Tag Archives: Cleome Violet Queen

Garden bloggers’ bloom day – October 2014

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So many of the plants flowering now have already been featured in previous GBBD, so I thought I’d start with one that hasn’t.  This is Clematis ‘Freckles’, flowering on the pergola together with Rosa St Swithun.  According to Crocus.co.uk it is ‘often out by Christmas and sometimes by November’.  Clearly mine doesn’t have a calendar to hand.

Other non-annuals flowering now include Aster Frikartii MonchIMG_5114

and Aster September Ruby IMG_5119

I’ve still got plenty of roses flowering, although many have been battered by the recent weather. This one was inherited and is, I think, Rosa Flower Carpet Pink.IMG_5111

These next three were also inherited, so I’m not sure of their names.IMG_5113

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This last one is a bit of a joke as it is clearly very red when the rest of the garden is pink.  It was accidentally chopped right down to the ground by a builder when we were having a porch extension a couple of years ago.  I decided I wasn’t too upset as it didn’t really go with anything, but clearly, to spite me, it’s bounced back and is better than ever.

I can see it from the kitchen and I grudgingly have to admit that while it doesn’t match anything in the garden, it does go nicely with the Aga!IMG_5112

I love the dusky pink colour of this potentilla – I think it’s Potentilla nepalensis,.  I have a number of these plants in the Mediterranean beds and they’re flowering beautifully now, even though the weather could hardly be described as Mediterranean.IMG_5120

These can’t really be described as blooms, but I just love the flower shapes these succulent leaves make.  These are all still in the garden at the moment but expect they’ll all have to be taken inside by next month.

And a last non-annual – this is Pelargonium sidoides.  I just love the dark, rich colour against a silvery leaf and have even started cutting it for flower arrangements as the flower stems seem to get longer and longer as the season progresses.  I really must get round to taking more cuttings.IMG_5118

And to finish, an avalanche of annuals – all I think featured before, but all still flowering their socks off, bless them!

Zinnia, Giant Dahlia Mixed (the first bloom looking rather strangely glossy in the rain)IMG_5121IMG_5123

and Zinnia EnvyIMG_5124

Two Cleomes, C. Cherry Queen and C. Violet Queen.  The colours are more different than the photo would would suggest.

Marigolds – although some have succumbed to powdery mildew, many are still going strong.IMG_5125

 Nasturtium Black Velvet.  These stopped flowering completely after the summer drought, but are flowering beautifully again now – they seem to be relishing this wet weather.IMG_5117

And to finish, my Tithonia rotundiflora ‘Torch’.   I planted around 8-10 plants out back in June, and now have a veritable hedge, 20 ft long and 6 ft high.  Beats Leylandii any day.  IMG_5126

With thanks as ever to Carol at May Dream Gardens for hosting GBBD.

 

Garden bloggers’ bloom day – September 2014

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Like last month I’ve used GBBD as an excuse to use my macro lens to get up close with my blooms, starting with Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ above.  The blooms are so amazingly fresh for so late in the year – verging on the virginal!

With similar shaped flowers I still have multiple varieties of Cosmos flowering:

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Click CranberriesIMG_4759

and RubenzaIMG_4729

A rather more complicated daisy flower is provided by my Zinnia ‘Giant dahlia mixed’,  It’s been a great year for Zinnias – they’ve loved the sun and heat and have been one of the few flowers to have coped with the lack of water.  And they’re just so jolly!IMG_4709

To round up some of the other annuals I’ve grown from seed this year – a couple of Cleomes IMG_4761

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Molucella laevisIMG_4762

Helianthus ‘Claret’IMG_4755

Salvia viridis ‘Blue’ (here with the increasingly invasive ‘Fox and Cubs’, Pilosella aurantiaca)IMG_4739

And a new one this year, Nicotiana ‘Black Knight’.

For some reason I don’t do that well with tobacco plants.  Whilst I’ve been successful with Sylvestris in the past, I always have difficulty with ‘Lime Green’ (which I love for cutting, so I keep trying) and didn’t have success with Mutablis when I tried it last year.  Conversely this one, which I’m really not sure about, seems to be doing ok.  Such is gardening….IMG_4772

Next a couple of shrubs flowering now – Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Heavenly Blue’, which looks lovely at this time of year with the similar coloured Asters.IMG_4735

and Anisodontea capensis.IMG_4749

And to finish, some rather more exotic blooms.  Firstly my Glory Lily, Gloriosa superba ‘Rothschildiana’.  This lives all year in the (unheated) greenhouse.IMG_4774

Next my Plumbago, which for the first time this summer I’ve brought outside and seems to be thriving, but I’ll obviously have to move it back to the greenhouse fairly soon.

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And lastly, an inherited shrub that’s planted outside, and has survived snow and frosts and yet looks very exotic.  Firstly the buds and then the flowers.  Do you think it’s some sort of Grevillea?  The leaves seem a little big for a Grevillea (they’re about 5cm long and 1.5cm wide).  But whatever it is I love it!IMG_4779

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With thanks as ever to Carol at May Dream Gardens for hosting GBBD.

End of month view – June 2014

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Well, what a balmy June.  However, partly as a consequence of this balminess, I feel like the garden has got away from me this month.  There has been too much indulging in garden visiting (there have been others, watch this space…) and just not enough proper graft.  One thing I have spent a significant amount of time doing is watering – especially all my pots.

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Whilst others around the country have had some significant downpours, we’ve had nothing but the odd shower and as a consequence I’m developing arms like Popeye from carrying endless watering cans around.  Whilst we’re lucky enough to have a well (and associated complicated pump and holding tanks) the water pressure isn’t high enough to use a hose, hence the endless cans – and impressive muscles!

