End of Month View: July 2012

Horror of horrors! I am in fear of losing interest in my garden. 😩 It could just be a blip because it has been so wet and the love and care I usually heap on the garden has been on the back burner for so long now. I am disappointed in how the garden looks and with the slug and snail damage, the lack of colour and abundance of foliage it is not what it should be at this time of the year.

We have just experienced a week, seven whole days, of sunshine but today we are back to chilly winds and overcast skies. The warmth of the sun brought on the flowers but some are still behind, the Hibiscus for example still has tight buds and this time last year it was in full bloom.

It’s not all gloom and doom though, the south-facing side patio, with its own microclimate, is bursting with colour. Although not quite the vibrant colour as previous years, the colour is hidden by so much green. The Passion Flower is disappointing at the moment with only a few flowers at the bottom of the plant, usually this time of the year it is heavy with flowers. This is probably a warning sign that it needs repotting, so that is a job for the Autumn things to do list. The Montbretia is looking wonderful with the Clematis Jouiniana rambling through it and the Fuchsia is simply splendid. So all in all this part of the garden is doing really well despite the extra abundance of foliage.


Looking down the garden, the north-facing right hand side border, is the boggy one planted with Astilbe, Hydrangea, Hostas and Ferns. Another Autumn job will be to lift and divide the Astilbe, it is taking up a large amount of the bed now and clogging the hostas. Right at the back of the border is a small amount of rogue Montbretia and I rather like the clash of the purple Astilbe, fiery Montbretia and the pink Hydrangea. There is a little Potentilla just below the Sambucus Nigra, that I transplanted there at the end of last year – it seems to like the boggy conditions and has taken well to its new home.


Moving to the bottom of the garden, this flowerbed is the star this year. I filled it full of plants raised from seed and despite the extra greenery, thanks to the wet weather, there is a good variety of flowers and lots of new ones. I am hoping that the Cleome, Nicotiana and Verbena Bonariensis will reseed so this bed will look good again next summer. The other plants are perennials – the Phlox always does me proud, as does the Agapanthus. Strangely though, as I said earlier, the Hibiscus is still not in flower.


Now for the disappointing border – the south facing sunny one that should, by the end of July, be an abundance of colour. I am not sure what has gone wrong here, it is the same border in which the Peony lives and that failed to flower this year. The Sedum is still very green, Gladioli are just leaves with no sign of flower spikes and even the Verbascum is not as widely spread around the border as in past years. I am hoping that it is just because of the lack of warmth and sunshine on this side of the garden. However, I will give serious thought to completely redesigning this bed, so in the next few weeks I will make copious notes when visiting other gardens for ideas.


The vegetables in the raised bed are a mixture of success and failure. The carrots have been delicious and are almost all gone. The Broad Beans proved to me that they really are tasty when young and it is only when they are large and old do they taste musty. It is the courgettes that have been awarded 1 out of 10 for performance. I have spoken to a number of people who have shared their failure of courgettes this year. Someone told me that usually their Mother-in-Law brings them bags of courgettes and this year she has hardly enough for herself. The raspberries have been successful again, not many make it to the kitchen though. I love just to collect a handful as I pass by, nothing more yummy than fruit fresh off the bush.


So here endeth my July End of Month View. Again, thank you to Helen at Patient Gardener for hosting this exceptionally useful month by month meme.

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond. ©AarTeePhotography Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited

Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

This week the Photo Challenge proved to be slightly more difficult than I had envisaged.

What was the challenge?

Subtle, waning purple of a sunset; vibrant purple of grapes or eggplant – what kind of purple caught your photographic eye?

Share a picture that means PURPLE to you!

With my two main loves being gardening and photography, it was a no brainer deciding to take photos of the fabulous variety of purple shades of beautiful flowers.

Purples hues in the plant kingdom range from the red end of the colour spectrum through to blue, from plum to lavender – such a kaleidoscope of colour.

My difficulty was what to choose. So with a great deal of deliberation I have decided on just ten – hope you like them.

Did you know that in the world of the meaning of flowers, purple flowers send a message of pride, dignity and admiration.

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond. ©AarTeePhotography Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited


Garden blogging, Photography

Fleeting Moments

There are a few beautiful flowers that pass in a fleeting moment.   They frequently take a long time to open, staying in tight buds week on week and day after day.   Suddenly one morning, behind your back when you are not looking, they open and by the evening or the next day they are over.  The great thing is that they have more flowers to surprise you, so the whole plant flowers for some time, making the fleeting moment not so sad.

Some of the flowers that have fleeting moments over the Spring and Summer months in my garden are:-

  • Poppy

  • Peony

  • Day Lily

This one teased me for a long time as I waited daily for it to flower.

Even if it was for a fleeting moment, it was beautiful while it lasted.

What flowers do you have in your garden that pass in a fleeting moment?

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond. ©AarTeePhotography Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited

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Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside


The theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge is “Inside” – it comes with a photograph of the most delicious looking french pastry.   Unfortunately I don’t have any french pastries to cut in half, but I do have some home grown vegetables and fruit.

So, in three steps here is my contribution to the Weekly Photo Challenge.

First, this is how the challenge was laid down to us this week:

Inside. I like to snap multiple views of something and often the inside of something is even more interesting than the outside. This canelĂ© (a French pastry) was definitely worth photographing – I’ll remember all those nooks & crannies!

Share a picture that means INSIDE to you! 

New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Second, so you can see their insides, comes the dissecting of :-

–   A Carrot

–  A Broad Bean

– A Raspberry

Third, is guess what I am having for my supper this evening?! 🙂

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Garden blogging

The Day I Glimpsed the Olympic Torch

It would be hard to miss that London is hosting the Olympic  Games this year.   It is mentioned daily in the papers and the news, whether it’s TV or radio.   The build-up has been going on for what feels like months and I, for one, will be quite pleased when it is over.  I am suffering from Olympic overload before it has begun.

I am not a sports person, although I do watch the Men’s Final at Wimbledon, and I will not turn down an invitation to a 20:20 Cricket match – that’s exciting cricket because it is short.   I have even been to football games.   However, I doubt very much that I will spend from 27 July to 12 August watching the Olympics.   I am not one of the excited many who have tickets to watch in person, actually I can’t think of anything I would like least.

As for the Olympic Torch Relay, the excitement and media hype has left me cold – until today.

The Torch reached Crawley West Sussex this morning, which is where I work.  As I left the railway station just before 9:00 I was swept up by a group of people from work who, along with the crowd, were heading towards the town centre to “watch the Torch pass by”.   It was not my intention to stand on the roadside but I felt too embarrassed, and churlish I suppose, to turn them down and head speedily towards the office.

We walked en masse towards the route and stood expectantly for about 10 minutes, before a cheer rose in the crowd and faster than I could blink, let alone position my mobile (cell) phone, the Torch passed in a flash.     I was waiting for some sort of introductory fanfare, or the herald of its arrival, but because  where we chose to stand was part of the precinct no vehicles were with the runner.

It must be something to do with mass hysteria, but I did feel a sense of excitement and yes, I will admit to even a lump in my throat and I felt as though I was going to cry.  How mad is that?!

When I got to work convinced that I had failed to capture the Flame on camera, I was pleased to find that I did have a photo, albeit it a tiny dot just to the right of a head of hair.

The idea of transporting the Olympic Flame via a relay system from Greece to the Olympic venue began in 1936.  Since the 18 May, when it arrived on our shores, it has travelled through over 1,000 villages and cities.  Historically the route symbolises human achievement and the 8,000 torch bearers chosen are inspirational people nominated by someone they know.

There were many photographs of the Torch Relay this morning published on our work Intranet.  One summed up the pride of the chosen runners.

I don’t know the torch bearer’s name, or the reason for her nomination but the look on her face says it all.

I still won’t be glued to the television during the Games, but when I am an old lady I am glad I will be able to say “I saw the 2012 Olympic Torch”.