Tag Archives: Astrantia Roma

Resolve and realise – April 2015


Such beautiful April weather and yet I still find myself gravitating to the greenhouse rather than doing ‘proper’ gardening outside.  What’s that all about?

So let’s see what I was supposed to do this month:

New for April

  • Prune various shrubs that probably should have been pruned already

Sort of tick.  I delegated the pruning of the shrubs in the shady bed to the OH and he hacked through in a style which I’d like to say was reminiscent of Ross Poldark, but I can’t lie to you.  He hacked through.  Enough said.

  • Continue planting seeds, pricking out and potting on

Oh the seeds and the seedlings – I’ve now planted over 75 different seeds this year.  And no, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with them all.

My dear mother, who sadly never had a greenhouse, raised all her seedlings on the kitchen windowsill and called them her ‘babies’.  As a stroppy teenager I was indifferent to the green fingered nurturing going on in front of my eyes, and yet now, of course, I’m the one doing the nurturing, with unimpressed teens of my own.  I’m sure there’s no coincidence that as my children have grown and required (demanded!) less nurturing, I’ve transferred my attentions elsewhere…


  • Plan cutting garden

No.  As I mentioned last week, I have had the offer of space in J&A’s walled garden to grow cutting flowers and so now I need to plan which plants might survive the shady spot, which will require the sunny spot and which I should grow at home in the very shallow cutting beds I used last year.

  • Provide supports for broad beans and plant out second wave

Tick.  I planted out the last lot and then rigged up a cat’s cradle affair with poles and string.  And forgot to photo it.

  • Start to erect structures for beans and sweet peas

No structure for beans yet but I have used two of our West Dean made willow structures for sweet peas.  The first in the greenhouse and the second, a semicircular affair, which was made by the OH with no particular purpose, turns out to have been made to measure for wrapping around a crab apple:


Sadly, the two largest willow structures we both made, which were made to fit into two particular pots, look rather ridiculously top heavy and so I think we’ll have to buy new pots to accommodate them, which wasn’t really the idea.

  • Tidy up shady bed and lavender beds

I’ve had a tidy of the shady bed (see top photo).  The white honesty I grew from seed last year is flowering well, together with the Anemone blanda White Splendour I planted as bulbs in the autumn.

  • Continue planting up the two new beds


It’s a bit difficult to see what’s going on but there has been further planting.  Firstly the new roses mentioned last month have gone in, including Rosa Falstaff Climbing on my ‘obelisk’.  I’ve also planted out some Cirsium riulare ‘Atropurpureum’ I grew from seed last year.  And also, since this photo was taken, I divided up a clump of Astrantia Roma and have put in a couple of clumps of that.


There are plenty of seedlings to go into the Bronze Bed but apart from a few more Calendula Sunset Buff, I haven’t planted anything else out.

So carried forward

  • Plan cutting garden
  • Erect structures for sweet peas and beans
  • Tidy Lavender Beds

New for May

  • Plant out sweet peas, peas and beans
  • Plant out greenhouse plants
  • Continue with seeds and cuttings
  • Improve watering options (we have a well and two ‘holding’ tanks and many watering cans, but sometimes you just need a hose!)

So not a bad month.  What have you been up to in this glorious weather and what are your plans for the coming month?

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – June 2014


Well, it all happens in June.  In addition to an my wedding anniversary last week, this week I had a big birthday, and to cheer myself up I requested a macro lens as my present.  And what a toy!  My first foray into the world of macro photography was Wordless Wednesday’s Allium Hair, and today I’ve had great fun getting up close and personal with my June blooms.

In the interests of keeping this to a manageable length, I’ve decided this month’s edit should only include either plants I’ve grown from seed, or blooms bearing a ‘bug’.  So I’ve started with my beautiful, soft pink Astrantia Roma, together with visiting bee.

Next my sweet peas.  I’m growing more and more each year, and this year they’re all along the back of the Swing Beds, in pots by the front door and in the veg plot.  I’m really only interested in flowers with scent, and this year chose MatucanaIMG_3391

Lord NelsonIMG_3377

Prince Edward of YorkIMG_3320 - Copy

Mrs CollierIMG_3340 - Copy

As well as four more from mixes from English Sweet Peas – ‘Fresh Air Mix‘ and ‘Parfumiere Mix‘.  Unfortunately I don’t know the names of the individual varietiesIMG_3342 - Copy

IMG_3339 - Copy



As well as sweet peas, I’m growing a lot of other annuals for cutting, including Cosmos Rubenza (a little short for cutting but I love the slightly smoky pink)IMG_3338 - Copy

PurityIMG_3332 - Copy


and Click Cranberries.IMG_3366

A couple of ‘greens’, Molucella laevis and Amaranthus caudatus ‘Viridis’

A couple of oranges, Helianthus ClaretIMG_3386

and Calendula Bronze BeautyIMG_3379 (3)

and a couple sown last year – Digitalis Camelot CreamIMG_3369

and Knautia macedonica

IMG_3357 (2)

And to finish, another bug.  I think this is the caterpillar of the Rusty Tussock Moth, Orgyia antiqua, chewing a hole in my rose bud.  Sigh.IMG_3309 (3)

With thanks again to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting the GBBD meme.