Tag Archives: Cosmos Purity

New garden update

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Some of you may remember we bought a tiny terraced house in Richmond in March this year for me to live in during the week when I’m working in London and for the ‘kids’ to be based in now they too are working in London (well, one of them is…).

When we bought the property the garden was like this (except without the pots and furniture, as obviously the vendor took those)HF304_170626S_IMG_09

I loved the walls and paving but didn’t like the rather orange-y fence.  I also wanted some more permanent planting but didn’t want to have to start digging up the paving, and so settled on buying two large troughs.

We also chose to buy seating – rather than a table and chairs – and went with this contemporary, grey seating which felt appropriate for a ‘town’ garden (and is amazingly comfortable).

With regard to planting, it needed to be simple as the space is so small, and, as it would mostly be used in the evenings I thought white would be a good colour to feature.

Interestingly, when I was doing my design course I seemed unusual in struggling to incorporate white in my planting plans.  I always feel it’s ‘different’ and doesn’t sit very comfortably with other colours, except perhaps blues, and so consequently I have little of it in the garden on the Isle of Wight.  You may remember I made the Grass Bed white last year, but I have little white ‘intermingled’, consequently, the idea of ‘playing’ with white was appealing.

I also wanted scent and so planted some Nicotiana alata ‘Grandiflora’ and Sweet Pea ‘Mrs Collier’ seeds.

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We painted the fence grey (a little darker than I’d envisaged) and then the OH found the black trellis, which we attached to the fencing.

Evergreen climbers, both Clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’ and Passiflora ‘Snow Queen’ – a relatively new introduction with larger flowers than ‘Constance Eliott’ and said to be more disease resistant – are being trained against the trellis.  I’m hoping that in winter, when the planting in the troughs has all died off, the climbers will largely have covered the trellis and so a green outlook can be retained.

(My thoughts to plant a ‘Claire Austin’ rose were deemed too ‘obvious’ by the son, hence the Passion Flower, which, although supposed to be scented I  don’t suppose for a minute smells as good as ‘Claire’!)IMG_4221

I’ve also added three Cosmos Purity plants which are only now coming into flower.  The bought bedding at the front has struggled in the hot weather. IMG_4294

The sweet peas are in a pot, next to pots of the daughter-requested strawberries and are only just getting going.  The strawberries are a variety called ‘Buddy’ which are supposed to be very long fruiting, but in this, their first year, they’ve not surprisingly produced nothing.IMG_4291

There is also a tiny bed by the back door (not shown) which, happily, already has a Trachelospermum jasminoides planted in it which I’ve been tending very carefully as it fits the theme perfectly.

As you can see, it really is tiny, but it’s been a joy to be able to sit out these warm evenings and enjoy the white blooms glowing in the dusk – and even more of a joy to be able the water the whole garden in less than 10 minutes!

And as for scent, I’m pretty pleased with that too – you can even smell the perfume from the upstairs bathroom!IMG_4283

In a vase on Monday – When two worlds collide

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If Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden, who hosts ‘In a vase on Monday’, wasn’t already using the epithet ‘The Golfer’ for her husband, I would definitely have used it for mine.  He joined the local ‘Shanklin and Sandown’ golf club shortly after we moved to the island and this Saturday became their captain.

A week earlier he had (casually) asked if I could produce some flowers for his ‘Captain’s Drive in’ event on Sunday, when he hosted as captain for the first time, and ran a charity competition, to be followed by cream teas at the clubhouse.  Whilst my initial reaction was ‘no’, I looked around the garden and realised there were still hundreds of blooms. What I couldn’t quite picture was how they would work together, and then I realised, they didn’t have to.

There were to be ten tables of ten, so I splashed out on some cute spherical jam jars from Nutleys and set about making two matching arrangements for each table, twenty in all.

It all seemed like quite a good idea, until many hours later on Saturday….

