Category Archives: End of month view

End of month view – January 2018

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I somehow managed to delete the ‘classic’ photo I took looking across the lawn to the swing, so thought I’d start with the shady bed for a change.  This is the location of the Sarcococca (on the left) which I snipped for my scented Monday vase.  There’s a lovely dark hellebore here too, towards the centre of the photo, but it’s not yet open.  Another ‘spring thing’ to look forward to!

In the troughs the stocks, which were grown from cuttings and planted out last year, are finally starting to make their mark and will hopefully also provide scent later in the year.  In front of them plenty of daffodils are just peeping above the parapet.  The grand plan for this bed later in the year is to have a mass planting of Pelargoniums as I think they’re about the only thing I can think of that will tolerate the heat and dryness of these metal troughs in the summer.  IMG_3867

The strawberry bed is largely devoid of strawberries and increasingly overwhelmed with Agapanthus, but I’m fine with that (even if my daughter isn’t!)IMG_3868

The Swing Beds are still pretty green but definitely in need of a tidy – particularly those roses.  I’m going to need to be feeling strong for them!IMG_3869

The swing itself has a rather charming ‘fringe’ of Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ on the right hand side.  Sadly, the one on the left seems to have disappeared.IMG_3870

The right hand Swing Bed is looking as dull as the left one, but with a similarly scary looking rambling rose.  Now where are those gauntlets….IMG_3871

Happily, in the robustly defended Grass Bed, the bulbs are coming up unmolested.  At some stage – once I’m confident they’re beyond being eaten but preferably before all the buds have formed – I’ll need to remove the chicken wire so we can enjoy them.

Meanwhile, I’m a worried the Stipa tenuissima are looking a bit peaky.  I normally have a bit of a divide/replant over winter to try to maintain the row, but there’s not much material to work with!IMG_3872

Looking across the Mid Century bed towards the greenhouse you can still see the big white sacks of compost and manure delivered before Christmas.  I have done some sh*t shovelling, but the weather has been so rubbish that reading a gardening magazine by the warmth of the Aga has been rather more appealing.IMG_3873

In the metal bath by the front steps the Osteospermums are still flowering.  I did try to take some cuttings but they didn’t take.  Perhaps I’ll try again in the spring as I do love this colour.IMG_3859

Further round, the Hamamelis is looking good – it probably deserves neater environs, so that’s another bed that needs a tidy and mulch.IMG_3855

The Bronze Bed is already showing signs of the (hopefully) bonanza of bulbs to come.  For the last two years there have almost been too many, but I’m not complaining!IMG_3856

Numerous succulents and Aeoniums are still sheltering under the glass canopy,IMG_3858

whilst in the greenhouse there are lots of Perlargonium cuttings coming on, as well as a few bought ones from Derry Watkin’s nursery which I visited when we went to Bath.IMG_3865

In addition, here is the first wave of sweet peas – these are the ‘Winter Sunshine’ variety that last year flowered in April.IMG_3866

And to finish, yet more bulbs to look forward to.  Roll on spring!IMG_3860

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting EoMVs.

 

 

End of month view – yearly round up 2017

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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:

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I added a new tree to the garden – Albizia julibrissin ‘Ombrella,’

had fun with pots

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and tried new edibles in the greenhouse – Pepper ‘Tequilla’ and

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Aubergine ‘Slim Jim.’

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I also continued creating various vases, both for Cathy’s ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme IMG_2342

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as well as to take to work with me.IMG_2237

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.img_1532-1

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And also shared plenty of garden visit photos, including, in March, Le Jardin de Secret

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and Jardin Majorelle, both in Marrakech,dsc00100

in May, Gravetye Manor,IMG_2462

and Parham House and Gardens.

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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.image

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.

End of Month view – November 2017

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A rather autumnal shot to start this month’s Endof Month View,ispast the yellowing mulberry towards the swing.  This mulberry was in a pot for years and is still barely fruiting now despite  having its feet in the ground.

