Tag Archives: Arundel Castle

Yearly round up – 2015

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2015 was the first time I’d planted dozens of tulips directly in the Swing Beds, having previously faffed about planting them in pots and then moving them in and out.  And, in classic gardening happenstance, they didn’t flower as I’d planned at all!  The tulips I’d planted as mids, ‘Pink Impression’ (above) flowered first, and on their own, and then these were followed by (supposedly) April flowering ‘Mistress’ and May flowering ‘Menton’ flowering together (below). The whole show was an absolute joy.

This year I’ve planted more tulips, but in the two new beds, so time will tell as to how perennial these three in the Swing Beds out to be.IMG_7022

As well as the tulips I also planted more Alliums.  I found the new Alliums ‘Violet Beauty’, a little disappointing, but the extra A. Purple Sensation I added, were fabulous as ever.IMG_7231

And the Diving Lady got a new, early bath in the form of Iris reticulata ‘Blue Note’.

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As well as new bulbs, 2016 saw the creation of two new beds, firstly the ‘Mid Century Bed’, below, named after the lovely metal structure the OH bought me for my big birthday.

The theme was supposed to be bruised, purply colours, but, as with the bulbs, there was a welcome ‘mistake’ to enjoy in the form of this Ranunculus, theoretically ‘Purple Heart’, but I rather think not.IMG_7715

I planted some roses for this new bed too, including R. Jubilee Celebration (no, not very bruised either!)IMG_7967

and Rosa ‘Falstaff Climbing’ to grow up the obelisk, but the plant that really stole the climbing show this year was the ‘Rhodochiton atrosanguineus‘.

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The second new bed has a bronze or orangey theme.

 

Many of the plants were grown from seed, including this Nasturtium ‘Caribbean Crush’ and the beautiful grass Hordeum Jubatum.IMG_8240IMG_7930

There was another new rose here too, R. Pat Austin.IMG_8906

And later in the year the ridiculously floriferous Dahlia ‘Happy Singe Date’.  This just went on and on and formed the basis of numerous peachy vases of flowers.

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In June I opened the garden for the third time as part of a village group opening, in aid of the island’s Earl Mountbatten hospice.  I had over 150 visitors and some lovely comments.IMG_7889

Also in 2015 I was lucky enough to visit numerous gardens both on and off the island, including the Sir Harold Hillier garden in February (and again in August)IMG_0411

Arundel Castle in May,IMG_7089

Mottistone Manor in June,IMG_7677

Osborne House in (March and) August

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and Great Dixter IMG_9124

and Bodnant in October.2015-10-29 11.28.44 HDR

As well as my own garden and garden visiting, I dipped in and out of Cathy’s lovely ‘In  a vase on Monday’ meme, including sharing the saga of the wedding flowers 

as well as this group of vases created in October when the OH became captain of his golf club.IMG_9349

And, on the basis that it’s a very rare gardener that ever stops learning, I went on courses at Great Dixter, Common Farm Flowers and West Dean.  And then, to top it all, in September signed up for a Level 3 course in Plants and Planting Design at Capel Manor college, which I’m absolutely loving.  Which reminds me, I really need to get on with my holiday homework!

Wishing you and yours a fabulous, flowery 2016, and thank you so much for supporting Duver Diary with your views, likes and comments.

Tulip review 2015

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In common with a number of other bloggers (including Peonies and PosiesMy Hesperides Garden, The Blooming Garden and Owl House Flowers) I thought I’d share a post about this year’s tulips.

And this year, my tulips have been a complete revelation.  Always afraid the bulbs would get eaten, or I’d get stuck with dying foliage for EVER, I’ve tiptoed around tulips, planting a few in pots but very few directly in the flower beds.

Well this year I went for it, planting three varieties in the Swing Beds and have enjoyed them enormously for well over a month.  Above and below, the rather large and blowsy T Pink Impression. Sadly these didn’t last that long due to strong wind in the latter part of April, but boy did they make their mark.IMG_6911

Interestingly, the same variety was used at Arundel Castle in their pots:IMG_7089

To follow on from T Pink Impression I’d planted T Mistress and T Menton.  These were much softer and more delicate in colour and have lasted really well.  The rather more peachy one is Menton.IMG_7018

In the Grass Bed I have T Spring Green returning, which was planted in 2013 and does seem to be quite perennial.IMG_7038

As the new MId Century and Bronze beds weren’t created until this spring, neither had any spring bulbs planted.  However, I did buy a few pots of Prinses Irene to pop into the Bronze Bed.  I didn’t separate the bulbs out when I planted (you can see they look rather ‘clumped’) but what I don’t understand is why they’re so short.  According to Peter Nyssen, where I buy my bulbs, they should be 35cm, but these ones were only about half that and looked rather stunted.  Perhaps the Prinses didn’t like being squashed in a pot?

