14th July 2016

Gooseberries - July 2016

You may be wondering why I'm leading with a picture of a collection of gooseberries this week? Well, typical British summertime has resumed as you'll see from some of the shots below...

First though, these gooseberries were harvested before the rain arrived, and are fresh from the garden, dirt and all! I thought they'd make a change from my usual flora or fauna Image of the Week, and bring another 'F' to the party in the shape of Fruit.

Raindrop Laden - July 2016

I usually shoot the majority of my weekly article images on a Sunday, but this week it was horrendous, and never stopped raining. However, not one to shy away from a bit of wet, I endeavoured to bring you a snapshot of my morning photo shoot, where pretty much everything looked like the shrub above.

Wet Sycamore - July 2016

Not only was it wet, but it was also windy, and there were Sycamore tree leaves strewn all across the garden lawn, the wind having prematurely detached them from their branches.

Raindrops - July 2016

I must admit that raindrops do have the ability to bring interest to the more mundane of subjects, as both the Sycamore leaf and this Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus) leaf show.

Saturated Feather - July 2016

Even this lone white feather looks somewhat artistic with the water drops magnifying the vanes.

Wild and Wet - July 2016

Things really get interesting when raindrops combine with something that is already inherently beautiful. Take this Wild Rose (Rosa) for instance.

Damp Primrose Patches - July 2016

Subjects that can be quite difficult to capture, suddenly become much more interesting, like this Evening Primrose (Oenothera) bloom.

Wet Welsh - July 2016

And subjects such as this Welsh Poppy (Meconopsis cambrica) are really enhanced when they get a sprinkling of raindrops.

Raindrops on Roses - July 2016

Of course, Julie Andrews famously sang about Raindrops on Roses in The Sound of Music, so I'm not going to argue with that...

Pink Pelargonium - July 2016

...although they look just as beautiful on Pelargoniums, but I guess the lyrics just didn't scan quite so well!

White and Wet - July 2016

It's not just pink Pelargoniums they look good on either!

Crocosmia Drops - July 2016

As the rain came down, I soldiered on, wondering if it would dry up before I finished my photo shoot. It didn't! The water dropets seemed to cling to every available surface of these Crocosmia Lucifer flower buds.

Soaked Lavender - July 2016

The poor Lavender (Lavandula) had only just opened up, and was getting a proper soaking. Lavender is known for liking hot and dry conditions, so I don't know what it will be making of the weather.

Ragwort Winner - July 2016

The Ragwort (Senecio) was just starting to open up this week, no doubt spurred on by last week's more summer like weather. Bet it wishes it had stayed closed up!

Hydrangea Head - July 2016

One category of plants that were really enjoying the wet weather were the Hydrangeas. This big blue Mophead Hydrangea was covered in dozens of large bract balls just like this one. Blue flowers are obtained by planting in acidic soil, while pinker flowers are obtained by planting in alkaline soil.

I'm not sure what's going on in dad's garden though, as he has blue and pink hydrangeas side by side, and hasn't done anything with the soil!

Pink Bract - July 2016

The Lacecap Hydrangeas were also doing very nicely too, and as you can see, this one is pink.

Colouring Bract - July 2016

Here's another one, from a different, but nearby plant, that doesn't seem to have made up its mind yet.

White Moth Orchid - July 2016

I finally had to admit defeat, as the rain came down ever heavier, and ended up indoors, surveying the house plants. This Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis) has been putting on a beautiful display after reverting to its white colouring this year. It had originally been dyed blue when first purchased, but looks much better in its natural colour.

Waxy Anthurium - July 2016

This is the second year of flowering for this Anthurium, which I first posted about in this article last year. It has only gone without flowers for a few weeks in the past 18 months, which I find quite remarkable.

The Cat on the Mat - June 2016

With all of the wind and rain, I couldn't persuade my furry friend to join me in the garden, so here's a shot of him enjoying his favourite carpet, partaking in his favourite pastime a couple of weeks ago.

Zinnia Pink - July 2016

So, what's been going on in my own garden? Well, my first Zinnias have begun flowering. I sowed these as seeds back in April, and they're now putting on a fine display.

Dahlia Nuit D'Ete - July 2016

The star of my garden at the moment is this Dahlia Nuit D'Ete, which I believe translates to Dahlia Summer Night. At over a metre in height, and covered in flower buds, it is going to be stunning.

Sunflower Awakening - July 2016

It won't be long either until my garden is full of dwarf Sunflowers (Helianthus), also grown from seed at the same time as the Zinnias.

Yellow Dahlia - July 2016

I rescued this Dahlia 'Happy Days' from the garden centre. It had been wind damaged, and was on sale for £2.50. I couldn't resist trying to save it, and after a quick trim to remove the broken stems, it's now sending up lots of new flower buds, and should continue to do so all summer long if I keep dead heading it.

Pretty Pansy - July 2016

Finally, probably the prettiest flower in my garden at the moment is this multi-coloured Pansy (Viola tricolor). I'm particularly pleased how good it looks against my garden shed, which I've recently painted black.

So, this week my Image of the Week is Gooseberries, simply because it's something different to what I usually post...