Tag Archives: Rhodochiton atrosanguineus

End of month view – June 2016

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What with my Northumberland jaunt, last weekend’s party and working in London every week, I’ve calculated that I’ve spent only ten whole days chez Duver Diary during June (and four of those working) and, whilst certain wonderful things carry on despite my neglect (roses, lavender, self seeded this and that) I do have a definite sense of the garden getting away from me.  If you look closely in the photo below, for example, you’ll see convolvulus growing up rosebay willow herb, surrounded by a fringe of couch grass.  So please don’t!

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Taking a circuit round the garden from this point takes us first to the troughs.  These still have the very leggy Matthiola incana that I can’t bring myself to bin, but these have now been joined by seedlings of the (slightly shorter than ‘Purity’) white Cosmos, Cosmos ‘Sonata White’  and Salvia horminum ‘Oxford Blue.’  I’m hoping it’s going to fill out into a wall of blue and white, but it’s very early days and I do think this trough, being south facing and metal, does suffer if the weather’s warm (some chance!).  And no, I didn’t line the front panel with polysterene as you’re apparently supposed to. IMG_1105

On to the veg patch and the most obvious ‘crop’ below is the Sweet Peas, definitely not edible!  Otherwise, from front to back, I have (under fleece) Purple Sprouting Broccoli ‘Early Purple Sprouting’,  and Cavolo nero ‘Black Magic’, and then Chard ‘Pink Flamingo’, Mange tout ‘Shiraz’, Dwarf French bean ‘Safari’ and Runner Bean ‘Lady Di’.  And running along the front edge (right of photo) Courgettes ‘El Greco’ and ‘Gold Rush’.  I think these are all new varieties to me except ‘Lady Di’ and ‘Goldrush’ so it will be interesting to see how they all do – and how they all taste.

On the left, out of site, in the highest raised bed, I planted Squash ‘Sweet Dumpling’.  This bed isn’t easy, as whatever’s there has to compete with the bay trees which were there first and obviously suck out lots of water.  I thought planting upturned bottles together with each plant and watering directly to the roots should solve this problem.  I was a little worried that I only had one plastic bottle kicking about and so was going to have to go on a San Pelligrino binge, but no!  Slugs ate all but one plant, so turns out my single bottle will be sufficient…

Meanwhile, if anyone has any bright ideas as to what veg would be happy in a very dry, south facing raised bed, please let me know, because there’s plenty of space now!IMG_1106

In front of the main veg patch is a smaller bed holding strawberries and rhubarb.  I planted out some Agapanthus I’d grown from seed along the back wall last year as I thought they’d enjoy a good cook against the south facing wall.  And look – over a dozen flower heads.  So exciting!

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The Swing Beds definitely need a sort out.  Since their creation in 2011 it’s taken some time for them to fill up, but now, all of a sudden, I feel they’ve got rather unbalanced, with certain thugs taking over at the expenses of other things.  I definitely have too much of the pink geranium along the front, so I need to thin that out.  And then I also have a number of annuals I’ve grown from seed which need to be slotted in.

I live in hope that this weekend might provide time for a BIG SORT OUT, but we’ll see…IMG_1131

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The grass bed has been completely dug over and emptied (apart from the Stipa) and has also been planted with annuals.  I’ve taken inspiration for the first year we were here, when I simply planted Cosmos in this bed.  This year I’ve included Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Fizzy White’ but have added Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’ to the mix.  I’m hoping for a white/green froth to echo the cow parsley in the field opposite.  We’ll see.

And in the interim, I’ve planted a few marigolds I had kicking around along the front edge.IMG_1111

I have been quite busy planting up pots post the big bulb throw out, but the one below is a new one, one of a matching pair given as a gift from my sister.  The concrete post is by the old (empty) chicken shed and the metal chicken normally sits on it but, as she’s not attached, she spends most of her time blown onto the ground.  I think she looks rather more settled amongst the pelargoniums and ipomaea!IMG_1110

In the Mid Century bed the Rosa ‘Falstaff’ is getting established on the obelisk, but you might remember I had good success with Rhodochiton atrosanguineus here last year, and I have now also planted some seedlings to see if they’ll cohabit with the rose.IMG_1112

There are a couple of pleasing combinations here – Dahlia ‘La Recoleta’ together with Dianthus ‘Sooty’

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and Digitalis ‘Mertonensis’ with (rather flopped) Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration.’   (I do wish ‘Mertonensis’ was taller – I’d have it everywhere)IMG_1114

On the other side of the garden the Oak Bed has now developed into a wall of shrubbery – the Cercis in particular has really filled out this year.IMG_1128

Closer to the house the Bronze Bed, new last year, is also exhibiting a rather floppy rose – Rosa ‘Pat Austin’.  I’m sure she wasn’t this tall last year and I pruned her pretty hard.

