after itself I'm afraid I'm not interested though I always think they look beautiful. On the other hand I have a nostalgic love of Lysimachia having had it running wild in pretty much every army quarter we lived in. So I have a clump lighting up the space under a birch and another by a north facing wall.

  43. Your beautiful photos do justice to a beautiful abode! What a treat to tour the gardens!

  44. My dear Friko, I have been trying to post to your blog for weeks now. I hope this time it works!

    Lovely pictures. Thank you for taking us into your garden. As I have a black thumb, I am a bit jealous of your skill!

  45. Congrats on your garden! It looks stunning and the mixture of colours just makes me happy just looking at them!Hope you will share new photos in the future!

  46. Sighs in amazement and contentment, Friko. Each corner is lovely with the beauty of each flower and the harmony. I especially like the blue and purple area. Thank you for inviting us to this breathtaking garden tour. Have a happy weekend.

  47. Absolutely wonderful - almost as good as a real tour. We've been looking at some gardens while we are on our campervanning holiday, lovely to get ideas. You obviously work hard in your garden and enjoy it.

  48. Thanks for sharing such a spectacular garden.

  49. Your garden is mesmerizing and as beautiful as the garden of the kings and queens! It is well kept and organized, it seems that you do have the green thumb. Keep it up!


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