Category Archives: End of month view

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

 

End of Month View – June 2017

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These photos were taken on Monday, after the frantic activity of the previous day’s ‘Secret Gardens of St Helens’ event (organised by yours truly) where 12 village gardens opened in aid of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.  Whilst I can already point to areas where my organisation could be improved upon, I’m delighted to report that we had over 300 visitors and took over £3,000.  And, on a tastier note, someone said my Victoria Sandwich was the best on the Isle of Wight!

The garden was really looking spick and span thanks in a very large part to my lovely helpers – the OH, both my children, and neighbours M and J – who all pulled out the stops on Saturday and Sunday morning to rescue various areas of the garden from general chaos (so that’s what the greenhouse floor looks like!) as well as (M) potting up bits of random vegetation to sell.

So here’s the tour:

Entry via the steps and past the old copper pot, admiring the (ahem accidental) matching of the Callistemon and the container planting,

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and on past the Flower Carpet roses (which generated plenty of enthusiastic comments).IMG_2752

Past the greenhouse pots and into the greenhouse,

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on past the barrowIMG_2747

to the decking. admiring the pelagoniums

and dahlias.

On to the the veg patch

and then round to the Swing Beds.

A quick pause at the Grass Beds to admire the view

and another pot

and then a pause at the steps to look over to the office (nice bunting!)

and then up to the greenhouse.

Up the lavender steps and across to the other end of the garden

and finally, a seat at the table, and a cup of tea.

With thanks to all my helpers and cake donators as well as all the other garden openers, their helpers, the ticket sellers and poster putter uppers.

Yes I’m still feeling a little kn*ckered, but would I do it again – of course!

End of Month View – May 2017

The Frustrated Gardener said the other day “if a garden doesn’t look merry in May, there’s a problem” and although I’m thrilled mine has survived our recent absence (thanks to the dogsitter’s kind ministrations) it’s not ideal that it’s so merry now, as it will doubtless be looking rather exhausted by the garden opening in four weeks’ time!  Ah well, at least I can share with you.

So, this view is the Mid Century bed looking across the Lavender bed to the incredibly flowery Leptospermum beyond.  Here it is with an invasion of self seeded Valerian keeping it company.

In the right hand Lavender Bed the peonies are just about to burst

whilst in the left hand one (aside from miles of Convolvulus)  there is my ‘old’ Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and new E. ‘Red Jep,’ lots of pinks and my little Silk Tree.

The Swing Beds are wallowing in multiple roses as well as yellow soldiers of Sisyrinchium and pink Diascia personata.

Conversely, the Grass Bed is in a sorry state, with little to entertain except tatty forget me nots and self seeded Nasturtiums and Poppies.  This is due a big clear out and will be planted with annuals, hopefully next weekend.

The Veg Patch has moved on from this picture, as I’ve now planted out runner beans and sweet peas.  I’m intending to plant further flowers for cutting here, so have only erected two sets of bamboos this year.

The fleece to the right is to protect the strawberries in the lower bed,  but we’ve now moved it off the wall as it was forcing the Agapanthus flower heads into such awkward twists I felt compelled to liberate them!

At the other end of the garden the Oak Bed has its summer foliage on, with the lovely Cercis, the Sambucus (and indeed the over-the-road-oak) in full leaf.

The Pat Austin roses in the Bronze Bed are doing their cantaloupe thing, and will hopefully soon be joined by Achillea ‘Terracotta’ with Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date’ to follow later in the summer.

I’m still planting up pots, with the troughs by far the largest.  The plan here is a trailing sweet pea ‘Cupid’s Pink’ at the front together with a shorter Cosmos ‘Antiquity’ behind, but there seems to have been a bit of a mix up with the Cosmos lables, so I could end up with any one of four different varieties.  Oops.

Other pots which have largely overwintered are looking far more established – Pelargonium ‘Surcouf,’

a bonkers bath full,

a restocked barrow

and a restrained pot.

In the greenhouse I’ve finally planted out the tomatoes and cucumbers, but just look what greeted me on my return from holiday.  Just imagine the scent!

 

 

 

End of Month View – April 2017

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So, it’s time to come clean – the Acacia move discussed here didn’t end happily.  And whilst I’m still glad it’s gone from the Mid Century Bed, having it (temporarily!) in the Lavender Bed made me realise that to have a third tree between the existing two would be good. Consequently I’ve come up with a new plan –  a Silk Tree, first seen at Hilliers Garden and shown here.