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She may be a rather ungainly girl, but she’s certainly pretty.IMG_1127

In the greenhouse I’ve finally planted out my tomatoes, cucumbers and aubergines, but I couldn’t bear to pull out the Sweet Peas as they’re still flowering really well, so the toms have been relegated to each end of the bed.  IMG_1123

There are still a few seedlings kicking around inside the greenhouse – see below a third wave of Sweet Peas – but that is nothing

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….compared to all this lot outside!  Roll on the weekend….IMG_1120

With many thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting our End of Month views.

End of month view – February 2016

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Welcome to a sunny End of Month View!  Last month’s EoMV, I note was sunny too, but frankly there’s been precious little in between.  The lawn is still soggy, and although it has been cut once during the month, it’s only marginally less field like.

The Swing Beds are much the same as last month just with some more bulb foliage, as well as plenty of Sisyrinchium striatum leaves.  Long standing readers may remember these beds got rather overwhelmed with Sisyrinchium, so I dug them out, only to go on a visit to Mottistone Manor last summer and really admire them there, so I moved a whole lot back.  Fickle?  Moi?

The Grass Bed is also similar to last month, but here, as well as bulb foliage, there are plenty of forget me nots, some of which are just starting to flower.IMG_0005

There’s nothing in the Veg Bed for the Diving Lady to admire currently, but she does have a new pool.  Last year’s rather purple Iris reticulata ‘Blue Note’ has been replaced with Iris histrioides ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley.’

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In the shady bed the Hellebores are still the highlightIMG_0025

particularly this lovely dark one.

Just behind it is a Sarcococca confusa which has finally got big enough for the scent to be apparent without having to scrabble around sniffing at kneecap height!IMG_0026

At the other side of the garden, this Hamamelis, H. ‘Arnold’s Promise,’ is finally (after about six years) starting to make a statement,IMG_0013

whilst in the Bronze Bed, H. Aphrodite is a little less shy than she was a couple of weeks ago.

The idea was that the colour of the Hamamelis blooms would be picked up by the trumpet of the Narcissus ‘Cragford’.  Well sort of!IMG_0012

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Along the boundary with next door, is this inherited grass, absolutely glowing in the low light.  It’s really time for a cut back, but I’ll for a while longer.  Any clues what it is?  I’m thinking maybe Miscanthus?

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There are plenty of pots around including this new one planted up by the front door.  For once I’ve got the Crocuses past the mice.IMG_0036

And meanwhile in the greenhouse, I’ve finally planted out my ‘Owl’s Acre’ supposedly early flowering ‘Winter Sunshine’ Sweet Peas.  I don’t quite see them flowering in March, as suggested on their website, but I think I have to take a lot of the blame for that.

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Elsewhere in the greenhouse, I’ve finally started planting seedsIMG_0021IMG_0020

as well as pricking out autumn sown seeds – this time Rhodochiton atrosanguineus, which I’m hoping to have growing up the obelisk again this year.IMG_0023

And to finish, a bucket full of N. ‘Tete a tete’ – so cheery!IMG_0019

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting all out EoMV.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

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Pretty slim pickings for GBBD today, but I love the optimism of this perky geranium.

I shared my favourite hellebore last Wednesday, but I’m delighted to have more to show.  Like Julie at Peonies and Posies, my hellebores are bulking up, but there’s definitely room for more!

This Cornus Mas featured on another Wordless Wednesday is still flowering well and, growing in a pot by the front steps, it makes a very cheery greeting.IMG_9835

This Abutilon ‘Orange Marion’ is also in a pot outside, which is starting to feel rather risky bearing in mind how the temparature’s dropped.IMG_9845

The Grevillea‘s also outside and still looking good.IMG_9856

Not blooms, but they were once!  These are the lovely, fluffy seed heads of Clematis ‘Freckles’. Perhaps I should try planting some.IMG_9854

Talking of seeds, whilst the Rhodochiton atrosanguineus is still flowering, there are also some stems which have now turned to seed heads.

I am already growing some (bought) Rhodochiton seeds which I planted late last summer,IMG_9866

but if anyone fancies trying this lovely plant themselves please drop me an email at jenhumm116@yahoo.co.uk with your address and I’ll send you some of the seed heads through the post.  I clearly can’t guarantee success but Chloris assures me they’re easy!

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 else has blooming now?

 

 

In a vase on Monday – Happy New Year!

