Tag Archives: Hordeum Jubatum

Yearly round up – 2015

IMG_6977

2015 was the first time I’d planted dozens of tulips directly in the Swing Beds, having previously faffed about planting them in pots and then moving them in and out.  And, in classic gardening happenstance, they didn’t flower as I’d planned at all!  The tulips I’d planted as mids, ‘Pink Impression’ (above) flowered first, and on their own, and then these were followed by (supposedly) April flowering ‘Mistress’ and May flowering ‘Menton’ flowering together (below). The whole show was an absolute joy.

This year I’ve planted more tulips, but in the two new beds, so time will tell as to how perennial these three in the Swing Beds out to be.IMG_7022

As well as the tulips I also planted more Alliums.  I found the new Alliums ‘Violet Beauty’, a little disappointing, but the extra A. Purple Sensation I added, were fabulous as ever.IMG_7231

And the Diving Lady got a new, early bath in the form of Iris reticulata ‘Blue Note’.

IMG_6066

As well as new bulbs, 2016 saw the creation of two new beds, firstly the ‘Mid Century Bed’, below, named after the lovely metal structure the OH bought me for my big birthday.

The theme was supposed to be bruised, purply colours, but, as with the bulbs, there was a welcome ‘mistake’ to enjoy in the form of this Ranunculus, theoretically ‘Purple Heart’, but I rather think not.IMG_7715

I planted some roses for this new bed too, including R. Jubilee Celebration (no, not very bruised either!)IMG_7967

and Rosa ‘Falstaff Climbing’ to grow up the obelisk, but the plant that really stole the climbing show this year was the ‘Rhodochiton atrosanguineus‘.

IMG_8048

The second new bed has a bronze or orangey theme.

 

Many of the plants were grown from seed, including this Nasturtium ‘Caribbean Crush’ and the beautiful grass Hordeum Jubatum.IMG_8240IMG_7930

There was another new rose here too, R. Pat Austin.IMG_8906

And later in the year the ridiculously floriferous Dahlia ‘Happy Singe Date’.  This just went on and on and formed the basis of numerous peachy vases of flowers.

IMG_8451

IMG_8909IMG_8828

In June I opened the garden for the third time as part of a village group opening, in aid of the island’s Earl Mountbatten hospice.  I had over 150 visitors and some lovely comments.IMG_7889

Also in 2015 I was lucky enough to visit numerous gardens both on and off the island, including the Sir Harold Hillier garden in February (and again in August)IMG_0411

Arundel Castle in May,IMG_7089

Mottistone Manor in June,IMG_7677

Osborne House in (March and) August

IMG_8157

and Great Dixter IMG_9124

and Bodnant in October.2015-10-29 11.28.44 HDR

As well as my own garden and garden visiting, I dipped in and out of Cathy’s lovely ‘In  a vase on Monday’ meme, including sharing the saga of the wedding flowers 

as well as this group of vases created in October when the OH became captain of his golf club.IMG_9349

And, on the basis that it’s a very rare gardener that ever stops learning, I went on courses at Great Dixter, Common Farm Flowers and West Dean.  And then, to top it all, in September signed up for a Level 3 course in Plants and Planting Design at Capel Manor college, which I’m absolutely loving.  Which reminds me, I really need to get on with my holiday homework!

Wishing you and yours a fabulous, flowery 2016, and thank you so much for supporting Duver Diary with your views, likes and comments.

End of month view – October 2015

IMG_9486

For a moment last weekend I thought the 31st was on Friday, and, as I was headng away for a few days, thought I’d have to take my photos on Sunday.  How different they would have been!  In less than a week the garden has become so much more autumnal.  Not only my Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ colouring up in the centre of the photo, but the lawn almost completely obscured by fallen leaves from the over-the-road-oak.

By the Drive Bed, the Cherry’s leaves are now now nearly gone (and those of the Photinia in front were largely sacrificed for the Drive In vases)IMG_9487

In the Bronze Bed the Dahlia Happy Single Date is continuing to flower and the colouring sits well with the now very tawny Hordeum Jubatum.  At the back, the Melianthus Major is providing a rather incongruous, fresh looking contrast.

IMG_9484

Elsewhere the palette is rather less autumnal, with the Grass Beds still showing some colour with Cosmos, Salvia and Asters all clinging on.IMG_9477IMG_9478

In the Mid Century Bed the Salvia Dyson’s Scarlet and Rhodochiton atrosanguineus are the main survivors, with the feathery foliage of the Mimosa, Acacia baileyana pupurea in between the two.

