Just over a month ago I posted an entry called June Flowers featuring photos taken in my garden. I am not promising to maintain this but I took some more photos a few days ago so here is your July instalment of my garden diary.
Campanula medium (commonly known as Canterbury Bell) is a biennial herbaceous plant which appears every year in the wild part of my lawn under the apple tree. A herbaceous plant is one where the leaves and stems die back to soil level at the end of the growing season whilst a biennial is a flowering plant that takes two years to complete its biological life cycle. A herbaceous biennial grows from seed but produces only vegetative growth in the first year before dying back. The following year it “bolts” then flowers, producing fruits and seeds before dying completely. I also have less common white Campanula but the pale violet ones above photographed better.
Don’t be fooled, this peony flower is peeking out from amongst the foliage of three unrelated plants. The genus is Paeonia, from Paean, the Greek physician of the gods. Over 260 compounds have been obtained from plants of the Paeoniaceae family, including ones with a wide range of biological activities. Peony petals are apparently edible and can be added to salads, punches, ice cream etc.
Geranium is a genus of 422 species of flowering annual, biennial, and perennial plants that are commonly known as the cranesbills. I don’t know which species I have but it is certainly doing well and is very effective ground cover (establishing good ground cover seems to be the key to keeping weeds at bay). Geraniums are closely related to Pelargoniums and the essential oil of Pelargonium graveolens is commonly known as geranium oil (as used in aromatherapy).