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Some of you may remember that after the rainbow  ‘Drive in’ flowers at the golf club, I was invited to repeat the commission for the New Year’s Eve dinner dance.  It was always going to be a tough act to follow, and I didn’t make it easy for myself.  Not only did I have a relatively last minute change of plan, but then also found myself unexpectedly driving round the island most of the morning chasing a ferry for my daughter and a strapless undergarment for me.  Both crucial, obviously, but it definitely cut into the relaxed pottering/cutting/conditioning/arranging day I’d hoped for!

The plan was one large arrangement plus 24 table arrangements (for twelve tables of ten).  I had been advised of a ‘silver’ theme and so had initially thought to incorporate sprayed silver seed heads in all the arrangements, but I found it ridiculously hard to get hold of silver spray (for some reason various online suppliers wouldn’t deliver to the Isle of Wight, and lots of shops I tried didn’t stock it).  The one tin I had purchased was largely used up spraying the seed heads used in the arrangement I did for my sister (and two smaller ones I didn’t show) but there were a few left over and so I used those in the large arrangement.

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As well as the seed heads, I added some wired silver baubles to the green base of Euphorbia characias ‘Wulfenii’, Garrya elliptica and some sage.   I think the silver made the Garrya look a little ‘grubby’, but I still love those tassles!IMG_9775c

Having run out of silver seed heads for the table decorations I had to improvise and part of that involved purloining Mimosa from our neighbour’s tree (thanks M & J!) as well as adding little clocks, as they seemed more appropriate for New Year than more Christmas baubles.

As with the October flowers, I found the blooms I had available didn’t really work together, but this time I ended up with just three colour schemes.  Firstly, yellow, with the beautiful, fluffy Mimosa coupled with yet more Euphorbia,IMG_9767

secondly white, with Leucojum, the last of the Ammi and some CerintheIMG_9771

and lastly pink, largely my lovely, incredibly long flowering Leptospermum, but also, at the last minute, I added a ‘drape’ of a few bells of Rhodochiton atrosanguineus.IMG_9770

And there they all are.

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Only a potholed drive to the golf club and a couple of fraught journeys from car to tables before I was able to relax with a glass of fizz, safe in the knowledge that the flowers (and the bosom!) were in the right place.

With thanks as ever to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this lovely meme.

Yearly round up – 2015

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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’.

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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‘.

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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.

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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

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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.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – December 2015

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Looking at the weather on my phone on Sunday morning provided a stark reminder of just how balmy life is down south:

St Helens, Isle of Wight 12C

Durham, (where my daughter’s at university) 0C

And while I was pottering around the garden taking photos of precocious December blooms, she was making this:

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The rose above (which featured as buds in last week’s Wordless Wednesday) is an inherited one and I sadly don’t know its name.

Whilst plants such as the Salvias have ground to a halt, there are plenty more rose varieties still clinging on, including Rosa Flower Carpet PinkIMG_9692

R. St Swithun,IMG_9709

and finally, R. Jubilee Celebration.  I have to confess to having to lift this bloom as its head was definitely hanging down, but that had the benefit of keeping it immaculate.  This December is getting ridiculous!IMG_9716

Equally mad is the continued blooming of the Gazanias in the trough by the gate,IMG_9680

kept company by the Chocolate Cosmos, Cosmos atrosanguineus.  The trouble with them both still looking so good is that I can’t face pulling them out and bringing them under cover. Something I may well live to regret.  IMG_9683

Another tender plant I haven’t brought in is the Rhodochiton atrosanguineus, but as it’s taller than me and completely twined around the obelisk, I’m not sure how I would anyway.  The good news is that I have seedlings already through in the greenhouse, so hopefully I’m covered.IMG_9715

Another climber still looking good (and finally a plant that’s actually season appropriate) is the Clematis ‘Freckles’.IMG_9711

And to finish, one of my Zaluzianskya ovata cuttings, already flowering in its seed tray.  Bonkers.IMG_9696

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 else has blooming now?

End of month view – November 2015

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Whilst there are certain areas of the garden looking reasonably tidy, like the left hand Lavender Bed above, the majority of the garden is in a state of chaos, like the right hand one below. Not only is this bed full of self seeded Lychnis coronaria and Verbena bonariensis corpses, but sadly it’s also pretty full of couch grass.  I think a big dig is called for.IMG_9651

The Swing Beds are also looking almost completely devoid of colour, although they are now marginally tidier than the photos below as I did some chopping back at the same time as planting some Dichelostemma ida maia bulbs, bought from the Avon Bulbs sale.  Hope they’re not in too late!

