Some stars in the August border

It is mid August already and the garden and weather is beginning to feel more like Autumn. July gave us some really nice summer weather but this August has been poor so far. We have had more than half the normal rainfall in the first two weeks and it seems that the jet stream is in the wrong place such that even when high pressure is in control the air is very humid and the sky is overcast. Never the less most plants are performing and here is a selection from the garden in August.17_08_19_6842Rudbeckia ‘Herbstone’ grows to almost two metres at the back of the border but does need staking to stop it falling on other plants.

Butterflies have been plentiful in the garden this year.  Here on a variety of plants. We do have a Butterfly bush Buddleja davidii which of course gets covered with butterflies too.17_08_06_6815This circular bed (stone edged bed on the garden map) was newly planted in 2016 and one of the things I was trying to achieve was a succession of plants forming a snake through the centre. Here Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ is achieving the snake with the leaves of Brunnera ‘Mr. Morse’ also snaking through.17_08_10_6823Rudbeckia fulgida sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ should always have a place in the August border.17_08_19_6839At first this looked like a new plant formed when a Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ decided to climb up a Foeniculum vulgare ‘purpureum’17_08_10_6824I always grow some Ricinus communis ‘Impala’ from seed each year starting them off in the greenhouse and planting out when the dahlias go in. The leaves are fantastic architectural additions to any border but note that they  donot overwinter here. 17_08_19_6837There are many different Dahlias in our garden This is one of my favorites, Dahlia ‘Bishop of Aukland’.17_08_10_6826This is Phlox paniculata Uspekh a plant I saw on a garden visit and just had to have for its strong colours.17_08_10_6830Colour combinations are important in the garden. Often it is the plants themselves which seem to combine in good ways. Here we have Achillea ‘Credo’ with Salvia greggii ‘Emperor’, as close to complementary colours as you can get.17_08_19_6836Here Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ is absolutely stunning but look closely a Cerastostigma willmottianum ‘Forest Blue’ has got into the picture. Complementary colours again!

Hemerocallis ‘Lemon Bells’ has been a real success this year and has been flowering now for around 10 weeks.17_08_10_6832And other day lilies have also done well, here is Hemerocallis ‘Stafford’.17_08_19_6841A shrubby clematis, Clematis ‘Wyevale’, comes back every year and has a long flowering period.17_08_10_6831Cone flowers, Echinacea purpurea,  are loved by insects and look fantastic in the garden.

There is a huge range of salvias on the market. Recently I have been adding a couple each year. Here is Salvia x jamensis ‘Sierra san Antonio’ and Salvia microphylla ‘Icing Sugar’17_08_19_6848 Osteospermums have a long flowing period and look great. This is Osteospermum ‘Tresco Purple’ which is hardy in some places but so far not here so I take cuttings every year.17_08_19_6844Sowed a bit late but this Rudbeckia came from a packet of seed described as Rustic Dwarfs Mixed and has produced some stars. I will try getting Rudbeckia plants from seed every year now.17_08_19_6847Another plant from seed is Cosmos, this is Cosmos versailles tera and produces some very strongly coloured flowers.17_08_19_6851This is new to me, Maurandya ‘Magic Dragon’. Sue Turner at “from sewing room to potting shed” very kindly sent me some seed last year. 17_08_19_6850Another climber, Clematis ‘Jackmanii’, has been doing great things although this year has not produced the best from clematis which I suspect was due to lack of rain through the spring.17_08_19_6852Last but not least, Anemone ‘Honorine Joubert’, a great plant not least because it copes with shade well.

2017 Gardening Hours
Week beginning
August 12th
Total 2017 to-date Average per week
10 671 20
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End of the Month View – April 2017

At the end of December I took you on a frosty walk around our garden. This month I plan another walk around the garden but this time going in the reverse direction taking in the different views as we progress around. The old kitchen garden divides the garden making circular walks the best way to see the whole garden.

17_04_25_5361This is the view you get as you enter the garden through a gate in the garden wall. The lovely tulips are Tulip Ballerina. The urn is designed to be a focal point as you enter. In fact when the plants have grown up in the summer the view of the garden is restricted making an element of surprise as you walk in.17_04_23_5346From this point, with the urn on our right, we can see diagonally across to the steps which provide access to the higher level lawn. The Tulip Red Impression is continuing to create a good display.17_04_23_5347As we move further into the garden it begins to open up. In the distance you can just see small lake which used to be the fish ponds for the rectory that was next door.17_04_23_5348Further still on the paved area we get a different view down the garden past the tree that got damaged recently in a storm. Behind us is the back door of our house with a number of climbing roses on the walls.17_04_25_5359This one is Rosa Old Blush China. Actually it is not meant to be a climber but if it wants to climb I happy with that. 17_04_25_5360Next to Rosa Old Blush China is Rosa Madame Alfred Carriere. These two roses are both flowering very early this year.17_04_23_5324Going up the steps on to the higher lawn we get to the spot where my classic End of Month View is taken. (See January, MarchOctober, September, August)The tulips are continuing to put on a display and the aliums are just beginning to open up.17_04_23_5325The blossom on the apple tree is out and looking good despite the storm damage.

