Tag Archives: Agapanthus

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – June 2017

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Whilst many of my roses are already coming to an end, I’m delighted that the Rose ‘Flower Carpet’ are just bursting into bloom.IMG_2652

Other roses include R. Jacques Cartier, here with Diascia personata

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R. St Swithun

and R. Pat Austin, here with Achillea Terracotta, as in Monday’s vase.

A few peonies are hanging onIMG_2692

and a similarly flowered poppy has arrived of her own volition.IMG_2687

A plant I’ve rarely featured is this Phlomis italica – a lovely soft pink in the Swing Beds.IMG_2685

Talking of pink, plenty of Pinks in the Lavender bed, with Erysimum ‘Red Jep’ in the bacjground. I’m excited that four cuttings I took of this Erysimum earlier in the year have now taken, but I think I should take a few more – I love it!IMG_2673

In pots the Clematis ‘Princess Di’ is now flowering together with the Perlargonium ‘Surcouf’.  the Princess looks happier than she’s ever been, I’m not sure whether that’s because I’ve been more assiduous with the watering, or whether the Pelargonium is so large it’s now shading the princess’ roots.IMG_2672

This is a rather loud combo by the steps up to the house – a Diascia, Heuchera and Calibrachoa.

The Gazanias in the old bath are such good doers – and are far more forgiving about forgotten watering than many other inhabitants!

Also in pots, would you believe four different dahlias blooming in June!

I haven’t quite worked out which is which as they’ve taken me by surprise, but assuming they’ll still be featuring next month, I should have worked it out by then….IMG_2674

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Annuals are starting to get going, like Cosmos Psyche White,

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Malope

and C. Antiquity.

Three lots of blue spires, the sister’s Penstemon (grown from a cutting, discussed here), Lavender, edging the steps and (I think) Veronicastrum

And to finish a couple of plants not yet blooming, but fingers crossed they will be by next weekend’s opening – Allium sphaerocephalonIMG_2691

and Agapanthus.  Wish me luck!

With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – August 2016

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Finally, a showing from some of this year’s annuals – the one above, Zinnia elegans ‘Luminosa.’

I purchased a number of seeds back in October thinking I would repeat the last two years’ practice of using a corner of a neighbouring walled garden as a cutting garden, but I’ve been just too busy to and so have tried to squeeze everything in here.  And whilst it hasn’t been entirely successful, the annuals are starting to fill out in their various (not always ideal) spots.

In the Grass Bed I have Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’, Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Fizzy White’, Calendula officinalis ‘Touch of Red Buff’ and some self seeded nasturtiums from last year.IMG_1442

In the troughs I have the shorter Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Sonata White’ and the Salvia that was so successful in the cutting garden last year, Salvia horminum ‘Oxford Blue’.  In the cutting garden these turned into wonderful big bushes, I’m not sure they’ll ever get that big here as I always struggle to keep the troughs adequately watered.IMG_1439

In the Swing Beds these Antirrhinum majus ‘The Rose’ are finally getting going, but I’m not convinced about the colour, finding it a bit sickly.  IMG_1441

At the back of these beds I had planned to plant some tall dahlias but then decided they weren’t the right colour and so instead have planted an annual tobacco plant, Nicotiana mutablis. This one has both white and pink flowers on the same plants and grows to 1.2m.  It was planted out very late and so far this is the only plant to have flowered.  I’m hoping that by the end of the summer there will be quite a ‘froth’ of these but it may be I have left it just too late.IMG_1450

And in the Mid Century bed these Antirrinum, A. majus nanum ‘Black Prince’ are also blooming now and to my mind are a far better colour than the pink.IMG_1452

Away from the annuals, I have a some good repeating roses – R. St Swithun, IMG_1440

R. Munstead Wood,IMG_1448

R. Jubilee CelebrationIMG_1445

and R. Pat AustinIMG_1425

And plenty of dahlias still going, I’d like to say ‘strong’ but after the over purchasing earlier this year, I’ve ended up with a number in pots and they’re not too happy, so perhaps I’ll just stick with ‘going’.  Many have succumbed to powdery mildew and one has a whole colony of blackfly, which I’m not prepared to spray, so am currently praying for ladybirds!

