Tag Archives: Libertia

National Gardens Scheme – don’t you just love it?

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The National Gardens Scheme, founded in 1927, now gives in the region of £2.5m to nursing and caring charities every year and has an incredible choice of 3,800 gardens to visit.  This weekend was their festival weekend, and although other commitments meant I wasn’t garden visiting this weekend, I thought I’d share photos three NGS visits I’ve made in the past week.

The first, above, was Mill Farm, in Bembridge, across Bembridge Harbour from where we live.  It’s a large garden which wraps around the property and its informal, cottagey planting blends beautifully with the stone walls.IMG_7633

The beds are generously filled and have a glorious abundance which contrasts with immaculately kept edges. IMG_7628

I’ve only visited Mill Farm once before, but one thing I’d remembered was an incredible array of aquilegias, and they certainly didn’t disappoint this year either.

And why Mill Farm?  Well, they get to see this from their garden. IMG_7641

From Mill Farm I returned to Nick Peirce’s garden, also in Bembridge but very different.  I wrote about it last year in some detail here, so this is only a glimpse.

Nick works full time but also breeds day lilies (see his website here).  Obviously it’s early for Hemerocallis, and whilst there were many waiting in the wings,

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there was this stunner already in bloom.IMG_7622

Nick’s garden is long and thin and has a wonderful jungly feel, created with, amongst other things, numerous grasses.  I’ve been growing Carex from seed for my new Bronze Bed which I hope are as striking as these:

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I’ve also got Libertia in the Bronze Bed but they’re rather weedy compared to these magnificent specimens.IMG_7624

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Oh and I still LOVE his Buddleia  colvilei ‘kewensis’.IMG_7623

And the third one?  An evening opening at the private garden for the Brothers of Charterhouse in central London.  I persuaded a couple of work colleagues to join me and we had a very jolly time.  Perhaps the free glass of wine had something to do with that!2015-06-02 18.40.24

The site was acquired in the middle of the fourteenth century as a burial ground for the victims of the Black Death but as not all the space was used, a Carthusian Monastery was also established.

Do you think the burial ground explains these rather chilling stone carvings?2015-06-02 19.01.55

Under Henry VIII’s reign the monastery was suppressed and passed to the Crown, and then subsequently to Lord North, who constructed a Tudor mansion.2015-06-02 19.06.29

In 1611 the mansion was sold to Thomas Sutton, who used much of his wealth to endow a charitable foundation to educate boys and care for elderly men, known as ‘Brothers.’   Charterhouse School was moved to Goldalming in 1872, but the brothers remain, and get to enjoy this glorious oasis, tucked between Barts Hospital and the rather brutalist Barbican.2015-06-02 18.45.54

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So three very different and inspiring gardens in the space of three days, for a total of £11.  What a fabulous organisation.

Thanks NGS.

End of month view – April 2015

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This has been such a glorious April and I have so enjoyed all my bulbs in the spring sunshine. Above, in the Grass Bed, are Tulip ‘Spring Green’ together with two different Narcissi.  I had originally planted ‘Sinopel’, which is supposed to have a rather green eye, but I’d noticed last year they weren’t repeating well, so I topped them up with ‘Lieke’ which look quite similar. Here they are close up in the copper pot by the steps:IMG_7003

The tulips in the Swing Beds have been a revelation.  I have never planted so many tulips directly in the ground, fearing marauders. Last year I planted a lot in pots, with the idea I would move them in and out of gaps in the bed, but it was all too much like hard work and I also wasn’t so keen on the tulips I’d selected anyway.  This year I took my chances, planted them in the ground and (unlike the dratted crocuses) all have been left well alone.  Hurrah!

When I posted my Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post on the 15th, I included a picture of the tulips below and said I thought they were Tulip ‘Mistress’ as they were my ‘Earlies’.  However, I wasn’t convinced, and so yesterday asked the very helpful and knowledgeable Karen at Peter Nyssen  (where I’d bought the bulbs from), and she set me straight.  These ones are actually the ‘mids’ ‘Pink Impression.’