IMG_9479

One definite disappointment in this bed has been the Daucus carota ‘Black Knight’.  Not only has this provided great umbels of white rather than the bruised purple I was expecting, but they’ve completely flopped everywhere too.IMG_9501

On close inspection, I have found some evidence of the colour I was expecting, but you’ll need your glasses…IMG_9503

Most of the roses are now finished, but the odd ones are clinging on, and here they’ve been join by the Nerine bowdenii, bulbs I thought I’d lost earlier in the month.IMG_9481

There are still plenty of pots everywhere, many containing tender plants.  As ever I’m playing Russian Roulette with the weather as I try to eke out the last tomatoes in the greenhouse before I pull them out and fill the space with pots.IMG_9491

The plant on the right below is Daphne x Pink Fragrance ‘Blapink’ my first ever Daphne, which I must move closer to the front door to enjoy it at closer quarters while it’s still flowering.IMG_9493

The Shady Bed, which hasn’t featured for a while, is looking much the same as always.  The Fatsia japonica at the back provides constant structure, and you can see the Hellebore leaves at the front providing promise of flowers in a few months’ time.  There are a few ferns here and some hostas, but I would like to add more.IMG_9488

The recent wet weather has kept the Diving Lady’s pool topped up, but she hasn’t got much to look at except a few straggling raspberries, beans and courgettes.

IMG_9495

I wonder if she saw who nibbled this?IMG_9497

With thanks as ever to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting our End of Month Views.

End of month view – September 2015

IMG_8799

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.

IMG_8798

IMG_8800

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?

IMG_8821

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.

IMG_8807

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.

IMG_8815

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?

IMG_8808

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.

IMG_8892

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

IMG_8829

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

End of month view – August 2015

IMG_8467

What a grey day!  I should have taken my photos yesterday when everything looked a lot more cheerful.  This looks like an end of October view.

As you can see, a lot of colour has already gone from the garden.  Whilst the Verbena bonariensis and Erysimum Bowles Mauve are doing their best in the Lavender bed in the foreground, in the main Swing Beds, you have to get closer to see much in the way of flowers.

There are Cosmos Double Click Cranberries (the same as in the Cutting Garden) together with Aster Frikartii Monch, Geraniums and Phlox.  I particularly like the Aster and have recently taken cuttings in a bid to fill out the bed with more next year.

IMG_8448

In the same bed, but looking the other way, you can see a few roses are blooming, but this year the sweet peas on the netting at the back have been a complete disaster.  I planted less densely than in the past thinking that giving them more space might back them flower better, but I think they struggled with lack of water early on, and just never got going.

After two disappointing years I think I might just plant some taller plants at the back of these beds rather than keep trying with the sweet peas, which only really worked well the once.IMG_8447

In the Grass Bed I pulled out the majority of the Verbascums as I really didn’t like their dead flower heads and instead planted some left over Zinnia Raspberry Cordial.  These are only just getting going, and not sure their habit matches at all well with the soft grasses, but I’m trying not to worry about that, instead I’m just thinking of yet more peachy flower arrangements!IMG_8449

In the Mid Century Bed, the Malope in particular has got a  little chaotic,  but there is still quite a lot of colour.

IMG_8444

Here the Rosa Munstead Wood with Salvia and CentaureaIMG_8445

In the other new bed, things are looking a bit of a mess because of the grasses.  Whilst I love the Hordeum jubatum, it has been rather flattened in the rain and is giving the bed a very unkempt look. Lucky the dahlias (D. Happy Single Date) are shining out from the chaos.

IMG_8451

Near to this bed are a couple of arrangements of succulents, which keep looking good whatever the weather.IMG_8452

IMG_8453

The veg patch has also suffered this year.  Whilst the courgettes and runner beans are still going strong, the french beans have given up the ghost and the sweet peas, which did well in this bed last year have been almost as poor as the ones in the Swing Beds.

At least all the recent rain has kept the Diving Lady’s pool topped up.IMG_8446

Thinking ahead, I’ve recently been busy taking cuttings and here are a few, hopefully busy rooting as I type.  Oh how I love to propagate!IMG_8462

And to finish, the THIRD agapanthus flower grown from seed.  Did I say how I love to propagate?IMG_8466

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

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – August 2015

IMG_8207

Many of my current blooms are annuals grown from seed this year and the one above, Malope trifida Vulcan, has been amazing.  To be honest it probably should have been staked, but I’m quite enjoying the chaos and colour it brings.

Also in the mid century bed is my new dark rose, Munstead Wood still going strong.IMG_8211

In the other new bed, the Bronze Bed, there are Poppies, Papaver nudicale Party Fun.IMG_8242IMG_8239

Nasturtium Caribbean CrushIMG_8245

seen here through a curtain of Hordeum Jubatum.IMG_8240

together with Achillea terracottaIMG_8244

and Scabious Fata Morgana, which as feared, isn’t quite as peachy as I’d hoped, but pretty nonetheless.IMG_8241

In pots I have plenty of pelargoniums including this lovely scented one Pink Capitatum.IMG_8235

And at my cutting garden, I have these magnificent Sunflowers growing from seeds kindly sent to me by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  We thought they were Ruby Eclipse, but they’re rather more yellow and enormous!  IMG_8249

As well as these giant sunflowers, I have also grown two smaller varieties, Helianthus cuc Italian WhiteIMG_8251

Helianthus Vanilla IceIMG_8250

Er, spot the difference?

