Monthly Archives: September 2016

End of month view – September 2016

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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.

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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)

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

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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.

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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!

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

Back to school again

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After successfully completing my Plants and Planting Design course at Capel Manor College at Regents Park last year, I’ve recently enrolled on the ‘sister’ course, Level 3 Certificate in Garden Design.

Two of my lovely fellow students from last year have also continued to this course, and we’ve welcomed some new faces, but we’ve kept our super tutor John Gilbert.

I was a little concerned I wouldn’t enjoy this year as much as last year as it focuses on the design of the garden itself, rather than any planting within it, but I’ve already attended a couple of classes and, whilst definitely less flowery, it’s still been really interesting.

Roll on Assignment 1!

In a vase on Monday – Marmalade madness

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So a marmalade combination for this Monday’s vase, photographed in Sunday afternoon’s sunshine.

The vase includes Dahlia ‘Mystery Fox’img_1658

old favourite Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date,’ with new growth of Cerinthe major purpurescensimg_1663

Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty,’img_1660

and Euphorbia myrsinites together with unknown succulent.  This was given as a cutting by  a neighbour and I now have quite a few of them.  Maybe some kind of Asphodel?img_1661

And the madness?  Well, after the delight of meeting up with Sam from A Coastal Plot at the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition at the Tate Modern,  how about an IaVoM lunch next year when London’s Garden Museum reopens after its £7.5m redevelopment?  The website promises a ‘bigger, brighter cafe’.  Anyone up for it?

With thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, who started it all off.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – September 2016

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Over a week late with GBBD, but I still wanted to post as a record for me.  (I’m not sure having my daughter home is conducive to blogging!)

Whilst the raised cutting beds have been pretty hopeless this year due to lack of water,  the Zinnia above Z. elegans ‘Luminosa’ is doing well, whilst these Diascia personata, grown from cuttings last year, are going mad.  I mean to move them into the Swing Beds, but life keeps getting in the way.img_1585

In the Swing Beds the Nicotiana mutablis are starting to get going, but were definitely planted out too late to make the impact I was after.img_1597

They’ve been joined by Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Blue Cockade’, also grown from seed, shown here with Aster frikartii Monch. img_1601

Further blue is provided by the lovely Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Heavenly Blue’. Apparently this can be propagated by cuttings, so I really should try to make some more as I love it.img_1600

Elsewhere there are still roses going strong – R. Flower Carpet Pink,img_1582

R. Jubilee Celebrationimg_1618

and R. Munstead Wood.img_1614

Joining the rose above in the Mid Century Bed are Antirrhinum majus nanum ‘Black Prince’ (not looking very black to me!)img_1610

Amaranthus caudatusimg_1615

and Dahlia ‘La Recoleta’.img_1613

Whilst the Grass Bed was supposed to be taken over by Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’ and this lovely Cosmos, C. bipinnatus ‘Fizzy White’img_1603

instead it’s been rather overwhelmed by self seeded Nasturtiumsimg_1606

and this grass, which I’m sure I originally grew from seed a couple of years ago, but now can’t remember the name of.  Help!img_1608

In the veg bed, this Lathyrus ‘Heathcliff’ must be one of the very last Sweet Peas.img_1592

In the greenhouse, the Plumbago is still flowering wellimg_1588

and has been joined by the Mandevilla Sundaville Pink.  Some of you might remember these rather gaudy plants were bought at Hampton Court Flower Show to go in pots with the wonderful Pelargonium Surcouf, but I couldn’t bear to plant them together as they weren’t quite the same pink.  Consequently, they’ve been left in the greenhouse, repotted twice, and are absolutely thriving.  Shame I’m now not sure I actually like them!img_1587

To finish this cheeky orange Diascia.  I bought this as a plug plant months ago and it’s in a pot by the front door and has been in almost constant flower ever since.  Gotta love a bit of bedding!img_1628

With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD (on the, er, 15th of the month!)

To bee or not to bee #4

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I recently received an Autumn Newsletter from Mason Bees UK, the suppliers of my Red Mason Bee cocoons earlier in the year.

It’s apparently now time to bring the nesting tubes inside to check if they are occupied. The ones with mud caps (two of mine above) are likely to be occupied with Red Mason Bee cocoons.  However, there might also be cocoons in uncapped tubes, so we’ve been invited to remove the tubes from the the holder and hold the them up to the light to see if there is anything inside.

If the tube is occupied, the inside tube should be removed from the outer either by hand or needle nosed pliers.  Once removed they should be returned to Mason Bees UK for safekeeping over the winter.  New cocoons will be sent out in the spring.

So, that’s two occupied tubes taken care of, what of the other five which are capped but look different?  Apparently these are likely to be inhabited by Leafcutter Bee cocoons and the newsletter explained how I can look after these at home.  Knowing these were likely to be leafcutters I looked at nearby leaves and, sure enough, some exhibited the neat circular holes that leafcutters make.

Interestingly the newsletter shared evidence that ‘second hand’ outer tubes (ie reused for a second year) seem to attract nesting bees more readily than brand new tubes which is thought might be due to a pheromone effect, so hopefully next year I might have even more success.

What a buzz  😉