Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July 2017

17_07_12_6705The weather this year has been a challenge. It has been dry and hot and we seem to be advancing into that gap between Summer and Autumn even so it is only the end of July. Many plants are dry and crispy and having been away for a couple of weeks we have not had time to remove those specimen weeds that always seem to grow the best! However, there is still much to show this month.

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ is doing well and has picked up considerably since we gave it a good watering.

The dahlias have been slow to bloom probably lack of water. Here is Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ with Hemerocallis ‘Catherine Woodbury’17_07_12_6662Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ looking great as always.17_07_12_6663Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’17_07_12_6695almost lost in the border with other perennials.17_07_12_6664Another day lily, Hemerocallis ‘Stafford’.17_07_12_6665A favorite with the bees and looking at its best Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s ghost’17_07_12_6666The blue globes of Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’. This magnificent variety produces stiff silvery stems with dark green, silver-backed thistle-like leaves which terminate in brilliant dark, vivid blue globes the size of a spiky golf ball.

Dahlia Twyning’s After Eight the white flower offset by the dark foliage.17_07_12_6667Anthemis tinctoria ‘Sauce Hollandise’ need supporting as it grows but gives a real splash of colour.17_07_12_6672One for the back of the border. Achillea filipendulina ‘Cloth of Gold’ will grow to six feet.17_07_12_6673Another echinops, Echinops Humilis ‘Taplow Blue’ also grows to around six feet.17_07_12_6700And here they are together with Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’.17_07_12_6671A useful gap filler for the front of the border is Mesembryanthemum and it is easy to grow from seed.17_07_12_6668Potentilla ‘Gibson’s Scarlet’ another useful plant for the front of the border.17_07_12_6669One of my favorite dahlias, Dahlia Bishop of Auckland.  17_07_12_6670Always unexpected, Verbena bonariensis plants itself where it wants to grow but it is always a delight.

One of the best, Rosa ‘Bonica’ 17_07_12_6678Day lily, Hemerocallis ‘Lemon Bells’17_07_12_6681and in the same border Hemerocallis ‘Catherine Woodbery’

Eremurus White Beauty Favourite doing well as they were only planted last November.17_07_12_6679Achillea ‘Credo’ was planted in 2016 and is now looking much stronger.17_07_12_6706The bottom of the garden with Stipa gigantea and17_07_12_6684 Echinacea.17_07_12_6686Leucanthemum ‘Goldrausch’ a good strong  Shasta Daisy.17_07_12_6687Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ with17_07_12_6688Phlox paniculata Uspekh in the background.

By the large pond the seat is surrounded by lilies. Lilium Inuvik and Lilium Inuvik. Easy to do, just plant bulbs in pots November/ December and wait.17_07_12_6694Phoxs have done particularly well this year. In the foreground is Phlox paniculata ‘Bright Eyes’.17_07_12_6696Lavandula augustifolia ‘Hidcote’ is always hard to keep looking good and not woody.17_07_12_6697We only have one hanging basket and here it is!

A couple of clematis, Clematis ‘Perle d’Azur’ and Clematis ‘Jackmanii’.17_07_12_6699A great honeysuckle which we took as a cutting from another garden.17_07_12_6701Rosa ‘Meg’ a beautiful climbing rose that was in the garden 23 years ago when we brought the house and garden.

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.

2017 Gardening Hours
Week beginning July 8th Total 2017 to-date Average per week
13 571 20
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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

End of the Month View – September 2016

16_09_28_3503This is the same view across the garden that I took in August. Actually I am surprised to see that there are now more flowers on show. Looking at some of these stars we have:16_09_28_3504Osteospermum ‘Tresco Purple’ which is new in the garden this year although I have often seen it in Tresco. It has done really well and forms a low bushy plant which is claimed to be hardy. However as with all our osteospermums we take cutting which will remain in the greenhouse till next spring.16_09_29_3529

The seed trays are Anemone Nemerosa Robinsoniana which come in the form of little twigs of root. Planting directly in the garden has not been successful so I plant them in seed trays and plant out in the spring when they start growing. So far this has always worked.

Dahlias Bishop of Landaff and David Howard continue to bloom there hearts away. however, they do need deadheading frequently.

Dragonflies dart around everywhere laying their eggs around the pond.  This one is probably the Southern Hawker Dragonfly.

16_09_28_3527Rudbeckia ‘Herbstone’ makes a huge plant at the back of the border.  The main issue is supporting it from falling onto the other plants.16_09_28_3525Roses are continuing to flower with the very warm weather we have been having. This is Rosa Awakening a climber on the wall.16_09_28_3513Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’ has grown and grown with some plants over six feet high which usually mean they have collapsed onto other plants.16_09_28_3512Apples, apples and more apples. This is a very old tree of unknown stock but they do keep quite well for upto six months. We will pick some for storage soon.16_09_28_3516Salvia ‘Cerro Potosi’ a useful hardy salvia. We cut it back each spring and it grows and grows!16_09_28_3514and at the back is this aster. It is one of the few plants that was in the garden when we moved here in 1994. It is very tall (about six feet) and very reliable but I do not know exactly what variety it is. Could be Aster praealtus any other suggestions?

Some more details views of the border:

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
31 282 19

End of Month View – August 2016

16_08_24_3297This is a view across the garden into what was originally a walled kitchen garden to the village rectory. The wall at the back is double skinned and could be heated via a fireplace and a system of brick ducts to transport the heat through the wall.  The flower beds were originally only a couple of feet deep when we moved here in 1994 but has since been increased up to 12 feet deep. The pergola on the right is made from green oak and replaced one that was made from scaffolding planks and poles.  The lawn, viewed from above forms a large half circle.

I shall use my “End of Month View” to look at this view and how it develops through the year. The following sequence of photos look at the borders in more detail from left to right.16_08_24_3298The star here is the Rudbeckia ‘Berlin’ with the Osteospermum ‘Tresco Purple’ and the Molinia caerulea grass behind. At this time of year much of this border is looking either green or brown. In the future we intend to get more gems of colour such as the Rudbeckia into the planting schemes16_08_24_3300With the Molinia on the left there is a bank of dahlias,  ‘Bishop of Llandaff’, ‘Fairfield Frost’ & ‘Nuit D’Ete’ together with Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’. I often use dahlias to fill gaps in the late summer borders.16_08_24_3299The Rudbeckia ‘Herbstone’ at the back provides good colour with Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s ghost’ providing structural interest. However the large leaves of Crambe Cordifolia in the centre has become an issue for this border. In late May the flowers can be great (although this year they failed completely) but for much of the year it only provides a mass of leaves. I think it will be gone next year!16_08_24_3302As you can see I designed and built the pond in 2010. We have been delighted with the pond but have struggled with the planting in front. Currently we have ground cover Rosa ‘Snow Carpet’ underplanted with Clematis ‘Chelsea’ neither has done that well which could be because it is a very dry spot. 16_08_24_3304This border on the right has done well this year. The large Nepeta is ‘Six Hills Giant’ with dahlias ‘David Howard’ and ‘Twyning’s After Eight’. In the centre is an interesting Salvia involocruta bethellii. This salvia is cut back in the winter but so far has survived our winters and grows to around 6 feet. We normally mulch the base in winter with dry material to protect it from the frost.

16_08_24_3271

Salvia involocruta bethellii