Tag Archives: hellebore

In a vase on Monday – Narcisscircle

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Finally!  I’ve found some time to post a Monday vase.

This one consists of Cerinthe, Narcissus Cragford and a few Tete a tetes, thrown together in my pretty (and very easy to use) milk bottle circle.IMG_5729

I did put together the vase below last week, but failed to post about it, so here’s two for the price of one!  The Hellebores flopped very quickly (despite searing), so I was interested in Cathy’s tip today about slicing the stem lengthwise.  Perhaps I’ll try that next time as I do love seeing them at close range.

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I’m so enjoying the beginning of spring.  It been a pretty challenging February – nothing serious and largely self inflicted.  I’ll explain more in my late End of Month View post to follow.

With thanks to Cathy who hosts all our Monday vases – and doesn’t judge those whose involvement is rather sporadic…

 

In a Vase on Monday – Bruised!

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I wasn’t going to join IaVoM today, but a sliver of sunshine prompted me to pop outside to see if there was anything simple I could plonk into a vase.

I quickly settled on this gorgeous dark hellebore, snipped a stem, and popped it into a perfect single stem vase (bought by the sister but named for the mother!)

And why bruised?  Well, apart from the colour, having avoided the flu, I’ve now got a dodgy shoulder and the physio-recommended exercises are leaving me feeling pretty bruised!  I’m sure all in a good cause…

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With thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who hosts all our Monday vases.

In a vase on Monday – Through a vase, darkly

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Having been away last weekend, it feels like the garden has moved on significantly in a fortnight.  One plant, Euphorbia characias Wulfennii, to me epitomises spring with its fresh, zingy, lime green flower heads, and it has self seeded in a number of places.  The fact that those places aren’t necessarily the ones I would have chosen, made cutting it for today’s vase seem like a good idea.  img_2146

In the photo above you can also glimpse a branch of a very leggy pink tipped Hebe, which I was also happy to sacrifice as, too be honest, the whole plant should probably come out.

To these I added some gorgeous Hellebore blooms.  Whilst I recognise they don’t last as long in the vase as they do in the garden, I also recognise that if they’re in the house I will see much more of them so, snip!img_2145

I do like the contrast between the dark and the ‘zing’.  Why don’t you go to Cathy’s website Rambling in the Garden to see what others have put together in their vases this weeks?

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End of Month View – January 2017

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A grey old day for January’s EoMV, which is a shame, as Saturday was beautiful – but then I was far too busy digging to take photos!

Over the last two weekends I’ve finally got out in the garden after an absence of at least a month.  However, in many ways, the work has seen me going backwards to go forwards.  The final bulbs, Allium sphaerocephalon were bought for the two Lavender Beds, but as both were full of Convolvulus, Couch Grass and generally past-their-best plants, a big dig was called for before I could plant them.  Happily the digging was dug and, although you can’t see them, the bulbs are in.img_2042

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The good news is that there are now large new areas of bed to ‘play’ in, but that requires thought and planning, both of which take time, so no firm plans as yet.

One thing I have mentioned before is the desire to move the Acacia baileyana purpurea from the Mid Century bed and I’d like its new location to be in the left hand Lavender Bed, in the centre of this photo (in front of the Choisya, which I think I’ll remove).

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The problem is, when to do the deed?  Now would seem a sensible time to move many plants, but the Acacia is on the cusp of bursting into bloom for the first time, so now doesn’t seem exactly conducive.  Thoughts?img_2052

Further round the garden, more bare earth tells of more activity – I finally pulled the old, very leggy Matthiola incana (Stocks) out of the troughs and replaced them with these cuttings taken from the ‘mother’.  These have been in pots for a while, so I’m not sure how long they’ll take to find their feet.  They look pretty pathetic at the moment!img_2045

The two Swing Beds are still quite green but everything needs a good cut back and tidy up. I’ve read it’s better to wait to do this until the temperature picks up as the old growth protects the newer shoots, particularly on tender plants such as Salvias and Penstemons.  Well, that’s my excuse.img_2048

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In the Grass Bed, more bare earth after a big clear out last year.  This is a bit of a shame as I’ve previously had masses of Forget me knots here and I’ll miss them.  img_2050

