Tag Archives: hellebores

End of Month View – February 2019

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What a crazy January/February!  One of the main distractions has been this:IMG_4645

Not only were we daft enough to buy a puppy (I could stop there).  Not only were we daft enough to buy a puppy, but we chose one born near Ilkley in West Yorkshire which required two weekend trips up north – one to choose her and one to pick her up.  Kiri (Labradoodle x Golden Doodle) arrived home on 10th February and has been terrorising both us and 10 year old Nimbus ever since!

A more miserable February happening was both the OH and me getting flu.  I was stuck in Richmond too ill to travel, and he was stuck on the IoW, likewise.  Consequently there was no TLC to be had.  I thought the ‘kids’ might look after me, but as soon as the daughter realised how poorly I was, she decamped to a friends’.  Conversely the son didn’t, but after two days’ worth of the odd pat on the back and a couple of cups of peppermint tea, he too succumbed!  I don’t think I’ve been so wiped out for decades and am still not 100%.  (I made a new year’s resolution to climb the five floors to my office and, up until the flu, I did so without fail at least once a day when I was in London, but I haven’t been able to face it since).  As you can imagine energy for gardening has also been a little thin on the ground.

The final thing that happened was that I was promoted at work (something that’s been lined up for months but for various reasons has been delayed).  The joke is that almost as soon as it was announced I went down with the flu and had more days off sick (four) than I have in the previous decade!

Anyway, back to the garden.  Finally, in the glorious weather a couple of weekends ago I got out and started some clearly/pruning/weeding.  There’s masses still to do but at least I’ve made a start.

The usual twirl takes us firstly past the troughs.  There should be Minnow Narcissi coming here, but I’m more excited that I’ve got away with leaving the Pelargoniums out over the winterIMG_4659

On to the Veg Patch which has been cleared apart from some cutting plants –  three plants of Dianthus barbatus ‘Green Wicky’, a Peony (Coral Charm)and three new roses for cutting.IMG_4653

I treated the Diving Lady to some Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’ for her pool.IMG_4654

The Swing Beds have had a bit of a weed but all the roses still need pruning and I must do some dividing and general rationalisation. IMG_4655

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In the Grass Bed there is plenty of self sown Cerinthe and masses of forget me nots and bulbs coming.  I still haven’t bought any more Stipas, but I have planted up some seedlings in pots, so the plan is to try to replace them along the whole back of the bed.IMG_4657

The Mid Century bed is also a mass of Cerinthe, accompanied by a massive self sown Euphorbia.  (I pulled one out last year, but this one, left behind, is really taking over!)  In the centre you can still see the Erysimum Red Jep flowering.  I’ve taken cuttings of this so will be able to introduce it elsewhere in the garden. IMG_4660

In the Oak Bed, the Hellebores have bulked upIMG_4665

and the Hamamelis ‘Arnold’s Promise’ is finally looking properly established.IMG_4666

The bulbs in the Bronze Bed are nearly all still in bud – but the ones picked for my Monday vase were very quick to bloom once brought into a warm kitchen.

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More Hellebores in the Shady Bed, but the inherited white rose which used to do quite well here, despite the lack of light, has keeled over during the winter and needs digging out.IMG_4650

Next, the greenhouse, where there were some cuttings and seedlings here when I took these photos in late February, but since then I’ve planted hundreds more seeds and everywhere’s starting to fill up.

Which is a little tricky, as I’m sure you can guess who hasn’t spring cleaned it yet….IMG_4652

And to finish, another shot of mademoiselle.  Butter wouldn’t melt….IMG_4658

In a vase on Monday – Spring!

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As mentioned in yesterday’s brief post, I finally got out into the garden on Sunday for an extended session.  However, my enthusiastic chopping back resulted in a few casualties so I put them on one side to add to a vase.

The first two blooms were Cerinthe, and then some rather leggy Erysimum ‘Red Jep’.  IMG_3964

Consequently, I thought initially I might make a rather strong ‘jewel’coloured vase, but I was so excited to see all the daffodils blooming that I changed tack completely and went for a much more vanilla look, with the Erysimum in particular largely lost in the mix.

To various white Hellebores I added some of my favourite ‘Jenny’ Narcissi.IMG_3960

I have no idea where the yellow pot came from, but I like the way it picks up on Jenny’s trumpets.  It could have done with some chicken wire inside to help keep things in place, but it’s all holding steady so far.

Hoping you all have a wonderful ‘springy’ week, whatever the weatherman says!IMG_3967

With thanks to Cathy who hosts all our Monday vases.

End of Month View – February 2018, and news!

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Oh dear, very late with EoMV this month and, bearing in mind these photos were all taken before the snow, it feels like such a long time ago!

