My Garden This Weekend – 5th July 2015

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The garden is slowly moving out of the quiet June phase and the late summer colour is beginning to appear.  I am really pleased with the Calmagrostis x acutiflora ‘Overdam’ and Sanguisorba combination.  I would love to claim that it was planned but I struggled last year with how the plants would work together in the Big Border so this year is a case of waiting and see what works together and what needs tweaking.  There is a Cornus ‘Grace’ adjacent to this pairing and the sanguisorba really picks up on the colour of the foliage; so I think this planting will be staying.

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The Anthemis ‘Sauce Hollandaise’ has started to flower.  I love this plant when the flowers are open but it has an irritating habit of letting its flower petals go limp in the heat so this last week, with the high temperatures we have had, it has looked as though it was dying but as you can see each morning it perks up and looks great.  Hopefully with the rain we have had today it will be a little happier.

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The high temperatures and distinctly low rain levels this year has had a negative impact on some of my plants which need a little moisture.  The Regal Fern (Osmunda regalis) above is a case in point.  It is planted in the former pond, which was meant to be a bog garden but I suspect I was a little over enthusiastic when I was piercing holes in the pond liner as it’s not as boggy as I would hope.  However the fern has been  planted here for a few years now and has had its best year to date with long fronds and lots of growth but now it is looking really singed.  The Prunus kojo-no-mai also has dry and crispy brown leaves on some of the branches but the shrub has been planted for years so I am hoping that it will be OK.

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This Hemerocallis is growing next to the Anthemis and I am pleased that it is picking up on the yellow centres of the daisies.  I’m not a fan of day lilies but this one was looking sad in a nursery sale and I like the smaller delicate flowers than you normally get with day lilies. There are also white phloxes about to flower and this weekend I have added some zinnia seedlings and a couple of Amaranthus ‘Autumn Palette’ grown from seed from Special Plants.  I’m not sure about them as the flower tassels are very orange but we shall see how they bulk up and what they look like with the zinnias.

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Amongst my many plant weaknesses are Alliums.  I do like the large ones like Globemaster but I really like little alliums and have a growing collection.  The one above is Allium caeruleum which I had bought for showing but they now live on the edge of the Big Border where they can benefit from baking in the sun.

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Another favourite, Allium cernuum, which I think has a lovely graceful appearance and I think I might add some more of these, particularly as they don’t suffer with the large leaves like some other alliums.

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Finally, this must be one of the gaudiest roses around.  I inherited it with the house and have developed a peculiar fondness for it.  I would never buy a rose with such flowers but it makes me smile.  It lives next to a Choiysa ‘Sundance’ which has quite luminous chartreuse leaves and seems to compliment the roses – somehow! I like the combination so much that I have planted the Lathyrus rotundifolius that I bought a few weeks ago to grow over the Choiysa.  Who knows it might look amazing next year, we shall have to wait and see.

End of Month View – June 2015

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Well that was June.  It seems as though I blinked and missed it and I suspect July will be the same given my diary.  I posted yesterday about my new found enthusiasm for the garden so I wont repeat myself, suffice to say that the garden is already looking better for my work yesterday.  There is some colour from the foxgloves but not as much as I would wish for in the centre of the garden but I am now working on that.

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The borders around the bottom path are looking more colourful. The roses are blooming, some of them are not as floriferous as I would like so they may be on the hit list if they don’t perform better next year.  The penstemons are starting to flower and are adding much needed colour around the stems of the roses.

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The shed view up the stairs and the border to the left is beginning to fill out.  The poppies and Ammi majus have looked lovely and I am now anticipating the agapanthus and zinnias which will flower in a month or so.

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The other shed view from the bottom path.  The asters have really put a spurt on over the last month and will I hope really colour up the Big Border in a couple of months.  I really like the mass of foliage and plant material here but it will need to be kept an eye on to make sure one plant doesn’t swamp out another but at least you can’t see any weeds which may be lurking in the soil below!

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The main woodland border is really full and the Hosta ‘Sun and Substance’ dominates.  I need to do some thinning around it I think so it looks its best.  I think the Solomons Seal to its left needs a slight relocation so both plants are shown off better but I am pleased with the coverage.  I also think there is scope for a little variety in texture so maybe the addition of a fern might help to the left of the border.

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The newish planted woodland area is beginning to fill out and I think I will add some bulbs through here, maybe some dwarf narcissus and crocus.

