Tuesday, 15 April 2014

April bloomers in London

It’s middle of the month again and time to show you what’s flowering in our gardens. It was a funny winter here in London, with no frost at all and just rain, rain and more rain - but although spring so far has had many nice days, the temperatures hasn’t been that impressively high. Some plants are very early in my garden, others are taking their time and seem to not have been influenced at all by the mild winter we have had.

Let’s start this tour in my front garden where the window baskets are at their best right now.

They are filled with 3 types of Viola wittrockiana (pansies), Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow' and Primula vulgaris Belarina 'Amethyst Ice'. By the time we get to June I expect these baskets to look a bit tired and I will take out and keep what’s possible to save and throw out the rest.

I have lots of plants around my bay window and most noticeable are the fuchsias, which are all in full flower! They have been flowering non-stop since last August and because of the frost free winter they didn’t lose any leaves and simply just continued to flower. Normally they would lose all their leaves in January and be just bare twigs until the leaves come back in June and the flowers would arrive in late July or August.

I don’t really know what’s going to happen with all my fuchsias this year. Will they just go on flowering right through the summer and into the autumn? And what if we get another mild winter, could they flower until next summer??

This is Fuchsia 'Velvet Crush', one of my favourite fuchsias and I took many cuttings of it last autumn – incidentally the cuttings spent the winter outside, I never thought that would have been possible, but they did, and now the cuttings are flowering too – in April! Madness!

OK, let’s move to the back garden and see what’s in flower here. The beds are slowly filling up with green plants and in a few month’s time this garden will be filled to the rafters with plants so you can barely see to the end. At the moment the garden is in a sort of transition period between the spring flowers and the early summer flower, and there are lots of plants that will burst into flower in the next few weeks.

On the shelf at my seating area I have the sun loving plants, my two new oleanders and 10 tender geraniums which have spent the winter outside here on the patio. After a hard prune and a sprinkling of slow release fertiliser I hope the geraniums will flower just as beautifully as they did last summer. The oleanders are new and haven’t flowered yet, I hope they will this summer but being so small I think they might need another year.

Turning around to the patio, the containers here have all spent winter outside, I don’t have a greenhouse or conservatory so nothing get’s dug up or taken inside.

Most of the daffodils are long gone, but these late, miniature daffodils called Narcissus 'Hawera'  are absolutely exquisite.

I grow them in two small containers and the flowers last for quite a long time.

But at the moment it is tulip time in my garden! This is a mix of tulips I got for free when ordering from an online nursery. I would probably not have put this garish mix together myself, but it was free…

On their own, some of them are rather pretty, like this pale pink one.

Or this dark pink one.

A more successful mix is probably this, which I bought from Sarah Raven, although I don’t think I would have put orange and red together like this – but it was cheap. The orange are called 'Prinses Irene'.

The red one is 'Couleur Cardinal'.

And this is Tulipa 'Havran' , also from Sarah Raven.

On my patio the Loropetalum chinense is in flower again, this tiny bush is now 2 years old and still very small. I have heard that they grow to 6’ tall and wide in no time, mine don’t seem to have such ambitions! To the left of it is the bottlebrush, Callistemon rigidus, which also is 2 years old and it looks like it will flower for the first time this year – can’t wait to see that!

Loropetalum chinense flower.

Behind the Loropetalum is the big pot with fuchsias which I have been showing over the winter, but just to show you how BIG it is, I moved the pot to the table and the plant filled the whole 40x80cm table and some more.

There are 3 fuchsia plants in this pot, 'Snowburner', 'Marcus Graham' and 'Deep Purple'. Here are lots of 'Deep Purple' almost open.

And this is 'Snowburner'.

And in contrast to these big-flowering fuchsias, here is one of my new ones, a miniature called Fuchsia encliandra 'Jimmy Cricket'. The flowers won’t be any bigger than this although the plant itself will grow a bit, it is just a cutting still.

And if you thought Jimmy had small flowers, here is another miniature – with absolutely tiny flowers! This is Fuchsia 'Fuksie Foetsie'  and right now, none of the flowers were open, but they don’t get that much bigger than what you see here, they are ready to flower in matter of days. I am planning to use these two fuchsias to make Bonsai trees, but that’s a project that will take a good few years so I’ll come back when I have something to show. In the mean time it’s nice to enjoy these unusually small flowers.

Here at the patio I also have my nursery shelves and they are so full I really don’t know where to put everything at the moment.

Many of the plants here are ready to be planted out already, and look; my fuchsia cuttings that are already flowering!

My shelves are so full I have had to take use of the path too, there are pots and trays all the way down on the sunny side. When the spring bulbs are gone, many of these pots can go into the beds and fill in the gaps, but for now they just have to temporarily reside here on the gravel path. I had a count, just for fun today, of all the pots I have in the garden, from the largest container to the smallest cutting pot. I got to 346. That’s not counting those in the front garden and the plants and seed trays I have indoors. OK, I admit it, I am a plantaholic!

