A promise of blue … and pink too

I haven’t posted in a while as our stuff from Bonn arrived (three weeks later than scheduled), and we’ve been occupied unpacking and reorganizing. And almost without our realizing it, spring is over and summer heat, at least at midday, is upon us, though mornings and evenings are always pleasantly cool.

The garden’s sea of yellow is quite over. All the early spring flowers have set seed and gone dry. I’m glad not to have immediately set about mowing the garden, as the sparrows are having a wonderful time in the low dry brush of spent flowers. They hover in, flapping their wings rapidly like hummingbirds (I’d never imagined sparrows could do this!) – in twos or threes – and land very gently on an upright dry stem, presumably to survey the most desirable feeding places. And then all of a sudden they would swoop down for a nosh.

Surprisingly the pyramid orchids are still stalwartly blooming, unfazed by the heat of the day. There are a few remaining yellow flowers – egg-yolk bright Blackstonia perfoliata, whose blue-green leaves reminded me of a cerinthe’s, and a primrose-coloured daisy, primrose (on the inside), purple (on the outside). The daisies look like Transvaal daisies; pity they’ve been lumbered with the ungainly name of Urospermum delachampii.

The garden now promises a wave of pale blue and pink flowers — the pink from countless field scabious, Scabiosa columbaria, and the blue from wild chicory, Chicorum intibus. I have always admired their powdery blue flowers on curiously zigzagging stems – always two at each node, with a flower bud at each fork. (Btw, I got these names from various sites, so if I’ve got them wrong, do please correct me. I’d be very grateful.)

In Bonn, they grew on the verges near the house, and I had wanted to collect a few seeds to grow in the garden, but I was always too late. Someone always got there ahead of me – cutting the plants down to the ground. It appears I have what I had long wished for – my own pale blue haze of wild chicory. And all of it without having sown one seed.

Yesterday, in the midst of unpacking, I took a few minutes to play – putting the chicory and field scabious together in a vase. I couldn’t resist adding a charming pink convolvulus as well. The convolvulus have been blooming non-stop since spring. The chicory indoors stayed open much longer than those outdoors, though closed down for the night. The field scabious, though, promises to be a good cut flower: they stayed open throughout and are still open this morning.

Wishing you all a lovely summer’s day! Mine started out with a hoopoe fluttering in to the window and through the veranda. What an incredibly beautiful bird!



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