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, 30 June 2013

Nameless pink rose

Not only have I lost the name of this beautiful pink rose (which was a gift) but it is virtually hidden behind the winter jasmine growing on the rustic trellis.   You only see it when you are on your way to the greenhouse.   A bit of appalling planning and symptomatic of my extreme lack of space.   Here it is seen from the far end of the garden with next door's climbing Iceberg rose behind it.   Great when other peoples' plants join in!
Can anyone offer any help?

Caught red-handed!

Here is the offending squirrel I watched burying peanuts in various containers and then having drink from the bird bath!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

First raspberries, Kiftsgate roses and crafty squirrel

This week the redcurrants have begun to ripen and I picked my first raspberry.   All the soft fruit is very late maturing but there is going to be masses of it, even strawberries which I have almost totally ignored except for buying some fresh straw to put under them.   According to the RHS The Garden this month (p.72 interesting feature on Hybrid Berries), loganberries are extremely high in vitamin C and are supposed to make THE best jam - we shall have to try that out this year.

Another first are some gorgeous dainty Kiftgate blooms which seem to have particularly fluffy yellow centres.
There is so much going on in the garden just now I barely know where to start.   The rain and warm (but not hot!) weather is proving to be fantastic for growth.   But this morning it was easy.   After disturbing a pair of long-tailed tits on the sunflower seed bird-feeder I noticed the peanut bird-feeder had been sabotaged by the pesky squirrel yet again, so I have tied it up thoroughly with some wire.   Let's see what it can do about that!

Here are a couple of images of favourites from this week.
Rosa Pat Austen drooping but smelling gorgeous
Allium Christophii and rosa Prince Charles -

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Blackbird and robin duet on mid-summer's day

I spent a whole wonderful day in the garden on Friday and several hours on Saturday and Sunday day but I still haven't quite caught up!   Everything is growing like mad and some heavy rain showers are battering the flowers but at least preventing the need for watering.   The late spring has brought an unusual combination of things into bloom and I was surprised to hear the rather comical gurgling-chuckling calls of a fledgling blackbird still attended by its father.   Later on in the evening a male blackbird settled himself on the bay hedge beside rosa Madame Alfred Carriere and entered into what seemed like a wonderful duet alternating his song with a nearby robin, something I have never before heard.
Here he is casting a beady eye on me!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Aquilegia from Sicard, France

When I stayed at Martine and Wout's lovely gite in France I fell in love with their very particular aquilegias - a distinctive purple/blue and white form.   They liked the idea of my random collection so we swapped seeds.   This year I finally have two plants which are flowering.   I am going to leave them to seed freely and hope for the best....

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Rain, roses and bees

We've had some torrential rain this week so everything seems to be growing like mad and there is as much propping up and cutting back as anything else to be attended to.   This includes cutting back some rampant geranium phaeums to make space for planting out dahlias brought on in the greenhouse.   They are definitely much further ahead than those which successfully over-wintered in the ground which I am trying hard to protect from slugs and snails.

The roses are fabulous this year although many are dooping, the stems not being strong enough to support the open blooms.   Is this my problem or does everyone have it?   Some are worse than others - cream Madame Alfred Carriere and deep apricot Pat Austen amongst the worst.   But they are beautiful nonetheless and as I feel there are sufficient to justify picking some I have been taking some in to work.   The scent of a single bloom of thornless pink Zepherin Drouhin - the second rose I bought for the garden and incredibly long-suffering of being moved about and being planted in semi-shade - scented the "washroom" so strongly as to draw comments!   The scent of roses is so often missed in the garden, particularly when the weather is windy as it has been lately.   Another gem which is flowering well this year is a many-petalled little old-fashioned white rosa alba plena seen here about to be engulfed by a rampant golden hop tendril!
One thing I am really chuffed about is how many bees are in the garden.   They seem particularly fond of the raspberry flowers - the canes are simply buzzing with them.    But I do wish they would keep out of the greenhouse - or accept help to get out a little more willingly!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Purples and pinks - Alliums and Judas tree

This must be the first year the big brown seed pods have fallen from the Judas tree, perhaps as a result of the long cold winter.   It wouldn't be the only thing to benefit.   The roses seem to be clearer from black spot than I can ever recall, although Kiftsgate's shaded lower branches are still showering the grass with little yellow leaves as I didn't get out to spray them this spring.

All the roses seem to have more buds this year and I'm not sure if this is due to the weather or the new pruning regime I have adopted on the advice of a professional gardner friend - don't cut them back each year.   They are growing much taller but looking much healthier.

This is the purple and pink time of year for me so here are a few shots of the alliums (as mentioned, I'm sure many of these are self-set), self-set aquilegias and the Judas tree petals scattered along the brick path.
The Judas tree (Cercis siliquastrum) looks spectacular in the evening sunlight before it's leaves get too big and dark and benefitting visually from the lack of seed pods.   When I look at this picture I can imagine the call of the swifts.


I managed to delete the pictures of the tulips at their wonderful eccentric best!   And several others at the same time.   But here is a detail of the luscious fresh green foliage of Crocosmia Lucifer with a water droplet early one morning which I didn't delete, just for the fun of it....