Tag Archives: Dahlia Happy Single Date

In a vase on Monday – celebration

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Saturday saw me hosting the lovely Secret Garden openers, plus helpers, for coffee, a debrief, and an excuse to eat cake.

Bearing in mind the Secret Gardens event raised over £3,000, we were feeling pretty chipper.  We were then made even more proud by the news that the air ambulance, our chosen charity, had landed on St Helens Green (a stone’s throw from Duver Diary) during the week to take a heart patient off to the mainland, thus making it all the more ‘real’ why we’d made the effort.

Consequently, it felt like an occasion to have celebratory flowers, so I pulled together a rather mad combination of Dahlia ‘Burlesca,’IMG_2951

Dahlia ‘La Recoleta’ (er, maybe, looks a bit ‘flat’),IMG_2946

Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date’IMG_1420

Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer,’IMG_2947

Zinnia ‘Raspberry Cordial,’IMG_2950

and Pelargonium ‘Surcouf,’IMG_2948

(marginally!) cooled down with some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ flower budsIMG_2949

Why don’t you see what others have in their Monday vases over at Cathy’s blog, Rambling in the Garden?  Cathy herself is clearly in the pink!

End of Month View – June 2017

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These photos were taken on Monday, after the frantic activity of the previous day’s ‘Secret Gardens of St Helens’ event (organised by yours truly) where 12 village gardens opened in aid of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.  Whilst I can already point to areas where my organisation could be improved upon, I’m delighted to report that we had over 300 visitors and took over £3,000.  And, on a tastier note, someone said my Victoria Sandwich was the best on the Isle of Wight!

The garden was really looking spick and span thanks in a very large part to my lovely helpers – the OH, both my children, and neighbours M and J – who all pulled out the stops on Saturday and Sunday morning to rescue various areas of the garden from general chaos (so that’s what the greenhouse floor looks like!) as well as (M) potting up bits of random vegetation to sell.

So here’s the tour:

Entry via the steps and past the old copper pot, admiring the (ahem accidental) matching of the Callistemon and the container planting,

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and on past the Flower Carpet roses (which generated plenty of enthusiastic comments).IMG_2752

Past the greenhouse pots and into the greenhouse,

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on past the barrowIMG_2747

to the decking. admiring the pelagoniums

and dahlias.

On to the the veg patch

and then round to the Swing Beds.

A quick pause at the Grass Beds to admire the view

and another pot

and then a pause at the steps to look over to the office (nice bunting!)

and then up to the greenhouse.

Up the lavender steps and across to the other end of the garden

and finally, a seat at the table, and a cup of tea.

With thanks to all my helpers and cake donators as well as all the other garden openers, their helpers, the ticket sellers and poster putter uppers.

Yes I’m still feeling a little kn*ckered, but would I do it again – of course!

End of month view – September 2016

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Not a great deal of colour in the garden now, thank goodness Verbena bonariensis (above) and the Pink Flower Carpet roses (below) can be relied upon!img_1651

Sadly, plants I mentioned in last year’s September post that I wanted to increase, I seem to have fewer of, namely the Aster frikartii ‘Monch’ and Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Heavenly Blue’.  I never did take cuttings last year, so perhaps I’ll add to the list of cuttings I’m hoping to take next weekend once the daughter’s out of the way!img_1641img_1644

One plant that is finally making a bit of a show is the Nicotiana mutablis at the back of the bed.  This was planted out late but is now providing some height and colour at the back of the bed, but is not quite as widespread as I’d hoped.

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In the Grass Bed the Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’ and Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Fizzy White’ have largely run out of steam and instead the Nasturtiums and some self seeded Cerinthe have taken over.img_1645

In the Mid Century bed there are still a few dark blooms, but it’s the Acacia, Acacia baileyana ‘Pupurea’ (centre) that’s really taking off.  I’m slightly concerned as to what to do with this.  In theory this can reach 8m x 6m which really isn’t what I want in this bed.  I’m wondering whether some judicious pruning can keep it more shrub sized?  I do love the almost metallic foliage.img_1646

To the right of this bed you can see a huge inherited clump of Asters, shown closer below.  However in this photo you can also see the numerous weeds seeded in the pebbly path –img_1648

and even more below.  After trying and failing to move some larger Verbena bonariensis plants to the back of the Swing Beds, I deliberately left the small seedlings here with a view to moving them ‘later’ and now they’re as big as the ones I failed to establish.