The old favourite D. Happy Single Date (much darker when the blooms are young) has its roots firmly in the Bronze Bed and is thriving, IMG_1426

D. Fifteen Love (pertinent as Andy Murray is currently playing in the Olympic Gold medal match as I type), doing OK in a pot, IMG_1434

D. Bacardi, also doing pretty well in the two greenhouse pots,IMG_1431

D. Hillcrest Royal (very mildewed)IMG_1436

D. Tamburo, also rather mildewed IMG_1428

and D. La Recoleta, with a very nasty case of blackfly.IMG_1444

But to finish, a shot of my seed grown Agapanthus lining the back of the strawberry bed.  Not the greatest photo, but you get the idea.

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With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD.

End of month view – July 2016

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Another set of rather bleached photos as these were taken around midday when I found a minute spare.

After the big clear out in June, the grass bed was planted with Ammi, Cosmos and Calendula and all are starting to fill out.  I hadn’t really thought through how tawny the grasses would get, and the colouring is working well with the marigolds.  I’m hoping by the time they’re exhausted the Ammi and Cosmos will be in full swing and I can just turf them out.

Meanwhile the Swing Beds are rather overrun with Diascia personata but are at least looking more flowery than they were this time last year, but that won’t last long if I don’t get some water on them.

I’m trying to add more blues to these beds with some Scabious grown from seed (Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Blue Cockade’) as well as the sister’s Penstemon (P. Stapleford Gem mentioned here) but they’re still not really making any impact.  And although I have chopped back the pink hardy geranium at the front, there’s still too much of it, and it does leave a large uninteresting green patch when it’s stopped flowering.IMG_1403

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In the Mid Century bed the Rhodochiton which were such a success on the obelisk last year, still haven’t got going and a couple have definitely perished.  I do have some spares so need to get those planted before it’s all too late.  I’ve pulled out all the poppies now but they have been replaced by the rather gaudy Gladioli Black Star (discussed here).  Annuals here of Antirrhinum and Malope are still just getting going.

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In the Veg Bed the most striking thing is the Sweet Peas.  I’ve actually planted two rows this year, there’s another wave coming behind, opposite the runner beans.  As for actual veg the courgettes are (predictably) taking over, and there’s plenty of chard.  The French Beans, Runners and Mange Tout have all been a little slow to get going, and they too would benefit from a really good soaking.IMG_1398

Highlight of this area for me has to be the home grown Agapanthus.  As I’d hoped, they’re obviously loving the heat of the wall at the back of the strawberry bed.

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At the other side of the garden in the Bronze Bed the Dahlia ‘Happy Single Dates’ are going from strength to strength and proving how much happier Dahlias are with their feet in the ground.  The number I’ve still got in pots are clearly feeling (and looking) rather disgruntled.IMG_1380

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In the greenhouse the tomatoes and cucumbers are hurtling up the bamboos, but haven’t been too productive to date – more water (and food) required, I feel.

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The aubergines have their first flowers.  Quite how Monty Don was harvesting fully grown aubergines weeks ago I have no idea!IMG_1391

Non edibles include my lovely Plumbagos as well as this glory lily (Gloriosa rothschildiana).IMG_1396

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And there are new biennial seeds coming to start the whole cycle again.IMG_1394

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And to finish, a few pots currently looking good.  IMG_1407

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With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts the EoM meme.

End of month view – May 2016

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I feel like I’ve barely set foot in the garden over the last three weeks (apart from picking flowers!) and am feeling a bit overwhelmed with how behind I am.  To compound things, a number of plans don’t quite seem to have come off including the Sisyrinchiums above. Some of you may remember the Sisyrinchium saga where I got fed up with Sisyrinchium striatum taking over the Swing Beds and so I pulled them out at the end of 2014.  I then went to Mottistone Gardens, thought they looked lovely (see photo below from June 2015) and put them back in.  Sure enough enough, I’m now cross with them again.  I swear I placed them through the beds and so how have they ended up in a great big clump at the front?  And shall I pull them out again?  Sigh.

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Secondly, at the back of the beds I planted some Gladioulus communis subsp. byzantinus from Sarah Raven last autumn, in an attempt to provide some colour after the tulips. I should have planted them through the bed, but even so, they haven’t turned out as I expected.    IMG_0827

New gladiolusIMG_0829

and existing – taller, a better colour and a bigger bloom.  Why couldn’t I have had more of these?  I feel an email coming on.

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And a final moan, in the Mid Century Bed, which is supposed to have ‘bruised’ colours, look at the foxglove.  Ah well, it looks good with the rose.