Although they were glorious, they didn’t last long as sadly the very windy weather mid month blew their large, blowsy blooms to bits.IMG_6977

However, in a fit of mad extravagance, I had planted two further tulips – ‘Mistress’ and ‘Menton.’   And although ‘Mistress’ was supposed to flower in April, and ‘Menton’ in May, they’re actually working better together than I think either would have with the ‘Pink Impressions’ and I’m just loving their sugared almond girliness. IMG_7022

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Furthermore, my new Peter Nyssen contact has assured me that both the ‘Pink Impressions’ and the ‘Mentons’ are reliably perennial (up to 5 years or so) as long as you plant them deeply enough, and dead head and feed with a high potash feed as soon as they’ve finished flowering.

I do hope this is the case as it wasn’t a trivial outlay and it would be great if I only had to replace the ‘Mistresses.’ (I’m sure there’s a joke there somewhere…)

The two new beds and the Shady Bed were shown in Sunday’s Resolve and Realise post but I will add a close up of the Bronze Bed not shown previously, showing the Tulip ‘Prinses Irene’ (bought in pots which I assume is why they’re so short), the Libertia and one of the new buds on the Calendula ‘Sunset Buff’.

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The hostas are just starting to emerge in the (aptly named) Hosta Bed.  You can see the OH has been out with the blue pellets while my back was turned.  Sigh.IMG_7029

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The Drive Bed isn’t looking too exciting at the moment, with few daffodils and some rather leggy Erysimum Ivory Giant, but if you look closely, as a result of more extravagance with Peter Nyssen, there are dozens of Allium buds just waiting for their moment.  If I’m lucky, it will coincide with the Snow Goose rose flowering above.  We’ll see!IMG_7006

And to finish, my rather paltry showing of Fritillaria Meliagris, but I do love them.

I honestly believe there are more than last year, and on that basis I think I’ll continue my quest for lawn domination.  Hey, for less than £25 I can buy another 200 bulbs.  That’s got to make sense. Or is it just me?IMG_7000

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

Mottistone Mother’s Day

2013 05 and prior 055Sunday saw me on a Mother’s Day trip to the National Trust’s Mottistone Manor, towards the eastern end of the Isle of Wight.  The garden is quite small by NT standards, and probably best known for its herbaceous borders much later in the year, but at this time of year there was still plenty to see, not least the stunning naturalised daffodils above and below.

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As well as the bulbs, there were a number of new plants on me – the Fritillaria imperialis (which I know and don’t particulalry like), looked stunning against the Libertia peregrinans ‘Gold Leaf’ which I didn’t.  It was used elsewhere in the garden, and I looked for one for sale but although there were some described as ‘nursery stock’ there were none actually for sale – maybe worth a return visit!

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New growth was, on occasion, almost extra terrestrial – see the Rheum palmatum ‘Atrosanguineum‘ just breaking through the soil’s surface below.  Amazing to think that by the summer it could be two metres high.

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I also liked the new growth of the Restio Elegia capensis, another new one on me, which is also likely to be around two metres later in the year.  (Entertaining to see the creeping buttercup to the right of the photo, now that is one I do know…)

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The herbaceous border was still (understandably) looking quite bare, but I love the repetition of the Eryngium spires (I think it’s mutabile) with the Euphorbia behind.

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And lastly, not a plant at all, but who can resist an early butterfly?  See below the Polygonia c-album, according to the Butterfly Conservation website a good news story:

“The Comma is a fascinating butterfly. The scalloped edges and cryptic colouring of the wings conceal hibernating adults amongst dead leaves, while the larvae, flecked with brown and white markings, bear close resemblance to bird droppings.

The species has a flexible life cycle, which allows it to capitalize on favourable weather conditions. However, the most remarkable feature of the Comma has been its severe decline in the twentieth century and subsequent comeback. It is now widespread in southern Britain and its range is expanding northwards.”

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