Hopefully, if I plant them later in the year, the weather will be kinder than the scorching summer and I can weed the paths and plant some height at the back of the Swing Beds with one stone, as it were.img_1649

At the other side of the garden the Dahlia Happy Single Date is still going strong, (although a bit mildewed) but there is little else of interest here now.img_1654

The tray of succulents is still looking good, but they, of course, cope so much better with neglect!img_1655

There are some other good pots – these lovely Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’ (another one on the cuttings list)

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and the Dolichos lablab ‘Ruby Moon’ seed pods are just astonishing.

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Over in the Veg patch things are mostly coming to an end.

The Chard stems are glowing in the sunshine, but the leaves are very tired and tatty.img_1640

And in the Rhubarb/Strawberry bed there’s just one beautiful Agapanthus bloom.  Oh, and after saying I’d move the white ones out of this bed and into the Greenhouse beds, guess who forgot to mark the relevant plants.  Doh!img_1639

In the greenhouse there are still plenty of tomatoes, this one, Marmande, tastes fabulous, particularly cooked.

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I haven’t planted many seeds, but these Erysimum definitely need to go out.img_1635

And to finish, the apple tree.  In the eight years we’ve been here this tree has never produced anything more than conker sized what I thought were crab apples.  And now, suddenly this year, not only are there dozens of fruits, but many are almost proper apple sized.  Shame they don’t taste of much!

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

In a vase on Monday – Marmalade madness

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So a marmalade combination for this Monday’s vase, photographed in Sunday afternoon’s sunshine.

The vase includes Dahlia ‘Mystery Fox’img_1658

old favourite Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date,’ with new growth of Cerinthe major purpurescensimg_1663

Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty,’img_1660

and Euphorbia myrsinites together with unknown succulent.  This was given as a cutting by  a neighbour and I now have quite a few of them.  Maybe some kind of Asphodel?img_1661

And the madness?  Well, after the delight of meeting up with Sam from A Coastal Plot at the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition at the Tate Modern,  how about an IaVoM lunch next year when London’s Garden Museum reopens after its £7.5m redevelopment?  The website promises a ‘bigger, brighter cafe’.  Anyone up for it?

With thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, who started it all off.

In a vase on Monday – Golfing gold

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As you can imagine, there was great excitement chez Duver Diary about Jason Rose winning Olympic gold for the golf.  However, the gold theme of the arrangement above, made on Sunday to take to the golf club for ‘Joint Captains’ Day’ was entirely coincidental, and very much influenced by what I had in the garden that was ‘pickable’ and tall enough to fill such a huge vase.

I started with great big branches of Cotinus coggygria ‘Grace’IMG_1423

and added the large green Sedum heads.IMG_1422

To these I added the huge spires of Gladioli ‘Black Star’ (I was quietly relieved to reduce the number in the garden!)

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and then finished with my gold accents, picked from the Bronze Bed (perhaps I should rename it the Gold Bed?) – both Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’IMG_1421

and plenty, plenty of Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date.’IMG_1420

As well as this large arrangement, I also made ten small posy pots for the tea tables like the ones I did here, but completely forgot to photo them!

I’m chuffed to say they all made it to the golf club intact, and when I went to pick the OH up around tea time, a (male) complete stranger passed me in the clubhouse and said ‘Hello Skipper’s wife, nice flowers.’ Praise indeed!

With thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who hosts this lovely meme.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – August 2016

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Finally, a showing from some of this year’s annuals – the one above, Zinnia elegans ‘Luminosa.’

I purchased a number of seeds back in October thinking I would repeat the last two years’ practice of using a corner of a neighbouring walled garden as a cutting garden, but I’ve been just too busy to and so have tried to squeeze everything in here.  And whilst it hasn’t been entirely successful, the annuals are starting to fill out in their various (not always ideal) spots.

