Tag Archives: Ipomoea lobata

End of Month View – June 2019


It was such a sunny day today the ‘St Swithun’ roses on the pergola look almost bleached to white, but the roses all over the garden are fantastic.  I did water and feed them earlier in the month, ahead of the opening on the 9th, and of course we did have rain in early June, so I think that really helped.IMG_4917

It’s funny to think had we not moved the date of the garden opening from coinciding with the St Helens fayre (as it has done for over a decade) today would have been the day.  Instead, it was all over, and today was spent gently pottering instead.  Lovely!

Having struggled to keep plants growing in these metal troughs in the past, I took the decision this year to plant them with Pelargoniums as they’re happy in the heat and more drought tolerant.  You can see that the whole ‘right plant, right place’ has worked a treat and I don’t feel I’m fighting to keep them alive as I have in the past.  I bought I think three of these ‘Choun Chou’ Pelargoniums a couple of years ago, and these are all cuttings from those original plants.  (The very leggy plants at the back are white Stocks.  I really love their scent so am a loathe to dig them out, but they do look rather a mess and certainly don’t complement the dark red.  Hmmm)



The Swing Beds are pretty full with roses, and plenty of herbaceous Salvias, Verbena, Lupins, Diascia but, in addition to the small Eucalyptus I planted earlier in the year, I recently planted a new Anisodontea ‘El Royo’ in each bed to provide some larger more permanent structure.  You can’t see the Anisodontea above, but I’m working hard to keep them watered through this dry, hot weather in the hope they’ll be something to see soon!IMG_4910

Round to the Grass Bed and you’ll see I finally replaced the Stipa Tenuissima which line the back.  They’re a bit mismatched in size as some were grown from seed by me, some survived and some were bought in.  In the bed in front, I recently planted out both Cosmos and Zinnia seedlings.  The rest of the bed is covered with self sown seedlings of Forget me nots, Nasturtiums and a grass I’ve forgotten the name of.  Hopefully once the Cosmos and Zinnias get going they push the rest out of the way!


I managed to miss taking a photo of the Mid Century bed, so we’ll move on to the Lavender Beds and this shot, looking over the Coleonoma to the greenhouse.  If you look closely to the far left hand side you’ll see Kiri – now more than six months old and almost as big as Nimbus.


Up the lavender stepsIMG_4918

takes us back towards the house.IMG_4924

The picture above shows the ‘Flower Carpet roses’ which sadly weren’t open on the Secret Gardens day, but are certainly making up for it now.


In the Bronze Bed the ‘Pat Austin’ roses are having a bit of a rest,but the Achillea ‘Terracotta’ and Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ are romping away.  The ‘Happy Single Date’ dahlias are the dark leaf to the right of the photo.


Looking towards the oak table you can see we’ve still left up the decorations from the opening.  Here’s looking outwards, with a second flush of Wisteria.


In the corner where we have had morning glory in the past, this year I’ve planted Eccremocarpus scaber, the Chilean Glory flower.  I have to confess I’ve failed to grow this from seed in the past, so this year I bought seedlings.  IMG_4890


The way back round takes up past the old tub, which I’m really chuffed with this yearIMG_4923

and some morning glory, Ipomoea lobata, in pots.IMG_4919

Inside the greenhouse I have more morning glory, as well as the usual peppers, aubergines and tomatoes.IMG_4897


And outside, well, er, rather a lot of seedling and cuttings….IMG_4896

On the decking there are the usual pots with Surcouf Pelargoniums and Clematis ‘Princess Diana’IMG_4902

There is also the beginning of our own little citrus grove!IMG_4901

Terrible picture of the Veg patch (which needs renaming as it’s more about flowers these days)IMG_4903

and the Agapanthus coming (and squeezing out the strawberries) below.IMG_4904

And to finish – oh looky, looky.  The OH went mad while I was in London, and we are now the proud owners of two loungers for the very first time.  Can you believe, very shortly after this photo was taken, I managed to sit down on one. There might even have been a snooze in the sunshine.

A miracle indeed!



Wonderful Woolbeding


Another off island adventure and so another excuse for a garden visit, this time to the National Trust Woolbeding Gardens near Midhurst in West Sussex.


I knew we’d be coming down the A3 and would therefore be close by, but I also remembered the garden had limited opening times.  Amazingly, it turned out the day we were passing (last Friday) happened to be the last open day of the year!  The garden is now closed until next spring, when it will reopen, as before, on Thursdays and Fridays only.