So here they are, Cosmos Purity and Ammi,IMG_9337

Rosa Snow Goose and Zinnia Giant LimeIMG_9338

Helianthus Italian White and hebeIMG_9325

Rosa Jubilee Celebration, Cerinthe and Antirrhinum Orange wonderIMG_9329

Rosa Pink Flower Carpet, Antirrhinum and HoneysuckleIMG_9330

Dahlia Happy Single Date, Scabious Fata Morgana and mintIMG_9341

Zinnia Raspberry Cordial, seedheads of Iris unguicularis and Photinia leavesIMG_9327

Zinnia Giant Wine and Antirrhinum Liberty CrimsonIMG_9332

Cosmos Double Click Cranberries and Dahlia Downham Royal.IMG_9334

and lastly Salvia Horminum ‘Oxford Blue’, Aster frikartii ‘Monch’ and LinumIMG_9335

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And of course what happened?  They’ve already signed me up for New Year’s Eve.

Oh Captain, my Captain, what have you started?IMG_9349

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – October 2015

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This month’s blooms share much in common with last month.  Many roses are still blooming well, Flower Carpet, above, Jubilee Celebration, belowIMG_8914

St SwithunIMG_8923

and Pat Austin.IMG_8906

Plenty of annuals are still hanging on, including Cosmos PurityIMG_8915

and Dazzler, in front of the matching Aster, Aster novae-angliae ‘September Ruby’IMG_8925

This has smaller flowers than Aster Frikartii Monch I was raving about last month, but has a good upright habit and masses of bright pink blooms.IMG_8921

Yet more pink is provided by Diascia Personata,IMG_8929

Achillea Cerise QueenIMG_8930

and the Rhodochiton atrosanguineus, still romping up the obelisk.IMG_8931

And to finish, two plants which seem currently unstoppable, Dahlia Happy Single DateIMG_8909

and good old Verbena BonariensisIMG_8911

With many thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens  for hosting everyone’s GBBD.  Why don’t you pop over and have a look at what everyone else has blooming now?

End of month view – September 2015

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Such a glorious day for my EOMV photos – so much more cheery than last month’s post which looked like October in August!

This part of the garden has taken on a rather purple hue with the Verbena bonariensis, Erysimum Bowles Mauve and asters.  In the two photos below, you can also see the lavender heads, but these are now grey rather than their original mauve, and should really have been trimmed back by now.

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In the left hand Swing Bed, as well as the Aster Frikartii Monch, you can see the annual Cosmos Dazzler and a matching bright pink Penstemon.  These Penstemons were already in the garden when we moved here and were transplanted to these beds five years ago when they were newly created. There are quite a number of them and in prior years they’ve provided a strong presence in these beds, whereas conversely, this year, they’ve been notable by their absence.  I’m not sure whether they got knocked back by frost early in the year, whether I cut them back too hard or whether they’ve suffered from competition, but I’ve missed them, and I’m delighted they’re back.IMG_8816

In the right hand bed, as well as the same plants as the left side, there is also a Caryopteris (front left), Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Heavenly Blue’.  This is a fabulous plant and matches beautifully with the Aster.  I’ve just checked the RHS website and apparently is can be propagated by cuttings, so that’s another one to add to my propagating list – I would definitely like more Asters and Caryopteris in these beds.

One thing I could do with less of, however, are the hardy geraniums in the front.  There used to be a mix of these, Alchemilla mollis and various other shorter perennials, but the geraniums seem to have bullied the rest and at this time of year they’re just green lumps.  It’s not good enough, but what to replace them with?

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In the grass bed, I’ve mentioned previously that I’d planted out spare Zinnia Raspberry Cordials here to replace the Verbascums I’d pulled out.  I don’t think the quite stiff Zinnias really work with the grasses, so I’ll be thinking again for next year.

In the front of this bed are numerous self seeded Nasturtiums, N. Black Velvet, but the blooms seem to be almost completely obscured by the leaves.  What’s the point of that?IMG_8804

The Mid Century bed is still doing pretty well, but certain plants have got rather out of control – certainly the Malope (which should have been staked but never was) and the Centaurea cyanus Black Boy which I think could also do with some support, but here the salvias are looking great, the Jubilee Celebration rose is blooming again and of course the Rhodochiton atrosanguineus continues its rampage up the obelisk.

The plant in the middle of this photo is an Acacia, Acacia baileyana ‘Pupurea’.  This had beautiful smoky grey, feathery foliage, but I’m concerned it’s got a bit droughted during the summer and hence is showing this rather golden colour.  For a plant that I don’t believe is known for its autumnal tints, this is a bit of a worry, but it seems healthy enough, so hopefully will pull through.

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I still have plenty of tender plants such as pelargoniums and marguerites in smaller pots, but in my large troughs I have rather mad Cosmos.  This is Cosmos Purity which (in common with many of my annuals) could really have done with some staking.  However, I quite like the mad exuberance, and the plants are still going strong, (unlike the double flowered Cosmos in the Cutting Garden down the road).  I think part of the problem is the vine, planted by the OH, which is growing along the back of the troughs and pushing the Cosmos forward.  I have to say I’m not at all convinced about the vine – the grapes are barely edible and it obstructs the view when you’re sitting at the table on the decking, but to date the OH won’t hear of me ‘editing’ it.  Grrr.

As well as the Cosmos, there are some Matthiola Incana plants here, originally grown from seed two or three years ago.  They’re really rather leggy now, but I just love the scent of stocks so I’m rather loathe to pull them out.

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The old tin bath by the front steps has filled out well and has a rather gaudy/cheery (depending on your perspective) array of Gazanias and Chocolate Cosmos, Cosmos atrosanguineus (also featured in this morning’s Wordless Wednesday).  There are also very dark flowered pelargoniums in here, but they seem to have been a little overwhelmed.  And I’m a bit confused about the dark foliage plants at the front – I thought they were the dark leaved Ipomoea, the Potato Vine, but looking at them online, the leaf shape seems to be palmate, whereas mine are heart shaped so I’m not so sure.  Can anyone else think what it might be?

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And lastly, the new Bronze Bed.  Some of you will remember that this was created out of the lawn earlier this year to take advantage of the fact that the area near the house is very sunny, whereas the bed further from the house is shaded by the oak tree over the road.  The picture below hopefully demonstrates this.  Both the oak and the bed on the far side of the lawn are in full shade whereas the new bed is singing in the sunshine.

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It has all gone rather bonkers, with the Dahlia, Happy Single Date, by far the most floriferous of all my dahlias this year, the Hordeum Jubatum seed heads scattering all over the place (and dog) and the Icelandic Poppies still coming.  Happy date?  Happy face!IMG_8828

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With thanks to Helen at the  Patient Gardener  who hosts everyone’s EOMVs.

In a vase on Monday – Pomp and Circumstance

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The combination of our doughty Queen exceeding her great-great-grandmother’s record to become our longest serving monarch, together with the show of jolly nationalism that is the Last Night at the Proms, has found me coming over all red, white and blue this week.

Sadly, the Zinnias appear rather orange in the photo, but these aren’t the Z Raspberry Cordial I keep using, but instead Zinnia Benary’s Giant Scarlet,  IMG_8542

and they are actually a pretty good match for the Antirrhinum Liberty Crimson.  The Antirrhinums were grown from seed last year and planted in my satellite cutting garden, and this year two plants have self seeded!IMG_8547

As well as the red, the white was provided by two Cosmos, C Purity IMG_8541and C. Double Click Snow Puff.

And the blue, well, I admit it’s rather purple, but I still love it, Salvia horminum ‘Oxford Blue’IMG_8544

And for reasons I can’t quite explain, I decided to throw in a bit of mint, for the fresh green.IMG_8545

Why don’t you go over to Rambling in the Garden and see what others have been inspired by for their vases this week?

Osborne House revisited

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Some of you may remember my previous visit to Queen Victoria’s summer residence, Osborne House, in March when there was plenty to see despite it being early in the year.  More importantly, there was plenty of promise to draw me back, so, on Saturday, back I went.

It really was the most glorious day and the walled garden was completely transformed from spring time.  Not only were the agapanthus stupendousIMG_8128

and the greenhouses groaning with potsIMG_8126

but what I’d really come to see were the annuals.

Remember this?IMG_6150

Well it became this:IMG_8136

Huge drifts of white Antirrhinum, Cosmos Purity, Molucella laevis, Ammi majus and white sweet peas.  Wow.

And in the opposite corner, a more colourful mixIMG_8120

of Cosmos, Echium vulgare Blue BedderIMG_8122

and Larkspur ‘Fancy Purple Picotee’.IMG_8123

Out of the walled garden walking north towards the house, I came across this magnificent cork oak, Quercus SuberIMG_8143

and look who planted it.IMG_8144

Round the house to the north side is the extensive terrace.  Here the planting was even bolder and the colours really sang on such a glorious day.IMG_8153

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Happily this time the Solent was much more visible than in March, so we decided to walk down to Queen Victoria’s beach for a closer look, taking in more agapanthus and pots on our way…

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On the way I noticed this bench I’d never spotted before:IMG_8186

Did you ever see the fabulous film ‘Mrs Brown’ with Judi Dench and Billy Connolly?  It was all about the relationship between John Brown and Queen Victoria after the death of Albert.  A lovely film, beautifully acted.

So to the beach and Queen Victoria’s bathing hut.  These huts were wheeled down to the water in the Victorian period so that the ladies could bathe without the indignity of having to wander down the beach in their (near) altogether.  Sounds pretty appealing to me, particularly if the beach is pebbly!IMG_8169

And here is the beach she swam from, looking particularly pretty with numerous yachts on the Solent sailing on the first day of the Cowes Week regatta.

I have to confess there was also a deckchair and an ice cream involved in my enjoyment of this view.IMG_8171

 

In a vase on Monday – split personality?

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I’m late in the date joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for ‘In a vase on Monday’ as although I’d picked my blooms yesterday (in the rain) I needed to do some work before I found time to arrange them.

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All of these blooms were picked from my little cutting garden on a plot I’ve ‘borrowed’ within a walled garden down the road.  I meant to take my camera to show you how it’s progressed since I first blogged about it here, but completely forgot.  Hopefully the output will give you a clue!

Looking at my bucket of goodies I decided to go for two themes – one mad and bright for the kitchen table and the second rather more serious to take up to work in London tomorrow.

For the first, I chose my beautiful Orla Kiely vase given to me last Christmas by my awesome big sister (with exquisite taste).  The vase is deceptively roomy and certainly gobbled up all the flowers – lucky I had so many!

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A couple of flowers were new to me this year, firstly the Antirrhinum majus Orange Wonder.  This was grown for the new Bronze Bed, but in the end I decided I had enough there and planted it in the Cutting Garden.  Now, I’m loving it so much I’m wondering whether I could move a couple back into my garden!

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Also the Stocks ‘Ruby Punch’, which were grown from seeds from Plants of Distinction.  These were grown for the Mid Century bed, but germinated really well so I planted some leftovers in the Cutting Garden.  They definitely need staking which I haven’t done, and so they’ve ended up decidedly kinky, but they still smell divine.IMG_7992

As well as these two newbies, there is plenty of the stalwart Salvia horminum Oxford Blue,IMG_7990

numerous sweet peas as well as Cosmos Click Cranberries and Dazzler.

For my little work vase I chose a white and yellow theme.

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This included the first of my Helianthus Vanilla Ice

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as well as Cosmos Double Click Snow Puff.  I think both this very double oneIMG_7996

and this one, are both Snow Puff.IMG_7997

And lastly some white sweet peas, the single Cosmos Purity and Dianthus Green Trick.IMG_7998

As always I’ve had great fun with my vases.  Why don’t you go over to Cathy’s and see what everyone else is up to?

Annual round up

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After a weekend of leaf collecting, veg patch dismantling and (tardy) bulb planting, I thought I’d hark back to sunnier, summery times and give a review of some of the annuals I’ve grown from seed this year.

All the seeds mentioned here were from Sarah Raven, except The Aster chinensis Hulk, which I think was Thompson and Morgan.

Above and below is the gorgeous marigold, Calendula offiinalis ‘Sunset Buff’.  IMG_3378

As well as the ‘Sunset Buff’, I grew Calendula ‘Neon.’  I’ve never grown calendula before, but I have to say I love these two.

I’ve been lucky enough to grow them either in my raised cutting beds, or my borrowed neighbours’ garden, as I would struggle to fit these colours into my rather pink scheme.

With regard to their use for cutting (the main reason I was growing them), they have been good, but I’ve struggled to get very long stems and also struggled with mildew later in the season. They were only planted in March, so I’ve planted some seed this autumn, in the hope of having more established plants earlier on next year.

