End of Month View – August 2018

18_08_30_9237Finally we have had some rain and the grass is coming back with the exception of the areas where there had been paths in the original walled garden. These totally dried out and will require some reseeding. This is the view I always post on my EoMV but for the end of August it is looking very green and brown as many of the flowers that normally would be at their best eg Dahlias are not out.17_08_25_6898This is the same view this time last year!18_08_30_9243You can see here how the dahlia, which should be about 100cm high and covered in red blooms has become dried up with the lack of water. Hopefully the tubers will be OK for next year!18_08_30_9245This Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff  together with Ricinus communis ‘Impala’ look good because they happen to be on automatic watering as the area is very dry being under the steps. 18_08_30_9238This would have been a good colour combination with Rudbeckia ‘Dwarfs’ and Rudbeckia ‘Cherokee Sunset’ set against  the dark foliage of Dahlia ‘Twyning’s After Eight’ but once again the dahlias have done nothing yet.  Maybe the rain will bring them into life.18_08_30_9240The roses have not repeated but there is still time.18_08_30_9235Some areas have come through relatively well. Here Rudbeckia fulgida sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ seems to like the heat and Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ towards the back is full of blooms although we did water this.18_08_30_9239This area is more like prairie planting but again the Dahlia ‘Fairfield Frost’ should be covered in white flowers and be at least 30cm taller.18_08_30_9241Salvia ‘Cerro Potosi’ obviously likes the heat.18_08_30_9244And similarly Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ looks very happy.18_08_30_9246This is Cosmos ‘Cupcakes White’, a very nice Cosmos that I will certainly grow again.18_08_30_9248Other areas look very dry and brown although Rosa ‘Alister Stella Grey’ is beginning to repeat.

The good news is the grapes are looking good!18_08_30_9251and oddly the Wisteria is having a second flush.18_08_30_9233Meanwhile by the compost heap I found this young grass snake. Maybe an off spring from the large one I photographed earlier.

2018 Gardening Hours
Week beginning
August 25th
Total 2018 to-date Average per week
30 647 19

The hours are beginning to add up. In August I have done a lot of hedge cutting. Particularly with Box the current view is to cut in August to help prevent blight.

This has been a difficult year with a cold grey spring followed by a very hot dry summer. I realise this is to be expected in the future as a result of global warming and we will need to adapt to this.

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

End of Month View – October 2017

October in the centre of England has been a strange month. The temperature has continued to be above average and the plants have continued to flower. It is definitely autumn with the leaves turning and dropping, all the more so with several windy periods as a couple of Atlantic storms have arrived. We are towards the east of the country so even these storms have normally moderated by the time they get to us.

17_10_28_7426My regular view across the garden. There are still many flowers out although not as many as last month. We have not had any frost so far so the dahlias are continuing to flower. One of the negative aspect of the warm and damp weather through September and October has been the growth of moss in the lawns. 17_10_29_7433This time of year is a good time for scarification to remove any thatch and moss in the lawn. It always amazes me how much can come up with such a small machine and this is after the lawns have been cut with the normal mower.17_10_28_7425Its a labour intensive job. After the scarification the thatch needs to be raked into piles.17_10_28_7427Bagged up ready to be moved around to the composting area. Then the lawn need mowing again to pick any lose material not raked up. Thank goodness it is only once a year.17_10_29_7434Elsewhere a sure sign that winter is on the way is when we start to wrap the benches in the garden.17_10_29_7442However, the roses continue to flower. This is mostly Rosa ‘Lichfield Angel’17_10_29_7437and Rosa ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ which also needs its winter prune to get it back into shape.17_10_29_7439Pruning climbing roses is a significant job at this time of year. This will more or less need to be taken off the wall and rearranged but………..17_05_13_5698……….see how it will look in May. Rosa ‘Shot Silk’ is the rose.

One of the stars this autumn has been Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ which continues to look fantastic.17_10_29_7441View across the lawn with Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’  either side of the pond.

It is getting into bulb planting time. We do not lift our tulips as most come back each year but over time they do need replenishing. My order for 2017 arrived and contains the following:

Quantity Name
250 Crocus Joan of Arc
100 Crocus speciosus Albus
50 Cyclamineus Narcissi Jenny
100 Narcissi Tete-a-Tete
20 Lilium Bright Diamond
20 Lilium Foxtrot
10 Lilium Purple Lady
10 Lilium Curly Sue
10 Lilium Venezuela
20 Schubertii
100 Anemone Altrocoerulea
15 Cyclamen Coum Album
10 Cyclamen Hederifolium Album
25 Eremurus Bungei
100 Iris Histrioides Katherine Hodgkin
25 Leucojum Aestivum
25 Leucojum Vernum
10 Lilium candidum
100 Tulip Exotic Emperor
100 Tulip Purissima White Emperor
100 Tulip Red Impression
100 Tulip Big Smiles
100 Tulip Elegant Lady
100 Tulip Purple Blend
100 Tulip Species Turkestanica

We have made a start but the tulips are best not planted before November to avoid “Tulip Fire” so we are going to be busy in November with 700 bulbs to plant! Tulip fire is caused by the fungus Botrytis tulipae. It is closely related to the grey mould pathogen Botrytis cinerea. Leaf symptoms are visible from when leaves emerge in late winter until they die back in summer.

