Tag Archives: Malope

End of month view – September 2015

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

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

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – September 2015

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So it’s September, which has to be Aster time – see Aster Frikartii Monch above.  This is my definite favourite and I’m hoping next year my recent cuttings will be filling out the Swing Beds and forming a late purple haze together with the similar coloured Verbena bonariensis.

Another genus looking good now is Salvia.  I’m not 100% sure about all these names, but I think I have Salvia Dyson’s Crimson,IMG_8526

Salvia x jamensis ‘Stormy Sunrise’IMG_8515

Salvia microphylla ‘Cerro Potosi’IMG_8510

and Salvia East Friesland

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There are plenty of pelagoniums still going strong, the first two unnamed, IMG_8507IMG_8503

and then P. SurcoufIMG_8504

and this dainty scented pelargonium, P Pink Capitatum.  The flowers are much smaller than the ones above, but I love the markings and the bright green, scented foliage.IMG_8502

And many of the roses are back for a second appearance – Rosa Flower Carpet, with a huge number of budsIMG_8492

Rosa KorizontIMG_8513

This one a gift from my friend Louise at the beautiful Old Rectory Garden – Rosa Jacques Cartier.IMG_8511

This is St Swithun, growing up the front of the swing pergolaIMG_8514

and Rosa Munstead Wood, new this year in the Mid Century bed,IMG_8525

and now joined by the similarly coloured dahlia, D. Downham Royal.IMG_8524

Other dahlias include D. Happy Single Date, in the Bronze Bed,IMG_8538

and D. Fifteen love (bought from Waitrose of all places, and still in its pot while I decide whether I should squeeze it into the Bronze Bed with the one above)IMG_8500

And to finsh, a couple of annuals still looking good – magnificent Molucella

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and still very fresh to look at (although now rather collapsed in habit!) Malope.IMG_8530

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 has has blooming now?

End of month view – June 2014

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Well, what a balmy June.  However, partly as a consequence of this balminess, I feel like the garden has got away from me this month.  There has been too much indulging in garden visiting (there have been others, watch this space…) and just not enough proper graft.  One thing I have spent a significant amount of time doing is watering – especially all my pots.

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Whilst others around the country have had some significant downpours, we’ve had nothing but the odd shower and as a consequence I’m developing arms like Popeye from carrying endless watering cans around.  Whilst we’re lucky enough to have a well (and associated complicated pump and holding tanks) the water pressure isn’t high enough to use a hose, hence the endless cans – and impressive muscles!

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So, having made my excuses, here we go.  The first picture is the grass bed.  I still love the Stipa tenuissima, but the rest of the bed is looking rather a mess.  The hope was that the dark nasturtium (Nasturtium Black Velvet) would pick up on the dark orange of the buds of the fox and cubs, but the latter seem to be going over, and rather than orange I have numerous tiny dandelion type seed heads, which don’t go with anything.

On a more positive note, behind the fox and cubs, but in front of the grasses, I’ve planted a whole row of the Verbascum chaixii album which I grew from seed last year.  These are just starting to flower so hopefully by next month I will have pulled out the spent fox and cubs and have some towering verbascums to admire.

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This is the left hand swing bed, which is looking a bit exhausted.  I haven’t pulled up the foxgloves yet in the hope that they’ll self seed, but the combination of them, the brown Nectoscordum heads and my very poorly Euphorbia wulfenii is not good.  However, hopefully some concerted effort in pulling all the above out, cutting back the geraniums (out of shot at the front of the picture), and giving some space, food, time and water to various annuals I’ve planted out recently (Cosmos Rubenza, Malope, Cleomes) as well as the existing Astrantia, Roses and Penstemons, will pull things back from the brink.

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The ‘Med Beds’ (ie Mediterranean) either side of the greenhouse door are looking rather better.  The Geranium and Potentilla are flowering well, the Eryngium are preparing themselves and I’ve planted out many of the Agapanthus I grew from seed.  I don’t suppose they’ll flower this year, but fingers crossed for next.  I’m also pleased with the Euphorbia mysinites (at the front), which I also grew from seed and must now be about four years old.

