Book review- The Garden Photography Workshop by Andrea Jones

Sounds like the ideal book for gardening bloggers who need a constant supply of good quality photos. Thumbs up

Thomas Stone MCI Hort MPGCA


ok I admit, I was very lucky to win a copy of this book from a twitter competition when the book first came out and I have to be honest and say I would of brought it anyway so it just saved me a few pennies. I have had a love of photography since I was about 16, when I brought my first SLR camera, a Canon. Many years of playing around, trying to get the photos right, I did take some good ones but never excellent. That passion has been relighted over the past 8years, my trusty film canon has been changed for one of the Canon Rebels but despite reading some books and magazines, I haven’t felt I have got to grips with my camera and indeed taking quality photos in the garden regularly. Nearly all the books I have read, focused more on the technical side which…

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Six on Saturday

Thank you to The Propagator for his support and sterling leadership in organising Six on Saturday and for everyone’s feedback, comments and likes.  As the weeks go by there are now fewer anguished cries and therefore more posts to come.

Here’s my six.

One

IMG_1377Cotoneaster horizontalis.  This grows in my front garden and many more suburban gardens of a certain era.  It’s not top of my list during the summer but in autumn when the berries come to the fore it is vibrant with colour and borders on the irresistible.

Two

The hydrangeas have also moved to autumn colours, their white and blush pink flowers shading to deeper reds and speckled pinks.  Their role as punctuation marks in the borders continue to have impact.

Three

IMG_1359Back to the front garden.  The black berries and turning leaf colour on this shrub are beautiful indicators of falling temperatures and the  ‘chill in the air’ feeling that comes with this time of year.  I think this is a viburnum but any help with identification is most appreciated.

Four

IMG_1352In a sunnier corner, summer digs in her heels. Osteospermum opens up its petals to soak up some warmth.

Five

IMG_1371Summer annuals are also being resilient.  This zinnia ‘lilac rose’ starts out a strong pink and fades gracefully with age.  Deadheading is easy and new buds are plentiful. It should keep going until the first frosts.  Threading through is geranium ‘brookside’.

Six

IMG_1380Water droplets glisten on Euphorbia characias wulfenii. For me a reminder that spring is on its way.  It was planted in the new border last autumn and so this spring will be its first flowering year.  I am looking forward to seeing its lime green flowering stems and to see if I managed to give it enough space to spread out unhindered.

That’s my Six on Saturday. Thanks to The Propagator for hosting. Read his blog posts and Six on Saturday The Propagator my plant obsession

Six on Saturday

I was musing on what would be the six for this saturday.  The garden is going into autumn and the newly planted border doesn’t have that extended season content in it yet.  The veg patch has some parsnips, a second sowing of carrots and the very shabby end of season cukes and courgettes.  A brief glimpse of sun enticed me into the garden and suddenly the six came into focus.

Erigeron karvinskianus

Erigeron karvinskianus or Mexican fleabane .  I’d always hankered for a crop of this spilling through the rocky walls of a border.  And the new garden had just the right spot.  Three small plants purchased from the good growers at Finchley Horticultural Society have spread out this summer to cover a bare patch.  They have dropped seeds and I am hoping these will have tumbled into the nooks and crannies of the border walls and that new plants will weave their way around the stones for next summer’s display.  They are looking just perfect right now.

R.Natasha RichardsonOn the opposite side of the garden, the very lovely R. Natasha Richardson is still sending out new buds.  This was also acquired through an FHS sale, it was a donation from one of the society’s twitter followers.  It has flowered all summer long.  The bed is south facing and was mulched with horse manure last autumn. The rose was fed with Toprose after its first flowering and then recently with Fish, Bone and Blood.

cowslips
And surprisingly, to me at least, the cowslips have been flowering on and off all year. They are nestled in amongst some Japanese irises in a damp border.  The irises have become a little thuggish and I am admiring this cowslip’s resilience as it holds onto its ground.  It’s only the first year in the border for the irises and I will let them flower again before I thin them out.

Passion flower

This is an inherited plant and a bit of an attention grabber.  It is a passion flower, passiflora caerulea, that grows up and over an arch.  At this time of the year some of the flowers are turning to fruits.  Their soft orange skins open to reveal a raspberry like fruit inside.  The fruit can be eaten when it’s really ripe but its not a patch on the real passion flower fruit.  I just enjoy those orange yellow bursts of colour amongst the greenery.

Persimmon

And here is some more fruit from the garden.  This is from the persimmon tree.   Although some fruit has dropped there is more on it than last year.  If I am lucky it may ripen for October or November.  I have my fingers crossed.

And lastly. More fruit that really doesn’t look as though it will ripen.

Figs

Last year we managed a small crop of figs in August.  This year although there is plenty of fruit, none of it has ripened.  From experience there is very little ripe fruit to gather in November and the squirrels always seem to get up earlier anyway.  I have been told to wrap plastic bags around the branches to help the ripening process but so far I have resisted.  The view from the kitchen window would just be too weird.

That’s my Six on Saturday. Thanks to The Propagator for hosting. Read his blog posts and Six on Saturday at The Propagator my plant obsession

Six on Saturday

This is the second September in the new garden and I am beginning to feel that I know my way around it.  Although much of the garden was giving way to weeds there were a few surprises tobe found.  Two of those surprises are now producing seeds.

Iris foetidissimaThe first is Iris foetidissima, known as the stinking iris.  These have found a home for themselves in two very shady corners.  They are now in the seed stage.  When the seed pod is ripe it Continue reading

Summer flowers from seeds

Moving to a new home gave me a blank canvas in a new garden.  After some reclamation work on the borders they were ready for planting by Autumn of 2016.  I had only the bare bones of a plan and knew I needed to leave plenty of space for those first plants to grow.  I also knew that those areas of bare earth would be speedily recolonised by weeds and grass. I mulched the earth with a layer of horse manure and in autumn and late spring sowed a few seeds in trays in a potting shed.  Here’s the result. HA = Hardy Annual, HHA = Half Hardy Annual, HHP = Half Hardy Perennial

Sweet Peas HA

IMG_1024A good wigwam of sweet peas is one of my garden essentials.  These are Sarah Raven’s Midnight Blue.  They are wonderfully Continue reading