I can’t believe I have lived in my new house for over a month, time seems to fly and I have been so busy – and I still have boxes to unpack. Downsizing isn’t easy and I must admit I don’t really know where to put everything even though I have sold, given away and thrown away stuff already. In the garden I have been mostly pruning and tidying up. Every time I look under a new bush I find stuff, just old pieces of wood, broken plant pots and rubbish really so clearing the garden is going to be a long process. In the mean time I am watering my nearly 700 pots and hoping the plants will survive, the hot and windy weather we have had was hard, luckily it has cooled down a bit and now that we got low 20s C for a while it makes it easier with the watering. A good few days with rain would have helped but there is no rain in sight for the next 10 days and beyond.
I am still moving plant crates around according to what the plants need of sun, but many of the crates are now emptied and the pots are out. Every time I empty a crate it feels like a little milestone.
The grass in the garden will eventually go, I have made that decision, but I am no further to decide on where the beds are going and where the paths should go. I have ended up making a path in the grass between the backdoor and the shed from all my walking so I suppose some decisions are rather obvious in the end.
This corner in the garden was completely full of weeds, a huge acanthus and an old, spindly spirea. Look at all the space now that it’s all gone!
Here in the middle of the garden I am planning to make a central bed of daylilies, miniature roses, alstroemerias and possibly some structure with two of the climbing roses I have. This is the view from my living room window so I want to make it as pretty and full of flowers as possible. I also want to create an all year interest so I will put some of my many snowdrops and crocuses in between when I am planting.
But first I have more pruning and weeding to do. Here is this week’s load ready for the council’s garden compost collection – 8 bags.
But let me show you what’s flowering, after all it’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day :-) The roses have been flowering for nearly a month now, ‘Rob Roy’ in this picture is very tall this year, not sure why, but he is almost as tall as me, despite growing in a container.
He is very difficult to photograph and my camera does not give the right red colour, it is much nicer in real life!
One of my new roses, 'The Generous Gardener' is really taking off, it is a climber and I should of course have planted it on a pergola so it could do what it does best – climb. But I haven’t got one yet, and I am probably months from knowing where this one will end up.
I hope it will be happy in the container for the summer, the buds look promising.
The rose next to it is 'Scepter'd Isle', one of my absolute favourite roses and despite being 3 years old it is doing remarkably well in this container. I bet it would rather be in the ground though. Sorry for the washed out colours, sometimes it is impossible to take good photos on a distance.
There, that’s better. The flowers don’t last very long and it is a rather messy rose that drizzles petals everywhere, but I love it for its scent and the cupped flowers so it is forgiven the mess.
Another of my David Austin roses is 'Wildeve' and it is also doing well so far in the container I squeezed it into after digging it up earlier in the spring. It will get a permanent home soon, getting the roses in the ground is my number one priority, many of the other plants can wait till next spring but the roses need a home soon.
'Wildeve' has beautiful flowers when still not fully open.
But it is the fully opened, quartered roses it is famous for.
Next to 'Wildeve' is my temporary kitchen garden, the tomatoes are flowering and I need to plant everything soon. Yes, I know it is a recurring theme, I have so much to do in the garden....
Another of my new roses is 'Gertrude Jekyll', I have heard so much hype about this rose so when I decided to get two roses for the arch I had in my old garden – before I knew I was going to move and no longer have an arch (!), I decided that 'Gertrude Jekyll' was definitely going to be one of them. Two days ago she flowered for the first time and I stuck my nose right in to smell this wonderful scent I had heard so much about, but never actually smelled. I got rather disappointed I must admit, the smell is strong, but it smells exactly like Turkish Delight, and I hate Turkish Delight! It has lovely looking flowers, but that smell is not for me, I much prefer the scent of 'Scepter'd Isle' :-)
There are more new roses in my garden, I bought a couple of miniature roses and one of them has been flowering for a while, this is 'Abigaile', a lovely tiny rose with beautiful, rather large flowers for a miniature.
Here is a fully open flower on 'Abigaile'.
My favourite miniature from my old garden came with me, the cream pot rose is now in a pot, flowering away like usual.
And now to something not a rose. The alstroemeria I bought last year has doubled in size, it is called 'Dandy Candy' and last year it flowered until December. I am determined to get a few more, definitely a white one and perhaps a pale pink.
I have lots of geraniums I bought as cuttings, they sorely need re-potting but are flowering away. They were meant for my window baskets on the wall in the front garden at my old house. Not sure where they will go here in my new garden but as soon as they get a bigger pot each they will be a bit happier.
And do you remember all the geraniums I used to have on the brown shelf in my old garden, I gave away some and some went in the bin but 4 are still with me. I was meant to give them a bigger pot with fresh compost and fertiliser but haven’t got around doing it yet. OK, I know, this is becoming a theme of this post! Anyway, the geraniums seem to completely disregard the lack of fertiliser and absolutely jam-packed pots and have decided to start flowering anyway. These geraniums have spent life outdoors since March 2013, never seen a greenhouse since they arrived back then. Tender geraniums are certainly tougher than given credit for.
My two Daphne x transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance' have decided to put on a flower show for the second time this year, they are both small plants and I was surprised they even flowered the first time, a second flush is even more surprising. When they get more mature, repeat flowering is quite normal for this particular daphne.