The variety I’ve bought is smaller than the Hilliers one,  Albizia julibrissin ‘Ombrella,’ described by Burncoose (from where I purchased it online) as “A newish variety with cherry-pink fragrant flowers and dark green ferny leaves. Flowers profusely at a young age. Grows to only 10-15 feet”.  It was described as ‘large’ (to match the price tag), but if you look carefully at the photo above, it’s the twig to the left with the labels on.  Fingers crossed I don’t kill this one!

Below you’ll see the more usual EoMV looking south east across to Bembridge.  The arching tree, a crab apple, was fabulous this year – a really deep pink which you could actually see when looking back to the house from the beach – but the blossom, like so many of the bulbs, is now almost completely over.

The photo of the Swing Beds this time last year still had plenty of tulips, but this year there weren’t as many and they’re largely finished.  I was about to write that I hadn’t planted any new ones, but just checked and I did – 80.  I think someone has been having a nibble!

One good patch of colour in the foreground is provided by the sugary, seed grown Antirrhinum majus ‘The Rose’ I was so critical of last year (and threatened to pull out), but actually, bulked up, is providing a good match for the remaining ‘Menton’ and ‘Mistress’ tulips.

The Grass Bed was also better a couple of weeks ago, but has also suffered from a critter with the munchies.  Before the forget me nots grew up I came back one weekend to find numerous bulb sized empty holes where there should have been 50 Spring Green Tulips.  Grrr.

Here’s one, you’ll have to imagine the rest!

Round to the Mid Century Bed, this does still have some tulips, and loads of self seeded Cerinthe and Euphorbia.

In the gap left by moving (er, killing) the Acacia I’ve now planted a Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’.

(I already planted one in the Oak Bed and perhaps should have gone with an evergreen such as Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’ as some of you suggested, but I’m afraid this is a total ‘mum memory’ plant from a wonderful visit we did together to Beth Chatto’s Garden, and planting it here I’ll be able to see it from the kitchen table).

The one in the Oak Bed is just coming into leaf

and possibly flower.  (It hasn’t flowered that reliably as I think the site is a little too shady. Hopefully the one in the MCB will like its surroundings better).

The bulbs in the Bronze Bed are largely over (much earlier than last year) and the Wisteria is also turning brown around the edges.  Meanwhile the Melianthus major has gone bonkers. I’ve discussed this before, but I really should cut it back, but with the garden opening in two months (aargh!), I just can’t bring myself to do it.  This autumn, though, it MUST happen!

Out on the Drive Bed the Erysimum ‘Ivory Giant’ grown from seed last year are finally making their mark and I’m hoping they’ll still be flowering when the Sisyrinchiums and Rose ‘Snow Goose’ join the party.

In the veg patch there is nothing except the moved rhubarb (looking a little ‘unsettled’ if you know what I mean) a few Broad Beans and plenty of raspberry canes which need tying in.

In the Strawberry Bed the Agapanthus are threatening to take over, potentially prompting a renaming!

Meanwhile the daughter, who spent last summer in the States working at a summer camp (and consequently was barely home for a fortnight all summer), will be around more this year and is putting in requests for more strawberry plants to fill the gap left by the rhubarb.  As that space is currently only colonised by forget me nots, I think she has a point.

Round the back of the house in a skinny north facing bed ,the Hostas are looking immaculate – so far.  I’ve used the Slug Gone wool pellets again, but last year they did seem to lose efficacy later on.  Probably I should have reapplied.

In the meantime I’ll admire the (doubtless temporary) perfection!

In the greenhouse there are hundreds of similarly perfect little seeds.  So full of hope, right up until I don’t plant them on, don’t plant them out and chuck them on the compost!

The plan is to spend this afternoon with the rain lashing down in the greenhouse fiddling with seeds.  I hope there’s something good on the radio!

Meanwhile, the Winter Sunshine Sweet Peas don’t need any attention, they can just be enjoyed.  Wish I could bottle and share their scent in a warm greenhouse on a sunny day!

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts EoMV.

End of month view – March 2017

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What a perfect day for March’s EoMV!  Spring has arrived all of a rush, with many bulbs bursting into bloom under the last weekend’s glorious sunshine.

Starting from the bottom of the Lavender steps, looking left, please admire the fact that nearly all the beds have been mulched with a mix of Isle of Wight compost and manure.  I have to confess to hiring a man to help dig it out of the big white sacks into a wheelbarrow, but I did all the application (not least because I was really too late, and there were plenty of bulbs and emerging perennials which could have been broken by a careless ‘dump’!)

