It’s been a bit hectic recently. I've been galloping round Britain visiting plant breeders, nurseries, gardens, family and friends - I did more than twice as many miles as usual - and readying the house for some major building work.
I saw some impressive new Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum) on trial (above, click to enlarge), a field of 10,000 buddleias, a delightful new fragrant verbena, grafted melons, hundreds of different heucheras, some dramatic variegated euphorbias and variegated phlox, cultivated wildflowers like a field of jewels, spectacular angel pelargoniums for patios, and much more. And the first two weeks was accompanied by the superb BBC radio coverage of the Olympics on the car radio.
I’ll be bringing you more on these sights and discoveries, but it wasn’t just the nurseries and gardens that held so much appeal. After a very wet summer the roadsides were unusually colourful for August with scabious in particular in clouds of soft blue.
And one of the last roadside flowers I saw on the road to the airport to fly out from the US was also one of the first I saw after landing in Britain. The perennial pea, Lathyrus latifolius, was sprawled through the roadside grasses on both sides of the Atlantic having spread from gardens far from its natural habitat in Southern Europe and North Africa. I shot the picture on a steep skope in British a gale when I feared rolling down into the traffic (rifght, click to enlarge). But I was also able to cut spikes from the blushed white form growing in our English garden (once I’d untwisted the bindweed) which made a prettty posie with some pink rosebuds.