Tag Archives: Acacia baileyana purpurea

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?

Now you see it…

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…now you don’t.img_2071

So, apologies to those who told me not to move the Acacia baileyana purpurea now, but the deed is done.  And so far it’s still looking pretty perky, but time will tell.

The Acacia move is all part of the realisation that I’m already behind and it’s only February.  None of which would matter apart from two things

  1. I’m now officially full time at work (three days in London, two at home)
  2. Not only am I opening the garden for the village Secret Gardens on June 25th this year, but I’ve been persuaded to take over organisation of the event.

So now you know.

But if there’s one thing I love it’s a deadline (oh and two college deadlines this month too!) and somehow, moving the Acacia was the sort of dramatic progress I needed, even if I kill it in the process.

The next question is, what to replace it with?  When it was first planted as an interesting purple leaved ‘mound’ it looked wonderful, but as soon as it became a tree I didn’t like the way it competed with the metal obelisk.  However, that doesn’t mean the bed doesn’t need something quite large to give some structure.  As some of you know, the bed has a ‘bruised’ coloured theme and so I am seriously considering a second Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ but that wouldn’t be evergreen (or indeed ever-purple).  Perhaps I could consider a purple Phormium – there is one in the bed in front to the right of the photo, but I don’t really like them and doubt I’d ever move it.  And whilst it would work quite well with the obelisk, it would seem a strange bedfellow for the roses.

Thoughts please!

Meanwhile the Acacia has now been moved to the left hand Lavender bed and is deliberately sited between the two existing trees.img_2073

Another thing I finally did this weekend was order my seeds.  Last year I bought them on Black Friday the year before (October 2015!) which felt far too early and resulted in me going rather bonkers as a) I didn’t have plan but b) I did have a discount.  This year, ordering them in February, definitely feels too late and I’m quite sure I’ve forgotten some.  And I’m also quite sure that annuals I’m hoping will be flowering by June won’t be.

Wish me luck!

End of Month View – January 2017

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A grey old day for January’s EoMV, which is a shame, as Saturday was beautiful – but then I was far too busy digging to take photos!

Over the last two weekends I’ve finally got out in the garden after an absence of at least a month.  However, in many ways, the work has seen me going backwards to go forwards.  The final bulbs, Allium sphaerocephalon were bought for the two Lavender Beds, but as both were full of Convolvulus, Couch Grass and generally past-their-best plants, a big dig was called for before I could plant them.  Happily the digging was dug and, although you can’t see them, the bulbs are in.img_2042

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The good news is that there are now large new areas of bed to ‘play’ in, but that requires thought and planning, both of which take time, so no firm plans as yet.

One thing I have mentioned before is the desire to move the Acacia baileyana purpurea from the Mid Century bed and I’d like its new location to be in the left hand Lavender Bed, in the centre of this photo (in front of the Choisya, which I think I’ll remove).

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The problem is, when to do the deed?  Now would seem a sensible time to move many plants, but the Acacia is on the cusp of bursting into bloom for the first time, so now doesn’t seem exactly conducive.  Thoughts?img_2052

Further round the garden, more bare earth tells of more activity – I finally pulled the old, very leggy Matthiola incana (Stocks) out of the troughs and replaced them with these cuttings taken from the ‘mother’.  These have been in pots for a while, so I’m not sure how long they’ll take to find their feet.  They look pretty pathetic at the moment!img_2045

The two Swing Beds are still quite green but everything needs a good cut back and tidy up. I’ve read it’s better to wait to do this until the temperature picks up as the old growth protects the newer shoots, particularly on tender plants such as Salvias and Penstemons.  Well, that’s my excuse.img_2048

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In the Grass Bed, more bare earth after a big clear out last year.  This is a bit of a shame as I’ve previously had masses of Forget me knots here and I’ll miss them.  img_2050

I’m trying to move various clumps in from other areas where they’re not wanted, but I still don’t think I’ll achieve the lovely froth of last year:IMG_0293

I had a tidy up of the Herb Bed yesterday and whilst most are looking understandably tired, the Sorrel is looking fresher and more productive than ever.  Any recipe suggestions?img_2054

The Shady Bed is exhibiting a good showing of glossy foliage.  I’ve never noticed before how the Fatsia japonica leaves echo the Hellebores.  To the left of the Hellebores the Sarcococca is flowering, picking up the white of the Hellebore to the right.  Shame the fern in the middle is so chewed!img_2058

At the Western end of the garden, in the shady Oak Bed there is the merest hint of bloom in the Witch Hazel (Hamamelis ‘Arnold’s Promise’), and some more Hellebores,img_2062

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whereas at the end of the Bronze Bed a far more exotic scene of flowering Aeoniums in front of luxuriant Melianthus major foliage.

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Meanwhile in the greenhouse, plenty of bulbs in pots to look forward toimg_2055

and this.  Finally, an empty bulb box!img_2056

And to finish, my Rosemarinus prostratus.  I mentioned in GBBD how it wasn’t very ‘prostratus’, time to eat my words!img_2067

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

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – January 2017

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Amazingly, despite the recent freezing weather, I still have a number of the annual Nicotiana mutablis flowering in the Swing Beds (the one above caught up in the bare branches of the Elaeagnus).

