Tag Archives: Allium Hair

End of month view – June 2015

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I’m joining Helen at the Patient Gardener to share my June End of Month view.

As some of you know, I opened my garden on Sunday for the local hospice as part of a group opening, and I have to say when I got back from work on Thursday I was devastated to see how exhausted everything looked.  Despite some watering and tidying there were definitely areas that were past their best, but the show must go on and I actually got lots of lovely comments (and over 150 visitors!)IMG_7889

All the photos, apart from the one above, were taken in Monday’s bright sunshine, and I’ve struggled a bit with the light levels.  The one above however, was taken during the opening, and you can see it was a lot greyer.  Luckily (for the visitors, not for the garden!) we missed all the rain bar a few drops.IMG_7907

The Swing Beds were definitely struggling, and even the roses which had looked so lovely the weekend before, were going off a little.  There are Dahlias and Cosmos and Dianthus carthusianorum (grown from seed) amongst other things still to come here, so I hope I can keep it going.

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The Grass Bed has a very limited palette of plants, just the grasses (Stipa tenuissima), looking lovely at this time of year, the self seeded Cerinthe, Allium ‘Hair’ (which has been very badly ‘rusted’ this year), the Verbascum chaixxi Album I grew from seed and the Catananche caerulea, which are new and I just love.  However, around all this is much bare soil, following the disposal of all the dead forget me nots, but I’m not sure what else to add.  I still have various seedlings kicking around, so perhaps I’ll pop some of them in.  IMG_7903

Above is the new Mid Century Bed which is really starting to fill out.  The Ranunculus are still going strong and have now been joined by the first of my new roses to flower, Rosa Munstead Wood, just gorgeous.  I’ve also planted some annuals here including Centaurea cyanus Black Boy, Daucus carota Black Knight, Molucella and Malope.  The Centaurea are just starting to flower, but hopefully the rest will have appeared by next month’s EOMV.

In the other new bed, the Bronze Bed, some combinations have worked, including this one of Calendula Sunset Buff, Achillea Terracotta and Nasturtium Caribbean Crush.IMG_7892

But in common with the Swing Beds, the overall look is a bit exhausted.  However, this picture does show clearly why I wanted the new bed as you can see just how shaded the Oak bed is, in comparison, across the lawn.IMG_7893

In the veg beds, the beans and peas are all rushing up their poles, we’re having the best Raspberry crop ever IMG_7913

and the Diving Lady has again got somewhere to swim

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The raised cutting beds are still looking rather empty apart from plants that overwintered.IMG_7917

But the barrow, which has been a bit of a mess for quite a while, had a good tidy up in honour of the opening, and is looking rather pretty again.IMG_7915

The barrow sits to the right of the greenhouse and this year I’ve added some more orangey plants here too.  Firstly the Antirrhinum Orange Wonder, which I’d originally grown for the Bronze Bed but decided there was more room here

IMG_7919and also the Lathyrus Belinensis, grown in pots either side of the greenhouse door.  These have been really slow to get going but are now starting to look more settled.  They don’t grow as tall as ‘normal’ sweet peas, and nor do they have the same fragrance, but I love their bicoloured flowers and how they work with both the brick and the pot.  I just need them to fill out!

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And to finish, the one bed looking untouched by the recent heat – the Shady Bed looking cool and calm.  IMG_7920

With thanks to Helen for hosting this meme.

End of month view – July 2014

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Another post thrown together in haste before our departure to the States.

You may remember I avoided sharing photos of the garden in this month’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, instead showing the exuberant blooms in my cutting garden down the road.  Well I feel I should (wo)man up, and share for the end of month view.

The picture above captures the rare sight of raindrops (on the scaffolding that’s been erected for the house painting).  I have to say I’ve really struggled to cope with the almost complete lack of rain until the thunderstorms just after the middle of the month.  And as my watering has concentrated on the vegetables and the greenhouse, the flower beds have been suffering.

The left hand Swing Bed still has the St Swithun rose flowering, but the the other roses are long over.  The sweet peas are climbing enthusiastically up the pea netting at the back of the pergola, scenting the area around the swing wonderfully, and the phlox, penstemons and verbena from prior years are all fine.  However, the annuals I planted in both Swing Beds have really struggled to get established, despite my watering efforts.  Interestingly, many of the same plants (Cosmos and Cleomes) are now doing well in the cutting garden, which I think it’s more a reflection of their being planted out earlier, rather than any superior watering regime.

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The right hand Swing Bed shows the apple tree’s potential two apple harvest as well as a salvia, the new growth of the Euphorbia and the mirror sweet peas at the back of the bed.

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Meanwhile, in the Grass Bed, the Verbascum Chaixii Album I grew from seed last year have all come into flower at the back of the bed, adding a certain amount of cohesion, but the planting in front is still a terrible mess.  There are still the remains of the Allium Hair (which really should come out), as well as some Salvia viridis blue used for cutting, the Fox and Cubs (yes, they should come out too) and the Nasturtium Black Velvet.

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In the shady Oak Bed, whilst I’m still not happy with the overall effect, the foliage is calming on hot days and shows the planned pattern of green and purple foliage.  I particularly like the Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ (in the foreground) which is one of the only things I’ve planted in this border, having admired it in Beth Chatto‘s garden years ago.