By the seating area is one of the newcomer this year, Chaenomeles speciosa 'Moerloosei'. This is my second chaenomeles and I have wanted a pink for ages. I am going to grow it in this container and train it up the fence. I didn’t expect any flowers this year but got a few after all. They are such a beautiful delicate pink colour.

Just imagine when the whole corner will be covered in flowers looking like this! Next year, possibly?

On the other side of my bench is one of last year’s prolific bloomer. Dicentra formosa 'Bacchanal'  flowered from late April last year to early January this year. And now it’s flowering again and has lots of flower buds hidden in the lush foliage. I think perhaps it has outgrown the pot soon and need to be split this autumn, I could possibly get 3 plants out of this one big clump.

The flowers are just beautiful, and being such a prolific bloomer, I bought another Dicentra  formosa last autumn, a white one. I hope it will prove to be just as good a performer, it grows in complete shade and is barely out of ground yet so time will tell.

Not that I don’t already have a white Dicentra....here are my two Dicentra spectabilis, a slightly different Dicentra and perhaps the one most people are used to seeing. These two are D. spectabilis 'Alba' (white) and D. spectabilis 'Valentine' (red). The reason I have them fenced in is to try to avoid the local cat, fox and squirrel population breaking off the branches, they have already managed to break off two new shoots on Valentine despite the fence so I had to go in and adjust it a bit. When the bushes get a bit bigger and wider I will support them with canes and hopefully they will survive the summer. They didn’t last year, both of them were pretty amputated by end of August. Dicentras are soft and fragile bushes compared to the rest of the plants I have here, mostly evergreen plants, so no wonder they are the first ones to break when the wildlife have a run-around down here.

The pure white flowers on Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba' are beautiful  - but just wait till Valentine get’s his red flowers out, they are gorgeous!

OK, back to the seating area where I left, and here are more red flowers, most noticeable is the last flower on my baby camellia. It has flowered for a long time despite being absolutely tiny, can’t wait to see how this camellia will be when it gets a bit older.

Camellia japonica 'Takanini' is soon going out in my front garden where it will be much happier during the summer, it will be too sunny and hot for it here on my patio. That’s the advantage of growing camellias in containers - take them in to the garden during the winter when they flower and put them somewhere else when they are finished :-)

And speaking of camellias; my big camellia has been flowering for more than a month now and there are lots more to come yet. I inherited this huge camellia when I moved in here in November 2001 and I can’t really take credit for this amazing display of flowers. I don’t do anything with it – I don’t ever water it and I don’t fertilise it. I have pruned it a few times to keep it in shape, and I plan to do another pruning this year as it is many years since last time. But that’s it all I have done, pruned it a couple of times the last 12 years.

I don’t know what type it is, and I must have looked at many hundred camellias online to try to recognise any named variety, but so far I haven’t found it.

Camellias are one of the few flowers in my garden I have so many of that I can cut and have in vases as many as I like – there is a seemingly never-ending supply!

I don’t know how old it is, for all I know my camellia could have been planted in the 1950s, when the terraced houses around here got indoor toilets and gardens, which means it could be over 60 years old. Whatever age it is, it must like where it is growing, there is an incredible amount of flowers on the camellia every year, and the flowering usually takes 8-10 weeks from start to finish – even  longer if we have really cold weather like last year. I am always very impatient for the camellia to start flowering in the spring, and can’t wait to see the first flowers open up. 

But at this time, almost halfway into the flowering I always think the same: what a mess!!
I leave the petals until it’s all over and then I scoop up some of it, usually a whole plastic sack full, and the rest I rake in with some fresh bark chipping mulch and leave to rot. 

Next to the camellia the hydrangea is getting tall and already budding.

It won’t be long before these buds are popping out as enormous pink flowers.

Down at the bottom of my garden, many of the spring plants are gone a long time ago and I am left with crocus leaves, daffodil leaves and snowdrop leaves to die down. There are a few anemones left, but the squirrels have lunched on most of them.

The hellebores are past their best too, I just keep the flowers now to get the seeds and I could probably deadhead at least 50%. I really don’t need that many hellebore babies!

But there are flower here too, this pretty red primrose has been flowering since last year together with 3 other exactly the same, spread around the garden. The white and the red cyclamens are still going strong and the plant to the right with the white tiny flowers is a Disporopsis pernyi – more about this one next month when the flowers are out properly.

Here is a newcomer in my garden, I got 3 of these Bergenia ‘Winterglow’, a bit of a misnomer since they don’t flower until now.

But the flowers are absolutely lovely, pure magenta!

My Arisaema amurenses are flowering right now, I have no idea how many I have, they are difficult to count so I have a plan that I am going to count how many flowering size Arisaema amurense I have – once they all are out of the ground in a week or two. I guess it will be around 20 or so. But when it comes to babies I have no idea. 100? 200? It could even be more, from the tiniest to the almost ready to flower. They take many years from seed to flower, but I have just left them to it and started with just ONE plant – in 2004.

And the mice are doing well too! Have you seen the mouse plant on my blog before? If not, I have written a post especially about this amazing plant, Arisarum  proboscideum, and you can find it here.

