Six on Saturday 27-7-19 – Mid-Summer Bulbs

Agapanthus Alan Street (?)

Such a relief this morning to wake up to persistent rain after the heat of the past week.  The garden has stood up reasonably well to the heat but I am sure a day of light rain will freshen everything up.  I’ve done a Six on Saturday post on bulbs before so I thought I would do another one on mid-summer bulbs as bulbs is somewhat of a weakness of mine.

First up is one of my Agapanthus and I am pretty certain, well 90% certain, this is Agapanthus Alan Street as I know I bought this a few years back and it flowered and is a dark blue.   I have quite a few Agapanthus most of them planted in the borders, as this one is, as I tend to go for the hardier varieties.

Agapanthus africanus ‘Twister’

Another bedraggled Agapanthus, this time Agapanthus africanus ‘Twister’.  I honestly don’t remember acquiring this one so was thrilled when the flower started to open especially as I kept looking at this variety when I was away last week – luckily I didn’t buy another one.

Galtonia candicans

Galthonia candicans is for me a wonderfully glamour plants which I would like to see grown more.  The flowers have a sort of waxy look to them which I love.  I have planted it several times in the past, and even grown it from seed one, but it doesn’t come back reliably year on year which is maybe why more people don’t grow it.

Habranthus brachyandrus pink

Another surprise is the Habranthus brachyandrus which I found flowering in the greenhouse.  I expect it was flowering when I bought it a few years back but it hasn’t flowered since.  I suspect the heat over the past period has helped. The flowers are completely disproportionate to the thin grassy stems, so much so it makes you wonder how the flowers are held up.

Another allium, again no labels to be found.  I like this one as its a small allium and has gentle soft look to it.

Tulbaghia violacea alba

And finally Tulbaghia violacea alba which is a lovely reliable bulb and works well against the silver foliage of the Artemisia

For more Six on Saturday posts visit The Propagator’s Blog.

Six on Saturday 6th July 2019 – Summer Bulbs

Lillium Elodie

I have a passion for bulbs, as well as ferns and some other groups of plants, but bulbs I really love.  I love that there is so much energy and possibility packed into a small bulb, or corm.  I love that bulbs send up their flower, like a rocket, and then die down allowing space for something else to shine.

Watsonia

I’m especially proud of the clumps of Watsonia as I grew them from seed some years ago.  The clumps have got so big that they have been divided and moved around the garden. Watsonia isn’t a plant I see much in English gardens, but a few years back when I visited gardens in Ireland it was everywhere.

Asphodeline lutea

I’ve included Asphodeline lutea as I was super excited to spot it’s flower spikes yesterday.  Like the Watsonia I grew it from seed a few years ago but it has never flowered, there’s just been some wiry leaves but this year there are two flowers spikes.  Hopefully in the next few days the flowers will open.

Brodiaea

Brodiaea has been growing in my garden for a few year’s now, the original bulbs were bought from a supermarket and it seems to just seed around the garden, popping up here and there as in the gravel outside the seed where I would never have managed to plant it.

A tiny little allium, label missing, which grows in my front garden.  I do like alliums and have all sorts that appear throughout the year but I’m appalling at labelling and when I do remember to include the label the birds remove it.  But does it really matter, its a cut clump of alliums which I suspect I bought from an AGS plant sale when I was dabbling in alpines.

Crocosmia Lucifer

And my sixth bulb is Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ which also grows in the front garden is at the other end of the size spectrum to the allium.  There are two forms of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ one flowering before the other and I have the early flowering variety.  It’s a rather glamour bulb – tall and dramatic.

Those are my Six on Saturday at the end of a warm week which has benefited the bulbs greatly, especially those from South Africa.

For more Six on Saturday posts check out The Propagator’s blog

Six on Saturday 20th April – Tulips

Tulip Ballerina

As the tulips are coming into their own this week I thought I would have a tulip special for Six on Saturday.

Tulip Ballerina grows in the front garden and is very slowly naturalising.   I planted the bulbs some years back now and each year they appear although I’m not convinced they are multiplying that quickly more a case of coming back year on year and they do seem to have longer stems now.  Today with the sun shining they look quite magical.