I love these pots of Elka Narcissi , some of which I think are still left over from the Wedding Flowers (although I did plant more).  I love them in pots as a change from the rather ubiquitous Tete a Tete, and was interested to see them featured in an article on pots in this month’s Garden’s Illustrated – but theirs were in a very handsome lead trough rather than rather grubby terracotta!

Some rather leggy Erysimum in the drive bed, but no sign of the Narcissi here yet.

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Although this photo was taken before the snow, you can see the Osteospermums were already looking rather tatty.  So far they seem to have survived the recent chill, but are definitely now looking even more chewed around the edges.  I’m still hoping to take some cuttings so hope they can survive until I do.IMG_3908

The Hellebores are fine with the chill.

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Thankfully we moved nearly all the pots (many of which had been left outside but under the glass canopy) into the greenhouse and, even though the greenhouse isn’t heated, they seem to be ok.

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Whilst I have finally managed to clean the majority of the greenhouse glass IMG_3917

there’s been little progress with the mulching.IMG_3911

Out and about, not much to see except numerous self seeded Euphorbia characias ‘Wulfenii’ – the bulbs, not surprisingly, seem behind where they were this time last year.IMG_3923

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I finally took the chicken wire off the Grass Bed and it seems to have had the desired effect of protected the bulbs from nibbling creatures.IMG_3922

The Bronze Bed is full of ‘bulbous’ potential but the Melianthus major behind has now been clobbered by the cold and is looking very sad.  I had resolved to cut it back in the spring anyway, so no excuses now!
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And bulbs aren’t only coming up in beds – there are plenty of pots to look forward to.IMG_3913

And lastly, news.  So, what’s remarkable about this garden?HF304_170626S_IMG_09

Well, as of last Thursday, it’s ours!  After nearly ten years of me staying in other people’s houses when staying in London during the week, we’ve finally decided to buy a tiny house back in Richmond, where we moved from in 2009.  No plans to sell the house (more importantly the garden) on the Isle of Wight, but the Richmond house will provide a base for the ‘kids’ when they graduate, and for me in the week.  More importantly for the blog, however, it also provides a very blank canvas.  Wish me luck!

With thanks to Helen who hosts our EoMVs.

 

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – March 2017

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All of a sudden spring has sprung and there are hundreds of blooms to enjoy – not least Narcissus ‘Cragford’, above.  And despite moaning last year I’d planted them too close together, I’m delighted to see they’ve all returned!

Plenty of other Narcissi now including ‘Jenny’

 

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‘Peeping Jenny,’IMG_2175

‘Tete a Tete’

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and my first ‘Minnow’ of the year.  This is definitely one of my favourites – the blooms are really dainty, only about 3cm across, so I hope I’ve planted enough to make an impact.IMG_2178

A few other bulbs blooming now – these Muscari, M. Latifolium are returning again from the wedding flowers.  Last year they got rather eaten, so I’m delighted to see them back better than ever this year.  And interestingly, for those who remember the saga of me trying to get these and the N. Elka flowering together on the day,the Elkas are currently nowhere to be seen!

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This last one is the Crocus chrysanthus Miss Vain.  The majority are over now, but if you look closely you’ll see there are daffodils to follow, so hopefully the pot will shortly be rebooted!IMG_2171

I found one of the first bees enjoying the Rosemary (R. prostratus).IMG_2150

And I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve become a bit overrun with Euphorbia, but doesn’t that colour sing (zing?) in the sunshine?IMG_2177

Talking of colour, I know it’s not a bloom, but I couldn’t resist including this Chard.IMG_2172

Continuing on the pink theme, this Daphne x Pink Fragrance ‘Blapink’ is really pumping out the blooms – and scent – now.  It’s in a pot and currently seems happy, but I do wonder if I should plant it out.IMG_2169

The tea tree plant, Leptospermum has just started blooming again after a little rest.  Sadly it has got rather leggy now and I’m not convinced it would resprout from the bottom if I pruned it hard.  Any clues?IMG_2161

There are still plenty of Hellebores but I thought this one was very fine.  Strangely I have no memory of seeing it before, but it seems rather too glamorous to be self seeded.IMG_2158

Of my two witch hazels H. Arnold’s Promise is in full flowerIMG_2156

but H. Aphrodite is still being rather shy.IMG_2153

And to finish, because it was such a glorious day it almost felt like a quick dip might be fun, here’s the Diving Lady, with her pool. IMG_2173

With thanks to Carol at May Dream Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBDs.  Why don’t you pop over and see what others have blooming now?

End of Month View – February 2017

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The Shady Bed is looking good despite the gloom.  Here is probably the largest clump of Hellebores and they’re joined by the sweetly scented Sarcococca and the constant Fatsia japonica.

