Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – October 2016


Not many new blooms compared to last month’s GBBD, but I thought I’d share this lovely Abutilon, A. ‘Orange Marion.’

Other Autumn tinted blooms include this Helenium.  I think I’ve previously said it’s ‘Moerheim Beauty’, but I’m starting to think it’s ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ instead.  img_1760

The rest of the garden is still largely pink.  Many Salvias, including ‘Dyson’s Scarlet’, ‘Cerro Potosi’ and ‘Stormy Sunrise.’

Asters are still blooming well, this one, Aster novae-angliae ‘Sptember Ruby’img_1780

and this Aster frikartii ‘Monch’.img_1779

I was delighted to discover during a weekend clear out that I had taken some cuttings last year.  Hurrah!img_1764

Whilst the Pink Flower Carpet roses are still flowering prolifically, img_1751

other roses are more of an individual treat – R. St Swithun,img_1777

R. ‘Jubilee Celebration’img_1791

and this, very precious R. ‘Freeman 1987.’  This isn’t the most robust rose, but very special at it was bought and named for us by our two lovely ‘kids’ in recognition of our silver wedding anniversary in 2012.img_1794

A number of Dahlias are still clinging on, indeed some are returning after a recent drought induced pause, including ‘Hillcrest Royal’img_1792

‘La recoleta’img_1784

And, according to Sarah Raven, these are both ‘Tamburo’, but I feel the second is an imposter!img_1754


As far as annuals are concerned, sadly the majority have given up the ghost, I think due to drought.  However, this tobacco plant, Nicotiana mutablis is doing a good job of lighting up the back of the Swing Beds.img_1774

I love this shrub, Anisodontea capensis, but it has now got very leggy.  According to the RHS it’s normally grown in a cool greenhouse – thank goodness I hadn’t read that when I planted it!  The RHS also suggests it can be propagated either by seed in spring or semi ripe cuttings in summer.  I think it might be time to make some new babies so that the mother ship can be ‘retired’.img_1790

And to finish, a few Nerine bowdenii.  These were inherited with the house, and always surprise me with their exoticism at such a grey time of the year.

I can’t quite work out whether I want more or not.  What do you think?img_1762

With thanks to Carol at May Dream Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBDs.

In a vase on Monday -in my cups!


Today’s vase was actually put together on Saturday, to take to our lovely neighbours as they had invited us for supper.  The title relates to their reliable generosity with the drinks.  I  won’t elaborate further.  Hic.

The vase started with just ‘bruised’ flowers emanating from the Mid Century bed, but they looked almost too dark and so were enlivened with some brighter pink from the Flower Carpet roses.

The dahlia is ‘La Recoleta’img_1739

and, here again, but showing an older bloom with its centre exposed, joined by a single stem of Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’ and backed by some new growth of Cerinthe major purpurescens.


The Antirrhinums were grown from seed and are finally getting going.  This one is Antirrhinum majus nanum ‘Black Prince.’img_1741

Here’s the grass I mentioned in GBBD, which Nick identified as Pennisetum ‘Red Buttons,’img_1740

and lastly, the fabulously glossy seed pods of Dolichos lablab ‘Ruby Moon’ which I’m rather obsessed with!img_1743

With many thanks to Cathy who hosts IaVoM – and of course M and J for a fabulous evening!

Wonderful Woolbeding


Another off island adventure and so another excuse for a garden visit, this time to the National Trust Woolbeding Gardens near Midhurst in West Sussex.


I knew we’d be coming down the A3 and would therefore be close by, but I also remembered the garden had limited opening times.  Amazingly, it turned out the day we were passing (last Friday) happened to be the last open day of the year!  The garden is now closed until next spring, when it will reopen, as before, on Thursdays and Fridays only.

As you arrive you’re welcomed by this wonderful formal water garden, designed by the Bannermans (of whom more later), which sets the scene for what is clearly going to be quite some garden.


The Woolbeding Estate of over 1,000 acres was given to the National Trust by the Lascelles family in 1957, with 26 acres devoted to the gardens.  The house, below, is still in private ownership, and not open, but there are a whole range of similarly beautiful stone outbuildings and walls which help make the garden so special.img_1672

In 1972 Woolbeding was leased to Simon Sainsbury, and subsequently his partner Stewart Grimshaw, who developed it into the wonderful garden it is today.  Initially they focussed on the area closest to the house and, with the help of American garden designer Lanning Roper, they remodelled with ‘clear structure, elegance and restraint’, creating a series of garden rooms.

Looking west from the house are two herbaceous borders, still exhibiting plenty of colour in cool blues and purples.img_1674img_1675img_1677

Through the immaculate hedging to the hotter, more exotic feeling greenhouse gardenimg_1678img_1679



And into the greenhouse, where they still had a voracious Ipom0ea flowering.img_1683


Crossing back across the herbaceous borders and into the herb garden, with immaculate trained apples.img_1688img_1689img_1690

Through to the orangery with views of a beautiful pool.