Behind us is an area, beneath some large lime trees, which we treat as a woodland garden. We have made some cobble paths here to enable easy access. A  seat provides an interesting viewing place across the garden.17_04_25_5354Continuing on around the garden we can see the end of the garden wall on the right.17_04_25_5375In the circular bed as well as  the Brunnera Mr. Morse,  Tulip Hageri Splendens is now in flower.

17_04_25_5376

Tulip Hageri Splendens

17_04_25_5367We have now come round to the bottom right hand corner of the garden and are looking up behind the garden wall. The planting here is mainly shrubs designed for relatively easy maintenance.17_04_25_5373Continuing on and just before the first yew hedge there is a small pond on the left. This pond has been designed to be very nature friendly with a sloping edges enabling easy access to the water and an easy escape route should something fall in!17_04_25_5377Having walked along behind the wall we get to a small grass lawn and flower bed. The Geranium himalayense has just started to flower and looks great with the tulips. The bed is called Ivy’s bed after the lady that lives in the cottage over looking the border.17_04_25_5378Across the lawn we get to the Italianate area. Twenty years ago this was all paddock and we added the pond and landscaping. As I mentioned, in 2016 the pond developed a leak and a major repair job was done. With this disruption we decided to renovate the whole area.17_04_23_5343The gravel borders were contained with wooden edging and this had rotted away. These are being replaced with metal edging and the gravel, into which the garden had been growing, is all being cleaned up! The obelisks each have had a rose planted in their centre to grow up with clematis. Work has yet to be done on the joints between the paviours which need cleaning and re-pointing.17_04_23_5344The seat by the pond is one of our ‘gin & tonic’ seats and this is the view from there. With all the work on the pond it is going to take a year to stabilise.17_04_25_5352The little green house at the end of this area is even fuller and there will soon be standing room only!17_04_25_5379Looking back at the ‘gin & tonic’ seat the Carpinus betulus Frans Fontaine columns are just coming into leaf.17_04_25_5380Having completed the tour we get to the shady border by the end of the house with Erythronium Pagoda, various hostas and ferns providing the main planting.

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
27 778 17

Do have a look at Helen The Patient Gardener’s blog where you will find links to other gardens at the end of April. Thank you to Helen for hosting this meme.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – April 2017

This is my first Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Those of you who have seen last weeks blog Tulip Mania will realise that we have hundreds of tulips in bloom so I decided that there would not be a tulip in sight this week. So here goes:17_04_11_5281The side of our house is very shaded and we really focus on ferns, hostas and rodgersia. The snowdrops are long over but we have planted Erythronium Pagoda commonly known as dog’s tooth violet ‘Pagoda’ due to the shape of the tuber.17_04_10_5249At this time of year there are plenty of leaves as well as the delightful flowers. 17_04_10_5252Once the flowers are over the leaves decay very quickly.

Another interesting plant collection for this time of year are Epimediums.17_04_06_5231 This one is Epimedium Akebono. 17_04_10_5254Here they have been planted beneath a standard rose in a planter. Planting like this was a bit experimental last year but so far it is looking good.17_04_10_5255and the flowers are delightful.

17_03_29_5142Elsewhere we have Epimedium x versiclour Sulphureum planted around the base of a tree. This seems to work very well in an area which is often dry and shaded.17_03_29_5141Lastly we have 17_04_03_5195which is one of those plants that we were given without a name. On the RHS website there are 384 different varieties of Epimedium so there is plenty to consider.

17_04_07_5237In this circular bed we have created a ribbon of plants going through the middle. Over the spring these change from Iris Reticualata, to Anemone Blanda White Splendour, to Brunnera Mr. Morse now and in the future Tulip Hageri Splendens (sorry I used the tulip word but they are not out yet!) and then Anemone Wild Swan. 17_04_10_5260Brunnera Mr. Morse is a very nice Brunnera, similar to Brunnera Jack Frost but with dainty white flowers.

17_04_03_5185

17_04_10_5257This time a shrub; Viburnum carlesii Diana .17_04_10_5258The scent from these flowers is outstanding.

17_04_10_5259Fruit trees are in blossom everywhere. This is a Morello Cherry which is considered the best sour cooking cherry for the UK.

and lots more spring delights.

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
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
42 721 17

This was our busiest week since June. Luckily we had some fantastic weather with temperatures up to 25c. That’s summer not spring but I am not complaining. Most of the work has been weeding and tidying up the borders in readiness for summer.