Category Archives: Richmond Garden

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.

New garden update

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Some of you may remember we bought a tiny terraced house in Richmond in March this year for me to live in during the week when I’m working in London and for the ‘kids’ to be based in now they too are working in London (well, one of them is…).

When we bought the property the garden was like this (except without the pots and furniture, as obviously the vendor took those)HF304_170626S_IMG_09

I loved the walls and paving but didn’t like the rather orange-y fence.  I also wanted some more permanent planting but didn’t want to have to start digging up the paving, and so settled on buying two large troughs.

We also chose to buy seating – rather than a table and chairs – and went with this contemporary, grey seating which felt appropriate for a ‘town’ garden (and is amazingly comfortable).

With regard to planting, it needed to be simple as the space is so small, and, as it would mostly be used in the evenings I thought white would be a good colour to feature.

Interestingly, when I was doing my design course I seemed unusual in struggling to incorporate white in my planting plans.  I always feel it’s ‘different’ and doesn’t sit very comfortably with other colours, except perhaps blues, and so consequently I have little of it in the garden on the Isle of Wight.  You may remember I made the Grass Bed white last year, but I have little white ‘intermingled’, consequently, the idea of ‘playing’ with white was appealing.

I also wanted scent and so planted some Nicotiana alata ‘Grandiflora’ and Sweet Pea ‘Mrs Collier’ seeds.

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We painted the fence grey (a little darker than I’d envisaged) and then the OH found the black trellis, which we attached to the fencing.

Evergreen climbers, both Clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’ and Passiflora ‘Snow Queen’ – a relatively new introduction with larger flowers than ‘Constance Eliott’ and said to be more disease resistant – are being trained against the trellis.  I’m hoping that in winter, when the planting in the troughs has all died off, the climbers will largely have covered the trellis and so a green outlook can be retained.

(My thoughts to plant a ‘Claire Austin’ rose were deemed too ‘obvious’ by the son, hence the Passion Flower, which, although supposed to be scented I  don’t suppose for a minute smells as good as ‘Claire’!)IMG_4221

I’ve also added three Cosmos Purity plants which are only now coming into flower.  The bought bedding at the front has struggled in the hot weather. IMG_4294

The sweet peas are in a pot, next to pots of the daughter-requested strawberries and are only just getting going.  The strawberries are a variety called ‘Buddy’ which are supposed to be very long fruiting, but in this, their first year, they’ve not surprisingly produced nothing.IMG_4291

There is also a tiny bed by the back door (not shown) which, happily, already has a Trachelospermum jasminoides planted in it which I’ve been tending very carefully as it fits the theme perfectly.

As you can see, it really is tiny, but it’s been a joy to be able to sit out these warm evenings and enjoy the white blooms glowing in the dusk – and even more of a joy to be able the water the whole garden in less than 10 minutes!

And as for scent, I’m pretty pleased with that too – you can even smell the perfume from the upstairs bathroom!IMG_4283

End of Month View – February 2018, and news!

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Oh dear, very late with EoMV this month and, bearing in mind these photos were all taken before the snow, it feels like such a long time ago!

I love these pots of Elka Narcissi , some of which I think are still left over from the Wedding Flowers (although I did plant more).  I love them in pots as a change from the rather ubiquitous Tete a Tete, and was interested to see them featured in an article on pots in this month’s Garden’s Illustrated – but theirs were in a very handsome lead trough rather than rather grubby terracotta!

Some rather leggy Erysimum in the drive bed, but no sign of the Narcissi here yet.

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Although this photo was taken before the snow, you can see the Osteospermums were already looking rather tatty.  So far they seem to have survived the recent chill, but are definitely now looking even more chewed around the edges.  I’m still hoping to take some cuttings so hope they can survive until I do.IMG_3908

The Hellebores are fine with the chill.

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Thankfully we moved nearly all the pots (many of which had been left outside but under the glass canopy) into the greenhouse and, even though the greenhouse isn’t heated, they seem to be ok.

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Whilst I have finally managed to clean the majority of the greenhouse glass IMG_3917

there’s been little progress with the mulching.IMG_3911

Out and about, not much to see except numerous self seeded Euphorbia characias ‘Wulfenii’ – the bulbs, not surprisingly, seem behind where they were this time last year.IMG_3923

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I finally took the chicken wire off the Grass Bed and it seems to have had the desired effect of protected the bulbs from nibbling creatures.IMG_3922

The Bronze Bed is full of ‘bulbous’ potential but the Melianthus major behind has now been clobbered by the cold and is looking very sad.  I had resolved to cut it back in the spring anyway, so no excuses now!
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And bulbs aren’t only coming up in beds – there are plenty of pots to look forward to.IMG_3913

And lastly, news.  So, what’s remarkable about this garden?HF304_170626S_IMG_09

Well, as of last Thursday, it’s ours!  After nearly ten years of me staying in other people’s houses when staying in London during the week, we’ve finally decided to buy a tiny house back in Richmond, where we moved from in 2009.  No plans to sell the house (more importantly the garden) on the Isle of Wight, but the Richmond house will provide a base for the ‘kids’ when they graduate, and for me in the week.  More importantly for the blog, however, it also provides a very blank canvas.  Wish me luck!

With thanks to Helen who hosts our EoMVs.