While edging along the Terrace Border at Brooke Hall with my camera, looking for handsome twosomes for July, I can't help being struck by the amount of times a twosome becomes a threesome. Yellowing globes in varying states of drying and decay are popping up everywhere.
They look their best just before they look their worst, when keeling over at alarming angles. Hardy geraniums in an English garden are the most reliable, hardworking, useful perennials, putting up with dry shade, damp shade and downright neglect. They also come in wild colours but in the end, a geranium is a geranium. But - alliums! they're better value than tulips (financially, obviously) and they put up with inconsiderate planting in all sorts of soil. We know that they look lovely in May. But now, towards the end of July, at the beginning of the school holidays, when many people stop grubbing about in the dirt and think of other things, they come back. Even after all the editing, combing out, thinning, adding to that goes on in a large place like Brooke Hall.
The varieties which have already bloomed seem to show up better now. (Allium Sphaerocephalon, above, is still at its height). With all the purple and yellow of spring they had to rely on their shape, massed planting and height to grab the attention, but now with the advancing reds they stand out in a different way and add a calming neutral. One or two here and there. And it's the roundness, always the roundness which makes them so great.