My Garden this Weekend 6/7/2014

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What a rewarding weekend in so many planty ways.  I spent Saturday at the annual HPS Variegated Specialist Group meeting which was held near by and was fascinating.  The attendance was much smaller than at the annual Galanthus group meeting but being  smaller number, possibly 30ish, the welcome to a new member was wonderful and the day was good fun.  There was an informal AGM, followed by a fascinating talk by the Treasurer, Jane Kilpatrick, on the theme of her first book Fathers of Botany.  This was Jane’s first ever talk and I was completely hooked on the story of the missionary plant hunters in China.  Then we had a plant auction led by Bob Brown, the Chair, which was great as you learnt about the plants as they were sold off.  The afternoon saw us visiting World End Nursery and the owner’s garden which was a great garden but the visit was so much more interesting given the knowledgeable company (at least 3 experienced nurserymen and a plant historian).

2014_07060043I came home feeling really recharged and my interest in the garden reinvigorated. I have cut down all the delphiniums which were just going over.  Clearing the flower stems away showed me that the echinacea I had given up on were still there hidden away under the foliage. I am rethinking the Delphinium, which I know may surprise readers given how wonderful they have been, but they take up a lot of room and once they are cut down they leave large gaps in the border.  I have made the decision this weekend that as the garden is full I need to be more ruthless and only plants I absolutely love will be given space.  I like the Delphinium but I don’t love them as is evident from the few photographs taken of 2014_07060050Delphinium compared to the roses.  The Delphinium are also suffocating the roses and you could almost hear the sigh of relief as the delphiniums left.  I haven’t dug the plants up but I think I might replace them with more foxgloves and aquilegias which  I enjoy far more.

I spent today tweaking the Big Border.  I removed some campanula and also thalictrum flavum which just don’t appeal to me any more. I moved some of the Calmagrostis ‘Overdam’ around as I didn’t allow enough space for everything when the border was planted up in the spring.  I think the border is looking better now as the plants look less hemmed in.  As I am on a mission to plant out all my purchases I added a fern, epimedium and peony to the far end of the border.  Before I completely ran out of steam I removed a load of Japanese Anemones from the border on the other side of the grass path.

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There are a number of plants which I am really pleased about.  Firstly the digitalis in the photo above which is just so elegant.  It is meant to be digitalis trojana but when I compare my flowers with images on the web they seem far more yellow.  I might have to find an expert to ask.  I am also waiting for the Cardicronum giganteum to flower hopefully it will do this before I go on holiday next week.  I am also pleased with the Watsonia which has come through the albeit mild winter in the ground.  Again I’m not sure about the identity of these plants.  I had the seed labelled as Watsonis pillansii but this has been queried on Facebook.  Whatever they are the flowers are very elegant and make me smile.

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Now I just need to find something to recharge my interest in this blog – I am currently struggling to maintain my interest in it so it may be updated less regularly for a while.

 

End of Month View – May 2014

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Due to the amount of rain and cool temperatures we have had in recent weeks the plants in the Cottage and Big Border have grown quite big and lush but the flowers are being slow to show their faces.  The Aquilegia are almost over but the Delphinium and Roses are getting ready to take over in the Cottage Border.  On both sides of the path the Geraniums are forming buds and hopefully it will just take a few days of sunshine and warmer temperatures for them to open.

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The path from the other end.  I have under planted the Cotinus with white Corncockle which may or may not work, we shall see.

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The staging is now home to some of the Pelargoniums, Sempervivums, some sun loving alpines and a few late flowering bulbs such as  Dichelostemma Ida-Maia.  The remaining gone over bulbs will shortly go into the greenhouse under the staging to dry out and I will move the tender succulents out to replace them.

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I am pleased with how the ‘Hardy Exotic Border’ is going.  There is some filling in to do with smaller plants.  I also have a trug full of tulip bulbs from the big pots and I think I am going to plant them out in this border.  If they flower, and I know many tulips don’t do well in their second year, then they will bring a colourful splash before the hardy plants get going again.

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The Damp Border is filling out with ferns and astible.  It isn’t the most photogenic border but one of those that you can appreciate more close up.

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The Trough in the front garden also isn’t that photogenic but it was only planted out a month ago and I need to add some pots of tender succulents around the Trough.

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For those long-suffering readers that endured last year’s End of Month Views on the front garden here it is now and finally I am enjoying it.  I think it just needed another year to bulk up.  There are gaps to be filled and some balancing to do but finally it makes me smile when I pull up on the driveway.

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Finally the middle path along the top of the Big Border.  I should be including a shot of the Patio Border but I am camera-less as the camera I have been borrowing from my son has gone with him to London for the weekend and mine is at the menders.  I am very pleased with how well the Big Border has filled out.  You wouldn’t believe that this time last year it was only a month old.

All are welcome to join in with this monthly meme and use it how they wish.  All I ask is that you link to this post in your post and leave a link to your post in the comment box below so we can all come for a nose around your garden.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – October 2013

Impatiens  omeiana
Impatiens omeiana

We are have definitely felt that Autumn is upon us the last week or so although today the sun has shone and made people regret donning their warmer clothes so soon.  The floral display in the garden is decreasing but sometimes I think it is the flowers that appear at this time of year or in Spring that are so much more interesting or maybe its a case that we appreciate them more.

