Tag Archives: Sisyrinchium striatum

End of month view – May 2018

IMG_4064

I arrived home yesterday for the first time in ten days, and the change is absolutely extraordinary.  I’ve used the word ‘bonkers’ before about the garden in May, but this year it’s more bonkers than ever.

I popped out in my lunch hour today to take these photos, but haven’t had a chance to do even a minute of tidying (or lawn mowing), so hopefully you’ll excuse the rather dishevelled look.

Bearing in mind that due to a sequence of lovely trips away I’ve only spent three non working days at home in the whole of May, it’s amazing it’s looking as good as it is.  Having said that, scratch the surface, and you’ll see there’s an awful lot of work required and PLENTY of serious weeding.

IMG_4072

Let’s forget all that for the minute and take the usual tour.

Sadly there’s still no decking but I live in hope it might be there for the end of June.IMG_4075

I’ve replanted the Pelagonium ‘Surcouf’ at the front of both the pots as they were all lost this winter.  Luckily I had taken some cuttings, as I’d hate to be without the glorious fuchsia pink blooms to keep (Clematis) ‘Princess Diana’ company.IMG_4084

At the right hand end in front of the decking (well where the decking should be!) the Mulberry tree we had in a pot in Richmond and brought to the island ten years ago is finally finding its feet and looks like this year might bear proper quantities of fruit.IMG_4076

I had a mad planting out session two weeks ago so finally there’s something to see in the Veg Bed.  The flower at the front is Peony ‘Coral Charm’, bought going cheap at the end of last year.  I’ve planted it here for cutting, but clearly I’m some way off a bunch!IMG_4077

The rather odd combination of Agapanthus and strawberries is full of promise.IMG_4078

In the left hand Swing Bed there’s a rather mad combination of poppies, roses, geraniums and sisyrinchiums.

IMG_4079

and in the left, a similar mix, but with a rather handsome lupin thrown in.IMG_4080

The Grass Bed is in desperate need of attention – not least a change of name!  As you can see, nearly all the Stipa tenuissima which previously lined the back of this bed, have died over the winter leaving just a couple of wispy memories.

The majority of the bed can now be cleared as it’s full of faded forget me nots, bulb foliage and (eek) mare’s tail.  However, I’m not sure what I’m going to plant instead, and I can’t decide what to do about replacing the Stipas.  Hmm.IMG_4081

I treated myself to these poppies at the local garden centre and I popped the chicken in amongst them.  I just adore poppies and I’m excited there are so many buds to come.IMG_4082

This bench sits behind the Mid Century Bed and is normally ignored (and never sat on!) but I like the effect with the Rosa Seagull in full flower above it and the paired cans.IMG_4083

Here’s the Mid Century Bed with plenty of roses, foxgloves and more poppies.IMG_4073
In the Drive Bed I’m chuffed that some white foxgloves I only moved from the Mid Century bed a fortnight ago, have survived and flourished.  The rose here is the same plant featured in the two photos above, but on the other side of the fence.IMG_4065

This (inherited) rose scents the steps up from the drive, providing a lovely welcome.

IMG_4066

At the western end of the garden, looking the ‘shady way’ (actually south, but shady due to the magnificent oak) we can see the tapestry of shrubby planting.  Unfortunately I didn’t get round to pruning any of these this winter, so they’re all looking rather shaggy, but I’m pleased with the purple/green/purple/green repetition.IMG_4067

Looking the other way, to the much sunnier Bronze Bed, you can see the roses and Geums featured in my last Monday vase.  IMG_4069

Heading back towards the greenhouse takes you past the barrow,IMG_4085

the unpelleted (and thus chewed) hostas, IMG_4086

and various seed trays hardening off and in desperate need of planting out.  (The ones on the left below are stocks which sadly look unlikely to survive).IMG_4088

Talking of not surviving, my Winter flowering sweet peas which were planted out sooooo late, have not done well at all, and a number have not survived the transition to the greenhouse beds.IMG_4092

Happily the tomatoes are a lot perkier.

IMG_4091

as are various tender flowers still waiting for their chance to shine outside.IMG_4090

And to finish, just look at this Leptosermum.  I was thinking over the winter it had got rather leggy, but all is forgiven now!

IMG_4070

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts our EoMVs.