Another unusual plant down here is one of the primulas I got from my plant swap with Angie last month, it is doing very well and if you want a primula a bit out of the ordinary, this one is worth looking into: Primula 'Mrs Marjorie Banks'.

The last of the Puschkinia Libanotica are still flowering, but one more week and I think they will all be gone.

One surprising thing that is flowering right now is my 10 year old Acer palmatum 'Garnet'. It has only flowered once before, a few years ago, and I think it needs a good summer the year before in order to flower.

The flowers are far from showy and spectacular, but since it doesn’t happen very often I appreciate it more when it does.  A couple of acer saplings as a result of this would be nice, thanks :-)

Another tree in my garden about to flower is my lilac. I must admit I have a special relationship with this lilac as I have raised it from a tiny cutting since 2004, although I eventually realised that this isn’t a Syringa vulgaris, and that the flowers aren’t actually scented – which came as a big blow to me, what’s the point with a lilac if the flowers aren’t scented?! But I didn’t have the heart to throw out this cutting and kept growing it. It grows very slowly, this is all it has grown in just over 10 years and I can’t wait for the crown to get above the fence, it will make it much easier with the roses I have on the fence.

The flowers are very pretty, but too early for today’s post, next month it will probably be all over so I will post when they flower. I am not completely sure what my lilac is called, but from photos online I am pretty sure I have found it, not your run of the mill lilac at all; it is probably a Syringa komarowii reflexa. A keeper for now.

Oh, and speaking of flowering, my Clematis 'Niobe' is about to flower. No, I am not kidding, it is about to flower. No, it’s not a joke, it is about to flower – in April! Oh my goodness, I get all giggly when I say it. It sounds even more silly than having fuchsias in flower in April or in February and March for that matter, all my fuchsias flowered all winter. But my Niobe is a clematis pruning group 3, it normally flowers from June and onwards. I have never had flower buds in April before. None of the clematis' went dormant because of the mild winter we had, so they started shooting new leaves earlier than I have ever seen before and the result is here. Flowers in April on a pruning group 3 clematis. Madness.

The same can’t be said about my roses, they are taking their time and don’t seem affected by the mild winter at all. I cut them down last week of January, a week earlier than I normally do, and they all have flower buds now but no flowers yet. I have had roses in April before, but it’s a while since last time, by the time we get to middle of May there should be plenty of roses, providing we don’t get any freak weather coming our way – you never know!

Speaking of freak, if you live here in Britain, have you seen the amount of greenflies there are at the moment?!! Probably as a consequence of our frost free winter, but luckily, the ladybirds have arrived too. These two are harlequin ladybirds and not one of our native ladybird, can’t say I am that happy about having these foreign invaders immigrants here in my garden, but at the moment I am happy seeing anything that munches greenflies with the speed of light – besides, I am an immigrant myself, so I suppose I should give them a break....but at least I don’t eat the natives, like the harlequin ladybirds do – they actually eat other ladybirds and the population is falling every year!

Anyway, that’s the roundtrip for today, I have many more plants in flower but I just can’t show you everything or you will be sitting here reading till tomorrow! It is Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and if you visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens you can see what’s flowering in gardens all around the world.

Let me just finish this post by reminding my UK readers about Green Plant Swap, the website where you can swap plants with other keen gardeners and plantaholics. You don’t need to live next door to each other, you can send plants in the post or by courier. Here you can visit my pages on the Green Plant Swap site, to get an idea of what it’s about and what you can do, and you can see most of the plants I have as I have been busy updating the plant list for my garden. Until next time, take care.

90 comments:

  1. I just love your garden.. it's so pretty! I especially love the colours in your front window baskets.. purple is my favourite colour.
    Your bowl of camellia flowers is simply gorgeous :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie, the front window baskets change twice a year, not sure what I will put in them this summer but people stop and admire them, I am the only one in the whole street with flowers on the front wall so it’s fun to make something with a bit of impact :-)

      Delete
  2. Gorgeous. Specially Camellias and your fuschias.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, it’s camellia time in my garden now :-)

      Delete
  3. You need to have a plant sale. You certainly have some lovely plants,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sue, I hope to sell some plants through Green Plant Swap.

      Delete
  4. Wow Helene, your garden is so full of color that it seems not winter anymore. I smiled at the pile and pile of rooted plants ready for planting, i guess a vertical garden wall is ready for them. I envy the health of your plants, most specially those pansies which are my favorite. I only see them in person in Sweden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, winter is gone a long time ago, we have had spring for at least 2 months if not more. Pansies are ideal for the British climate, they flower from September, right through the winter until June when they get a bit tired looking.

      Delete
  5. Love your garden! All look so wonderful! Your fuchsias always make me so jealous. I don't know how many time I have planted fuchsia in my garden, but nothing remain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose your climate isn’t the right one for fuchsias, they actually like the cold weather better and suffer a bit in my garden during the middle of the summer - I have to keep them all in deep shade and make sure they get water enough until it gets cooler again.

