As last year, rather than solely a December view, I’ve put together a round up of the whole year.
I struggled with the Isle of Wight garden this year. There were a number of reasons – tricky weather (miserable early on and then so hot and very dry over the summer), too much time in London, too much work and lastly, the removal of the decking, which meant nowhere to sit out and made trying to keep the garden looking good all feel a bit pointless!
However, there were still highlights, and spring (above) was one of them.
Things were still ok in May
but by June everything was very parched,
with only the Mediterranean plants enjoying themselves.
The dry weather meant all my dahlias were disappointing, and finished early, with even the stalwart ‘Happy Single Dates’ not happy for long.
Conversely, the Zinnias loved the weather, and filled out the Grass Beds with lots of pickable blooms.
Again, as last year, I had many pots
but by summer many were struggling in the drought, so I was glad a number of them were so large!
On the edibles front the only new variety I tried was the French Bean ‘Masterpiece’ which did well and was very tasty. Otherwise we enjoyed the usual runner beans, courgettes, tomatoes, ‘Slim Jim’ aubergines, Ratte and Pink Fir Apple Potatoes and raspberries and strawberries.
I continued to enjoy joining in with Cathy’s wonderfully friendly and supportive ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme, albeit a bit haphazardly.
I also posted the odd photo from regular walks on the National Trust’s St Helens Duver, directly opposite the house.
As in previous years I was lucky enough to do plenty of garden visiting, both near and far – Villa Cimbrone on the Amalfi Coast
and An Cala in Scotland in May,
The High Line, in New York,
Kew Gardens (including the newly re-opened Temperate House) in June,
Castle House (just up the road) in August,
Church Gardens in Harefield, Middlesex in October
and Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, still looking fabulous in November.
And lastly, the biggest development this year, was the purchase of a tiny terraced house back in Richmond, and the transformation of the garden from this
Thank you so much for continuing to support Duver Diary and sharing your likes and comments. They really are very much appreciated, even if I don’t always find time to respond.
I hope I can carry on sharing my ramblings and photos next year, and that you’ll all come along for the ride!
Wishing you and yours a fabulous, flowery 2019.
Talk about ships that pass in the night – I returned from New York, only for the OH to turn around and head to Toronto!
Today finally saw us breakfasting and dog walking together for the first time in a fortnight – and to celebrate here he is, possibly showing his best side 😉
As many of you know, this blog is named after the National Trust area of land opposite our house called St Helens Duver (pronounced ‘duvver’). It’s the location for our daily walk with Nimbus, our labradoodle.
Slightly earlier in the year the duver is smothered in sea thrift Armeria maritima. (First blogged about here four years ago). It’s a little past its best now, but you get the idea.
Today, however, it felt like all the other wild flowers had joined the thrift, and appeared together – foxgloves
evening primrose, Oenothera biennis,
and sea holly Eryngium maritimum.
Allwere looking magnificent in today’s glorious sunshine. What a perfect day!
I’ve started my Yearly Round up with a photo of the garden in June as June saw me coordinating the St Helens Secret Gardens event (the garden opening of a dozen local gardens in aid of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance) for the first time.
I was so relieved and delighted all went smoothly – largely due to the fabulous weather. The event is only every other year so I can put my feet up this year!
As ever, there were successes and failures in the garden, with a really annoying number of bulbs, particularly tulips, lost to some nibbling critter. I like to think it might be one of our beautiful red squirrels as at least that means they were lost to a good cause! However, there were also successes, and I’ve shared some favourite garden photos below:
I added a new tree to the garden – Albizia julibrissin ‘Ombrella,’
had fun with pots
and tried new edibles in the greenhouse – Pepper ‘Tequilla’ and
Aubergine ‘Slim Jim.’
I also continued creating various vases, both for Cathy’s ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme
as well as to take to work with me.
I shared a few more photos taken on the daily dog walk on the St Helens Duver – the National Trust land opposite where we live that gives this blog its name.
And also shared plenty of garden visit photos, including, in March, Le Jardin de Secret
and Jardin Majorelle, both in Marrakech,
in May, Gravetye Manor,
and Parham House and Gardens.
In June, The Old Rectory Gardens, open for the NGS on the Isle of Wight
In September, Hauser and Wirth in Somerset
and in October, a couple of gardens on the Cote d’Azur – Jardin Exotique d’Eze
and Ville Ephrussi de Rothschild.
On the learning front, I finished the second year of my Level 3 Certificate in Garden and Planting Design course at Capel Manor College. I toyed with the idea of embarking on the RHS2 course but I was concerned it would all be a bit ‘schooly’ with little of the lovely gardening chat we had on the design course, so instead I took a six week photography evening class at the Bishopsgate Institute. However, the learning highlight must have been my crafty visit to the reopened Garden Museum where I created my festive robin.
So, another busy year chez Duver Diary – to be honest, sometimes rather too busy, and blogging has increasingly taken a back seat on occasions since I went back to working full time in February, but I still enjoy capturing and sharing photos both of my garden and others, and hope I can continue in 2018.
Thank you so much for supporting Duver Diary and sharing your likes and comments. They are such delight when work – or the wider world – are getting me down!
Wishing you and yours a fabulous, flowery 2018.