I have to confess the Acacia baileyana pupurea which I moved back in February is looking a little brown and crispy in places but I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will survive.IMG_2194

On the decking the wonderful Pelagonium ‘Surcouf’ is looking positively rampant already. And although I also have the Clematis ‘Princess Diana’ at the back of these pots (there is a pair) she’s not very happy, so I’m encouraging Surcouf up the trellis and might move the Princess somewhere more to her liking.IMG_2192

In the trough the replenished N. Minnow are spilling overIMG_2195

and in the veg patch, the Diving Lady is overseeing a mulched blank canvas.

I’ve recently moved the rhubarb from the front bed to an area out of shot to the left hand end of the main veg bed.  It never did that well where it was (much to my embarrassment) which I put down to the bed being too hot and dry, so I’m hoping the new location will suit it better.  And the evacuation of the rhubarb means more room for strawberries.  Any tips for favourite varieties?

Much to the chagrin of the daughter, home from uni for Easter, I’ve also planted a few more home grown Agapanthus seedlings at the back.  She thinks the whole bed should just be strawberries and more strawberries – not least because this year she’ll be home in June!IMG_2196

Round to the left hand Swing Bed and there’s plenty of green but little colour yet.  The daffodils have disappeared and the tulips are (mostly) still in bud.

I finally got round to pruning and training all the roses on the pergola and they are now leafing up nicely.IMG_2197

In the right hand bed there are more Narcissi than the left (er, why?) and a far happier looking Euphorbia.  I’ve said before that trying to make these beds symmetrical is rather a hopeless cause, but I’m wondering whether I should abandon the Euphorbia all together and replace with something more structural and evergreen.  (The joke is that there is a healthy looking Euphorbia right at the end of the left hand bed, but that one is self seeded.  The one bought and paid for to mirror the other bed is hopeless).  Hmmm.IMG_2198

In the Grass Bed I’m delighted that some of some of the Forget me nots have returned to form rather spartan skirts around the N. ‘Peeping Jennys’.IMG_2199

The Bronze Bed is positively overrun with Euphorbia (and this is after I pulled one out) but whilst they’re a zingy joy at this time of year, I’m not convinced I’ll allow them to survive later in the year.

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I blogged about this Primula last year – it’s self seeded alongside the Lavender Steps.  I just love the soft colour and saved and sowed seeds last year but to no avail, and, now it’s another year older, I think it’s even less likely I’ll be able to move it.  Ah well, I’d better enjoy it where it is.IMG_2201

In the right hand Lavender Bed you can see the chive like leaves of Allium Sphaerocephalon. I’ve never grown it before (but used to admire it in my mum’s garden) and because it’s so ‘slight’ I’ve planted them in a ‘wave’ across the two beds as I thought otherwise they could be a bit lost.  Whether it will actually work is yet to be seen, not least because the other plants might have grown up to obscure them before they get round to flowering.IMG_2200

The N. Tete a tete are still flowering along the path to the front door.  Those in the pots are largely over, but have now been surpassed by the news ones planted along the edge of the bed.  In summer these beds are full of the ‘Flower Carpet’ roses, but it’s lovely to have these cheery daffs now.

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More new daffs –  N. Thalia in the Drive Bed, accompanied by Erysimum ‘Ivory Giant’ which were grown from seed last year.IMG_2210

At the western side of the garden the Frits (as they’re known in this household) are blooming in the grass, with N. Jenny in the background.  IMG_2206

In this picture you can see the Hamamelis ‘Arnold’s Promise’ is completely over IMG_2208

whereas the H. Aphrodite is still going strong.IMG_2209

The Bronze Bed is a mass of daffs with ‘Cragford’ now being joined ‘Yazz’, and the Hamamelis flowers being picked up by the Melianthus Major flowers.  The Melianthus has survived the winter again and, as a consequence, got rather out of hand.  I really should have cut it back last year, but with the garden opening in the summer I’m a bit loathe to cut it back now.  Perhaps I could perform a tidy up and get away with it?

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And meanwhile, the greenhouse is displaying an interesting mix of overwintering tender plants, Winter Sweet Peas

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and new seedlings.IMG_2190

And to finish, one of the Greenhouse pots – last year’s N. Bellsong joined by new tulip, T. ‘Mango Charm.’

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With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting all the EOMV.  Why don’t you take a peek at what others are up to?