My garden this weekend – 11th August 2013

Centaurea Americana 'Aloha Blanca'

Centaurea Americana ‘Aloha Blanca’

Yet again I have had little time to do proper gardening this weekend and I have to say it is beginning to get to me.  Also as I have started to go swimming to get fit I have found my evening gardening time reduced so I have decided to reduce my swimming until the evenings are too dark to garden.  I think all my other non-work commitments are now complete so hopefully I will be able to use my spare time to catch up with the gardening more plus I have two weeks leave coming up which I can’t wait for.


The reason I was busy this weekend is that I was helping with the local horticultural show and my duties including stewarding the flower judge.  It was very interesting as I started to learn from him how they judge the plants, what they look for, what counts against the entry and how sometimes the judge really struggles to make a decision.

Big Border looking lush

Big Border looking lush

Back in the garden and as ever its a case of wondering where to start there are so may jobs to do.  I decided to carry on with the new path through the big border as it will make life much easier and it will help me plan the planting much better.  In order to do the next bit of the path I had to move some plants.  I know it is not an ideal time to move plants but I do believe that if you water the plants well and take care of them most will survive.  All the plants I have to move had already done their flowering and had been cut down to put on new growth so I think this is as good a time to move them as ever.

The new path runs parallel through the new Big Border and more of less follows the edge of the old cottage border before it was extended although I think it is a little wider.  However, the planting in the old border needed thinning out anyway and I wanted to sort out the planting so it was more coherent rather than one of my electic mixs.  I have decided to go back to original plan for the border but to do it better.  The planting will be planned to peak early Summer and will be a mix of old English traditional favourites: Delphinium, roses, geraniums, purple sage, maybe some daisies.  It will be pinks and blues and I am already mentally calling it the Sugar Border or more honestly the Schmultz Border!


The plans for this area are really coming together as are other projects in my head.  I will need to re-organise the Big Border once the Dahlias are finished but at the moment I

Lobelia tupa

Lobelia tupa

cannot visualise how it will be as the current planting is so lush.  I suspect it will have a late Summer feel and I am pretty sure the wonderful Lobelia tupa which seems to like this garden will feature in it.  I think the colour theme will be rich red, purples, burgundy and cerise pink as these are definitely my favourite colours at this time of year.

Sadly I have a lack of physical energy today due to all the running around I have been doing but it has given me the perfect excuse to sit down and ponder bulb catalogues.  I have written up my short-list for Avon Bulbs and Peter Nyssen and I now need to actually price it which may be a little scary.  I seem to be developing a bit of a bulb addiction which is beginning to revival my already substantial seed addiction!!   I was going to restrict the tulip bulb order this year due to loosing so many to the evil badger  in the spring.  However, I love tulips so much I can’t bear not to order some so I have decided to go back to planting up pots which will live on the patio and  hopefully thwart my stripey friend.  I am also ordering lots of narcissus as I try to add more each year and also extend the season.  I have chosen some common ones but also a few more unusual ones.

Saying all this there are still some parts of the garden which aren’t working and I really need to address but at the moment I can’t decide what approach to take with them so they are on the back burner until inspiration hits.



11 Comments on “My garden this weekend – 11th August 2013

    • Hi CG
      Yep shattered but satisfied. Yes that is a step over apple, I have 3 along the top of the wall. They are in their second year and there about about 8 apples between them. I hope they ripen fully

  1. I rather covet your white centaura, Helen – where did you acquire it from? Well done for getting stuck into your border plans (prompting me to think I need a better name for my schmultzy borders than ‘main herbaceous borders’!). I have just done my Peter Nyssen order – far bigger than it should have been of course ;). Well done for starting swimming even if you have had to push it aside till darker nights – you couldn’t manage an early swim before work, could you? I know I am not working now (so haven’t got that time constraint) but I set the alarm and go out early 3 times a week to swim when the pool is fairly quiet and that leaves the rest of the day to do whatever. Just a thought..

    • Hi Cathy
      I got the seed from Chilterns – they are annuals, quite tall as well which in my windy gardens means staking.
      As for swimming have been some mornings when on leave but very busy first thing and I am so shattered it would be hopeless going to work afterwards!! Sunday mornings early are good though

  2. I like the lobelia – great colour! A question re tulips – I treat them as an annual here in warm Auckland. I have tried the putting in fridge etc but really they need a good cold spell – hence do well in Central Nth Island, especially plantings in Rotorua and the South Island. They have a big export nursery in southland – Dutch heritage people. Don’t they come up next year if fed etc like normal bulbs? Expensive to get new ones each year even if lovely. I buy mine already planted and in leaf – 5 to a pot- from Eden Gardens each year – a fund raiser for the Gardens. You can pop them wherever you want. I have taken my spent ones to Christchurch but they haven’t done that well. One sight I will never forget is the fields of tulips in flower in The Netherlands.Eden Gardens are gearing up for their tulip festival where they plant thousands. I am going Wed so hope lots out then.

    • Hi Yvonne.
      I have been told that tulips dont flower as well the second year as they flower from a bulblet that the grows on the side of the bulb you plant. Therefore the bulblet is much smaller and so you get a smaller flower or no flower at all. That is why many treat them as annuals. The species tulips tend to flower year on year and increase if you are lucky and I know Ballerina is good for returning each year and it self-seeds. I think the problem is that most tulips are hybrids and I think they have run out of energy after the first year. I tend to buy more each year

  3. I also have a problem with badgers but covered the bulbs with some chicken wire this year then removed it as the tulips came through.The other thing I did was grew tulips in pots and troughs(different shapes so they didn’t look too uniform) then slotted them in the garden as quite a few of the perennials were really lush this year their foliage hid the pots.

  4. I’ve been enjoying all your dahlia pictures, and wish I could grow the lobelia! The new plantings look great, I don’t know how you find space.
    Do you like the Centaurea? I’m not sure if I do… definitely not on first glance 🙂

  5. Love the white Centaurea, I’ll certainly be marking that in my Chiltern Seeds catalogue. And like you I’ve made my Peter Nyssen wishlist, but daren’t yet add up how much it will cost. I’m going to dream for a week or two longer!

  6. You’ve certainly got a lot on your plate at the moment Helen, not enough hours in the day sometimes!
    Your lobelia is a new one on me but I love the colour, very opulent and late summer!

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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