 

 

 

 

 

End of Month View – May 2017

The Frustrated Gardener said the other day “if a garden doesn’t look merry in May, there’s a problem” and although I’m thrilled mine has survived our recent absence (thanks to the dogsitter’s kind ministrations) it’s not ideal that it’s so merry now, as it will doubtless be looking rather exhausted by the garden opening in four weeks’ time!  Ah well, at least I can share with you.

So, this view is the Mid Century bed looking across the Lavender bed to the incredibly flowery Leptospermum beyond.  Here it is with an invasion of self seeded Valerian keeping it company.

In the right hand Lavender Bed the peonies are just about to burst

whilst in the left hand one (aside from miles of Convolvulus)  there is my ‘old’ Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and new E. ‘Red Jep,’ lots of pinks and my little Silk Tree.

The Swing Beds are wallowing in multiple roses as well as yellow soldiers of Sisyrinchium and pink Diascia personata.

Conversely, the Grass Bed is in a sorry state, with little to entertain except tatty forget me nots and self seeded Nasturtiums and Poppies.  This is due a big clear out and will be planted with annuals, hopefully next weekend.

The Veg Patch has moved on from this picture, as I’ve now planted out runner beans and sweet peas.  I’m intending to plant further flowers for cutting here, so have only erected two sets of bamboos this year.

The fleece to the right is to protect the strawberries in the lower bed,  but we’ve now moved it off the wall as it was forcing the Agapanthus flower heads into such awkward twists I felt compelled to liberate them!

At the other end of the garden the Oak Bed has its summer foliage on, with the lovely Cercis, the Sambucus (and indeed the over-the-road-oak) in full leaf.

The Pat Austin roses in the Bronze Bed are doing their cantaloupe thing, and will hopefully soon be joined by Achillea ‘Terracotta’ with Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date’ to follow later in the summer.

I’m still planting up pots, with the troughs by far the largest.  The plan here is a trailing sweet pea ‘Cupid’s Pink’ at the front together with a shorter Cosmos ‘Antiquity’ behind, but there seems to have been a bit of a mix up with the Cosmos lables, so I could end up with any one of four different varieties.  Oops.

Other pots which have largely overwintered are looking far more established – Pelargonium ‘Surcouf,’

a bonkers bath full,

a restocked barrow

and a restrained pot.

In the greenhouse I’ve finally planted out the tomatoes and cucumbers, but just look what greeted me on my return from holiday.  Just imagine the scent!

 

 

 

End of month view – May 2016

IMG_0826

I feel like I’ve barely set foot in the garden over the last three weeks (apart from picking flowers!) and am feeling a bit overwhelmed with how behind I am.  To compound things, a number of plans don’t quite seem to have come off including the Sisyrinchiums above. Some of you may remember the Sisyrinchium saga where I got fed up with Sisyrinchium striatum taking over the Swing Beds and so I pulled them out at the end of 2014.  I then went to Mottistone Gardens, thought they looked lovely (see photo below from June 2015) and put them back in.  Sure enough enough, I’m now cross with them again.  I swear I placed them through the beds and so how have they ended up in a great big clump at the front?  And shall I pull them out again?  Sigh.

IMG_7677

Secondly, at the back of the beds I planted some Gladioulus communis subsp. byzantinus from Sarah Raven last autumn, in an attempt to provide some colour after the tulips. I should have planted them through the bed, but even so, they haven’t turned out as I expected.    IMG_0827

New gladiolusIMG_0829

and existing – taller, a better colour and a bigger bloom.  Why couldn’t I have had more of these?  I feel an email coming on.

IMG_0843

And a final moan, in the Mid Century Bed, which is supposed to have ‘bruised’ colours, look at the foxglove.  Ah well, it looks good with the rose.

IMG_0825

Right, enough moaning.  One thing I am chuffed with in this bed is this Lysmachia atropupurea I grew from seed last year.  There are at least two (there may be others smothered by Cerinthe) and they’re only small so far, but end up quite shrubby and are apparently good for cutting.  IMG_0835

The right hand Lavender Bed is starting to fill out, with some Peonies just coming into bud.IMG_0822

The Bronze Bed, as feared, is overwhelmed with dying bulb foliage, but I’m prepared to wait a little longer before cutting back if it means they’ll return next year.

The Rose, Rosa ‘Pat Austin’ and Icelandic poppies are already making an impact and will soon be joined by Scabious, Nasturtium and Achillea.