Another orange plant grown in my ‘borrowed’ garden has been provided by my Tithonia, Tithonia rotundiflora ‘Torch’.  This has been incredibly prolific this year with the blooms making such a cheerful, bold statement.  I do love this plant but wonder where I’ll be able to grow it next year as it does reach quite a height and spread and, as mentioned before, orange isn’t always the easiest colour to include in a planting scheme.  I do have plans for a new orangey/bronzey themed bed, but the Tithonia would be too tall.  

A genus I’ve grown lots of before is Cosmos, but this year as well as the lovely Comos ‘Purity’, so prolific and so, well ‘pure’ (clue’s in the name…)

I also grew Cosmos ‘Psyche White’. These are very similar to ‘Purity’, but have semi double flowers, which are like a fun mutation of ‘Purity’.

As well as the whites, I grew three pinks, Cosmos ‘Dazzler’, which is quite well known but was new to me and was good, but to my mind not as good asIMG_3776 - Copy - Copy

Cosmos ‘Click Cranberries’.  These very double flower heads were fabulous, and in such a stunning pink (it look wonderful contrasted with the Tithonia).  However, one problem was that sometimes the flower heads were so heavy they didn’t stand up in the vase as well as the singles.

The last Cosmos was C. Rubenza.  I do like the rather unusual colour which fades as the plant ages to a very dusky pink, but this one is shorter than the rest and therefore impossible to get really long flowers for cutting, if that’s what you’re after.

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I grew a couple of sunflowers – Helianthus ‘Valentine’ which was an attractive soft yellow and had realtively small blooms making them good for cutting.  Sadly, all my seedlings got eaten by slugs except one, so there weren’t many blooms to cut.  (I heard Sarah Raven suggest that it was as prolific as Cosmos but can’t say I found that with mine).

The second was Helianthus Claret.  I found these rather variable – you can see that the first picture shows the deep ‘wine-red’ colour I was expecting, whereas the next two don’t.  Although they were quite fun, and pretty prolific for cutting, I found it hard to put them with other blooms and didn’t particularly like just a vase of sunflowers.  I don’t think I’d grow them again.

Another plant I don’t think I’d grow again are Cleomes.  I rather like their spidery heads but I found them quite hard to arrange as cut flowers and certainly didn’t appreciate (or expect) their vicious thorns.  Ouch!

Something I would definitely grow more of are Zinnias.  They had a wonderfully productive year this year as it was warm and sunny, just how they like it, and they grow with long straight stems and last well in the vase.  I grew Zinnia ‘Genoa Mix’IMG_5362

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and Zinnia ‘Envy’.

Another favourite is Salvia Viridis Blue.  Although not that tall, I love the form with the wonderfully coloured flower bracts.  This is still going strong in the garden in November, as are

the Nasturtium Black Velvet.  These had a bad patch in high summer, but are flowering wonderfully now.  The stems are very short for cutting, but make lovely posies and are, of course, good picked and sprinkled on salads as they are edible.

This Malope, Malope trifida Vulcan, I hadn’t grown for years, but it did really well for me this year.  The petals have a beautiful silk like texture, which is gorgeous, but they can get easily bruised when cutting and arranging, so you do need to take extra care.

This Rudbeckia, Rudbekia ‘Cherry Brandy’ has also been great and was used in my ‘In a vase on Monday’ post on November 10th, as it was still going strong.

A couple more flowers I haven’t grown from seed since I had my allotment in London – Antirrhinum ‘White Giant

and A. ‘Liberty Crimson’

I loved arranging with both of these as they provided fabulous vertical accents.

To finish, my ‘greens’.  The first one, an annual aster, was supposed to be Aster chinensis ‘Hulk’, but goodness knows what it is instead.  I do rather like it though!

Secondly, Ammi visnaga white.  I grew this instead of the more common Ammi majus, but I think it was a mistake.   I found the flower heads were very dense and not so easy to mix with other plants.  It did look lovely in simple arrangements, for example with the white Cosmos, however.

My Amaranthus caudatus ‘Viridis’, was an absolute revelation.  Lots and lots of fresh green cutting material, with funky long (sometimes very long!) green tassels.IMG_3775

And to finish, one of my favourite blooms of any colour – Molucella laevis, or Bells of Ireland.  I just love the form of this flower and for the first time ever got good germination rates and managed to grow some pretty tall blooms.  OK, not the two foot ones you get in the florists, but then I probably wasn’t as assiduous with my staking as I should have been, and they were never going to grow that tall along the ground!