As well, there are plenty of Cosmos Double Click Snow PuffIMG_8255IMG_8253

and Cosmos Double Click CranberriesIMG_8256

The Antirrhinum, A majus Orange Wonder which I was tempted to move back home, of course never got moved, and is having a second flush in the Cutting Garden.

IMG_8257

Another Cutting Garden stalwart is the Salvia horminum ‘Oxford Blue’

IMG_8258

This year I’ve gone a bit mad with Zinnias, planting Zinnia Benary’s Giant Lime, Zinnia Benary’s Giant Scarlet, Zinnia Benary’s Giant Wine, Zinnia Raspberry Cordial and Zinnia elegans Queen Red Lime.  Sadly the Queen Red Lime didn’t germinate  well and those that did ‘damped off’ but the rest are just starting to produce their fabulous bright blooms, on good strong stems, perfect for cutting.IMG_8259

with plenty more to come.IMG_8260

One group of flowers which really hasn’t fared well this year are my sweet peas.  They struggled with the dry weather early on, and have certainly suffered more from greenfly than any year I can remember – perhaps because they were stressed by the early drought.  But I still love them, roll on next year.IMG_8224

With many thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens  for hosting everyone’s GBBD.

End of Month View – July 2015

IMG_8042

Oh dear, two day’s late for EOMV, but on a positive note, a whole new perspective.

The photo above was taken from the roof of the building we call the ‘office’ (because that’s what the previous owners used it for).IMG_8041

Having now completed my two new beds I’m looking for a project, and my latest dream (partly inspired by sipping cocktails last weekend with my now 18 year old daughter on the rooftop Sky Lounge of the Amsterdam Hilton), is the idea of a roof terrace on top of the office.

The views over Bembridge Harbour are much better than elsewhere in the garden as the height allows you to see over the trees, and, even more excitingly, the roof gets the sun late in the evening which none of the rest of the garden does.

I’m not sure what I’d ever be able to plant up there as we’d have to build some sort of structure over the current roof as it doesn’t have any structural strength,  but I would love there to be some planting – may be some wafting grasses?  Oh, and a very comfy outdoor sofa.

I told you it was a dream…

Back to reality, and the garden is really parched. The Swing Beds should be filling up with annuals and dahlias, but both both seem quite slow to get going – the dahlias in particular are way behind the ones in pots and still very short, and I feel this must be due to lack of water.  And the sweet peas on the netting never really got going this year.IMG_8050

In the right hand Swing Bed there is a lovely clump of Aster Frikartii Monch looking good in front of the Phlomis.  The equivalent Aster in the left hand bed is looking rather sorry for itself.  I really love this plant and must remember to take some more cuttings.IMG_8051

The Grass Bed still has its magnificent grasses, but everything else is looking rather sad.  I’ve decided I’m going to pull out the Verbascum – Verbascum chaixxi album.  It just doesn’t flower for long enough (maybe again drought related) and the dead spires are in my opinion just rather ugly.  I remember the first year we had the garden I just put in Cosmos Purity in this bed in front of the Stipas and they were absolutely great.  I think next year I’m going to go back to that.IMG_8052

The troughs that run along the the front of the raised decking are starting to fill out with annuals – Cosmos, Salvias and Ten Weeks Stocks.  Unfortunately they’re rather bullied by the unwanted (but don’t tell the OH as he planted it) vine, growing along the railings and are all falling forward. However, I quite like the ensuing chaos, and so haven’t rushed in the stake them.IMG_8049

As for the new beds, the Mid Century Bed is going from strength to strength – probably because I’ve been much better with the watering.  The centaurea are turning into huge clumps and there’s definitely some staking required of these.  Likewise the gladdies, have suffered in the high winds and many are now at angles that it would be generous to describe as ‘jaunty.’

IMG_8048

IMG_8047

In the new Bronze Bed, the Achillea are continuing to fill out and some of the Nasturtiums have really taken off.

IMG_8061

The three dahlias planted here are yet to flower, but the Hordeum Jubatum grasses are still going strong and they’re fabulous.  (Maybe they’re a contender for the dream roof garden!).

One other plant grown from seed this year which has been threatening to flower for weeks has finally started This is Scabious Fata Morgana which I chose because of its apricot tone.  I have to say these look rather yellow to me, but I’ll have to see whether they change colour with age.  They’re certainly a lovely flower shape and on good long strong stems.