My mother in law was kind enough to buy me a Mulberry ‘Charlotte Russe’ (the RHS plant of the year 2017) for my birthday earlier this year and, as one of its attributes is supposedly early fruiting, it will be interesting to see if it overtakes this rather more established plant!

This shot shows the magnificent Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita’, still in rude health.

In the troughs the stocks grown from cuttings are looking much more established and there are still flowers on the Pelagonium.

Likewise the Pelagonium ‘Surcouf’ still has the odd bloom.

The Veg patch is in a state of general collapse and needs clearing and mulching, but at least the Diving Lady’s pool has been newly planted with Muscari.

In the Swing Beds there is little to now see except the Salvias.

and rose hips –  I’m hoping the birds leave these alone so I can pick them for Christmas decorations.

The Grass Bed was cleared a while ago and has now been planted with daffodils and tulips.  However, bearing in mind the thievery which went on last year, serious precautions have been taken..

Walking past the house you can see the Rose carpet roses are still, rather incongruously, pumping out their bright pink blooms.

Past the tin bath and whilst the Osteospermum and Gazanias are shrugging off the chill, the rather crispy looking plant at the front off this shot is (was) a Chocolate Cosmos.  I really don’t learn as I’ve lost these plants before.  Whilst we’re blessed with a very mild climate here, they really are not remotely hardy.  (Note to self Jen!)

The leaves are nearly all off the Cercis, with just this pair clinging on in the sunshine.

The Bronze Bed is now largely a tangle of decaying dahlia stems which need to be cut down

but in amongst there is still the odd jewel!

Climbing up the wooden support for the glass awning is this Clematis ‘My Angel’.  I bought it from a specialist Clematis nursery but sadly it’s been really disappointing.  The flowers, which are similar in shape to ‘tangutica’ but supposed to be tawny/orange (to match the Bronze Bed which is directly in front) turned out to be rather insipid in the flesh, and also really small.  Not surprisingly, the seedheads are also really small which is a shame as I think they’re lovely in arrangements but I don’t think these would really work.

The jury’s out as to whether ‘My angel’ will get sent to plant heaven!

The succulents have now been tucked under the glass awning but I think if really cold weather is forecast that won’t be protection enough and they’ll need moving again.

This sink, however, is currently still out in the open and, having only been planted up this year has filled out really well.  In my enthusiasm to show it off, however, I did completely miss the enormous nettle in the bed behind.  Oops.

Here’s yet another pink Pelagonium, this one bought on the cheap from Waitrose.  It’s a perfect match for the Flower Carpet roses so I’ve just taken a whole lot of cuttings with the view of filing a big pot of them next summer.

Into the greenhouse and the banana (not my purchase!) is annoyingly looking better than ever

and there are plenty of cuttings coming along well.

One thing not looking so good is the state of the glass.  I hate cleaning the greenhouse (let’s face it, I hate cleaning) but this is definitely something on the jobs list

together with barrowing all this around

oh, and still planting the rest of these:

Wish me luck!

With thanks to Steve at Glebe House who hosts EoMV.

End of month view – October 2017

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Today’s ‘End of Month View’ features photos actually taken on Friday as it was such a beautiful day I was compelled to capture it.

This first view is over the statuesque Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita’ to Bembridge harbour beyond.  Amazing to think that, as a half hardy annual, the Ricinus was just a seed eight months ago!IMG_3637

Walking across the decking there are still blooms on the Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’

as well as in various other pots.

Round to the Strawberry Bed you can see the Agapanthus are rather taking over.  I have now chopped back the seed heads, but I fear the strawberries are being squeezed out.

The  Swing Beds still have a bit of colour, largely from the Salvias, but also the Verbena bonariensis and a few asters and rosesIMG_3651

The pergola is luxuriantly draped in Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’, but surely the amazing thing about this shot is the colour of the sky!IMG_3653

This Grass Bed photo is one of total chaos, and is in fact is no longer representative as I spent Saturday afternoon pulling out all the spent annuals and rediscovering the Stipa tenuissima at the back, which give the bed its name.  Dozens and dozens of Nasturtium seeds fell onto the bed as I was clearing, so next year they’ll be back with a similar vengeance unless I’m very determined.