      Delete
  6. Dicentra formosa is gorgeous. Your garden looks wonderful - I especially love the window boxes along your wall - absolutely beautiful - I bet your neighbours love you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah, I can see people passing by on the pavement from where I sit in my living room, and during the daytime I often see people stopping by my front garden and having a look. The only thing that annoys me is when parents let their children pick flowers from my window boxes. I mean, what’s that about?! Is it just here in East London people do that? It happens regularly, perhaps a few times a month, and sometimes I go outside and tell people to leave it, but they don’t even seem embarrassed when caught out! Apart from that, most people seem to appreciate my flowers :-)

      Delete
  7. Helene your garden seems to work like a greenhouse with everything so fertile and growing beautifully. We are just beginning our spring and after a fast warm up, we are due for SNOW...ugh! But it will only be cold for 2 nights and one day and back to early spring temps of 50s here...it helps the blooms last when it is cooler. I adore those planters on your front wall. I hope to visit the nursery soon so I can also plant some pansies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Donna, I hope spring decides to stay for good soon at your part of the world, snow in April is seriously late, but being from Norway myself (zone 3!) I know exactly how it feels! Hope you get your pansies in soon :-)

      Delete
  8. Your garden's looking as gorgeous as ever. I agree about the clematis. Our neighbour has one on his shed and it's flowering. I keep looking over and thinking, "No..." You've reminded me, I got a tiny flowered fuchsia in a pot last year. I have absolutely no idea where it is - I fear a casualty. They're lovely, though, aren't they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I have just recently got into miniature fuchsias, I have some tender and some hardy, not sure if I can manage to keep the tender ones over next winter but that all depends on what kind of winter we get next year.

      Delete
  9. Your garden looks wonderful Helene! I'm always amazed at how neat and tidy you keep things :-) I don't think I've ever seen your front garden before - that's a fantastic combo in your long window boxes. I usually do just a boring stretch of pansies alone - need to spice it up a bit. You seem to have enough pots to plant up three gardens - your gardening friends will be happy if you share!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I tend to regard my garden as the most important room in my house, and like a kind of studio flat, where everything is on show so you have to keep it tidy. There are no ‘messy corners’ in my garden. I don’t have any gardening friends around here, most of my neighbours are without any green fingers, so that’s why I have joined up with the Green Plant Swap website, hoping to sell some plants and swap some for something exciting :-)

      Delete
  10. Hi Helene, your garden is a dream at this time of year! I just love it! And your camellia, this plant is just out of this world. So nice to have such a mature plant growing in your garden that is approximately 60 years old. I think it is a particular beautiful variety, which a bloom form that I haven't seen, yet. It would be so neat if you could find out the name of it. Maybe someone, who is reading your blog can help?
    Your window boxes with the pansies and the ajugas have grown in so well and are so pretty at the moments. I am sure they bring tons of joy to your whole neighborhood. Do you get comments on them from passersby?
    Another dainty bloom that found its way right into my heart is Puschkinia Libanotica. What a little beauty!
    Well there is so much more, but I will just stop here and just wish you a lovely Easter week!
    Christina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Christina, the camellia is a bit unusual, I have seen many similar but none with exactly the same flowers, perhaps this is a variety that was more popular many years ago. I do sometimes get comments from people passing when I am outside watering and deadheading, but most people just smile and walk past – this is London after all, people don’t just stop and start talking! :-) And yes, the Puschkinia is lovely, I hope they will multiply by next year, I bought 50 bulbs and I hope the squirrels will hate them and leave them alone!

      Delete
  11. My heart started pounding when I saw the Fuchsia 'Snowburner.' The veining pattern on the blooms is so pretty and interesting. And then when I saw the round vase full of Camellias, I sighed out loud! Wow. Now that is stunning! Your garden, as always, looks like a little piece of heaven, Helene. Happy Bloom Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Beth, I thought you would like my camellias :-) Has your camellia arrived yet? Which one did you end up buying? The garden feels like a piece of heaven, especially at this time of year! Happy GBBD to you too!

      Delete
  12. Your April garden is amazing. Well, it seems that your garden every month is amazing. I especially love that fuchsia. Happy Bloom Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dorothy, I have become a bit of a fuchsias collector, not sure how that happened but it just did! Happy Bloom Day to you too!

      Delete
  13. Your baskets out front are wonderful, what a great combination of colors. That old camellia is amazing. The flowers are so perfect and so many of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carolyn, the only niggly thing about my old camellia is that I don’t know her name, I would love to find out! Apart from that she is pretty perfect yes.

      Delete
  14. Helene, I am amazed at how your fushia's have wintered over! That is telling of how mild it has been for you. Your gardens are filling in with lush beauty. You've created an lovely retreat. Happy GBBD!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer, we do sometimes have frost-free winters here in London, it is a while since last time and it probably won’t happen again next winter but for my garden it throws in a few special circumstances I normally don’t see. Like flowering fuchsias in March and April!
      Happy GBBD to you too.