So that is the garden at the end of June.  The summer temperatures appear to be about to rise drastically over the next week so I will have to keep an eye on the new plantings.

Any one is welcome to join in the End of Month View and to use it how they wish.  All I ask is that you add a link to this post in yours and a link to your post in the comments box below.

 

My Garden This Weekend – 28/6/2015

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As anticipated my visit to Great Dixter last weekend has really reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the garden.  I have started to look at the borders and considered how they could be improved.  There are some combinations which I am really pleased with which feature on this post but the lessons I learnt at Dixter are starting to help me re-evaluate those areas that I have struggled with for a while.  I have removed the majority of the spent oriental poppies, leaving just a few to add seed to what Fergus Garrett calls the garden’s seed bank. Luckily yesterday when I got home from the monthly HPS meeting I spent a little time staking plants.  I am hopeless at staking, always leaving it to late, but at Dixter I saw what a difference it can make to the border and how inconspicuously you can do it, so out came the canes and string.  I am really glad I did as we had a heavy downpour overnight and I know that plants such as the Ammi majus would have been flattened.

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In the poppies place I have planted out some zinnias which should contrast well with the agapanthus which look like they will have flowers this year, something I am really pleased with.

I have been looking at planting for the front of borders in particular to go in front of the roses which grow in the border along the top of the wall.  Luckily at the garden club there are a number of nurserymen selling plants, as well as the members plant sales so I came home with a hefty haul of delights which strangely seemed to be predominantly pink.  So planted out today were:

Selinum wallichianum
Viola cornuta ‘Clouded Yellow’Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Little Angel’
Geranium ‘Mavis Simpson’
Persicaria bistora ‘Hohe Tatra’
Helicrysum stoechas ‘White Barn’
Dianthus ‘Moulin Rouge’

I also included an Eryginum pandanifolium ‘Physic Purple’ which I bought at Dixter which should add some height to the Big Border.

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I am really enjoying the profusion of flowers on the Geranium palmatum. I think it is my favourite geranium and I need to see about collecting some seeds as they are only just hardy and it would just be my luck to lose the lot if we have a hard winter this year.  I fancy adding some to the front garden behind the Alchemilla mollis as I think the combination of the magenta pink and lime yellow would be electric. This is the best the top border has ever looked and I am finally feeling rather pleased with it.  I want to relocate the Tetrapanex here, between the bamboos, as its leaves are swamping the surrounding planting in its current location just further down the slope.

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As the garden was very wet for most of the morning today I made myself sort through the greenhouse.  I don’t grow edibles any more but my youngest had a brief foray into vegetable growing which essentially meant that he acquired some seeds, sowed them, and then lost interest as his proposed house move hasn’t gone ahead so he no longer has a garden for them.  The result is that I have ended up with some tomato, chilli, pepper, basil, parsley and sage seedlings as well as a rosemary and thyme plant.  I managed to find space in the greenhouse for large pots for 3 tomatoes and then I planted another two in a very large pot along with the rosemary and thyme so hopefully there will be a fragrant productive pot on the patio.

I am pleased with the staging area this summer.  The pelargoniums are flowering this year, after spending last summer producing lots of foliage.  I took some twitter advice from Fibrex nursery and I am religiously watering them every day and feeding them once a week and it is already paying off, well apart from the one on the right hand side which is ignoring my efforts.

 

My Garden This Weekend – 21st June 2015 Solstice Delights

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I’m off today on a short garden visiting odyssey so there won’t be the usual weekly update of things in my garden. Instead here are some pictures of what is looking good in the garden I managed to take yesterday afternoon between rain showers.

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I am thrilled with the impact of the Geranium palmatum at the top of the garden.  It seems to have gone mad this year and you have to battle your way along the top path.  I suspect the amount of growth is because we had such a mild winter the plants didn’t get knocked back.

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So those are my solstice delights.  I will be back later in the week to hopefully share with you some images of the amazing gardens I am visiting down south.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – June 2015

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The colour theme for June seems to be very much purples and pinks with the odd splash of red and white, such as the Potentilla album above.  I have been more conscious in choosing plants that are within a colour palette to try to bring some cohesion to my garden.

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The roses are starting to flower.  This one is looking the best it has ever looked and is smothered in flowers.  I think it might be Rosa ‘Lucky’ but for the life of me I can’t remember where I bought it from or when. I deliberately didn’t prune my roses hard this year as I wanted them to be taller to add height to the border and with the exception of one which for some reason hasn’t produce any flowering stems it seems to have worked well.

