Category Archives: Garden

Red squirrel snapped at last!

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Whilst I’ve seen red squirrels in my garden many times, I’ve never managed to take a photo.   (Although I did take some lovely photos of a much redder squirrel next door)

We’ve only just put this feeder up, really close to the house – about a foot from the porch doors and 4ft from the kitchen window (from where this photo was taken) and look who came to visit.  🙂

The feeder has already seen a riot of small birds too – blue tits, coal tits, robins and sparrows so far – I really can’t imagine why it’s taken us so long to think to site one closer!

End of month view – yearly round up 2018

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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.

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Things were still ok in May IMG_4064

but by June everything was very parched,DSC01071

with only the Mediterranean plants enjoying themselves.

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The dry weather meant all my dahlias were disappointing, and finished early, with even the stalwart ‘Happy Single Dates’ not happy for long.

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Conversely, the Zinnias loved the weather, and filled out the Grass Beds with lots of pickable blooms.

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Again, as last year, I had many pots IMG_3910

but by summer many were struggling in the drought, so I was glad a number of them were so large!IMG_4255

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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.IMG_4275

I continued to enjoy joining in with Cathy’s wonderfully friendly and supportive ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme, albeit a bit haphazardly.

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I also posted the odd photo from regular walks on the National Trust’s St Helens Duver, directly opposite the house.IMG_3778

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As in previous years I was lucky enough to do plenty of garden visiting, both near and far – Villa Cimbrone on the Amalfi Coast DSC01001

and An Cala in Scotland in May,IMG_3777

The High Line, in New York,IMG_3911

Petersham Nurseries andIMG_4018

Kew Gardens (including the newly re-opened Temperate House) in June,IMG_4061

Castle House (just up the road) in August,IMG_4557

Church Gardens in Harefield, Middlesex in OctoberIMG_4557

and Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, still looking fabulous in November.IMG_5203

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 thisHF304_170626S_IMG_09

to this

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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.

In a vase on Monday – Still they come!

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I wasn’t sure I’d have time to post today, but just couldn’t resist sharing these Pink Flower Carpet roses which are still going strong now!IMG_5417

To these I’ve added the much used Cerinthe (which is currently popping up everywhere and looking surprisingly ‘springy’), a couple of stems of both Salvia and Erysimum and then a few stems of Leptospermum.  IMG_5416

Well, having a quick dash into the garden and plonking these in a vase has definitely cheered up my Monday.  Why don’t you pop over to Cathy’s blog to see what everyone else has been picking and plonking artfully arranging?

End of Month View – October 2018

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Firstly, apologies for the numerous dodgy photos – I’m not quite sure what the excuse is – and the lateness!

So, the good news is the work crisis, which has been hanging over me since July, has passed and we live to fight another day.  Hurrah!

The bad news is, as you’ll see, I still haven’t managed a proper garden tidy up.  (AND I let the OH go away on a golfing holiday, so no grass cutting either!)

However, bearing in mind I missed last month’s EoMV as we were away, I thought I’d post anyway, warts and all.

The usual quick twirl takes us past the decaying Veg Patch (note the Diving Lady is completely lost behind the rampant Bay growth.  They’ll all have to be cut back – anyone want any bay leaves?)

The veg are pretty much all over for the year, apart from plenty of tasty, nutty flavoured Pink Fir Apple potatoes still in the ground waiting to be dug up.

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The roses in the Swing Beds seem to have finally finished flowering, so it’s pretty much just the Salvias and Verbena left now.

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This is a particularly atrocious photo, but I love the heavy fringe of Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’.IMG_4572

I’m delighted to see a couple of the lovely Icelandic poppies in this pot are still surviving.  They really were one of my favourite things this year.IMG_4577

The greenhouse beds, which were looking quite coordinated earlier in the year with blue Asters and Agapanthus, have now been overwhelmed by rampant Nasturtiums.  IMG_4567

On the other side there’s a chaos of pots, many of which were moved from the decking when it was rebuilt.  Most need to be moved back (although some are tender and need to be moved into the greenhouse), but before I do that I must get them some little ‘feet’ to raise them up.IMG_4568

In the meantime, the new decking is looking clean and clear.  Doubtless not for long!IMG_4569

The Mid Century bed still has a few roses clinging on, as well as a matching SalviaIMG_4579

There are a few fresh looking Nerines just coming out.  These were inherited when we bought the house and I’m always struck by how incongruous they look at this time of year.

I’m not sure I like them, but frankly, with so little else going on, I really shouldn’t complain!IMG_4582

I love this brave looking bloom on the (unknown) rose by the front steps.  Clearly it didn’t get the memo from the surrounding hips that it’s supposed to be over and done with!IMG_4583

At the western end of the garden the Bronze Bed is a mess of mildewy dahlias.  Nearly all my Dahlias struggled with the lack of water this year, but these ones seemed to give up particularly early.IMG_4585

One of the better beds at the moment is the Oak Bed which still has the autumnal leaves of the Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy,’ as well as a good display of other shrubs.IMG_4587

And to finish, the old tin bath (which has currently been moved as a section of wall is being repainted).  The Pelargonium is ‘Choun Cho’ bought at vast expense last year from Crocus, but I took cuttings at the end of the year and now have loads of really vigorous plants that have largely pushed everything else out!  However, I really love the colour and shape, so I’m not complaining.  What I must do is watch the weather as I wouldn’t want to lose them!IMG_4584

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting our End of Month Views – whether on time or not!

In a vase on Monday – Pro tem posy

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Whilst the garden (and my job!) continue to go to hell in a hand basket, there are still pockets of beauty to be found – particularly on such a stunning October day.

I’m temporarily enjoying this little posy, picked to take to lunch at my neighbours, as it captures some of the remaining highlights:

Pink flower carpet roses and Prince Edward sweet peasIMG_5041

Zinnias (Queen Red Lime and Benary Giant Lime)IMG_5043

and Salvias (sorry not sure which one)IMG_5044

Why don’t you pop over to Cathy’s blog to see what others have been picking on this glorious day?

In a vase on Monday – Sanguine set up!

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Sorry for the absence – we’ve been away for 10 days, and the way it’s fallen with work I was last on the island on 23rd September!

The garden is in many areas looking rather ‘over’.  Sadly, the majority of the dahlias have finished and many of the annuals too, but there are still roses and Salvias and, extraordinarily, lots of new growth from self sown Cerinthe seedlings.

There is plenty of bright pink about, particularly from the flower carpet roses, but somehow that didn’t feel right for this time of year.  I was looking for something rather more autumnal, and struck on this fabulous dark burgundy.

We visited a number of wineries on our holiday in Spain, including those in the Rioja region, so perhaps that deep Rioja colour was still on my mind!

The main flower is the Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’.  It’s a gorgeous flower but certainly very prickly, so not that friendly for cutting.IMG_4337

The Dahlia here – mostly hanging out at the edges – is D. La Recoleta (this is photo from a previous vase as I forgot to take its photo!)IMG_1088

To this I added a single collapsed stem of Gladiolus Black StarIMG_4340

and then filled around with lovely new grey/green Cerinthe growth.IMG_4342

It’s lovely to be back creating a Monday vase and I’m looking forward to heading over to Cathy’s blog to see what everyone else has chosen for their vase this week.