End of month view – May 2014


Everything has, all of a sudden, gone rather bonkers.  All those odd self seeded plants are threatening to take over, but it’s unlikely I’ll live to see it as I will have been strangled by convolvulus long before…

In the right hand Swing Bed above, the roses on the pergola are flowering well.  As some of you know, the idea of the two Swing Beds is that they are generally symmetrical, but this hasn’t been helped by two things.  Firstly, my reluctance to pull out the existing apple tree and secondly, David Austin’s inability to supply two ‘Wedding Day’ rambler roses for the outside uprights.  By a sheer coincidence, I think the rose on the far right is instead ‘Snow Goose’ which I have along the drive bed and was inherited.  Consequently, these two are flowering away, but on the left hand Swing Bed, my Wedding Day rose is biding its time and instead I have the Clematis Josephine (which is a little smothered on the right).  These symmetrical plans are all very well but one does need to be flexible! IMG_2731 This is the Swing Bed looking north.  You can see the Cerinthe is still flowering like mad, but has now been joined by some perennial geraniums, foxgloves and Sisyrinchium striatum. I’m particularly chuffed with the Digitalis ‘Suttons Apricot’ which I grew from seed.   I planted them out last year (having planted the seed the year before), but lost a number to the chickens, and the remainder were all rather nibbled, so last year there were no flowers. However they’re now flowering well, so I guess one positive of the fox getting my poor girls last year, is that I get my foxgloves this year! IMG_2664 IMG_2732 This is the left hand Swing Bed and you can see my solitary lupin, Lupinus ‘Gallery Rose’, and you can also see a massive clump of Sisyrinchium.  The plant was a gift which I split and put a small piece in each bed a couple of years ago.  What’s comical is the fact that in both beds the original clump in the centre of the bed is quite small, but a much larger clump has somehow bullied its way to the front of the border and is now crowding out the geraniums and alchemilla.  I think some judicious ‘thinning’ (binning?) is in order.

What you can’t see in the photo above is my lovely poppy,  I’m pretty sure this is Papaver Patty’s Plum.  It does look a little pink for Patty, but I can’t think that I planted anything else. IMG_2717 IMG_2727 The Grass Bed is having a transformational moment.  I’ve planted Verbascum chaixii album which I grew from seed, all along the back of this bed, but I don’t think they will flower this year.  In front I already have the mad allium, Allium ‘Hair’ (still in bud) and far too many fox and cubs (Pilosella aurantiaca).

IMG_2737 (2)

This is a plant I first saw when I took my mother to The Garden House on her 80th birthday.  This instantly became one of my favourite gardens and this plant reminds me of a wonderful garden and a very special day.  However, it is threatening to take over the garden, so I think some more thinning/binning required here.  I think once I’ve got round to taking out the forget me nots I’ll add some annuals from the rather large collection still filling the greenhouse.  But which to choose? IMG_2734 The Diving Lady, introduced in last month’s End of Month View, now has a pool to dive into and something to look at: IMG_2735

The strawberries are ripening so we’ve but some fleece over the whole bed (bottom right of picture above) so that we don’t lose them all to the blackbirds.


Meanwhile the Shady Bed is looking lush and green (although rather overrun with Honesty seedlings).  There is very little colour here, apart from the rose, which laughs at my ‘Shady’ description.


This is the bed which epitomises the ‘bonkersness’ of the garden currently.  This is one of the ‘Lavender Beds’ (that’s a name I’ve just made up as they don’t have names, but there are two of them and the path in the middle is lined with lavender).

A number of these plants were inherited (the rose and the paeony for example) but this year all sorts of plants which have been growing around and about, seem to have decided to party in this one bed at the same time.  The Allium Purple Sensations are on their third year and better than ever, the Gladioulus Byzantinus have not previously visited this bed, and the Linaria purpurea and Verbena Bonariensis which were here before, have had a population explosion.  I’m starting to feel I’ve completely lost control, and yet there’s a certain delight in letting them all get on with it.


The Oak Bed (above) continues to disappoint, but the Melianthus major  is still a joy and the Gladioli here cheer me up.  I think a proper redesign is required for next year.


I have lots of lovely pots – these Aeoniums were planted by the OH and are very handsome.IMG_2636

Meanwhile, in the greenhouse, (which I think will have to be a whole other post) the tomatoes are flowering, but unfortunately they’re still in their 9cm pots…IMG_2685

With many thanks to Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting the End of Month meme.  Why don’t you go and check out some other End of Months?

14 thoughts on “End of month view – May 2014

  1. Helen Johnstone

    I am so relieved the diving lady has something to dive into now as she was looking a little confused before!:). thanks for joining in again this month

  2. angiesgardendiaries

    My first visit to your blog and wow, I’m in awe of your garden! It’s beautiful, so many beautiful plants. I love it’s ‘bonkerness’ – it takes skill to create that and I hope one day to be able to do so.
    Don’t you just hate when a plant is not quite the one you expect? It’s so blinking annoying.

    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Thanks formyour kind words Angie, and welcom! Agree with you about the plant confusion. I had the same issue with daffodils too this year, but actually it worked out really well!

  3. Chloris

    Don’ t we all lose control in June? I have. The garden is doing what it likes and that is great. Mind you, your veg are looking wonderfully well organised. Everything is looking beautiful in your garden, you can sit back on your laurels and enjoy it. (Sorry that is rather a mixed metaphor.) That doesn’t look like Patty’s Plum, perhaps it is a seed grown child of Patty. I think it might be fun to sow some of Patty’ s seeds and see what comes up.
    I great idea giving your diving lady something to dive into.

    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Hi Chloris, yes the Diving Lady is happier now.
      To be honest the ‘pool’ has always been there, but looks a little silly when it’s green. I did buy some early Ipheion bulbs but ended up not planting them in the pool because the lobelia had survived the winter. Instead I planted them in a seed tray to try them out, and although pretty, the overall effect still wasn’t very blue. I’m thinking I’ll try and take some cuttings of the Lithospermum Heavenly Blue and try that for early colour. Or I could go for Muscari. Any other thoughts? I wondered about Gentians, but think they might be quite tricky and not that long flowering.
      Don’t you just love wasting time on a Sunday morning on such an inconsequential problem!

  4. Janet/Plantaliscious

    Gloriously bonkers, I love the lavender beds. I keep seeing that wonderfully shocking pink glad, I think it is telling me to get off my backside and add it to my own garden. Somewhere… I think the almost-but-not-quite symmetry is rather charming, gardeners plan and then things happen. Typically different things. All part of the fun. I love The Garden House too, very inspirational place.

  5. jenhumm116 Post author

    Hi Janet, thank you. And your comment “gardeners plan and then things happen” how very, very true – and yes, so much part of the fun.

  6. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Original pickings | Duver Diary

  7. Cathy

    The diver of Duver? Just had a quick peek at what your garden’s like – I love bonkersness too. Will try and make time to call round for a longer ramble soon…


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