I still havent tackled the climbing roses as I think gauntlets and a ladder will be required.IMG_9656IMG_9659

The grass beds have had the Zinnias and a few lingering Verbascum pulled pulled out, and are now back to the bare bones of the Stipa tenuissima along the back, with a muddle of forget me nots and self seeded Cerinthe major in front (and let’s be honest, in the path).  I’ve added a few more Narcissi in this bed, but it does makes me a bit sad to think I’ll be waiting until April for anything to happen.IMG_9661

The Mid Century Bed is probably the most colourful with the Salvia ‘Dyson’s Scarlet’ and Rhodochiton atrosanguineus still blooming well, albeit rather manically.IMG_9652

One thing I am excited about in this (easterly) end of the garden, are my Agapanthus grown from seed planted at the back of the strawberry bed.  Although they didn’t flower this year (others planted in front of the greenhouse did) they’ve grown enormously and I’m hoping they will like the reflected heat from the wall and bloom next summer.IMG_9654

At the other end of the garden the Bronze Bed has nearly been put to bed.  The ‘Happy Single Date’ Dahlias which provided so many blooms and so much pleasure this year still haven’t died back, but they do seem to have finally given up flowering.  They’ll be nothing else in this bed until the Hamamelis flowers in February.IMG_9671

However, behind the Bronze Bed, the Melianthus major is madly continuing to produce new leaves.IMG_9672

Other sources of hope and optimism are provided by late season cuttings (or perennial seedlings awaiting a permanent home),IMG_9664

bulbsIMG_9667

and early sweet peas in the greenhouse.IMG_9668

as well as perky succulents.

They’ve been moved under the glass verandah, but are probably in need of being properly inside if continued perkiness is to be assured!IMG_9674

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

 

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – November 2015

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I took these photos on Saturday as I knew I’d be out all day Sunday, and not only was it pouring with rain but the wind was blowing at around 50mph making it officially a gale.  Consequently some of the photos are rather blurry as, funnily enough, is it was difficult to persuade the blooms stand still.

The number of plants blooming has dropped off dramatically in the last week or so, and the vast majority of my annuals have now flowered themselves to death.  The blooms which are still flowering are overwhelmingly pink, a colour largely inherited when we moved in, but which has been further augmented over time, to the point where this post is rather extraordinarily monochrome.

The Rosa Flower Carpet Pink (top) I’ve mentioned numerous times, but it really is an incredible ‘doer’, (although the buds do get rather battered in the rain).  Here it is joined by the extraordinary Nerine bowdenii – ridiculous flowers for November!

The shrub below, Leptospermum, is planted close to the two blooms above and it too flowers for months.IMG_9515

Another shrub Anisodontea capensis is looking better now than it has all year.  It was planted a few years ago and has definitely taken some time to settle in.  I grew one at a previous property against a south facing wall and to be honest I think it would prefer that kind of protection, but it does get plenty of light and has now grown to the extent that I’m thinking it could do with a spring pruning.IMG_9548

The shrub below offers a more expected bloom at this time of year, Daphne x Pink Fragrance ‘Blapink‘ and has been planted in a pot so that I can move it closer to the house to enjoy the lovely scent.IMG_9526

My last pink shrub is another one having a fabulous late flush.  This is by far my favourite fuschia, F. microphylla.  I love the dainty pink bells which are followed by black berries.IMG_9520

The climber Rhodochiton atrosanguineus still has plenty of blooms, but it has been rather battered by the rain.IMG_9540

Another genus of plants hanging on are my Salvias.  This one, Salvia Dyson’s Scarlet, was new this year and is still absolutely amazing.IMG_9545

Other Salvias still have blooms, but aren’t in the same league.  This one’s Salvia East Friesland

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and Salvia microphylla ‘Cerro Potosi’IMG_9537

And to finish, a rather incongruous shot of the heat and sun loving Zinnias, looking sad and bedraggled in the November rain. IMG_9524

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 else has blooming now?

End of month view – October 2015

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – October 2015

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This month’s blooms share much in common with last month.  Many roses are still blooming well, Flower Carpet, above, Jubilee Celebration, belowIMG_8914

St SwithunIMG_8923

and Pat Austin.IMG_8906

Plenty of annuals are still hanging on, including Cosmos PurityIMG_8915

and Dazzler, in front of the matching Aster, Aster novae-angliae ‘September Ruby’IMG_8925

This has smaller flowers than Aster Frikartii Monch I was raving about last month, but has a good upright habit and masses of bright pink blooms.IMG_8921

Yet more pink is provided by Diascia Personata,IMG_8929

Achillea Cerise QueenIMG_8930

and the Rhodochiton atrosanguineus, still romping up the obelisk.IMG_8931

And to finish, two plants which seem currently unstoppable, Dahlia Happy Single DateIMG_8909

and good old Verbena BonariensisIMG_8911

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 else has blooming now?