Some of you will remember a blog in February 2017 when a storm took out part of an old apple tree in the middle of our garden. After much debate (thanks for your inputs) we decided to keep the remaining tree.
In June 2018 our friend pointed out that the apple tree had taken on the shape of a chicken.
Then last week the weather decided it could do another topiary job of the tree.
This time it really does look like the end. The tree , especially when the Rosa Rambling Rector was in flower, was an important focal point within the garden. So removing it will be sad but hopefully will open up new opportunities.
The apple tree was not the only casualty with Rosa ‘Blush Noisette’ being blown off the pergola although fortunately this was repairable.
The following summer delights in the garden
The clematis and roses are all doing well this year.
This corner always looks good in the summer with the pink Geranium palmatum, roses and delphiniums. Last autumn I added the posts at the back to provided support for Rosa ‘Iceberg’ and Rosa ‘New Dawn’ as they always got lost behind the flowers.
Rosa ‘New Dawn’ has been here for at least 30 years and is looking healthier than ever.
Rosa ‘Iceberg’ has been in for about ten years can now be seen.
Often mistaken for a Rose , Carpenteria californica at the back has been looking great, probably benefiting from the mild winter we had. The pink rose is Rosa ‘Irene Watts’
And now for the snakes.
The mild winter has certainly helped the grass snake population. As soon as the sun comes out you can find them in the garden. This beauty was taking an early morning swim in one of our ponds, probably after our fish for breakfast!
This 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.The 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. The fig (Ficus ‘Brown Turkey’) certainly did not like the frost and badly needs a prune.The 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 Robinsoniana, Eranthis 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.
Four weeks ago
More 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.
Rosa ‘Phyllis Bide’
Rosa ‘Alister Stella Grey’
Rosa ‘Lichfield Angel’
Rosa ‘Strawberry Hill’
Despite the frost the roses continue to flower. Do they not realise it is the middle of November!
Where do we get our garden design ideas from? Although I look a gardening books and receive a number of gardening magazines I seldom take ideas directly from them. However, when we visit gardens we often get inspired to borrow the idea. These get jotted down in our garden visits note book. For example many of you will have seen this planting scheme at Sissinghurst Castle.
We have a wall (much smaller) with a similar aspect which for many years we had struggled to find a suitable planting scheme. When we saw this it was a eureka moment! The planting was Vitis vinifera purpurea and Clematis Perle d’Azur under planted with Belladonna Lilies. I even had an email correspondence with the head gardener at Sissinghurst to check out the exact varieties!
Not quite as impressive but it works and apart from a little pruning once a year is more or less maintenance free. This was planted up about ten years ago so you can imagine our surprise and delight when this came out this year.
Only one so far but a start. I suspect the bed does not get enough sun but now they have started flowering maybe more next year.
One of our favorite places to stay in Devon is Lewtrenchard Manor; a great location for visiting Devon gardens
Although not an ideal photograph, in the center of the picture is a raised water feature which is surrounded by a small wall. The wall is covered by a small climbing roses and once again Clematis Perle d’Azur. Very simple and we had the ideal spot to repeat this idea.Here it is around a well near our front door. This time with Rosa May Queen and Rosa Phyllis Bide and you can also just see the Sissinghurst scheme in the background.
Visiting a fantastic private garden in Norfolk designed by Tom Stuart Smith we came on this planting scheme.Box balls with Hakonechloa macra under trees. This is the green Hakonechloa not the more common golden varieties which would have been too much. We had an area of the garden where I had tried to imitate the Japanese tightly pruned azelas plantings. However as azelas do not do well in our area I had used a range of hebes. It worked well but the hebes did not like too much pruning and got too big. We needed a rethink and in our garden we now havealthough the box has been replaced with yew balls due to a scare with box blight. In spring we have snowdrops and Anemone Nemerosa before the grass comes through. The trees are Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Lace Lady’ a unique small tree worth considering in any garden. Again very little maintenance required and the scheme gives year round interest.
Actually at the back of this bed the stone pillar is the base of a granite Japanese lantern which fell over recently and is waiting to be put together again. Not so easy as it needs four strong men to lift the top! Any wind tends to come across the field at the back and the grass then moves like a river.