Tuesday 17 May 2011

Edibles and garden flowers......

When I first spotted the bright green frog sitting on the side of the pond, I was curious. Could it be?? After a little research, I came to the conclusion that it is the 'edible frog' They are found in scattered colonies in SE UK. I have only seen one so far, but maybe there are others living in the ditch along the back of the garden. Interesting.......

The dry warm weather has brought many plants into bloom. Angelica has the most wonderful scent and draws many beneficial insects into the garden.

London Pride and Pheasant Grass. I love this magical combination.

When I was a child, I would spot London Pride in many a garden. Now I rarely see it. It seems to have gone out of fashion. I shall increase my stock.......I love this plant.

Rhododendrons are in bloom and keeping the bumbles happy.
Red Campion is also a favourite. When the seedheads start to form, I shall chop the plants to the ground.....they will soon put on a second show of flowers that usually lasts until the first frosts.
Aquilegia 'Green Apples' is such a sweet little flower. I grew the originals from seed and now have them dotted all through the borders.
Lupins are absolute stars this Spring. This is a particular favourite. I really like the colour combination.

Tradescantia x andersoniana 'Zwanenburg Blue'. I adore this plant. I remember seeing this in my Grandmothers garden. Again it appears to have gone out of favour. Why??
The blooms are just so beautiful, and the colour, such an intense shade of blue.

I love these old cottage garden plants.....but then I am an old fashioned girl.

How about you? Have you a favourite cottage garden plant, that has gone out of fashion? I would love to know.........the more detail, the better.


  1. I have an old fashioned plain green hosta that no one really likes. I have a huge amount of it becasue I love the way it stands up to the weather, flood or drought. When it blooms you realize why they are called plantain lilies. They smell heavenly and the flower looks like a small lily. You should see the bees and hummingbirds flock to this beauty. The bumbles can hide in the blooms. Your frog reminds me of a time when I went frog gigging with my Dad. I wasn't invited to go back with him becasue I was too talkative. Imagine that. tee hee.

  2. Hi Cheryl...Well do I have to explain how much I like your frog hahaha!!
    I don't the word edible though :{ he is to cute!!
    The Hollyhock, Sweet Williams, Delphinium, and the tall Sweet Peas!!
    Jonquil and Narcissus!! These don't seem to be as popular in the gardens here!!
    The Hollyhock is my favorite...but because of heights it grows to I think people tend to stay from it !!
    My Grandmother's and Aunts always had them growing next to the house or outbuildings on the farm especially!!
    I always admired them and, have a few growing in my garden,but they don't grow like the past gardener...perhaps it was the cow manure that was accessible from the farms!! Good stuff!!

    Your plants again are lovely...careful now tip toeing around the garden in your slippers and nightwear hahahaha!! Love~ Grace

    plants are agin

  3. Lisa,

    Thank you for such an interesting comment.
    I can only imagine the hummingbird and the plantain bloom, how wonderful. I was surprised when I read that it stands up to drought. I always thought they were lovers of moist soil.......interesting.

    Too talkative, surely not!!!

  4. Hi Grace,

    Hollyhocks are beautiful and yes I am sure you are right, cow muck would be perfect for them.
    I do not grow them. My garden is in a very windy area, so they would be blown down. They also suffer with rust.....have you had that problem with yours?? My Grandmother grew them in her cottage garden, so very lovely towering above all the other plants.....

    Sweet peas are the best. I have planted a dozen plants this year......so looking forward to smelling that heady fragrance as I walk the garden (in my dressing gown and slippers of course) Ha!!

  5. I'm curious about the "edible frog"--does that mean some people might think of him as a delicacy? I know you're not a meat-eater, but even though I am, there are certain things I just won't eat for psychological or other reasons--veal, lamb, rabbit, and yes, frogs, to name a few:)

    Cheryl, you know I'm an old-fashioned girl, too. I'm not sure why certain plants go out of "fashion," but I think fashion has a way of going in circles, so that what might be considered outdated now will one day be all the rage again. Geraniums, or pelaragoniums, are pretty mundane to some people, but I love them and always have some in containers in the summer. Probably my favorite old-fashioned flower, though, is the hollyhock. I've mentioned before the sentimental attachment I have to them, remembering how I used to make dolls out of the blooms when a child. Nowadays what you usually see in catalogs are hybrids with double flowers, but my old single blooms are considered "heirlooms" now:)

    Beautiful lupins! Wish I could grow them here.

  6. Hi Rose,

    To be absolutely truthful I am not sure but I do believe they may be eaten in some European countries. France, of course, is well known for eating frogs legs. I agree Rose, I most certainly could not eat a frog.....lets leave it at that.