Elsewhere, the main view is very gloomy (not helped by timing my photos an hour before some watery sunshine emerged).img_2116

In the troughs there are plenty of shoots, but as yet no colour.  Did I mention that I’d replaced the old Stocks at the back with new cuttings?  And whilst they don’t seem to be making much progress, the self seeded Cerinthe in the path in front is romping away…img_2120

The Swing Beds are still looking quite full but hardly flowery.  Many herbaceous plants still need a cut back, as do the roses, which are looking extremely wild and woolly.img_2121

The two Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ are still blooming well on the pergola, but definitely rather tatty on close inspection.  And I fear pruning the Rosa St Swithun growing amongst them is going to be a little challenging!

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More bulbous shoots in the Grass Bed, but as yet no blooms here either.img_2124

I’ve pruned all the roses in the Mid Century bed, but still haven’t attacked the Salvias.  In the foreground you can see some overwintered Antirrhinum which look closer to flowering than some of the bulbs!

The soil level has fallen in this bed again this year

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so lucky I’m prepared!

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On the other side of the garden in the Oak Bed the Hamamelis (H. Arnold’s Promise) is glowing against the wall.  It probably deserves rescuing from all that dead foliage!img_2133

In the Bronze Bed the Narcissi ‘Cragford’ are the furthest advanced of all my daffodils and will soon be ready to ‘pop’.

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Also ready to pop any minute, my other Hamamelis, H. Aphrobite.  Just a couple of blooms so far, but much promise and such a lovely colour.img_2135

In the greenhouse, the Winter Sunshine Sweet Peas have now been planted out,img_2128

there are seeds stirring in the damp darkness (I hope)img_2129

and on the windowsill a few perky Muscari latifolium, returned again from the Wedding Flowers of two years ago.  Step niece Hannah (whose wedding it was) is now proud mum to Hamish so, looking at the colour, I should probably have sent them over!)img_2126

And to finish, you can’t beat a jolly pot of ‘Tete a Tete’.img_2137

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting everyone’s EoMV.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – February 2017

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One solitary Tete a tete Narcissus to herald this February’s GBBD!

With the photos taken in Sunday’s gloom, it was a joy to find more yellow elsewhere from Cornus mas,img_2076

rather tatty looking Erysimum ‘Ivory Giant’img_2088

Hamamelis ‘Arnold’s Promise’img_2085

and the rather acid yellow of an Aeonium flower head.  (This latter one in the greenhouse!)

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Less yellow and more green, the emerging flower spikes of Euphorbia characias Wulfenii. The joke is that this burgeoning clump is self seeded, whereas the plant I bought and positioned carefully closer to the swing, is a complete wimp in comparison.img_2096

The following pair were featured ages ago in a Wordless Wednesday called ‘Blues Brothers’ – they are both members of the family Lamiaceae, and both flowering now Rosmarinus prostratus and Teucrium fruticans,

The pergola is still smothered in Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ but I have to admit that the recent wind and cold has made the majority of them look rather chewed.  I had to work hard to find this one!img_2098

I don’t have much white in the garden as I find it hard to mix successfully with other colours, but at this time of year there are a few exceptions – beautifully scented Sarcococca confusa,img_2093

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and this pot of Crocus – Crocus chrysanthus Miss Vain.  These have been growing in the greenhouse so now they’re out in the open I hope they don’t get eaten.  Wouldn’t be the first time.  Grrr.img_2100

And to finish, a lovely clutch of Hellebores.

With thanks to Carol at May Dream Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBDs.  Why don’t you pop over and see what others have blooming now?

End of month view – March 2016

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In the Bronze Bed the Hamamelis ‘Aphodite’ is poking up through a froth of Narcissus ‘Cragford’ which have now completely taken over. According to my records I only bought 30 ‘Cragford’ bulbs, but there look to be far more than that.  Perhaps that’s the joy of multi-headed blooms!

In the Oak Bed, nearer the road, the Hellebores and Narcissus ‘Jenny’ are still floweringIMG_0123

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and the long table is continuing to host a large number of succulents protected by the glass canopy.IMG_0125

Looking east, the Swing Beds are beginning to fill outIMG_0102

and there are even a couple of Tulip ‘Pink Impression’ returning from last year.

In these photos you can see I’ve pruned back the roses, but haven’t yet tackled the Phlomis Italica which is rather overwhelming both beds.

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In the right hand bed, there is still one very shaggy rose to tame.

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In the metal troughs I was delighted to see signs of Narcissus ‘Minnow’ returning.  Looking a couple of weeks ago there seemed to be nothing but leaves, but now there are multiple flower buds to admire.  Phew!IMG_0104

Similarly, in the new MCB, there are also plenty of bulbs ready to flower, but not there yet. Looking back at my list I see the first to flower is only ‘due’ in early April, so I suppose that’s fair enough!

