Flowers and sunshine in an Irish cottage garden.

8 Jul


It’s hot in Ireland today. The heatwave is here. Hottest place in the country today is Listowel, Co. Kerry…29 degrees celsius. Too hot for us fair skinned Irish. I love to see the Sun and feel it’s heat but that just stops me in my tracks. I’ve been hoeing in the yard today…it’s a great time for that as the weeds just burn up in the sun. A few minutes hoeing and a few minutes in the shade…that’s me today.


The garden is looking good right now. So many Bees and other insects about. They especially like this tall Valerian. There’s a loud hum everytime I pass here as they complain about being disturbed from their ecstasy.

It’s a plant I  like too…I love it’s height and the fact that you can see through it to the rest of the garden. I think Verbena bonariensis would look nice amongst the Valerian here…a nice contrasting colour and similar habit.  What do you think?


A plant which was here in the garden is this Cephalaria gigantea. I wasn’t familiar with it before now but I do like it.


It’s almost 6ft tall with creamy yellow Scabious like flowers. Apparently it grows easily from seed. I shall certainly save some and grow some more of this lovely.


Lady’s Mantle…Alchemilla mollis is at it’s peak right now. It contrasts lovely with this pink perennial Geranium at the base of the Apple tree….but then it would be hard to find something that didn’t look good alongside the wonderful zingy green flowers of Lady’s Mantle. I know some people dislike it but for me it’s a star in any border.


Another pretty one growing in the Orchard area. I don’t know it’s name…anyone out there know? Someone said to me recently to pull it out as it spreads like mad. I hadn’t the heart to pull it…if it spreads so be it.


The first Dahlia flowered today. The dark foliage sets off the orange flower brilliantly. I keep all the Dahlias in pots as I find they die over the Winter otherwise. The pots are useful to use as fillers where any gaps occur.


Hypericum has just started to bloom under the Alder tree. It seems to like the semi-shade here.


I planted this Primula vialii here a few weeks ago not knowing that the little leaves growing beside it would turn out to be a lovely little native Orchid. Nature does it best…what a good pairing they make.


Another recent purchase was this Primula florindae “Kellour hybrid”…I do love the taller growing Primulas. This one is scented and smells just like cinnamon.


A few flowers in the polytunnel too. These are Purple Teepee beans…


and this Bush Tomato is showing the promise of fruits to come.


In a corner of the polytunnel this Thunbergia is flashing it’s eye catching blooms. Commonly known as Black Eyed Susan it needs a sheltered sunny spot. It can grow up to 10ft tall and flowers from July right up to October.

So there you have it…flowers and sunshine in an Irish cottage garden.


38 Responses to “Flowers and sunshine in an Irish cottage garden.”

  1. Ena Ronayne July 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Way too hot here too! Are we ever happy with our lot when it comes to the weather in Ireland? Like you too I was in and out of the shade like a jack in the box so gave up in the end as got a tad frustrated. Loving your snaps and I too adore Alchemilla mollis ~ can’t understand anyone not liking it….

    • bridget July 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

      Someone visiting recently said “I suppose you’ll be taking out all that old Lady’s Mantle.” There is an over abundance of it here but a lot of it will be staying.

  2. The Earth Beneath My Feet July 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Lovely and lush!

    • bridget July 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

      It is just the best time of year. Everywhere looks good.

  3. sknicholls July 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    I love that the water lilies are blooming and the Queen Ann’s Lace reminds me so much of my childhood. We would stick the blossoms to our lapels like a brioche and wear them, or stand them in food coloring treated water to watch them turn colors over the days.

  4. Anne Wilson July 8, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    It was nice to meet you on Sat. Your garden is looking great, could the white flower be Woodruff? I cant see the leaves in the photo.

    • bridget July 9, 2013 at 8:29 am #

      Great to meet you both too. I think the flowers are actually smaller than Woodruff. My camera isn’t great at taking close up pics.

    • bridget July 17, 2013 at 9:45 am #

      On closer inspection i think you are correct Anne…it is Woodruff.

  5. Flâneur Gardener July 9, 2013 at 3:44 am #

    I’ve gone out of my way to BUY Lady’s Mantle for my garden; I think it’s such a great plant, and it makes a perfect groundcover for slightly more leggy plants. And it looks perfect on an early morning when the sunshine picks out the dew drops on the leaves…

    • bridget July 9, 2013 at 8:33 am #

      I love it too but I suppose we can’t all like the same things. I must admit I’m taking a lot out of this garden to make room for other things. It self seeds like mad.

      • Flâneur Gardener July 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

        I have 1250 square meters of garden to fill, so “self seeds like mad” sounds good to me – and my budget… I want to get rid of as much lawn as possible, so perennials that can compete with weeds are definitely de rigeur in my holiday home garden!

      • bridget July 9, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

        Lady’s Mantle is certainly a plant to consider then. Also perennial Geraniums, Valerian and Shasta Daisies. All of these do really well in our garden.

