Now, however, I am stuck at Toronto Pearson, where the rain is lashing down and my British Airways flight has been delayed by the storm. Never mind...
I should first say a big thank-you to Pianolearner, who took most of these pictures. In my experience, one never gets around to taking pictures on open day, you're too busy doing other things. Pianolearner (aka known as the husband of Louise Curley, author of The Cut Flower Patch) has commented regularly over the years both on my blog and my daughter's blog, so it was great to meet him and Louise at last. I loved Louise's book, and would recommend it to anyone thinking of starting a cutting garden.
The picture above shows the alliums in flower, and the picture below (which is mine) shows the verbascums. The idea is that the purple shade at the centre of the verbascums picks up the colour of the alliums, but I didn't manage to get a proper picture of the two next door to each other.
This verbascum variety is 'Clementine', and it seems very reliable so far. If you cut down the flower spikes when they start to fade, you get a new flush - last year I had three lots of flowers.
The view looking up the garden. Immediately behind the house, the garden is much more formal and (hopefully) manicured. In the foreground is the "not-a-hedge", which is composed of fastigiate yew, white broom and phlomis, with assorted grasses and irises. I wanted some kind of demarcation here, but not a solid wall or hedge or fence.
This border includes Euphorbia characias subs wulfenii, which has gone bonkers this year. It looks terrific with the Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve', but the lime-green flower heads grew so big, they took a bit of a hammering in the wind and rain. The white is yet more white broom - Cytisus praecox albus.
The pond is beginning to look really established now. I've tweaked the planting a bit to include more big leaves, such as Rheum palmatum tanguticum and lots of hostas. The candelabra primroses were looking good just before I left, but unfortunately, the pictures are still on my phone.
This is the view looking down the garden to the pond. Earlier this spring, I planted two Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star' either side of the urn. Their blossom has faded and they are now in leaf, but the cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) is doing a great job of providing a flowery substitute.
I love succulents, and like to arrange them in shallow terracotta dishes. This is stonecrop, which most people regard as a bit of a pest in the garden, but it's fine in a pot, and looks great with sempervivum, as here, or with echeveria.
The colours of the stone wall suggested this colour scheme to me: the lichens turn the stone orange, white and black. Here the white flowers are Libertia grandiflora, the dark leaves are Sambucus nigra 'Black Tower' and the grasses are Stipa (or Nasella) tenuissima and Anemanthele lessoniana (formerly known as Stipa arundinacea).
I mentioned echeveria, and here is some, growing with Sedum reflexum 'Blue Carpet'. I don't know which variety this is, but I do have lots of different ones, and no, they don't all look alike!