Rosa Ophelia

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The second one to flower is Ophelia which is a fuller flower and prone to being damaged when it rains or there is a strong wind.  It is beautiful and the scent is heavenly but I think I prefer the form of the top rose more.

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New to me this year is Cerinthe retorta which I have really fallen in love with.  I much prefer it to the normal Cerinthe major especially the white inner flowers.  I will definitely be collecting seed from these.

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My favourite Astrantia, again I seem to have lost the label, but the colour is just stunning.  It is bulking up slowly now so maybe next year I will be able to divide it.

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One of my many alliums – I get confused which is which but I do like the shape of the flowers on this variety as they open and I really need to add more to the garden.

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Iris louisiana which I adore.  It was new last year and I was completely bewitched but its iridescent blue flowers.  It lives in the damp corner of my patio which often floods and seems to enjoy the moisture.

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I am pretty certain this is Geum Totally Tangerine; a really good plant which has been flowering already for around 6 weeks and adds a sparkle of colour to the predominantly green foliage in the woodland border.

So these are my favourite flowers this month, the stars of the show.  For more Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posts pop over to Carol’s at May Dreams.

 

My Garden This Weekend – 7/6/15

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I have been home alone for most of the weekend with no real plans and it has been blissful.  I have been pottering in every sense of the word.  I started with weeding the patio which was long overdue and is one of those incredibly satisfying garden jobs.  I use the blade of an old screwdriver, whose handle is long gone, and it is just the right size to get between the slabs.

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If I am honest I dislike the patio, I always have, but its well down the list of expenditure and it serves a purpose.  I dislike it because when I pressure wash it the colour of the slabs is revealed and we have a ‘delightful’ pink and yellow checker box effect! Therefore, I rarely pressure wash it.  However now it is weeded and tidied I am rather pleased.  I have never been very good at using the patio for relaxation.  It is normally the home of trays of seedlings and purchases and the small table often houses seedlings etc.  However, in the last couple of weeks my sons have both mentioned that they have sat out in the garden when they have got home and how nice it was.  So I have moved all the trays of seedlings up the garden out of the way and arranged the pots of purchases and other things in a more organised/decorative fashion.  What a difference, even I have sat on the patio and enjoyed a cuppa and read a magazine.

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I have quite a collection of pots many of them accumulated during my brief foray into alpine plant showing.  Above are some pans of alpines which live up by the top bench which there is some shade but also sun at some point of the say.

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I’m not a huge fan any more of pots of mixed plants, preferring instead collections of individual plants in their own pot.  I like being able to ring the changes as things go over.  This collection is by the door to the shed and I have added some succulents as this is quite a sunny spot so they should do well here.

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Round the corner of the shed is what we call ‘quatermass’.  Last year I plunged a couple of pots of zantedeschia into the old tin bath which I was using as a pond and they did incredibly well.  So this year I decided to fill the bath with compost and plant it up exclusively with white zantedeschia.  There is no drainage in the bath so the compost gets very wet when it rains and takes a while to dry out but the plants are thriving.  I did wonder if this was a mad idea but when I visited Brian and Irene’s garden over at Our Garden @19 last weekend I noticed that he had ensata iris growing in sealed pots of compost and they were doing incredibly well too. I had to drag the bath over the gravel this week as it was being engulfed by the neighbouring fern and I see that I need to sort the level out again – opps!

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In the very top photo you can see that all the succulents and pelargoniums are out of the greenhouse and in their summer home on the staging.  As I said I don’t really like mixed pots or hanging baskets any more.  Instead I have planted the window box up with herbs which is already proving very useful and the only hanging basket I have is hanging from the tree by the shed and is housing my Christmas cactus.  I went to a talk at the local horticultural group recently on cacti and succulents which was actually really interesting and the speaker advocating treating your Christmas cactus in this way over the summer so I thought why not.

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And finally one of my collections of plants by the front door.  I was rather than by the Polygala myrtifolia on a recent visit to B&Q so it ended up coming home with me.  I have under planted with some nemesis  and today added a pelargonium and a pot of oregano.  On the other side of the entrance is a deep pink hydrangea, some violas and a succulent.  I think it looks charming and it makes me smile when I pull up in the driveway, far more than any other arrangement I have done in the past.

So that’s my weekend – a weekend of potting up, moving pots, and sweeping.