      • Flâneur Gardener July 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

        I already have some perennial geraniums, though I need to give them better conditions so they will do better, and I also have valerian growing winld in my lawn – and anywhere else it can put down a seed.

  6. crabandfish July 9, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Bridget, your garden is looking lush and beautiful – enjoy your wonderful summer!

  7. madcrowherbals July 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    Some beautiful work you’ve been doing both in growing and capturing it here as well. Thanks for sharing. Hope you’re enjoying the summer.


    • bridget July 9, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      We certainly are Michael. Weather is fab right now…29 celsius today. I got up early in the morning to do sure garden work. Stopped at 8.30 as it was too hot.

  8. SmallHouseBigGarden July 9, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    It looks so warm and sunny! I can tell your flowers are THRILLED! Everything is so lovely!

    • bridget July 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      Really enjoying the good weather. We were due it after the recent bad Summers.

  9. Sarah July 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    That’s a lovely collection of plants you have in the garden – were some of them there already when you moved in, or have you planted them all yourself?

    • bridget July 17, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      It’s a mixture Sarah. All the trees were of course here, the flowers are a mix, some were here some I planted. The Cephalaria and the perennial Geranium were here already, also Lady’s Mantle.

  10. Kevin July 10, 2013 at 12:53 am #

    Everything has grown so nicely. It looks magical!

    • bridget July 10, 2013 at 7:42 am #

      The weather this year has helped to get lots done. We’re quite pleased as we only moved here in February to an overgrown neglected garden.

      • Kevin July 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

        It’s fun to be able to watch your process. Well done!

  11. susiestories July 10, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Beautiful photos, Bridget, and a stunning new garden combining what you inherited in it and what you’ve done to it – all very fab. Can you beam some of it down to my little corner? It is the result of dedication and hard work – that’s plain to see. Well done, both of you!

    • bridget July 10, 2013 at 10:31 am #

      Thanks Susie! Always lots of cuttings and plants to be had. Happy, exciting and wonderful travels to you. Enjoy!

  12. islandthreads July 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Bridget everything is looking sooo good in your garden and I am sooo envious of the cephalaria, I bought 2 two years ago and one didn’t come back last year the other is still there but still small, I love A. mollis, as you say it goes with everything, it even stands it’s ground against the horrid tough grass I have in my garden, Frances
    p.s. sorry if this finally shows up about 600 times but my comment just isn’t showing though I posted it last night and now a few moments ago again, I’ve logged out of wordpress to see if that helps, F.

    • bridget July 10, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      Hopefully your Cephalaria will come on. It’s really lovely. I like plants with an airy feel to them. No one will turn me off the beloved Lady’s Mantle…I love it. It a real garden workhorse.

  13. islandthreads July 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    tada!! finally, it asked me to login as it posted but at last!! yours isn’t the only blog this happened on it happened on 2 others but on one my comment showed this morning, F.

    • bridget July 10, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      I have no probs commenting on wordpress blogs but blogger now that’s another days work…

      • islandthreads July 10, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

        I don’t usually have a problem Bridget, one person said she found my comments in her spam folder, I only comment on blogger blogs that allow name and url, I’m not loging in to google and I’m not giving google access to my wordpress account via open id, Frances

  14. linniew July 12, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    I love your accepting attitude toward volunteer plants Bridget. And I cast another positive vote for Lady’s Mantle–I love it and transplant the extras to new places. All is looking lovely in your gardens. And I share your feelings about hot days!

  15. Pam's English Garden July 13, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Bridget, Hard to believe you have worked your garden for such a short time — it is looking great. I agree about the verbina. I have some planted with cleome and love how it reaches above with its delicate flowers. Our weather is HOT, humid, and very rainy, so gardening is difficult. Now I must check on the Thunbergia that I planted near a pole that supports a bluebird house to see if its as tall as yours. Love the basket-like support you used. P. x

    • bridget July 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

      A lot of the work was done here Pam…it had been neglected for a couple of years though so we’ve been bringing it back under control. Also took out a lot of stuff and put in my own plants. Gave a lot of plants to friends.

  16. Donna@Gardens Eye View July 13, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    Bridget, this fair Irish skin here does not like our very hot humid weather here…love the Cephalaria gigantea and it does seed everywhere.

    • bridget July 14, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

      A little cooler in Ireland today. Happy for more Cephalaria to seed itself here.

  17. Mominthegarden July 16, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Hi Bridget! Long may the good weather last! 😉 The hardest part is making sure everything in the garden has enough water. Lady’s mantle is the plant I was trying to name in one of your other posts – so glad to finally learn that! I love the bright green color. Your garden is looking just beautiful! Dana

    • bridget July 16, 2013 at 10:55 am #

      Thanks Dana! Looks like the good weather is to last until August and maybe beyond. The slightly cooler days of this week are more conducive to garden work.

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