IMG_0845

The woolly slug deterrent was partially successful in the Hosta Bed, but there have definitely been a few nibbles.IMG_0842

In the Veg Bed I have planted out a few more beans, but there’s still a lot more to get in, and some of the Courgettes have been attacked to the point where I’m not sure they’ll pull through.  Ah well, I probably had too many anyway!IMG_0831

Excitingly, the Agapanthus I grew from seed and planted out at the back of the Strawberry Bed, have now got multiple buds.

IMG_0832

Many pots are starting to romp away, but there are also plenty yet to be planted up.  This one, planted last year with Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’ and Clematis ‘Princess Di’ has suddenly taken off.

IMG_0836

And in the greenhouse, well, there are lots of plants that should be in the garden.  Maybe next weekend!IMG_0838

IMG_0840

IMG_0837

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

In a vase on Monday – more golf flowers

IMG_0815

Another golfing event – the Captain’s Dinner – led to another request for flowers.  I have to say a couple of weeks ago I was less than enthusiastic as, to my eyes, the garden was full of dying bulb foliage and not much else, but things have definitely moved on, and in the end there was plenty to choose from.

I only needed to prepare eight table decorations, plus one larger one, so the pressure was off compared to the original set of 20 in October .  The first plant I have copious amounts of currently is Cerinthe purpurescens.  This has self seeded everywhere to the extent that cutting for the arrangements was actually beneficial to clear it away from paths and grass.

For the purple arrangements I started with the Cerinthe and added purple sweet peas (still the Winter Sunshine ones from the greenhouse), Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and a few springs of lavender.IMG_0816

The pink arrangements contained Madame Gregoire Staechelin roses,  Euphorbia, Erysimum, Daucus Carota ‘Black Knight’ and a sweet pea that has self seeded in a large trough containing an Olive tree.  I think this is Lathyrus tingitanus which I grew two years ago in the greenhouse.  Quite how it’s found its way outside I have no idea, but I love the tendrils and its delightful colouring.  Sadly it has no scent.IMG_0817

The white and green contained more Euphorbia, as well as Matthiola incana, white Winter Sunshine Sweet Peas and a couple of Calendula buds.IMG_0818

And the carnival pink and orange pair had more Cerinthe, Geum ‘Totally Tangerine,’ buds of Rosa ‘Pat Austin’ and Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’IMG_0819

As well as the table decorations I threw together a larger arrangement which was designed around anything I could find that had some stem length.  The foliage was bronze fennel and black cow parsley (both of which seemed to be inclined to droop), with Euphorbia, larger heads of Daucus Carota,  Nectoscordum siculum, Allium ‘Purple Sensation’, Sisyrinchium striatum and Rosa ‘Snow Goose’.IMG_0808

With many thanks to Cathy for hosting this lovely meme.  Why don’t you see what others have in their vases this Bank Holiday?  Now I must get in the garden!

End of month view – February 2016

IMG_0031

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.’

IMG_0003

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

IMG_0033

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?

IMG_0018

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.

IMG_0024

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.

Mottistone return

IMG_7677

Last year’s visit to Mottistone was on Mother’s Day in March, but for my return this year I went on my birthday, in mid June, and of course it looked very different.

The garden is not large by National Trust standards, around six acres, but has a number of different areas to explore, each with its own ‘feel’.

The first thing I noticed about the herbaceous borders (above) were the plentiful Sisyrinchiums looking really rather impressive (and rather making me regret that I’ve dug out an awful lot of mine!)

IMG_7698

Below is a photo of the same beds but looking the other way, back towards the beautiful Elizabethan Manor House.  Some of you may remember that Benedict Cumberbatch got married in the local church here earlier in the year and had his wedding reception at Mottistone Manor.  Rumour has it his wife, Sophie Hunter, is related to the family now living at the Manor as tenants of the National Trust.IMG_7696

IMG_7697

The garden has been created in a sheltered south facing valley and as a consequence is on numerous different levels.  Below you can see the small orchard towards the top of the garden, with a view south to the Manor buildings, with the English Channel channel beyond.IMG_7682

Whilst many areas are reached by sloping lawns, I just love these steps with their froth of Erigeron karvinskianus.IMG_7673

Either side of the steps are some hotter borders.IMG_7678

where I admired the bold and striking combination of diascia with the Arctotis (I think)  Flame.IMG_7671

Back towards the barn and the entrance was this cool blue border, looking fabulous backed by the magnificent hedge.IMG_7668

To the right of the entrance is a flat area which could well be a croquet lawn.  There were more Sisyrinchiums here, as well as this magnificent tree fern.

