About my garden

Monday, 24 July 2017

In a vase on Monday - Jumble of summer



 I wanted to showcase these wonderful sunflowers 'Prado Red' so I chose a few other things to add in. In fact the sunflowers seem overwhelmed by everything else and fade into the background. 

Rudbeckia hirta 'Green Eyes' I was fondly imagining these to be green flowers but of course it's the centre which is green. The eye. Doh. Shame, I quite fancy a green rudbeckia. 
Amaranthus caudatus - just a few weeks ago these were tiny. 
Crocosmia - no name
There is some cosmos foliage at the back but  you can barely see it in this picture. I'm getting lots of lush foliage on some plants so I've whipped off the tops in the hope of encouraging flowers. It's good as vase filler but needs water straight away. 


This is a jumble of summer flowers, mostly pink. Starry Dahlia 'Honka Pink'.


 Pink Dahlia 'Classic Rosamund, white 'Bishop of Dover, pink and blue larkspur

 Some sort of scabious, first pink aster, Penstemon 'Sour grapes'. Varigated Caryopteris foliage. This is just coming into bud so I should have left it really. 
I'm very pleased to have the larkspur as I never manage to grow it very well. So far each plant has one flower stem but I'm hoping for side shoots. Do you pinch yours out? 

For interesting and intriguing vases from around the world visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden - In a vase on Monday. 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Adventures in a Poly Tunnel - July

It's been a month of high temperatures and low rainfall until this last week when we have had plenty of rain. The water butts are full again and I am bailing out trays of small pots about to drown. 

There is plenty going on in the tunnel though I've not spent as long in there as I should have done. 
As we go in the strawberry plants are on the left. They did very well but all good things come to an end. I cut off all the leaves and gave them some BF&B and a good watering. I'm going to try and get them planted into lines as it would be much easier for harvesting next year. 

Next some Kohl rabi. Also Garlic chives. Some of these Kohl rabi swelling but I think they have probably been too dry so the rest might have to come out. As I was taking this I notices the holes and discovered plenty of caterpillars so I whipped them off and disposed of them. How? I'll leave that to your imagination. 

As usual rocket going to seed. It does produce lots of little side leaves so it stays in until I need the space. 

I had a few bean plants in here last year and they did very well so here are some Cobra. Producing lovely long slim beans. The broad beans were behind. I cut them down but a few had more flowers coming at the base so I left them in hoping for a few more beans. 

Tomatoes in the centre. I'm doing well at removing side shoots and lower leaves. I've been feeding with molasses as recommended by James Wong (Grow for Flavour) and have also sprayed with aspirin dissolved in water. Also recommended by James. This is supposed to help them fight off blight. So far so good but probably too early to judge. They do look healthier than normal, I think. 

Gardener's Delight and Tigerella were sown first and are ahead of the others. It's so good to be harvesting tasty tomatoes. 

Small black chillis turning red when ripe. I've forgotten the name of them. This plant is now 3 years old. I've kept it in the house through two winters. 

Samphire grown from cuttings from a supermarket packet. Just watered normally with a dose of salty water now and then. More garlic chives in the background. 


Spinach beet on the right hand side. 

Soya beans. I have not tried these yet, I need to find out when to harvest and what is eating these. Sigh. 

Long green chili which turns red when ripe. 

I like to keep trays of things ready to plant when there is a space. I've slipped a bit in the last month but this is spinach and beetroot. I hope to get some more sowing done today. We are having torrential rain so that's a good indoor job!

Happy days. Broad beans, french beans, snap peas and courgettes from outside. And lovely eggs, of course. 

Harvesting in July (Inside and out):
Tomatoes
Garlic chives
Garlic
Spinach 
Perpetual spinach
cucumbers
French beans
Broad beans
Runner beans
Snap peas
Parsley
Basil 
Spring onions
Samphire
Chillis
Courgettes
Rocket
Beetroot
These are the successes. I've failed to have a succession of lettuce. The seeds have either not germinated or not survived. It is disappointing but I've got some coming on now and I've had a few plants which I've harvested leaves from rather than the whole head. 