I’m trying to move various clumps in from other areas where they’re not wanted, but I still don’t think I’ll achieve the lovely froth of last year:IMG_0293

I had a tidy up of the Herb Bed yesterday and whilst most are looking understandably tired, the Sorrel is looking fresher and more productive than ever.  Any recipe suggestions?img_2054

The Shady Bed is exhibiting a good showing of glossy foliage.  I’ve never noticed before how the Fatsia japonica leaves echo the Hellebores.  To the left of the Hellebores the Sarcococca is flowering, picking up the white of the Hellebore to the right.  Shame the fern in the middle is so chewed!img_2058

At the Western end of the garden, in the shady Oak Bed there is the merest hint of bloom in the Witch Hazel (Hamamelis ‘Arnold’s Promise’), and some more Hellebores,img_2062

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whereas at the end of the Bronze Bed a far more exotic scene of flowering Aeoniums in front of luxuriant Melianthus major foliage.

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Meanwhile in the greenhouse, plenty of bulbs in pots to look forward toimg_2055

and this.  Finally, an empty bulb box!img_2056

And to finish, my Rosemarinus prostratus.  I mentioned in GBBD how it wasn’t very ‘prostratus’, time to eat my words!img_2067

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts EoMV.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – January 2017

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Amazingly, despite the recent freezing weather, I still have a number of the annual Nicotiana mutablis flowering in the Swing Beds (the one above caught up in the bare branches of the Elaeagnus).

The overall look of the garden is very wintery, but close inspection revealed a number of further blooms, including roses Rosa ‘Flower Carpet Pink’img_2002

and neighbouring Rosa ‘Berkshire.  Note the matching pink stripe on the Phormium – I can’t take credit, both were inherited!img_2003

There are still a couple of Gazanias clearly confused what month it isimg_2009

and likewise this Pelargonium ‘Surcouf.’img_2019

In addition to Erysimum Bowles Mauve I currently have this pair in flower.  The first one E. ‘Red Jep’ was bought last year after I’d admired it so much when I visited Hyde Hall.  The second rather yellow one was grown from seed, and I think is E. Ivory Giant.

By the front steps the Rosmarinus prostratus is covered in blooms, but is hardly looking very ‘prostratus’.

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And whilst I’m chuffed to see Rosemary’s Babies are also flowering, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with them…..img_2012

This Teucrium fruticans plant is really very woody but seems to have responded quite well to a severe hack back last year.img_2036

Similarly this Anisodontea capensis is also past its best, with the stem currently tied to a post to prevent it falling over.  It’s a beautiful shrub when happy in the sun, but mine’s definitely showing its age (I know the feeling).img_2033

There’s nothing in the Veg Patch for the Diving Lady to admire except some rather scruffy kale, so I’m glad she’s still got a pretty pool.

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In the Mid Century bed the Acacia baileyana purpurea looks like it’s going to flower for the first time.  It’s a lovely little tree with gorgeous foliage, but I really don’t think it’s in the right place and will have to go.  But where to move it?img_2032

In the greenhouse there are a few plants flowering – this Abutilon ‘Orange Marion’img_2015

and a couple more Pelargoniums.

I also discovered this beautiful Iris histioides ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley,’ which would definitely be brought into a more prominent positionimg_2017

if only she had some friends!img_2018

Back outside the sun continues to bring out the Freckles

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and I’m waiting with bated breath to see when it will do the same for these:img_2007

With thanks to Carol at May Dream Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBDs.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

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Pretty slim pickings for GBBD today, but I love the optimism of this perky geranium.

I shared my favourite hellebore last Wednesday, but I’m delighted to have more to show.  Like Julie at Peonies and Posies, my hellebores are bulking up, but there’s definitely room for more!

This Cornus Mas featured on another Wordless Wednesday is still flowering well and, growing in a pot by the front steps, it makes a very cheery greeting.IMG_9835

This Abutilon ‘Orange Marion’ is also in a pot outside, which is starting to feel rather risky bearing in mind how the temparature’s dropped.IMG_9845

The Grevillea‘s also outside and still looking good.IMG_9856

Not blooms, but they were once!  These are the lovely, fluffy seed heads of Clematis ‘Freckles’. Perhaps I should try planting some.IMG_9854

Talking of seeds, whilst the Rhodochiton atrosanguineus is still flowering, there are also some stems which have now turned to seed heads.

