Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – September 2014


Looking back to last September’s GBBD post I seem to be showing the same plants with one of two additions.  I don’t have many Asters to show as they haven’t quite opened their blooms yet and with the grey days we have had recently I think they may take a few more days yet. One of the new additions is Crocosmia Emily MacKenzie which I have tried to grow before and lost so fingers crossed this time.  I really like the flared flowers with the darker markings inside.


September wouldn’t be September without me showing you Kirengeshoma palmata which is the star of my garden at this time of year.  As I have said probably too many time before the flowers remind me of butter curls.


An unknown Rudbeckia continues to glow in the border.  This is self-seeded from who knows where although my suspicion is that the birds may have had something to do with it.


Although I find the Aster umbellatus difficult to photograph due to the small flowers I do think it is a very underrated plant.  It adds good height to the border without needing staking even in my garden and the insects seem to love it.


2014_09140031logoThe Dahlias are all still flowering well and have done much better in individual pots this year than in the border.  I have only included the one above, Classic Rosamund, as the others have all appeared on the blog in the last month or so.  Classic Rosamund has only recently opened and I really like the composition of the flower which in my opinion is more interesting than the popular simple Bishop flowers but not as over the top as the cactus flowers.

2014_09140009logoI do like white Japanese Anemones although I must be in a minority as they don’t seem to appear very often in gardens or the media.  I know they have a habit of running but I like the purity of the colour and the way they can really light up a dark corner.


Finally one of my new Japanese Anemones, Queen Charlotte. I bought three for the Cottage Border: Lady Emily, Prince Heinrich and Queen Charlotte.  I have planted them in order of seniority along the border so I can remember which is which with Lady Emily closest to the steps – so far it seems to be working but who knows if I will remember this time next year!

Those are my floral highlights for September 2014.  For more floral highlights visit Carol over at May Dream Gardens who has hosted this monthly meme for more years than I, and no doubt she, care to remember


Garden Visiting: The Nest


Today I went for a mooch into Herefordshire, my favourite county, to visit The Nest which is opening this Bank Holiday weekend for the NGS.    What a wonderful country garden full of all those plants I love, exuberant, floriferous and fascinating.



The property is adjacent to the old Stourport to Leominster Canal which we learned had never been completed and had been out of use for many decades. The owners divert some of the water through the garden to form a wonderful gully where ferns and other moisture loving plants grow.


Aside from the ferns the real draw at this time of year is a large square bed divided into quarters by a brick path with a water bath in the middle.  The planting is dense herbaceous and was positively buzzing with bees and even an untrained eye such as mine could spot at least three different varieties of bee.




As with many gardens around here at the moment there was a variety of irises including siberian (above) and some lovely bearded irises which the owner had for so long that the name was but a distant memory.

Rosa Stanwell Perpetual

The Rosa Stanwell Perpetual made its presence first with scent before you even noticed it but when you did see it the flowers were quite overwhelming.  Apparently this rose just gives and gives so is now on my wish list though goodness knows where I have space for it.


I decided to go on the wildflower walk around the owners wildflower meadow.  I bit of a departure for me as my knowledge about wildflowers has faded since I was quite good in my teens.  I have been becoming more and more interested in finding out more about our native plants but have been a little intimidated by the very knowledgeable people.  Anyway, I needn’t have worried we went for a walk through the meadow up mown paths.  The owner explained how the meadow had not been cultivated for some 200 years and how they had worked so hard to reduce the fertility of the soil to allow the flowers to predominate and the yearly routine that they applied to maintain this amazing spectacle.The highlight of my visit was seeing my first wild orchid – the Heath Spotted Orchid. 


A beautiful garden indeed even on a grey and damp day with the darkening clouds threatening overhead.


Garden Blogger Bloom Day – May 2014


May is the month for Aquilegia in my garden.  They are amongst my favorite perennials and every year a few more varieties appear.  I know some say that they revert back to muddy pink ones but I don’t find this so.  In fact I don’t think this makes sense since it is unlikely that a plant’s flowers will revert and I think they are actually getting lots of seedlings from plants cross breeding or reverting back to the more native variety.


At the moment it is mainly the more granny bonnet style aquilegias that are flowering.  I have some others which have the longer spurs which are my absolute favorites2014_05130032logo and these will open in a week or so.  I don’t know what varieties any of these aquilegias are as they have been grown from various mix packs of seeds over the years.

Aquilegia canadensis

Aquilegia canadensis

My absolute favourite one is Aquilegia canadensis – the colour is so vibrant and is really standing out against all the white, pinks and purples at the moment. I have to admit I do like orange and purple in the garden – I seem to have a similar combination in the front garden.


I’m not sure what geranium this is.  I grew it from seed from a seed exchange last year but when images on the internet don’t match the plant so I think the seed was mislabeled. The leaves are very large and the flowers are significantly larger than my other geraniums.  I wonder if it is Geranium palmatum.

Dicentra Valentine

Dicentra Valentine

I am also very fond of this Dicentra Valentine which was a purchase from last year’s Malvern Spring Show.  I like the strong flower colour alongside the dark stems.

Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

In the Woodland Border the colours are more subtle with the fluffy Maianthemum racemosum which is just beginning to go over but has been spectacular over the last few weeks.

Polygonatum commutatum

Polygonatum commutatum

The Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum commutatum) is such an elegant plant but last year I lost it all to the evil Solomon Seal sawfly so we shall see what happens this year.  Luckily last year’s attack doesn’t seem to have weakened the plants which are actually looking larger and lusher than last year.

Lunaria annua ‘Alba Variegata’

Lunaria annua ‘Alba Variegata’

Finally the white variegated honesty.  The variegation on the foliage this year is so strong this year that the flowers are almost lost but I do love this plant and I am reminded I need to sow some more for next year.

For other Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posts visit Carol at May Dream Gardens