Temperature high July to date: 41∘C
Night time low: 7.5 ∘C


Monday, 17 July 2017

In a vase on Monday

I've been brutal and dug up this inherited hydrangea. It is flowering in full Barbie pink and, in fact, there are several more who's days are numbered. 
Here it is in two vases. The first:

I'm sorry if this is your favourite plant and I've offended you. It's probably still alive so if you'd like it, call round and we'll have a cup of tea and a tour of the garden and you can take it home. 

This vase is destined for our office windowsill at work. I often take flowers if I have time and they do cheer up the office.


In the vase:
Barbie drink Hydrangea
Teucreum crispum
Dahlia 'Rip City'
Hordeum jubatum - foxtail barley
Ceanothus foliage
I do think they look better mixed with other things. Perhaps I add something else later. 

For plenty of creative and interesting vases visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden - In a vase on Monday. 

A couple of weeks ago we had some time away in the east of the country.  I'd never been and there were several gardens I wanted to visit. 
How is this for a view? The famous White Garden from the top of Sissinghurst Castle Tower. 

It was pretty busy, as you'd expect, but every so often people would clear and I had a clear view for photos. It's vast and very lovely. Sadly the roses were mostly over. We've had some very hot weather so they haven't lasted long. 



Still lots to see though. Definitely worth the trip across country. 

Monday, 26 June 2017

In a vase on Monday - Exactly as advertised!

I don't usually think I'm very susceptible to advertising. I don't watch much live TV or read many magazines. Recently though, Chiltern Seeds have started sending out mini catalogues  a couple of times a year with the MOST gorgeous photographs in them. I love flowers and I love photographs of flowers so I am helpless. They are so lovely I keep them. All colour co-ordinated too, you've got to love that. MrC, bless his heart, says I should use them as check list and tick the ones I have!


I've long been a fan of their seeds and managed to spend plenty even without the photographs. For anyone who doesn't know they produce a 188 page catalogue with very small print. I have to read it with glasses on now. Each variety has a detailed description but no picture. They do now have pictures on their website. I sincerely recommend the seeds. I've always had excellent results and no-one is paying me to say that though if they want to send me seeds to test, I'm ready. 
When I started gardening I had a large garden and a small budget and filled it with plants grown from seed. Very satisfying.

So these are Gysophila elegans 'Kermesina' looking exactly as advertised. Here with Artemisia Powis Castle.

How sweet and pretty. I've taken off the tops in the hope the plants will branch out. I've used the Mud, Wall, Sticks technique and grown quite a  few plants. Because of our relatively dry spring, the slug damage has been minimal. 



The garden is bursting with blooms and here is a snapshot of a few of them. 
In the vase:
Abelia foliage
Nigella seed pods
Blue Catananche flowers
Teasel buds
Dahlia 'Bishop of Dover'
Perennial Wallflower 'I've got the label somewhere'. Pastel something I think. 


And this is a carrot flower. Not some fancy cultivar but a carrot which went to seed!

For lots of fun and fancy vases from around the world visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a vase on Monday. 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Adventures in a Poly Tunnel - June 2017

The roller coaster continues. The weather is completely varied and unpredictable, much more so than usual. The month started chilly but this week we've had very hot days resulting in a high of 50०C in the tunnel! I'm surprised anything survived but things are thriving. I obviously did enough watering. 
I started off the  month with hundreds of seedlings and most are now in the ground and flourishing. Some things which were tiny and I really thought wouldn't come to anything are now 2 or 3 feet high and flowering. 

Here is my strawberry patch. Once I'd got the watering right, ie no watering, they have produced masses of luscious fruit. I have some plants outside but they are not a patch on these. Lilies behind and the calendula still flowering away. 


 The broad beans are at the back here. Also producing very well. We had lots of little beans but I didn't keep up with the picking and they are somewhat larger now. Still good and I'm happy to eat them every day. The rocket is going to seed in front of the beans, spinach, radishes and garlic chives. Some lettuce is hidden in here too. Kohl rabi at the front, not looking as thought they are going to produce bulbs so far. 

 The tomatoes have grown really well. Some have fruit forming and most are flowering. Yes I have too many, but in my defence I am growing some for the Heritage Seed Library. I'll save the seed and send it back to them. Sadly they are covered in Whitefly. 

