Monday, June 02, 2014

Front Garden Stars

   I'm on a day off today and have enjoyed the sunshine this morning. I took the camera out to take some pictures of whats growing well, and what looks nice. The front garden is looking nice. Cut grass and a few plants in flower. The Rhododendron Purple Splendour looks amazing. Its growing on the edge of the garden next to a drain cover, and under a Japanese Maple. The soil is quite poor under the grass so the neighbours conifers are growing very slowly. They have been there ten years and are a few feet high.I'm trying to grow a low hedge of David Austin Roses, my Moliniux.
 The Rhododendron is a gorgeous magenta colour, with raspberry jam splashes on the petals. Its new growth will emerge from the flowers. This was one of a Trio, the other two Rhodie's have long since died. This one looks like it is thriving.
 The best Moliniuex Rose in flower. I have four Rose Bushes, and a fifth waiting to be planted in the winter when its dormant. The hedges formed a lovely window showing the blue sky, and the lovely tea scented Rose.
 Because we have stayed at the house for a few years I bought a Betula Utilis, or Himalayan Birch Tree. It was trimmed to make it vase shaped and not long and thin. It will eventually be lovely ghost white bark. It sits in the front middle of the front gardens grass so I can see it from the living room.
 It is maybe three or four years old now. I bought it from Bluebell Nurseries. It will be the star in the front garden. Supported by the Roses and Rhododendron.
 There is a Lilac Tree in a pot, and three large planters that have silver leaved Cinereria in currently.I will eventually replant those. The front garden is under stated, compared to the madness of plants in the back garden.
Growing happily in the gravel drive is this Dandelion. I will leave this for the time being.These colourful weeds make me strangely happy. When you examine the structure of the flower it is reassuringly complicated.
 There is a snapshot of the flowers from the front garden. There are more pics to come of the back garden plants.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cloudy And Carnival Music

 I went to town today to buy some bird food.I came back with some second hand Cd's (Cuban cafe beats, and Latino Carnival music, inspired by the upcoming World cup in Brazil), some new shoes for work, a Yorkshire Life magazine, and some Swiss Chard seeds for the allotment. It never rained as much as the weather predicted.
 The Rhododendron Purple Splendour is in flower. Its two companion Rhodie's have died. This one likes the thin poor builders soil, under the shade of a Japanese Maple. It is Liberally covered in flowers.
 Gorgeous petals show raspberry jam splattered patterns. They are lovely flowers.
 A Welsh Poppy has self seeded in the gravel drive. I love the cheery colours of these hardy annuals. I love the unexpected pleasure of finding them in a new area where you did not expect them.
 The Strawberry Bed is festooned in white flowers. This will be dug up at the end of the year and new Strawberry plants bought. Last year was a poor Harvest. At best this was giving a kilo of Strawberries a week in the growing season. It was much less last year. Strawberry plants have a growing season of five years before their productivity drops.
 Growing under the window is a Dalmatian series Foxglove. I planted them last year and they have been growing over the warm winter. I have a fondness for this cottage garden stalwart plant.
 The Geum Mrs Bradshaw growing under the Blue flowers of the Ceanothus. I love the contrast between hot and cool colours.

Love the Red and Golden Stamen. This plant in flower always reminds me of the Spanish flag.
 I love French Marigolds. They are fiery, bold, and brash. They are strongly scented if you knock past them. They are beloved in India. I bought two trays for £3.50 at Hampson's. They are now illuminating the garden.
 The Geranium flowers year after year. There are not as many this year but the colour is an amazing electric blue or violet colour. The Bees love it.
 I tried to get some White Petunias for the baskets at Hampson's. They had used all the Whites in their expensive baskets. Remind me next year to buy lots of White Petunia plug plants. They can contrast nicely with lots of different colours.
 I ended up with White with yellow stripes and centre. I got White and Blue Lobelia to contrast with it in the baskets.I ended up with one Blue Petunia too (maybe somebody swapped a Blue for a White/yellow one).
  The moral of the story is be more organised.I'm quite haphazard in going to the garden centres late when everyone else had picked the best plants. I got leftovers.
 This garden keeps providing me with volunteer plants that appear in the many pots. Either the birds or the wind dropped this pretty purple flower.
 I left it to flower and it formed lovely seed heads. Translucent green ovals with the seeds visible through the green. I think it is Purple Honesty. I need to save the seed heads. I loved this plants vibrant flowers.
  The Woodpecker was back in the garden again today. As I got the camera turned on he flew off.I will keep trying to photograph him. In 5 years i have seen the Woodpecker a handful of times. He is beautiful but very skittish.
  I'm back at work tomorrow for two long days.I need to get to the allotment to sow my seeds.The plants are big enough now here to go into open ground.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Gardeners Dozen