    Hollyhocks are certainly beautiful and I,like you, love the single blooms. The simplicity speaks volumes. I remember reading that yours are very special to you. I have a feeling that they will come back into fashion in the not too distant future.

    I love my lupins. They are stunning at the moment....dozen and dozens of blooms. I love the fragrance.......

  7. More stunning pictures Cheryl, I love the Angelica and the aquilegia is such a beautiful shade, another one for the wish list!
    Like others I have a big soft spot for hollyhocks and I agree that the single blooms are so much more beautiful than the frilly modern ones. I actually had some difficulty finding single ones. I also love foxgloves, roses and heartsease. And clematis and all the wonderful herbs like lavender, sage, rosemary and hyssop.
    I have always enjoyed the informal beauty of cottage gardens. We live very close to Charleston House which has one of my favourite gardens, a beautiful walled cottage garden where apple trees and vegetables intermingle perfectly with herbs and flowers. Have you ever been? it's very lovely.

    I hope you, your plants and the lovely frogs are enjoying the first bit of rain. xxx

  8. Dear Cheryl,
    Your gardens are a national treasure! Growing the heirlooms and natives is so important for the bees and butterflies. Sometimes the blooms are not as showy as the hybrids but the old fashions are full of pollen and nectar. Many of the nursery plants are sterile!
    I grow lots of unpopular and out of fashion bushes and plants. The Paw-Paw is a bush, native to my area, and is the only host plant for the Zebra Swallowtail. When the paw-paw went out of style and home owners began tearing out the old bushes the numbers of the Zebra Swallowtail began to decline. I grow as many host plants as I can. I love seeing the leaves being eaten!
    Wonderful post!

  9. Lovely little frog Cheryl!

    I too have Tradascantia in my garden, it is a lovely plant. I don't think 'fashion' should have any place when it comes to plants and gardens. I hate being manipulated by advertisers, growers etc.!

    My Mother always grew London Pride when I was a child but I was never able to find it in the local garden centres then one day it popped under the fence from my neighbour and I have grown it ever since :)

  10. Hi Lucinda,

    Hollyhocks seem to be topping the charts at the moment. Everyone seems to have a soft spot for them.

    Remember I will always send you seeds.....just let me know which you would like.

    No, I have never been to Charleston House. I shall have to visit at some point. Tku for the recommendation.

    Have a lovely weekend......

  11. Dear Sherry,

    Thank you.

    How sad that people removed the paw paw from their gardens. They probably did not realise this plant was the Zebra Swallowtail's caterpillar food source. I am glad you are there, it always give me hope knowing you are helping the bugs......long may we both do so.

    I keep stinging nettles in the garden. They are the host for many native butterflies.....

    Have a lovely weekend and hope by now it is a little warmer!!

  12. I agree Jan. I never follow fashion in any way shape or form. I buy what I like.......not what fashion dictates.
    I remember in my teens I never followed the crowd. I always dressed as an individual.......I still do. This weekend I am going to York Minster, to a conert. I shall be wearing a 'copy' vintage 40's dress. Such fun.....

    I love the story about the London Pride that popped through the fence. Isn't that just the best......

    Have a lovely weekend Jan and tku for dropping by.....

  13. Hi Cheryl,

    Glad to see the Angelica is in bloom, mine is also about to bloom and was quite grumpy when leaving for Norfolk thinking that I would miss it blooming but I am in luck and think it will bloom within a couple of days.

    My Lupins are blooming too and look stunning, I will definitely be cracking out the camera for some shots of it, and then will chop mine back to get another flush later in the year :)

    My favourite cottage garden plant?? Mmmmmm I haven't enough experience really. But do love my Oxalis, which is rarely seen... They don't seem to be too happy here though so I haven't seen it blooming for a couple of years now :(

  14. Dear Cheryl, Edible~I don't want to know if it means what I think it means~But it is beautiful. My goal this summer is to attract frogs and toads to my dry shade! Wish me luck! I am a species plant fan and I find the unnamed echinaceas/coneflowers so much prettier then the cultivars and hybrids that are everywhere. I feel that way about many plants and those are the ones that are in my garden, survive extreme weather and attract bees, butterflies and other critters. gail

  15. Beautiful images as always Cheryl. Your frog has a most enigmatic smile with a 'please do not consume' plea in its eyes. Kent is home to Marsh frogs too - apprently eating up the rest of the herpetofauna.
    Specially taken with 'London Pride' - made for my garden! Would place in front of grasses just as you have - picture perfect.

  16. I don't know if it has gone out of favor, but my favorite is Arnold's Promise, a witch hazel that gives us a burst of color and wonderful scent in the dead of winter. Its February blossoms let me believe spring will come again.

  17. Edible frog? It's really cute--I hope you aren't going to eat it! ;-)