I finally got my bulb order in last weekend and this bed is destined to be one of the beneficiaries. Last year the vast majority of bulbs planted here were eaten by some critter or other, so I’m hoping next year will be more successful.

In the left hand Lavender Bed I’m delighted that my little silk tree Albizia julibrissin ‘Ombrella’ is doing well –

it’s already come a long way from this twig (see to the left of this photo from April).  I wonder if next year it will flower?IMG_2355

Walking round the house to the western end of the garden takes you first past the Flower Carpet roses, looking ridiculously perky,

and then the old tin bath, also full of summery Gazanias and Osteospermums.

Once round the corner things take a definitely autumnal turn, 

but you’ve got to love that Cercis – talk about bonfire night!

Back round to the greenhouse, and you have to admire the continuing blooms of the greenhouse pots.  These have been blooming non stop since June and have been an absolute joy. 

The greenhouse, however, has not been such a joy.  It’s latterly suffered an infestation of whitefly, so I’ve hoiked nearly everything out, discarding all the tomatoes and cucumbers

and leaving pretty much everything else outside like a mad ‘bring and buy’ plant sale.

Fingers crossed the whitefly expire before the temperature drops – and anyone with any whitefly tips, please do share!  

With thanks to Steve, at Glebe House Garden, who now hosts End of Month views.

End of month view – September 2017

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The best bit about this view is the newly mown, stripy lawn – thanks hubs!

Taking the usual End of Month tour takes us firstly past the metal troughs which have been taken over by two enormous, self seeded Shoo-fly plants (Nicandra physalodes).  I confessed last month that the Cosmos and trailing Sweet peas planted in the troughs this year were unhappy with such hot roots, so I’ve let the Shoo-flies take over.

The plan for next year is an abundance of Pelargoniums – reckon they’ll be happier?IMG_3322

Talking of unhappy, the Veg Patch is a little sorry now too.  Not only have the cutting flowers largely given upIMG_3325

but the Diving Lady’s pool has dried up, and the beans have fallen over.IMG_3327

And those of a sensitive disposition look away now – I seem to be feeding the Island’s Cabbage White caterpillar population with my ‘Flower Sprouts.’

The Flower Sprouts are a cross between kale and Brussel sprouts, which supposedly grow ‘baby’ kales (kalettes), at the leaf axils (where you’d ordinarily find the Brussels).  I’ve been trying to convince myself that I don’t need the leaves as they’re not the crop, but I guess without the leaves there is no ‘engine’ to grow the ‘kalettes’.  Hmmm.IMG_3324

On a cheerier note the Swing Beds are still colourful, with even a Lupin in bloom.IMG_3330

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On the Swing Pergola itself there is a veil of flowering Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles.’IMG_3336

Whilst up close they’re very pretty, from a distance I have to admit they’re rather a mess!IMG_3334

Interestingly, the Cosmos in the Grass Bed which got damaged in earlier windy weather, has now all but disappeared, with the white Malopes and self seeded Nasturtiums taking over.  IMG_3338

In the Mid Century Bed the Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita’ has been hauled back upright having flopped right over the path, and is still providing fabulous foliage to accompanyIMG_3319

the remaining blooms, particularly the Dahlia ‘La Recoleta’ and the roses.

I’m also delighted that the Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ (planted in April) has survived despite my rather haphazard attentions over the summer and is now looking settled.

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The Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin f rosea), planted at the same time as the Cercis, is also fine, but looking a little overwhelmed by the Asters in the photo below!

