Mid-July is truly the middle of summer in North Hatley, Quebec, when both the flowers in the garden at Glen Villa and the wildflowers in the fields strut their stuff.
The Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ at The Aqueduct is still blooming, a month after it began. The Eremurus ‘Cleopatra’ that provided such a wonderful vertical accent has faded now, but its candles remained lit for several weeks. Only in the last few days have they been extinguished.
Nearby, a clematis (Clematis ‘Inspiration’) with the same colour tonality as the Nepeta is blooming its heart out.
And in the Lower Garden, Geranium ‘Roxanne’ continues the colour theme.
In contrast, an unnamed daylily is blooming peacefully in a shady area in the Lower Garden.
About a dozen years ago, I started Inula helenium ‘Goliath’ from seed. I planted the seedlings at the edge of the Lower Garden and moved them to the lake bank a few years later. But surprise! They have made their appearance in the Lower Garden again this summer, adding a spot of yellow to brighten the darkness beyond.
The pink blooms of the sedum growing on top of a gabion wall contrast sharply with the orange portulaca I added earlier this year. It’s a strange colour combination but somehow it pleases me.
Up at the Skating Pond, Iris setosa are blooming beside a large flat rock. The turtle who lives in the pond occasionally suns himself on that rock, and I count myself lucky that I was able to photograph him with the iris in bloom.
I’m happy with the flowers that I’ve planted, particularly with the Nepeta at the Aqueduct. I’m struck by how the colour shifts with changing light levels, in sunlight appearing purple, in low light more intensely blue.
But the flowers that win my heart are the wild ones. They are growing now in great abundance in the fields and woods around us, and have been for several months. The wildflowers of June — the lupins …
and fleabane (what an unfortunate name for such a lovely little plant)
have given way to golden-hued grasses …
dotted with a scabious that grew from seeds I gathered and spread five or six years ago.
In other fields wild achillea has seeded itself …
… along with a yellow flower that I haven’t yet identified. (Can you help?)
In the woods and at woodland edges, white flowers are growing. Some are delicate, like the Oxalis, or common wood sorrel, growing on a clump of moss.
Others are taller and more vigourous.
But the most prominent now is the yellow bedstraw that is blooming everywhere, its scent almost overpowering in the sunshine.
Combined with the russet tones of switch grass, the fields bring impressionist paintings to mind. These, it seems, are the planting patterns that many gardeners are trying to emulate. With every view I tell myself how fortunate I am that at Glen Villa the patterns appear with no effort on my part.
The sweeps and intermingled masses aren’t naturalistic, they are natural. But those strange silver columns are not.
So what are they?
I’ll soon have news about them and the project they are part of. Coming soon… so keep in touch!