Drookit midsummer

…Drookit being the good Scots word for soaked to the skin. It was like this last year when I started the blog, and no doubt it will be cold and wet again next year too. Only the primulas are happy.

A pity really, as the garden ought to be looking its best. Despite the rain, the big Asian poppies are putting on a bit of a show; I think they enjoyed the warm weather in March when they were coming into growth. I do have a couple of poppies that are neither red nor pink, but they are inclined to be eclipsed. The good thing about these plants is that their piles of floppy leaves make life hard for the weeds beneath them. They also go well with the white iris siberica and black iris chrysographes and stop my herbaceous border from being entirely blue.
The rocky bank behind the pond is a problem area: it faces north, runs constantly with water and is overshadowed by a big sycamore which throws heavy drips on it. I needed something bright and quite tough, and was pleased to find this azalea ‘Fireball’.

Another useful, late-flowering azalea is rhododendron arborescens. Wiki tells me this can reach 18 feet tall in the eastern US, but with me it stays a small, slow-growing shrub. It is sweetly-scented, with a fragrance completely different from that of rh. luteum. I grow it on a bank in full sun, and providing I remember to feed it, it performs well.

Decent light is lacking – but there are some good patches of colour around. I’m especially pleased with this combination at the top of the ‘creek’:

It comprises Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ growing through rhododendron luteum, with the orange provided by primula.’Inverewe and the ever-reliable euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow‘.

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13 thoughts on “Drookit midsummer

  1. Some very nice ensembles of blooms there Kininvie, especially with all those beautiful big stones among them. The rocky bank behind the pond, with its constant water, might be perfect for maidenhair ferns (Adiantum) — they like bright shade and water and grow here on cliffs behind waterfalls.

    I really like ‘drookit’ and feel strongly that it is a word I could use a great deal in the climate here. Could you demonstrate it in a sentence for me please– I want to get it right.

    Will you be buying some nice big neep plants today to replace the seedlings? The gods might smile on a Midsummer planting…

    • Hi Linnie, you can use ‘drookit’ wherever you might use ‘drenched’, ‘soaked’ or ‘half drowned’ – as in ‘Ah wis gairdenin in yon smirr and got fair drookit’. I’m not sure how it will sound in an Oregon drawl, though…

      It’s too wet to plant anything – even neeps

      • I see on my weather app that you get rain through Monday. (Rain starts here tomorrow for five days as well. We will ALL be fair drookit.) But you might want to line up those neep plants so they are ready to go in on Tuesday morning.

        What’s smirr?

        • Sorry to butt in 🙂 smirr – methinks tis scots for misty rain. Another good use of the word ‘drookit’ in a sentence is ‘I’ve been out in the garden in the rain and I’m like a drookit rat’ – also interchangable in that sense with drowned – or ‘drooned’.

          Nice looking plants there even if heavy with rain – we’re mixed here both in mind and weather – the drookit bit hasnae hit here really its just cauld and breezy. The great news is that its mid-summer and seemingly all down hill from here. (island speak)

          Loving the combinations – how about Rogersia or Ligularia’s? They like it pretty drookit too don’t they?

          Or with all that clay – have you thought of turning into a potter for part of the year?

          (Ducks to avoid a dab of yellow clay)

  2. We’re feeling the same down here, non stop rain has the pond overflowing into the bog, but then that is overflowing onto the lawn! Your plants look as though they are enjoying all that rain, which is good, especially for the primulas, mine have never been so big and tall!

  3. Well talking of rain, it has been ‘Stoatin’ it down here in Fife. That type of rain get you wet twice. Once on the way down and once on the way back up after it hits the ground. No messing around you get soaked from head to foot. My poppies are not upright like yours but nearly horizontal. Hope when the monsoon has passed I will have some left to photograph. I am spending my time swotting up on fruit and veg with my dream book. I will maybe get time to post all about it tomorrow.

  4. Hi from the Plantista
    Southern hemisphere midwinter solstice. Here in Sydney we have a very temperate climate, it is one jumper cold. The camellias are in full bloom, early jonquills, Zygo cactus and a neighbour has red hot pokers (see my blog Theplantista for pictures).

  5. Yil get jist as drookit and cauld as well up here Kininvie. I like your Azaleas especially Luteum. I second Rogersia as being a big plant which thrives in our conditions, also Filipendula does well. I was having a look at your plant scores page, looking very professional it is.

  6. Hi kininvie,

    You have such a beautiful garden – despite the wet start to summer!

    Have you heard about he Furniture Village ‘Great Garden Moments’ photo competition?

    http://www.furniturevillage.co.uk/Competitions/Great-Garden-Moments.aspx

    Your Asian Poppies would make a fantastic entry!

    There’s a great prize for the winner: A new set of garden furniture (worth £1,209) and £250 of Waitrose vouchers.

    The competition is open until next Tuesday (03.06.12). I hope you enter and keep making the most of your garden this summer!

    Kind Regards,
    Eshé

    • Hiya Eshe,
      You are doing a great PR job here! Unfortunately, garden furniture isn’t really for me, as it usually rains when I try to sit on it. You don’t have a competition for welly boots and umbrellas by any chance?

  7. Those pinkish oriental poppies on the background look as the red ones washed off by the rain, drookit indeed. No wonder you have a word to express soaked to the bone in Scottish!
    I really like that black and red combination, quite bold but diluted by all that almost blinding green you have there!
    The creek looks very nice, I’m not fond of azaleas (maybe because I can’t grow them) but that orange one is amazing and mixes perfectly with that light blue geranium, which was the idea I had with primulas in your previous post.

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