And now we have rain. Some things react well and take it in their stride. Cenolophium denudatum, a very posh name for a rather unassuming umbellifer, is doing better now. For some reason the big clump had a bad patch last year, which resulted in A&E treatment, then splitting into 6 smaller clumps followed by re-planting in different spots. I knew it would take a while to get going this year, and it has, but on the other hand, it has taken well where it is now planted. It is a lovely thing in full flow, about 1m high and tall, with feathery foliage and fine cream flowers. But they are even better, in my view, when they are young and pale green, see above.
And here it is, in the cream mature form. Pretty, very pretty. it needs some moisture but not too much.
This clump of Arundo donax ‘Variegata’ has been in very dry, hot, stony soil for the past 9 years- so, contrary to the link to Tropical Britain, I am sure it needs less moisture than they suggest and just as much sun. It reaches 3m high and about 3 m wide, and looks spectacular overlooking Shitty Bank. But last winter did give it a hammering, and so, for the first time, we cut it right back in the spring, and this is obviously what we should have been doing all along, as it returned to form magnificently. This year has reminded me how good it is.
A massive tumble and thicket of spikey little fists is a good way to describe Eryngium eburneum, which also lives on Shitty Bank. Another faithful friend from the early days of the garden, it self-seeds politely where conditions suit, dry and sunny being right for it. It can get very tall, easily 1.75m some years, and amazingly, it copes with high winds and lashing rain by just waving a little. The flowerspikes stay all winter until they are bone dry, when they can be cut down or left to drop naturally depending on your taste. They make a great aerial statement without dominating, and are a forgotten hero a lot of the time in the garden. Very tough.
The rain of the last few days has brought out the first buds breaking on the Hydrangea quercifolia, which lives in the moister, semi-shade area by our ruisseau, or canal. It was another early purchase and is now a beautiful, sharp green presence in the border about 2m x 2m roughly. The crisp, white flowerheads open slowly and are quite fabulous especially early on with lime green buds still showing. Now that we have a bench close by, I am much more likely to sit and notice it- a good thing.
Like all the other roses, one that came with us from Scotland and, in truth, has only been barely tolerated, has really shown what it can do this year. So, Rosa ‘Salet’ has saved itself. It is a rambling, straggly, bush. A Moss Rose, with those hairy, spiny stems and fuzzy leaves, it is not the most appealing sight often. But it has flowered, small, bright pink densely folded flowers that have been liberally spread about the branches this year. It is a French rose, from Lacharme, dating from 1854. It stays.