End of month view – yearly round up 2016


As ever, there have been successes and failures in the garden this year, but, as other bloggers have commented, having a garden to escape to (and even just think about) I find a great source of solace in a challenging world.

Pressures of (virtually) full time work, and being off the island for three days every week meant things got a little out of control towards the end of the year, but early on the bulbs were glorious (after a rather extensive order was placed with Peter Nyssen in the autumn of 2015!)

The two beds created last year showed their first spring bulbs – here the Bronze BedIMG_0300

and here the Mid Century bed.IMG_0496

There were still some returning tulips in the Swing Beds, but they were definitely depleted, so I’ve recently planted some more. IMG_0292

Later in the year I felt the beds lacked the cohesion that massed bulbs provide, so for the summer of 2017 I’d like to move towards larger clumps of fewer herbaceous varieties, but it’s oh so difficult to edit!

I still grew plenty of plants from seed with some lovely successes, firstly the ‘Winter Sunshine’ Sweet Peas, which, grown in the greenhouse, started flowering in  the first half of April.IMG_0239

In June Papaver somniferum ‘Lauren’s Grape,’ returned after self seeding from the original plants grown the year beforeIMG_1116

and in July I was  very chuffed with the display from my seed grown Agapanthus.


I tried a number of new dahlias, but suffered from the gardening equivalent of my eyes being too big for my stomach, and a number ended up in pots where they ultimately weren’t very happy, but there were some gorgeous blooms early on.

There were some pleasing planting combinations too (some accidental, let’s be honest!) but they tended to be on quite a small scale, rather than a whole bed, so again, room for improvement.IMG_1114




For the first time I had bees in the garden – Red Mason Bees, which don’t supply honey, but are endangered, so it was good to give them a home and is something I’ll repeat in 2017.IMG_1580

In the greenhouse, after the sweet peas had finished, I had pounds of tasty tomatoesIMG_1549

and the best ever success with aubergines, having swapped to the variety ‘Farmer’s Long.’IMG_1550

I thoroughly enjoyed contributing to Cathy’s meme ‘In a vase on Monday.’  Despite not having access to the Cutting patch I’d created in a neighbour’s plot in 2014 and 2015, I managed to find blooms in the main beds and enjoyed the challenge of bringing them together.  photo 1




I posted fewer ‘Duver’ posts (the name of the National Trust land opposite the house and hence name of the blog) this year, but it continues to be a beautiful area to walk which changes daily with the seasons and weather.IMG_0901



Away from home I visited LOADS of gardens.  I hadn’t realised how many until I looked them up for this post.  (There were well over a dozen so I haven’t bothered to add all the links, but the posts are easily found by searching either the garden name or the ‘Garden Visits’ category).

February – Wisley and Sir Harold Hillier (below) IMG_0143

April – NymansIMG_0134

May – Hyde Hall and Beth Chatto (below)IMG_0331

June – Cragside, Lindisfarne, Whalton Manor and Alnwick (below)IMG_0912

July – Blenheim House (NGS on the Isle of Wight) and West Green House (below)IMG_1354

August – Kew, Mottistone and West Dean (below)


and October – Jardines de Alfabia and Woolbeding (below)img_1733

On the learning front, I took a Propagation Course at West Dean, and continued with the second year of my Level 3 Certificate in Garden and Planting Design course at Capel Manor college.  And, just as at the end of last year’s round up, I really should stop blogging and crack on with my latest college assignment.  Perhaps in 2017 I’ll find time to put some of the knowledge into practice!

Wishing you and yours a fabulous, flowery 2017, and thank you so much for supporting Duver Diary with your views, likes and comments.

10 thoughts on “End of month view – yearly round up 2016

  1. Cathy

    What an open and honest review, Jen – and Happy Single Date was never mentioned once!! You have included some glorious photographs too – which I will of course have seen before but it’s good to revisit them, as you will have found yourself (your summer vases – so lovely!). I have planted ‘a lot’ of tulips in the shrub border but will then have the dilemma before next year in deciding whether to hope they all come again, or just to assume they won’t, and order more! Have a great year 🙂

    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Thanks Cathy – and to you.
      And yes, know what you mean about the bulbs. I think I’m moving into a ‘rolling renewal’ with the tulips. I really wouldn’t want to be without them now!

  2. digwithdorris

    What a super bunch of pictures, lovely bulbs, flowers in vases and gardens. I too have planted lots of tulips this year in the hope for lots of cutting material. Here’s to a great 2017

  3. Christina

    A lovely honest review of the year. So many lovely images. I have some Agapanthus seedlings growing in the greenhouse, I tried them after reading about yours. How many years did it take before they flowered? Have a great 2017.

    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Hi Christina, it was few years but I’m sure I delayed their flowering by leaving them in pots for too long. I reckon they’d flower in three years – maybe even two – if you plant them somewhere they’re happy. Let me know how you get on!


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