Six on Saturday 6/4/2019 – Front Garden Highlights

Grevillea victoriae

I need to learn to love my front garden just a bit more. Its a lot better than it was three or four years ago before I dug up the lawn but the truth is I just walk past it every day and every so often I find myself thinking I need to spend some time tidying up and sorting it out . So today I thought I would include it in the Six on Saturday meme so I would be forced to look at it more.

Grevillea Canberra Gem

There are two Grevilleas in the front garden.  The Grevillea ‘Canberra Gem’ has been in the front garden for probably 11 years.  I love it, it reminds me of my late sister as I bought it with her. At the moment its about 5 ft high by 5 ft wide and thats after we heavily pruned it last Autumn by about 2ft all over.  It has just started flowering and is beloved by the pollinators.  The other grevillea is Grevillea victoriae (see top picture).  Interestingly, it has broad leaves not the pine like leaves of Canberra Gem and it is only the flower that really, in my opinion, indicates they are the same family. This shrub was added to the garden probably about five years ago and was moved a few times so is now only really begining to establish itself.  The shrub is less floriferious than the Canberra Gem, you really have to seek the flowers out, although I am wondering if that will improve with time.

Sorbus pseudohupehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’

As well as two Grevilleas, there are two Sorbus in the front garden; more of a flux than by design – I just like Sorbus.  I planted a Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia) when we moved in 15 years ago and a couple of years back added Sorbus pseudohupehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’ to add balance in the garden.  They form a sort of triangle of trees with a Birch being the third point.  I was pleased to see the leaves had reappeared today, as it struggled last year in the drought and was one of the few plants that I consistently ensured had a good watering once a week.

Persicaria nepalensis

I have a preference for foliage these days over flowers as I think the garden looks better all year round with a good tapestry of interesting foliage and then flowers add interest as they come and go.  I’m not the biggest fan of Persicaria as it can be a bit of a thug and attempt to take over a border (been there, done that) but I did succumb to Persicaria nepalenis because of its beautiful leaves.  I think the flowers are a pale pink, but as I can’t remember it shows you that the main attraction of this plant is its leaves.

Lunaria ‘Chedglow’

Last week I showed you the swath of Lunaria (Honesty) at the back of the main garden, which self seeds around.  From the colouring of the leaves they seem to be a cross between a couple of Lunaria I have grown over the years.  In the front garden I am more certain that the Lunaria are self-sown Lunaria ‘Chedglow’ due to the distinctive dark stems and leaves with variegation.  This one has placed itself in the gravel path and is thriving.

Fritillary melegaris (Snakeshead Fritillary)

Finally, I spotted a line of Snakeshead Fritillary growing along the beech hedge.  I planted them years back when there was a lawn and I laboured over whether or not the dryness under the hedge would work for them for not.  It seems to have worked well, although now it means that the fritillaries are growing at the back of a big border and not really seen so I may have a think about trying to relocate them – or maybe not.

Thanks to the Propagator for hosting this weekly meme which gets me into the garden even when I dont have time to garden but I can find 5 minutes to take some photo and see what is happening, and ponder plans.

 

My Garden This Weekend – 10th May 2015

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On queue the Deutzia is flowering in time for the Malvern Spring Festival.  I don’t know which variety it is as it was here when I moved in 13 years ago.  I cut it back heard each year after flowering or we wouldn’t be able to get up the steps to the garden! This year is seems to be groaning with flowers more than ever before.

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The garden is looking very lush and fresh.  Lunaria Chedglow has been wonderful for some weeks now and I plan to try and collect some seeds so I can keep these honesty going.  I do like the fresh foliage on box, it will almost a pity to clip the two cones back at the end of the month.

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The Woodland Border is getting into its pace with the Solomons Seal and False Solomon Seal flowering and I am pleased that the epimediums have really clumped up in the last few years to provide good ground cover.  In the background you can just spot the young leaves of the Mahonia.  I do like the fact that the new leaves are coming through in reddish hues which are bouncing off the Acer in front of it.  I am also pleased to see the Mahonia leaves as two years ago I ruthlessly chopped the plant down to the ground in the hope that it would produce a number of stems instead of its one very tall stem.  The plant sulked for a while but it is getting back into its stride now and looking good.

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The top grass path is still in need of a cut.  I have been rather distracted with other things this weekend so the only gardening that occured was cutting the front grass and potting up the pelargoniums.  It might look shabby but the pollinators are loving it and the cat loves the long grass.

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The Big Border is finally filling out this year and I am glad that I took the decision not to leave spaces for dahlias and other annuals this year.  Its main focus is late summer which lots of aster and rudbeckias but at this time of year the camassias and aquilegia provide a bit of colour.