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In the pots by the door I’ve gone for scarlet Tulip ‘Matrix’.  Quite a colour deviation for me!

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The greenhouse pots are a rather more subtle combination, repeating last year’s Narcissus ‘Bellsong’ and Tulip ‘Angelique’.

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And in the greenhouse itself the seeds are taking over

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and hopefully I’ll soon have an early sweet pea flower to admire.

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With thanks as ever to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts everyone’s End of Month Views.

In a vase on Monday – clean and clear

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Those of you who’ve ever been chez Duver Diary will know that I’m not the tidiest, always prefering gardening, and even ironing, to tidying and cleaning.

Today’s vase was actually created on Sunday when the OH’s brother and wife came for lunch and, as it was just the four of us, we ate in the kitchen.  Consequently the far end of the kitchen table, usually the site of a pencil pot, placemats, various gardening books and magazines and a laptop or two, was cleaned and cleared.  And in their stead I placed this equally clean and clear vase of hellebores.

The vase was bought a couple of Christmases ago from Oliver Bonas and was one of those gifts you buy for yourself when you’re supposed to be Christmas shopping for others.  I’m not sure it has featured on IaVoM before, but it’s great for when your blooms are limited and you don’t want to detract from them, as with these lovely hellebores:IMG_9879IMG_9881

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Why don’t you visit Cathy’s site to see what others have in their Monday vases? and I’ll get back to re-cluttering.  This tidiness is making me uncomfortable…

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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – March 2015

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A late foray into the garden and the combination of low light, macro lens and windy conditions have made for rather fuzzy photos, so apologies!

The view above shows the bed running by the kitchen wondow which contains the pink Rose Flower carpet,  However, as you can see, both the Leucojum aestivum and the Narcissus Tete a tete seem to have proliferated since last year, and the rose is hardly to be seen.  The Phormium to the right of the photo is the one I’d like to get rid of and replace with something for winter interest, but annoyingly, it looks quite good in this grouping.  Hmmm.

After my Lonely and Blue Wordless Wednesday post, I’ve now had many more Irises come into flower in the big copper pot.  What I can’t quite believe is that I planted such a mix.  I haven’t had time to look back at my order, but there appear to be three different blue/purples and a solitary yellow one.  Bizarre.

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The hellebores are now at their best, unlike the photos

and here is a shot of the Hebe I arranged with some of them in Monday’s vase.IMG_6213

There are also a number of Euphorbias in zingy green bloom,

as well as a few Forget me nots just started to flower.  I like this slightly darker one.IMG_6226

The self sown primula I mentioned last month is still flowering wellIMG_6227

and has been joined by a new one I couldn’t resist, for sale at Osborne House,  (post to follow).IMG_6231

And to finish, a little grouping of bulbs by the door, Narcissus Tete a tete, Narcissus Elka and Muscari Armeniacum Big Smile.

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The Narcissus Elka,  (close up below), is the one I’m growing for the wedding.  This is a ‘trial’ pot I left in the cold frame when all its peers got moved to the fridge two weeks ago.  I’m delighted with the colouring and the size and shape of the blooms.

So what of the others?  Well, contra to the majority of advice received, I’ve left them in the fridge!  They were allowed out for good behaviour last Monday, and I think I’ll do the same tomorrow, but they’re looking fine and have definitely been stopped in their tracks by the combination of cold and dark.

The Muscari for the wedding are Muscari Latifolium, not the one above.  You may recall these were looking a little behind and so spent the week before last in the greenhouse.  They put on rapid growth and so were moved out to the garden, but I’m thinking they might need to come back into the greenhouse as, not surprisingly, they’ve slowed right down again.

Thankfully, there aren’t too many pots, and so all this moving around and in and out is more entertaining than challenging.  My fingers are still firmly crossed, but I’m feeling a little more confident than previously.  Watch this space…IMG_6214

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

In a vase on Monday – beautifully bruised

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A very simple ‘plonked’ vase today, inspired by a late afternoon pop into the garden.

I noticed for the first time that the pink of the hellebores was pinked up by the tips of the (inherited) hebe, and a simple two item arrangement was born.

Today’s jug is a contemporary one by a company called Repeat Repeat.  They’re based in Stoke on Trent (where my mum came from!) and sell a number of ranges, but the china I adore is the flower themed ‘relief’ items like this one.  In fact, looking on their website just now, has introduced me to a whole lot more jugs I’d like…

Back to the arrangement, it really couldn’t have been simpler.  The rather woody stems of the hebes provided a natural grid like structureIMG_6112

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to support what can be rather floppy hellebores.IMG_6113

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In fact the hellebores are currently looking very perky, but how long that will continue in an Aga heated kitchen I don’t know!

With thanks as ever to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this lovely meme.  Why don’t you go and have a look at some other Monday vases?