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So, having made my excuses, here we go.  The first picture is the grass bed.  I still love the Stipa tenuissima, but the rest of the bed is looking rather a mess.  The hope was that the dark nasturtium (Nasturtium Black Velvet) would pick up on the dark orange of the buds of the fox and cubs, but the latter seem to be going over, and rather than orange I have numerous tiny dandelion type seed heads, which don’t go with anything.

On a more positive note, behind the fox and cubs, but in front of the grasses, I’ve planted a whole row of the Verbascum chaixii album which I grew from seed last year.  These are just starting to flower so hopefully by next month I will have pulled out the spent fox and cubs and have some towering verbascums to admire.

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This is the left hand swing bed, which is looking a bit exhausted.  I haven’t pulled up the foxgloves yet in the hope that they’ll self seed, but the combination of them, the brown Nectoscordum heads and my very poorly Euphorbia wulfenii is not good.  However, hopefully some concerted effort in pulling all the above out, cutting back the geraniums (out of shot at the front of the picture), and giving some space, food, time and water to various annuals I’ve planted out recently (Cosmos Rubenza, Malope, Cleomes) as well as the existing Astrantia, Roses and Penstemons, will pull things back from the brink.

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The ‘Med Beds’ (ie Mediterranean) either side of the greenhouse door are looking rather better.  The Geranium and Potentilla are flowering well, the Eryngium are preparing themselves and I’ve planted out many of the Agapanthus I grew from seed.  I don’t suppose they’ll flower this year, but fingers crossed for next.  I’m also pleased with the Euphorbia mysinites (at the front), which I also grew from seed and must now be about four years old.

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This is the left hand Lavender Bed, the ones described as ‘bonkers’ in last month’s End of month view.   (Both lavender beds are shown in the foreground of the top photo).

Here you can see the old Allium Purple Sensation dead heads in amongst the lavender.  The colour of the lavender is picked up by the Veronicastrum behind, with a yellow flowering Euphorbia for contrast (and the ubiquitous Verbena bonariensis)

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The shady bed is continuing to look lush, despite the hot weather, and the inherited rose is flowering well

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and the hostas were also looking great, right up until the scaffolders came and planted their scaffold and ladder on them.

IMG_3666A new addition this month is my raised cutting beds which were made out of some repurposed greenhouse staging.  I’m a bit concerned as to how shallow they are, but whenever I pull up annuals at the end of the season the roots never go very deep so I hope with food and water they’ll do ok.  I’ve already cut some Amaranthus viridis, Molucella laevis as well as the Marigold, Calendula Sunset Buff, but the vast majority are still to come.

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Meanwhile, in the veg bed, the Diving Lady’s pool runneth over (and is being invaded by courgette leaves), but at least she now has plenty to look at:

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As well as three different sort of courgettes (yes, I know, too many altogether), I’ve planted French Beans (Cobra), Runner Beans (Painted Lady and Polestar), Chard Bright Lights, Cavalo Nero, Mange Tout, Sugar Snap peas and Pumpkin Munchkin.

IMG_3671I’ve finally planted out the greenhouse bed with tomatoes, cucumbers and, for the first time, Cucamelons.

IMG_3670And on the staging, second waves of beans and peas (which need to go out), various seedlings (the ones in the foreground are Abutilons) and cuttings, as well as in the grow bags some (rather diminutive) peppers and aubergines.

IMG_3643The wisteria is kindly providing a second flush, and the Oak Bed, which I always find disappointing, is actually looking rather calm in the heat of June.

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And to finish, the most exciting development.  After some weeks’ persuasion, the OH has finally agreed that we can lose some lawn to make another bed (see hose line below) as long as ‘he doesn’t have to dig it’.  Wish me luck!

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

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The good, the bad and the companionable

IMG_2238(This picture has nothing to do with the post, I just took it today and wanted to share!)

In April’s End of Month View, I said “At the moment the seedlings would easily fill a plot ten times this size, so some difficult decisions will need to be made (or I need to find more space somewhere…)“.

Amazingly, the ‘good’ is that a some extra space has been lent to me by my lovely neighbours, J&A.  The area is 3.4m x 2.5m and the soil is wonderfully weed free, just a little stony.

Sunday was planting day, and I strolled up the road with my wheelbarrow full of the first wave of planting:

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Some time (and a couple of rain showers) later, my little plot was full up with Helianthus ‘Claret’, Helianthus ‘Valentine’ (just one, the slugs got the rest), Cleome ‘Violet Queen’, Amaranthus Viridis, Cosmos ‘Dazzler’, Cosmos ‘Psyche White’, Ammi visnaga, Antirrhinum ‘White Giant’, Antirrhinum ‘Liberty Classic Crimson’, Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ and Malope.

Not much to see – and I have to say some of the plants were looking a little shocked by the move, but hopefully they’ll settle in quickly.  I’m a bit concerned I’ve planted them too close together, but I expect you’ll understand when you read about the ‘bad’.

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So I’m afraid the ‘bad’ is very closely related.  Here’s the wheelbarrow I wheeled home.  Not exactly devoid of seedlings and I haven’t even mentioned the Molucella, Bupleurum, Nicotiana, Tithonia, Cerinthe, Calendula….  Where are they all going to go?

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But to finish, ‘the companionable’.  The plot is right next to J&A’s chicken run and the girls (and boy) did a lovely job of keeping me company with their clucking and cooing.  Shame this one seems to be suffering from an identity crisis.

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