Tulip Blue Diamond

Another front garden tulip this year is Tulip Blue Diamond which was in a collection pack from Peter Nyssen. This year is the first year for a few years where I have made a conscious effort to add tulips to the borders.  I used to grow quite a few but the year we had the really hard winter I discovered that the “cute” badger who had decided to visit our garden looking for food had a weakness for tulips and all my bulbs were eaten. As we haven’t seen the badgers for a few years now I decided to have another go and the effort is certainly rewarding me.

Tulip Spring Green

Tulip White Parrot seems to be a later tulip.  Here it is growing amongst some Camassias which will be flowering in the next week or so.  You will see in due course that I have quite a swathe of Camassias in the middle of my garden which have increased year on year to the point where I seriously need to think about dividing them but I will save that until next week.

Another rogue tulip – I think it is meant to be Tulip Elegant Lady which is a pale pink.  This flower reminds me of someone not mixing the paint properly.  I think it has a rather distinctive charm about it.

Tulip Princess Irene

Tulip Princess Irene is another tulip which comes back year on year.  I think it is one of the nicest oranges and works well with so many other flowers especially reds and burgundys

Tulip China Town

Tulip Chinatown has been delighting me for weeks even though it hasn’t flowered yet.  I love its glaucous variegated foliage. The tulip will be pink so it should be quite wonderful.

I will definitely be planting more tulips next year and looking forward to seeing which ones come back up from this year.

For more Six on Saturday check out The Propagator’s Blog

 

 

 

 

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Lathyrus vernus

I’m starting this month’s GBBD post (possibly the first one this year) with a favourite plant at the moment which I think is very overlooked, Lathyrus vernus; I also think the photo is rather nice.  This is the pink version but the most common is a blue/purple version.

Lathyrus vernus

If you don’t know it then I would recommend it to you.  Part of the pea family, a low growing perennial which appears at this time of year, flowers and then disappears so good to plant around late summer perennials to keep the interest going.

Just by the Lathyrus vernus is this herbaceous clematis (I have no idea of its name) which picks up the colour well, albeit it unplanned.

Narcissus Beautiful Eyes
Narcissus ‘Freedom Stars’ – probably

The garden has had a lovely display of Narcissus over the last month which is still going strong.  I added quite a few new varieties to the main border, having identified that it looked a little flat this time last year.  They have made a real difference and I want to do the same in some other parts of the garden for next year.

The tulips are just starting to flower.  There are a few variegated ones which will be opening in the next week but I thought I would share this rogue one. It doesn’t bear any resemblance to any of the other tulips I have added so I am assuming it is a rogue bulb that got into the wrong bag at the bulb merchants – however, it is rather gorgeous.

Muscari ‘Valerie Finnis’

Last of the bulbs that I thought I would share this month – Muscari ‘Valerie Finnis’.  I’m not the biggest fan of the general Muscari as they spread everywhere and produce a disproportionate amount of foliage but ‘Valerie Finnis’ is very different.  I love the pale blue flowers and it seems to be fairly well behaved in terms of foliage.

Hertia cheirifolia

Just by the Muscari ‘Valeria Finnis’ is Hertia cheirifolia which I added last summer.  I bought it on a trip for its grey succulent foliage so the flowers are a bonus.

A couple of my epimediums, they do have labels but they are buried well beneath the plants.  I do like epimediums, their foliage is a great foil for other plants during the year and then at this time of year there is the added bonus of these dainty flowers although sometimes you could be forgiven of overlooking them.

Magnolia stellata

A finally, my little Magnolia stellata.  I have had this for years and it just sat there doing nothing, so I moved it a few years ago to a different location with more shade, better drainage, and less competition and it has rewarded me with a growth spurt and now I can see a flutter of white flowers from my living room window.

I hope you enjoyed my highlights for this month and thank you to Carol for hosting this wonderful meme.

 

Safely stored away

A bit of a panic today when I saw that temperatures might go down to 3C tonight and tomorrow night. 

Whilst I had started to move some of my tender plants under cover a few weeks ago the job was far from complete.  I had been putting it off partly due to the hefting of heavy pots but also because the greenhouse with a few pots tastefully arranged was looking very smart. 

