This garden has a long history of growers. The very first owner here was a prize winner for a plate of three raspberries and the second owner was a committed fruit grower. When I came along the fruit growing had taken priority and the borders were being taken over by weeds and grass. There are still plenty of weeds and fruit bushes around but flowers are gradually being reinstated.
The monthly long border shot. This year I have gone for two smaller wigwams of sweet peas. I planted out the early sowings last weekend. On the left ‘April in Paris’, a white variety and on the right ‘Midnight Blues’. I now have a gap where the large wigwam went and although I have some annuals lined up to fill the space I feel the need for an evergreen shrub to give more form to this end of the border. The delphiniums are shooting away and with storm Hannah blowing through I need to get out there and do some tying in. In case you are wondering, the bamboo cane is there to remind me not to step on the emerging echinacea ‘White Swan’. Roses, geraniums and knautia are also making good progress, ready to take over from the tulips and euphorbia.
The left hand end of the north border. This used to be home to a stand of blackcurrant bushes and in turning over the soil for the nth time I found a label: Ben Tirran. Four of those bushes went on to new homes so I will pass on the information. The others have been found temporary homes elsewhere here. So this end of north border was ready to plant up this year. First to go in were two hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris, climbing hydrangeas for the back fence. Last weekend I planted 23 geranium sanguineum ‘Alba’ and six anemone ‘Honorine Jobert. I have two more geraniums waiting to go in once the front row three of pittosporum tobira ‘Nanum’ arrive. I’ll fit the last two geraniums in around them. The black pots along the back row are representing 10 melica altissima ‘Alba’. These are proving elusive at the moment and I am hoping I don’t have to resort to a well known but more expensive on-line supplier. I am following a plan from Joe Swift – Five plants for a deep shade border – as published in Gardeners’ World August 2018. I also have some seedlings of astrantia major to fit in and finally I plan to add snowdrops for some early interest.
At the other end of the north border the Choisyas are opening up. This can mean only one thing. The days are numbered for the ailing one. For the moment I’ll enjoy the scent and the green and white colours.
Patiently waiting to fill the space soon to be vacated by poorly choisya is a skimmia ‘Kew Green’. Most descriptions use the very attractive phrase ‘no need to prune’. The scent is described as’ lilly of the valley’ and it does well in shade. Sounds perfect.
I was lucky enough to inherit a greenhouse, old and needing some glazing repairs but it looked wonderful to me. I put in some automatic openers but the frame on one side sticks in one corner and I haven’t solved the problem. Last week the frame gave way at its weak point – the glass. I made a temporary repair with some left over plastic and clingfilm but storm Hannah has curled her lip! I am hoping the local company that helped out with the glazing last time will come to my aid again.
The sowing of tomatoes for the greenhouse are coming along well. Time to move them on I think. That will encourage me to get that window repaired.
The weather has changed dramatically. Cold, wet and windy. I am grateful for the rain as already the water butts were getting low. Fingers crossed that the wind isn’t too damaging, there is so much blossom around now. I hope your garden stays safe and don’t forget to take a look at Mr P’s blog for more news from SOSs around the world.
There is so much gloom around at the moment, I need the garden to pick me up. It is trying very hard, many things are on the edge of flowering, the perennials are forcing their way up through the mulch and the birds are singing. I have much to do so the mojo just has to get going. This was how I started out yesterday but an energising night out in Shoreditch – yes I know, too old for all that really! – has got me going again. The potatoes are chitted and ready to go. This is the number one job for the weekend. If I do nothing else, this will be done! Here’s what is happening in the garden without my help.
The Thalia are just opening out on the south side. Those in the north facing border are about a week behind.
The fritillaries have joined the throng. I did mean to plant more of these but I had such fun trying to squeeze in extra tulips that I just didn’t get round to it. On to the list that goes.
My primrose border is filling out very nicely and I planted some anemone blanda ‘white splendour’ in amongst them. Just at the bottom right are the shoots of some white phlox warming up for later in the year.
The onions started off in modules are going in the ground this weekend. The red ones have been slower to get going. Not sure why! They have been coming in and out of the greenhouse all week so should be well acclimatised. There are a few self sown cornflowers making themselves at home in the space allocated for onions. It seems a shame to move them on. Maybe they can grow companionably side by side?
Pulmonaria ‘Sissinghurst White’. I have nurtured this plant for three years. It wasn’t doing very well in the first planting spot and so last year I moved it to a slightly shadier space. It is still very small but I think I have to give more time in it’s new home before I uproot it again.
The north border of the garden is the focus of attention this year. There are two choisyas there which I have left alone until now, but the time for action has arrived. One of them is poorly. One side is yellowing whilst the other looks green and glossy. The plant has been hacked about in the past, with evidence of limbs having been cut off. As there is a very happy choisya not too far away I am not too sorry to say that this one is getting it’s marching orders. I could just cut off the yellow side and see what happens but no, decision made. Out with the old and in with something new.
I’ve also managed to throw out the new block editor and go back to the old classic editor. Yipee! More reasons to be cheerful. I hope you are feeling cheerful in your garden this weekend. Don’t forget to see what fellow sixers are up to, go to The Propagator for all the links.
It was a busy gardening weekend last week. The extra day, a bank holiday in the UK, was spent helping out at the Finchley Horticultural Society allotment NGS open day. Fortunately after the wash out that was Sunday, Monday remained dry and the allotment looked verdant. Of course I was tempted by the plants the growers had for sale and I came away with this:
A persicaria – labelled as ‘pink’ so I can’t add any further information. It goes some way to my getting persicaria into the garden but I am on the hunt for some of the dark red ones. I planted it next to the salvia ‘Blush Pink’ bought earlier in the summer and I hope they will be happy soul mates.
I singularly failed to record the other great gardening activity of the weekend which was the apple picking. It was a smaller crop this year, both in numbers of apples and size. Some were little bigger than a golf ball but as they all go for juicing they were all picked. In about a week I will know how many bottles this year’s harvest produced. The bent double apple tree of a few weeks ago is now nearly horizontal so I took a picture of that!
Every week I think about including this Cleome ‘Senorita Carolina’ in the six but for some reason it stays on the sub’s bench. This week it makes it into the team. I really don’t know why it has taken me so long, it’s been flowering like this all summer. The real colour is slightly less vibrant than captured here. It’s a tender plant so if the winter is anything like last year I shall probably lose it.
Just coming into flower is the Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’. Earlier in the year its poor leaves were scorched by the sun but as the season moves on it’s site is more in the shade where the splash of white shines through.
Also adding some brightness are the self seeded calendulars that spring up around the garden. The insects seem to like them too. The ones on the veg patch are dropping seed and new plants are already growing.
Given the size of the apples this year I was surprised and impressed by the persimmon fruits. They are much larger than last year and although I am not a great fan of the fruit I do enjoy their orange colour as they ripen in November.
That’s my six for the week. There are plenty more to view at The Propagator. If you stop off there I recommend you also read his Garden Blogger’s Hierarchy of Needs a brilliant summary of what gardeners do and why they sometimes post and sometimes don’t. I hope you all find time to garden this weekend – that’s the important bit.