Well, it looks like I captured last weeks Acer photo at the right time as it has now lost many of its leaves. I’m still failing to get bulbs planted but maybe some tomorrow.
It’s a very popular plant, though not my favourite geranium. I think a lot of people are a bit bored of it from how much it gets used in designs. But it’s almost December and it’s still flowering well after many months. That counts for something.
Hydrangea runaway bride
This was in the front garden where it was too shaded. It was suffering from yellowing leaves, chlorosis. Since moving it to the back garden where it has had more sun it has been happier. Hydrangeas are generally ok in shade but this one obviously wasn’t happy with it. It’s still a bit spindly but it’s finishing the year in better health than it was.
I have a large climbing hydrangea that is hidden behind the black cherry tree and lilac and it is beautiful. The flowers at the beginning of summer are always a treat and the leaves are one of my best autumn colours. But it isn’t very visible. So I planted several opposite on the other fence where they will be seen more. They take a few years to get going. I think this was its second year and it is picking up pace. The leaves are large and turn a vibrant yellow bringing some nice contrast to the holly nearby. As it claims the fence it adds to the cover for the birds as they hop through the fence gaps.
The azalea was looking very leggy in spring. It had a lot of dead growth so I read up on pruning advice and it said to prune little and often to encourage the sideshoots. It has bushed out, though it isn’t quite the tight Japanese topiary I imagined.
Primula victorian lace
I dug these out of the ground as they were hidden in the border, divided them and put them in hanging pots on the log store to make a mini auricula theatre. They have flowered well since moving and gradually bushing out again.
Geranium lace time
This is one of my favourite hardy geraniums. The delicate veining is stunning and it reliably flowers over a long time with many pollinators making use of it.
And that’s it for this week. We’ve got a quiet weekend ahead hopefully. Should get through my planning for work today and have a bit of time tomorrow for the garden. I need to do a bit of weeding to prevent seeding for next year.
After a busy few weeks, I made it out into the garden. Only to mow the lawn but it’s a start to the autumn tidying.
We went out in the garden last night for Bonfires night. I bought a fire log as we had one last year and it did a good job of keeping us warm and cooking marshmallows. But this one was a bit poor. It never really got going.
We did enjoy some sparklers though.
And we enjoyed watching a few other peoples fireworks going off.
I had a quick trip to the smaller garden centre while Alice was in ballet and picked up a few discount plants. This hardy geranium is a reliable blue spreader. I will probably use it for work. I don’t have a particular purpose for it but it was cheap and will be useful somewhere.
Sea kale was a favourite of Derek Jarman. It’s drought-tolerant and can stand sea winds. I tried it from seed before and a few germinated but didn’t make it to adulthood. This one looks a bit sorry for itself but it was cheap enough I’m willing to chance it and bring it back to life.
Another cheap purchase. A little pot of string of beads houseplant. I’ve swapped it to a new pot as it’s a trailer. It needs something with a bit of weight so it doesn’t drop off. It’s a succulent that trails over the edge of the pot. It can be propagated easily either by rooting cuttings into soil or water.
I’m slightly more hopeful of starting the bulb planting this week but we’ll see. We have a wood delivery coming today for the log burner so going to have to have a tidy of the patio if nothing else. Hope you all enjoy your weekends.
Alice survived her Covid isolation fairly well. Two days of her being quite poorly and then a bit of cough. It hasn’t left much time for gardening but the weather has been pretty dreary anyway. I don’t really want to be walking on the wet lawn so best left alone anyway. It is feeling very autumnal in the garden with the leaves changing colour and some dropped already.
The Acers often have their leaves blown off before I get to enjoy their autumn colour but this year they have thrived.
I have honeysuckle in a few spots in the garden. It is a messy sprawling climber but I’ve tried to provide plants that will give the bird a natural source of food rather than me topping up feeders all the time.