IMG_7666

IMG_7662

It was a lovely visit in perfect weather, AND there was cake – a proper birthday treat!

End of month view – January 2015

IMG_5916

A rather sorry end of month view, but then it is January so perhaps I shouldn’t fret.

The old tin bath above was new (in a second hand sort of way) towards the end of last summer. I painted it to match the house and initially filled it with a bit of a quirky mix, including a number of Aeoniums and some Diascia which provided a jolly show to greet those arriving up the steps at the front of the house.

For the winter, I’ve changed its look to a dark red and silver combination of Cyclamen, pansies, Cineraria and Euphorbia mysinites.  Unfortunately I hadn’t read the crucial advice for winter containers, which is to cram in the planting from the word go as the plants won’t really grow and spread in winter as they do in summer.  Consequently my pot is a little sparse, but still, it provides welcome colour at this time of year.

The rest of the garden looks a lot like it’s ‘resting’.

The Drive Bed, below, has a few hellebores (worryingly I think fewer than last year) as well as one of the two Garrya Elliptica.  The strap like leaves are the Sisyrinchium striatum I moved from the Swing Beds in the autumn, the idea being that their flowers should match with the pale yellow flowers of the climbing rose ‘Snow Goose’, later in the year.IMG_5917

The right hand Lavender Bed is not showing much apart from the Phormium, Euphorbia and clipped LavenderIMG_5921

whilst the left hand Lavender bed is a little fuller with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve‘, Anisodontea and a low conifer (front left) which I’ve forgotten the name of.IMG_5920

The view of the Grass Bed is rather disturbed by all the workmen’s kit.  Whilst the grasses are still looking good, the rest of the bed is pretty empty apart from the Forget me knots.  The numerous spring bulbs are still to raise their heads.IMG_5923

I had a little tidy of the two Med Beds in front of the greenhouse, and cleared away many leaves which had blown into the bed.  The two most obvious plants here are the Euphorbia mysinites (front left) and Agapanthus plants which I planted out last year and were grown from seed two years earlier.  I don’t know whether the Agapanthus will flower this year but I live in hope.IMG_5938

The picture of the two Swing Beds shows the Salvia and Phlomis italica dominating the foreground.  Both need cutting back so they don’t get too leggy this year.

IMG_5927

The photo below is of the Oak Bed, which spends most of the year shaded by the Over-the-road-Oak.  There are a lot of Spring bulbs to come in this bed which take advantage of the better light before the Oak gets its full canopy.  And there are already a number of Hellebores flowering towards the front of the bed.

The Viburnum Tinus is rather overwhelming here and also needs to be cut back.IMG_5913

And to finish, a little more colour.  Sadly this isn’t in my garden, rather in my neighbour’s, but it’s their lovely Mimosa, flowering bravely in the January chill.

IMG_5915

 

With thanks as ever to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting this End of Month meme,

Plotting and planning

 

IMG_5580

Prompted by Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden (and Helen, at the Patient Gardener), I too have spent a happy hour with the felt tips, creating a plan of my plot.

My starting point was a Google Earth photo which I traced and updated with the changes we’ve made since moving in just over five years ago.  What’s surprised me is just how busy the plot is with structures – some inherited, like the office and decking, but others new like the garage, the chicken shed (currently empty of chickens) the greenhouse, and the pergola with swing.  I’m surprised I’ve got any space for plants!

Unlike Cathy and Helen, I haven’t marked many plants at all, but instead thought I’d go round the garden from top right, sharing some favourite photos of each of the beds from the past year.

So, to start with, the veg bedsIMG_3852

the swing beds,

IMG_2732

IMG_2731

Grass bed (spring, summer and autumn),2013 05 009IMG_2727

IMG_5052

the left hand lavender bed,IMG_2738

the oak bed (spring and summer).  IMG_1302

IMG_3888

the melianthus major,IMG_2645

wisteria,IMG_3643

herb bed,IMG_2060 (2)

hosta bed,IMG_4622

raised cutting beds,IMG_4617

shady bed,IMG_4619

the greenhouseGreenhouse (2)

right hand med bed,IMG_3667

and the troughs.IMG_1406 (2)

So, if you’re still with me, what about the two areas shaded with red dots, described in the key as ‘Decisions’?  Well these are areas where I’m considering removing lawn to create new beds. The first, marked with hose below, looking towards the chicken shed, I was envisaging as a rose and peony bed.  I can’t see this bed from the house (due to the changes in height which I haven’t really conveyed on the plan), but it would be very obvious when looking west from the swing.  And swinging would seem more like a rose time activity than spring or autumn.

