Can't think how the bucket got in the picture. An outward and visible sign of my worries? These, today, are all about yellow.
Just Joey , a hybrid tea rose bred by Cants roses in 1972 is very 1970s. The colour is coppery orange and the blooms large. Bury your nose in them for the smell of vanilla and iced tea. The cut rose for the Vicar's tea party. You love it or hate it but camp-following apart, it is not easy to co-plant with.
This bed had clapped-out standard roses vying with Just Joey. Knarled, grown out and shell pink, they fought with the copper colour. The standards were grubbed out last autumn. The replacement: 3 new plants to give a bit height and variety to the JJ monoculture.
Mount Everest, a white allium about 1 metre in height, was sprinkled in along the front of the planting. (Bad leaves hidden amonst the rose bushes and the lavender edging that frames the bed). The blooms have come and gone. Arresting green seedheads on long stalks remain.
[caption id="attachment_529" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Just Joey"]
The roses are in a staggered row. There must be at least 30 of them. A substantial red-brick wall backs the bed. Rosa banksiae Lutea
riots up and over it and we have added Rosa banksiae normalis
which is the white form. It is a little more tender and I hope the hot wall and west-facing aspect will suit it.
Pink foxgloves are the second new plant and they have been scattered through the rose bushes and behind them to break up the height and give a bit of interest.
So far so good, but here we get to the yellow bit. Foxtail lillies are a tantalising plant. For starters, when you buy them bare-root they look like scarey dead spiders. For planting you need to take their furry tentacles and spread them out. I hate that task. Added to this they are not easy to grow. Don't for instance introduce them to a clay soil in this country at the back end of the year. Order for late March planting or when the worst of winter wet over. Give them sandy, free-draining soil and hold your breath.
That is exactly what I am doing today because the foxtail lilies, or eremurus,( to give them their right name ) are up. From a basal cluster of glaucous leaves, rude spikes point at the sky. They havent burst into flower yet - a matter of hours of sun need to warm them.
[caption id="attachment_539" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="foxglove"]
But I am waiting nervously. There are 2 outcomes and the first is beautiful. They could be, should be, Eremurus Cleopatra
which has a copper tint - a perfect match for Just Joey. But a sneaking gloom takes a hold - they look latently yellow. If instead I have planted Eremurus stenophyllu
s, the effect will be horrible. Sherbet-yellow amongst all that copper?