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.

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End of the Month View – May 2018

18_05_31_8669The weather this spring has meant everything is a bit late. Further more once things came out they seem to go over very quickly. This time last month the tulips were bursting out but now they have all gone. However, they looked fantastic for a couple of weeks. Likewise the alliums seem to be going over quickly and now at the end of May the roses are looking great. Interestingly the above average rain we have had has resulted in many of the flowing shrubs putting on great displays and the lawn has never looked greener.To the left of the pond the main rose is Rosa ‘Shot Silk’. It does not repeat well but is usually the first rose in the main part of the garden to flower. 18_05_31_8677The rose that normally has the accolade of being first is Rosa ‘Madame Gregoire Staechlin’ which is also out at this moment. Again not a repeat flower but gorgeous never the less.18_05_31_8662To the right of the pond is Rosa ‘Alister Stella Grey’ and Rosa ‘Crown Princess Margareta’Rosa ‘Alister Stella Grey’ is a fantastic rose, flowering through the summer into Autumn Rosa ‘Crown Princess Margareta’ has the most beautiful peach coloured flowers.18_05_31_8671Else where next the the big pond is another beauty, Rosa ‘Fantan Latour’.18_05_31_8672Not really a climber but no one told it! It had covered the whole of this wall although the flowers tended to be near the top so we cut it back very hard to just above the Choisya ternata and it has returned a great display.18_05_31_8659To the right of the main garden behind the urn is another favorite,  Rosa ‘Alchemist’. Well named as the flowers start of gold a slowly change to cream.18_05_31_8670Another view towards Rosa ‘Alchemist’ with Aruncus dioicus is the middle ground.18_05_31_8678Not all the roses are climbers. Until last year we thought these were  Rosa ‘Irene Watts’ and as a result of my blog there was an extensive conversation which resulted in us finding out that they are in fact Rosa Pink Gruss an Aachen. Apparently many rose nurseries have been incorrectly supplying Rosa Pink Gruss an Aachen as Rosa ‘Irene Watts’. What ever the name they are great roses.18_05_31_8679Near by by the back door we planted Lonicera periclymenum ‘Scentsation’ to give off a scent as we step out of the house. It is great to see it coming into its own.

 

In two weeks the garden is open to the public. See advert in the side bar. There is still lots to do including getting many dahlias planted.

 

The wall across the lawn has been looking good and is just about ready. Maybe a final weed is required.18_05_31_8660I am sure Allium Christophii are planning to take over this part of the garden!18_05_18_8656Two different globe Alliums always put on a good show under the pleached lime hedge. However, you can see the effect of the winter on the lavender where several plants have died! In addition to these losses we have also lost some salvias and a Euphorbia ‘Mellifera’.18_05_31_8665The border to the right with the  Allium Christophii  and some very large Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’.18_05_31_8661Looking closer you can see Rosa ‘Mutabilis’ starting to flower.18_05_31_8676The Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ looking great climbing into Rosa ‘Sombreuil’18_05_31_8667The border to the left of the main lawn was planted up with grasses etc last year and is beginning to develop although we need to do plenty of weeding here.18_05_31_8668On the edge of this bed Geranium ‘Patricia’ and Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ provide a great mix of colour.

2018 Gardening Hours
Week beginning May 26th Total 2018 to-date Average per week
35 324 15

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

End of Month View – February 2018

18_02_24_8528The view across the garden has not really changed yet since the start of the year but elsewhere as we will see spring is beginning to burst out. It has been very cold -5c at night for the last few days and the outlook is snow so it is lucky I have taken some photos already.

Over the years we have split and planted snowdrops in a number of our beds and at this time of year they reliably put on a great display for little cost. I have never gone out of the way to buy some of the expensive snowdrop bulbs and have been more than happy with the effect that is created. There are some singles which were probably here 25 years ago when we moved here and some doubles which we introduced. The great thing about snowdrops is that once they have finished flowering the leaves etc soon die off and can be removed and the bed is ready for the next display eg tulips etc.18_02_25_8536Some of the cyclamens are also out with snowdrops and Iris Histrioides Katherine Hodgkin. These all look a bit frosted.

I had hoped for some new planting of crocus this year but unfortunately the grey squirrel has dug them up and eaten them. The odd thing is that once established the squirrels seem to leave them alone. Next year I will have to plant them in pots (out of the way of the squirrels) and effectively “plant them in the green” which has worked before.

Here are some of the Glebe House Hybrids. See Ashwood Hellebore Nursery18_02_25_8543The aconites  Eranthis Hyemalis that I planted last year have come back and are in flower. See Aconites and others spring delights18_02_25_8540Crown imperial fritillary are coming through at a great speed. They have been coming back each year for 15 years now.18_02_24_8532One of the delights of the winter border is Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ looking really good against the yew hedge. It does have a habit of running which means a bit of work later in the year to control it and maybe some free plants from the runners! However the colour at this time of year is hard to beat.18_02_01_8523One of the jobs that I have been slow to do this year is tidying up the climbing roses. This is Rosa ‘Shot Silk’  and you can see extensive vertical growth from last year. These vertical growths need to be persuaded into the horizontal. Unfortunately they are not well behaved and often you will find they have grown up behind the wires which can mean having to remove the wire, releasing all the other branches that have been fixed to the wire in previous years!18_02_01_8525In addition some of the growth has died back and this needs to be removed.18_02_24_8526After about six hours of work and many scratches then you can stand back and admire the result. To a large degree this is the main maintenance work on a climbing rose.