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In the Greenhouse beds, my clearing of the Nasturtiums last month (in an effort to expose some soil for the poppies to self seed) didn’t exactly go to plan.  Instead, the Nasturtiums are back in force and sadly, there’s no sign of any poppy seedlings.IMG_3342

In the Greenhouse Pots, a Sarah Raven combo has been flowering for months – Arctotis ‘Flame’ and Thunbergia ‘African Sunset.’

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Whilst in the greenhouse, most things are coming to an end,IMG_3343

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the cuttings are just beginning.IMG_3344

One thing I’m hoping to grow more of is this Pelargonium ‘Choun Cho.’IMG_3345

Along by the house, the Flower Carpet roses are back with a vengeance and smothered in buds.

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Buds too on the Nerines.IMG_3351

Round the corner the inherited roses by the gate are reflecting the (definitely inherited!) pampas.

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In the tin bath at the top of the steps, the Osteospermum ‘Serenity Rose Magic’ (also from Sarah Raven) have survived best of everything in here.  I took plenty of cuttings at the weekend so hopefully I’ll have more next year.IMG_3353

The Bronze Bed is still doing well – the ‘Happy Single Dates’ are only looking a little thin because I’d picked loads for a big vase.

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And to finish, better late than never.  My neighbour gave me seedlings of Morning Glory ahead of June’s garden opening, but sadly I didn’t get them planted out until quite some time later.  But look, they’re flowering now – thanks Rosy!

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With thanks too to Steve, at Glebe House Garden, who has taken over hosting End of Month views.

End of month view – August 2017

Well it’s all gone to hell in a hand basket – end of month view four days late – hopeless. And the photos, taken last weekend when I’d nearly run out of light, are hopeless too!  Ah well, as mentioned before, I find these monthly views handy for me, so think I’ll still take you for a spin.

The Mid Century bed above is looking appropriately ‘bruised’ and the ‘gladdies’ continue to make their presence felt whether I like it or not – and I still can’t make up my mind!

The troughs have been a bit of a disaster this year – the Cosmos Antiquity never really got going, so I’ve allowed the enormous self seeded shoo fly plant (Nicandra physaloides) free rein as there’s not much else going on.  The trailing sweet peas ‘Pink Cupid’ really didn’t like the heat of the metal trough – I suppose not surprisingly – and pretty much all curled up and died.  I’d like to try them somewhere else next year, but worry that with any pot I’ve have a similar problem, and yet if not in a pot how do they trail?IMG_3075

The Veg patch is showing off some rather more successful sweet peas than the ‘Pink Cupids’ but these too have suffered from lack of water.  I’ve definitely had far more blooms from the greenhouse ones this year.

As well as the blooms I’ve had the usual broad beans, runner beans and courgettes but had a terrible time germinating french beans and sugar snaps this year and so haven’t had any.

I am growing Sarah Raven’s flower sprouts or ‘Kalettes’ for the first time this year which are a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale and have ‘baby’ kale in the  place where you’d expect the Brussels to be.  I haven’t harvested any yet and at the moment the plants don’t even seem to be showing much sign the kalettes will appear.  I have just checked the SR website and it suggests I should be harvesting from September to November, so hopefully there’s still time…

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The Swing Beds still have a reasonable amount of interest with the VerbenaPenstemons, Salvia and Asters as well as the incredibly long flowering Diascia personata.IMG_3067

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I shared the view over the Grass Bed as last week’s Wordless Wednesday.  It really was a glorious day and the Cosmos ‘Psyche White’ have been great this year.

The Perlagonium ‘Surcouf’ continues to smother both pots, and increasingly the trellis behind, to the extent where I wonder whether at some state I’ll move the Clematis out altogether and concentrate on just getting the Pelagonium to climb.

Poor (Clematis) Princess Di (as it is she) seems to be as unhappy in my pots as she was in later life, but that’s a whole other subject…..IMG_3065

Another couple of really successful pots have been the pair by the greenhouse doors. These were another Sarah Raven suggestion and have been truly spectacular this year – Thunbergia ‘African Sunset’ with Arctotis ‘Flame’.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to overwinter the Arctotis and even make some more by taking cuttings, but I’ll have to start again with the Thunbergia as it is annual.