There are stunning pots throughout the garden, including this one, with Anisodontea and matching Salvia, see below.img_1698

On to the veg area, which was huge, and, in keeping with the rest of the garden, immaculate.img_1700

I had to admire these Tromboncino (which I’d heard Charlotte Mendelson discussing in her hilarious interview with Jenny Murray on Thursday’s Women’s Hour.  I’m definitely going to read her new book ‘Rhapsody in Green‘)


On to the well garden, where I admired this fabulous combination.img_1691


Away from the garden rooms the William Pye sculpture dominates.  I rather like it but the OH definitely didn’t.img_1673

Walking round the church and south takes you past this magnificent Cedarimg_1715img_1725

and the charming Tulip Folly.  The folly has been built on the site of a 100ft tulip tree.  It was felled by the great storm of October 1987 and apparently only missed the house by a couple of feet.img_1714

A further stroll takes you to the rather separate ‘Pleasure Gardens’ which were created later with the help of Julian and Isabel Bannerman.  (Coincidentally there was an interesting article in the Telegraph on the Bannermans this Saturday).

Here there is a ruined chapel, a rustic hermit’s hut,img_1718

wonderful bordered path leading toimg_1719

a glowing yellow bridge.img_1724

Back towards the exit you can’t help but admire all the wonderful structures – this gorgeous curved wall by the churchimg_1712

living buttresses,


lovely stone buildings and attractive, classy furniture.img_1732

This really was a stunning garden.  So much structure which lent a real sense of discovery.  The formal garden isn’t that huge but as each area is so different it feels more substantial.

This has definitely moved straight into my top 5 gardens and I can’t wait to return in the spring.  Thanks National Trust and Woolbeding.  I’ll be back.


Oh and PS can someone tell me what this is please?  It was a good 6ft tall.img_1680


End of month view – September 2016


Not a great deal of colour in the garden now, thank goodness Verbena bonariensis (above) and the Pink Flower Carpet roses (below) can be relied upon!img_1651

Sadly, plants I mentioned in last year’s September post that I wanted to increase, I seem to have fewer of, namely the Aster frikartii ‘Monch’ and Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Heavenly Blue’.  I never did take cuttings last year, so perhaps I’ll add to the list of cuttings I’m hoping to take next weekend once the daughter’s out of the way!img_1641img_1644

One plant that is finally making a bit of a show is the Nicotiana mutablis at the back of the bed.  This was planted out late but is now providing some height and colour at the back of the bed, but is not quite as widespread as I’d hoped.


In the Grass Bed the Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’ and Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Fizzy White’ have largely run out of steam and instead the Nasturtiums and some self seeded Cerinthe have taken over.img_1645

In the Mid Century bed there are still a few dark blooms, but it’s the Acacia, Acacia baileyana ‘Pupurea’ (centre) that’s really taking off.  I’m slightly concerned as to what to do with this.  In theory this can reach 8m x 6m which really isn’t what I want in this bed.  I’m wondering whether some judicious pruning can keep it more shrub sized?  I do love the almost metallic foliage.img_1646

To the right of this bed you can see a huge inherited clump of Asters, shown closer below.  However in this photo you can also see the numerous weeds seeded in the pebbly path –img_1648

and even more below.  After trying and failing to move some larger Verbena bonariensis plants to the back of the Swing Beds, I deliberately left the small seedlings here with a view to moving them ‘later’ and now they’re as big as the ones I failed to establish.

Hopefully, if I plant them later in the year, the weather will be kinder than the scorching summer and I can weed the paths and plant some height at the back of the Swing Beds with one stone, as it were.img_1649

At the other side of the garden the Dahlia Happy Single Date is still going strong, (although a bit mildewed) but there is little else of interest here now.img_1654

The tray of succulents is still looking good, but they, of course, cope so much better with neglect!img_1655

There are some other good pots – these lovely Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’ (another one on the cuttings list)


and the Dolichos lablab ‘Ruby Moon’ seed pods are just astonishing.


Over in the Veg patch things are mostly coming to an end.

The Chard stems are glowing in the sunshine, but the leaves are very tired and tatty.img_1640

And in the Rhubarb/Strawberry bed there’s just one beautiful Agapanthus bloom.  Oh, and after saying I’d move the white ones out of this bed and into the Greenhouse beds, guess who forgot to mark the relevant plants.  Doh!img_1639

In the greenhouse there are still plenty of tomatoes, this one, Marmande, tastes fabulous, particularly cooked.


I haven’t planted many seeds, but these Erysimum definitely need to go out.img_1635

And to finish, the apple tree.  In the eight years we’ve been here this tree has never produced anything more than conker sized what I thought were crab apples.  And now, suddenly this year, not only are there dozens of fruits, but many are almost proper apple sized.  Shame they don’t taste of much!


With thanks to Helen at the  Patient Gardener  who hosts everyone’s EOMVs.