Tag Archives: Stipa teniussima

End of month view – May 2018

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

 

 

 

 

 

End of month view – January 2016

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Finally some sun, hurrah!

Leptospermum, or Tea Tree, above, is (according to Wiki) very rich in Vitamin C and was apparently made into a tea by Captain Cook – probably not personally – to ward off scurvy in his crew, and it is also the plant on which bees forage to produce Manuka honey.  Two valuable traits, doubtless, but I’d settle for just the one – looking this good all the way through January. God knows I haven’t, and nor has the rest of the garden.IMG_9893

Not only are both lawns currently no more than fields as it’s been far too wet to mow, but my dear little Scillas, in the very outside ends of the Swing Beds, are sitting in a proper puddle.IMG_9901

The Swing Beds are both in need of a major cut back and tidy up, but it’s pleasing that there is some structure there.  Looking back at last year’s EoMV I can see how the pink flowered Phlomis Italica, has grown during the past year.  Having been planted at least three years ago they’re starting to get rather leggy and so will need some judicious pruning once we’re further into the year.

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The bed which holds the rhubarb and strawberries had Agapanthus grown from seed planted along the back wall last year.  None has yet flowered but they’ve definitely bulked up, so I live in hope.

Sitting on the edge of the wall in the seed trays are more Agapanthus seedlings (this time from seed collected from the more dwarf A. ‘Tom Thumb’), as well as Carex buchananii, also grown from seed last year for the new Bronze Bed.  I’m not sure whether the Carex will make it into the Bronze Bed, and I have no idea where I’ll put the Agapanthus, but I’m sure they’ll all find homes, even if I give them away!IMG_9900

The Stipa tenuissima in the Grass Bed are continuing to provide interest and you can now see plenty of bulbs pushing up through the forget me nots in front.IMG_9903

And the Mid Century bed, one of last year’s new beds, still has a couple of things to admire, notably the Rhodochiton atrosanguineus growing up the ‘obelisk’ (slightly hard to see in the shade), but also the Acacia baileyana purpurea in the centre.  I’m slightly worried how big this will get, but I’m sure I can prune it back.  (I’m also a little disappointed it’s not more ‘purpurea’ but perhaps it’s the time of year).

The rather scrappy mess in front are two Salvias and some leggy Cerinthe.  

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In the Shady Bed the Sarcococca has finally started to fill out after at least a couple of years.  And I can also see from this picture that I really should cut back the old Hellebore leaves to have any hope of spotting the flowers here.IMG_9906

By the smaller lawn the other new bed, the Bronze Bed, has been largely trimmed back and tidied, but look how much the soil has dropped!  The MC bed is even worse, so I’ll definitely have to top them both up.

The leafless shrub in the middle is Hamamelis ‘Aphrodite’ which I absolutely adored last year.  I’m slightly worried there’s no sign of flowers yet, but I did buy it in bloom in mid February, so perhaps it’s still on schedule.  At the back you can see the Melianthus major still flowering – certainly no normal schedule there.

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On the other side of the lawn away from the house, the shady Oak Bed has more hellebores, as well as inherited Bergenia and Leucojum aestrivum.

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And to finish a couple of early Narcissi  – roll on the rest!IMG_9908

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts the End of Month meme.  Why don’t you pop over to Helen’s site to see some other EoMVs?

End of month view – November 2014

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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…)

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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.

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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.

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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.