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This is the left hand Lavender Bed, the ones described as ‘bonkers’ in last month’s End of month view.   (Both lavender beds are shown in the foreground of the top photo).

Here you can see the old Allium Purple Sensation dead heads in amongst the lavender.  The colour of the lavender is picked up by the Veronicastrum behind, with a yellow flowering Euphorbia for contrast (and the ubiquitous Verbena bonariensis)

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The shady bed is continuing to look lush, despite the hot weather, and the inherited rose is flowering well

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and the hostas were also looking great, right up until the scaffolders came and planted their scaffold and ladder on them.

IMG_3666A new addition this month is my raised cutting beds which were made out of some repurposed greenhouse staging.  I’m a bit concerned as to how shallow they are, but whenever I pull up annuals at the end of the season the roots never go very deep so I hope with food and water they’ll do ok.  I’ve already cut some Amaranthus viridis, Molucella laevis as well as the Marigold, Calendula Sunset Buff, but the vast majority are still to come.

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Meanwhile, in the veg bed, the Diving Lady’s pool runneth over (and is being invaded by courgette leaves), but at least she now has plenty to look at:

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As well as three different sort of courgettes (yes, I know, too many altogether), I’ve planted French Beans (Cobra), Runner Beans (Painted Lady and Polestar), Chard Bright Lights, Cavalo Nero, Mange Tout, Sugar Snap peas and Pumpkin Munchkin.

IMG_3671I’ve finally planted out the greenhouse bed with tomatoes, cucumbers and, for the first time, Cucamelons.

IMG_3670And on the staging, second waves of beans and peas (which need to go out), various seedlings (the ones in the foreground are Abutilons) and cuttings, as well as in the grow bags some (rather diminutive) peppers and aubergines.

IMG_3643The wisteria is kindly providing a second flush, and the Oak Bed, which I always find disappointing, is actually looking rather calm in the heat of June.

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And to finish, the most exciting development.  After some weeks’ persuasion, the OH has finally agreed that we can lose some lawn to make another bed (see hose line below) as long as ‘he doesn’t have to dig it’.  Wish me luck!

With many thanks, as ever, to Helen at the Patient Gardener,  for hosting everyone’s End of Month views.

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The good, the bad and the companionable

IMG_2238(This picture has nothing to do with the post, I just took it today and wanted to share!)

In April’s End of Month View, I said “At the moment the seedlings would easily fill a plot ten times this size, so some difficult decisions will need to be made (or I need to find more space somewhere…)“.

Amazingly, the ‘good’ is that a some extra space has been lent to me by my lovely neighbours, J&A.  The area is 3.4m x 2.5m and the soil is wonderfully weed free, just a little stony.

Sunday was planting day, and I strolled up the road with my wheelbarrow full of the first wave of planting:

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Some time (and a couple of rain showers) later, my little plot was full up with Helianthus ‘Claret’, Helianthus ‘Valentine’ (just one, the slugs got the rest), Cleome ‘Violet Queen’, Amaranthus Viridis, Cosmos ‘Dazzler’, Cosmos ‘Psyche White’, Ammi visnaga, Antirrhinum ‘White Giant’, Antirrhinum ‘Liberty Classic Crimson’, Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ and Malope.

Not much to see – and I have to say some of the plants were looking a little shocked by the move, but hopefully they’ll settle in quickly.  I’m a bit concerned I’ve planted them too close together, but I expect you’ll understand when you read about the ‘bad’.

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So I’m afraid the ‘bad’ is very closely related.  Here’s the wheelbarrow I wheeled home.  Not exactly devoid of seedlings and I haven’t even mentioned the Molucella, Bupleurum, Nicotiana, Tithonia, Cerinthe, Calendula….  Where are they all going to go?

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But to finish, ‘the companionable’.  The plot is right next to J&A’s chicken run and the girls (and boy) did a lovely job of keeping me company with their clucking and cooing.  Shame this one seems to be suffering from an identity crisis.

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