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More positiviely, the raised cutting beds have been doing well (although they had to be lifted and moved as part of the painting works and are now in a rather strange place)

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the Verbena bonariensis are unstoppable

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and the vegetables are all becoming productive (just as we go away!)

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French Bean ‘Cobra’IMG_3877

Runner Bean ‘Painted Lady’IMG_3875

chard,

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courgette

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and Pumpkin ‘Munchkin’IMG_3872

In the greenhouse the tomatoes are romping away

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and the Plumbagos by the greenhouse door are flowering beautifully,

IMG_3863And whilst there are still some good looking pots

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there is still too much chaos and still far too many plants in pots, (a legacy of over ambitious seed planting and obsessive division and cutting taking).

And as I write this I wonder how they’ll cope with a two week absence.  Fingers crossed.

IMG_3866 (2)With many thanks, as ever, to Helen at the Patient Gardener,  for hosting everyone’s End of Month views.

End of month view – May 2014

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Everything has, all of a sudden, gone rather bonkers.  All those odd self seeded plants are threatening to take over, but it’s unlikely I’ll live to see it as I will have been strangled by convolvulus long before…

In the right hand Swing Bed above, the roses on the pergola are flowering well.  As some of you know, the idea of the two Swing Beds is that they are generally symmetrical, but this hasn’t been helped by two things.  Firstly, my reluctance to pull out the existing apple tree and secondly, David Austin’s inability to supply two ‘Wedding Day’ rambler roses for the outside uprights.  By a sheer coincidence, I think the rose on the far right is instead ‘Snow Goose’ which I have along the drive bed and was inherited.  Consequently, these two are flowering away, but on the left hand Swing Bed, my Wedding Day rose is biding its time and instead I have the Clematis Josephine (which is a little smothered on the right).  These symmetrical plans are all very well but one does need to be flexible! IMG_2731 This is the Swing Bed looking north.  You can see the Cerinthe is still flowering like mad, but has now been joined by some perennial geraniums, foxgloves and Sisyrinchium striatum. I’m particularly chuffed with the Digitalis ‘Suttons Apricot’ which I grew from seed.   I planted them out last year (having planted the seed the year before), but lost a number to the chickens, and the remainder were all rather nibbled, so last year there were no flowers. However they’re now flowering well, so I guess one positive of the fox getting my poor girls last year, is that I get my foxgloves this year! IMG_2664 IMG_2732 This is the left hand Swing Bed and you can see my solitary lupin, Lupinus ‘Gallery Rose’, and you can also see a massive clump of Sisyrinchium.  The plant was a gift which I split and put a small piece in each bed a couple of years ago.  What’s comical is the fact that in both beds the original clump in the centre of the bed is quite small, but a much larger clump has somehow bullied its way to the front of the border and is now crowding out the geraniums and alchemilla.  I think some judicious ‘thinning’ (binning?) is in order.

What you can’t see in the photo above is my lovely poppy,  I’m pretty sure this is Papaver Patty’s Plum.  It does look a little pink for Patty, but I can’t think that I planted anything else. IMG_2717 IMG_2727 The Grass Bed is having a transformational moment.  I’ve planted Verbascum chaixii album which I grew from seed, all along the back of this bed, but I don’t think they will flower this year.  In front I already have the mad allium, Allium ‘Hair’ (still in bud) and far too many fox and cubs (Pilosella aurantiaca).

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This is a plant I first saw when I took my mother to The Garden House on her 80th birthday.  This instantly became one of my favourite gardens and this plant reminds me of a wonderful garden and a very special day.  However, it is threatening to take over the garden, so I think some more thinning/binning required here.  I think once I’ve got round to taking out the forget me nots I’ll add some annuals from the rather large collection still filling the greenhouse.  But which to choose? IMG_2734 The Diving Lady, introduced in last month’s End of Month View, now has a pool to dive into and something to look at: IMG_2735

The strawberries are ripening so we’ve but some fleece over the whole bed (bottom right of picture above) so that we don’t lose them all to the blackbirds.

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Meanwhile the Shady Bed is looking lush and green (although rather overrun with Honesty seedlings).  There is very little colour here, apart from the rose, which laughs at my ‘Shady’ description.

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This is the bed which epitomises the ‘bonkersness’ of the garden currently.  This is one of the ‘Lavender Beds’ (that’s a name I’ve just made up as they don’t have names, but there are two of them and the path in the middle is lined with lavender).

A number of these plants were inherited (the rose and the paeony for example) but this year all sorts of plants which have been growing around and about, seem to have decided to party in this one bed at the same time.  The Allium Purple Sensations are on their third year and better than ever, the Gladioulus Byzantinus have not previously visited this bed, and the Linaria purpurea and Verbena Bonariensis which were here before, have had a population explosion.  I’m starting to feel I’ve completely lost control, and yet there’s a certain delight in letting them all get on with it.

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The Oak Bed (above) continues to disappoint, but the Melianthus major  is still a joy and the Gladioli here cheer me up.  I think a proper redesign is required for next year.

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I have lots of lovely pots – these Aeoniums were planted by the OH and are very handsome.IMG_2636

Meanwhile, in the greenhouse, (which I think will have to be a whole other post) the tomatoes are flowering, but unfortunately they’re still in their 9cm pots…IMG_2685

With many thanks to Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting the End of Month meme.  Why don’t you go and check out some other End of Months?