 The plants at the back here are Soya beans. I'm trying them for the first time. Basil in pots and also Samphire which I grew from bits bought in a supermarket pack.

Still a number of seedlings. Some of these are foxgloves, also grasses and some Thai basil, I think. Much of this could go outside now but I am better at watering the inside. 

I didn't tidy up before the photo shoot so there is plenty of stuff lying about. I did notice the cardboard on the ground. We put this down to suppress weeds initially and I've taken much of it up but the rest should come up now. That would help the look. There is a huge stack of trays and pots under the bench. They were all full a few weeks ago.

Harvesting:
Strawberries                                           
Rocket
Spinach
Spring onions
Kale early in the month
Radishes
Broad beans 
Lettuce
Basil
Samphire


So far this month:
Daytime high:  50.5०C    Nighttime low: 5.5०C         Wow.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Crazy Dahlia In a Vase on Monday.

We've seamlessly from Autumn to high summer. The garden and plants are coping well and the gardener is running around madly with a watering can. 

Here is a quick vase:

This is 'Honka Pink'. The first Dahlia to flower this year. I've kept the tuber from last year when it flowered for months. It looks good here in isolation but also does well in a vase with other things. I look forward to bouquets of dahlias. 

So only one vase this week ?, I hear you thinking. Of course not. However short of time I am, I need things in vases. 
 This Philadelphus is flowering it's socks off. Two for one here as I had to pull of the lower stems and I couldn't throw them away, could I ? I know the petals will drop quickly but then I'll go and get some more. 
I've just remembered where this vase came from. Very early on in our marriage we had has some kind of argument. Mr C bought flowers when I was at work, took them home but couldn't find a vase big enough so had to go and buy one and this was it. Ahh, young love. 

I promise I did prune it last year but obviously not very hard. 
An overexposed photo of the Philadelphus.

Finally, I'd forgotten how the Cirsium do this:
I found a cloud of seeds in my cut down vase from two weeks ago. Unfortunately I poked them before thinking of taking a picture but here is the plant in the garden. Sadly, I think the seeds are sterile. 

For plenty of inspiring and inventive vases from around the world visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. In a vase on Monday. 

Monday, 12 June 2017

Floral abundance in a vase on Monday.

Let's gloss over our Autumnal weather and have quick look at how the Cirsium from last week lasted. 

This is them on Saturday. Showing no sign of drooping or decay. A good choice as were all the others. I've cut them down for a smaller vase but they have all lasted a week and onwards. 

No apologies for the excess of pink this week! If you don't like pink look away now.
I'm thrilled to have a pink peony flowering, doubly so as it was a piece from my Mum's garden last year and I expected it to sulk for a while. I was less pleased to find the blooms on the ground, battered down by rain and wind. 
A good excuse to cut them and bring them in. Shown here with Artemisia 'Powis Castle'. 
Sumptuous, I hope you agree. I have yet to get to the bottom of the colour difference. She says it can't be two plants but one flower is all pink and the other has cream petals in the centre. 

I've also made a small well behaved arrangement for the table. 
I'm not sure where this rose bowl came from. To my shame I've forgotten and it was probably a relative who passed away. I don't use is much as things tend to fall out easily even though it has a mesh cover. Also the water runs out quickly and it's not easy to re-fill. But enough complaints. 
I don't think this will last very long but it's so pretty while it does.


White = Macmillan Nurse - Light pink = NoID
I had to have Philadelphus this week. A huge inherited shrub is just coming into flower. One sniff and I'm transported back to my childhood home. This one was in flower when we moved here two years ago.


Dark pink = Harlow Carr
I stuffed in lots of small stems then filled in with roses. 
Purple - Rhapsody in Blue
The poor roses are battered down too but there are plenty of buds to come. The do need some support so I aim to build a sort of dome cage frame for Harlow Carr who is very floppy. I did this once before quite successfully. Just need to go and do it!

For plenty of interesting and creative vases from around the world visit Cathy - Rambling in the Garden  -In a vase on Monday. 

I had a lovely time on Sunday at The Bishop's Palace in Wells. The gardens are beautifully cared for and over flowing with roses just now. There was a gardening festival on and lots of lovely plants for sale. I met Noelle there. She knows the gardens very well so it was perfect to go round with her, get to know each other and chat about plants.