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In the Greenhouse Beds I’ve had a clear out of the Nasturtiums as I’m hoping to expose some soil so the Poppies will seed.  I’ve also planted out some Aster Frikartii ‘Monch’ (some of which were grown as cuttings, and some bought months ago).  The idea was to increase the number in the Swing Beds, but they’re currently so rammed with plants I was worried the Asters wouldn’t get established, so thought they’d be better where I can keep an eye on them.  Even if I decide to move them later, I’m sure they’ll be happier having finally got their ‘feet’ in the soil.IMG_3062

At the other side of the garden, the Dahlias and Roses are still pumping out blooms in the Bronze Bed. IMG_3056

By the long table there have been a couple of late Wisteria blooms – but these aren’t them. These are Dolichos Lablab ‘Ruby Moon’ which I had growing in the pots by the front door which have self seeded in a pot I’m growing a Clematis in.  The Clematis is taking its time to get going so these have been a lovely surprise.   Goodness knows how they got here!IMG_3059

Into the greenhouse and I’m delighted the Plumbago has bounced back from near drought induced death to be spectacularly floriferous again.

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And to finish, Aubergine ‘Slim Jim’.  He’s a good looking lad, but I haven’t tasted him yet!

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End of month view – July 2017

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After the glory of June’s excesses, already aspects of the garden at the end of July are looking a little tired.  However, conversely, areas reliant on annuals, such as the grass bed, are just getting going.

So the usual clockwise tour takes us past the new Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin f rosea).  Still no blooms, but I’m delighted it’s making itself at home.  Please ignore the convolvulus leaf to the left.  (I promise it isn’t there now, but I made the executive decision to take the photos yesterday before the five hours of gardening, so please excuse the ‘fuzzyness’ shown in the photos – not least the unmown lawn!)

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On to the troughs and sadly these are rather contradicting my statement about the annuals getting going.  I really need to rethink what I plant here as the metal troughs, especially during this balmy summer, are just too hot for many things.  The plan here was a combination of Cosmos ‘Antiquity’, which are just about getting there, combined with Lathyrus ‘Pink Cupid’ at the front, which Sarah Raven assured me would ‘tumble happily’. However, I don’t think having roasted roots really suits the poor sweet peas and consequently it’s barely peeping over the edge!IMG_2960

In the Veg Patch and it’s really more flowers than veg – both the amazing Agapanthus and the Sweet Peas.IMG_2961

The Swing Beds are a bit chaotic, but still showing quite a lot of colour – particularly the incredibly long flowering Diascia personataIMG_2962

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The Grass Bed has filled out considerably in a month with plenty of Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Psyche White’, (and Salvia horminum ‘White Swan’ and Malope trifida ‘Alba’ out of shot) together with plenty of self sown grasses.IMG_2964

On the way round we pass this shallow metal dish which just goes to show some plants are happy with baked bottoms!IMG_2966

The Mid Century Bed now has rather mad spires of Gladioli ‘Black Star’

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which are picking up on the spring planted Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ and the Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’.img_3002.jpg

Outside the greenhouse, the pots are still looking good with the Arctotis ‘Flame’ and Thunbergia ‘Africa Sunset’, joined by Catananche caerulea for contrast.

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Into the greenhouse and looking left I can show off an astonishing array of Peppers – ‘Crystal Lemon’ and ‘Tequila’IMG_2985

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There are tomatoes in the other direction

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and what’s this?  Newly discovered on my return from London on Thursday, a wonderful new potting station made by my lovely neighbour Martin.  I can’t promise it’ll mean I’ll keep the floor clean, but it will definitely help!IMG_2991

Round the corner to the Bronze Bed, now full of colour,

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not least from wonderful Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date.’IMG_2981

And to finish – a final flourish from the Wisteria – and another blue sky!IMG_2978