Monthly Archives: May 2016

End of month view – May 2016

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I feel like I’ve barely set foot in the garden over the last three weeks (apart from picking flowers!) and am feeling a bit overwhelmed with how behind I am.  To compound things, a number of plans don’t quite seem to have come off including the Sisyrinchiums above. Some of you may remember the Sisyrinchium saga where I got fed up with Sisyrinchium striatum taking over the Swing Beds and so I pulled them out at the end of 2014.  I then went to Mottistone Gardens, thought they looked lovely (see photo below from June 2015) and put them back in.  Sure enough enough, I’m now cross with them again.  I swear I placed them through the beds and so how have they ended up in a great big clump at the front?  And shall I pull them out again?  Sigh.

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Secondly, at the back of the beds I planted some Gladioulus communis subsp. byzantinus from Sarah Raven last autumn, in an attempt to provide some colour after the tulips. I should have planted them through the bed, but even so, they haven’t turned out as I expected.    IMG_0827

New gladiolusIMG_0829

and existing – taller, a better colour and a bigger bloom.  Why couldn’t I have had more of these?  I feel an email coming on.

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And a final moan, in the Mid Century Bed, which is supposed to have ‘bruised’ colours, look at the foxglove.  Ah well, it looks good with the rose.

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Right, enough moaning.  One thing I am chuffed with in this bed is this Lysmachia atropupurea I grew from seed last year.  There are at least two (there may be others smothered by Cerinthe) and they’re only small so far, but end up quite shrubby and are apparently good for cutting.  IMG_0835

The right hand Lavender Bed is starting to fill out, with some Peonies just coming into bud.IMG_0822

The Bronze Bed, as feared, is overwhelmed with dying bulb foliage, but I’m prepared to wait a little longer before cutting back if it means they’ll return next year.

The Rose, Rosa ‘Pat Austin’ and Icelandic poppies are already making an impact and will soon be joined by Scabious, Nasturtium and Achillea.

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The woolly slug deterrent was partially successful in the Hosta Bed, but there have definitely been a few nibbles.IMG_0842

In the Veg Bed I have planted out a few more beans, but there’s still a lot more to get in, and some of the Courgettes have been attacked to the point where I’m not sure they’ll pull through.  Ah well, I probably had too many anyway!IMG_0831

Excitingly, the Agapanthus I grew from seed and planted out at the back of the Strawberry Bed, have now got multiple buds.

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Many pots are starting to romp away, but there are also plenty yet to be planted up.  This one, planted last year with Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’ and Clematis ‘Princess Di’ has suddenly taken off.

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And in the greenhouse, well, there are lots of plants that should be in the garden.  Maybe next weekend!IMG_0838

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With many thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting our End of Month views.

In a vase on Monday – more golf flowers

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Another golfing event – the Captain’s Dinner – led to another request for flowers.  I have to say a couple of weeks ago I was less than enthusiastic as, to my eyes, the garden was full of dying bulb foliage and not much else, but things have definitely moved on, and in the end there was plenty to choose from.

I only needed to prepare eight table decorations, plus one larger one, so the pressure was off compared to the original set of 20 in October .  The first plant I have copious amounts of currently is Cerinthe purpurescens.  This has self seeded everywhere to the extent that cutting for the arrangements was actually beneficial to clear it away from paths and grass.

For the purple arrangements I started with the Cerinthe and added purple sweet peas (still the Winter Sunshine ones from the greenhouse), Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and a few springs of lavender.IMG_0816

The pink arrangements contained Madame Gregoire Staechelin roses,  Euphorbia, Erysimum, Daucus Carota ‘Black Knight’ and a sweet pea that has self seeded in a large trough containing an Olive tree.  I think this is Lathyrus tingitanus which I grew two years ago in the greenhouse.  Quite how it’s found its way outside I have no idea, but I love the tendrils and its delightful colouring.  Sadly it has no scent.IMG_0817

The white and green contained more Euphorbia, as well as Matthiola incana, white Winter Sunshine Sweet Peas and a couple of Calendula buds.IMG_0818

And the carnival pink and orange pair had more Cerinthe, Geum ‘Totally Tangerine,’ buds of Rosa ‘Pat Austin’ and Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’IMG_0819

As well as the table decorations I threw together a larger arrangement which was designed around anything I could find that had some stem length.  The foliage was bronze fennel and black cow parsley (both of which seemed to be inclined to droop), with Euphorbia, larger heads of Daucus Carota,  Nectoscordum siculum, Allium ‘Purple Sensation’, Sisyrinchium striatum and Rosa ‘Snow Goose’.IMG_0808

With many thanks to Cathy for hosting this lovely meme.  Why don’t you see what others have in their vases this Bank Holiday?  Now I must get in the garden!

