Tag Archives: Gladiolus byzantinus

End of month view – May 2018

IMG_4064

I arrived home yesterday for the first time in ten days, and the change is absolutely extraordinary.  I’ve used the word ‘bonkers’ before about the garden in May, but this year it’s more bonkers than ever.

I popped out in my lunch hour today to take these photos, but haven’t had a chance to do even a minute of tidying (or lawn mowing), so hopefully you’ll excuse the rather dishevelled look.

Bearing in mind that due to a sequence of lovely trips away I’ve only spent three non working days at home in the whole of May, it’s amazing it’s looking as good as it is.  Having said that, scratch the surface, and you’ll see there’s an awful lot of work required and PLENTY of serious weeding.

IMG_4072

Let’s forget all that for the minute and take the usual tour.

Sadly there’s still no decking but I live in hope it might be there for the end of June.IMG_4075

I’ve replanted the Pelagonium ‘Surcouf’ at the front of both the pots as they were all lost this winter.  Luckily I had taken some cuttings, as I’d hate to be without the glorious fuchsia pink blooms to keep (Clematis) ‘Princess Diana’ company.IMG_4084

At the right hand end in front of the decking (well where the decking should be!) the Mulberry tree we had in a pot in Richmond and brought to the island ten years ago is finally finding its feet and looks like this year might bear proper quantities of fruit.IMG_4076

I had a mad planting out session two weeks ago so finally there’s something to see in the Veg Bed.  The flower at the front is Peony ‘Coral Charm’, bought going cheap at the end of last year.  I’ve planted it here for cutting, but clearly I’m some way off a bunch!IMG_4077

The rather odd combination of Agapanthus and strawberries is full of promise.IMG_4078

In the left hand Swing Bed there’s a rather mad combination of poppies, roses, geraniums and sisyrinchiums.

IMG_4079

and in the left, a similar mix, but with a rather handsome lupin thrown in.IMG_4080

The Grass Bed is in desperate need of attention – not least a change of name!  As you can see, nearly all the Stipa tenuissima which previously lined the back of this bed, have died over the winter leaving just a couple of wispy memories.

The majority of the bed can now be cleared as it’s full of faded forget me nots, bulb foliage and (eek) mare’s tail.  However, I’m not sure what I’m going to plant instead, and I can’t decide what to do about replacing the Stipas.  Hmm.IMG_4081

I treated myself to these poppies at the local garden centre and I popped the chicken in amongst them.  I just adore poppies and I’m excited there are so many buds to come.IMG_4082

This bench sits behind the Mid Century Bed and is normally ignored (and never sat on!) but I like the effect with the Rosa Seagull in full flower above it and the paired cans.IMG_4083

Here’s the Mid Century Bed with plenty of roses, foxgloves and more poppies.IMG_4073
In the Drive Bed I’m chuffed that some white foxgloves I only moved from the Mid Century bed a fortnight ago, have survived and flourished.  The rose here is the same plant featured in the two photos above, but on the other side of the fence.IMG_4065

This (inherited) rose scents the steps up from the drive, providing a lovely welcome.

IMG_4066

At the western end of the garden, looking the ‘shady way’ (actually south, but shady due to the magnificent oak) we can see the tapestry of shrubby planting.  Unfortunately I didn’t get round to pruning any of these this winter, so they’re all looking rather shaggy, but I’m pleased with the purple/green/purple/green repetition.IMG_4067

Looking the other way, to the much sunnier Bronze Bed, you can see the roses and Geums featured in my last Monday vase.  IMG_4069

Heading back towards the greenhouse takes you past the barrow,IMG_4085

the unpelleted (and thus chewed) hostas, IMG_4086

and various seed trays hardening off and in desperate need of planting out.  (The ones on the left below are stocks which sadly look unlikely to survive).IMG_4088

Talking of not surviving, my Winter flowering sweet peas which were planted out sooooo late, have not done well at all, and a number have not survived the transition to the greenhouse beds.IMG_4092

Happily the tomatoes are a lot perkier.

IMG_4091

as are various tender flowers still waiting for their chance to shine outside.IMG_4090

And to finish, just look at this Leptosermum.  I was thinking over the winter it had got rather leggy, but all is forgiven now!

IMG_4070

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts our EoMVs.