I am already growing some (bought) Rhodochiton seeds which I planted late last summer,IMG_9866

but if anyone fancies trying this lovely plant themselves please drop me an email at jenhumm116@yahoo.co.uk with your address and I’ll send you some of the seed heads through the post.  I clearly can’t guarantee success but Chloris assures me they’re easy!

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?

 

 

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – February 2015

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As in January, a strange mix of spring bulbs and rather more exotic plants are blooming.  The Grevillea above has a number of genus companions, including this one.IMG_6026

These are both outside, the first in the ground and the other in a pot that’s too heavy and too far from warmth to move.  Bearing in mind they’re (largely) Australian, do you think they’re following the seasons down under?

As well as the Iris reticulata ‘Gordon‘ featured last month, IMG_5985

this has now been joined by Iris reticulata ‘Blue Note’, providing an early pool for the Lady Diver. Although why on earth she’d want to be swimming outside this early in the year I have no idea.IMG_6020

I’m very excited to report that since last month, my Hamamelis count has increased to three. The one below is the one I think is ‘Arnold’s Promise’.IMG_6000

This has been joined by a very small  H. Jelena featured in last week’s Wordless WednesdayIMG_6012

and, as of yesterday’s visit to the Hillier Gardens, a rather more magnificent H. Aphrodite.  I’m very chuffed that Aphrodite was my Valentine treat from the OH!IMG_5987

There are more Hellebores blooming, although they’re still not good at lifting their heads.  I seem to recall last year the first ones below, in particular, became more erect as the month went on.IMG_5994IMG_5998IMG_6008

As far as bulbs are concerned, I actually have more of these (inherited) Leucojum than Snowdrops. IMG_6016

as well as many little Muscari Armeniacum ‘Big Smile‘, planted in pots.IMG_6015

My only real ‘winter interest’ shrub is the Sarcococca confusa.  Sadly this is tucked away in the shady bed, thus breaking all the rules about keeping it near the door so you can enjoy the perfume.

I have been considering digging out a large Phormium (which is near the door) and replacing it with something new for winter interest, but I just can’t decide what would be best.  I’m vacillating between Daphne/Lonicera/Viburnum.  Any thoughts?IMG_6006

One of my favourite plants flowering at the moment is this little primrose.  It is self seeded on the steps which run between the two Lavender Beds.  It’s a lovely colour, rather more ‘dusky’ than this picture would suggest.  I would love more of it, but I’m terrified to try to dig it up to divide it in case I just rip the plant from the roots (it’s growing in a very small crack).  And I’ve never seen any likely looking seeds.IMG_6004

And, in case you’re missing the sun, (as I said last month), I give you the following.

Not quite as sunny as last month’s Abutilon ‘Orange Marion‘, but this one is the better named –Viola ‘Sunny Side Up’,IMG_5982

With thanks as ever to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts the GBBD.

End of month view – January 2015

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A rather sorry end of month view, but then it is January so perhaps I shouldn’t fret.

The old tin bath above was new (in a second hand sort of way) towards the end of last summer. I painted it to match the house and initially filled it with a bit of a quirky mix, including a number of Aeoniums and some Diascia which provided a jolly show to greet those arriving up the steps at the front of the house.

For the winter, I’ve changed its look to a dark red and silver combination of Cyclamen, pansies, Cineraria and Euphorbia mysinites.  Unfortunately I hadn’t read the crucial advice for winter containers, which is to cram in the planting from the word go as the plants won’t really grow and spread in winter as they do in summer.  Consequently my pot is a little sparse, but still, it provides welcome colour at this time of year.

The rest of the garden looks a lot like it’s ‘resting’.

