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!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Lilium longifolium and delicious rain

Today we have the perfect gardeners' rain - it is warm but not windy and the rain is coming down gently, just what we need even though it is Saturday and I had plans for making redcurrant jelly. What a lovely excuse to just look.... The lack of recent posts reflects my pre-occupation with the garden. I've been enjoying the best of the roses and trying to keep the jungle growth under control, along with picking a good crop of soft fruit and my first (and probably only) crop of sugarsnap peas. I really need to re-think the fruit garden and make more space for veg.. Fruit may be incredibly easy to grow but it takes a lot of time to pick and then distribute to those who make better use of it than I do. Almost every day in June seems to bring something new. This week has included discovering a splendid frog, the first cosmos flowers, nasturtians, perennial clematis and lillies Regale and Longifolium. I am so glad I persevered and tracked down the latter, recommended by Christopher Lloyd as later-flowering than most. I have 2 pots - one of bulbs bought at a garden centre which have just begun to flower, the other bought on-line are still building up to budding - the promise of things to come. They are evidently different varieties each with their individual beauty. The trellis is a total disaster area, the weight of plants toppling it over and squashing a lovely pink rose and clematis Minuet against the greenhouse - something I should really have dealt with in the early spring - object-lesson!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Diana Roles Open Studio

Had a wonderful evening yesterday at Diana's Open Studio in Sunningdale but didn't excel at taking pictures! Oh for more to space to have more of her beautiful work!!! Here are a few images which really don't do either her lovely garden or her work justice. The only thing to do is see it for yourself. The last open day is Saturday - www.dianaroles.co.uk for details

Monday, 9 June 2014

Long evenings and a stag beetle sighting

My 9.00 pm stroll with wine glass in hand brought an unanticipated treat on Saturday night - a large stag beetle circling over several neighbouring gardens. I think it may even have landed in my Judas tree. I hope it doesn't see it as suitable site to lay eggs, it is looking rather unhealthy this year. A friend has seen several just recently.
In spite of the weather it's still a great novelty to have long enough evenings to allow for some actual gardening. This evening I went out with a mug of tea and managed to plant out most of my dahlias before it began raining. After buying fewer tubers this year (2 did not come up at all - oh dear Parker's!!) I now discover I have spaces to fill. That is a novelty! The roses mostly seem to be doing well this year, seeming to have benefitted from a hard spring pruning - all except Bourbon rose Prince Charles which flowers only once and - apparently - not at all this summer. Hopefully it will forgive me next year (lesson learned!). In the past few days my Kiftsgate has begun its great display. It really is the metaphorical icing on the cake. The only down side with it is a very bad case of black spot as I haven't managed any preventative measures. The little old white rose pictured suffers particularly badly as a result of Kiftsgate shedding infected leaves onto it which seems to limit its growth. It's still a little treasure though. I still haven't managed to pick the first rather weedy-looking raspberries. But the birds haven't beaten me yet. I think that's the only advantage of having neighbours with cats.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

A few reasons for not planting in tight spaces

It is wonderful to be able to go down the garden during these light evenings - even if tonight I first had to don a warm coat! Today I noticed the first wild strawberries ripening, the first raspberries on their way and my tiny Sugarsnap pea plants are showing their first blooms too. This is remarkable to me given that they are so tightly squeezed between the strawberries, a gooseberry bush and tall raspberry canes which are completely overshadowing them - virtually all day. To reward them for their efforts I decided to water them - and the heavily fruit-laden strawberries - with some liquid fertiliser. Great idea, except that in trying to squeeze between things I managed to loose my balance, tread on a young pea plant and then break most of it off in trying to replace the dislodged support stick. Grabbing hold of the nearest thing to help my balance was an even worse idea - it being the gooseberry bush. At least this time I managed to get the whole thorn out unlike the last time when it went in so deep it took about a week to work its way out again. Unfriendly things gooseberry bushes! One other first today - my new Clematis "Sunny Sky" which I threatened to re-home since its flowers proved to be much bigger than I had anticipated (as I bought it on-line) has endeared me by performing so well in its temporary spot - still in its pot - and has begun flowering. I think it's going to have to stay.... Pictures to follow when the light is better.

Monday, 2 June 2014

First Kiftsgate flowers and Diana Roles Ceramics on show

I came home this evening to find the first little white buds unfolding on my rampant Kiftsgate rose - always so exciting with the promise of a halo of white buzzing with bees stretching nearly half way around the garden. The whites are quite prominent at present - white peonies, a few white fox gloves, Iceberg and Madame Alfred Carriere roses - and the first flowers of Mrs Sinkins "pinks" which remind me how my Dad used to grow them in such plenty that I used to pick bunches to fill both hands. Gardens are places that hold so many memories yet at the same time they are so liberating.... I am really looking forward to visiting another garden on 12th June - Diana Roles is opening her garden to show her wonderful ceramic pieces as a part of the annual Surrey Artists' Open Studios. She will also be welcoming visitors on Saturday 7th, Sunday 8th and Saturday 14th June. For more details see www.dianaroles.co.uk and www.surreyopenstudios.org.uk Diana's totally individual pieces are major focal points in my garden. I can't imagine it without them...