Monthly Archives: April 2016

End of month view – April 2016


Still plenty of bulbs flowering in the beds, but those in pots are now past their best and I’m currently plotting and planning their replacements.

Above, looking across the Mid Century bed towards the Swing Beds, one of the most striking things is the huge froth of forget me nots.  They look particularly effective when both the sky and water are blue – but you’ll have to take my word for that!

Below you can see that plenty of the tulips planted in autumn 2014 have returned, but rather unevenly, with many more in the right hand bed than the left.  Weird.


Below you can see all three tulips in this bed – the earliest, ‘Pink Impression’ are almost all over, but they have been followed by two I described last year as sugared almond coloured, ‘Mistress’ and ‘Menton’.IMG_0292

In the Grass Bed, the Narcissus ‘Peeping Jenny’ (which featured as a Wordless Wednesday only two weeks ago) are just about finished, but sadly few of the Tulip ‘Spring Green’ (planted three years ago) have returned to succeed them.  And the rather mad Allium ‘Hair’ seem to have disappeared too.  I feel a shopping list coming on….IMG_0293

In the Mid Century bed the Tulips ‘Merry go round’ and ‘Queen of the night’ are blooming together when I expected them to follow one another.  If I’d known that’s how they’d behave I would have intermingled them rather than planting in groups.  Hey ho, on the positive side, I certainly hadn’t predicted the match between the dark ‘Queen of the nights’ and the Cerinthe flowers (not least because the latter shouldn’t be flowering now anyway!)IMG_0294

In the shady bed I planted this striking Narcissus ‘Goose Green’ for the first time,IMG_0296

but sadly they seem a little shy, with their lovely faces angled down.IMG_0295

In the veg area there are still no veg to admire, but raspberries, strawberries and very tardy rhubarb are finally getting going.IMG_0289

Also not much to see in the Hosta bed, but I’m trying to get ahead of the slugs by getting my ‘Slug Gone’ wool based deterrent down early.IMG_0297

Meanwhile in the west side of the garden, the new Bronze Bed is still chock full of bulbs – Tulip ‘Jimmy’, Narcissus ‘Yazz’  and a few Narcissus ‘Cragford’ still clinging on.IMG_0300

And now they’ve been joined by the Wisteria.IMG_0299

With thanks to the Patient Gardener for hosting all the EOMV.  Why don’t you take a peek at what others are up to?










In a vase on Monday – heaven scent


Today’s vase not only has more of my lovely ‘Winter Sunshine’ Sweet Peas, but also Matthiola Incana which has just started flowering in the troughs which sit below the raised decking.  You can see them in the background of this photo.IMG_0280

To the two scented plants I added more Cerinthe major purpurescens and TulipQueen of the Night


I’ve now moved the little jugful onto the kitchen table and it’s doing a very good job of scenting the whole room.  Mmmm.IMG_0282

With thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting all our Monday vases.  Why don’t you go and see what everyone else has been picking?

Eddington House Nursery – a local beacon


The move to our current house in 2010 prompted a new route for the school run.  The route took us round a sharp bend around St Helens church (which, for reasons I’m afraid I don’t know, isn’t in the village at all).IMG_0275

The bend ensured that I had to slow down, which gave ample opportunity to admire the planting on the opposite side of the road.  Always changing and always interesting, I remember thinking that there must be a darn clever gardener living there.

Fast forward five years and that clever gardener, Ian Chadwick, now has a well established nursery, Eddington House Nursery, on the site.  IMG_0272

Today I visited for the Isle of Wight Rare Plant Fair which Ian hosts annually.  Sadly I missed the talk by Bob Brown from Cotswold Garden Flowers, but did catch an interesting talk by Chris Chadwell on ‘Paradise on Earth, the beautiful flowers of Kashmir’.  Lucky chap to have seen those beautiful Himalayan poppies in the wild.

Meanwhile the nursery was looking absolutely immaculate.IMG_0271

Over the years Ian has developed not only numerous interests including salvias, herbaceous perennials and now plants for shade too, but has also expanded the growing and showing areas and planted up interesting beds to display many of his plants.IMG_0273

I, of course, succumbed, this time to rather diminutive beauties – Trifolium repens ‘William’ for the MCB and also Origanum rotundifolium ‘Kent Beauty’ for pots.

Oh and Nick from White Cottage Daylilies (who I wrote about here and here), was there with, selling amongst other things, some beautiful succulents, so I bought a couple for the OH.IMG_0283

Thanks Ian for great event, and thanks too for choosing to site your nursery within such close proximity to Duver Diary!

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – April 2016


A day late with GBBD as it poured with rain yesterday and I only manged to sneak a few photos before heading off to the twin Friday night excitements of Zumba followed by supper with friends.  And then today was largely spent working on the latest assignment for my planting design college course due in on Tuesday – yikes!

I took a few more photos this morning, so there’s now a mix of two very different days.

After the joy of last year’s new bulbs – largely tulips in the Swing Beds – I splashed out last autumn on more bulbs, this time for the two new beds – the MCB above and the Bronze Bed on the other side of the garden.  In addition, I planted up a number of ‘bulb lasagnes’ in pots, and it has been an absolute joy watching all the slow motion fireworks.