 

 

 

 

 

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – mid May 2016

IMG_0505

There are still a few bulbs clinging on, particularly Tulip ‘Queen of the Night’ (above) and below with ‘Merry go round’IMG_0496

just a few Tulip ‘Jimmy’ and Narcissus ‘Yazz’IMG_0490

Narcissus ‘Goose Green’IMG_0513

and in the Swing Beds, the Tulips ‘Menton’ and ‘Mistress’.IMG_0500

New bulbs emerging include these Gladiolus byzantinus, just coming into bloom in the Lavender Beds but rather more shy elsewhere,

IMG_0494

IMG_0512

as well as these Nectoscordum siculum that I’ve said for two years I was going to pull out.IMG_0499

I’ve already got a good showing of Pelargoniums, both outside and in the greenhouseIMG_0517

IMG_0516

IMG_0489

IMG_0515

IMG_0510

IMG_0511

and a couple of Clematis.  I love this Montana, which has found its way through the (sadly now empty) chicken hutIMG_0503

but I’m really not convinced about Clematis ‘Josephine’.  What was I thinking?

IMG_0498

Meanwhile, thinking of climbers, my Wisteria is already going over.

IMG_0491

and has showered its purple petals on the succulentsIMG_0493

Also in containers the Matthiola incana has gone mad in the troughs and smells absolutely divine.IMG_0497

Surviving through the winter and already looking better than last year, Cerinthe major purpurescens (such a favourite)IMG_0507

and Daucus carota ‘Black Knight’, grown from seed last year.IMG_0506

And to finish, the first of the roses, Rosa ‘Snow Goose’ on the pergola.IMG_0501

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

End of month view – May 2015

IMG_7618

Sadly the Swing Beds are currently having rather a lull after the gorgeous bulbs in evidence last month.  Whilst in April and early May they were bright with a succession of tulips, now, whilst the roses are starting and there is a vast amount to come, the main blooms are the rather quiet, understated Nectoscordum.

IMG_7608

I moaned about them last year, so I really think they’ve had their day and I should replace them with something jollier and more visible from a distance.  Shame Alliums don’t come in the shocking pink of the Pink Impression Tulips!

The right hand swing bed is showing a little more colour with the geraniums, Cerinthe and self seeded foxglove.IMG_7611

And it is lovely that the roses are finally making a real impression on the pergola (four years after planting).

You can also see the netting erected for the sweet peas.  They’re currently being a little shy and seem currently to have been rather stopped in their tracks by the shock of being moved out into the ground.IMG_7609

The Grass Beds, to the right of the Swing Beds, still have their rather exhausted forget me nots, and I really need to clear these to make way for some annual planting to take their place.  Last year I planted some seed grown perennial Verbascum chaixii album in this bed and they’ve come back better than ever.  Problem is, I’m not sure I really want them there…IMG_7612

The troughs are resplendent with last autumn’s planting of Allium Purple Sensation.  They’re growing amongst the gloriously scented stocks, Matthiola incana, but sadly are also accompanied by a rather tatty array of decaying daffodil foliage.  Last year I had the bright idea that I should turn the troughs around to hide the dying foliage at the back.  This would have been an absolutely brilliant solution if only we could have lifted the troughs!   Hopefully the foliage has now done its job, so shortly I should be clearing it to add some annuals for the summer.

IMG_7601

The Lavender Beds are rather dominated by the Erysimum Bowles Mauve, but hey, there are worse things…IMG_7597

IMG_7614

One bed I rarely show is the drive bed.  I planted new alliums here this year too, this time Allium Violet Beauty, which are slightly larger and paler than A. Purple Sensation.  Also, I moved numerous Sisyrinchiums here as they were threatening to take over the Swing Beds.  I was inspired by this vase, as I thought the Sisyrinchiums would echo the colour of the Rose, R. Snow Goose.  The Sisyrinchiums aren’t quite in flower, but I live in hope that the composition will work and be enhanced by the Alliums.  We’ll see (in a week or two…).

As for the self seeded Gladiolus byzantinus, well, I think I’ll leave them be for the minute.  But, ooh, light bulb moment, is this what I should be adding to jolly up the Swing Beds?IMG_7591

On the other side of the drive, the Cytisus is looking spectacular and the colour is now picking up on the buds and flowers of the inherited rose.

IMG_7595

Progress on the new beds is still reasonably slow.  The Mid Century bed has precisely two blooms, both Ranunculus I planted as bulbs.  They’re not exactly as ‘bruised’ as the planned colour scheme, but they’re the first I’ve ever grown, and I love them.IMG_7613

IMG_7599

Just as a little aside, in 2012 I visited the Flower Farm at Carlsbad, California, and the Ranunculus there were absolutely unbelievable – see photo from their website below.