That’s the good news but we do have many climbing roses that all need tiding up. “Before” and “After” for Rosa ‘Alchemist’ a great rose that has been here for at least 25 years.18_02_25_8542And another one just completed, Rosa ‘Alister Stella Grey’.18_02_25_8545Lastly the Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’ which has been trained horizontally above a lot of different spring flowers is really visible this year as there are also three Rosa ‘Jacques Cartier’ which are normally in front of the pyracantha. These had not done well recently and we have cut done right down to grown level to regenerate them.

2018 Gardening Hours
Week beginning
February 174th
Total 2018 to-date Average per week
10 70 10

So far this year we are well behind last years average of 20 hours a week. It is no wonder I am still pruning the roses! When the snow stops I must get out and do some more!

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

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’.

17_05_31_5894

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

 

End of the Month View – January 2017

The following view across the garden is often central to my End of the Month View. See AugustSeptember, and  October .

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End of the Month View – October

Now it looks totally different as the winter tidy up takes place and old herbaceous material is removed and some plants completely removed where we have decided a change is due. 17_01_30_4712It  looks completely empty of plants but as my last blog said spring is on its way. You will just have to come back later in the year to see it transformed with tulips and alliums.

17_01_30_4713The rose on the wall has been rehung. Each year they always out grow their space and I find the best solution is often to more or less take them off the wires and try to hang them in a way that their new growth is horizontal. Not always possible!  At the same time and dead growth can be pruned out. If you look at the view in October  you can see the extent of the new growth that had to be tamed. We have also removed some Cephalaria Gigentea.

Cephalaria Gigentea is quite nice when it is flowering but this happens early in the summer and then the plant looks a mess and it seeds everywhere. I will be honest we are still thinking about how to replace it. The bed has been mulched with our compost so the spring bulbs will just have to push through this.

17_01_30_4714To the right of the pond there are two roses against the wall Rosa Alister Stella Grey and Rosa Crown Princess Margareta. There is not really enough space here for them but with a bit of help they have been squeezed in. Eventually Alister Stella Grey will grow to the top of the wall.17_01_30_4715Looking back to the pergola the roses Rosa Gloire de Dijon and Rosa Souvenir de la Malmaison growing up the pergola legs have been pruned and generally tidied up. The plastic sheet on the right is where we have a small peach tree and it is to prevent peach leaf curl. It will be covered until May. On the right the roses have yet to be sorted out although they do not look too bad.17_01_30_4716 This is a shot taken in a direction I have often shown:16_09_28_3505It is hard to believe this is the same border!17_01_30_4717Another piece of pruning that has been done can be seen here. The Pyracantha Orange Glow is in the process of being trained horizontally. It is straight forward to do but just takes time. There are three Rosa Jacques Cartier in front of the Pyracantha so later in the year it is not very visible but right now it looks great.

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

The weather continues to be foggy and damp restricting the time in the garden. Main activity continues to be cleaning up dead herbaceous leaves etc.

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
12 550 17

Jack Frost comes but life goes on

16_11_08_3639This week the frost has really come. We have dug up some of the dahlias and stored them upside down so that any water in their storks can drain out. After a couple of weeks we will put them into pots with new potting compost and store them in the green house. Around February a watering will start them off again.16_11_08_3640The garden benches are getting their winter coats on. In the background the Melianthus major is just about coping with the frost. We will pack some mulch around the base of the plant to protect it from the cold and do not cut it down until the spring. In the past they have always survived the winter when managed that way. 16_11_07_3634The fig (Ficus ‘Brown Turkey’) certainly did not like the frost and badly needs a prune.16_11_07_363716_09_29_3529The greenhouse has had its annual clean out removing all the tomato, cucumber and aubergine plants etc. and washing the windows and staging etc. We always take cutting of our Osteospermums as they do not always survive the winter. They have been potted up together with a few saliva cuttings.

The pots on the right are Anemone Nemerosa RobinsonianaEranthis Hyemalis and Anemone Blanda White Splendour. I have found I get more success this way, planting directly in the garden seems to just feed the mice and even in the greenhouse there is a mouse trap just in case.

And the Virginia Creeper certainly did not like the frost.

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This week

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Four weeks ago

16_11_11_3644More progress has been made on the pond as I did get the marginals replanted. The irises are relatively small as I had replaced some flag irises last year which did not work well with the overall look and feel of this area. The marginals are now Iris laevigata, Iris laevigata Snowdrift, Iris laevigata Wychwood Surprise and Equisetum hyemale.

Despite the frost the roses continue to flower.  Do they not realise it is the middle of November!

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
19 436 21