I took my camera out for “a few minutes” in the early morning today for a look-around the secret garden and an hour later had to be dragged away. Here’s a Cole’s Notes look at what held me captivate because sometimes, the biggest secrets you can only tell a stranger.

Unusual red clematis, Rebecca, launched at the Chelsea Flower show in England. It reads a bit pink in this photo with the sun shining through but is very, very red. The shot below better flaunts its redness.
Just opening, Rebecca is the newest variety from Raymond Evison and is named after his eldest daughter. It can be grown in any location and holds it colour well in full sun. It can also be grown in a container.
One more clematis…I’ve forgotten the variety of this purple gem.
Mirror, mirror on the wall…

“The best secrets are the most twisted.” Sara Shepard.

My aquilegia are putting on one final show. It seems strange that two birds as different as the eagle (in Latin, aquila) and the dove (columbus) should both give their name to the same flower — aquilegia or columbine. It is an easy perennial to start from seed and all of mine came from seeds from England germinated in my greenhouse. I’m still collecting.
I love the ruffles.
Aquilegias love the dappled shade in the secret garden and are perfect in its cottage garden setting.
The bees seem to like them too.

“Photography is all about secrets. The secrets we all have and will never tell.” Kim Edwards, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.

The fine spray of The Handyman’s irrigation also makes it a lovely place to be in the mornings.
Hard to believe this allium is part of the onion and garlic family.
Quick digression to my potager, that I passed by on the way to the secret garden…These chives are related to the allium as well.
…and look lovely in a salad.

“Sometimes since I’ve been in the garden I’ve looked up through the trees at the sky and I have had a strange feeling of being happy as if something was pushing and drawing in my chest and making me breathe fast.” Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden.


“But some secrets are too delicious not to share.” Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay.

Maybe flowers are overrated.
She knows some secrets.
Frogs have taken up residence.

“That, my dear, is what makes a character interesting, their secrets.” Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden.

IMG_8821“Secrets are like plants. They can stay buried deep in the earth for a long time, but eventually they’ll send up shoots and give themselves away.” Judy Reene Singer, Still Life with Elephant.