The pyracantha was planted last year and it has taken a while to settle. It was probably bigger than the rootball could support so it hasn’t put on much growth this year. But it has provided a decent quantity of berries for a small plant.
Holly Golden King
The golden king has a few clusters of berries this year. It is still relatively small, maybe just over a metre but it’s good to see the berries as it means there is a male plant near enough to pollinate it.
The salvia has gone mad the last few weeks spreading from a few stems to many and flowering profusely. Much appreciated as many other things shrivel down.
We went out for a trip to the local pick your own pumpkin. They have table after table and crate after crate of pumpkins and gourds on display.
Nice to see them all on display and the amazing variety. I think I’m going to try a few at work next year.
Our haul, back home.
And that’s it for this week. Back to work on Monday after half term. haven’t made a start on bulb planting like I wanted but it can wait. Enjoy your weekends.
We have had Alice stuck at home isolating with Covid. She hasn’t suffered too badly but we didn’t want her infecting anyone else. That combined with the weather has meant I haven’t really been out in the garden. So this week is going to be a quick look at a few houseplants. Alice is quite enjoying being at home. I’ve stayed off with her part the time and mum the other half. We’ve kept up home learning like we did during lockdown to keep routine and avoid boredom. She’s writing and reading a lot more from the focussed time so probably done her good being off with us.
Also known as the roadkill cactus from its flat shape. I bought this as my reward for the last RHS exam. It is replacing several small succulents on the kitchen windowsill. It has got to a bit cluttered so I decided I’d rather have fewer large plants. It’s got a good sunny windowsill where it can be left and only occasionally watered.
String of hearts is a trailing plant that I’ve propagated several times since I got it a few years ago It roots in water then I pot it on. It trails down from the corner shelf in the back room. Every so often it needs a hair cut as it reaches the ground. It needs watering about once a week in summer and less so in winter so it’s pretty minimal effort.
This was a 99p Morrisons purchase. I potted it on after purchasing and it has spread out well since then. I like the variegated leaves and the colours.
This is looking a bit sorry for itself. I think this was partly underwatering and partly too low light.
It’s been repositioned to try and put some life back into it.
The Chinese money plant is a popular one currently and produces lots of offsets for potting on to pass onto other people.
I have a few aspidistras in the house and in the garden. The garden one has been badly attacked by slugs and snails this year. I could do with taking a clump out and growing it on inside. Aspidistras are generally regarded as dull as they don’t really do anything but I quite like having a decent sized houseplant that doesn’t require much care. It handles low light, minimal water. It can handle neglect.
It’s half term now and between Ofsted inspections and balancing home learning with Alice I’m ready for a little time off. It’s been a good half term with my class but I’d like to catch up on some garden jobs now. Hope you all enjoy your weekends and don’t forget to check the founder of six on Saturday’s blog to see more blogs.
So this week is coming later than normal and will be a short one as Alice has tested positive with Covid. She has a bit of a snotty nose, but she said her sense of smell was funny so we got her tested. She came out negative on the lateral flow test before testing positive from the PCR so worth getting a proper test to avoid infecting others. We’ve also had an Ofsted inspection at work this week so been a pretty exhausting week all round with another one ahead looking after a bored child stuck at home.
This week saw the arrival of the garden jungle by Phillip Oostenbrink. I’d seen one of his lectures a few months back as well as following him through Twitter so had this on preorder. It looks to be a great addition to the garden literature around tropical/exotic gardening.
So to celebrate the release a quick look at six of the exotic plants in the garden still pulling their weight. The Bishop’s Children dahlias is still flowering well. It was grown from seed and has been in the ground 3 years now without lifting. Top corner we Podophyllum versipelle ‘spotty dotty’. This is an attractive foliage plant with nice broad leaves. It was a recommendation from Philip and a very good one. Below we have buckler fern, one of my favourites. Looks great in a pot for much of the year with little maintenance needed. In the bottom right corner Persicaria runcinata ‘purple fantasy’. This was a purchase from Stillingfleet Lodge a few months back. It’s in a pot currently. But as it grows I’ll divide it for use elsewhere. Bottom middle is Farfugium japonicum ‘wavy gravy’. It doesn’t photograph well but this has lovely curly foliage and is filling a shaded spot in the front garden. And last but by no means least are my Fatsias. I have both the plain and spider web type next to each other in pots. They sit near the front door and look good much of the year providing nice large palmate foliage.