 The rain and sunshine has made lots of things flower so there is plenty to photograph. I start with this colourful Chaffinch that feeds in our garden.
 The Yellow Snapdragons have reflowered in the corner. I cut them back in Spring and they have rewarded me with golden yellow blooms, with their candy stick smell.
 The Foxgloves by the pond glow white against the green like a ghost. I think they contrast beautiful to the green leaves around them, and the pink Astrantia growing next to it.
 The Leopards Bane is growing in the Apple Pot. They are like handsome relatives of Dandelions, but have a leopard spotted leaf.
 After much searching for a birdbath online we went to Carr Gate Nursery and brought this heavy Stone Birdbath. It is two parts. The Base and the Bowl slots in with a piece of plastic pipe.It is now a garden feature in the middle of the patio.It has been cleaned today and refilled with fresh rain water (we had enough of that!!)
 A rescued Hanging Basket Viola. As I get older I find I forget the names of the plants that I buy. Year after year I buy new plants so it will have to remain nameless. I think the colours are exquisite. It is on the patio table now in a pot.
 Rescued from a soggy container are these vibrant Sweet William. I hope these will regrow with vigour in their new home.
 I have new deep Red Aquilegias this year. I have planted some over several years and now are starting to see a good variety of colours. I think they are lovely cottage garden plants growing wild around the sunken border. Each new season provides new colours as they cross with each other.
 This plant is surely the Belle of the ball. Peony Sarah Bernhardt. I cannot remember seeing her flower since we bought her 4 or 5 years ago? The plant has three lovely spherical flower buds, crawling in Ants. I hope for her garden debut this year..
 More Aquilegias nodding in the wind. I may go and buy more of these next year in different colours. To make the sunken border an Aquilegia paint box. Genetics at play is interesting each new growing season.
 In the front garden the most sheltered Moliniuex Rose has flowered. A beautiful Golden colour with lovely tea smell. There are four Rose bushes growing in the grass as a barrier to the neighbours garden.This is an amazingly sumptuous flower, and the Rose bushes leaves are quite healthy.
Last of the gardeners dozen (pictures) is this Geum Lady Stratheden. A red ticket plant from Hampsons, rescued from certain destruction. I have nursed it back to health. It almost ready to open the first Yellow Flower. She joins the Geum Mrs Bradshaw (red and gold flowers), and Geum Orange (no guesses about the colour of this one).
  I love the variety of flowers at the moment.

Planting Day

  The rain finally stopped today long enough for me to plant the containers up with my Burgundy Snapdragons, Lobelia, French Marigolds, and Viola Molly Sanderson. The Corner of the house has these three planters. The Yellow Snapdragons, Geum Orange, and Foxglove were already planted.
 The first Rose of the year always excites me. I did not even notice these Rose buds until last week. One stem has all the buds. Darcey Bussel looks beautiful, and smells delicious.
 A garden without Roses is not a garden. For me they have to be scented too. This Rose is nearly ready to bloom away.
 The Patio and path house lots of pots. I planted the Viola Molly Sanderson, and French Marigolds. Green and Gold works well I think. The patio pots show my love of Grasses, and wispy textured plants that move in the wind.
 The newly planted container with the Violas and French Marigolds. I hope these plants fill out the fertile compost.
 These Molly Sanderson Violas are some of my favourites. The black petals with a purple and yellow centre. Apparently they are scented too..
 View from the shed down the path.Asiatic Lily's, Roses, and Hosta's line the path for a river of green leaves.
 I have a weakness for Hosta's with their stately leaves, crazy waxy leaves that repel water down into the stems. I'm looking for new Hostas to join our collection on the path.Two smaller Hostas are growing on in pots..
 The mighty Ceanothus blooming away over the Geum Mrs Bradshaw. It was grown from a £4 plant from Hampsons. It is eight feet high and four feet wide. It has been trimmed already this year. It needs cutting back to contain it within the space. The trunk is so thick now at the bottom of the shrub.
I have been picking Lily Beetles off again this year. All the Lily's I have will be composted at the end of the growing season.I need new plants to fill the barrel planters.I do not know what yet.
  The garden looks lush now, after all the rain. I cleaned the bird table up, scrubbed the new bird bath, and topped up the feeders. When I'm not gardening I like to sit and watch the garden and the birds flying into it.Happy Days.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Rainy Day Return

 I'm back after a long absence from the Blogosphere.I have actually been updating using Twitter to post quick pics about the gardens progress and holidays away. It is wet today so I am indoors waiting for the rain to stop long enough to plant my newly cleared containers.After the Winter I rediscovered my green fingers and started to clear the debris away.
 The Sambuca has been moved into a pot because it was massive. It got stuck with the Dicentra. That needs potting up after it has finished this years growth. Some of the older plants have outgrown the sunken borders limited space. This year will see a renewal. Even the Ceanothus has grown huge with the warmth and rain. It is covered in honey scented blue flowers.I have cut it back hard twice a year and it just regrows more vigorously.
The Black Bamboo has been moved next to a fence to try and protect it from the harsh winds. It gives the fence a green vertical wall feel, and has lovely movement in the wind.
  Twitter is good for short messages, but Blogger is better for writing. 160 characters is quite restricting.I pulled my camera out today and took these few pics.I will take more pics to decorate my posts.
 Its good to be back.