In the Grass Bed I have Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’, Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Fizzy White’, Calendula officinalis ‘Touch of Red Buff’ and some self seeded nasturtiums from last year.IMG_1442

In the troughs I have the shorter Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Sonata White’ and the Salvia that was so successful in the cutting garden last year, Salvia horminum ‘Oxford Blue’.  In the cutting garden these turned into wonderful big bushes, I’m not sure they’ll ever get that big here as I always struggle to keep the troughs adequately watered.IMG_1439

In the Swing Beds these Antirrhinum majus ‘The Rose’ are finally getting going, but I’m not convinced about the colour, finding it a bit sickly.  IMG_1441

At the back of these beds I had planned to plant some tall dahlias but then decided they weren’t the right colour and so instead have planted an annual tobacco plant, Nicotiana mutablis. This one has both white and pink flowers on the same plants and grows to 1.2m.  It was planted out very late and so far this is the only plant to have flowered.  I’m hoping that by the end of the summer there will be quite a ‘froth’ of these but it may be I have left it just too late.IMG_1450

And in the Mid Century bed these Antirrinum, A. majus nanum ‘Black Prince’ are also blooming now and to my mind are a far better colour than the pink.IMG_1452

Away from the annuals, I have a some good repeating roses – R. St Swithun, IMG_1440

R. Munstead Wood,IMG_1448

R. Jubilee CelebrationIMG_1445

and R. Pat AustinIMG_1425

And plenty of dahlias still going, I’d like to say ‘strong’ but after the over purchasing earlier this year, I’ve ended up with a number in pots and they’re not too happy, so perhaps I’ll just stick with ‘going’.  Many have succumbed to powdery mildew and one has a whole colony of blackfly, which I’m not prepared to spray, so am currently praying for ladybirds!

The old favourite D. Happy Single Date (much darker when the blooms are young) has its roots firmly in the Bronze Bed and is thriving, IMG_1426

D. Fifteen Love (pertinent as Andy Murray is currently playing in the Olympic Gold medal match as I type), doing OK in a pot, IMG_1434

D. Bacardi, also doing pretty well in the two greenhouse pots,IMG_1431

D. Hillcrest Royal (very mildewed)IMG_1436

D. Tamburo, also rather mildewed IMG_1428

and D. La Recoleta, with a very nasty case of blackfly.IMG_1444

But to finish, a shot of my seed grown Agapanthus lining the back of the strawberry bed.  Not the greatest photo, but you get the idea.

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With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD.

In a vase on Monday – floral fiesta

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On Saturday I had the delight of my London Book Club friends coming to the island for lunch and I decided to arrange flowers inspired by the, er, napkins!IMG_1368

As we were eating outside I had to contend with an umbrella in the centre of the table, so I chose to arrange five similarly themed vases to form a circle.  Whilst the colours didn’t exactly ‘go’ I liked the gaiety on what was (unlike Sunday) a rather grey day.

Apart from the sweet peas Lathyrus odoratus ‘Annie B Gilroy’ and Lathyrus odoratus ‘Heathcliff’, there were Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date’IMG_1370

Achillea ‘Terracotta’IMG_1371

Scabiosa atroprupurea ‘Fata Morgana’IMG_1372

and a second dahlia, currently vying with HSD for 2016 favourite – D. Mystery Fox.IMG_1374

And despite the book (my choice!) not being so well liked, I think we all had a time as jolly as the flowers.  I know I did.IMG_1366

With thanks to my book club ladies for making the trip and to Cathy for hosting this lovely meme.

End of month view – July 2016

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Another set of rather bleached photos as these were taken around midday when I found a minute spare.

After the big clear out in June, the grass bed was planted with Ammi, Cosmos and Calendula and all are starting to fill out.  I hadn’t really thought through how tawny the grasses would get, and the colouring is working well with the marigolds.  I’m hoping by the time they’re exhausted the Ammi and Cosmos will be in full swing and I can just turf them out.

Meanwhile the Swing Beds are rather overrun with Diascia personata but are at least looking more flowery than they were this time last year, but that won’t last long if I don’t get some water on them.

