My Garden this Weekend – 12th July 2015

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Thankfully today and over night we have had a good deluge of rain, topping up the water butts.  Sadly, whilst it appears a lot of rain the actual total for the last 24 hours is only 1.6mm which will only really impact on the top inch of the soil but its something I suppose. My love of strong colours is slowly becoming more apparent in the garden, at the moment I am loving the heliotropiums that I have flowering in a pot.  They were planted with vibrant orange calibrachoa but the plants never did well producing one stem at a time whilst the other stems withered.  I wonder if I planted them out too early given the coolness of the spring and early summer.

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I am particularly pleased with the flowers on the Aloe striatula.  This is growing in the front garden under the window by the succulent trough and was a bit of an experiment.  It has come through the winter fine and I think I would like to add more although I know that I might lose them if we have a particularly hard winter.

Petunia exserta
Petunia exserta

The species Petunia exserta have started to flower.  As with many species the flowers are much smaller than the hybrids that we are used to seeing.  I like the purpleness of the buds before the flowers open but I’m not really a fan of petunias so I will see how these do over the summer.  I’ve also planted out lobelia spicata and some agastache to fill the gaps where the early perennials have been cut back so hopefully there will be a second burst of colour.

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I’m also enjoying this flower whose label has disappeared.  Its small plant and I know the seeds were from the Alpine Garden Society but that’s as far as it goes, but it is a lovely colour.

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A new bench has also appeared by the shed.  Hewn by hand from a tree by my eldest during his week on a Ray Mears Woodsman course this week.  Its made from Sweet Chestnut which they felled with axe and hand-made saws. It is extra special to my son as the great man sat on the bench with him the other evening when he dropped into the course.  I asked if he had asked Mr Mears to sign it but my son scoffed at this suggestion, although I suspect he wishes he had thought of this.

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I haven’t shown you the patio border since it was full of snowdrops in early spring.  This time of year is it’s next prime moment of interest with the Kirengshoma being the star of the show.  I am not one to boost but I have to say that to date I haven’t encountered a Kirengshoma better than my specimen, of which I am every proud.  In this combination I like the link between the hosta flowers and the actea behind.  I am hoping that the actea may flower this year.  It has been blind for a few years now and I’m not quite sure why.  In the spring I moved it slightly sideways so it wasn’t competing with Kirengshoma so much and hopefully this will help.

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The other end of the border is beginning to fill out and continues the green/yellow/purple theme.  I don’t think I will plant the two peony plants you can see in the border as they will quickly out grow the space. Whilst I like the bright colours I also really enjoy the textures of foliage and this seems to interest me more and more.

I’m off to visit gardens on the east coast of Ireland tomorrow so who knows what inspiration I will gain over the coming week.

 

 

 

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. Yvone Ryan says:

    Hi Helen – My heliotrope is flowering like mad even tho’ not much sun as winter! Probably not as scented as summer – the lovely vanilla smell! I have it in a pot and only about 3 hours of sun down the steps. The adjacent poppies, pansies, primula etc getting ready to flower. The hot chilli (the one that keeps elephants out of your garden) looking a bit cold – supposed to be in glasshouse – will be interesting to see if survives! Too hot for me to eat but I have no elephants in my garden! Looking forward to your garden visits!

  2. Brian Skeys says:

    Hi Helen,your Kirengshoma looks bigger and better than mine, the flower that has lost its label looks like Francoa sonchifolia, I don’t know if there is an alpine form. Enjoy Ireland, are you visiting Helen Dillon’s garden?

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Brian
      I don’t think it’s a francoa as I haven’t grown any from seed recently although of course the seed might have been mislabelled.
      Yes Helen Dillons garden is on the itinerary as well as Huntingbrook and June Blakes garden, Mount Usher, kilmacurragh, The Bay Garden, Fota Arboretum, Killurney Gardens and some other private gardens. Will be wet and gardened out by the end

  3. alison says:

    I love your son’s new seat – and it ‘sits’ so well in that particular spot. The leaves and form of the Kirengshoma complement the other planting in the patio border so well. It’s a plant that’s new to me so I wi look it up.
    Enjoy your garden visiting in Ireland; I am sure you will come back full of fresh inspiration and ideas!

  4. crabandfish says:

    Hi, I love your hostas – I always have trouble growing them here – either too many snails like them or they’re not in the right spot. Yours are fabulous – well done,
    Cheers,
    Flavia

  5. Yes, love the bench – will there be more made, do you think?

  6. Ah, it’s looking so good. Loveliness abounds.

  7. rogerbrook says:

    1.6mm of rain! You must me suffering like I am. I wish it would rain properly. At least you are a patient gardener.
    Isn’t cherry pie fantastic. Unfortunately my heliotrope this year is rather disappointing on the scent front. I blame plant breeders!
    I am envious of your Aloe strigulata. I had one for years but the 2010 winter did for it.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Roger
      I bought the cherry pie so I would have scent but there is none

  8. Anna says:

    Oh that bench looks as if it was always meant to be there Helen. What a fabulous shape. I hope that you have a great time in Ireland. I would love to visit the respective Blake gardens and look forward to hearing what you think of them. We visited Mount Usher probably some twenty years ago or so. It was a magical spot.

  9. Diana Studer says:

    the garden upstaged by the charming new bench ;~)

  10. homeslip says:

    I love the colour and scent of heliotrope. It was growing in a narrow shady border at Sissinghurst last week and I thought then it might work in my garden. Your patio border is looking lovely (mauve turk’s cap lilies growing through Astrantia is on my good plant combination list) and the chestnut bench is perfect next to the shed, what a talented son you have. Looking forward to reading about your trip to Ireland, it sounds like a packed itinerary.

  11. Gina says:

    I am so jealous of your Hostas. Mine are like lace thanks to the slugs. Have you any tips. I don;t like using pellets and the blackbirds and ducks I get in the garden obviously aren’t doing their job properly.
    Enjoy your time exploring the Irish Gardens

  12. I’ll warn you now – once you’ve seen Huntingbrook Garden, nothing will be the same again.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi AP
      I’ve been today had a tour with Jimmy and also a tour of his sisters garden, wonderful

  13. Mahée Ferlini says:

    Hi, I really enjoyed your blog, and the tour of your garden. I liked the petunias, and the heliotropiums as well. Also, I thought the bench was a great addition, you can’t buy things with sentimental value. Thank you for sharing!

  14. myM8te says:

    Your garden is looking really wonderful, all the flowers are exceptionally beautiful and a treat for the eyes. But I like the Aloe Striatula most, it is looks best with its greenish yellow colour.

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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