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!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Whitsun rain drops

Of course it's raining - it's Whitsun bank holiday! It has not entirely stopped me from going in the garden although I am glad I cut the grass, did a bit of cutting back of rampant foliage and some tying-in of drooping plants yesterday. I'm quite sure my neighbours think me bonkers going out with the camera on a tripod and my rain coat and hat on but the rain drops are so pretty - a few at a time!!

Astonishing creature

I was experimenting with some close-ups and decided to photograph the wonderful fibonacci rhythms in the unfurling recemes of comfrey flowers when I discovered there was more than just flowers at the other end of the lens! Happily this remarkable creature seemed quite happy to stay put while I photographed it from several angles. Next project - to discover what it is!

Upton House Bog Garden

On Saturday we visited the National Trust's Upton House near Banbury. Luckily the rain stopped long enough for me to explore the gardens. The bog garden was my favourite - oh for the space to have a little stream and grow some of those gorgeous primulas and irises. This is a very special secret corner, beautifully designed with the biggest slug-free patch of hostas I think I've ever seen. Here are a few "snaps".

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Shades of Monet

Having visited Monet's garden 3 times now, I would happily go back another time. Not just to see his garden, his fabulous kitchen inspired me to paint mine bright yellow complimented with blue oddities.... But looking back at pictures I took of the garden at the weekend, I am reminded of his wonderful series of Rouen cathedral in its changing light. The two shots here taken from a similar angle have a very different feel to them - just because the light is different. I am thrilled with the alliums this season. I suspected they were self-seeding last year but I am now certain as one has popped up next to the greenhouse where I most definitely did not plant it! Pity about the leaves, but you can't have it all! I can't help but photograph them. Here the late-opening leaves of a potted hibiscus provide a great contrast. The garden is going through a very mauve phase at present - plenty of aquilegias, the rediculously huge wisteria falling like a curtain from the remnants of the rustic trellis and Bonanza(below), the first of the summer clematis to flower. The mix of sun and rain are providing wonderful growing conditions so that my grass seed has finally germinated and is even starting to fill up some of the bald patches!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Dwarf bearded irises and late April showers

We had such an unexpectedly brilliant bank holiday weekend that I was inspired to leap out of bed and almost straight out into the garden. (I loved the early morning light on my breaksfast, left!) Now it seems May has brought us April showers and a return to cooler temperatures. Professional gardener friends tell me their seedlings are hardly growing, it's been so cold and my grass seed has only just begun growing during the past week. But not everything is so shy. There is a thick carpet of leaf-growth over wilder areas of the garden - wild strawberries and aquilegia leaves tangled with rampant lily of the valley on their intrepid march towards the house.
Among the more exciting developments in the past week are the first flowers on two of three dwarf bearded irises I bought a few years back from Wootton's. The third seems to have disappeared. It is difficult keeping the corms exposed to enough sunlight in my overcrowded little space. But it is worth every bit of effort - as you can see. The other really satisfying development is that my neighbours have had their fence fixed and I managed to dodge the showers yesterday to wire in the flowering stems of loganberry. Also happily it doesn't look too new! The scented clematis montana seems to have survived unscathed and I have been prompted to give the the akebia quinata a major cut back. I will try and keep things a bit more under control from now onwards (ha ha ??)