End of the Month View – October 2016

16_10_26_3589It is quite amazing how little has changed over the last 9 weeks since the EoMV for August. The shadows are getting longer and we move our clocks one hour back this week end with the end of summer time so the evening really will get dark quickly. We have had no frost yet so all of the more tender plants continue to shine. Actually there are more dahlias in flower now.16_10_26_3596The Dahlia Twyning’s After Eight has produced so many flowers despite a lack of dead heading (I had assumed that any day now the tubers would be going into store for the winter so deadheading would not be worth doing!).16_10_26_3603Similarly Dahlia Bishop Of Llandaff and Dahlia Bishop of Auckland16_10_26_3608Bishop of Auckland is a lovely dahlia. It has velvety, crimson, single flowers on near-black stems, in contrast with dark green-red leaves. As the flowers age the edge of the petals have an almost incandescent blue tinge.16_10_26_360516_10_26_3591Dahlia David Howard also continues to perform.16_10_26_3604Looking back towards our house along the south west facing border. In places plants are looking dry and finished but the sheer number of flowers is incredible.16_10_26_3595From the same spot looking to the south west16_10_26_3606A sign of the days moving towards winter when Cosmos Purity gets too large and falls over but it is still flowering.16_10_26_3599There are seed heads everywhere. Here the seed head from an Agapanthus.16_10_26_3602And here the dried up remains of Miss Wilmott’s Ghost with very nice grasses behind. We grow these from seed but unfortunately did not record what they were!16_10_26_3597A corner of the pergola with Eucomis in the foreground and Euphorbia mellifera  in the background.16_10_26_3592Many roses continue to flower. This is Rosa Mutablis which has now been flowering since last May. Mutablis illustrates the typical China rose trait of darkening with age, instead of fading. Single petals open sulfur yellow, changing through orange to a rich pink and finally crimson. Bright, silky flowers of all these colors will often be on display at the same time, looking as if a group of multi-colored butterflies has settled on the bush. This aspect earned Mutabilis its common name–”The Butterfly Rose”. 08_06_16_2673Rosa Mutablis last May, six months of beautiful flowers.16_10_26_3614Just as I was about to finish this blog there was a spectacular sunset. This photograph is taken from our conservatory (see photograph above) and is looking across the garden towards the west. The old kitchen garden garden wall (1704) can be seen on the right. Originally it would have continues across the picture, to the left, where there is an arch and rose bed.

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
32 400 21

GBFD – Autumn arrives

My first Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day! With so much colour beginning to develop it was too good an opportunity not to miss.

Colder nights are here but no frosts yet. The leaves are colouring up for their annual display.16_10_21_3581-copyThe Virginia Creeper which needed controlling earlier in the year is now coming into it’s own with a magnificent display of colour.16_10_21_3579The Hydrangea petiolaris is having a final fling although the flower heads will stay throughout the winter.16_10_21_3578Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ looks great at any time of year but into autumn it really sings16_10_21_3583-copyand with the light shining through the leaves it becomes magic. One of the best shrubs/small tree for year round interest.16_08_07_3079
Hosta ‘Sun & Substance’ has still got some of its golden elegance and only a few slug holes.16_10_21_3582-copyAnd Euonymus  alatus Burning Bush is living up to its name.16_10_21_3586Even this Cornus alba ‘Sibirica Variegata’ is trying not to be out done before it stars in the winter with its red stems.16_10_21_3587The Mahonia is giving a display and16_10_21_3588Cotinus ‘Nottcutts Variety’ looks great throughout the summer but in Autumn the dark red leaves just add to the event.16_10_02_3538Ricinus communis impala looks fantastic16_10_09_3553

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
35 368 20

The hours have been going up as we begin to get the garden ready for winter!

Many thanks to Christina at My Hesperides Garden. She encourages all garden bloggers to look more closely at the changing tapestry of colour and structure that foliage provides.

Planting schemes we have borrowed!

Where do we get our garden design ideas from? Although I look a gardening books and receive a number of gardening magazines I seldom take ideas directly from them. However, when we visit gardens we often get inspired to borrow the idea. These get jotted down in our garden visits note book. For example many of you will have seen this planting scheme at Sissinghurst Castle.


Sissinghurst Castle from Steve Reed’s blog

We have a wall (much smaller) with a similar aspect which for many years we had struggled to find a suitable planting scheme. When we saw this it was a eureka moment! The planting was  Vitis vinifera purpurea and Clematis Perle d’Azur under planted with Belladonna Lilies. I even had an email correspondence with the head gardener at Sissinghurst to check out the exact varieties!

Not quite as impressive but it works and apart from a little pruning once a year is more or less maintenance free. This was planted up about ten years ago so you can imagine our surprise and delight when this came out this year.

Only one so far but a start. I suspect the bed does not get enough sun but now they have started flowering maybe more next year.

One of our favorite places to stay in Devon is Lewtrenchard Manor; a great location for visiting Devon gardens

lewtrenchard-manor-houseAlthough not an ideal photograph, in the center of the picture is a raised water feature which is surrounded by a small wall. The wall is covered by a small climbing roses and once again Clematis Perle d’Azur. Very simple and we had the ideal spot to repeat this idea.16_07_23_2939Here it is around a well near our front door. This time with Rosa May Queen and Rosa Phyllis Bide and you can also just see the Sissinghurst scheme in the background.

Visiting  a fantastic private garden in Norfolk designed by Tom Stuart Smith we came on this planting scheme.visit_20110712_999_33Box balls with Hakonechloa macra under trees. This is the green Hakonechloa not the more common golden varieties which would have been too much.  We had an area of the garden where I had tried to imitate the Japanese tightly pruned azelas plantings. However as azelas do not do well in our area I had used a range of hebes. It worked well but the hebes did not like too much pruning and got too big. We needed a rethink and in our garden we now have20_06_16_2690although the box has been replaced with yew balls due to a scare with box blight. In spring we have snowdrops and Anemone Nemerosa before the grass comes through. The trees are Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Lace Lady’ a unique small tree worth considering in any garden. Again very little maintenance required and the scheme gives year round interest.

Actually at the back of this bed the stone pillar is the base of a granite Japanese lantern which fell over recently and is waiting to be put together again. Not so easy as it needs four strong men to lift the top! Any wind tends to come across the field at the back and the grass then moves like a river.10_07_16_2857

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
20 333 20

The seasons are moving on

Time to pick the last fruits of the vegetable plot

We only have a very small vegetable plot for the two of us. However it is amazing how much can be grown and all the freezers are full to bursting withe the produce.

16_10_02_3542Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco beans.16_10_02_3532The green house haul. Tomatoes, Aubergine Bonica, and Cucumber Cucino. Now its time to clean the glass inside ready for seed planting.16_10_02_3541Last but not least the Winter Squash Barbara Butternut.

Putting the garden to bed for the winter

As well as sorting out the herbaceous plants the other significant work is pruning climbing roses.img_9702This is Rosa Madame Alfred Carriere in all her spender.

The first autumn clear up done.

Looking forward to 2017

Its October and time to get out the garden notebook and order plants that we have noted down and need to fill out gaps etc. This year I am planting my clematis now to take advantage of the warn soil. Normally I forget and buy them in a mad rush in February! I have been buying from Thorncroft Clematis and here is my list with links to the plants on their website. The Brief Overview also comes from their website.

Name # Brief Overview
Ernest Markham 1 The light magenta-red blooms have a deeply textured surface and beautifully crimped margins. A fabulous companion to climbing roses and, if hard pruned can be grown in a patio container.
BURNING LOVE ‘Vitiwester’ 1 The glorious vibrant red flowers have a textured surface and gently recurved, twisted tips. Their distinctive crown of contrasting yellow stamens adds to the attraction of this outstanding performer.
Venosa Violacea 1 (syn. viticella ‘Venosa Violacea’). The eye-catching flowers have broad deep purple margins that merge towards a white bar which has rosy-purple veins running through it. A lovely crown of stamens further enhance the striking effect of these blooms. Awarded RHS Award of Garden Merit.
SEA BREEZE ‘Zo09063’ 2 A huge abundance of flowers that have a fresh pale violet-blue colour become almost white at the centre of the tepal and surround a dark ‘eye’ of anthers in the middle.
Blekitny Aniol (BLUE ANGEL) 1 The gorgeous pale, mauvy-blue flowers have a pretty satin sheen across their deeply textured surface. Its crimped and wavy margins taper to pointed tips. At dusk the flowers become almost luminous. Beautiful! Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
Victoria 1 The gorgeous deep pinky-mauve semi-nodding flowers have a rose-pink flush along their central bars which fades as the blooms mature to light pinkish-mauve. A wonderful companion for your climbing roses. Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
Étoile Violette 4 The dark bluey-purple flowers have beautifully contrasting pale yellow stamens. An outstanding performer that adorns gardens across the world. Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
The President 2 This handsome old clematis has deep purply-blue star-shaped flowers with slightly paler bars and attractive beetroot-red stamens.
Dutch Sky 1 The pretty bluey-white flowers merge to light blue margins and tips. The reverse has the same colouring with distinctive purple ribs. It is exceptionally free-flowering.
Abundance 1 The pretty semi-nodding pinky-red flowers have a deeply textured surface and crimped margins. Aptly named, the blooms are indeed produced in great abundance.
Mrs Cholmondeley 1 The wonderful light mauvy-blue flowers have pale coffee-coloured anthers. A fabulous old cultivar which, if hard pruned, can be grown in a patio container. Cholmondeley is pronounced Chumley. Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

I plan to plant many of these so they can scramble through established roses and some on existing obelisks in the Italianate garden which is having a make over as the pond is repaired.

08_05_16_2371The other big planting at this time of year is bulbs, mostly for spring and summer displays. I normally buy these from Parkers. Here is this years list.

Aconites 100 Eranthis Hyemalis
Allium 20 Schubertii
Anemone 20 Anemone Nemerosa Robinsoniana
Crocus 100 Chrysanhus Ladykiller
Crocus 100 Siberi Tricolour
Eremurus 10 White Beauty Favourite
Lilium 20 Rosella’s Dream
Lilium 20 Inuvik
Lilium 20 Elodie
Lilium 10 Miss Lily
Narcissi 100 Tete-a-Tete
Tulips 100 Flaming Purissima
Tulips 100 Triumph Tulips Mixed
Tulips 100 Red Impression
Tulips 100 Doll’s Minuet
Tulips 100 Purple Blend
Tulips 50 Hageri Splendens
Tulips 50 Humilis
Tulips 50 Turkestanica

Many of the bulbs are to supplement existing plantings. I have taken photographs to identify where there is a shortage; maybe due to bulbs not returning or maybe they provided dinner for some animal! We do not lift our tulips as we have very sandy loam and they come back each year. However, we can look forward to a lot of bulb planting over the next few weeks.

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
31 313 20