Anyway, I don’t think I’ll be selecting her again, but I’m very much looking forward to chosing tulips for both new beds for 2016.

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As in previous years I also grew a number of tulips in pots.  Last year I grew the lovely pink, peony flowered T Angelique in the greenhouse pots and absolutely loved it, but this year I thought I’d try something different, and planted T Orange Angelique, together with this lovely Narcissus, N Bellsong.

Although most of the tulips had this beautiful soft peach colour, to be honest some were rather more yellow (see the one at the right hand edge of the photo) and so didn’t work as I’d intended.  Also, they didn’t last nearly as long as I remember the T Angelique lasting, so I don’t think I’ll be growing T Orange Angelique again.  Does anyone have any suggestions of another tulip to pair with this Narcissus?

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In the tin bath by the front steps I grew the very jolly T Merry go round.  I loved the size, shape and colour of this tulip, and it looked so cheerful to come home to.  Unfortunately these didn’t last that long but I think that was down to a lack of water – they bloomed early and caught the lovely April weather and I think the whole bath got hot and dry while we were away on holiday.IMG_6973

Tulips I’ve enjoyed away from my garden include T White Triumphator and T Ballerina, IMG_7138

(I think) T  Mistress, and T Paul Scherer, (not sure about the dark red one)IMG_7107

and T White Triumphator, all at Arundel Castle.IMG_7150

And lastly, Tulip Queen of the Night at Common Farm Flowers.  I just love the colour and the ‘bloom’ on the petals of this tulip.  I’d love to grow these next year but am still considering where to plant them so that they can be seen.  One of the disadvantages of my lovely hedges is that dark blooms don’t tend to show up, and it would be a crime to miss these beauties!2015-04-29 12.26.33

I hope you’ve enjoyed my review, and would love to hear any of your thoughts for tulips for my two new beds – think ‘bronze’ or ‘bruised’ or both!

Arundel Castle – after the party’s over?

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Having read an article about Arundel Castle’s 15,000 tulips in April’s English Garden magazine, I was keen to see them for myself.  And on Monday 20th April, on the way to taking my daughter back to college, I arrived for the show, only to discover the castle doesn’t open on Mondays -doh!   Instead, we went to Brighton shopping, and I was hoodwinked into buying a pair of expensive sparkly sandals for her Leavers’ Ball.  I know where I’d rather have been.

Fast forward nearly three weeks and we were passing that way once more, so I tried again and here is the result.  Sadly the skies were grey throughout, and most of the time it was drizzling (evidenced by droplets on some of the photos, sorry) but I’m still delighted we went.

Although we’d been before in high summer, what struck me this time was how the structures, both the castle, the chapel and even Arundel Cathedral (outside the castle grounds), form an extraordinary, unique backdrop to the planting.

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A relatively new  area of the garden, the Collector Earl’s Garden, has been designed by Isobel and Julian Bannerman, and has been conceived as a Jacobean formal garden.  It includes a domed pergola and fountains made out of green oak, which have already weathered significantly since our previous visit.

The centrepiece is the rockwork ‘mountain’ planted with palms and rare ferns to represent another world, supporting a green oak version of ‘Oberon’s Palace’, which contains a shell-lined interior with a stalagmite fountain and gilded coronet ‘dancing’ on top of the jet.

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Whilst sadly some of the tulips were past their best (and doubtless would have been in their prime three weeks earlier), there was still plenty to enjoy, and it was of course, a completely different visit to the previous one last June.IMG_7094

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Before leaving the main garden area we admired this glorious stumpery.  The ancient tree stumps are from the Norfolk Estate, and were looking magnificent with the fresh green planting.  IMG_7110

Walking between the Collector Earl’s Garden and the white garden, we came across this magnificent cork oak, Quercus Suber.IMG_7135

We arrived at the white garden, adjacent to the Fitzalan Chapel, at nearly closing time and a volunteer was keen to ensure we didn’t miss visiting the chapel.  However, his exhortation that there were some ‘very interesting tombs’ couldn’t quite persuade me away from the glorious white planting outside…

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The tulips will be followed by ‘over fourteen varieties’ of Alliums, and then, later still in the season, numerous Agapanthus.  It’s a glorious garden, with spectacular, ancient structures and skilled planting.  I’m looking forward to returning.IMG_7127