IMG_3679

The second potential bed, would be on the northern edge side of the smaller lawn.  As you can see from the oak bed photos above, the bed is good in the spring, but in the summer is less interesting, once the canopy of the over-the-road-oak is established.

The advantage of the envisaged new bed is that the oak’s shadow wouldn’t reach it and so I would have a new, sunny, south facing patch to play with.  If we eat outside, we sit under the verandah (see wisteria photo), and the new bed would be in full view of the table and allow for much more interesting summer planting than I currently achieve in the shady beds.IMG_3646

The planting I imagine here is coppery toned (as a break from all the pink in the rest of the garden), with plants like Bupleurum ‘Bronze Beauty,’ Calendula ‘Sunset buff’, Scabiosa atropurpurea `Fata Morgana’, ‘Hordeum jubatum’ and maybe a rose or two – ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ or ‘Summer Song’.

So any thoughts?  I don’t think funds will extend to both as the lawns are on very heavy clay and we’ll have to dig well down and replace with better quality soil to have any hope of success.

My preference is for the coppery bed.  The lawn here is poor anyway (in many ways I’d like the whole lawn up, but that’s another story) and it would be lovely when eating outside to have some blooms to admire, and maybe some scent too, but what do you think?

End of month view – November 2014

IMG_5468

Unsurprisingly the garden is looking rather sad in places.  The drive bed, above, is looking better than most, with an ongoing second flush from Rosa Snow Goose, as well as some new planting below.  The strap like leaves are from Sisyrinchium striatum, which I’ve moved from the swing beds where they were taking over.  It was an early ‘In a vase on Monday‘ post which alerted me to how well the rose and Sisyrinchiums go together and so now they’ve been moved to live together, rather than just appearing fleetingly in a vase.

The downside of digging all the Sisyrinchiums out of the swing beds, is that they are now looking very bare.  And that’s not the only reason; I also dug up the large Euphorbia wulfenii Characias from each bed, as neither was looking well, and I pulled out the ‘only-two-apples’ apple tree which was starting to shade the right hand bed and looked rather incongruous amongst the perennials.  On a positive note, all the space has allowed me better access to plant my bulbs, so hopefully things will start bouncing back soon (quickly crosses fingers…)

IMG_5486

IMG_5487

The grass bed hasn’t yet had any autumnal clearing, and whilst the Stipa teniussima at the back are looking rather tired, the Nasturtiums at the front are in very rude health. Consequently I’ve left them alone for the time being, but sadly, the last few flowers on the nasturtiums are rather buried by the generous foliage.

Some of you may remember that I want to clear some, if not all, of the fox and cubs from this bed as they don’t really flower for long enough to justify their position, but that work is also yet to be done – and I think I need to get rid of all that nasturtium foliage so that I can even see the fox and cubs.IMG_5488

I’ve also done some clearing in the small veg patch, which is now back to just the raspberries, the diving lady (who has new bulbs planted in her pool) and Nimbus.

IMG_5477

I’ve also cleared the exhausted Cosmos Purity from the troughs, but have left the stocks at the back.  They are getting rather leggy now but I just love their scent and forgot to plant any new ones this summer, so I’ll have to hope they survive the winter and reflower.

As well as clearing, I’ve planted some more Alliums (Purple Sensation) in this bed as their numbers seemed to have dwindled this year, so I gave them a top up.  They should follow on from the two Narcissii, Minnow and Segovia.IMG_5474

The raised beds I used for cutting for the first time this year still need clearing, but there are a few Antirrhinums clinging on, as well as one sentinel Zinnia.

I think I judge these beds a success.  Of course I would have had bigger plants and consequently more blooms if I’d planted in the ground, but I just didn’t have the space, and this is a relatively out of the way position so it didn’t matter that the whole effect wasn’t very cohesive.  I’ll definitely use the space again, but will need to replace the compost for next year.IMG_5491

Meanwhile the shady bed continues to look good in its monochrome way.  IMG_5492

Aside from the beds, I’ve also been planting up lots of pots with bulbs.  The one below is one of a pair which sit outside the greenhouse.  I’ve lain strips of rose prunings across the top to discourage marauders, and they seem to have worked so far.

