Nasturtium (Tropeaolum majus) are fabulous fillers this time of year, still looking fresh until the Cabbage White caterpillars do their thing (big round of egg laying going on for the past couple of weeks), and then another flush of leaves and flowers in early autumn. Sadly the butterflies don’t distinguish between the common and my more unusual doubles, Darjeeling Gold and Margaret Long. Continue reading
Selenicereus – Queen of the NIght cactus
The bud has been forming for a few months, starting as a small brown furry nub. In the run up to flowering a tiny bead of nectar sat under the tip of the beaky bud. Yesterday at around 5:00pm the first strap of the outer bud loosened and by 10:22pm she was fully open.
Even when the bud was closed yesterday there was a subtle scent, almost primrosy, the fully open flower scent was not as expected but sweet and greeney with a touch of cocoa. Today all is over, a brief burst of glory overnight. Sadly whether pollinated by bats or moths its only companion last night was a stray Green Veined White butterfly. Continue reading
We almost (but not quite) had The Lost Gardens of Heligan to ourselves one very rainy early May day. It was my first visit and on such a day the crowds for the most part were either taking shelter in the cafes or jumping into cars and moving on to sunnier places.
Having thought it would be ‘pants’ the jungle was lovely, we only met 3 other people on the walkways, the misting rain and intimate scale of the planting made it very special. Continue reading
Posted in Diary
Pelargonium Marchioness of Bute
We’ve had restless blustery winds for 3 or 4 days now, the seeds from the birch trees are still swirling into the house through doorways and windows.
We’re part-way through my pelargonium and fuchsia year (I mainly forswore dahlias this year but loads made it through the winter in the ground anyway!). Both pelargoniums and fuchsias have yet to fully hit their stride. Continue reading
Philadelphus Casa Azul
This wet weather is bringing more slugs and snails out, I can’t remember them being so bad last year. Plants are collapsing or disappearing overnight.
Birds stripped every single strawberry, ripe or not within a day, next year I will protect them.
The old roses are balling, what a waste of heavy headed pale pink Juno, Blanche Fleur and Boule de Neige. Continue reading
We opened our garden this weekend as part of Worton and Marston gardens open for Dorothy House Hospice. In all 22 gardens participated. Some visitors split the viewings over two days, for others we were the final sprint at the end of a day’s marathon of viewings. We were the farthest away from the first garden so a bit out on a limb. We saw around 60 people over the weekend and overall more than £1600 was raised for the hospice by the combined gardens visitors. We think most visitors enjoyed something about our garden and it was good to meet and chat with so many keen gardeners. Continue reading
Posted in Diary
Tagged open gardens
Things are not all well in Kari’s garden. It’s May Day and we seem to be in a tiny still early spring bubble. A tracery of branches is very visible, leaves remain merely pinpricks of green, flecks against the dominant greys and browns.
In Bath half an hour away, all was lush, plumptious and lovely, chestnut candles lit, lilacs in flower, the whole shebang, not one candle on the horse chestnut is lit here today. Stuck in a traffic queue on Thursday caused by a minor shunt near Trowbridge only few miles away, forced me to consider the woods I normally fly by, fresh leaves on the trees lapped at by primroses and a sprinkling of bluebells. The chestnut flowers were already starting to show colour down by Stony Gutter. Continue reading
Billbergia nutans Variegata (Queen’s Tears)
This billbergia in flower now in a pot outside has overwintered in an unheated greenhouse so must have taken over -5C a couple of times this winter. The flowers are rather exquisite up close.
We are in the midst of Blackthorn winter although the clots of flowers seem sparser this year. We could do with some softening rain. It’s trying to but Salisbury Plain has been keeping it at bay and Salisbury is mostly getting wet instead.
First Swallows on Sunday, first Magpie chicken egg attack of the year this week and first Red Kite I’ve seen so close to home at Yarnbrook near Westbury on Wednesday evening. Continue reading
Unexpected (for me at least) a frost this morning, quickly disappearing as the sun cranks up its progress across the sky. Sod’s Law the magnolia and camellia flowers will get a browning again.
The concrete base for the new compost bins has been visited overnight, a line of cat paw prints run from north to south.
The time of the daffodils is nearly over, tulips are coming to the fore, today will see a few more opening for the first time to embrace the sun.
Who gets today’s prize for scent?
Sweetness (jonquil Favel UK 1930’s) has just been and gone so not strictly in today’s competition. Has relatively small heavily scented single rich yolk yellow flowers. I first saw these at The Mead Nursery, a few years ago, a potful by the till sending out waves of perfume. Continue reading
Of the four or 5 clumps I have of this warm blooded arum, this is the only one with ‘flowers’ this year, the bud opened this morning. Faintly and sweetly scented.
Elsewhere birds are singing and squabbling – two wrens were having a tiff earlier. Nest building is in full swing.
Daffodil clumps are beginning to build up and provide a better spring show. I bought some on sale last year from Sarah Raven so they went in late, I have quite a few of the sweetly scented small flowered daffs to yet open, Trevithian, Peublo, Geranium and Martinette (some of which from the previous year I had left in pots and was one of the first daffodils in flower this year).
Narcissus Thalia often twin headed
I love Elka which is a small pale daff. Thalia has just started to come out but is taking a while to establish. Sailboat and Jack Snipe are also in full flower (Topolino is just going over). The old double daffodil Pencrebar is just about to open. The buds of the long established clumps of N poeticus in the copse at the bottom of the garden are tall but still tightly budded. Continue reading