17_10_29_7444In some areas we have started to cut back the herbaceous plants in preparation for tulips and mulching. However, with so much still flowering it seems a shame to cut out too much.

The dahlias will continue to flower until the first hard frost. Here is Dahlia “Twyning’s After Eight” plus a Red Admiral butterfly!17_10_29_7438This is Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ which will be cut back soon but is looking great right now.17_10_28_7430This combination of Osteospermum ‘Tresco Purple’ and Salvia ‘Cerro Potosi’ has been looking great since June this year.17_10_29_7445What is this flowering so much at the end of November? Helianthemum ‘Ben Fhada’ a flower I normally associate with the summer but I am not complaining.

If you would like to join in with the End of Month View please do. It would be great if you could add a link to your post in the comments below and link to this post in your post.

2017 Gardening Hours
Week beginning
October 21st
Total 2017 to-date Average per week
28 883 21

Breaking News:

17_10_30_7446Having almost completed this blog and commented on the frost free weather; this morning we had the first frost of the winter! Not enough to hurt the dahlias but they will be hit soon.

End of Month View – September 2017

The weather this September continues to be very variable. One day the sun will be out with temperatures around 20c, perfect gardening weather, the next will be grey and wet all day. 17_09_29_7312What ever the weather Autumn is certainly setting in now. Looking down the garden the day after the grass was cut there is already a carpet of leaves forming.17_09_27_7288Else where the Euonymus  alatus ‘Burning Bush’ is looking fantastic with its Autumn foliage.17_09_27_7296The usual EoMV across the garden has not changed that much from last month. It does look a bit duller but I think this is mainly the lack of sun for the photograph!17_09_27_7308In more detail the corner bed on the left has been really successful with the Ricinus communis ‘Impala’  continuing to put on an excellent display. The dark leaves and white flowers of Dahlia ‘Twyning’s After Eight’ off setting the yellow flowers of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’. 17_09_27_7307Last month I said I had been disappointed with Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and several people said how  much they valued this plant. 17_09_27_7306Now I take back my words as you can see what a great plant to have in the Autumn border. However, due to its size good staking is definitely required.17_09_27_7304Almost lost in this corner is Achillea millefolium ‘Terracotta’ together with the magenta of  Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ . A great demonstration of the value of complementary colours. With so much large herbaceous planting it is easy for smaller plants to get lost. We will be giving some thought to how to make more of the front of the border.17_09_27_7298The main rose bed is to the left of the wall. The roses are coming to the end of their blooming period. 17_09_27_7291However there are still some beauties to see. This is Rosa ‘Anne Boleyn’ a very reliable rose around two to three feet high, a great perfume and repeat flowing. What more could you want?17_09_27_7309The view across the lawn to the right hand part of the wall. From this distance it looks very green but there are some points of interest to explore.17_09_27_7299Another good repeater is Rosa ‘Mutabilis’. When it is windy this rose always gets hit. It has been stripped twice of its flowers this year but it keeps coming back. It is planted as a climber on the wall and as it is a bit tender seems to respond well to this..

As well as the Rosa ‘Mutabilis’ above , Salvia involocruta bethellii continues to perform.17_09_27_7295Another Autumn favourite, both for insects and flowers, is the Sedum although in this case I have no idea about the variety. Sedums must be one of the easiest plants to grow and propagate and as such end up being slotted into gaps without recording what they are! We always do a ‘Chelsea chop’ on these which seems to give strong stems and less flopping. 17_09_27_7297At the end of the bed on the right is Cotinus ‘Nottcutts Variety’. Normally a very dark variety.

It is clearly not well. It looks like Verticillium wilt. The RHS website gives the following information.

Verticillium wilt is caused by the soil-borne fungi Verticillium dahliae and V. albo-atrum. Both infect a very wide range of garden plants through the roots and then grow upwards in the water-conducting tissues, causing wilting of the upper parts due to water stress. Wilting is mostly seen from spring until autumn.

Plants affected include Chrysanthemum, carnation, aubergine, potato, tomato, cucurbits and strawberries. Woody plants are also affected, including Acer, Cotinus, Rhus, Berberis, Catalpa, Cercis and Rosa, but the full host range is very wide indeed. Conifers are not affected.

See RHS Verticillium wilt for more information. It looks like I will be removing this and we will have to rethink what to replace it with.

The Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ by the pond has really grown a lot since last month and is looking stunning. We already have many cuttings of this in the green house as insurance against a hard winter.

2017 Gardening Hours
Week beginning September 23rd Total 2017 to-date Average per week
17 794 20

Between the rain showers work in the garden includes; finishing off some hedge cutting, removing specimen weeds that are always growing, repairing a blocked fountain and mowing the lawn. The moss in the lawn has become very severe in places so it looks like I will be doing some scarification soon.

All are welcome to join in with the End of Month View community. You can use it how you like all I ask is that you add a link to your post in the comment box below and if possible it would be great if you could link to this post from your post. Thank you.

 

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

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 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