      Delete
  15. Every time I visit here, Helene, I am just amazed at the beauty of your garden. With 346 potted seedlings, it's no wonder you have so many lovely blooms! I love, love your window boxes--pink and purple is my favorite combination in the garden. And I'm positively green with envy over your camellias. I can't grow them in my zone 5b garden, but I'm not sure I've seen such prolific bloomers as yours in any other warmer garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rose, my 346 pots are including everything growing in pots, from the smallest seedling to the largest container – some of them will just continue to grow in the pots or containers long term, others will end up in the flower beds before June/July. And I do hope to sell/swap/give away some of the plants too, I can’t possibly keep all of them! My camellia is an old lady, that’s why she flowers so prolifically, I have seen them flower like this in Kew Botanical Gardens too, one of the reason why I think it is a rather old camellia. She just does her thing and I leave her to it!

      Delete
  16. You have so many beautiful blooms Helene. Your tulips and planter boxes in the front are breathtaking and your camellias...well...gorgeous! It is always such a pleasure visiting your gardens. Happy Bloom Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, some of the flowers are very short-lived, like the tulips but the flowers in the front garden boxes have been flowering since December. That’s good value for money – and they were cheap too! I haven’t decided yet what I will plant on the wall for summer, it often comes down to money and what’s available and in stock when I order (online). Happy GBBD!

      Delete
  17. Your big camellia is certainly prolific. What a picture!
    I too have an acer flowering this year, not seen it do that before. And I love the mice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I really like that camellia, even though she creates a mess!
      My Acer is flowering for the second time, can’t really remember how many years ago it was last time but perhaps 3 years, and I have had the Acer for 10 years, it was just a tiny twig when I got it. I didn’t get any saplings last time so I am not that optimistic this time either. Not sure what is required, but perhaps the Acer isn’t self-pollinating, perhaps there need to be another Acer nearby. I can’t see any around here, must be many gardens away at least if at all so perhaps better to enjoy the flowers and not expect anything else.

      Delete
  18. Lovely camellia, Helene! it's gorgeous! I love your 'Snowburner' as always all your fuchsias are very pretty.How is your rhododendron this year? Mines are with buds now, although the temps are nor very warm.
    Have a nice GBBD!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nadezda, one of my rhododendrons has already flowered and is all finished, but I have two more to come, ‘Dopey’ which is a dwarf and bright red, and 'Geisha Purple' which is an Azalea. They will both be in flower by next GBBD.
      Happy GBBD to you too!

      Delete
  19. You certainly cram a lot into hour garden and you have so much going on. I am amazed by your Fuschias in bloom. Your Camellia is gorgeous and I love your window boxes. 346 pots and all those plants on your nursery shelves? Where is everything going to go?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, a lot of the plants are actually going in to the flowerbeds, believe it or not! And the surplus I hope to sell or give away through Green Plant Swap so anyone in Britain who would like to swap with me, please check out the link I gave at the end of the post :-)

      Delete
  20. Wow, those are impressive April blooms! Even that clematis - unreal! I love your Chaenomeles. The color is so pretty! And your camellia and fuchsias are stunning. Quite a few people where I used to live down south grew Loropetalum, including my neighbor, and it did get quite big. Maybe after the mild winter it will now decide to start growing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I have actually never seen a Loropetalum around here, only mine, and I know there are many different varieties so I wonder if those you grow in the US are a different, bigger variety than what I bought. Mine didn’t have a name, it was just labelled Loropetalum chinense, but I see there are named varieties for sale here called 'Fire Dance' and 'Black Pearl'. Not sure if mine is any of them. I wouldn’t mind if it grew a bit more, it is still tiny – but I am happy if it never grows to 6ft!

      Delete
  21. Your camellia is the most incredible I've ever seen! What lushness! I was wondering how many pots you had. I thought my 80 was a lot but you have me beat. :o) What a beautiful way to start spring. Everything just looks so healthy and full.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, the camellia is an amazing feature in my garden, you should see how I ‘deadhead’ it – with so many hundred flowers going off every week it is impossible to just pick them off. I simply stand next to it and lift a few branches at the time, then I shake them vigorously to make the dead flowers drop to the ground. It looks pretty brutal but works a treat, and the camellia is beautifully deadheaded afterwards. I do this about once a week throughout the 8-10 weeks flowering period and I have an amazing amount of flowers from start to finish. I wouldn’t ‘deadhead’ any other plant this way, but the camellia seems to be tolerate the treatment well :-)

      Delete
  22. Another 'WOW!' post Helene. A feast of gorgeousness, inspiration and 'needs'. As for those shelves, I too don't know what I'd do without them....thank goodness they're strong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jane, my shelves have proved just as great as I thought they would be, couldn’t be without them now! And nothing will ever rust, like my old shelves did :-)