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Right, enough moaning.  One thing I am chuffed with in this bed is this Lysmachia atropupurea I grew from seed last year.  There are at least two (there may be others smothered by Cerinthe) and they’re only small so far, but end up quite shrubby and are apparently good for cutting.  IMG_0835

The right hand Lavender Bed is starting to fill out, with some Peonies just coming into bud.IMG_0822

The Bronze Bed, as feared, is overwhelmed with dying bulb foliage, but I’m prepared to wait a little longer before cutting back if it means they’ll return next year.

The Rose, Rosa ‘Pat Austin’ and Icelandic poppies are already making an impact and will soon be joined by Scabious, Nasturtium and Achillea.

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The woolly slug deterrent was partially successful in the Hosta Bed, but there have definitely been a few nibbles.IMG_0842

In the Veg Bed I have planted out a few more beans, but there’s still a lot more to get in, and some of the Courgettes have been attacked to the point where I’m not sure they’ll pull through.  Ah well, I probably had too many anyway!IMG_0831

Excitingly, the Agapanthus I grew from seed and planted out at the back of the Strawberry Bed, have now got multiple buds.

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Many pots are starting to romp away, but there are also plenty yet to be planted up.  This one, planted last year with Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’ and Clematis ‘Princess Di’ has suddenly taken off.

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And in the greenhouse, well, there are lots of plants that should be in the garden.  Maybe next weekend!IMG_0838

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With many thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting our End of Month views.

Osborne House revisited

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Some of you may remember my previous visit to Queen Victoria’s summer residence, Osborne House, in March when there was plenty to see despite it being early in the year.  More importantly, there was plenty of promise to draw me back, so, on Saturday, back I went.

It really was the most glorious day and the walled garden was completely transformed from spring time.  Not only were the agapanthus stupendousIMG_8128

and the greenhouses groaning with potsIMG_8126

but what I’d really come to see were the annuals.

Remember this?IMG_6150

Well it became this:IMG_8136

Huge drifts of white Antirrhinum, Cosmos Purity, Molucella laevis, Ammi majus and white sweet peas.  Wow.

And in the opposite corner, a more colourful mixIMG_8120

of Cosmos, Echium vulgare Blue BedderIMG_8122

and Larkspur ‘Fancy Purple Picotee’.IMG_8123

Out of the walled garden walking north towards the house, I came across this magnificent cork oak, Quercus SuberIMG_8143

and look who planted it.IMG_8144

Round the house to the north side is the extensive terrace.  Here the planting was even bolder and the colours really sang on such a glorious day.IMG_8153

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Happily this time the Solent was much more visible than in March, so we decided to walk down to Queen Victoria’s beach for a closer look, taking in more agapanthus and pots on our way…

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On the way I noticed this bench I’d never spotted before:IMG_8186

Did you ever see the fabulous film ‘Mrs Brown’ with Judi Dench and Billy Connolly?  It was all about the relationship between John Brown and Queen Victoria after the death of Albert.  A lovely film, beautifully acted.

So to the beach and Queen Victoria’s bathing hut.  These huts were wheeled down to the water in the Victorian period so that the ladies could bathe without the indignity of having to wander down the beach in their (near) altogether.  Sounds pretty appealing to me, particularly if the beach is pebbly!IMG_8169

And here is the beach she swam from, looking particularly pretty with numerous yachts on the Solent sailing on the first day of the Cowes Week regatta.

I have to confess there was also a deckchair and an ice cream involved in my enjoyment of this view.IMG_8171

 

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July 2015

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Whilst many of my roses have already gone over – hastened I assume by the very dry weather – these Rosa Flower Carpet are still going strong and, if prior years are anything to go by, are likely to continue until well into October.

