Posts Tagged ‘Flower Garden’

Shopping Mistake?

A friend of mine manages a small garden center locally.  This winter she is closing it down completely to give the place a good clean – and wanted to sell off the few remaining plants before this happened.  Always one to help out a friend – I thought I had better go shopping.

I got – 7 small cannas, 2 hostas (Pacific Blue), Sarcocca confusa (Sweet box), Malva “Park Rindell” – which is a rather excellent bright pink.  Some ivy for another friend and the three tall perennials at the back of the picture – which may be my shopping mistake!

I had seen them earlier in the year at the garden center – and they are a tall slender sort of plant – which will give a bit of height to the border.  I got them because I thought they would provide a good infilling clump of height in the summer probably for the bog garden. They are called “Lythrum Salicaria Mordern Pink”

Yes – that’s right – a member of the loosestrife family.  I did a quick check on the Internet – as the plant label had no sun/shade preferences and could only find a few references to it – but the most worrisome was here – on a page called “12 plants to avoid at all costs”.

So if anyone in the UK has ever grown it – please let me know!

Backlit Sambucus nigra “Black Beauty”


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Today I  was putting a few plants into one of the newly dug borders that we have made this year.  I was thinking about how I go about re-planting a flower bed – or a whole garden for that matter.

This is what the “Keyhole bed” looked like in 2006 when we moved into the house.

I must say that now, looking at this picture – it has a charm about it.  The reality is that it had, among other things, diseased fruit trees, mombretia, St johns wort, brambles, lemon balm and lots of weeds.

At the beginning of the year – we cleared it all out – keeping only one apple tree and one ornamental crab-apple.  To-day it looks like this.

So I was thinking …. I am the kind of person who has a feeling about the type of planting I would like in an area and I build on that feeling over the seasons and the years.  I know that this “keyhole” is going to be a summer area. I want scent, summer flowers, nostalgia, I suppose the idealized cottage garden feel. I don’t particularly want any “winter interest” because the tracery of the apple and crab apple against the sky will be my winter interest,  their blossom will be all I want in this location for the spring.

I admire plantsmen and designers who can design and plan on paper and then bring that design to life in a garden.  But I wonder how I would feel if I was in a position to plan a border – and go and buy all the plants required in one fell swoop.  I suspect I would be uncomfortable.  I enjoy the feeling of “falling in love” with a particular plant and bringing it back to the garden. I enjoy the palimpsest.  My planting, my predecessors planting, my interpretation of the keyhole bed – overlaid on theirs.

Eventually I hope that this area  will have the “charm” that I found in the top picture – and be full of plants I love.

To-day I planted 8 x Hardy Geranium, 3 x Lavender ‘Walberton’s Silver Edge”, Drifts of Black Cowparsley and Angelica Gigas grown from seed. Physocarpus ‘Diabolo d’Or’ – which is my current favorite shrub for spring colour.

There is room for day-lilies and more paeonies, which are on my shopping list this Autumn – and room for more planting over the years, as the geranium are a kind of temporary ground cover while the garden evolves.

So tell me – what kind of plantswoman/plantsman are you – a planner or an evolver or a mix of each?


To-day, 28th August 2008

(That is my dog “Merlin”)

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Wordless Wednesday – Rain Washed Calla Lily

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Wordless Wednesday – Love in the Mist.

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The 15th of the month means that is is GBBD hosted by Carol of May Dreams Garden, if you haven’t allready – do visit her blog to see the delights that Carol has blooming for June. Also via the comments you can check out other garden bloggers from around the world.

The regular readers of my blog will know that I do not have peony flowers to post to-day. For those of you that are interested to know the story of why I don’t have peonys click here

If there is one word for my garden this month it is poppies. I scattered the seeds last year in a newly created, but empty flowerbed – and this year they have self seeded and flowered again, in a wide variety of colours and forms.

Please click on pictures for a larger image

The other plants that are very prolific throughout the garden are hardy geraniums. These are great for filling in all the spaces that I have not got shrubs or perennials for … yet.

Among the geraniums – nasturtiums have self seeded.