      Delete
  23. Helene, your garden is stunning. I adore the baskets filled with flowers in your front garden! I am thinking about getting camelia to cheer up a shady spot in my garden and I think I will get it. I bought few seedlings of fuschia and they look rather sad. They are in the full sun but some of then died and I feel sad when looking at your photos of blooming fushias, that mine aren't happy. I shall give them more time, and hopefully they will recover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure you will find the perfect camellia for your shady spot, have a look here, this is where I bought my new camellia ‘Takanini’ from:
      http://www.duchyofcornwallnursery.co.uk/product-search/sk-camellia/sb-RetailExVat
      The sun is getting stronger now so maybe you need to get your fuchsia plants out of the sun and into a more shady spot, they will thrive better there. I don’t have any fuchsias in full sun, even if some are labelled they can tolerate that, they grow much better in semi shade or even full shade. Try that and see if it helps.
      Also, keep an eye on the night temperatures, some tender fuchsias need to be taken inside during the night still if they are really young plants, as we have very low night temperatures right now, they might actually freeze during the night and get too hot during the day! When they get older and stronger they can tolerate better the big jump between night and day temperatures.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Helene for your advice. I was covering the plants over nights as it was frosty, but they are in a fullsun. I shall follow your experience and put them in slightly shady part of my garden. Thank you so much!

      Delete
  24. Beautiful blooms. Those window boxes at the front look fantastic and I just love the Camellia with its carpet of fallen flowers underneath. What a picture! The Tulips are gorgeous and I just love that Bergenia. Your nursery shelves are jam-packed. You've certainly got a lot going on at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bernie, the Bergenia is a new one in my garden, I am trying to find plants that can take over when all the hellebores are past their best and just looking green – might buy some more next year in a different variety.

      Delete
  25. Helene, you are the master of container gardening, getting more out of the spaces than most of us would imagine. The containers, the plants in the ground, combine to create overall beauty that stuns. Too, you have a special relationship with fuchsias, large and small.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lee, I think I might have overdone it slightly on the container front this year! I will try to get some of them in the ground before the summer heat sets in, and sell/swap some of the cuttings too.

      Delete
  26. You have so many pot plants, and take such good care of them. The garden is looking great and so many plants in flower. I have just planted some pansies and violas for winter colour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen, I must have pansies every winter, but by the time we get to June or so I usually throw them out for something a bit more summery.

      Delete
  27. Not many more pots to go until you've got one for every day of the year Helene ;)
    Your troughs in the front garden are just gorgeous - a lovely combo you put together there.
    Your Fuchsias really have been amazing haven't they. Your garden really is a credit to all the love and attention you give it.
    The Camellia, as always is a cracker. I know what you mean about the Dicentra spectabalis getting amputated - mines suffer the same.
    I'm not surprised to see your Clematis about to flower as a couple of mine are just about to do the same. It's been an incredible winter hasn't it, although my winter this year is probably the same as you experience most years.
    I could say lots more but just getting ready to go to work - Have a nice Easter Weekend x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Angie, I have a plan of getting my pot and container collection halved by August, I hope I can manage to do that! It has been very cold down here the last week, 12-14 degrees during the day and only just above freezing at night – it has slowed down things again so the Clematis’ is no closer to flower, but I think a few days of warmth and sunshine and they would both burst into flower. Sunday will be a washout down here, but next week looks more promising. Have a great Easter weekend you too!

      Delete
  28. Are you sure you live in London Helene! I can't comprehend the difference between our two gardens which are less than 200 miles apart even accounting for the fact I live in a more rural area. The more I read your blog the more astounded I am. Love the pictures, especially of the Camellia, I tend to have mixed results with mine year on year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rick, I can assure you, I live in thickest East-Ender London!
      The soil here is acidic, how much I don’t really know as I have never tested it, but it is one of the reasons why I never water the camellia. It seems to be mature enough to manage on its own and I don’t want to disturb the pH by pouring on tap water. I wish I could do the same with my 2 mop head hydrangeas so they could become blue, but they need watering, especially in the summer. I have never bothered with hydrangea colorants so mine have different colour every year, dependant on how much I can rely on the free stuff from above and how much I have to water.
      I guess there are numerous reason why you might have mixed results with your camellias, I am sure you have looked into it already, all I can say is that many people tend to give them too much sun. They like a shady spot. And they need enough water during the summer if you don’t have an old lady camellia like mine, or else they throw their buds. I have seen that in neighbouring gardens, but in 12 years being here, mine has never thrown its buds, despite never being watered.

      Delete
  29. So much to see in your garden at the moment Helene. The walls in your frontgarden looks lovely. What a difference with those of your neighbourghs.
    I wish you a lovely Easter with lots of shunshine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Marijke, I like to have flowers in my front garden, all year round, even though no one else in my street has flowers. A few have a green bush or a small tree, but no one keeps flowers. Not sure why, but I guess their back gardens look equally without much flowers, I don’t think there are many around here that are much into gardening. I hope you have a lovely Easter and that the sun is shining for you too!

      Delete
  30. Wow, Helene, there is so much to see in your garden! It's incredible and just gorgeous. I've got only White Dicentras growing in my garden and I know that there are pink once too... but I've never seen before a lilac one, like the one on the photo you showed.
    Your front "garden" looks very inviting too, with all those lovely pansies. One can see that here lives a gardener just before walking through the entrance.
    Have lovely Easter and give your cat a soft cuddle from me.
    x Alex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alex, there are 8 types of Dicentra and my Dicentra formosa is one of them. The white one you have in your garden, which perhaps is the same as my white, and very much the same as the much more common pink one is often called Dicentra spectabilis – but it is actually no longer called that, it has changed name - Dicentra spectabilis is actually called Lamprocapnos spectabilis.
      Just wait to my dark red Dicentra starts to flower, that’s the most beautiful Dicentra (Lamprocapnos) you can think of !!