I’m trying to add more blues to these beds with some Scabious grown from seed (Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Blue Cockade’) as well as the sister’s Penstemon (P. Stapleford Gem mentioned here) but they’re still not really making any impact.  And although I have chopped back the pink hardy geranium at the front, there’s still too much of it, and it does leave a large uninteresting green patch when it’s stopped flowering.IMG_1403

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In the Mid Century bed the Rhodochiton which were such a success on the obelisk last year, still haven’t got going and a couple have definitely perished.  I do have some spares so need to get those planted before it’s all too late.  I’ve pulled out all the poppies now but they have been replaced by the rather gaudy Gladioli Black Star (discussed here).  Annuals here of Antirrhinum and Malope are still just getting going.

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In the Veg Bed the most striking thing is the Sweet Peas.  I’ve actually planted two rows this year, there’s another wave coming behind, opposite the runner beans.  As for actual veg the courgettes are (predictably) taking over, and there’s plenty of chard.  The French Beans, Runners and Mange Tout have all been a little slow to get going, and they too would benefit from a really good soaking.IMG_1398

Highlight of this area for me has to be the home grown Agapanthus.  As I’d hoped, they’re obviously loving the heat of the wall at the back of the strawberry bed.

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At the other side of the garden in the Bronze Bed the Dahlia ‘Happy Single Dates’ are going from strength to strength and proving how much happier Dahlias are with their feet in the ground.  The number I’ve still got in pots are clearly feeling (and looking) rather disgruntled.IMG_1380

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In the greenhouse the tomatoes and cucumbers are hurtling up the bamboos, but haven’t been too productive to date – more water (and food) required, I feel.

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The aubergines have their first flowers.  Quite how Monty Don was harvesting fully grown aubergines weeks ago I have no idea!IMG_1391

Non edibles include my lovely Plumbagos as well as this glory lily (Gloriosa rothschildiana).IMG_1396

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And there are new biennial seeds coming to start the whole cycle again.IMG_1394

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And to finish, a few pots currently looking good.  IMG_1407

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With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts the EoM meme.

Dahlia dilemmas

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I’ve been been pretty abstemious on garden spending this year after the excesses with Peter Nyssen bulbs and Black Friday’s seeds from Chiltern’s last autumn. However, offered a deal from Sarah Raven earlier in the spring, I splashed out on a number of Dahlias. Firstly Dahlia ‘Hillcrest Royal’ above.  The plan for this one was to plant it at the back of the Swing Beds to provide some height.  However, as the Diascia  personata has taken hold this year, the colour of the pink was somehow too blue and I just couldn’t do it.  Instead, I’ve planted one in a big pot on the decking and planted another pot with Lychnis coronaria, with exactly the same bright pink flowers, to sit next to it.  But I’ve got a second one, um, waiting.

I’ve had Dahlia ‘Roxy’ for some years now and it’s come back well and I have now planted two pots’ worth by the the front steps.IMG_1153

The second purchase from Sarah Raven was her ‘Cinnamon Spice’ collection.  They were bought to plant at the back of the beds in front of the greenhouse, but, in common with the ‘Hillcrest Royal’ it just didn’t work.  Those beds are already pretty full, not least with more Agapanthus grown from seed, so, having grown the tubers on in the greenhouse, by the time they were ready to be planted out there was just no room to plant them in, leaving, two tubers each of ‘Tamburo’, ‘La Recoleta’, ‘Zundert Mystery Fox’, ‘Bacardi’ and ‘Burlesque’ without a home.  Oops.

The D. ‘Burlesque’ I’ve planted in pots by the greenhouse door.IMG_1152

This dahlia is in the second pot and I’m slightly concerned it’s not the same.  Slightly more pink, and see the lack of green/yellow centre?  Or is that just me?IMG_1151

Only one of the D. ‘Zundert Mystery Fox’ actually grew, and this has been planted in a pot on the barrow.IMG_1154

I’ve planted the D. ‘Tamburo’ in a the large copper wash pot by the front steps.IMG_1149

And the D. ‘La Recoleta’ have been planted in the Mid Century bed alongside other ‘bruised’ colours and has already been used in a Monday vase.IMG_1157

I’m still waiting for D. ‘Bacardi’ to flower, so goodness know where they’re going to go, but there’s another dahlia also being shy to flower.  This one is D. ‘Happy Single Date’ which I’m delighted to say had returned from last year’s debut in the Bronze Bed.  IMG_1150

Remember how much I loved this last year?IMG_8909