So with fingers quickly beginning to chill I scooted round the garden between showers collecting up the assorted pots.  The pelargoniums were cut back and in some cases transferred to small pots to over winter.  The succulents were gathered and in at least one case potted up into a larger pots.  This left the bergonias and the tender ferns which had got ridiculously big over the summer and obviously benefited from some months in the heat.

As you can see my greenhouse is tiny just 8ft x 8ft but it works very hard. I have rearranged the staging over the summer, trying a different layout to see if the space works better.  Previously the staging ran along both sides – we shall see how I get on over the winter; but I cant change it quickly due to the amount of gravel in the gravel trays.  The deeper gravel trays have drainage in the bottom of them so when I water the top layer the bottom layer also gets a soak.  I take this into account when I arrange the plants so for now I have placed the pelargoniums and bergonias underneath so they benefit from the residual water from the ferns and bulbs.  The other staging is shallower and with no drainage holes so I use the bottom shelf for either resting bulbs or succulents which do better kept almost dry over the winter.

I will rearrange as the months progress especially as the bulbs flower and pass on but I seem to have managed to get a better arrangement this year which allows me to stand in the greenhouse and see everything which is an improvement on last year.

There’s just the rest of the garden to sort out now, oh and a large box of bulbs to sort.

End of Month View: March 2018

My apologies for the delay in this post which should have been published yesterday. I have been somewhat distracted by a lack of heating, hot water and reduced cooking appliances since Thursday.  I won’t bore you with the details suffice to say it’s not due to am oversight on bill payment. The situation should be resolved on Tuesday but in the meantime I have been unbelievably distracted with staying warm.  The persistent cold and damp weather have not helped the situation and sitting by a fire hand quilting a double quilt has been more attractive than sticking my head outside all of which makes me sound quite old!

Anyway, I have woken to sunshine this morning and a light bulb moment of “goodness it’s the start of April and I am late on the EOMV post” so here goes – at least the photos are sunnier than if I had taken them yesterday in the rain.

The above photo is what I call the bench shot because I stand on the patio bench go take it. I was going to say that not much has changed over the last month especially as we had yet more snow but actually things are starting to happen. The first daffodils are flowering adding extra sparkles of colour to the hellebores. I plan to add loads more narcissus for next Spring and will try to remember to make some notes of the gaps that need filling over the next few weeks.  I also want to add lots of the tiny blue and pink bulbs – Scillas, Chionodoxa, Pushchkinia and Ipheion. There is a mass of these at work which just looks stunning at the moment.

And it’s not just the bulbs that are making an effort the Prunus kojo-no-mai has started to flower and should shortly be followed by the large unidentified Prunus and the Amelanchier and Elder are both beginning to unfurl their leaves.  My gardening friends at HPS agree that spring is going to come with a rush this year and we will be playing catch up so I’m off this morning to sow some half hardy annuals in the greenhouse.

Whilst it might not seem like much has changed over the last month in the garden I have been busy when the weather has allowed. I have made real progress in redoing the back of the garden and am now starting to think about what plant needs to go where. My task today will be to dig up the Buddleja salviifolia, which you can just see behind the top bench, and bring it down to a more sheltered position on the patio. Hopefully it won’t be a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted; as you can just about see it looks a little bedraggled and has suffered in the cold winds. The Euphorbia characias ‘Silver Swan’ in front of it will also probably be moved as it’s grey leaves may not work with the new planting but we shall see. I can’t quite visualise it yet but if I pot up the Euphorbia it will clear the space and I will be able to see it with fresh eyes.

As I break down the back terrace to make a slope I am having to dig up all sorts of seedlings and perennials and relocate them around the garden.  It is amazing how many aquilegia seedlings there are although I suspect they will all be that dirty pink that aquilegia seedlings tend to be. Nevertheless, I have been popping them in any gaps I can find in the borders so we shall see.

So this is my garden at the end of March and I am amazed how much colour there is despite the cold and damp.

If you would like to join in with the End of Month View meme you are very welcome to, the more the merrier.  All I ask is that you link to this post in yours and leave a link to your post in the comments box below so we can all come for a visit