Much shorter than normal this week. But hopefully, return to normal next week. Hope you are all keeping well and I may get some chance to catch up on other people’s blogs other the next week.
Well I sat my RHS exam on propagation. I was quite anxious beforehand but I think it went alright. I’m fairly confident I passed and we’ll have to see in December whether I managed the higher level of commendation. This week has been busy with the exam and then catching up on work after all my revision so this week’s is looking at the bulb purchases that have been building up.
Tulip grand perfection
Despite what this week’s blog contains I am not massively bothered by tulips. But they fill a gap between the early spring bulbs and the summer garden so I do usually plant a few. These tulips look like they should be a nice striking one paired with the existing queen of the nights. Though they inevitably won’t flower together throwing off the plan.
Queen of the nights
I already have queen of the night tulips in the ground but they gradually fade in our clay soil. Shrinking, rotting and getting dug up by mistake so it’s always good to top them up.
I’ve had a few taller alliums in the border this year with the Allium forelocks towering over the border and it has been quite good having alliums where I can shoot upwards when taking photos of the bees. They look a bit odd sticking out the border but the bees like them.
Tulips little beauty
These were Alice’s choice. She usually ends up picking red riding hood tulips with the striped foilage but she was taken by the colour of these. They are little short 10cm tulips so I’m not quite sure where we’ll put these so they show. They might need to be in a pot.
I like irises in general but my early spring Iris reticulata pots are largely blue or purple. I saw these and thought it would make a bit of a change. Yellow is a welcome sight in spring standing out well in the darker months.
I usually pick a bag of tulips that are different from the more commonly cultivated ones. This has led to some beautiful forms and some fairly rubbish parrot tulips that didn’t hold their form well. These are a fringed tulip that I think will be quite striking.
Hopefully get back to featuring the garden properly next week. I’m working an extra shift at nursery next week so may not find anytime to plant these next week but it’s half term soon so should be able to get them in the ground soon.
It’s going to be a quick one this week as I am preparing for my next RHS exam on propogation. So for this week I am looking at root cuttings.
When taking cuttings plants should be in good health as any disease is likely to be passed on through the cuttings. You want to avoid any already suffering with any issues such as chlorosis or other disorders linked to lacking correct feeding. This Acanthus I feature last week is an ideal candidate for root cuttings as they have a reputation for regrowing from the slightest bit of root left in the soil when people have tried to remove them. It is likely it will lose the varieagation when the root cuttings grow. But I would quite like the normal species variety as well. This is still in its pot so I can just take the cuttings by taking it from the pot. If it was in the ground it would need lifting or if it was too big you can scrape to expose the roots and do it in situ.
Ideal root cuttings should be about pencil thickness. This had several coming out the base of the pot which is what gave me the idea to take cuttings. You want to take the cuttings as close to the crown as possible. But as these were going to need cutting to get it out of the pot I thought I’d use these.
Sections of root can be cut into sections about 7-10cm for vertical cuttings. These are going vertically into a pot so I went about 7cm for each one. If you are taking root cuttings from something with finer roots that can be laid out horizontally on the compost and these cuttings can be shorter.
I took a few from close to the crown as well. I’m chancing some of the smaller roots since this has a reputation for growing back well.
In an ideal world I’d use cuttings compost. But I don’t have any. I’ve gone with a seed compost with a bit of vermiculite mixed in. Then I filled the small 10cm pot.