IMG_5493

In the greenhouse I have Iris reticulata ‘Gordon’ bulbs just starting to show their green shootsIMG_5495

and the cuttings taken last month are also putting on some new growth.  Certainly not 100% success, but definitely lots of new babies to tend. IMG_5496

And lastly, a couple of sights more applicable to much earlier in the year – still a few blooms on my Plumbagos, IMG_5498

and yes! more Tomatoes Sungold ripening.  The question is, where am I going to put all my tender plants if the greenhouse still has tomatoes in it?IMG_5497

With many thanks to Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting the end of month meme. Please visit her website to see how other bloggers’ gardens look at this time of year.

 

End of month view – October 2014

IMG_5242

I’m joining Helen at The Patient Gardener’s end of month meme a day late, apologies!

The picture above shows the lovely Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ peeking over the willow fence and matching beautifully with the self sown vine.  The picture was taken earlier in the week and sadly, already the cercis leaves are starting to fall.

Elsewhere in the garden there are still vestiges of summer to admire with the St Swithun Rose (yes I know it should have been tied up) arching over the swing in the sunshineIMG_5262

and succulents still flowering outside.IMG_5248

The Swing Beds are still showing some colour with penstemons, salvias and asters, but there’s a lot of chaos (certainly the climbing roses) and I still need to dig up the sisyrinchiums which are taking over the front of both beds.  I think I should also look at dividing some of the perennials, particularly the geraniums.IMG_5253

IMG_5254

The shady bed continues to look good despite no flowers.  I love the structure the caster oil plant, Fatsia japonica provides at the back of this bed.IMG_5276

In the veg patch there isn’t much to see apart from Chard (below) and a number of collapsed structures which need to be taken down.IMG_5256

With regard to fruit, there is still a small crop of autumn raspberries, as you might expect, IMG_5258

but I certainly wasn’t expecting this!  Strawberries in November – the world’s gone mad!IMG_5255

In the greenhouse I haven’t yet cropped my Mini Belle Yellow peppers.  To be honest now I’ve grown them, I’m not quite sure what to do with them.  Somehow I don’t have much need for raw peppers to add to a picnic for snacking any more….IMG_5277

Also in the greenhouse, over the last few weeks I’ve done something I haven’t done before, which is to let my Sungold Tomatoes do their own thing, unrestricted .  Having carefully pinched out the side shoots on all my tomatoes up until the end of September, I read/heard somewhere that Sungold can continue cropping until December under glass, and so, whilst all the other tomatoes will very shortly be pulled up, I’m just letting the Sungolds do what they want and then I’ll see whether I can harvest any more.

Of course one of the problems with this is that the plants are now right up to the top of the greenhouse and impossible to reach without a chair or ladder, but as they are my favourite tomato to eat raw, I feel a little mountaineering will be worth it.IMG_5278

I’ve also been busy taking cuttings of lavenders and pelagoniums.  I went to a talk at our local horticultural society recently and the speaker, one of the lecturers at the Isle of Wight college, said he always takes cutting into seed trays, and crams in 20!  I’ve always tended to put 4 or 5 around the edge of a terracotta pot, but I thought I’d try his method (although I drew the line at 12) and see how I get on.IMG_5279

Over in the ‘borrowed’ garden, the OH has been busy strimming all the brambles on the far side of the wall so that we can now see the recently arrived sheep.  There are still annuals flowering in the bed in front of the wall – Cosmos, Cleomes and Amaranthus – but the Ammi have pretty much given up.

A little later in the year, when the hawthorn trees are dormant, I’ll need to prune them into shape and tie in the required new growth.  Overall I’ve been delighted with how well they settled in since planting them at the beginning of February.

IMG_5288

And the Tithonia ‘hedge’ I mentioned in my GBBD post is also still going strong, although not quite as strongly as a couple of weeks ago.

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden queried my measurements but I don’t think I was far out. There are 11 plants and the bed must be nearly 20ft long and some of the plants are definitely taller than me (alright, not many!) and I’m 5ft 7.  Believe me now?

IMG_5283