I don't know whether it constitutes some sort of pay-off after all that bloody snow we had, but my garden seems to be uncommonly perky this summer.
Of course, actually having weather which qualifies as summer helps. We're in the middle of the warmest, driest stretch of summer that I can remember for some years. So much so that as soon as I've put this piece together and uploaded it, I'm going to have to get the watering can out again.
This is - inter alia - what I shall be sprinkling:
I'm still not sure how I acquired antirrihum (and less sure still how I acquired the ability to spell it correctly at least two times out of five). They first appeared in a disused flower bed next to the side path of the house about five years ago. They at this point inhabiting the category of 'weed' (defined as "any plant in the wrong place"), I attempted to transplant them to the flower bed next to the south wall of the house but suspected that I'd killed them off completely. Not so, as they came through strongly the next year, and for three years after that. However, that main plant seems to have died this year. No matter, because they somehow got themselves propagated to by the front doorstep, where you now see them in their pink (and white) glory.
I had feared that, having been a victim of the notorious Good Friday Avalanche, my peony wouldn't recover. I needn't have worried - it's back in all its spiffiness. The cotoneaster next to it, however, is a bit of a splayed-out mess now, and it'll need some radical cutting once the season's done.
This rose bush had, in the previous couple of years, been a bit of a disappointment but then, I thought, what can you reasonably expect from something which cost a quid from Wilkos? This summer, however, it's shouting a bit more.
I'd had a lavender bush here for years, but it had been neglected to the stage where it was all wood and no blooms. So I dug it out and replaced it with a French lavender bush (the only sort I could get at short notice), which promptly gave a Gallic shrug and died after one year (clearly prefering le néant to L'Être). So I bought a stout, yeoman-like English lavender which, in its second (or is it third? I'm losing track of these things) summer has expanded in all directions, as you can see.
In addition, my Geranium platypetalum 'Turco' in the corner bed where the main path meets the path to the front door has produced more flowers this year than ever before. A delight for the eye, and for the bumble-bees who can't keep away from them.
It's not all success, though. The buddleia globosa has been its customary disappointment again; it may be growing on old wood and will have to be viciously pruned, even though that will leave a large gap in the hedge to further encourage the anti-social arseholes hereabouts who already shove their cans, bottles, crisp packets and what-'ave-'ew through it. The philadelphus seems similarly ill-inclined to flower, the second successive year it will have failed me. The weigala round the back doesn't seem to have taken much encouragement from the fact that it no longer has a shed leaning on it, and has produced no more than half a dozen flowers. Again, some work with the saw may be needed as autumn nears.
Still an' all, it's looking pretty good this year. Now, if you'll excuse me, Culpability Brown needs to get his watering can out...