Tag Archives: Cercis canadensis Forest Pansy

End of Month view – November 2017

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A rather autumnal shot to start this month’s Endof Month View,ispast the yellowing mulberry towards the swing.  This mulberry was in a pot for years and is still barely fruiting now despite  having its feet in the ground.

My mother in law was kind enough to buy me a Mulberry ‘Charlotte Russe’ (the RHS plant of the year 2017) for my birthday earlier this year and, as one of its attributes is supposedly early fruiting, it will be interesting to see if it overtakes this rather more established plant!

This shot shows the magnificent Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita’, still in rude health.

In the troughs the stocks grown from cuttings are looking much more established and there are still flowers on the Pelagonium.

Likewise the Pelagonium ‘Surcouf’ still has the odd bloom.

The Veg patch is in a state of general collapse and needs clearing and mulching, but at least the Diving Lady’s pool has been newly planted with Muscari.

In the Swing Beds there is little to now see except the Salvias.

and rose hips –  I’m hoping the birds leave these alone so I can pick them for Christmas decorations.

The Grass Bed was cleared a while ago and has now been planted with daffodils and tulips.  However, bearing in mind the thievery which went on last year, serious precautions have been taken..

Walking past the house you can see the Rose carpet roses are still, rather incongruously, pumping out their bright pink blooms.

Past the tin bath and whilst the Osteospermum and Gazanias are shrugging off the chill, the rather crispy looking plant at the front off this shot is (was) a Chocolate Cosmos.  I really don’t learn as I’ve lost these plants before.  Whilst we’re blessed with a very mild climate here, they really are not remotely hardy.  (Note to self Jen!)

The leaves are nearly all off the Cercis, with just this pair clinging on in the sunshine.

The Bronze Bed is now largely a tangle of decaying dahlia stems which need to be cut down

but in amongst there is still the odd jewel!

Climbing up the wooden support for the glass awning is this Clematis ‘My Angel’.  I bought it from a specialist Clematis nursery but sadly it’s been really disappointing.  The flowers, which are similar in shape to ‘tangutica’ but supposed to be tawny/orange (to match the Bronze Bed which is directly in front) turned out to be rather insipid in the flesh, and also really small.  Not surprisingly, the seedheads are also really small which is a shame as I think they’re lovely in arrangements but I don’t think these would really work.

The jury’s out as to whether ‘My angel’ will get sent to plant heaven!

The succulents have now been tucked under the glass awning but I think if really cold weather is forecast that won’t be protection enough and they’ll need moving again.

This sink, however, is currently still out in the open and, having only been planted up this year has filled out really well.  In my enthusiasm to show it off, however, I did completely miss the enormous nettle in the bed behind.  Oops.

Here’s yet another pink Pelagonium, this one bought on the cheap from Waitrose.  It’s a perfect match for the Flower Carpet roses so I’ve just taken a whole lot of cuttings with the view of filing a big pot of them next summer.

Into the greenhouse and the banana (not my purchase!) is annoyingly looking better than ever

and there are plenty of cuttings coming along well.

One thing not looking so good is the state of the glass.  I hate cleaning the greenhouse (let’s face it, I hate cleaning) but this is definitely something on the jobs list

together with barrowing all this around

oh, and still planting the rest of these:

Wish me luck!

With thanks to Steve at Glebe House who hosts EoMV.

End of month view – October 2017

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Today’s ‘End of Month View’ features photos actually taken on Friday as it was such a beautiful day I was compelled to capture it.

This first view is over the statuesque Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita’ to Bembridge harbour beyond.  Amazing to think that, as a half hardy annual, the Ricinus was just a seed eight months ago!IMG_3637

Walking across the decking there are still blooms on the Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’

as well as in various other pots.

Round to the Strawberry Bed you can see the Agapanthus are rather taking over.  I have now chopped back the seed heads, but I fear the strawberries are being squeezed out.

The  Swing Beds still have a bit of colour, largely from the Salvias, but also the Verbena bonariensis and a few asters and rosesIMG_3651

The pergola is luxuriantly draped in Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’, but surely the amazing thing about this shot is the colour of the sky!IMG_3653

This Grass Bed photo is one of total chaos, and is in fact is no longer representative as I spent Saturday afternoon pulling out all the spent annuals and rediscovering the Stipa tenuissima at the back, which give the bed its name.  Dozens and dozens of Nasturtium seeds fell onto the bed as I was clearing, so next year they’ll be back with a similar vengeance unless I’m very determined.

I finally got my bulb order in last weekend and this bed is destined to be one of the beneficiaries. Last year the vast majority of bulbs planted here were eaten by some critter or other, so I’m hoping next year will be more successful.