      I hope you have a lovely Easter too, and give Noah the cat a hug back :-)

      Delete
  31. I am always amazed about the stunning collection of plants you have. And still so many plants on the shelves, you really can start a nursery with plants for sale. Your frontgarden windowboxes have a lovely mix of pansies, Ajuga and Primulas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Janneke, I do have a plan with what to do with the plants I can’t fit in the flowerbeds, joining the plant swap site was part of that plan as everyone can sell plants there too, in addition to swapping.
      Every time I visit someone’s blog I see plants I would like in my garden, that’s why I have so may plants – I just can’t help it, I like so many plants I see!

      Delete
  32. I am at that early point in spring when everything is looking a bit sad and it is hard to imagine the garden will be green and colorful. So nice to see a hopeful preview of the best spring can offer Helene. Starting at the front the fuchsias are so pretty and so are the pansies. Your pink camellia is simply glorious. Such a collection of plants in pots you have. You could open a nursery!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer, I hope your garden burst into flower quickly now that spring finally has taken off for you!
      I keep planting in the beds, the last few days the pot collection has gone down with 8 pots and every day I am outside I plant a few more. But you are right, I could try and sell some of it :-)

      Delete
  33. Your camellia took my breath away! So impressive! And what a large amount of petals it has dropped! Just amazingly beautiful. Your front garden is lovely - what a delight it must be to passersby - I bet it puts a smile on many faces. And your tulips are lovely. I found myself almost as giddy as you over your clematis in bud - your enthusiasm is infectious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Holley, my camellia is my pride and joy, although I can’t really take credit for its amazing yearly display, she does all that without any help from me!
      I have been looking at the clematis every day the last week but the buds look no different to when I took the photo – we have had very cold weather this week, only a few degrees above freezing at night and not that much more at daytime. Next week is a bit more promising so I think that’s going to do a lot for the clematis, and for my roses too hopefully!

      Delete
  34. Wow! You do have an incredible amount of plants to feed your plantaholism! I love all your fuchsias. I am planning to get a hardy fuchsia; it will be my first! Your camellia is spectacular. Some of these old camellias cannot be beat. By the way, you spoke of garish colors, and I gulped. In nature, is there really such a thing? I think your tulip combo is pretty! My garden is primarily green through most of the year, but spring brings out all the clashing colors. After a dreary winter, it is an explosion of color. But as May approaches, already I see signs of what I call the Deep Greening. Sigh...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I try to think about what colours I put together in each pot and container, but since my garden is so tiny I can’t be that considerate about what’s growing next to each other in the flower beds. If I was going to do that, I should probably limit myself to one colour palette, which for me would be too boring. But the tulip mix was a bit too garish for me, I must admit :-) Anyway, they are already gone, time for something new in my garden. There is always something flowering, every week of the year. If you plan for it, you too can have colourful flowers every week of the year - as long as you don’t have hard frost or lots of snow.

      Delete
    2. Helene, You asked about that first azalea in my post. It is 'George Lindley Tabor', but it is not small. It gets 5-6 feet tall and wide! There is a small evergreen azalea called 'Gumbo pink' that has lovely leaves and a similar, though smaller bloom, if you can find it in your area. I also like flowers but during the hot months they are the accessories and not the main dress, mainly because my garden is enormous and primarily wooded. I sometimes dream of a small space where I could control things more, but I probably would end up like you with hundreds of pots!

      Delete
    3. Ooops, I definitely haven’t got room for a 5-6 ft tall and wide azalea, lovely as it is! I looked up 'Gumbo pink', I can get it here, although the photos on the three nurseries where I found it probably doesn’t do the flowers justice, they are awful! I found some on Google though so I think I have seen the correct one, lovely! My Azalea ‘Geisha Purple’ is 12 years old and only about 1ft tall and 2 ft wide – and rather late to flower as it grows in deep shade. I have been looking out for another one to go next to it as I have a teeny tiny space left there :-) I have now put 'Gumbo pink' on my wish list- which is growing every week….
      I have planted 15 pots the last week – 15 down, only 331 left!
      Thanks for the info about 'Gumbo pink' :-)

      Delete
  35. Your garden has some spectacular blooms, full of color and spring newness. And those flower displays in London are so nice. What a nice way to decorate the neighborhood but with flowers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I try to keep flowers in my front garden all year round, even in deepest winter. The flowers I currently have in the baskets there were planted in December and has flowered since then all winter.