The Zantedeschia aethiopica in a container is still flowering, I keep watering it buckets and it seems happy, but I suspect the container is getting rather small for it.
Not sure where in the garden this one would be happy finding a permanent home, but a sunken bathtub might be a solution?!
Finding such a gorgeous clematis in my new garden was a nice surprise, especially since I had to leave two of my mature clematis’ behind, 'Ville de Lyon' and 'Gravetye Beauty'.
The colour if this one is so deep purple and I am planning to pair it with a pale pink one. I would love to have ‘Josephine’, it has been on my wish-list for a while, but I suppose I should rather choose a clematis in pruning group 3 to make my life easier :-)
Out at the front I am still hogging the space in front of my fence, but no one else is using this space so I will keep the plants here for now.
In my fuchsia garden the fuchsias are flowering away and it is so nice to have fuchsias again!
But all is not well. Do you remember only 2 weeks ago I proudly showed you my 2 fuchsia standards Mr Popple? Look at them now, they are barely alive. There has been quite a few fuchsias dying since I moved here, and a few hellebores also simply just dying. I have been expecting some loss and put it down to under or overwatering.
But when the 2 standards suddenly started showing signs of rapid decline I knew something really wrong was happing and I lifted one of the standards out of the pot and guess what I saw? Lots of vine weevil grubs! I suspect all the plants that have died have been for the same reason, as they just wilted and the whole plant fell off. Yesterday I treated the whole garden, all 700 pots with vine weevil nematodes, something I have been a bit too relaxed about the last couple of years. I used to do it, but because they are quite pricey I haven’t done it for a few years. I hope I have treated the rest in time to save them all.
Despite the grubs probably munching away on everything planted last year and before, the fuchsias still alive are flowering well. Once I have battled the vine weevil I will have to tackle the fuchsia gall mites, they are back, you can see what it looks like on this plants, the bottom leaf in the middle has damage from them, the distorted leaves. This is what it looks like in the beginning, but when it is a bad infestation the whole plant dies. I can’t treat the plants for gall mite until the nematodes have done their job as they will die from the treatment I have to use for gall mite. In 2-3 weeks’ time the nematodes will have eaten up all the grubs, hopefully, and the whole thing will be over, if I can keep them watered, the pots have to be moist at all times to keep the nematodes alive but as long as that’s catered for the nematodes will feast on any vine weevil grub they can find. Yeah!
Luckily, fuchsia gall mite only attack fuchsias, there is no risk to any other plant so the plants around the fuchsia garden are safe. There is another 2 roses out here, this is 'Susan Williams-Ellis’, yet another messy David Austin rose.
It is very sweet with rather small flowers and a lovely but somewhat faint scent.
The second rose out here is one I inherited, I don’t know its name but it is a hybrid tea with no scent. Very pretty though.
When I moved in I was told that under those two huge acanthus’ would be a pond. I have been looking forward to a pond with waterlilies, so cutting down the acanthus’ has been one of the things I have done lately.
And look at it now! It turns out the pond is filled with a ton of soil and paved over, I will need some help to get it emptied, in the meantime this area is now temporarily named the Hot Garden. The name is partly because the sun is baking here, but also because all the plants have flowers in strong hot colours like magenta, red, orange and yellow, with the exception of one blue clematis that was allowed a pass for now :-)
I am not sure how well the heucheras will do here, I might have to take them out and place them somewhere else, but as long as they are well watered they should be fine – at least the darker leaved ones I think. Perhaps ‘Apricot’ and 'Marmalade' would have preferred a shadier position but I will keep an eye on them.
I have always wanted a Leptospermum – now I got three! I got them very cheaply last autumn and I am not at all sure I can manage to keep them as they are very particular in terms of watering, but I will have a go.
Leptospermum 'Strawberry Crush' is the first one to flower and it looks absolutely lovely. These are also called Manuka honey bush as this is what Manuka honey is coming from.
And here is that blue clematis, it is called 'Mon Amour' and is a short climber that can happily live in a container.
More roses? I can’t get enough of that rose I inherited, the one climbing up my apple tree. When it is about to open it looks like this.
Fully open it looks like this.
And when it is almost going off it turns pale pink like this. Absolutely gorgeous, but troubled with blackspot so I plan to dig it up from the awkward spot it is growing in now and plant it somewhere else so I can treat it properly against it’s problems.
I keep discovering my garden every time I am out here, the other day I found a secret door behind the shed when I started cutting down the Parthenocissus! The door leads to a path behind the shed and I could just about squeeze in there sideways if I wanted to – not that I would like to, the path is riddled with brambles and all sorts of weeds and the amount of spiders in there is unimaginable. I assume this was to enable access to the cherry tree behind the shed, but that tree is too tall by now so won’t be possible to pick anyway. More about this and other things my garden has revealed in my next post which I am planning for next week, where I will show you what I have found and ask all you knowledgeable gardeners for help and tips about what to do with some of the issues. There is a whole queue of issues waiting to be dealt with so there should be plenty for everyone to have a go at. In the meantime, please visit Carol’s blog at May Dreams Gardens to see many more June gardens around the world. Until next time, take care.