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Finally one of those unexpected delights – Paris quadrifolia – which I have forgotten I planted last year.  I have to say that the flowers are a little smaller than I had anticipated but it is still a delight.

 

In A Vase on Monday – Mid Spring Delights

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My Vase on Monday has been through a couple of guises today.  I wanted to feature the Ballerina Tulips which are really the only tulips I have.  They grow in the front garden so escaped the notice of the badger in past years – the badger hasn’t worked out how to get to the front of the house.  They are a form of tulip which will naturalise and they seem to be doing this.  The first incarnation of my vase featured a smoked Venetian glass vase with the orange tulips, some Berginia ‘Bressingham White’, Sweet Cicely and the new red orange foliage of my neighbour’s Photinia (it grows over the fence).

Anyway, looking at the vase on my mantlepiece it become quickly obvious that it just didn’t work.  The Photinia foliage was too strong and too dominant and although it was similar to the orange of the tulips it detracted from the flowers rather than showcasing them.  A re-think was needed.  The vase had to go as it was a narrow necked vase and I wanted to add more and the Photinia foliage was scraped.

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Instead I added some small ‘Jan Reus’ tulips which have survived in the back garden and reflowered for a number of years but as happens when you leave tulips in the ground the flowers can become smaller; I think I prefer the smaller flowers.  I also added Lunaria ‘Chedglow’ and replaced the foliage with Epimedium foliage which I think works well as the bronzing in the leaves works with the orange flowers.  I like the way the ‘Jan Reus’ tulips pick up on the centre of the Bergina flowers which also have a hint of orange in the middle.  Of course it has all ended up in a very ordinary glass vase but I think that adds to its charm and simplicity.

For more Vases on Monday ramble over to Cathy’s and check our her vase and others (links in comments box)

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – April 2015

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The last couple of weeks have given us the occasional bright sunny days with temperatures just nudging 20C.  It seems like the garden has had its touch-paper lit and the plants are rushing forward.  Every day there seems to be something new opening or germinating.  Today’s thrill is the first Anemone pavonina opening its flower.  I bought three plants last year from Stocktonbury Gardens, taking great care where I planted them and carefully not removing the seed heads so they might self-seed.  They can be hard to establish so I was grateful for the mild winter and the fact that all three have reappeared and have flower buds.

 

Narcissus Angels Tears
Narcissus Angels Tears
Narcissus Sophies Choice
Narcissus Sophies Choice

There is still quite a variety of narcissus large and small flowering in the garden but my two favourites are Angels Tears and Sophies Choice, both quite elegant and pale.

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Tulips are rare in my garden as over recent hard winters they have been dug up by the badger so I no longer plant them in the borders.  However, there are one or two which the badger didn’t get and which flower year on year.  Tulip ‘Jan Reus’ is one of the few flowering in my garden at the moment.

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Iris bucharica is another new delight.  It’s a Juno Iris which aren’t generally easy to grow in the garden, prefering pot culture, but Iris bucharica is the exception and will grow in the border so here’s hoping that they will reappear next year.

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I had forgotten I had Leucojum vernum in the woodland border so it was a delight to see it reappear.  Hopefully one day it will start to bulk up.

Epimedium Black Sea
Epimedium Black Sea
Epimedium Rose Queen
Epimedium Rose Queen
Epimedium x warleyense 'Orangekonigin'
Epimedium x warleyense ‘Orangekonigin’

I have a growing passion for Epimediums and the first are flowering with more to follow.  I love their dainty flowers and the way they waft above the foliage.

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Another new tiny delight is Dicentra cucullaria which I have started in a pot but I think will be fine in the border once I have looked up the right conditions for it.

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The honesty has started to flower.  I think this one is Lunaria ‘Corfu Blue’; I remember  sowing seeds for it but I don’t remember it germinating well but maybe I was too hasty in throwing the seed tray on to the border.

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I do though remember sowing Lunaria annua ‘Chedglow’.  I bought the seeds last year from Avon Bulbs at Malvern show, sowing them that weekend and I am very pleased with the plants.  I really like the dark foliage with the purple flowers.

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Primulas and polyanthus are flowering away with new ones putting in an appearance on a regular basis.  It seems that the polyanthus start flowering later than the primulas. I am particularly fond of the (Drumstick Primula)

There are lots of other small floral delights in the borders and I have included a few of my real favourites.

Omphalodes cherry ingram
Omphalodes cherry ingram
Anemone nemorosa 'Westwell Pink'
Anemone nemorosa ‘Westwell Pink’
Anemone Lipsiensis
Anemone Lipsiensis
Bergenia 'Bressingham White
Bergenia ‘Bressingham White
Sweet Cicely
Sweet Cicely

For more Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts visit Carol over at May Dreams