This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Friday, 6 July 2012

Summer Showers Bring More Flowers?

Every year I try growing a few new plants (flowers and veg). I never thought I'd have the patience to grow biennials as they take two years to complete their biological life cycle and only begin to flower in their second year (then they die down and that's it). Always seemed like alot of work, however, I ended up with some Canterbury Bell seed and here's the result.

VarietyCanterbury Bells Mixed, (Hardy Biennial), Thompson & Morgan seeds.  Sown 8 April 2011 indoor (only 25% germination). Hardened off Spring 2011 and grown outside in pots until Spring 2012 when they were planted into the borders. Now flowering in their 2nd year.

July seems to be keeping with the rain theme. Updates on July flowers are included below. Delphinium are looking good, however, windy conditions have made it really difficult for tall plants. I've been staking like mad and putting string around plants but of course there's always some damage. 
Above: I've ended up with three white flowering Canterbury Bell and one purple flowering plant - mixed seed packs are potluck really!
Below: Photo taken a few days earlier when the Canterbury Bells hadn't started flowering yet. (The border seems to dominated by pink and purple - purely by accident.)
Above and Below: Delphinium are in flower. Grown from seed a number of years ago.
Above: More Delphinium - I really like the light blue colour. For those who haven't been able to grow lupin or delphinium - once they are established the plants naturally overcome any slug or snail attacks. As young plants (first few years), however, they need TLC or slugs will do away with them completely.
Above and Below: The Snapdragon and Silverdust flower beds, with climbing beans on tripods in the middle. Regretfully the climbing beans aren't doing too great. (I blame it on the weather rather than my planting arrangement lol.)
The Silverdust are still trying to flower yellow - or maybe that is their flower? (I've never seen flowering Silverdust). I do like the look the little yellow flowers.
Enjoy July in the Garden!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. The Canterbury Bells are lovely, I've never grown them before. I don't grow biennials either but I thought I may grow some Sweet Williams and Stocks this year. Saying that, I still haven't sown them, I must get round to it soon.

  2. Summer showers would be good but our shower is lasting all day today. So its summer rain brings slugs and snails and frustrated gardeners.

    The flowers are lovely

  3. Love the Delphiniums. My dad always grew fantastic delphiniums but I never seem to get them past that slug and snail stage.

  4. I grew Canterbury Bells many years ago, must give them another go. Your delphiniums look wonderful. I've got two growing in pots at the moment. They were just coming into bloom, so I moved them into the greenhouse to escape today's deluge. Must remember to move them back outside tomorrow, or the slugs and snails will get them.

  5. It has been a great year for delphs this year except for the rain bashing them down.

  6. Your canterbury bells are just beautiful! I have always shied away from biennials, too. Seems like too much waiting, but your pictures of those blooms might just convince me that I'm wrong! I'm also a bit jealous of your delphiniums. Your garden looks lovely, and not heat-stressed like mine is right now!

  7. Wow, I love those Canterbury bells and that border is just beautiful. Love the delphiniums, too; both shades of blue are really pretty. Your July garden is gorgeous!

  8. I tend to agree, biennials are a bit of a pain. Maybe we should plant them every year, then have some maturing each year? I tried Canterbury bells one time with no luck, but I think they require more shade than I have here. Delphinums don't like me. But I suppose I could treat them as annuals, because that's all they do here!

  9. With the amount of rain you have had recently you must be considering growing Water-lilies next year!

  10. OMgosh! I have been in love with Canterbury Bells since I was a child. The nuns at my school use to show pictures of their old gardens. One had pictures of Canterbury Bells and I fell immediately in love. Yours are absolutely smashing! Not to take away from your Delphinium because they are also striking. I wonder if they will grow in Texas.... :)

    Have been hearing about all the rain on your side of the world. I hope that it is not causing damage.

  11. Wow. SO envious of your rain. Here in Tennessee, USA we haven't had any rain to speak of in more than a month -- and temps have been hovering in record territory around 100F (38C) lately.

    So looking at your beautiful flower photos felt so cool and refreshing!

  12. So beautiful!! Canterbury Bells don't do well here. I really love how soft your border is. :o)

  13. Yes your garden is beautiful! forgot to mention my ancestors are from the southeast part of Ireland.:)