There’s this new one too, featured last Wednesday, but worth another peek – Rosa Jubilee Celebration.IMG_7967

And one more rose, also in the Mid Century bed, Rosa Falstaff climbing, growing up the obelisk with the Rhodochiton atrosanguineus.IMG_7970

One plant I’ve always loved is Agapanthus and I’m thrilled that one I’ve grown from seed is finally flowering.  I planted out dozens in both the greenhouse ‘Med Beds’ and at the back of the strawberry bed.  Sadly it looks like this is the only one to flower this year, but hopefully more will follow in the future.IMG_7953

This white Agapanthus I’ve had for years and is growing in a pot, thriving on neglect.  I’ve also grown seedlings from this plant which I need to work out where to plant.  Perhaps they are better in pots?  I’ve read that Agapanthus flower better when their roots are constricted, but then I’ve read that’s not true too!  Any thoughts?IMG_7954

Another genus I’m having a good year with is Dianthus.  I bought a couple of this one last year (sorry lost the name), but they didn’t do so well, and, despite their sweet scent I wasn’t impressed,  However, this year, they’ve clearly got their roots down and have done brilliantly. They’re great in a vase and last and last.IMG_7971

This one, Dianthus carthusianorum, sown as seed last year, is finally flowering in the Swing Beds.  I really like the clear colour and the strong, wiry stems.IMG_7977

And lastly this Dianthus Green Trick, also great in a vase.  This was bought as cuttings from Sarah Raven this spring, and then I grew lots more from cuttings.  I really should take some more cuttings as the colour is so green and fresh at this time of year when so much foliage is looking tired.IMG_7980

Another new plant grown from seed this year are these ‘Ten weeks stocks’.  I’m not usually a fan of mixed colours, but so far they’ve all been lovely, and, like the Ruby Punch Stocks featured in yesterday’s In a Vase on Monday, smell gorgeous.IMG_7978

Lastly, a couple of plants in new pots created this year in front of the office in the garden. This Clematis is Princess Diana, IMG_7957

planted together with this Pelargonium Surcouf.  IMG_7955

With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens  for hosting everyone’s GBBD.

Resolve and realise – March 2015

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Well I can see this is going to be the way of R&R posts – I’ll always start with an excuse!

So this month, I’ve gone back to work AND spent this weekend in Kent at a birthday party. These photos were taken on Friday before I left, as nothing has happened since.

So, last month’s list was as follows:

Carried forward

  • dig and prepare new ‘bronze bed’IMG_6075

Tick, the Bronze Bed is ready!  But not only that, I’ve also created another new bed, the Mid Century Bed, shown in yesterday’s EOMV here.

  • mulch all beds

Not completely ticked.  Although I have completed something related that didn’t even make it to last month’s R&R.  I’ve dug out and topped up the strawberry and rhubarb bed.  This bed had sunk considerably since it was created and so this month I’ve dug all the plants out, thinned the strawberries and divided one of the larger rhubarb plants, and then replanted them with at least an extra 4″ of compost and manure.

I’ve also planted some of my Agapanthus grown from seed along the back wall.  I don’t know whether they’ll flower this year, but I hope they’ll be happy with a warm southerly wall to cosy up to.IMG_6070

  • Order seeds

Tick.  (Although I’ve definitely also got a list for Derry Watkins’ Special Plants, and I can’t believe Sarah Raven and the RHS won’t be hearing from me.)

  • Prune and feed raspberries

Tick.

  • Prune and feed remaining roses

Hmm, not quite a tick.  I’ve completed the majority but not all.

  • Pot up dahlia tubers

No.  And I need to buy a few more for the new beds…

  • Chit potatoes

Difficult as I haven’t bought any.  I’m flirting with the idea of growing them in bags this year as I’ve read a couple of articles extolling the improved flavour.  I think I need to do a bit more research, but would love to hear your experiences with container grown potatoes.

  • Sow chillies

Er no, as seeds only arrived on Friday

  • Sow tomatoes

Ditto

  • Start sowing hardy annuals

Well I have sown a few more left over seeds, but again difficult to make much progress when I didn’t receive the new seeds until recently!

  • Plant out broad beans

Well they’ve made it from the greenhouse to the cold frame.  Surely that deserves half a tick?

So, all in all, hopeless progress.  I’m blushing as I type.  As a consequence my carried forward list is long, but my new additions short.  I need to get a grip!

Carried forward

  • mulch all beds
  • prune and feed remaining roses
  • pot up dahlia tubers
  • chit potatoes (and decide growing approach)
  • sow chillies, tomatoes and hardy annuals
  • plant out broad beans

and new for March

  • plant aubergines
  • finish planning two new beds and start to buy seeds/plants accordingly.

To finish, a couple  more views of the Stoke City Garden at last year Chelsea Flower Show, the inspiration for my new Mid Century bed.

If you’d like to join in with Resolve and Realise, please do, just leave a link to your post in the comments.  Surely no-one can have failed as spectacularly as I have his month?  I’m certainly not judging 😉

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