The cuttings have gone around the edge of the pot. Just a little way in. I used a thin dibber to poke the hole and then placed them in but a pencil would do fine. Then I covered with a thin layer of about 0.5cm of compost. Then they’ve been placed in the unheated mini greenhouse. They should show signs of growth in spring when they can then be potted on into individual pots. Then by the next year they may be ready to plant out. So it is quite a slow method but they don’t take up much space and don’t need much attention. The label is probably one of the most significant parts so I actually know wheat I’ve got coming up in spring and give them the right care.
Hopefully the exam will go alright. Good luck to anyone else sitting their exams on Monday.
It’s been a busy week at work with lots to prepare so I haen’t managed much in the garden this week but a few jobs we’re achieved last Saturday. Then on Sunday we had a downpour in the afternoon that was flooding the roads. Luckily it didn’t rain Monday so it all had a chance to drain away so no damage done. Just a few floppy plants.
One of the main jobs I achieved on the Saturday was potting on the foxgloves and the Primula candelabras. I will have more Primula vialii to do in a few weeks. But this was a good job off the list. They’ll be losses along the way but I’ve got a good few growing well currently.
This was a rescue plant from Tesco’s a month ago. It looked sorry for itself but I was confident it would recover fine and it has. Plenty of flowers over it.
Acanthus mollis ‘whitewater’
Alice wanted to go to The Works for craft supplies which happens to be in the garden centre. I spotted this Acanthus and I couldn’t resist the foliage. The flowers don’t look to be as nice as the contrasting flowers on the wild form. I need to think where to place it as once placed it will carry on regrowing from small root sections if I dig it up again.
Tricyrtis formosana ‘pink freckles’
And I also saw this. I’ve seen this plant on a few other six on Saturday blogs in previous years and I’ve always liked it. It’s a small delicate looking thing for deep shade.
I haven’t made it in the garden much this week but did pop out at night to admire the harvest moon.
This aster is a tall leggy thing that suffers from powdery mildew. It needs plants infront of it to cover the fairly unnatractive stems. But for a couple of weeks each year it brings in the butterflies and provides colour as other plants fade. This year it hass attracted lots of comma butterflies which is an absolute joy as I hadn’t seen as many since a new housing estate was built destroying lots of nettles and brambles.
I’m going to be preparing for the next RHS exam so be busy this weekend reading up on propagation. Enjoy your weekends.
It’s been a busy, but good week at work. This hasn’t left much time for gardening but there is still a lot looking good in my garden as we move into autumn. I’m hoping to get wood ordered for work this week to build some new raised beds. Then that project will keep me busy for a while.
Geranium oxonianum lace time
This geranium is one of my favourites. It has flowered from spring to now and it will keep going. The delicate veining is lovely. They are tiny but worth pausing to admire. They spread but not as rapidly as wargrave pink.
I grew these lupins from seed the year before last. They flowered earlier in the year but they suffered with aphids. I cut them back and the second flowering is coming through much stronger.
3. Heuchera planter
A local gardener has been selling plants to raise money for Marie Curie. She has made up lots of pots of mixed heuchera. With 4 or 5 heucheras in each pot, these were amazing bargains at £8.50. I hope she has managed to raise lots for charity as this is to make up for no local open gardens this year.
4 Primula germination
I have gone all out on primulas this year. I’ve started off lots of varieties from seed now and then they should be able to be potted on and be up to a decent stage next year. We have Primula candelabra, vialii, Miller’s Crimson, pulverulenta, and florindae. They have all germinated to some level. I got a lot of the seed from Furzey Gardens so it will be a nice souvenir if they make it full size.
5. Dragonfly close up
The dragonflies have been resting on the clematis and I managed to get out with the macro lens to get a few shots.
6. Dahlia tamburo
I’ve grown this dahlia for a few years. I love the flowers but the first few always seem to flower low down in between other stems.
The weather is hopefully going to be nice this weekend so with any luck I’ll get a few garden jobs done. I hope you all enjoy your weekends. I need to up my revision level for my next RHS exams but it’s propagation which isn’t too bad a topic.
