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.

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End of Month View – August 2017

I started doing an End of Month View in August 2016 having seen Helen Johnstone’s blog,  The Patient Gardener, on my reader. In August 2009 she invited bloggers to join her End of the Month View by adding a comment and link to their End of Month View.

This simple idea has certainly caught on with many bloggers contributing to a global End of Month View community each month. Recently demands on Helen’s time have meant she is reluctantly giving up her hosting of the End of Month View.

The idea is too good to let it disappear and I have offered to pick up the mantle of hosting the End of Month View. I am sure you will all join me in thanking Helen for hosting this over the last 8 years and wish her the very best for the future.

In the meantime please add your comments to my blog together with a link to your End of Month View. Also please add a link back to here at the end of your blog so that other readers can find their way to all the contributors to the End of Month View.
Thank you.

Glebe House Garden – End of the Month View – August 2017

The weather this August has very variable with lots of rain and grey overcast skies. Temperatures have ranged from very cool, cool enough to actually switch on the heating in our house, to record breaking temperatures at the end of the month. As always the best growing plants have been the weeds and the borders need to be patrolled frequently for specimen weeds which can suddenly appear!17_08_25_6898This is the view I often centre on in my EoMV, looking across our main lawn to the old kitchen garden wall.17_08_25_6899The same walls and border looking diagonally across the lawn. 17_08_27_6913 And looking along the other diagonal. Originally the kitchen garden wall extended across the lawn to form a kitchen garden enclosed on three sides and open on the fourth where there was probably a hedge. 17_08_25_6889The late summer border is starting to look very full with many of the herbaceous plants growing very tall and needing plenty of staking to prevent them falling across other smaller plants.17_08_25_6906At the corner of this bed is one of those lucky combinations of colour with the soft pink of Geranium sanguineum striatum, the dark red of Osteospermum ‘Tresco Purple’ and the red of Salvia ‘Cerro Potosi’. The white/pink osteospermum is a very hardy osteospermum my mother gave me but as we do not know the variety and so we call it Nancy’s osteospermum after my mother!17_08_27_6917The tall plant is Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’. This was only planted in April this year and has certainly grown well. However, “the jury is still out” on whether it stays. Yes the flowers are there but many are covered with the green leaves. Maybe the flowers will be more prominent later in September. We will have to wait to see.17_08_27_6918The star of the border continues to be Ricinus communis ‘Impala’ 17_08_27_6920The leaves of which are absolutely fantastic. These are grown from seed and as such are only a few pence each.

To the right of this corner before the pond are a couple of blue flowered plants. Clematis ‘Wyevale’ at the back and Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ towards the front and in the detail picture (with a red salvia photo bombing!). Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ has been relatively hardy although I do take cuttings each year.17_08_25_6904Coreopsis ‘Redshift’ a new plant this year at the front of the corner bed. Lots of flowers but seems to flop very easily.17_08_28_6923I found this caterpillar making great speed across the lawn. It was about 3 inches long with two pairs of false eyes and a small horn on its tail. At first I was fooled and thought it was a snake! A bit of research identified it as probably an elephant hawk moth caterpillar.17_08_27_6921The other corner of the wall has a green oak pergola to provide a seating area and some shade. The rose growing up the pergola is Rosa ‘Blush Noisette’

17_08_27_6922
Rosa ‘Blush Noisette’ 

The pergola has a number of grape vines that grow across the top to provide the shade. Grape vines grow at a rapid rate and in the summer some pruning of the new growth is require to achieve a dappled shade and also to encourage bunches of grapes to form.17_08_25_6895This year I could only prune half the vines back as a pigeon had decided to make a nest in the vine. 17_08_28_6925This week two chicks hatched out and are doing well but the vine remains un-pruned.

At this time of year the border to the left of the pergola contains mostly dahlias; Bishop of Llandaff and Bishop of Auckland. Although our dahlias started slowly the weather through August has given them all a real spurt of growth with Bishop of Llandaff  up to five feet high.17_08_25_6896Looking back from the pergola to the corner bed.17_08_25_6893

You can just see a rose on either side of the pond. These were planted this year and are Rosa Pink Gruss an Aachen, a small rose plant that seems to like the location.

To the right of the pergola the outstanding plant is Salvia involocruta bethellii. This has proved to be very hardy. We cut it down to the ground each year but it produces huge plants with many flowers.17_08_25_6900The end of the wall on the right has a very sad looking Cotinus ‘Nottcutts Variety’. Normally it has very attractive dark coloured foliage but this year it seems to be dying! The foliage has gone dry and brown and is spreading through the shrub. Looks like this will be coming out soon.

2017 Gardening Hours
Week beginning
August 19th
Total 2017 to-date Average per week
32 703 21

A busy week in the garden, cutting out some of the “autumn” in the border, a lot of hedging and of course weeding.

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.

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

No room in the greenhouse!

At this time of year the greenhouse becomes an essential building in any garden, large or small.17_03_23_5111Despite having a relatively large garden the greenhouse is not very large. The location is not ideal either as it faces west and has a large wall to the south and east. You may well ask “why did you put it here?” I would say that the main reason was that we did not want to spoil the views down the garden and the only other sensible location was totally shaded by a large old apple tree. Actually the location does have the advantage that it does not get over hot in the middle of summer.

Nevertheless, at this time of year I am always wishing that it was a bit bigger.17_03_23_5105At the end are Osteospermum cutting that have been over wintered and a bay tree which I bring in to protect it from the winter frosts.

On the left you can see dahlia tubers that have been planted up in potting compost and about two weeks ago received their first watering. I tend to lift all our tubers as we used to get hard frosts which could be fatal for any left in the ground. After drying them off (in an upside down position so that any liquids can flow out) they are then potted up in dry potting compost and kept either in the garage or under the staging in the greenhouse. 17_03_23_5109There is not enough staging so some are started off on the ground.17_03_23_5108On the right as you enter there are even more! The issue I have is that I always end up with more dahlia plants than I started with and I am always reluctant to throw away anything that could make a good plant. The greenhouse just get fuller!17_03_23_5110It is amazing how quickly the tubers burst into life. This one is Dahlia Arabian Night a beautiful dahlia with large, fully-double flower-heads of dark burgundy-red.

In a few weeks the dahlias will all have grown to maybe 30 cm high and I will cut out the growing tips to encourage more bushy plants. However they will need to be kept in the greenhouse until the frosts have finished in May. This immediately presents an issue as during this time there are many seed to plant and grow.17_03_23_5106This is already underway with trays of cosmos and poppies and in the incubator tomatoes and many more exotic flowers. This becomes a huge juggling act and eventually the whole floor will be covered with plants and the scent becomes overpowering. The aconites and Anemone Blanda White Splendour have already been moved out and I described these in Aconites and others spring delights.17_03_23_5107Two trays that will soon be ready to plant out are Anemone Nemerosa Robinsoniana  which I treat in a similar way to the aconites.

There is a very critical timing when the tomatoes need their final potting up and need to be located in their final position in the greenhouse. To do this some of the staging is removed and I just have to hope that we can get the dahlias planted out at that time.

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
12 621 16

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