      Delete
  36. Hi Helene, If you end up with two comments from me, I left one a couple of days ago, and checked back to see your reply but don't see original comment now. I'll try again and will begin with: Wow! Thanks for the lovely garden tour. Your window boxes are just lovely. That's a good idea for me in my new "situation." Also, of all the lovely blooms, the red tulip takes the cake for me. It's stunning. As always, I enjoyed your lovely post. All the best! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Beth, not sure where your post ended up, sometimes they just vanish, although that’s not suppose to happen! I just checked my spam folder, as Google happens to be a bit too eager at times, but your comment wasn’t there either, only some old spam from early 2013 – I don’t get much spam anymore since stopping ‘Anonymous’ from leaving comments. Yippy!

      I suppose you will become the queen of container gardening for a while now then! You can grow just about anything in containers you know – I have a 2.5m tall magnolia in a container that has just flowered beautifully, just goes to see! By the way, I have increased my hemerocallis collection from the 3 varieties I used to have to 16 varieties. Make sure to come for a visit in July, I hope they will all flower, although some of them are still quite young. Take care, Helene.

      Delete
  37. Helene,

    Thank you for the gorgeous garden tour. Now I wish spring would hurry up and get here. Your pansies and camellias are stunning. So many pretty pinks and purples. Enjoy all the beauty that surrounds you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Donna, I hope spring will turn up properly for you too! It has been rather cold over here for weeks so since it stopped raining, things haven’t exactly been speedy – but at least it isn’t raining every day anymore!

      Delete
  38. I absolutely love your garden and the detailed planting info you give. Do you remember where you bought your shelving?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carole, I keep a list of all the plants I have in my garden, or else I would not remember what I have! You can see the list on the tab on the top of my blog called ‘Plants In My Garden’.

      I bought the shelves in B&Q and they still sell them: http://www.diy.com/nav/rooms/storage-shelving/heavy-duty-storage-shelving/Keter-Global-4-Tier-Plastic-Shelving-Unit-Black-W-610-H-1310-D-300mm-9796509
      Since I bought mine a few years ago they also have started selling some similar shelves with ventilation holes in each shelves, a bit more practical when storing flower pots perhaps, however, these shelves are wider, deeper and much taller. You would not be able to water pots on the top shelf unless you stood on a stool.
      http://www.diy.com/nav/rooms/storage-shelving/heavy-duty-storage-shelving/Keter-Ventilated-5-Shelf-Unit-Black-W-845-H-1835-D-395mm-9796511

      By the way, I can’t seem to find your blog so I can leave a comment back, do you have a blog? If so, please leave your address to it here so I can find it directly.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Helene. They look exactly what I need. Sorry I don't have a blog at the moment. I'm in the process of revamping my garden.

      Delete
  39. Hello Helene
    Wow! front to back your garden looks amazing. I adore the colours in the front window boxes. Very pretty but my favourites are always the fuchsias….

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Astrid, my garden is racing towards summer, almost May already!

      Delete
  40. This tour of your garden was breathtaking, Helene. How I wish I could see it in person. I love everything, and especially that charming, pale pink tulip. P. x
    P.S. I don't know why my latest posting isn't appearing in your blogroll.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pam, Beth from Daily Soup also said she had left a comment that didn’t appear, I am not sure what has happened, but it seems you two are the only one so far that has had problems. Your comment should appear straight away, I don’t have comment moderation. I have just looked in my spam folder and there is no comment of yours there either so I don’t know – must be the blog fairy again I guess!
      And, I’d love to have you over for a visit to see my garden!

      Delete
    2. Hi Helen do you sell cuttings by any chance?
      I'm after a cutting from your fuchsia encliandra Jimmy cricket if possible please
      Regards kendra

      Delete
    3. Hi Kendra, where do you live? Are you here in London so you can come by and pick it up? I will have to make some cuttings so it will take about 6 weeks or so to make sure they root well, how many do you want? If you pick them up you can have them for free, if you want me to send them you will have to pay postage. Just let me know. Just so you know, Jimmy Cricket is not fully hardy and will need to go in a shed or greenhouse during periods of below zero during winter.

      Delete
    4. Hi Helene sorry I've only just seen your reply.
      I live near Middlesbrough so if it's ok with you to post I'd be more than happy to pay for postage thank you so much
      I'm aware that Jimmy cricket isn't hardy
      If possible could I have two please if it's not to much trouble Helene.

      Delete
  41. Hi Helene sorry I've only just seen your reply.
    I live near Middlesbrough so if it's ok for you to post I'd be more than happy to pay for postage thank you.
    I'm aware that Jimmy isn't hardy thanks for the heads up.
    If possible I'd like two if it's not to much trouble

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kendra, I have cuttings, but they are not really ready to leave home yet :-)
      I like to make sure they have rooted well so they have a fighting chance to survive through the post. Might take another month or two, so it depends on the weather when that time comes. I suggest you send me an email right now with your name and full address so I can keep it in my inbox as a reminder. When the time is right I will let you know, you can then send me an envelope with stamps for postage for a large letter (currently £2.52) and I will post to you.
      My blog email is: contact at graphicality dot co dot uk - I have to write it like this so I don't get too much spam, just read it out loud and then write it down, then you understand what it is! lol

      Delete
    2. Thank you Helene I will send you an email
      Yes I understand it lol

      Delete