I have made it through the first week back at nursery. Looks to be a lovely class this year but it has been tiring being back. I discussed a few weeks back that I was cutting an old rose back. It was taking up too much space to justify the one burst of flowers. I am aiming to train it as a climber at the back. But what this has done is create a new large space to plant. This patch has never quite worked right. The plants have all been in good health but not really combining well. So I have started the process of planting up and filling the gap. I don’t take border shots very often. I tend to focus on individual plants but I am trying to work towards a more cohesive planting and it is useful to look at photos as they show the faults.
This is the space. To the right is a solid evergreen block of choisya. To the left is a large aster and sambucus. The aster is set to be divided this year. Along the back of the fence arching from the right is a climbing rose. Paul’s Scarlett climber. This has flowered briliantly this year. Also running through there is Clematis montana Marjorie. This a double flower that runs rampant. Moving in from the right on the ground we have the fern Asplenium scolopendrium. This is an evergreen fern with upright sword leaves. It doesn’t do much for most of the year. But it will remain in winter after other plants have shrivelled away. In front of the fern are some chives. These give that swishy foliage you can get from grasses but they are great for pollinators. There is a small Acer that may be removed as it doesn’t quite fit and they don’t really suit my conditions. Some primula denitculata at the front Then moving along there are some echinops. These are not really visible on the photo but these are a tall variety, Echinop ritro and will provide a decent bit of height at the back. They are wonderful pollen and nectar source for the bees. Some tiny wood asters and Erigeron to spill along the front of the border. The rudbeckia I think will contrast well againest the echinops. I have gone with a lot of plants from the Asteraceae family, the daisy family so I’ve added a few Iris sibericas to mix it up a bit.
A closer lock at the left
You can just see the Aster poking in on the left. The foliage is horrible but it is covered in flower buds ready to bring some colour to autumn. Central there is a tall grass. This should add a bit of contrast between the foliage and it has nice feathery seedheads. The rudbeckia is goldsturm. It is bright and cheerful for the end of summer. It supposedly self seeds quite well so hopefully get some free plants. The big basal leaves are Primula candelabras for some spring flowering interest. Just infront of the primula is Iris foetidissima ‘Aurea’ which is grown for the yellow leaves. This is evergreen and is mainly grown for the foliage rather than the flowers which are quite small. Then central at the front is Iris Karbluey. This is a Siberian Iris that can rise out of the Erigeron as it spreads. I’ve moved a few self seeded verbena into the border that can grow through some of the shorter spring flowering plants.
And the left
This side is a bit more subdued currently but will have colour through the year. The Acer is it remains will grow a few metres. The heuchera is Heuchera ginger ale from a local nursery, Long Riston Plants. Lovely foliage. Then front of the border there are Primula denticulata which are one of the early spring flowering species with lollipop flowers. Then I’m trying a patch of Hemerocallis Always Liberty. This is a pink day lily that should add a bit of excitement in summer. Then there is the evergreen fern previously mentioned to keep some winter interest.
Echinacea ‘white swan’
I’m taking a chance on the Echinacea as they don’t really like clay soil. But this patch has been improved a lot since we moved in so I’m going to try some and see if they return.
Echinacea ‘Prarie splendour’ rose
And my other has been bringing the bees in.
I am enjoying this currently. The garden is shifting to autumn so some garden areas are looking a bit shabby. But this is providing a bright burst of sunshine. I still have the dahlias flowering and aster and gladioli to go but it is getting darker earlier and this stands out well in the morning and evening.
It may not look like much now but it will hopefully fill out nicely. I think I’ve got a reasonable mix of plants to go across the seasons. There is a bit of bare ground I’ve left for bulbs. I hope you are all doing well. I have plants to shift around the opposite border to get more from it next year. Though I don’t think I’ll get time this weekend. Enjoy your weekends whatever you are up to.