In the Mid Century Bed IMG_0245

there are Narcissus ‘Thalia’IMG_0214

together with Tulip ‘Merry Go Round’, which have also been planted in the trough by the front steps.IMG_0226

In the Swing Beds I’m delighted that some of the tulips have returned – these are Tulip ‘Pink Impression,’ in the right hand end of the Swing Bed, looking towards…


…the Grass Bed, which featured in last week’s Wordless Wednesday, with Forget me nots and Narcissus ‘Peeping Jenny’


On the other side of the garden, the Bronze Bed, which was looking rather handsome with the Hamamelis and Narcissus ‘Cragford,’ has now been invaded by both Narcissus ‘Yazz’ and Tulip ‘Jimmy’.  To be honest, I think if’ I’d known how many blooms I get with the ‘Cragfords’ and how long flowering they’d be I don’t think I’d have bothered with the ‘Yazz’.  IMG_0232




In pots I have the beautiful and rather dainty Narcissus ‘Lieke’IMG_0243

contrasting rather strongly with the mad front door pots of Narcissus ‘Jack Snipe,’ Tulip ‘Matrix.’ If you look closely you’ll see Tulip ‘Recreado’ is also joining the party.IMG_0246

And the greenhouse pots are still flowering well with Narcissus ‘Bellsong’ and Tulip ‘Apricot Impression’.


Aside from all the bulbs, I have Matthiola Incana just starting to come into bloom in the troughs,IMG_0217

Plenty of Cerinthe self seeded in the pebbly pathsIMG_0215

a few Fritillaria meleagris in the grassIMG_0231

and some brave Pelargoniums, P. Surcouf which have been outside all winter.

IMG_0244Oh and have I mentioned the sweet peas, Owl’s Acre ‘Winter Sunshine’ in the greenhouse?IMG_0239IMG_0240

And lastly, a bit chilly still, but the Diving Lady is contemplating making a splash in a rather purple pool.


With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD.  Why don’t you go and see what’s making a splash in others’ gardens?

In a vase on Monday – Unseasonal delights


My first Monday vase in a while has been prompted by the excitement of having April Sweet Peas to share.

Encouraged by Julie at Peonies and Posies I sowed some Owl’s Acre Winter Sunshine
seeds in the autumn and then planted them out in the unheated greenhouse in February. This Winter Sunshine strain has been specially bred to cope with the ‘sub-optimal light conditions’ at this time of year, and, whilst Owl’s Acre suggests they could flower in March, I was a bit delayed in planting them out and so am thrilled to have blooms to cut before the middle of April.  Not only do they have good long stems but also have that gorgeous sweet pea scent.  Mmmm.

As I only had three stems I needed to mix them with something else, and chose the equally unseasonal Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens.’  (According to Sarah Raven’s website these should flower from June).  These stems were cut from a plant which had self seeded and over wintered in the pebbly path near the metal troughs, so it was no great loss to cut them as they really shouldn’t be there anyway!IMG_0194

Sweet pea, Winter Sunshine, LavenderIMG_0192

Sweet pea, Winter Sunshine, CreamIMG_0199

I’m also growing a third colour, ‘Mid Blue’, but that one’s being a little shyer than the others to flower.

So, here is my Monday vase, photographed on Sunday evening in front of the still leafless over the road oak, and now on the table in a (still) Aga warmed kitchen.  Bonkers!

With thanks as ever to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting all our Monday vases.IMG_0190


To bee or not to bee? #2


This is the email I received on Thursday and read, whilst still at work in London.  By the time I’d returned home later that evening I’d completely forgotten about it and consequently didn’t mention it to the OH.

I left the island again on Friday morning to spend a lovely weekend with my daughter, including the whistlestop visit to Nymans I blogged about yesterday.  I was only reminded of the email when I walked into the kitchen on Sunday evening and saw a small Jiffy envelope in a pile of post next to the Aga.  I immediately moved it out of the kitchen, but it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I opened the package the following day.  And indeed roped in the OH – hence the hand below.

As the email explained, the bees would emerge as the temperature increased, but as you can see, a gentle toasting by the Aga, clearly made one of them think it was time to make an entrance.  Hopefully the remainder will follow the usual schedule and won’t have been damaged by their roller coaster temperature experience.IMG_0166

As instructed, we placed the tub in the release box (already looking rather mouldy due to rain seeping in by the hinge, again, I hope that doesn’t matter).IMG_0167

And then filled the empty nesting tube holder with nesting tubes.IMG_0168

Having read the website after filling the tubes I realise we’ve done a couple of things wrong – firstly the tubes were in rubber bands which we took off, but apparently they help prevent birds pulling the tubes out.  And secondly, the smaller tubes are ‘inner’ tubes and shouldn’t have been used, they are spares to replace the inners when they become ‘capped’.  I’ll sort this out when I get back this Thursday.

Meanwhile we wait – and thank goodness I didn’t try honey bees….IMG_0169