I wasn’t  going to include Impatiens omeiana until I saw it on the Outlaw Gardeners GBBD day post.  I have a large clump of this plant and grow it really for its lovely foliage but at this time of the year it produces the flowers you can see above.  I did comment on Outlaw Gardeners post that I felt the flowers were a little disappointing but goodness look at them close up, they are quite gorgeous although for some reason I keep thinking of smoked kippers!

Saxifraga fortunei
Saxifraga fortunei

Another unexpected flower is that of Saxifraga fortunei.  Again I grow this plant for its glossy Heuchera like foliage but at this time of the year it sports a cloud of these small white flowers. Which really are quite pretty. As I am beginning to get the hang of my son’s camera I am beginning to get better close-ups of flowers and I am really seem far more detail.  Look at those fab pink dots on the end of the stamens.

Salvia involucrata boutin
Salvia involucrata boutin

The Salvia involucrata boutin has been a showstopper for months.  It has received a ridiculous size and has sent out endless flower heads which seem to extend as the first flowerlets fall off (sorry if I have used the wrong terms there, its late).

Delphinium
Delphinium

I am surprised to have a few Delphinium in flower although the stems are much shorter than you get in early summer and the weather hasn’t been that kind, blowing the flower heads over at an angle but look at the iridescent blue isn’t it wonderful, jewel like I think.

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An unknown Geranium which I spotted flowering in the shadow of the weeds I need to sort out on the back  slope.  It really is quite pretty so I must look after it better next year.

Aster umbellatus
Aster umbellatus

I do like the Aster umbellatus, it has such an airy feel about it.  The flower stems are much shorter this year due to its move but it seems to have done quite well despite me.

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I think this is Aster St Michaels.  I definitely have an aster by this name and the flowers look similar to a photograph from a previous year but I suspect I will have to ask Helen Picton to identify them properly for me at some point.

Those are my floral highlights this month.  For more GBBD posts visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

GBBD – July 08

This is my favourite flower in the garden at the moment. Its a form of Salvia which I grew from some seed last year but as ever I have mislaid the label – any ideas?  My garden is going through a colour pallette transition at the moment.  We are moving away from the soft pastels of early summer and spring such this annual Phlox Leopoldii

This plant is new to me and I cant decide whether I will grow it again or not.  It is providing quite good ground cover for areas where I have gaps – but in my mind eye the Lobelia and Phlox would merge together to cover the ground and create a tapestry of underplanting – oh well best laid plans.

Pale undertones are provided in the garden by lots of hostas such as the one above and this Astilbe.  I hadnt realised how good these pale flowers are for lighting up areas which are patially shady.

Then the colours start to brighten.  A typical example is this Pacific Giant Delphinium – however this ‘Gaint’ is only 2ft tall.  It was grown from late last year and I am thrilled to have got it this far, this is the best I have done with growing Delphiniums from seed. 

  

There is a growing yellow theme in the garden as well at the moment, provided mainly by Inula hookeri (which I havent got a photo of) and these Centaurea macrocephala (yellow thistles).  I also love the plant on the left which I cant remember the name of.  May be I should rename this blog to ‘The forgetful gardener’!

 

The Fuschia above was given to me by a friend of my mother and had been growing in her garden for years and therefore she didnt know what variety it was and I havent tried to find out, after all I would only forget!  I love the Lychnis, which again I grew from seed last year.  I have far too many of them and they are completely taking over in some areas but I will thin them out for next year and then I can plant something else with them.

I was initially pleased with the Ammi majus above – this is very easy to grow from seed and is a great cut flower.  However I dont think it is sturdy enough for my garden as it has been blown all over the place by the recent winds.  It has also attracted alot of blackfly.

This is the best year so far for this Clematis viticella Etoile Violette (see I do know some names!)

These two Dahlia buds are on the same plant but seem to be very different which is strange and I seem to remember the Dahlia being more white than yellow – ha ho!  It is very attractive though.

So there you have a cross section of the flowers in my garden this month – there is much more but these are the ones that particularly took my eye today.

Off to let Carol at May Day Dreams know I have done my post.

 

Spring has sprung!

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Finally there are signs of Spring in the garden.  The Hellebore above is one of my favourites this week – I love the deepness of the purple flowers.  Unfortunately, if my memory serves me right the flowers are more washed out when they open.  There are bulbs appearing all over the garden, I never seem to remember planting them so they are a constant surprise.  I was pleased to see new leaves sprouting on some of the shrubs I moved late summer/autumn.

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Things are stirring in the greenhouse.  There are signs of lifefrom the Delphinium seedlings.  I have never had any success with Delphiniums so I am really thrilled that they seem to have come through the winter.  My Ammi majus seedlings are going great guns.  I sowed them in the autumn as I read in Sarah Raven’s seed catalogue that if you sow them in autumn you will get plants flowering earlier the following year.  I wasnt convinced they would sprout but they are doing really well.