sweetshop abundance

Everywhere we look there are new treasures appearing, as the remnants of early summer fade away.  Sweet Williams are being cleared to make way for next year's Canterbury bells, and the early sowings of larkspur have already been replaced with young ammi majus seedlings to give us flowers in September.  Now as we prowl around the garden picking for our orders, we stumble upon a family of perky little heartsease faces; a thicket of towering fennel in full foamy yellow flower; the first magical gingerbread-looking flowers of rudbekia sahara; bushes smothered with a second flush of fragrant roses when we thought that they were all flowered out.  It's lovely.  One of the garden team asked yesterday, "Do you think the gladioli are going to open soon? They seem very late."  She didn't realise that we've been picking the gladioli for two weeks now (more wonderful surprises - a new red and white flaked flower which is just gorgeous, as well as muted pastel shades and deep rich plum), as she only sees the unpicked flowers and not the picking that goes on in between her visits.  One of the many good things about the Flower Garden is that there isn't much in the way of faded undergrowth, as we aim to pick as much as we can when the flowers and foliage are just coming to their peak of loveliness.  For next week, I have my eye on the scented leaved pelargonium and the burgeoning litle plants of mottled annual phlox, but doubtless there will also be lots more surprises.