In the left hand Lavender Bed I’m delighted that my little silk tree Albizia julibrissin ‘Ombrella’ is doing well –

it’s already come a long way from this twig (see to the left of this photo from April).  I wonder if next year it will flower?IMG_2355

Walking round the house to the western end of the garden takes you first past the Flower Carpet roses, looking ridiculously perky,

and then the old tin bath, also full of summery Gazanias and Osteospermums.

Once round the corner things take a definitely autumnal turn, 

but you’ve got to love that Cercis – talk about bonfire night!

Back round to the greenhouse, and you have to admire the continuing blooms of the greenhouse pots.  These have been blooming non stop since June and have been an absolute joy. 

The greenhouse, however, has not been such a joy.  It’s latterly suffered an infestation of whitefly, so I’ve hoiked nearly everything out, discarding all the tomatoes and cucumbers

and leaving pretty much everything else outside like a mad ‘bring and buy’ plant sale.

Fingers crossed the whitefly expire before the temperature drops – and anyone with any whitefly tips, please do share!  

With thanks to Steve, at Glebe House Garden, who now hosts End of Month views.

End of month view – September 2017

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The best bit about this view is the newly mown, stripy lawn – thanks hubs!

Taking the usual End of Month tour takes us firstly past the metal troughs which have been taken over by two enormous, self seeded Shoo-fly plants (Nicandra physalodes).  I confessed last month that the Cosmos and trailing Sweet peas planted in the troughs this year were unhappy with such hot roots, so I’ve let the Shoo-flies take over.

The plan for next year is an abundance of Pelargoniums – reckon they’ll be happier?IMG_3322

Talking of unhappy, the Veg Patch is a little sorry now too.  Not only have the cutting flowers largely given upIMG_3325

but the Diving Lady’s pool has dried up, and the beans have fallen over.IMG_3327

And those of a sensitive disposition look away now – I seem to be feeding the Island’s Cabbage White caterpillar population with my ‘Flower Sprouts.’

The Flower Sprouts are a cross between kale and Brussel sprouts, which supposedly grow ‘baby’ kales (kalettes), at the leaf axils (where you’d ordinarily find the Brussels).  I’ve been trying to convince myself that I don’t need the leaves as they’re not the crop, but I guess without the leaves there is no ‘engine’ to grow the ‘kalettes’.  Hmmm.IMG_3324

On a cheerier note the Swing Beds are still colourful, with even a Lupin in bloom.IMG_3330

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On the Swing Pergola itself there is a veil of flowering Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles.’IMG_3336

Whilst up close they’re very pretty, from a distance I have to admit they’re rather a mess!IMG_3334

Interestingly, the Cosmos in the Grass Bed which got damaged in earlier windy weather, has now all but disappeared, with the white Malopes and self seeded Nasturtiums taking over.  IMG_3338

In the Mid Century Bed the Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita’ has been hauled back upright having flopped right over the path, and is still providing fabulous foliage to accompanyIMG_3319

the remaining blooms, particularly the Dahlia ‘La Recoleta’ and the roses.

I’m also delighted that the Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ (planted in April) has survived despite my rather haphazard attentions over the summer and is now looking settled.

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The Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin f rosea), planted at the same time as the Cercis, is also fine, but looking a little overwhelmed by the Asters in the photo below!

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In the Greenhouse beds, my clearing of the Nasturtiums last month (in an effort to expose some soil for the poppies to self seed) didn’t exactly go to plan.  Instead, the Nasturtiums are back in force and sadly, there’s no sign of any poppy seedlings.IMG_3342

In the Greenhouse Pots, a Sarah Raven combo has been flowering for months – Arctotis ‘Flame’ and Thunbergia ‘African Sunset.’

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Whilst in the greenhouse, most things are coming to an end,IMG_3343

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the cuttings are just beginning.IMG_3344

One thing I’m hoping to grow more of is this Pelargonium ‘Choun Cho.’IMG_3345

Along by the house, the Flower Carpet roses are back with a vengeance and smothered in buds.

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Buds too on the Nerines.IMG_3351

Round the corner the inherited roses by the gate are reflecting the (definitely inherited!) pampas.

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In the tin bath at the top of the steps, the Osteospermum ‘Serenity Rose Magic’ (also from Sarah Raven) have survived best of everything in here.  I took plenty of cuttings at the weekend so hopefully I’ll have more next year.IMG_3353

The Bronze Bed is still doing well – the ‘Happy Single Dates’ are only looking a little thin because I’d picked loads for a big vase.

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And to finish, better late than never.  My neighbour gave me seedlings of Morning Glory ahead of June’s garden opening, but sadly I didn’t get them planted out until quite some time later.  But look, they’re flowering now – thanks Rosy!

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With thanks too to Steve, at Glebe House Garden, who has taken over hosting End of Month views.

End of month view – July 2017

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After the glory of June’s excesses, already aspects of the garden at the end of July are looking a little tired.  However, conversely, areas reliant on annuals, such as the grass bed, are just getting going.