The overall look of the garden is very wintery, but close inspection revealed a number of further blooms, including roses Rosa ‘Flower Carpet Pink’img_2002

and neighbouring Rosa ‘Berkshire.  Note the matching pink stripe on the Phormium – I can’t take credit, both were inherited!img_2003

There are still a couple of Gazanias clearly confused what month it isimg_2009

and likewise this Pelargonium ‘Surcouf.’img_2019

In addition to Erysimum Bowles Mauve I currently have this pair in flower.  The first one E. ‘Red Jep’ was bought last year after I’d admired it so much when I visited Hyde Hall.  The second rather yellow one was grown from seed, and I think is E. Ivory Giant.

By the front steps the Rosmarinus prostratus is covered in blooms, but is hardly looking very ‘prostratus’.

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And whilst I’m chuffed to see Rosemary’s Babies are also flowering, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with them…..img_2012

This Teucrium fruticans plant is really very woody but seems to have responded quite well to a severe hack back last year.img_2036

Similarly this Anisodontea capensis is also past its best, with the stem currently tied to a post to prevent it falling over.  It’s a beautiful shrub when happy in the sun, but mine’s definitely showing its age (I know the feeling).img_2033

There’s nothing in the Veg Patch for the Diving Lady to admire except some rather scruffy kale, so I’m glad she’s still got a pretty pool.

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In the Mid Century bed the Acacia baileyana purpurea looks like it’s going to flower for the first time.  It’s a lovely little tree with gorgeous foliage, but I really don’t think it’s in the right place and will have to go.  But where to move it?img_2032

In the greenhouse there are a few plants flowering – this Abutilon ‘Orange Marion’img_2015

and a couple more Pelargoniums.

I also discovered this beautiful Iris histioides ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley,’ which would definitely be brought into a more prominent positionimg_2017

if only she had some friends!img_2018

Back outside the sun continues to bring out the Freckles

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and I’m waiting with bated breath to see when it will do the same for these:img_2007

With thanks to Carol at May Dream Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBDs.

End of month view – January 2016

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Finally some sun, hurrah!

Leptospermum, or Tea Tree, above, is (according to Wiki) very rich in Vitamin C and was apparently made into a tea by Captain Cook – probably not personally – to ward off scurvy in his crew, and it is also the plant on which bees forage to produce Manuka honey.  Two valuable traits, doubtless, but I’d settle for just the one – looking this good all the way through January. God knows I haven’t, and nor has the rest of the garden.IMG_9893

Not only are both lawns currently no more than fields as it’s been far too wet to mow, but my dear little Scillas, in the very outside ends of the Swing Beds, are sitting in a proper puddle.IMG_9901

The Swing Beds are both in need of a major cut back and tidy up, but it’s pleasing that there is some structure there.  Looking back at last year’s EoMV I can see how the pink flowered Phlomis Italica, has grown during the past year.  Having been planted at least three years ago they’re starting to get rather leggy and so will need some judicious pruning once we’re further into the year.

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The bed which holds the rhubarb and strawberries had Agapanthus grown from seed planted along the back wall last year.  None has yet flowered but they’ve definitely bulked up, so I live in hope.

Sitting on the edge of the wall in the seed trays are more Agapanthus seedlings (this time from seed collected from the more dwarf A. ‘Tom Thumb’), as well as Carex buchananii, also grown from seed last year for the new Bronze Bed.  I’m not sure whether the Carex will make it into the Bronze Bed, and I have no idea where I’ll put the Agapanthus, but I’m sure they’ll all find homes, even if I give them away!IMG_9900

The Stipa tenuissima in the Grass Bed are continuing to provide interest and you can now see plenty of bulbs pushing up through the forget me nots in front.IMG_9903

And the Mid Century bed, one of last year’s new beds, still has a couple of things to admire, notably the Rhodochiton atrosanguineus growing up the ‘obelisk’ (slightly hard to see in the shade), but also the Acacia baileyana purpurea in the centre.  I’m slightly worried how big this will get, but I’m sure I can prune it back.  (I’m also a little disappointed it’s not more ‘purpurea’ but perhaps it’s the time of year).

The rather scrappy mess in front are two Salvias and some leggy Cerinthe.  

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In the Shady Bed the Sarcococca has finally started to fill out after at least a couple of years.  And I can also see from this picture that I really should cut back the old Hellebore leaves to have any hope of spotting the flowers here.IMG_9906

By the smaller lawn the other new bed, the Bronze Bed, has been largely trimmed back and tidied, but look how much the soil has dropped!  The MC bed is even worse, so I’ll definitely have to top them both up.

The leafless shrub in the middle is Hamamelis ‘Aphrodite’ which I absolutely adored last year.  I’m slightly worried there’s no sign of flowers yet, but I did buy it in bloom in mid February, so perhaps it’s still on schedule.  At the back you can see the Melianthus major still flowering – certainly no normal schedule there.

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On the other side of the lawn away from the house, the shady Oak Bed has more hellebores, as well as inherited Bergenia and Leucojum aestrivum.

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And to finish a couple of early Narcissi  – roll on the rest!IMG_9908

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts the End of Month meme.  Why don’t you pop over to Helen’s site to see some other EoMVs?