Wednesday, May 26, 2010



Two more tree peonies have started to flower. This one, above, is my favourite, as it has the 'wild' irregular look that I find so appealing.

The other, below, is pure white, and such a HUGE flower. At least 9 inches or more across! Alas, this one isn't as reliable and doesn't flower every year. I guess producing such large flowers takes a lot of energy for the plant.

I love this border, as it seems to work quite well through the seasons. Now, the peonies are the stars of the show and the other perennials are still in leaf, so nothing is competing with these magnificent blooms. Though, nearby, the flowers of the magnolia trees (white, pink, and deep purple) provide a perfect backdrop for the bold tree peony flowers. Later in summer when the daylilies in this bed start to flower, the tree peony foliage provides a nice contrast for those flowers.



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Its feels so good to be back out in the garden in earnest again. Last year was a difficult one due to recurring back problems and the garden, sadly, was neglected. Getting back on top of everything is a lot of work this year, but there is something so satisfying to see each bed in turn revamped, weeded out, and looking good again.
The very dark tulips are looking very good against the new foliage of Cynara cardunculus.

The first of the tree peony to open this year. Simply sumptuous! I love these plants, and even though their display of flowers is sometimes short lived, their distinctive foliage is an asset to the border all through summer and the leaf colour in autumn is just as spectacular as the blooms.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Some things blooming in the garden now... everywhere I look there are pinks and purples!!

An Aquilegia self-seeded seedling.

There are literally hundreds of different self seeded Aquilegia that pop up in nearly every bed and border around the garden. I leave the ones that I like and cut off the flowers of the ones I don't so that they don't get a chance to pollinate or set seed. In this way, each year I get a slightly different, and slightly 'better' set of flowers.

I especially like the double flowered ones like this one, and the 'clematis-flowered' ones. I have been selecting those and now have quite a lot of them in different colours.


Clematis montana

I think the cultivar name for this one is 'Maureen' - however, it was an existing plant in the garden when we moved in, so I don't have a definite record of the variety.

This plant twines over a pergola with honeysuckle on one side, Clematis cirrhosa on another side, and one side left open. They are all equally vigorous, so that none overpowers the other, and the resulting tangle of blooms (the honeysuckle is in flower now too...) is very pleasing.

The advantage of climbers, and the splashes of colour that they bring above head height, is not to be underestimated!


Papaver oriental

This poppy is one of my favourites! I look forward to it every year. The flowers are huge - if opened out flat, they would be about 8 inches in diameter. This pink one is much earlier in flowering than the other red and orange ones in the garden.
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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Loads of flowers on the little azalea this year!

The colour is a very 'in your face' light red. It definitely acts as a focal point at the bottom of the path where it is planted.

Some years are better than others for this one. It seems to be flowering its head off this year!

With its nice thick trunk and good form, I am temped to dig this one up and train it as a bonsai. I have a nice dark Phormium which could replace it as focal point ... something to think about this autumn. The colour of the phormium would probably work better for that area. However, because there are lots of daylilies in this area as well, I don't want to overdose on the spiky, upright, fan of foliage.

So much to do, so many decisions to make... isn't gardening wonderful!!
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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Spring brings some wonderful colour combinations. The garden is looking very cheerful, and the warm, sunny weather we've had the last few days has brought out lots of blooms!

A striped tulip in front of Epimedium.






And a beautiful Euphorbia 'Dixter' growing amongst native bluebells.




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Tuesday, January 29, 2008





















Well, if I thought things were early last year - I'm even more suprised with this year. Mid-January saw snowdrops and crocus in flower, and now, Hellebores are in full swing and Camellias are also starting to open!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008



Unbelievably, crocus and snowdrops are in flower in the garden already. (I've also seen daffodils elsewhere starting to open!!)