So the usual clockwise tour takes us past the new Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin f rosea).  Still no blooms, but I’m delighted it’s making itself at home.  Please ignore the convolvulus leaf to the left.  (I promise it isn’t there now, but I made the executive decision to take the photos yesterday before the five hours of gardening, so please excuse the ‘fuzzyness’ shown in the photos – not least the unmown lawn!)

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On to the troughs and sadly these are rather contradicting my statement about the annuals getting going.  I really need to rethink what I plant here as the metal troughs, especially during this balmy summer, are just too hot for many things.  The plan here was a combination of Cosmos ‘Antiquity’, which are just about getting there, combined with Lathyrus ‘Pink Cupid’ at the front, which Sarah Raven assured me would ‘tumble happily’. However, I don’t think having roasted roots really suits the poor sweet peas and consequently it’s barely peeping over the edge!IMG_2960

In the Veg Patch and it’s really more flowers than veg – both the amazing Agapanthus and the Sweet Peas.IMG_2961

The Swing Beds are a bit chaotic, but still showing quite a lot of colour – particularly the incredibly long flowering Diascia personataIMG_2962

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The Grass Bed has filled out considerably in a month with plenty of Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Psyche White’, (and Salvia horminum ‘White Swan’ and Malope trifida ‘Alba’ out of shot) together with plenty of self sown grasses.IMG_2964

On the way round we pass this shallow metal dish which just goes to show some plants are happy with baked bottoms!IMG_2966

The Mid Century Bed now has rather mad spires of Gladioli ‘Black Star’

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which are picking up on the spring planted Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ and the Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’.img_3002.jpg

Outside the greenhouse, the pots are still looking good with the Arctotis ‘Flame’ and Thunbergia ‘Africa Sunset’, joined by Catananche caerulea for contrast.

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Into the greenhouse and looking left I can show off an astonishing array of Peppers – ‘Crystal Lemon’ and ‘Tequila’IMG_2985

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There are tomatoes in the other direction

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and what’s this?  Newly discovered on my return from London on Thursday, a wonderful new potting station made by my lovely neighbour Martin.  I can’t promise it’ll mean I’ll keep the floor clean, but it will definitely help!IMG_2991

Round the corner to the Bronze Bed, now full of colour,

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not least from wonderful Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date.’IMG_2981

And to finish – a final flourish from the Wisteria – and another blue sky!IMG_2978

 

End of Month View – April 2017

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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.

Here’s one, you’ll have to imagine the rest!

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 one in the Oak Bed is just coming into leaf

and possibly flower.  (It hasn’t flowered that reliably as I think the site is a little too shady. Hopefully the one in the MCB will like its surroundings better).

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 veg patch there is nothing except the moved rhubarb (looking a little ‘unsettled’ if you know what I mean) a few Broad Beans and plenty of raspberry canes which need tying in.

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 meantime I’ll admire the (doubtless temporary) perfection!

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!

The plan is to spend this afternoon with the rain lashing down in the greenhouse fiddling with seeds.  I hope there’s something good on the radio!

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.

Now you see it…

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…now you don’t.img_2071

So, apologies to those who told me not to move the Acacia baileyana purpurea now, but the deed is done.  And so far it’s still looking pretty perky, but time will tell.

The Acacia move is all part of the realisation that I’m already behind and it’s only February.  None of which would matter apart from two things

  1. I’m now officially full time at work (three days in London, two at home)
  2. Not only am I opening the garden for the village Secret Gardens on June 25th this year, but I’ve been persuaded to take over organisation of the event.

So now you know.

But if there’s one thing I love it’s a deadline (oh and two college deadlines this month too!) and somehow, moving the Acacia was the sort of dramatic progress I needed, even if I kill it in the process.

The next question is, what to replace it with?  When it was first planted as an interesting purple leaved ‘mound’ it looked wonderful, but as soon as it became a tree I didn’t like the way it competed with the metal obelisk.  However, that doesn’t mean the bed doesn’t need something quite large to give some structure.  As some of you know, the bed has a ‘bruised’ coloured theme and so I am seriously considering a second Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ but that wouldn’t be evergreen (or indeed ever-purple).  Perhaps I could consider a purple Phormium – there is one in the bed in front to the right of the photo, but I don’t really like them and doubt I’d ever move it.  And whilst it would work quite well with the obelisk, it would seem a strange bedfellow for the roses.

Thoughts please!

Meanwhile the Acacia has now been moved to the left hand Lavender bed and is deliberately sited between the two existing trees.img_2073

Another thing I finally did this weekend was order my seeds.  Last year I bought them on Black Friday the year before (October 2015!) which felt far too early and resulted in me going rather bonkers as a) I didn’t have plan but b) I did have a discount.  This year, ordering them in February, definitely feels too late and I’m quite sure I’ve forgotten some.  And I’m also quite sure that annuals I’m hoping will be flowering by June won’t be.

Wish me luck!