I’d love to start a Ranunculus farm here, but really not sure the island can quite match the Californian climate…

Anyway, back to home.  The new Bronze Bed isn’t displaying anything in the way of blooms other than the Calendula Sunset Buff, sown last year.  Like the Swing Beds, there’s plenty to come, but I am starting to worry that the Hamamelis, now in leaf in the centre of this bed, is taking up too much room.  Hmmm.IMG_7592

On the far side of the lawn from the new Bronze Bed above, you can see how the over-the-road-Oak’s shadow almost completely covers the Oak Bed.  I really need to try to add some more interest here, but the lure of planning and planting the new Bronze Bed  – in almost full sun – is of course far greater.IMG_7594

Another shady area is this bed, running along the north side of the porch.  This has been completely given over to hostas, which are now bulking out nicely after three years.

IMG_7615

Meanwhile, in the veg bed, the canes are up and the first wave of peas and beans are in.IMG_7606

And to finish, a view of the utter chaos in front of the greenhouse.  These are just some of the seed trays, turfed out of the greenhouse and hardening off all over the gravel.

And no, I don’t know where they’re all going to go.  So don’t ask!IMG_7617

With many thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting everyone’s End of Month Views.

Plotting and planning

 

IMG_5580

Prompted by Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden (and Helen, at the Patient Gardener), I too have spent a happy hour with the felt tips, creating a plan of my plot.

My starting point was a Google Earth photo which I traced and updated with the changes we’ve made since moving in just over five years ago.  What’s surprised me is just how busy the plot is with structures – some inherited, like the office and decking, but others new like the garage, the chicken shed (currently empty of chickens) the greenhouse, and the pergola with swing.  I’m surprised I’ve got any space for plants!

Unlike Cathy and Helen, I haven’t marked many plants at all, but instead thought I’d go round the garden from top right, sharing some favourite photos of each of the beds from the past year.

So, to start with, the veg bedsIMG_3852

the swing beds,

IMG_2732

IMG_2731

Grass bed (spring, summer and autumn),2013 05 009IMG_2727

IMG_5052

the left hand lavender bed,IMG_2738

the oak bed (spring and summer).  IMG_1302

IMG_3888

the melianthus major,IMG_2645

wisteria,IMG_3643

herb bed,IMG_2060 (2)

hosta bed,IMG_4622

raised cutting beds,IMG_4617

shady bed,IMG_4619

the greenhouseGreenhouse (2)

right hand med bed,IMG_3667

and the troughs.IMG_1406 (2)

So, if you’re still with me, what about the two areas shaded with red dots, described in the key as ‘Decisions’?  Well these are areas where I’m considering removing lawn to create new beds. The first, marked with hose below, looking towards the chicken shed, I was envisaging as a rose and peony bed.  I can’t see this bed from the house (due to the changes in height which I haven’t really conveyed on the plan), but it would be very obvious when looking west from the swing.  And swinging would seem more like a rose time activity than spring or autumn.

IMG_3679

The second potential bed, would be on the northern edge side of the smaller lawn.  As you can see from the oak bed photos above, the bed is good in the spring, but in the summer is less interesting, once the canopy of the over-the-road-oak is established.

The advantage of the envisaged new bed is that the oak’s shadow wouldn’t reach it and so I would have a new, sunny, south facing patch to play with.  If we eat outside, we sit under the verandah (see wisteria photo), and the new bed would be in full view of the table and allow for much more interesting summer planting than I currently achieve in the shady beds.IMG_3646

The planting I imagine here is coppery toned (as a break from all the pink in the rest of the garden), with plants like Bupleurum ‘Bronze Beauty,’ Calendula ‘Sunset buff’, Scabiosa atropurpurea `Fata Morgana’, ‘Hordeum jubatum’ and maybe a rose or two – ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ or ‘Summer Song’.

So any thoughts?  I don’t think funds will extend to both as the lawns are on very heavy clay and we’ll have to dig well down and replace with better quality soil to have any hope of success.

My preference is for the coppery bed.  The lawn here is poor anyway (in many ways I’d like the whole lawn up, but that’s another story) and it would be lovely when eating outside to have some blooms to admire, and maybe some scent too, but what do you think?

End of month view – May 2014

IMG_2743

Everything has, all of a sudden, gone rather bonkers.  All those odd self seeded plants are threatening to take over, but it’s unlikely I’ll live to see it as I will have been strangled by convolvulus long before…

