Poppies, Peonies and Roses

Upper Green garden looks wonderful in June- I should find more time to sit and enjoy the colour, scent and sheer abundance in the garden. The oriental poppies are opening and although short-lived, I do love their fragile crinkled flowers. I have lost some – I suspect they did not like the wet winters in our heavy clay, or perhaps it was just old age. I shall replace them. The deep crimson and orange poppies all look great with purple or deep blue flowers. Pale pink ‘Allegro’, which is considerably more subtle, reminds me of the poppy that my Auntie B grew in Northern Ireland and passed on to me. I grew it for a number of years, but then it disappeared. ‘Allegro’ is a fitting reminder.


The peonies are opening and, to my relief, the two that I moved in the autumn are looking healthy, although they are not flowering. The blowsy pink flowers of Paeonia lactiflora ‘Bowl of Beauty’ have a remarkable inner froth of creamy petals- all very over the top and a complete contrast to the simplicity of the white flowers of Paeonia lactiflora ‘Jan Van Leeuwen’. But I don’t mind some froth and frills at this time of year.

The roses are going to be wonderful. I have been particularly struck by the magnificence of Rosa ‘Scarlet Fire’ (Scharlachglut) which I bought from Roses du Temps Passé in September 1988. According to the catalogue, which I have kept all these years, it is a modern shrub rose with “strong arching growth” (7 foot x 6 foot). I planted it under a damson tree and the ‘arching growth’ has scrambled high into the tree so now the glorious large single velvety crimson flowers are visible some 20 feet up. It has definitely exceeded expectations.