June view 2009

June view 2009
View of rose and herb garden, June 2009

Small Garden Story

Over some 15 + years, I have been photographing the evolution of my small (85 x 15 foot) garden and it seems a waste not to put these records into some sort of context. Beginning here in April 2010 this Blog is intended to both act as a diary and to share past and present successes (and some failures), pleasures and disappointments with fellow garden-lovers. In due course, I intend to fill in some of the background and early days but that will have to wait until the winter months!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sweetest smelling honeysuckle

Honeysuckle with clematis and R Kifstgate
With r. Kifstgate at its mot beautiful - apart from when bedraggled by heavy rain - there is too much to enjoy in the garden just now to spend too much time blogging!   But one thing I have to note is how good it smells - especially thanks to the evergreen honeysuckle.   Although rampant it is easily controlled and doesn't really have any nasty habits but even over the roses and some gorgeous clove-scented white dianthus the smell is all-pervading.   In the house too!

The "Russian ballet" colours are bursting into an energetic dialogue in the rose and herb garden - pictures to follow - and its lovely that the most prolific clematis Etoile Violet will be late flowering this year as it will extend the season's colour.

Have been particularly enjoying the antics of a young blackbird who has both mastered the knack of picking berries off the prickly mahonia and standing waiting for Dad to feed him on anything that's going.   Supplementary benefit bird-style!!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Roses take over

R. William Morris - so aptly named
The roses have survived the torrential rain and incredibly fierce winds to reward me with some luscious blooms.   Not least r. Kiftsgate has begun bursting into flower.   From the bathroom window it dominates the whole vista reminding me of the tower beset with fierce-thorned roses in Rapunzel.   In this view you can just about make out a patch of grass through the archway in the bay hedge and also the new birdbath - a great success with the blackbirds, young and older, just in front of the greenhouse. It shows just how small the garden is.   No wonder it's such hard work keeping it all under control.
From the bathroom window - see the jungle I have created!!!!
Yesterday morning I was greeted with the sight of a male blackbird feeding a very large fledgling.   It put me off going out for a while but they were soon on their way.   I can't imagine he was feeding the young bird mahonia berries (what a digestion!) but he was certainly tucking in himself!

In spite of the dire weather forecast the weather has been good - if windy - this weekend and I managed to plant nearly all the dahlias, making a very strange discovery in the process.   I seemed to remember planting more allium corms last autumn than have surfaced and indeed I had.  I found quite a number still looking healthy just totally dormant in the ground.   I replanted them hoping for better luck next year.   Must look in to what has caused this....

Otherwise most things seem to be catching up - particularly the clematis.   Hopefully this will work in my favour by extending the flowering season.   Must pay some attention to late summer plants to fill any gaps!

Uncovered this delightful planter Diana made when I was pruning recently and have cheated a bit of colour with some things from the garden centre.
Planter by Diana Roles with garden centre annuals

Monday, 11 June 2012

Self-set treasures

Having missed an early spraying of the roses due to the incredible amount of rain we've had during our "drought" I have spent a great deal of time clearing up the horrid yellow black-spotted leaves.   I have taken to sweeping them off the grass but can't do much to keep them out of the borders where they slip between the plants and accumulate waiting for vulnerable victims.   Geranium Phaeum seem vulnerable to mildew - another thing I think they catch from the roses if left unsprayed.   So it is at this time that I am most grateful for the self-set treasures which just do their own thing and seem relatively unaffected by such ailments.
This year I had a wonderful array of aquillegias in all shades of blues, pinks, purples and white and a good mix of pink and white fox gloves.   It is sometimes hard to leave these seedlings when they appear but it is worth restraining ones self.
Other good selfl-seeders in my garden are some of the geraniums - particularly Kashmir white and the silvery-leaved, long-flowering lychnis coronaria (also white version).
I am constantly looking for people to give seedlings to ...    Anyone interested?
Self-set aquilegia with alliums - and that broom again!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Wisteria - a matter of scale

I vividly remember the day I found a special offer on Wisteria at a Bloom's nursery.   Of course I couldn't resist it.   But every year I am reminded that such rashness is not advisable with a garden the tiny size of mine!

My idea was to plant it to cover the left side of the trellis which screens the greenhouse - both for colour and also to form a framework in its own right once the trellis disintegrates.   In fact it is working in both these respects but rather more rampantly than I had anticipated (shades of R. Kifstgate).   The racemes of flowers are massive - at least 12 inches long - but sadly its position means you don't really get to see them properly!    Nonetheless, it is staying.   I wonder if it will survive and become a structure in its own right in years to come.    Hmmm.

Wisteria with R. Zepherine Drouhin
Wisteria on trellis with new bird bath by Diana Roles in foreground