Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's all me, me, me, me, me...

I might stop posting about my own garden soon...

Quite by chance I found some old pictures on a CD marked 2004. As you can see, I've made some changes in the last five years.

1) The Pinus sylvestris and Chamaecyparis has gone to the great wood chip pile in the sky, and the Musella lasiocarpa has gone to the gooey mush pile in the sky.

2) The grass looks even worse now.

3) It used to be much more jungley. Since then I've become more of a conformist, or have I?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My plot

Whenever I take pictures of my garden, it tends to just be parts of it, or plant combinations. I decided to just take a picture of my entire garden.

For the first time, I've been able to take a picture from the dizzying heights of our new loft.

I rather like trying new combinations of plants and materials, so the garden ends up being a rather eclectic mix of styles. I liked the orange succulent bed to begin with, but am thinking of repainting it. Not sure what colour yet - maybe black?

A few of my favourite things...

Syringa protolaciniata is a plant I bought on impulse. It was a big plant, trained as a standard, but it was definitely worth it. The flowers are a lot less blowsy than the S.vulgaris hybrids, and the colour is great - a bit like those yucky Parma Violet sweets, and the scent is superb. This is definitely a plant that should be better known. You can't really see the leaves in this picture, but they are quite finely dissected and remain a fresh apple-green through the summer.

Schefflera taiwaniana showing new growth several weeks ago. The mature leaves are stunning, but the new growth is the best feature. They remind me of umbrellas for some reason. The aphids usually love the new growth, but they didn't seem to become a problem this year.

A strange mix of Yucca rostrata, Y.elephantipes, Y.rigida, Chamaerops humilis, Cerinthe major, Puya caerulea and a bearded Iris. There's a clump of Tillandsia aeranthos on the Cedar trunk too, just to add to the weirdness!

Another interesting combination. I can't remember the name of this Astelia, but it's rather large, and very red. Probably my favourite of the Astelia. The Echeveria is 'Mauna Loa', with a Pelargonium tucked under a Brahea armata leaf. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tree fern of the day - Heligan eat your heart out!

Cyathea medullaris has to be one of the most spectacular New Zealand ferns. I'm pleased to have permission to use the photos here. The following photos are relevant, as this plant is growing in a private garden the UK! Granted it is in a micro-climate and sheltered woodland, but exciting nevertheless.

Spot the man standing at the base of the fern...

The crown.

The fallen stipes give some idea of scale.

Wish my plant could grow this big. That is if it isn't the closely related Cyathea cooperi.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Allotment.

It had to happen sooner or later...access to an allotment! This one didn't come through being on a waiting list though, I am looking after it with a friend for a sick lady. She is unable to work on it this year, but she doesn't want to lose her allotment, so we can do what we like! 

Installation of raised beds is the first job...

No-one told Liam that you don't have to wear a flat cap on the allotment! We spent all of Friday evening out there, drilling planks and moving soil. Have to organise some veggie plants now, as it's getting a little late to plant some things.

By the end of the evening we were lucky enough to enjoy a braai (vegetarians look away!). The boerewors was quite splendid, and was a good way to end a long week. 

Hopefully by the end of the summer we'll be able to enjoy a gem squash or two with our braai - I have seedlings coming up now. They are from seeds I brought back from Zimababwe, and will be grown down on the allotment.

Alpines at Wisley.

Last time I headed to Wisley, I omitted the Alpine house from my route. Probably a big mistake. Nevertheless, I made a point of heading over on my next visit. What a great display! The Alpine house is fairly well hidden, and probably deserves a more prominent position.

Amazing! A lot of alpine plants put on really spectacular shows, like the Lewisia below - where are the leaves?

I forget the name of this succulent plant growing outside the house. Nice, whatever it is.

Back inside again, a Lachenalia.

Primula auricula.

After not posting for a long time, I thought I would make a few postings. As a gardener it is difficult to find time in Spring to sit at the computer after a busy day, yet here I am.

A few weeks ago we had some beautiful warm (maybe even hot?) weather, and I was fortunate enough to have the day off work. Here is the flowering cherry outside my house;

Nice isn't it? Very blowsy, but quite spectacular.

This particular day I was lucky enough to visit the garden of a Lady. It was arranged via a friend, who maintains her garden. She is quite elderly, but is very passionate about her old garden. I think I chose one of the nicest times of year to go and have a look around.

Down the garden path.
The garden is fairly expansive, maybe an acre? I don't know my measures. It is set out out on a slope, with a large lawn on the middle 'terrace'.

I like this combination of Euphorbia and Brunnera at the upper end of the garden.

A garden doesn't have to be full of rare and unusual plants to capture the imagination. I was rather taken by the orchard at the lower end of the garden, and the greenhouse...

They don't make them like that anymore! The old pots behind the greenhouse, all oldy-worldy.

I hope to pop back at some point, I liked it there. Ienjoyed the peace and quiet, despite the A3 being located less than five minutes away!