IMG_8060

And to finish, my poor neglected veg patch.  I’ve been away both last weekend and this one, as well as working in London Tuesday to Thursday both weeks, so sadly everything has got a little out of hand and the veg patch is probably the worst example.

Not only has it not seen any water, but nor has there been any picking going on.  Whether my French Beans ever start cropping again remains to be seen, but in the meantime I’ve had two lovely mini breaks!IMG_8043

With thanks as ever to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting everyone’s EOMVs.

New beds focus

IMG_7930

Today I thought I’d focus in a bit more detail on the new beds created this year.  I took the view that I didn’t want to spend a fortune on plants (although the roses were clearly an exception!) so I grew a lot of plants from seed.  As a consequence, it has taken a little while for the bed to get going, but you can see from the picture below at the end of March, what can happen in just over a couple of months.

Sadly the whole bed has got rather droughted (especially the hamamelis, H. Aphrodite, which now has very crispy leaves) but I think a couple of good drenchings have saved the position, and things are looking perkier.

The initial planting in the photo above left shows the Calendula ‘Sunset Buff‘ grown from seed last year and the small Libertia peregrinans,  I added some more C Sunset Buff grown this year, but all have suffered with the drought and become rather mildewy.   The photo below shows them at their peak a few weeks ago –  I do like this soft apricot colour.IMG_7711

As well as the calendula, I planted seedlings of Eschscholzia “Cameo Dream”, but these too have struggled with lack of water.  I’ve definitely lost a few and have yet to see any flower, which is a shame, as it’s a lovely, jolly flower I remember fondly from my childhood home, so I’d like to try to establish it here.

More successful has been the Nasturtium Caribbean Crush.  These echo the colour of the Calendula, but are shorter and so have been planted nearer the edges of the bed.IMG_7931

In the photo above you can also see one of the two Rosa Pat Austin I bought for the bed.  I had this as my Wordless Wednesday on June 10th, but that one was actually in Louise’s garden at the Old Rectory.  I guess mine have been a little later to flower as they have been newly planted this year.

IMG_7932

Another plant I bought in was the Achillea Terracotta.  I’ve admired this for a while so it’s been lovely to have a bed where it looks at home.  I’m hoping as the calendula (and maybe nasturtiums) give up, these will keep on flowering.

And lastly in this bed, another plant grown from seed (actually last year, and then never planted out!) the beautiful Hordeum Jubatum.  I do wonder whether it’s a bit odd combining grasses with roses, but I love both.  The grass provides such lovely movement and looks particularly special later in the day.

The photo below shows the view from ‘my’ seat at our out door table.  I’ve struggled a bit with the photo as the new bed looks rather bleached, while the oak bed and the over-the-road-Oak are virtually black.  Whilst it’s not exactly like that in real life, the oak bed certainly recedes into the shadows at this time of year and so doesn’t provide a very entertaining view from the table at exactly the time of year when you might be thinking of eating outside.

Later in the season I have some (sale bargain) dahlias to add, some kniphofia and geum and also Scabiosa atropurpurea Fata Morgana.  The Scabious were from Chilterns and have dainty scabious shaped apricot flowers which I’m excited to see!

Hopefully the bed will continue to evolve and improve over time as I edit the plants and decide what works best.IMG_7933

The other new bed, has also come on dramatically since March:

One of the early highlights, together with the transplanted Cerinthe, was the ‘mistake’ ranunculus, supposed to be dark, but actually bright pink.  They are just about over now, but have been flowering continuously for over two months.

IMG_7599

Seedlings planted here and already flowering  include Stocks ‘Ruby Punch’Malope trifida Vulcan, Moluccella Bells of Ireland,  Dianthus baratus Nigrescens and this lovely poppy, Papaver somniferum ‘Lauren’s Grape’.

IMG_7923

In this bed I’ve planted three different roses, two Rose Munstead Wood, I’m delighted with:IMG_7924

and two Jubilee Celebration I like, but really think are too pale here.  I think I need to ponder on this (and also have somewhere else to put them if I decide they have to move.

The third rose is Falstaff Climbing, which was bought to climb the ‘obelisk’ birthday gift.

IMG_7926The rose has not even flowered yet, and will clearly take some time to make a real impression, so in the interim I bought a Rhodochiton atrosanguineus which is just romping up the support.

As with the Bronze Bed, there are hopefully more delights to come – again some dahlias, and further seedlings yet to flower including Daucus Carota Black Knight.

Whilst I can’t pretend creating these new beds has been cheap, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed trying to minimise the expense by planning and growing a significant amount from seed.  And, as with much gardening, not everything has gone to plan, but we wouldn’t want it all to be too easy now would we?