Of course the other things I grew plenty of from seed this year were sweet peas, but I think I’ve gone on long enough.  You can read about my sweet peas here.

I would love to hear about your favourite annuals.  Do you like mine?  Know better?  Tell me!

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:

PurityIMG_4745

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 – August 2014

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July’s End of Month View was thrown together well before the end of month, just before we left for the States, and as a conclusion I wrote “as I write this I wonder how they’ll cope with a two week absence.  Fingers crossed.”  Well sadly, the answer, despite having housesitters who were apparently watering, was very badly indeed.

We flew home overnight on the 2nd August, arriving back around lunchtime on the 3rd, but despite my sister and brother-in-law’s heroic efforts over the final few days, the damage had definitely been done.  The sight that greeted me almost reduced me to tears – no veg, few flowers (certainly no sweet peas) and very sad looking pots.  And whilst I know there are far bigger tragedies in the world, seeing six month’s worth of effort shrivelled up in front of me was pretty hard to bear.

Consequently, the month since then, has been spent vacillating between intensive garden recovery activities and sitting inside sulking.  And if I’m honest, there has been so much of the latter that my End of Month photographing this morning resulted in me looking at things I haven’t looked at for weeks, so it’s been somewhat of an eye opener for me.

So let’s share.

The left hand Swing Bed above isn’t looking too bad now – the verbena are complete stalwarts and have been joined by the lovely Aster Frikartii Monch, of which I wish I had more.  There are also salvias, nepeta and phlox, and the St Swithun rose is having a second flush.  What there isn’t, is pretty much any sign of the numerous annuals I planted, or the dahlias which I thought would do a marvellous job of providing late colour.  They have survived and are now, finally, in bud, but are still so short I’m not sure they’ll ever appear over the top of the plants in front.  We’ll see.

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The right hand Swing Bed is suffering similarly, but you can see there are some annual Cleomes towards the left of the photo, but little sign of any cosmos or the dahlias here either.

Surprisingly, the troughs have done well and I love the exuberance of the Cosmos Purity.

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Opposite the troughs, I’ve cut back the verbascums in the Grass Beds, and there’s not much to see apart from the grasses. The first year we were here I planted Cosmos in this bed and they were great.  I definitely need to rethink this bed next year. Nothing apart from the grasses and the bulbs early on really last long enough, so I think I need to find something that’s a better ‘doer’.

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On the other side of the garden, the Oak Bed I’m always so dissatisfied with is actually looking ok, largely as its shadiness has protected it from the ubiquitous shrivel!IMG_4637

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Similarly, the Shady Bed is fine, as would the Hostas be if they weren’t so painty.  But the Hydrangea Petiolaris seems to have turned its toes up.  To be honest it wasn’t doing very well anyway, so perhaps it’s a good excuse to plant something more exciting.

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Meanwhile the veg bed had a lot to contend with.  Firstly drought, but then the aftermath Hurricane Bertha, which caused a general collapse of all the bamboo structures which are now held up by strings attached to the bay tree.  This makes picking somewhat of a limbo dance – now that there is finally some more veg to pick.

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In the greenhouse, where there is a drip hose system fitted, things are looking far more promising

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The plants at the left hand end of the photo above are Cucamelons, one of James Wong’s ‘Homegrown Revolution’ suggestions.  The taste is supposed to be (funnily enough) a cross between a cucumber and a melon, however I certainly think there’s a lot more cucumber taste than melon.  The plants seem to be very leafy and not particularly productive, and the fruits are only grape sized (although pretty).  I’m not sure I’d grow it again.

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And to finish, a view which isn’t even in my garden.  This is a bed in a neighbour’s garden which I’ve commandeered for my loud orange annuals, Helianthus Claret, Tithonia and various Marigolds.  They look even zingier in the evening when they catch the west light.

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So that’s it.  And guess what?  I feel much better now and will stop sulking and get on with enjoying the rest of the gardening year.

And, having this very day delivered my son to uni, perhaps I’ll have a little more time to do it.  (Although he has taken my laptop with him, which seems to be causing a few problems on the photography quality front as I battle with an older laptop with different software.  Apologies!)

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