As you arrive you’re welcomed by this wonderful formal water garden, designed by the Bannermans (of whom more later), which sets the scene for what is clearly going to be quite some garden.


The Woolbeding Estate of over 1,000 acres was given to the National Trust by the Lascelles family in 1957, with 26 acres devoted to the gardens.  The house, below, is still in private ownership, and not open, but there are a whole range of similarly beautiful stone outbuildings and walls which help make the garden so special.img_1672

In 1972 Woolbeding was leased to Simon Sainsbury, and subsequently his partner Stewart Grimshaw, who developed it into the wonderful garden it is today.  Initially they focussed on the area closest to the house and, with the help of American garden designer Lanning Roper, they remodelled with ‘clear structure, elegance and restraint’, creating a series of garden rooms.

Looking west from the house are two herbaceous borders, still exhibiting plenty of colour in cool blues and purples.img_1674img_1675img_1677

Through the immaculate hedging to the hotter, more exotic feeling greenhouse gardenimg_1678img_1679



And into the greenhouse, where they still had a voracious Ipom0ea flowering.img_1683


Crossing back across the herbaceous borders and into the herb garden, with immaculate trained apples.img_1688img_1689img_1690

Through to the orangery with views of a beautiful pool.



There are stunning pots throughout the garden, including this one, with Anisodontea and matching Salvia, see below.img_1698

On to the veg area, which was huge, and, in keeping with the rest of the garden, immaculate.img_1700

I had to admire these Tromboncino (which I’d heard Charlotte Mendelson discussing in her hilarious interview with Jenny Murray on Thursday’s Women’s Hour.  I’m definitely going to read her new book ‘Rhapsody in Green‘)


On to the well garden, where I admired this fabulous combination.img_1691


Away from the garden rooms the William Pye sculpture dominates.  I rather like it but the OH definitely didn’t.img_1673

Walking round the church and south takes you past this magnificent Cedarimg_1715img_1725

and the charming Tulip Folly.  The folly has been built on the site of a 100ft tulip tree.  It was felled by the great storm of October 1987 and apparently only missed the house by a couple of feet.img_1714

A further stroll takes you to the rather separate ‘Pleasure Gardens’ which were created later with the help of Julian and Isabel Bannerman.  (Coincidentally there was an interesting article in the Telegraph on the Bannermans this Saturday).

Here there is a ruined chapel, a rustic hermit’s hut,img_1718

wonderful bordered path leading toimg_1719

a glowing yellow bridge.img_1724

Back towards the exit you can’t help but admire all the wonderful structures – this gorgeous curved wall by the churchimg_1712

living buttresses,


lovely stone buildings and attractive, classy furniture.img_1732

This really was a stunning garden.  So much structure which lent a real sense of discovery.  The formal garden isn’t that huge but as each area is so different it feels more substantial.

This has definitely moved straight into my top 5 gardens and I can’t wait to return in the spring.  Thanks National Trust and Woolbeding.  I’ll be back.


Oh and PS can someone tell me what this is please?  It was a good 6ft tall.img_1680


Blown away (again) on the Sussex Prairie


Back in July I visited Sussex Prairie Garden in West Sussex for the first time and was blown away by the scale and vision of a garden only five years old.

In mid September I visited again, but stupidly left my camera at home and so only had my phone to capture my visit.  It has taken some time for me to pluck up courage to download the photos, as I was concerned that they really wouldn’t to justice to such wonderful views and combinations.  However, I’m delighted to say that while the photos may not be great, the planting was so stunning I feel the overall effect has been captured, so I’ve finally got round to sharing them.


As before, the planting is on a massive scale but what’s so impressive is how, despite almost all plants which were flowering in July having now ceased, there are plenty of new flowers to admire – particularly classic prairie plants like rudbeckia, echinacea and of course grasses. Although the grasses were in evidence at my first visit, this time they were so much taller and bolder.




As well as the muted grasses, there was still a lot of colour from helianthusIMG_0276

rudbeckia and golden rod.IMG_0270as well as kniphofiaIMG_0268

and the biggest planting of Ipomoea lobata I’ve ever seen.IMG_0250

I think my favourite plant was this Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Glow’ – such a stunning autumnal colour, and gorgeous with the Stipa.

IMG_0260I also loved this shrub which I think is Phytolacca americana or American Pokeweed.  It was a sizeable plant – taller than me!IMG_0264

And, as well as the fabulous planting, like last time, there were some charming sculptures placed around the garden to admire.  I was particularly taken with this charmer, to finish off my post (geddit?)IMG_0279