There is also a lot of yellow in the garden, from Welsh poppies, St Johns Wort (Hypericum), and Senecio, but I haven’t photographed them – because yellow is not one of my favorite colours – and I was short of time!

These Nemophila Penny Black are an annual that I grew from seed this year and I am very pleased with them as an edging at the front of a flower bed.

The rose below was in the garden when we moved in – it is underneath the leaf canopy of a willow tree – I really don’t know how it survives – and the scent is divine

Also today – I was delighted to pick my first bunch of sweet peas from the garden – so my moment of madness has started to pay dividends, what joy.

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Last week I photographed this part of my garden as it really appealed to me. The hardy geraniums were softly round. The foxgloves were appearing beneath the cob tree, and in the foreground the heuchera had thrown up its flower spikes and were wafting softly in the breeze. All in all I was pleased with the whole effect:- a sort of gentle wildness. Especially as they were all put in there last year – “to be going on with for now”

We had taken a lot of ailing shrubs out of this area and made a path to walk down the garden. We knew that we had to replant shrubs here eventually because otherwise we would create a wind tunnel. And some shrubs have gone in – but they are still quite small.

To-day I was moodily wandering through the garden, collecting the foxglove spires that had been ripped off by the high winds, along with aqueliga flower spikes, heuchera flower spikes. Poppies and Honesty ripped out of the ground … you get the picture.

Shed Man however, is made of sterner stuff and after contemplating the “wind tunnel” for a few moments decided that what we needed was to extend the wall in a curve, to break the winds path.

This plan was based on moving a massive boulder, which has been languishing on our drive for the past year, and placing it upright in the flower bed as the end of the new stone wall.

Fortunately, just as Shed Man was hatching this plan (He moves rocks on rollers with leavers). Dobby arrived (phew – that let me out of roller duty).

It was an arduous task.

They have moved the boulder with rollers and leavers up the other side of the wooden fence and down the gravel path to its new position.

(I was very busy digging out all the plants from this area and replanting them)

They heaved up into an upright position and planted it in the flower bed.

(I was very busy making tea and generally overseeing the operation)

The stone looked really nice sitting on its own in the flower bed and I would have quite liked to have left it just like that.

However, as Shed Man rightly pointed out – the point of the exercise was to create a wind break and that he was going to extend the existing wall to this boulder.

Dobby – after lending her muscle, left to go home, and I went to the Kitchen Garden to rescue my French Beans, as they had been ripped of their supports, clear the garlic that had been uprooted, along with some rhubarb …. You get the picture ….

When I had finished there Shed Man had nearly finished the new wall!

And I love it. This is what you see when you come to our gate.

Now I’m thinking – wouldn’t one of those little early flowering clematis look divine climbing up that wall?

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Tagged by Veg Plotting

I have been keeping myself to myself pretty much this week. My sons wedding was fabulous. Thank you all for your good wishes.

We have had really high winds here to-day, with gale-force gusts, (46 miles per hour!). My kitchen garden is looking rather sorry – with flattened lettuce and limp beetroot. Shed Man was a hero and has made little wind breaks for two of the raised beds to keep the plants in them so they don’t get blown away to sea.

To-day was the first day that the self seeded poppies flowered.

They were moving around quite a bit – so they are a little bit fuzzy. The main garden is also looking very battered, so tonight I am a little bit despondent. Which is why is is a good time to play Tag as VP passed it to me a while a go and I have not had the opportunity to post it here.


Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Write six random things about yourself.
Tag six people at the end of your post linking to their blog.
Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six things about me.

I cannot go to sleep at night unless I have read a few pages of my book in bed.

I live in Wales – but I cannot speak Welsh.

I broke my collar bone a few years ago and it never healed up – so it is still in two bits.

My biggest extravagance is books – I love them

I really dislike conifers

My favorite color for my clothes, after black, is pink.

So I shall pass this on to the following bloggers – but please don’t feel obligated to play – I know this is a busy time of year – but if you get a Wet and Windy Sunday …. It may put a smile back on your face – it has mine. (Thanks VP).

Zoe and Garden Hopping

The Patient Gardener

Chey – A Maritime Gardener

Sandy – In a Garden

Carrots and Kids

HappyMouffetard and Somebeans

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