Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Garden Balance

 The Dalmatian White Foxgloves have flowered beautifully in the barrel planter against the backdoor wall.I love the white trumpets with burgundy spots. I planted five Foxglove plants, and so far two have flowered. I think they were quite slow to establish, but are loving the mixture of hot days and rain showers. The Sweet Peas and Black Bamboo all look healthy still. It is a little sheltered suntrap. The Bamboos have greened up nicely in their new sheltered position.
 After a few sparse weeks the Rose Gertude Jekyll has started a second flush of flowers. The delicate pink Rose contrasts nicely to the healthy new green leaves underneath it.
 The Rose Dark Lady has had a poor 2013. The leaves have been diseased and the growth not very even. She has finally shown me a beautiful dark crimson Rose.I hope that I can revive this plant next year.
 The latest Rose to flower is the Hybrid Tea Queen Elizabeth. I originally got a free Rose last year from Sutton's which promptly died. I saw this is Wilkos for £3 and thought I must have it, to see what the flowers are like. They are a light blush pink Rose, with nice cup like petals.
 Alas there is only a faint rose scent, but the five Roses it has grown are all healthy. There is minimal black spot on the lower leaves. It has been a slow starter. Maybe next year the new growth will make it flower more profusely. That said the five Roses are all perfect, with little pest damage.
 The Old Grand Dame of the Roses is the Rose Lady Emma Hamilton. The Apricot colored roses smell divinely of fruit and citrus. Strongly scented. I need to change a lot of the soil and try more pruning. She is very spread out in the pot despite spring pruning. There have been less Roses this year than previous years. I think this Rose is at least five years old.How long can shrub roses last?
 The one star Dahlia is the Bishop Of Oxford. Orange is a very healing color, and I love the contrast to the dark leaves below. I will try to over winter my Bishop Series of Dahlias, and try to collect the four Bishops that I have not got. They maybe need deeper pots than they are currently in.
 Another successful plant is the Lavender growing in a pot on the small coffee table.The scent is lovely, and I have seen a few Bees flying onto the light blue flowers.I bought the Rosemary and Lavender to try and feed the native Bee's.
 The Lavender has flowered. The Rosemary has dropped half of its leaves on the other table. I saw a good Horizon program about the decline of Bees with Bill Turnbull from BBC Breakfast. He has kept Bees for 12 years as a hobby. He showed all the different reasons they think Bees are struggling here in the UK. There were three main scientific theories.These were from environmental changes from intensive agricultural use,  to the Veroa Mite, to the use of Neonicotinoid pesticides in Agriculture.There are scientists all over the world working in all three fields.
 He said that City Bees are bucking the trend and producing double the amount of honey of their country cousins?I know that London has more urban Bee Keepers than the rest of the UK.
 Our garden is packed full of flowers that will hopefully feed the Bees'. There are 240  species of Bees in the UK, not just the Honey Bee.I'm always pleased to see them in the garden. They are little garden Spirits.
The garden still has a few productive plants. The Strawberries are still growing. My four pots of Tomato's are growing strongly and there is a little glut of Tomatoes growing. There is one pot of gardeners delight, two pots of whatever Tomatoes I tried sowing to start with (I cant remember what I sowed.I must have reused the soil and they subsequently germinated). The last pot is the Hampsons bought Tomato plant,the Chocolate Cherry Tomato plant which is huge and laden with nice fruits.
  The Chilli's are outside now. I bought the two plants from the Spring Flower Show. None of my Chili seeds germinated. I have Scotch Bonnet, and Jalapeno Summer Heat. The CSB has flowers on it, but no fruit yet...
 The CJSH has flower buds but no white flowers yet. Fingers crossed!
  The Grape Vine has about eight bunches of Grapes of various sizes. The ones photographed are the healthiest. I need lots of sunshine so they can ripen and develop sweet sugars in the grapes.
 The Grape Vine has been trial and error as I have never grown them before last year. The Internet is awash with much conflicting advise about pruning and training. I hope that each year I get more confidant in growing Table Grapes. Their is a legendary plant at Hampton Court palace which is hundreds of years old. My Black Hamburg has royal pedigree.
  The garden is still lush and green with a lot of flowers and wild life in it. The pots have been rearranged by Cat to make the path line on two sides by plants. The Fruit Trees are all growing impressively. The Ceanothus and Buddleja have grown massively filling the garden with their leaves. The birds love flying into them in between feeding. The garden is a perfect shared space between the wildlife and the gardeners. Aestheticly pleasing to sit in, functional, and wildlife friendly. A perfect balance.

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