Spring Update

The sun is shining and temperatures have finally climbed into double figures. And my Spring plant orders have started arriving. What more could a gardener ask for?!

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There are lots of plants in this delivery for the new bed, yet to be prepared. But the other things that arrived yesterday went in immediately. For example, some more Echinacea and Salvia for the Oval Bed and a Veronica and white Dicentra (Lamprocapnos) for the Moon Bed. You can see the Dicentra here… tiny but very vigorous!

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I never really introduced the Moon Bed, which was prepared and planted rather late last autumn. Here it is, still looking rather bare.

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Cutting down the Miscanthus next to my ‘Moon’ in late winter made it look even sparser, but it will soon start taking off now it is warmer. Most of the plants I put in last year are peeping through the soil. It is so reassuring, and exciting too, to see them appear from nowhere!

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The barriers around two shrubs are to deter a Mummy hare from nibbling… can you see a bundle of fur in here?

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One of her babies has made a nest in some hay I put out for him. He seems to like the spot under my potting bench for daytime napping and basking in the sunshine!

The colour scheme for the Moon Bed (which is actually a half moon in shape) will be limited to blue and white, with some silvery foliage and grasses mixed in. Can’t wait to see if it works! I think it is easier to experiment when you are starting from scratch. There are some new plants in there I have never grown, including a Delphinium… not sure if it will like such an exposed position, but we will see. πŸ™ƒ

I also planted a few small herb plants in the Herb Bed yesterday: a Schizonepeta multifida (sounds a bit scary!) which is a mountain mint and looks like a dead stick still, hence no photo; a fennel plant to replace one eaten by the mice; and some Greek oregano. (Have any of you ever grown the Schizonepeta before? )

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My Rosemary sadly had to be dug out of the Herb Bed as it did not survive the winter, but I now have a lovely Witch Hazel on the other corner of the Herb Bed and after ripping out dozens of wild strawberry plants (or was it thousands? πŸ˜‰) to make room for the witch hazel I planted some cheerful Saxifrage. Albeit not the herbal kind. The witch hazel is ‘Diane’ and looks extremely boring now the flowers have gone over and the leaves haven’t started to unfurl but, for my own reference at least, here it is.

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Today the cold wind has made a comeback, so I am spending a relaxing afternoon recovering from a few aching limbs typical for gardeners at this time of year! πŸ˜‰

Have a great weekend everyone.

And Happy Gardening!

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My Grasses in Winter

As my regular readers will have gathered by now, I love grasses!

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I simply do not have enough of them and hope to remedy that over the next few years.Β But today I thought I would reflect on those that stand up to winter best in my garden.

 

First of all my favourite Pennisetum, on the corner of the Herb Bed.

Pennisetum alooecuroides var. viridescens

It is a bushy plant with compact growth which means the dark seedheads remain pretty stable all winter, even with a lot of snow on them. This is a windy corner too, and extremely hot and dry in summer, but the Pennisetum is completely unperturbed by wind or drought. Definitely a thumbs up for this one. πŸ‘

Miscanthus Red Chief and Adagio with Calamagrostis (Karl Foerster) in the Butterfly Bed are still looking fairly fresh and are completely intact.

The Calamagrostis thins down a little over winter making less of a statement, but remains tall and straight with virtually no flopping. Red Chief loses its pink tinge a little, but is a lovely golden brown with a touch of bronze on the seedheads.

Adagio (the smaller Miscanthus further down the bed) flops a little and is more susceptible to the snow, but again it is still a lovely golden brown. Thumbs up!

At the far end of the Butterfly Bed (far left)is Miscanthus sinensis Hermann MΓΌssel…

I am afraid he hasn’t done well for two years in a row so if he doesn’t take off this summer I will move him to another spot. Not one I would chose in future.

Then we have Miscanthus ‘Federweißer’ in the Moon Bed…

…and in the Oval Bed (on the left).

Wonderful! I fell in love with this plant in spring 2020 and now have two fabulous specimens. These are keepers! πŸ‘

The other Miscanthus in the Oval Bed at the front is Beth Chatto. I must say I was not that impressed in the summer, but this is a very sturdy plant with tough stems and has stood up to heavy wet snow quite well. The seedheads have lasted well too.

So, nice for winter interest but with less impact in summer.

Finally, the Erogrostis trichodes…

Despite being on the windiest corner (and getting smothered in heavy snow this winter) it still has the ability to look pretty whatever the weather. Raindrops or frost enable this little grass to stand out, making it a must for my winter garden. It adds some extra sparkle. πŸ˜ƒ (Oh, and do you see those hare pawprints in the snow in the background?!) πŸ‡

The Panicums and another Miscanthus in the Sunshine Bed have long collapsed or look very dishevelled. I love the strong background they give to this bed in summer among the Helianthus. But they offer very poor winter interest. I know from other bloggers that some Panicums stand up better than others, but I think I prefer to stick with what has already proved successful in this garden… Calamagrostis, Pennisetum and the Miscanthus I have mentioned.Β More of these will be part of my spring 2021 project.

