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