The Drive Bed, below, has a few hellebores (worryingly I think fewer than last year) as well as one of the two Garrya Elliptica.  The strap like leaves are the Sisyrinchium striatum I moved from the Swing Beds in the autumn, the idea being that their flowers should match with the pale yellow flowers of the climbing rose ‘Snow Goose’, later in the year.IMG_5917

The right hand Lavender Bed is not showing much apart from the Phormium, Euphorbia and clipped LavenderIMG_5921

whilst the left hand Lavender bed is a little fuller with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve‘, Anisodontea and a low conifer (front left) which I’ve forgotten the name of.IMG_5920

The view of the Grass Bed is rather disturbed by all the workmen’s kit.  Whilst the grasses are still looking good, the rest of the bed is pretty empty apart from the Forget me knots.  The numerous spring bulbs are still to raise their heads.IMG_5923

I had a little tidy of the two Med Beds in front of the greenhouse, and cleared away many leaves which had blown into the bed.  The two most obvious plants here are the Euphorbia mysinites (front left) and Agapanthus plants which I planted out last year and were grown from seed two years earlier.  I don’t know whether the Agapanthus will flower this year but I live in hope.IMG_5938

The picture of the two Swing Beds shows the Salvia and Phlomis italica dominating the foreground.  Both need cutting back so they don’t get too leggy this year.

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The photo below is of the Oak Bed, which spends most of the year shaded by the Over-the-road-Oak.  There are a lot of Spring bulbs to come in this bed which take advantage of the better light before the Oak gets its full canopy.  And there are already a number of Hellebores flowering towards the front of the bed.

The Viburnum Tinus is rather overwhelming here and also needs to be cut back.IMG_5913

And to finish, a little more colour.  Sadly this isn’t in my garden, rather in my neighbour’s, but it’s their lovely Mimosa, flowering bravely in the January chill.

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With thanks as ever to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting this End of Month meme,

Combinations

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Now I love a cryptic crossword, but am absolutely rubbish at them and only made any progress at all when I had my mother by my side.  I still remember the day we completed The Telegraph cryptic crossword on a coach trip to Great Dixter – a red letter day for me as I have never completed a cryptic before, but probably much more of a red letter day for my mother, who got to flirt with Christopher Lloyd who happened to be sitting in the shop.

Sadly it was the eighth anniversary of her death on 11th March, but coincidentally, I’d spent the day before back on the cryptic, on another journey, with another ‘wise one’ (my boss, not much of a gardener, but you can’t have everything).  And the challenge?  The Times new ‘Quick’ Cryptic Crossword, and, with the ‘wise one’ by my side we managed to finish it in about half an hour, and I’m delighted to say I solved 3 down, the answer being ‘combinations’ (I’ve forgotten the clue – sorry).

Consequently the word’s been with me ever since, partly because it was a word my mother taught me, as she apparently used to wear them (according to Wiki: “a type of underwear that combines a vest or camisole with trousers or drawers”) but also because it’s of perennial interest in gardening.

During spring 2013, when winter seemed to go on well into April, my carefully planned daffodil (Sinopel) and tulip (Spring Green) succession in the ‘grass bed’ all bloomed together in a very unexpected combination (see below).  The poor tulips also got very wind battered and consequently looked rather disheveled almost from the start.  At the moment the only things flowering in this bed are a few wallflowers and the forget me knots.  It’ll be interesting to see whether the tulips succeed the daffodils this year, and if so, whether it’s anything like as attractive as the mad scene last year.

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Another planned combination which didn’t quite go to plan this year was the trough planting.  The stocks (Matthiola incana) were grown from seed and didn’t flower last year but there are buds showing now and the plan is that the scent will be apparent from the table on the decking above.  Where it’s all gone a little awry is with the Narcissi.  I thought I was planting Narcissi ‘Cornish Chuckle’, but what I seem to have is ‘Minnow’, which is lovely, but not what I expected.  Perhaps Bloms thought they knew better.

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Another planned combination this year is more ‘Minnow’ with the Wallflower ‘Ivory Giant’ in the ‘drive bed.’  I saw the wallflower on Gardeners’ World and eventually tracked down seed from Seedaholic and grew them for the first time in 2012.  They now seem to be returning happily for the second year after I chopped them back quite hard in the autumn.

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And lastly, a completely unexpected combination – the flower (first ever to my knowledge) on my Melianthus major ‘looking’ at the chicken.

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