In the right hand Swing Bed above, the roses on the pergola are flowering well.  As some of you know, the idea of the two Swing Beds is that they are generally symmetrical, but this hasn’t been helped by two things.  Firstly, my reluctance to pull out the existing apple tree and secondly, David Austin’s inability to supply two ‘Wedding Day’ rambler roses for the outside uprights.  By a sheer coincidence, I think the rose on the far right is instead ‘Snow Goose’ which I have along the drive bed and was inherited.  Consequently, these two are flowering away, but on the left hand Swing Bed, my Wedding Day rose is biding its time and instead I have the Clematis Josephine (which is a little smothered on the right).  These symmetrical plans are all very well but one does need to be flexible! IMG_2731 This is the Swing Bed looking north.  You can see the Cerinthe is still flowering like mad, but has now been joined by some perennial geraniums, foxgloves and Sisyrinchium striatum. I’m particularly chuffed with the Digitalis ‘Suttons Apricot’ which I grew from seed.   I planted them out last year (having planted the seed the year before), but lost a number to the chickens, and the remainder were all rather nibbled, so last year there were no flowers. However they’re now flowering well, so I guess one positive of the fox getting my poor girls last year, is that I get my foxgloves this year! IMG_2664 IMG_2732 This is the left hand Swing Bed and you can see my solitary lupin, Lupinus ‘Gallery Rose’, and you can also see a massive clump of Sisyrinchium.  The plant was a gift which I split and put a small piece in each bed a couple of years ago.  What’s comical is the fact that in both beds the original clump in the centre of the bed is quite small, but a much larger clump has somehow bullied its way to the front of the border and is now crowding out the geraniums and alchemilla.  I think some judicious ‘thinning’ (binning?) is in order.

What you can’t see in the photo above is my lovely poppy,  I’m pretty sure this is Papaver Patty’s Plum.  It does look a little pink for Patty, but I can’t think that I planted anything else. IMG_2717 IMG_2727 The Grass Bed is having a transformational moment.  I’ve planted Verbascum chaixii album which I grew from seed, all along the back of this bed, but I don’t think they will flower this year.  In front I already have the mad allium, Allium ‘Hair’ (still in bud) and far too many fox and cubs (Pilosella aurantiaca).

IMG_2737 (2)

This is a plant I first saw when I took my mother to The Garden House on her 80th birthday.  This instantly became one of my favourite gardens and this plant reminds me of a wonderful garden and a very special day.  However, it is threatening to take over the garden, so I think some more thinning/binning required here.  I think once I’ve got round to taking out the forget me nots I’ll add some annuals from the rather large collection still filling the greenhouse.  But which to choose? IMG_2734 The Diving Lady, introduced in last month’s End of Month View, now has a pool to dive into and something to look at: IMG_2735

The strawberries are ripening so we’ve but some fleece over the whole bed (bottom right of picture above) so that we don’t lose them all to the blackbirds.

IMG_2741

Meanwhile the Shady Bed is looking lush and green (although rather overrun with Honesty seedlings).  There is very little colour here, apart from the rose, which laughs at my ‘Shady’ description.

IMG_2738

This is the bed which epitomises the ‘bonkersness’ of the garden currently.  This is one of the ‘Lavender Beds’ (that’s a name I’ve just made up as they don’t have names, but there are two of them and the path in the middle is lined with lavender).

A number of these plants were inherited (the rose and the paeony for example) but this year all sorts of plants which have been growing around and about, seem to have decided to party in this one bed at the same time.  The Allium Purple Sensations are on their third year and better than ever, the Gladioulus Byzantinus have not previously visited this bed, and the Linaria purpurea and Verbena Bonariensis which were here before, have had a population explosion.  I’m starting to feel I’ve completely lost control, and yet there’s a certain delight in letting them all get on with it.

IMG_2641

The Oak Bed (above) continues to disappoint, but the Melianthus major  is still a joy and the Gladioli here cheer me up.  I think a proper redesign is required for next year.

IMG_2645

I have lots of lovely pots – these Aeoniums were planted by the OH and are very handsome.IMG_2636

Meanwhile, in the greenhouse, (which I think will have to be a whole other post) the tomatoes are flowering, but unfortunately they’re still in their 9cm pots…IMG_2685

With many thanks to Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting the End of Month meme.  Why don’t you go and check out some other End of Months?

In a vase on Monday – the debut of the little black vase

IMG_2608

Today’s ‘little black vase’, made by the British firm Wedgwood, was inherited from my mother, Mary.   She would often have it filled with home grown flowers in her entrance hall, so I thought I keep up the tradition.

IMG_2614 (2)

This week’s vase has Gladiolus byzantinus, (which I picked as they had been knocked over by the recent wind and rain) and Red Valerian, Centranthus rubra, which is growing like a weed at the moment, (indeed some would call it a weed!)  Sadly the flash has bleached the colour in the ‘vase’ shots, but hopefully this close up gives you an idea of true intensity of colour.IMG_2609

I combined the pinks with fennel and the fabulous, glaucous Melianthus major foliage.IMG_2610

With thanks again to Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme – and getting me out in the rain to pick flowers!