By the way, my Stipa tenuissima have all been completely buried by the snow. I wonder how long it will take for them to stand up again when it melts….

What grasses do you grow, and do they still look good now? Any recommendations for warm and dry spots would be much appreciated!

Have a great weekend! πŸ’•

 

A Walk around the November Garden

Instead of a video I thought I would take you on a walk around the garden with photos this month. It means I can focus on particular plants (and look up the names I have forgotten! πŸ˜‰).

So get yourself a cup of something warming and join me on the tour. β˜€οΈβ˜•οΈπŸ

First of all, a frosty morning view of the Oval Bed Β with the new (unfinished) Moon Bed behind it. (More on the Moon Bed in another post). The grasses are Stipa tenuissima and Miscanthus ‘Federweisser’.

Stipa tenuissima and Miscanthus Federweisser

The Butterfly Bed is still quite pink! It is home to a wonderful pink Aster and a lovely pink Chrysanthemum – ‘Anastasia’ – that is unperturbed by rain and frost..

Let’s have a closer look…

The other side of the Butterfly Bed has been widened and I hope to make it look more interesting that side too next summer. There are already some Asters which have mostly gone over now, and Geranium Rozanne has been added to this side for summer interest. I have also planted some bulbs on this side.

Rozanne is still flowering, even after several frosts!

The sedums are turning brown, but as long as they remain standing I will not chop them down. The tall grass in the background is Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’.

Now let’s look at the Herb Bed.

A couple of the Stipa grasses have been replaced with seedlings. They do produce an awful lot of seedlings but they are very easy to remove and replant.

A surprise bloom or two on the Echinacea and Geum are providing the last splashes of colour in this bed.

Moving across to the Oval Bed now, you can see some Verbena bonariensis still standing. On the right is Miscanthus Federweisser. It really does have very silvery seedheads… the palest I have seen. It is for that reason that I planted the same one in the Moon Bed.

These are the seedheads of Echinacea ‘Green Envy’…

And a dear little Polygonum/Bistorta affinis ‘Darjeeling Red’ that has appeared in vases on and off all year. It flowers all summer, with shades varying from very pale pink to bright red, and I think the seedheads and foliage are also attractive, especially at this time of year.

The pale pink Arctanthemum arctica that I featured in a vase a few weeks ago has now gone over, but after removing the flower stalks the foliage below was surprisingly fresh and I am hoping it will remain green a bit longer.

Another Chrysanthemum (C. indicum ‘Oury’) is open in this bed too. A lovely deep pinky red. It should get a bit bushier by next year.

So if you are still with me (!) let’s have a quick look at the Sunshine Bed…

The Helianthus had to come out as they were mildewy. I shall leave the rest of the perennials standing as long as possible.

Here is a Chrysopsis still in flower…

And the lovely very late flowering Aster ericoides ‘Schneetanne’…

And finally a glimpse towards the Larch ‘Forest’ beyond the Sunshine Bed…

And looking back towards the Oval, Butterfly and Moon Beds. Eventually these will all be linked up… πŸ˜‰

Thank you for joining me. I hope you enjoyed the tour. I will share some pictures of the containers in the yard soon as well.

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Wishing you some autumn sunshine. All my photos were taken over the past week, but since Monday we are in thick fog again today with no prospect of it clearing for a few days!

Happy gardening!

 

In a Vase on Monday: Harvest Festival πŸŽπŸŒ»πŸ

We harvested our first ever apples on Saturday.

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Some of the trees in our orchards are yet to bear fruit, but we were nonetheless able to harvest all this…

Four different kinds of apple and two pears.

Unfortunately, when the gardeners were planting the trees the labels all got removed! So we will spend the next few years trying to match up the trees to those listed on the delivery note. πŸ˜‰

As it is Monday, I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for another Monday vase. The choice of colours for this week reflects harvest time too. We had such terribly strong wind again on Saturday that I decided to cut a few of the remaining flowers from the Sunshine Bed and Herb Bed.

Sunflower Earth Walker

Tithonia

Chrysopsis

Red Zinnia

Echinacea Flame Thrower and Yellow Zinnia

I also used some Helianthus Sheila’s Sunshine and Lemon Queen, some Antirrhinums and a few grasses.

This extra vase was stuffed with pieces of my lovely tall Aster ‘Septemberrubin’ (September Ruby) that had been broken off in the storm… I need a taller support for that aster as it grew beyond expectation to about 160cm. Wonderful!

Have you been able to harvest anything from your gardens this week?

Happy October gardening!

Garden Tour, Early September 2020

My first video of the garden was early July, and I had planned to do one a month. Well, August was simply too hot to do anything, let alone take photos or make videos. But now the garden has recovered from the heat and temperatures are in the low 20s.

My Geum chiloense Blazing Sunset and the Geranium Rozanne have been flowering non-stop throughout the heat, and now the late summer flowers are beginning to open too.

So here is the garden tour for September. I hope you enjoy it! Click on the link and turn the sound up!

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