This is another vase based around the sweet peas. Finally I’m able to pick a real handful so I thought I use them to christen my new glass trough. (I’d already ordered it before I admired the one at Gravetye, but it’s nowhere near as large as theirs).
The sweet peas have been joined by the Antirrhinum majus ‘The Rose’ again, as well as the stalwart Cerinthe major purpurescens. I actually found the vase a little tricky to use as the top heavy Antirrhinum and Cerinthe kept dropping back out again as there’s no lip to keep them in. I cut them a bit shorter and put the sweet peas in first and it was fine, but it has made the arrangement quite ‘dense’ as I wasn’t able to have the Antirrhinum poking out as I’d envisaged. Also, I didn’t sear the stems of the Cerinthe and after a night in the kitchen with the Aga still on they’re already drooping, so they’re not ‘poking’ either.
Anyway, drooping or not, it certainly smells divine!
And to finish a silly extra arrangement prompted by photographing the red and amber roses for GBBD – I thought adding in a stem of Aeonium would make a traffic light!
With thanks to Cathy who hosts this lovely meme.
So, it’s time to come clean – the Acacia move discussed here didn’t end happily. And whilst I’m still glad it’s gone from the Mid Century Bed, having it (temporarily!) in the Lavender Bed made me realise that to have a third tree between the existing two would be good. Consequently I’ve come up with a new plan – a Silk Tree, first seen at Hilliers Garden and shown here.
The variety I’ve bought is smaller than the Hilliers one, Albizia julibrissin ‘Ombrella,’ described by Burncoose (from where I purchased it online) as “A newish variety with cherry-pink fragrant flowers and dark green ferny leaves. Flowers profusely at a young age. Grows to only 10-15 feet”. It was described as ‘large’ (to match the price tag), but if you look carefully at the photo above, it’s the twig to the left with the labels on. Fingers crossed I don’t kill this one!
Below you’ll see the more usual EoMV looking south east across to Bembridge. The arching tree, a crab apple, was fabulous this year – a really deep pink which you could actually see when looking back to the house from the beach – but the blossom, like so many of the bulbs, is now almost completely over.
The photo of the Swing Beds this time last year still had plenty of tulips, but this year there weren’t as many and they’re largely finished. I was about to write that I hadn’t planted any new ones, but just checked and I did – 80. I think someone has been having a nibble!
One good patch of colour in the foreground is provided by the sugary, seed grown Antirrhinum majus ‘The Rose’ I was so critical of last year (and threatened to pull out), but actually, bulked up, is providing a good match for the remaining ‘Menton’ and ‘Mistress’ tulips.
The Grass Bed was also better a couple of weeks ago, but has also suffered from a critter with the munchies. Before the forget me nots grew up I came back one weekend to find numerous bulb sized empty holes where there should have been 50 Spring Green Tulips. Grrr.
Round to the Mid Century Bed, this does still have some tulips, and loads of self seeded Cerinthe and Euphorbia.
In the gap left by moving (er, killing) the Acacia I’ve now planted a Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’.
(I already planted one in the Oak Bed and perhaps should have gone with an evergreen such as Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’ as some of you suggested, but I’m afraid this is a total ‘mum memory’ plant from a wonderful visit we did together to Beth Chatto’s Garden, and planting it here I’ll be able to see it from the kitchen table).
The bulbs in the Bronze Bed are largely over (much earlier than last year) and the Wisteria is also turning brown around the edges. Meanwhile the Melianthus major has gone bonkers. I’ve discussed this before, but I really should cut it back, but with the garden opening in two months (aargh!), I just can’t bring myself to do it. This autumn, though, it MUST happen!
Out on the Drive Bed the Erysimum ‘Ivory Giant’ grown from seed last year are finally making their mark and I’m hoping they’ll still be flowering when the Sisyrinchiums and Rose ‘Snow Goose’ join the party.
In the Strawberry Bed the Agapanthus are threatening to take over, potentially prompting a renaming!
Meanwhile the daughter, who spent last summer in the States working at a summer camp (and consequently was barely home for a fortnight all summer), will be around more this year and is putting in requests for more strawberry plants to fill the gap left by the rhubarb. As that space is currently only colonised by forget me nots, I think she has a point.
Round the back of the house in a skinny north facing bed ,the Hostas are looking immaculate – so far. I’ve used the Slug Gone wool pellets again, but last year they did seem to lose efficacy later on. Probably I should have reapplied.
In the greenhouse there are hundreds of similarly perfect little seeds. So full of hope, right up until I don’t plant them on, don’t plant them out and chuck them on the compost!
Meanwhile, the Winter Sunshine Sweet Peas don’t need any attention, they can just be enjoyed. Wish I could bottle and share their scent in a warm greenhouse on a sunny day!
With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts EoMV.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Away from the annuals, I have a some good repeating roses – R. St Swithun,
R. Munstead Wood,
R. Jubilee Celebration
and R. Pat Austin
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,
D. Fifteen Love (pertinent as Andy Murray is currently playing in the Olympic Gold medal match as I type), doing OK in a pot,
D. Bacardi, also doing pretty well in the two greenhouse pots,
D. Hillcrest Royal (very mildewed)
D. Tamburo, also rather mildewed
and D. La Recoleta, with a very nasty case of blackfly.
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.
With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD.