How many hours do you spend in your garden?

I started doing this blog last year on June 19th. As well as the normal gardening related material I started to record each week the number of hours that we had spent working on the garden. This was partly out of interest but also because whenever we open the garden the number one question is “How long to you spend doing this? or other variations such as “This must be a full time job!” or “How many gardeners do you have?”.

To be honest I had very little idea apart from knowing we worked very hard in the run up to an opening day. So lets see what we did:

blog hoursThe chart shows hours by week with the red line a three week centered moving average to smooth out some of the peaks and troughs. The zero weeks reflect when we were away and no gardening was done.

Note that the hours are gardening hours not the many hours we spend enjoying the garden or indeed writing the blog!

I had always assumed that we spent long hours prior to an opening. This year it was on 14th June and this is reflected in the peak on the right of the chart. I had always assumed that after the opening the garden more or less looked after itself. Last year it was on June 20th and, apart from a holiday straight after, the hours continued around 20 hours a week up until the middle of November. So I have revised my assumptions.

December and January are relatively low at around 10 hours a week but given that the lawn does not need cutting then, typically 2 to 3 hours a week in summer, they remain quite high.

So, in summary we have:

Gardening Hours
Week beginning June 10th Total since June 19th 2016 Average per week
48 1011 19

an average of 19 hours a week.

The total size of our land is about 0.9 acres. 17_06_14_6203The garden consist mainly of flower beds with a small vegetable area and a soft fruit cage. Over the years we have tried to make our garden relatively efficient. For example the lawns have long sweeping edges and have metal edging which makes cutting the grass easier etc. However, we do try to achieve succession planting which must increase the work load. I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has recorded their hours.

And last but not least the hours for this week are:

2017 Gardening Hours
Week beginning June 17th Total 2017 to-date Average per week
30 558 22

From now on I shall report on a calendar year.

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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – June 2017

June is here and the garden has come to life. This must be one of the easiest GBBD to write with just so many blooms to choose from. But first a few high level photos of the garden taken from our conservatory which is upstairs in our house.17_06_14_6203Looking down the garden Rosa Rambling Rector has taken over the apple tree which was damaged earlier this year in a storm and beyond more roses given the whole garden a perfumed scent. 17_06_14_6206Towards the garden wall Rosa Blush Noisette on the pergola in the corner.17_06_14_6204Across the large pond a multitude of blooms of delphiniums, geraniums etc.17_06_14_6205And looking back towards the pleached lime hedge the underplanting of Rosa Alfred de Dalmas and Lavandula augustifolia ‘Hidcote’ is all coming together.

Looking at some of the blooms in more detail

Rosa Irene Watts is putting on a great display with Carpenteria californica in the background just coming into flower.

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Carpenteria californica

17_06_14_6267Rosa Joseph’s Coat produces these interesting multi coloured blooms.17_06_14_6257Clematis Rhapsody always puts on a good display.17_06_14_6208Recently I talked about the wall across the lawn. It has now been transformed with a hardy pink Diascia noname that is flowering along the wall.17_06_14_6238

Rosa Anne Boleyn is one of may favorite David Austin roses. Is not too tall and has a fantastic scent.17_06_14_6235Potentilla atrosanguinea var. argyrophylla Scarlet Starlit providing bright red stars in the border.

Delphinium Black Knight survived the recent winds!17_06_14_6232Near the Delphinium Black Knight a Rosa Iceberg in flower.17_06_14_6230Knautia macedonica probably a self set but the colour combination works well.17_06_14_6229Hosta Sun & Substance together with Clematis Boulevard Angelique in a lead planter. This planter is on automatic watering. Last year the drain holes blocked and the planter was flooded for some time. Everything was removed and new drain holes made. The original clematis died but the hosta has come back and shows great promise with the new clematis.17_06_14_6228Rosa Bonica as a standard rose, newly planted last year.

Rosa Alfred de Dalmas under planting of the pleached lime hedge.

Iris laevigata Snowdrift and Iris laevigata in the large pond.17_06_14_6224Clematis Madame Julia Correvon another reliable clematis.17_06_14_6222The large pink flowered plant is Geranium palmatum which has a habit of self seeding everywhere but how can you fault it when it looks like this.17_06_14_6221The first dahlia in flower this year, Dahlia David Howard.17_06_14_6220Salvia nemorosa Ostfriesland (East Friesland)17_06_14_6219Rosa Felicite Perpetue along the bottom of the garden.17_06_14_6217Sambucus nigra Lace Lady17_06_14_6216Lysimachia atropurpurea Beaujolais. The problem with plant nurseries is that you always see something that you have not got but feel you have a place for it. This was one such purchase last week!

Geranium Patricia a great mid border plant.

Rosa Ghislaine de Feligonde in full bloom.17_06_14_6211The largest Crambe Cordifolia we have ever grown.17_06_14_6210

Clematis Chelsea and newly planted Rosa Pink Gruss an Aachen.

Viola cornuta horned pansy.

Clematis noname…………..I must look through all my files!17_06_03_5905The magic of some clematis does not die when the flowers are over. Gold seed heads remain.17_06_03_5904More Allium Christophii17_06_03_5902Tradescantia Innocence, what more is there to like!

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what is blooming in gardens around the world.

Gardening Hours
Week beginning June 3rd Total since June 19th 2016 Average per week
49 963 19

The borrowed landscape has gone blue and more art in the garden

16_12_29_4625We are very fortunate in having a beautiful borrowed landscape. Our garden actually ends where you can see the fence but there is part of an ha-ha (built when it was all part of the rectory next door) at the end of our garden and our garden appears to go on for ever. The immediate field is only used for sheep but the fields beyond have a variety of crops on them. Sometimes wheat when the colours go from green through to gold at harvest time,  sometimes rape seed when we are surrounded by a sulfurous yellow when it flowers in May/June.17_06_01_5899This year all the fields turned blue.17_05_28_5867This is a crop of Flax (also known as common flax or linseed), Linum usitatissimum, is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is a food and fiber crop cultivated in cooler regions of the world. The textiles made from flax are known in the Western countries as linen, and traditionally used for bed sheets, underclothes, and table linen. 17_05_28_5873The fields are a stunning crop of small blue flax flowers. 17_05_28_5870Through the day the flowers open up and close in the evening resulting in the field going between blue and green. When the wind blows it can look like a huge lake.

Art in the garden

DSC01816At least once a year the local Hoby Art Group spends the morning capturing the different aspects of the garden. This year we were very lucky to have a sunny and warm day.

Glebe House Garden

It feels like a race against nature at the moment. There are two parts of the garden where some significant replanting is required. There are still many pots waiting patiently to be located. And we have people coming around a week on Wednesday! To make matters worse it has started raining! So its getting up with the sun and very long days. At least one person was very upset I had missed the following table out of my last blog as she was keen to see how many hours we had done! The table is for week beginning May 27th:

Gardening Hours
Week beginning May 27th Total since June 19th Average per week
59 914 18

End of the Month View – May 2017

It is totally crazy in the garden just now. All the beds need to move to there summer look. There are over 70 large dahlias which are in pots waiting to fill the odd space left by tulips etc. In addition we have visited plant nurseries several times to get additional stock as we are changing the “look and feel” of a couple of areas. In the vegetable area everything seems to need attention with frost having finished it it time for planting out courgettes, tomatoes, dwarf beans etc.. And in two weeks we have an open garden! As such this will be a short end of the month.17_05_31_5878This is my classic end of the month view across the garden. You can see that everything is growing at a great speed and most of the climbing roses are in full bloom.17_05_31_5879The bed on the left which is mainly roses are just coming into flower.17_05_31_5880In front of these roses is a Tradescantia, Tradescantia ‘Innocence’17_05_31_5881The bed in the left corner is having some major changes. the tall herbaceous at the back is being extended round to the left with the addition of Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’, Cimicifuga ramosa ‘Atropurpurea’ and Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’.17_05_31_5882The Crambe Cordifolia has gone completely mad with the most enormous flower head. Some time ago I said we might move this as, although the flower head can be stunning, the leaves are not very interesting and take up a lot of space. It must have heard me and is demonstrating that it should stay!17_05_31_5883Small beds in front of the pond have for some reason always been difficult. We have changed the rose to Rosa Pink Gruss an Aachen with Clematis ‘Chelsea’ a ground cover clematis. Early days but so far so good.17_05_31_5885The bed to the right of the pond has not yet had the early summer tidy up. I anticipate some dahlias will go in here. However, the Allium Christophii are looking great and on the wall Rosa ‘Alister Stella Grey’ and Rosa ‘Crown Princess Margareta’ are blooming away.

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Rosa ‘Alister Stella Grey’

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Rosa ‘Crown Princess Margareta’

17_05_31_5889The bed on the right already looks full but as you can see there are some Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ waiting to go in. On the wall Rosa ‘Mutabilis’ and another Rosa ‘Alister Stella Grey’ are in bloom. The very large cat mint is Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’.

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Rosa ‘Mutabilis’

17_05_31_5893Again you cannot beat the Allium Christophii.17_05_31_5895A new clematis growing up the pergola,  Clematis ‘Monte Cassino’. 17_05_31_5897Just to the right of the end of the month view is the urn bed. Here Rosa Alchemist  always puts on a great show at this time of year.

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Rosa Alchemist