Chelsea Flower Show 2017

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Terribly late again with this year’s Chelsea post but I don’t seem to have been at home much since my very chilly visit on Wednesday evening.

If you want detailed, beautiful blog coverage I’d heartily recommend the Frustrated Gardener, who has not only shared multiple posts on this year’s Chelsea, but also seems to share my opinions on this year’s gardens to an almost spooky degree!

The garden above is Nick Bailey’s Winton Beauty of Mathematics garden, and definitely one of my favourites.  Looking back at my first Chelsea post in 2014 I noted that there was no orange in any of the show gardens, and yet two years later it was everywhere.  Here, the Geum ‘Mai Tai’ picks up on the wonderful sweep of etched copper. Nick is head gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden and I recently purchased his book, 365 days of colour in your garden, which, as you might imagine from this assured yet stimulating planting, is an absolute treat.

More bronzy orange in the Garden of Mindful Living garden, which pulled off hard lines softened by planting in a limited palette but with lots of calming, soft green.  The one thing I didn’t like was the (to me) rather cheesy photo.IMG_0733IMG_0736

And of course another garden making use of orange, was Best in Show, Andy Sturgeon’s garden for The Telegraph.  Here the magnificent Isoplexis canariensis picked up the colour of the flames in the fire pit.

I feel I admired this garden rather more than loved it, prefering my gardens softer. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s pulled off a striking, thought provoking design, I just don’t think I’d want to live with it.IMG_0739

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Below, Cleve West’s M&G design, was inspired by his Exmoor childhood and provided a beautifully calming understated scene.  The perimeter oaks were surprisingly dainty and whilst a little frustrating in the way they blocked visitors’ views, they really added to the atmosphere of the space.IMG_0721

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The LG Smart Garden had some gorgeous soft planting, in both colour and form.  No challenging brights or sharp lines here, but enough contrast to keep it interesting. Definitely a garden to retreat to after a hard day at the coal face!IMG_0727

The planting at the Support the Husqvama Garden, to me didn’t work as well, but then I’m never comfortable mixing white flowers with dark as they have here.IMG_0731

Into the Grand Marquee for more orange in the form of Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’ (doesn’t look very scarlet to me) which came second in the RHS Plant of the Year competition,IMG_0765

a lovely combination on the Daisy Roots stand,IMG_0796

new introduction, Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’ from David Austin roses (I forgot to upload the photo) as well as these extraordinary blooms, Scadoxus multiflorus from Jacques Amand.IMG_0788

Elsewhere a stunning display from Bowdens Nursery included a train carriage, but perhaps even more impressive, endless unnibbled hostas,IMG_0774

and gorgeous alpines from Rotherview Nursery.

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And to finish, my favourite Artisan garden, the Senri-Sentei – Garage Garden.IMG_0802

and look, I’m not the only one enjoying it!IMG_0806

 

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – mid May 2016

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There are still a few bulbs clinging on, particularly Tulip ‘Queen of the Night’ (above) and below with ‘Merry go round’IMG_0496

just a few Tulip ‘Jimmy’ and Narcissus ‘Yazz’IMG_0490

Narcissus ‘Goose Green’IMG_0513

and in the Swing Beds, the Tulips ‘Menton’ and ‘Mistress’.IMG_0500

New bulbs emerging include these Gladiolus byzantinus, just coming into bloom in the Lavender Beds but rather more shy elsewhere,

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as well as these Nectoscordum siculum that I’ve said for two years I was going to pull out.IMG_0499

I’ve already got a good showing of Pelargoniums, both outside and in the greenhouseIMG_0517

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and a couple of Clematis.  I love this Montana, which has found its way through the (sadly now empty) chicken hutIMG_0503

but I’m really not convinced about Clematis ‘Josephine’.  What was I thinking?

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Meanwhile, thinking of climbers, my Wisteria is already going over.

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and has showered its purple petals on the succulentsIMG_0493

Also in containers the Matthiola incana has gone mad in the troughs and smells absolutely divine.IMG_0497

Surviving through the winter and already looking better than last year, Cerinthe major purpurescens (such a favourite)IMG_0507

and Daucus carota ‘Black Knight’, grown from seed last year.IMG_0506

And to finish, the first of the roses, Rosa ‘Snow Goose’ on the pergola.IMG_0501

With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD.